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City of Columbia to host meet-and-greet with fire chief finalists


The city of Columbia will host a meet-and-greet Thursday with the three finalists to become the city's new fire chief.

Maria Beermann-Foat, Christopher Riley and Andy Woody will meet with the public from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Thursday at REDI, 500 E. Walnut St., Suite 102, the city said in a news release Monday. They are vying to replace Randy White, who retired as chief Oct. 4 after about 20 years with the department.

Maria Beermann-Foat

Beermann-Foat has more than 20 years of experience and is currently a battalion chief for the emergency management agency in Johnson County, Kansas.

Christopher Riley

Riley boasts 38 years of experience in two Colorado fire departments, working his way to the highest rank in Pueblo and Colorado Springs.

Andy Woody

Woody is fire chief in Searcy, Arkansas, and began his career in Springfield, Missouri, in 1998.

A city spokeswoman said City Manager John Glascock hopes to make an offer to the top finalist in the next two weeks after discussing the finalists with the firefighters' union and fire department leaders.

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Matthew Sanders

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