DOBSON — In what Chairman Eddie Harris called “the end of an era,” the Surry County Board of Commissioners presented outgoing Social Services Director Wayne Black with a plaque recognizing his decade of service to Surry County at the helm of the department.
The action came as the board met for its regular monthly meeting in the Commissioners Meeting Room in Dobson, and before the board recessed for a reception honoring Black.
Last month it was announced that Black has been appointed director of the North Carolina Department of Social Services, a position he will assume on June 1.
Black serves as director of the Surry County department, a position he has held since June 1, 2003. He has served for 37 years in social service departments throughout the state.
Shortly after the appointment was announced, Harris said that while he is pleased Black has been tapped for the position, he will be sorely missed.
“The board of commissioners is extremely proud of Wayne, and congratulate him on his appointment,” Harris said. “Wayne’s extensive social services experience and knowledge is unsurpassable.
“He has exemplified the highest standards and performance as Surry County social services director, and will be greatly missed in that role.
“On a personal level, Wayne is also an outstanding individual and a pure gentleman,” he added. “It has been very rewarding to have worked with Wayne in county government. He will be a tremendous asset to the citizens of North Carolina, and we look forward to continuing to work with him in his new position.”
Black has said that while he is looking forward to the new challenges offered by the new position, he dreads leaving the local team he has built in the department.
“I am humbled by the opportunity to assume the position with the North Carolina Division of Social Service,” he said. “They have a great team working there. At the same time, it is very difficult to leave the great group of staff and supervisors we have here at the county department.”
Before taking the reins of the Surry County department, Black served as director of the Yadkin County social services department for 12 years, and director of the Mitchell County department for two years.
He began his career in social services in 1976 in Guilford County, where he served as a social worker, chore services coordinator and services intake supervisor.
In addition, Black has held leadership positions at the local, regional and state levels, including serving as president of the North Carolina Association of County Directors of Social Services in 2008-2009, and as a member of the Joint State/County Relations Committee for the past seven years.
He has been named an Honorary Lifetime Member of the North Carolina Social Services Association and has chaired numerous state commissions, serving as president on three occasions.
The department’s board of directors is working to find a replacement to fill Black’s seat.
Reach Keith Strange at email@example.com or 719-1929.