Nathan Brandon, who most recently served as administrator of Cameron Hall Assisted Living Center in Canton, will begin his post with the county government on Monday.
He will replace former director Barbara Dobyne, who has been reassigned as the agency's program manager and will report to Brandon.
The management change follows an investigation of the agency by a consultant hired by the county Board of Commissioners after complaints were made by former employees and seniors.
Brandon has worked at Cameron Hall for the last seven years, where he managed an operating budget of more than $2 million and had general oversight of the daily operations of a 54-person staff along with ensuring compliance with state regulations.
Brandon, 58, of Canton, said he has long been interested in working for county senior services and interviewed for the director position a decade ago.
"It is right in line with what I have a passion for," he said about working for senior services, noting his tenure at Cameron Hall was a very enjoyable part of his life. Cameron Hall's owner, Joann Salvage, has stepped in to handle daily operations.
While the county Board of Commissioners had not yet received copies of the consultant's final report on Friday, Commissioner Jim Hubbard said County Manager Jerry Cooper informed them one of the recommendations was the agency's leadership needed to be improved.
Hubbard said Cooper shared with the commissioners on a one-on-one basis his intent to hire Brandon, which did not require a vote by the full board.
"He has the management skills that we need," Hubbard said of Brandon. "He has the detail skills that we need, and he has the people skills that we need. This guy is good. I just think it is going to be a great thing for our senior programs."
Brandon's annual salary as senior services director will be $72,000. Cooper said Ms. Dobyne's pay was reduced given her new role.
The consultant's report was released by Cooper to the Cherokee Tribune on Friday afternoon and will be reviewed by the board next week.
In addition to the recommendation about leadership, the report also calls for changes including: the establishment of a corporate culture, redefinition of job descriptions, development of a communication plan, improved public awareness of services and the appointing of an existing employee to the role of quality assurance and budget supervisor.
Commission Chairman Buzz Ahrens said senior services is a top priority for the board, noting the county's 55-and-older population is anticipated to grow from 30,000 to 100,000 in the next 20 years.
"This has major implications for our community related to services, mobility, education, facilities, etc.," Ahrens said of the leadership of senior services. "We look forward to Mr. Brandon's leadership as we develop plans to accommodate that anticipated growth in our senior population."
The senior services agency operates the county's main senior center on Univeter Road near Canton as well as satellite programs that meet on a weekly basis in Ball Ground, Waleska and southwest Cherokee. The county government also plans to soon expand the main facility.
Services offered by the center include morning programs on Mondays through Fridays that include lunch and transportation; Meals-on-Wheels delivery service of food to shut-ins; and assistance with housing, financial, legal and medical needs as well as in filing with Social Security, Medicare, IRS and other agencies.
Brandon said he is looking forward to improving services for Cherokee's seniors through his new role.
"I want to increase and investigate new avenues of service to the seniors of Cherokee County. They are a growing population," he said.
He noted one project he is eager to see begin is the renovation of the former City Club in Canton on Marietta Highway, which the county government purchased to transform into a senior fitness facility.
As the immediate past chairman of the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce, Brandon said he brings to the role contacts with companies and agencies looking for volunteer opportunities such as with senior services.
"I'm ready to connect those dots," he said.
Brandon also previously served for nine years as vice president of student affairs and dean of students at Reinhardt College in Waleska. He and his wife, Judy, an elementary school teacher, have two children and four grandchildren.
He earned a business administration degree from Palm Beach Atlantic University and a religious education degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Brandon has volunteered with the Cherokee Volunteered Aging Council, the nonprofit arm of county senior services; and attends Heritage Baptist Fellowship in Canton.