BOONE — High Country Council of Governments has selected and hired Julie Wiggins as its new Executive Director, beginning Aug. 1.
The HCCOG Executive Director reports directly to a 27-member executive board of local officials, and is responsible for managing a professional staff of more than 20 with an annual budget of over $6 million. HCCOG is 1 of 16 regional councils in the state of North Carolina.
The HCCOG search committee worked through 26 applications and several interviews before unanimously selecting Wiggins.
Julie Wiggins received a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology, and a Master of Arts degree in Gerontology from Appalachian State University. Previously, Wiggins served in two roles for the High Country Area Agency on Aging—most recently as director, and prior to that as regional ombudsman.
During her tenure with the Area Agency on Aging, Wiggins became well-versed in advocacy for long-term care residents, managed dozens of volunteers, collaborated with state and federal agencies to provide programming on various aging related topics and provided programmatic and fiscal oversight to 9 contracted service providers.
Wiggins also served as chair of the advocacy subcommittee for the North Carolina Association of Area Agencies on Aging.
Previously, Wiggins served as a disability examiner to adjudicate social security disability applications at Disability Determination Services.
“I am honored and excited to serve the High Country Council of Governments as executive director,” Wiggins said in a statement. “I look forward to working with the member governments, the staff, and other stakeholders to promote this wonderful region.”
Johnny Riddle, Yancey County Commissioner, and Chair of the Executive Board and Search Committee said Wiggins has done an outstanding job while expanding programs and receiving grants for the Area Agency on Aging.
“The Search Committee and Executive Board believe she’ll be able to bring her experiences in that capacity to the overall organization,” Riddle said. “We believe her vision and work ethic are a perfect fit for our organization.”
The Executive Director is responsible for the COG’s overall supervision and management, and provides oversight of the agency’s day-to-day activities. Wiggins will provide leadership to HCCOG staff to meet the goals and objectives as established by the HCCOG board on behalf of the region’s local governments.
High Country Council of Governments is a planning and development agency serving local governments in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yancey Counties.