NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – Lisa Wurtzbacher has been selected to serve as an Assistant County Manager for New Hanover County beginning Monday, May 9. Wurtzbacher has been the county’s Chief Financial Officer since 2012 and has more than two decades of experience in the finance and accounting field.
In her new role, Wurtzbacher will initially manage the county’s Parks & Gardens Department, NC Cooperative Extension & Arboretum, Public Library, Cape Fear Museum, Soil & Water Conservation District, Tax Office, and Board of Elections, with the potential of additional department oversight in the new fiscal year to align with priorities going forward.
“Lisa has been an integral leader for the county through some of the largest initiatives and projects we’ve had over the past decade,” said County Manager Chris Coudriet. “She has helped ensure the county’s strong financial position has continued amidst numerous hurricanes and the pandemic, has provided oversight of the budget process and innovative improvements, managed the issuance of debt for priority projects and improvements in New Hanover County to help move us forward, helped create and ensure fiscal stewardship of new initiatives through American Rescue Plan funding, and so much more. She brings an unmatched level of professionalism, knowledge, and passion for the county, and I look forward to working with her in this capacity.”
Wurtzbacher will serve alongside Deputy County Manager Tim Burgess and Assistant County Manager Tufanna Bradley, under the leadership of County Manager Chris Coudriet. She was chosen after an internal search and recruitment effort, following the announcement that current Assistant County Manager Sheryl Kelly will retire on May 6.
“Sheryl’s retirement is well deserved and well-earned after serving with the county and in state and federal government for her entire career,” said Coudriet. “She has helped increase collaboration among county departments in the midst of the pandemic and is leaving the county in a strong position to continue moving forward strategically.”
Wurtzbacher has served with the county since 2010, when she started as the Financial and Property Tax Auditor, a role she held for two years before becoming the director of the county’s Finance Office. Prior to joining New Hanover County, she worked at international accounting firm Ernst & Young LLP where she performed financial audits and process improvement projects.
Under her leadership as Chief Financial Officer, the Finance Department has annually received the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by Government Finance Officers Association for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (which has been earned for 40 consecutive years), and she helped lead New Hanover County to a double triple-A bond rating in 2013 – which has continued for the past nine years.
She is a native of New Hanover County and a graduate of the University of North Carolina Wilmington where she received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting. She currently serves as President of the North Carolina Government Finance Officers Association and is a board member of the Cape Fear Public Transportation Authority, Fire Relief Fund, New Hanover County Tourism Development Authority, and NHW Healthcare, Inc.
“I’m honored to have this opportunity to serve the Board of Commissioners as an Assistant County Manager and use my experiences to assist departments and drive our county strategy forward,” said Wurtzbacher. “As CFO, I was able to work with all of our departments and understand their needs from a financial perspective, but I am excited to be able to work with the departments in an all-new way to assist them and make sure we are providing the best services, resources, and opportunities for our community.”
Additional information about the County Manager’s office can be viewed here.