County bud­get man­ager takes job with col­lege

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By CH­ERYL MATTIX


— County Bud­get Man­ager Craig White­ford will leave his job with Ce­cil County govern­ment on Fri­day to be­come con­troller of Ce­cil Col­lege.

“I will miss the peo­ple I work with the most,” White­ford said dur­ing an in­ter­view as he re­flected on his more than 21 years in county govern­ment ser­vice.

But he ad­mits he re­ally en­joys many as­pects of his num­ber-crunch­ing job.

“I con­sider my­self the keeper of the past and plan­ner for the fu­ture,” White­ford said as he pointed


to shelves full of records he has gath­ered over the years. “I fig­ured some­body needs to keep th­ese in one place.”

In his ten­ure with the county, White­ford has seen elected of­fi­cials come and go, pro­vid­ing him with lots of mem­o­ries and life lessons.

White­ford started in Jan­uary 1995 when for­mer County Trea­surer Lewis R. Jack­son Jr. hired him as deputy trea­surer. Three years later, White­ford was ap­pointed to a newly cre­ated po­si­tion of bud­get man­ager un­der the lead­er­ship of county com­mis­sion­ers Nel­son Bolen­der, Phyl­lis Kilby and Harry Hep­bron.

“I owe a lot to them,” White­ford said. “Some of my most sat­is­fy­ing mem­o­ries are re­solv­ing is­sues on the fly, es­pe­cially dur­ing the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion project at the de­ten­tion cen­ter.”

He said he learned pa­tience and how to lis­ten to cus­tomers from his men­tor, Jack­son.

“Some­times all you have to do is lis­ten to peo­ple and guide them,” he said. “Lots of times you can do some­thing to help.”

White­ford chuck­led a bit when he re­mem­bered pa­tiently help­ing a dis­grun­tled tax­payer count out his tax pay­ment in small coins.

“I’m very proud of my ac­com­plish­ments at the county, but I cer­tainly didn’t do it alone,” White­ford said, pay­ing ku­dos to his wife, his co­work­ers, in­clud­ing for­mer Trea­surer Pam Howard, plan­ning di­rec­tor Eric Sennstrom, fi­nance di­rec­tor Win­ston Robin­son and es­pe­cially county ad­min­is­tra­tor Al Wein, who has sup­ported White­ford ev­ery step of the way.

White­ford is look­ing for­ward to his new job at Ce­cil Col­lege.

As con­troller, he will an­swer di­rectly to Dan Thomp­son, vice pres­i­dent of fi­nance, and will have four peo­ple who re­port to him. White­ford will be­come the “sub­ject mat­ter ex­pert” con­cern­ing fi­nances of the col­lege, keep­ing lead­er­ship in­formed of the fi­nan­cial con­di­tion at all times. He’ll be con­duct­ing the col­lege’s ac­count­ing, au­dit­ing, bud­get­ing and busi­ness ser­vices.

“It was an op­por­tu­nity I couldn’t pass up,” he said.

Ce­cil Col­lege ap­pointed a new pres­i­dent last sum­mer, ap­pointed a new fi­nance di­rec­tor and re­cently ap­proved a master plan. All those changes make White­ford anx­ious to get to work with in the next chap­ter of his life.

“This is a new chal­lenge for me,” he said. “I’m look­ing for­ward to play­ing a part in the growth of the col­lege and work­ing in an ed­u­ca­tion en­vi­ron­ment.”

The se­nior level man­age­ment po­si­tion White­ford as­sumes at Ce­cil Col­lege pro­vides him a pay raise, closer com­mute and it’s not far from a golf course, one of his per­sonal pas­sions.

“I know the county is go­ing to be in good hands,” White­ford said, as he gets closer to his last day in county govern­ment. “As part of the col­lege, I won’t be far away.”


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