The County Commissioners are pleased to announce the sole finalist for the position of Mesa County Administrator:
Frank Whidden, Ph.D.
Frank Whidden, PhD., is currently Mesa County’s Deputy Administrator for Resource Management, reporting directly to the current County Administrator, Tom Fisher. The Commissioners’ public statements during hearing today indicate that over the last year, Frank Whidden’s experience working with the Board of Commissioners as acting county administrator at the times Tom Fisher was not available, has supplied Mr. Whidden with the experience the Commissioners believe essential.
The Commissioners thank each of the internal applicants who applied. Immediately prior to this announcement, during executive session, the County Commissioners reviewed all applications received from within the Mesa County organization.
The Commissioners are well on the path to meeting the stated goal of December 15, 2014 for completing the process of appointment to serve as Mesa County’s chief executive officer, and requested that the acting county attorney prepare within the next few weeks a contract for consideration by the Board and Mr. Whidden. The contract will be adopted at a future public hearing.
Whidden brings a wealth of executive level management expertise to the County Administrator position. He has served numerous large companies to include, Boeing and Sungard, non-profit organizations such as the Council on Foundations in Washington, D.C. as well as numerous universities including the University of West Alabama, Lethbridge College (Canada), Montevallo University and the University of New England. Whidden was the first Chief Information Officer (CIO) at the Council on Foundations and served as CIO at the universities and colleges aforementioned.
As the CIO for multiple organizations Whidden was generally considered part of the executive leadership at these organizations. Whidden describes himself as a “change agent” who has often been brought in to help organizations innovate. Upon coming to Mesa County, Whidden first served as Director of Information Technology where he led the implementation of a modern messaging infrastructure, Google Apps for Government, as well as leading the effort to upgrade IT infrastructure to bring the concept of ubiquitous computing (working from anywhere on any platform) to fruition. In addition, he introduced the concept of virtual desktop infrastructure which is leading to reduced costs in computing infrastructure.
Since his time with Mesa County, Whidden has worked closely with Tom Fisher, the outgoing County Administrator, in reorganizing County Administration, streamlining efficiencies and adding transparency to County government. In April 2014, Whidden was called upon to replace four County directors and since that time has been responsible for overseeing Facilities and Parks, Fairgrounds, Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology and the County’s part of the Tri-River Extension Service. Whidden acknowledges that, "this was a big job but it has been exciting to work with Tom in reorganizing and reorienting Mesa County. Those previous steps have brought me to a great place to serve as County Administrator for our County."
"I have big shoes to fill but feel I'm in a unique position to keep the momentum going that Tom has implemented," Whidden said. He has been on the inside of these decisions and looks forward to furthering the strategic vision of the County Commissioners.
And, Whidden has a great working relationship with the Board and is looking forward to working even more closely with them. "I am very humbled by the confidence the Commissioners are expressing in me and am grateful for this opportunity."