ELIZABETHTOWN — Scott Lenhart of Elkin was nominated and approved by the Bladen County Board of Commissioners on Monday as director of the county’s Consolidated Human Services Agency.
County Manager Greg Martin made the nomination after meticulously sifting through several applications for the position received by the county since the Oct. 9 resignation of Cris Harrelson from the position.
“Mr. Lenhart has a strong background in human services,” Martin said. “And his leadership in Stokes County led me to support him for the position.”
Under the current set of procedures, with the health and human services departments under one umbrella, the position falls to the county manager for a recommendation to fill the director’s post with the consent of the commissioners.
On Monday, after a short closed session, the board — following a motion by Commissioner Michael Cogdell and seconded by Commissioner Daniel Dowless — voted 8-0 to approve Lenhart as director. Commissioner Delilah Blanks was absent from the meeting.
Lenhart has served as the director of both Stokes County Health Department and Iredell County Health Department, where he and his department earned numerous accolades. Those accolades included:
— Recognized in 2014 by North Carolina Public Health as the most improved health department.
— Received accreditation in 2012 for the Stokes County Health Department with a score of 98 percent within six months of applying.
— Received the North Carolina Association Public Health Sparkle Award and Charles Blackmon Award for Eliminating Health Disparities in 2006 while with Iredell County Health Department.
Lenhart, who has 30 years experience in managing multiple programs, grants and budgets, said embracing change is a big part of his success.
“Throughout my career, I have utilized my leadership, planning and managerial skills to consistently increase and enhance existing programs, develop new programs and recognize individuals, agencies and community needs,” he wrote in his cover letter to the Bladen County selection committee for the position. “I am a very strong believer that change is a requirement for any agency to stay current with the changes at the federal, state and local levels of government.”
Adding to Lenhart’s managerial and leadership skills is the fact that he is a retired Navy officer, with numerous letters and certificates of commendation for outstanding leadership in program development and administration. He was also awarded the Navy Commendation Medal and Navy Achievement Medal for program administration and leadership by the Secretary of the Navy.
Martin said that Lenhart, who was not present Monday, would have a salary “in the upper $60s” but that a starting date had not yet been set.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.