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Hall County administrator new to job, not area

POSTED: November 18, 2008 5:00 a.m.
Tom Reed /The Times

Charley Nix, the new Hall County administrator, looks over a map of the county. Nix, who had been serving as the interim administrator since July 1, officially was named to the position on Thursday.

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Charley Nix may be the new Hall County administrator, but he is no newcomer to Hall County.

"I was born here, raised here," Nix said.

Nix said he has lived in Hall County all his life, except for a three-year stint he spent in Germany with the military.

Though he always lived here, Nix said he spent much of his career commuting to Atlanta, sometimes spending as much as four hours a day in the car. So when he decided to take a job as the human resources director for Hall County in 2006, Nix said he finally felt like he was living in Hall County again.

"It was like I came home, even though I never left," Nix said.

Reconnecting with old friends was one of the things Nix enjoyed most about working for the county.

"When I first came here, it was almost like I knew every third person," Nix said of his co-workers. "It really solidified my decision at that point."

In June, when longtime County Administrator Jim Shuler announced his retirement, the Hall County Board of Commissioners chose Nix to serve as the interim administrator, starting July 1. And at the time he accepted, Nix said he didn’t plan to take on the position permanently.

"I sort of initially approached the interim position as a maintenance sort of position," Nix said.

After experiencing the job’s challenges, Nix said he enjoyed it and wanted to learn more.

"It’s always difficult and challenging and you have to keep your head down and work toward learning and understanding as much as you can," Nix said.

He said he feels he has a leg up after working as the interim and knowing all the department heads from his time as human resources director.

"My leadership style fits with their needs in many ways," Nix said.

Nix graduated from Gainesville High School in 1970, and was drafted into the military soon after. After his service, he spent several months backpacking around Europe before making his way back to the United States.

When he returned to Gainesville, he met his wife, Lana. They were married in 1975, and she gave birth to their first daughter, Ashley, in 1980. Another daughter, Rachel, was born seven years later.

Nix started earning his college degree while working the night shift as a machine operator for the company that would later become SKF in Flowery Branch.

"I worked full time, went to school full time, and immediately upon graduation they promoted me into a shift manager position in manufacturing there," Nix said.

Nix said after that he had a choice to work in manufacturing or human relations.

"I decided human resources would probably serve me better in my career," Nix said. "It sort of found me."

Nix then worked in human resources for a number of companies in the private sector before starting his career in government.

Outside of work, Nix said he enjoys golfing and playing the guitar.

He also enjoys walking his dog, a small Lhasa Apso he originally bought for his daughters. Though he didn’t expect it, he said he has grown to really like the little dog.

"I never thought I’d really like a ‘fou fou’ dog," Nix said. "But they keep you active."

Nix said he is looking forward to being administrator full time and having the opportunity to work with all the different departments.

"I like being in contact with people," Nix said.



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