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Four additions to the county’s leadership team

Gwinnett County Administrator Glenn Stephens has filled four senior management positions, including a new deputy county administrator. The other three appointments include new directors for Financial Services, Information Technology Services and Human Resources.

Chief Finance Officer Maria Woods has added deputy county administrator to her title. Woods became CFO in 2014 after spending the previous three years leading Gwinnett’s Department of Financial Services. Since joining Gwinnett County in 1997, she has also served as deputy finance director and accounting director.

Woods earned a master’s degree in business administration from Brenau University and a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Georgia. She is a Certified Public Accountant in the state of Georgia, and she has earned the designation of Certified Financial Officer Level II from the University of Georgia and Certified Public Finance Officer from the Government Finance Officers Association.

“As CFO, Maria has developed a deep understanding of the many facets of Gwinnett County Government,” Stephens said. “She understands the operations of each department, and she has the sound judgment to make her an effective and valuable deputy county administrator.”

Buffy Alexzulian, assistant director of Financial Services, was promoted to replace Woods as director. Alexzulian began her career with Gwinnett County in 2008. She previously worked in the Strategic Business Development Division and served as director of the Accounting Division. Alexzulian earned a master’s degree in business administration from Shorter University and a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a focus in finance from the University of North Georgia. She is a Certified Public Accountant and is a member of the Government Finance Officers Association. Alexzulian has more than 15 years of experience in various finance and accounting roles in the public and private sector.

“Buffy has been with us through good economic times and bad,” Stephens said. “Her thorough financial knowledge and her experience through varying cycles of the economy makes her a valuable asset for the County.”

Vicki Casella has stepped into the role of director of Human Resources after being named acting director earlier this year. She started her career with Gwinnett County in April 2007 as a senior human resources generalist and was promoted to HR manager in August 2013. Casella has more than 20 years of public and private human resources experience and holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from University of Illinois, Springfield.

“Vicki has a long history of developing and implementing strategies that support and enhance our mission and vision while considering the needs of the most important component of our organization – our people,” Stephens said.

Gwinnett’s new Information Technology Services director and chief information officer is Dorothy Parks, who previously served as assistant director. Parks joined the County’s ITS Department about three years ago as deputy director over Enterprise Applications. With more than 30 years in the technology industry, Parks has held leadership positions with Wyndham Worldwide, Atlantic Partners Corporation, Hospitality Franchise Systems and Cendant Corporation, among others. Sheholds degrees in management, economics and finance from Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta.

“Dorothy has managed several IT disciplines throughout her career and brings invaluable understanding to a dynamic and essential field,” Stephens said. “She is a leader with strategic vision and experience to help us navigate the future.”

Board of Commissioners Chairman Charlotte Nash said, “Our organization and our community will be well-served by Glenn’s new additions to the County’s leadership team. They bring solid managerial skills and an impressive level of knowledge to their new roles. Glenn’s selections from existing staff show the depth of talent in the County organization, with so many individuals prepared to step up when given an opportunity.”

A series of retirements created the vacancies and opportunities for promotion, including that of Phil Hoskins, a long-time County employee who led the Department of Community Services for 18 years and served as deputy county administrator for the last six years before retiring on July 24.