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Watauga County Board of Commissioners Unanimously Appoint Tom Hughes To Head DSS Effective April

March 4, 2014. The Watauga County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday announced the appointment of Tom Hughes to the position of Social Services Director. Jim Atkinson, current director, announced his retirement to be effective April 1, 2014.

The Board of Commissioners unanimously appointed Mr. Hughes to serve as Watauga County Social Services Director effective April 2, 2014. Mr. Hughes is no stranger to Watauga County serving eleven (11) years with the Social Services Department; five (5) years as the Children’s Services Social Worker and six (6) years as the Supervisor for Child Protective Services.

Mr. Hughes presently serves as the Social Services Director for Avery County, a post he has held for six (6) years. As the new director, Tom will lead a department with a budget of over $5 million and 46 employees who provide services to children and families, the elderly, the disabled, the unemployed and underemployed, and those receiving public assistance.

The County is very excited about Tom joining the Watauga County Department of Social Services as Director. When the County began the search for a new Director, the hope was to find someone with exceptional interpersonal skills, a strong background in dealing with state, local, and community agencies; personnel management experience; and experience with the organizational structure and citizen needs found in Watauga County.

The County found all of those qualities and more in Tom. His passion for social services and dedication to the communities in Avery and Watauga, which he has served are clearly evident. We feel very confident that Tom will continue the success of the Department in providing the best possible service to the citizens of Watauga County.