Seward named IW administrator

Published 10:49pm Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Suffolk will lose its Finance Director soon, as Anne Seward has been tapped as the new county administrator in Isle of Wight County.

Seward, who worked in the county before coming to Suffolk in 2007, will replace W. Douglas Caskey, who announced his retirement effective Oct. 1. He has been in the role for 19 years.

Seward managed Suffolk’s Department of Budget and Strategic Planning since 2007 and took over as chief financial officer last year, also giving her oversight of the Finance Department.

The county’s board of supervisors voted Friday to hire Seward, but details of her contract have not been finalized. She is expected to assume her new duties in mid-October.

Seward is a graduate of Longwood University and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration. She also completed the International City/County Management Association LEAD program at the University of Virginia.

She was a senior auditor with the Virginia Auditor of Public Accounts until beginning work in Isle of Wight County in 1995. She was director of budget and finance there, and later assistant county administrator.

“Anne Seward has an extensive background in local government and will bring that expertise, as well as her comprehensive knowledge of the area, to her new role in Isle of Wight,” JoAnn Hall, chairman of the Board of Supervisors, said in a press release from the county. “Her strengths in budget and finance will be particularly helpful as our county begins pulling out of these difficult recessionary years.”

Seward said she is excited to work in Isle of Wight but will miss Suffolk.

“I am very excited to serve the citizens of Isle of Wight County and am looking forward to working with the board and all the staff on the county team,” she said in a press release from the county. “There are so many wonderful opportunities ahead, and I am appreciative of the trust and confidence extended by the Board of Supervisors to me in this role.”

Through a Suffolk city spokeswoman, she said about leaving Suffolk: “I am very excited for this opportunity and have been enriched by the wonderful leadership and camaraderie I have found in the city of Suffolk. The city is truly a dynamic place to be and I will miss being part of such a dedicated and professional team.”

Seward currently serves on the Western Tidewater Regional Jail Board and is treasurer of the Western Tidewater Water Authority, both groups that also include Isle of Wight County.

Seward and her husband, John Seward, live in Surry County, where her husband is a member of the board of supervisors.

The city has suffered from high turnover in the finance director’s position. Seward’s departure will be the third from the post in as many years — though one of the other two was a forced resignation — after it sat vacant for several years before that.

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