County Council, at its Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013, meeting, unanimously voted to appoint Gina A. Jennings as the County's new finance director, effective May 1.
Ms. Jennings, who is being promoted from director of the County's Accounting division, will replace Susan M. Webb. Ms. Webb will retire in May after 20 years of service to County government.
By Delaware law, the five-member Sussex County Council is responsible for appointing the position of finance director, as well as County Administrator and County Engineer.
As finance director, Ms. Jennings will oversee the County's entire financial system, including the County's overall annual budgeting, accounting, purchasing, tax assessment and collection, and all other financial affairs. She and Ms. Webb will work closely over the next four months to transition those duties, many of which Ms. Jennings already manages or assists in.
Ms. Jennings holds a bachelor's degree in accounting as well as a master's degree in business administration and public administration.
"I am honored to receive this appointment, and I want to thank the Council for their continued confidence in me, and the staff who I have worked with over the years to help lead me to this point," said Ms. Jennings, who has been employed with the County since March 2006. "Promoting from within shows the County's support for me and for our current financial foundation, one that was built by my mentors and past finance directors Susan Webb and David Baker. I will continue to build on that foundation to make sure the County remains one of the most fiscally responsible governments, not just in Delaware, but throughout the country."
Ms. Jennings, 34, grew up near Millsboro and attended Sussex Central High School in Georgetown before moving away to enroll at the University of Delaware. Upon graduating from UD, she worked in the private sector as an accountant for the prestigious Ernst & Young firm in Philadelphia before moving back to Sussex County to be closer to family and friends.
Following a stint as a public school teacher instructing high school students on accounting and business practices, she went to work as finance director for the Town of Milton before joining County government as an accountant. She was promoted six months later to director of the accounting division when Ms. Webb became finance director.
Among her duties in recent years, Ms. Jennings has maintained the day-to-day management of the accounting staff, been an integral part of the County's budget writing committee, managed the County's annual audit, and assisted in preparing the County's Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. She has led or assisted in numerous projects, including the selection and implementation of a new integrated financial computer software system; the award of a federal energy efficiency grant to fund a solar panel project; and the development of program to lend the use of vacant County properties for community groups.
Page 2 of 2 - County Council President Michael H. Vincent said maintaining stability, not just in finances but in the staff who manages those finances, is especially important in uncertain economic times.
"Gina has a very sharp financial mind. She is very detailed oriented, and she knows the ins and outs of our financial systems here in County government," President Vincent said. "We are fortunate to have people like her on our staff, employees who have the skills, the education, and the experience to keep our financial house in order – and to ensure the taxpayers' dollars are being used wisely."
Ms. Jennings lives with her husband, Rob, and their two children near Milton.