Ashe County native Sam Yearick was unanimously appointed Ashe County Manager at a special meeting of the Board of Commissioners this afternoon.
“I’m ready to go to work,” he said.
Commissioners Gerald Price, Gary Roark and William Sands and Vice Chair Judy Poe voted to hire Yearick as the county’s new chief administrator after meeting with him in a special executive session lasting just over an hour. Chairman Larry Rhodes was absent for the vote, but participated in the meeting via conference call.
Yearick was given a four-year contract with a one year salary severance guarantee and $3,500 in relocation expenses.
Yearick, 53, now lives and works in Raleigh. A CPA and auditor with the N.C. Department of Revenue for 20 years, he was a finance director and tax consultant for Caldwell County. He has also worked in real estate, he said.
Born and raised in Helton, Yearick graduated Northwest Ashe High School in 1977, and took a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a major in Accounting at Appalachian State.
Yearick has “extensive experience in state and local government project management, resource utilization, and business incentives on both the state and local level. Mr. Yearick has proven leadership skills and a strong commitment to high ethical and professional standards,” according to a press release from the county.
Asked what he considered job one for the county, Yearick said “I understand that jobs, economic development and the budget are the highest priority for the commissioners, so they definitely will be my highest priorities.”
“You can’t be from here without wanting to bring jobs here,” he said. “Anything we can do to make our community a better place to live and work, that’s what I think everybody here wants to do.”
“I’m happy to be home,” he said.
Sands said, “We had a lot of good applicants, a lot of qualified applicants…and I’m very happy Sam is our new county manager, and I think he’ll do an excellent job.”
Price congratulated Yearick, saying “we look forward to working with you.”
Yearick is married, though he and his wife, Tanya, have no children. He will be staying with family in Helton until he finds a new residence in Ashe.
He starts work Dec. 2.