City Manager Jim Bourey today announced two finalists for director of the Department of Human Services for the City of Newport News. The Newport News Department of Human Services is dedicated to improving the quality of life of residents through education, community partnerships and agency health, safety and employment programs. The department employs 377 persons and has an annual operating budget of $32.8 million. The finalists are:
Venerria Lucas Thomas, Director of Family and Aging Services, Hillsborough County, Florida
Rosanne Walters, Interim Director of Human Services, City of Newport News
City Manager Jim Bourey said, “The two finalists have considerable experience in the human services field and clearly demonstrate extraordinary leadership in providing services to their community’s most vulnerable citizens. The Human Services Department encompasses a variety of critical functions for our more than 180,000 residents. The leadership of this department plays a vital role in making sure all citizens have access to essential programs and services.”
A national search yielded 256 candidates from across the country. Seven semi-finalists participated in an assessment exercise and the two finalists have been selected to undergo a series of interviews with city officials and various stakeholders this week. The previous director, Glenn Butler, retired in June. Deputy Director Rosanne Walters has been serving as Interim Director of Human Services since Butler’s retirement.
DIRECTOR OF HUMAN SERVICES CANDIDATE PROFILES
Candidate Venerria Lucas ThomasMs. Thomas possesses a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in business administration. Her 28 years of experience include serving as director of human services for the City of Seattle, Washington and St. John’s County, Florida, as well as her current position of director of Family and Aging Services with Hillsborough County, Florida. In addition, she has worked as manager for Government Operations in the Legislative Department with the Seattle City Council and served as director of both community service organizations and private educational institutions. She was also appointed to the Board of Regents for Seattle University and the Athena Society, which is a women’s advocacy group.
Rosanne WaltersDr. Walters earned her undergraduate degree in English and education and followed up with separate master’s degrees in both adult education and urban studies. She currently holds a Ph.D. in urban services management. Dr. Walters has over 23 years of experience working with community and youth programs with organizations that include the U.S. State Department in Indonesia, the YMCA of South Hampton Roads, The United Way of the Virginia Peninsula, the York County School Division, and the Newport News Alliance for Youth. She has been employed with the City of Newport News for 13 years currently as Deputy Director for the Department of Human Services, serving as Interim Director since June. She previously served as Director of the Office on Youth and Families. In addition, Dr. Walters is an adjunct faculty member at Old Dominion University and is a member of the Urban Services and Public Administration Advisory Council.