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Campbell named Dawson County manager
1222dawsonCindy Gilleland Campbell

A Dawson County native has been selected as the county’s new chief operating officer.

Cindy Gilleland Campbell was named Thursday night as county manager, replacing Kevin Tanner, following a unanimous vote by the Dawson County Board of Commissioners.

Tanner, who was elected to the state House of Representatives in November, is leaving the manager’s post he has held since January 2008. Campbell currently serves as the county’s chief financial officer, a position she has held since 2008. She also served as the county’s interim manager earlier this year when Tanner took a leave of absence to seek the legislative seat.

The first woman to hold the position, Campbell, 40, said she looks forward to the new year and beginning her new role.

“I am honored, humbled and energized by the board’s confidence in me to serve as county manager,” she said. “I want county residents to know that I truly have a heart for the well-being of Dawson County and its citizens, not only for financial health, but for the quality of life of citizens as well.”

Hired in 2008 as assistant finance director, Campbell was promoted to chief financial officer that December. In her current position, she manages and oversees all aspects of the county’s finances, supervising the finance, purchasing and human resources staff.

Commission Chair Mike Berg said Campbell represents the caliber of employee required for the county’s top nonelected position.

“I feel very sure that Cindy Campbell, with her financial background and her roots in Dawson County, will make us proud,” he said.

A 1990 Dawson County High School graduate, Campbell earned a bachelor of business administration degree at North Georgia College & State University and received her certified public accountant license in 2000.

“I grew up in Dawson County, and I am excited by this opportunity to serve as county manager and give back to my home town,” she said.

Prior to her work with Dawson County, Campbell’s career included nearly 14 years in corporate finance and accounting in the private sector.

She was selected from a slate of five internal candidates vying for the job, which included David Headley, director of public works and community development; David McKee, planning and development director; Billy Thurmond, emergency services director; and Bob Ivey, director of administration were also considered.

Berg said the decision was one of the most difficult the board has faced.

“We had five very capable candidates. We spent a while talking about those candidates based on their interviews, based on their body of work,” he said. “I think that the four candidates that did not get (the job) are very good employees of the county, and I hope they will continue on with their efforts to help this county and help the citizens of this county.”

Berg and Campbell were set to meet Friday to discuss and finalize her new contract.