NEWPORT, NH – The Sullivan County Board of Commissioners has selected Derek Ferland as the next County Manager. Ferland, a Claremont native who graduated from Stevens High School, recently retired as a Colonel after serving nearly 22 years in the United States Air Force. Ferland rose to the top of a pool of more than 35 candidates who applied to succeed Jessie Levine, who will step down in May due to illness.
Board of Commissioners Chair Jeff Barrette said that the Commission is pleased to welcome Ferland on board. “I was thrilled to find such a highly-qualified candidate with local ties,” Barrette said on Tuesday. “His management experience and local knowledge will be a great asset to our county. He will fit very well with our talented management team and will continue Jessie’s good work.”
“I am honored to serve as the next County Manager and thank the Commissioners for the opportunity,” Ferland said. “It’s exciting to be back home with my family because I know it’s a wonderful place to live, work, and raise a family.”
Ferland also expressed gratitude for his time spent in the Air Force. “It was a great ride because of the opportunities I had, the places I went, and the people I met,” he said. “It’s amazing how quickly 22 years goes by when you are having fun.” Ferland said that it was not an easy decision to retire, but that he and his family — wife Dana and children Madeline, Caden, and Cameron — felt it was the right time.
Ferland’s assignments in the Air Force included two tours in England and two in Texas, as well as stints in Virginia, Ohio, California, and Illinois and deployments to Kuwait and Uzbekistan. Eager to stay put for a while, he and his family are actively looking for a house within Sullivan County.
Reporting to the Board of Commissioners, the County Manager has fiscal and administrative oversight of County operations such as Sullivan County Health Care, Department of Corrections, Human Resources, Natural Resources, and Facilities, including information technology. The Manager also works closely with County elected officials and regional programs such as the UNH Cooperative Extension and Greater Sullivan County Public Health Network.
Levine said that the hiring process was lengthy and thorough, with interest from as far away as the west coast. She said that the process was slowed by the coinciding search for a Facilities Director and the fact that some candidates had applied for both positions. Elected and appointed department heads and two members of the Delegation participated in initial interviews and helped the Commissioners narrow the pool to two finalists, from which Ferland was chosen. The process was also supported by staff from Primex, the County’s risk management consultant, and by the Sheriff’s Office, which conducted Ferland’s background check.
Levine said that Ferland will start immediately so that they have ample time to overlap. “We are jumping right in to the budget and union negotiations. It’s a great way to learn about the County,” Levine said.
“I can’t wait to meet all of the members of the team and get started,” said Ferland.
★ 2016 Copyright E-Ticker News of Claremont ★ Website by Bee Balm Productions ★