New Hanover County has several department updates and leadership changes, outlined below:
Veteran Services Department
The Veteran Services Department will be relocating to the county’s Health and Human Services building, located at 1650 Greenfield Street in Wilmington, beginning Wednesday, July 1. This location change will allow additional collaboration between the county’s health and human services functions, and ensure veterans can receive an array of services in one place.
Facilities Management Department
The Property Management Department’s name has been updated to Facilities Management Department, to better reflect their work throughout the county – which includes fleet management, custodial work, maintenance of all county buildings, and management of the county’s construction and renovation projects. The title for the department’s leader, Sara Warmuth, was also changed to Chief Facilities Officer to reflect the depth and breadth of her leadership role.
Recovery and Resilience Office
After Hurricane Florence, the county created a Hurricane Recovery Coordination Office to help citizens and community partners navigate long-term recovery and coordinate the use of state and federal recovery funding. Nearly two years later, this work is ongoing; and in the wake of COVID-19, the office will also begin focusing on economic recovery and will now be titled the Recovery and Resilience Office.
Beth Schrader, who has served as the county’s Chief Strategy Officer and Recovery Manager, has been named the Recovery and Resilience Director. In this role, she will lead the community through continued recovery – whether from a storm or a pandemic – and help build greater resilience among our residents and businesses for the long-term health and economic recovery of New Hanover County.
Schrader has been with the county since 2007 and has served as strategy officer, budget officer, strategy and policy manager, and senior budget analyst. She has led the Recovery Office since it was created after Hurricane Florence, and will increase the department’s focus on economic recovery in light of COVID-19 and its impacts on our community. Schrader has a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from Clarkson University and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration in Finance from Cornell University.
The Strategy Office works hand-in-hand with all county departments to set strategic priorities and ensure services and policies are continuously evaluated, enhanced, and focused on the customer experience. As Beth Schrader transitions to focus on recovery and resiliency work for the county, Jennifer Rigby has been promoted to the role of Chief Strategy Officer.
Rigby has served as the Strategy and Policy Coordinator for the county for nearly four years, and has helped lead the development of policies that advance the county’s strategic plan and its priorities of public health, safety, education and workforce development. She began working for New Hanover County in 2013 as senior planner and project manager for the county’s first Comprehensive Plan.
She has a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies from the College of Charleston, holds an American Institute of Certified Planner (AICP) certification from the American Planning Association, and is a graduate of Leadership Wilmington.