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Bedford County, Virginia

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County Administrator – Bedford County, Virginia


The Position

Bedford County, Virginia’s next County Administrator has the opportunity to work in one of the Commonwealth’s most beautiful and fast-growing counties. Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Bedford County has retained its rural charm while providing residents with access to some of Virginia’s largest metropolitan areas. Bedford County has a robust mix of economic drivers and is geographically diverse, ensuring a lifestyle perfectly suited for people from every walk of life. The County Administrator will lead an outstanding team of department heads and partner with the Board of Supervisors, all of whom are vested in working together for the continued growth of the County.

Between the Peaks of Otter, National D-Day Memorial, Smith Mountain Lake, Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest, the Artisan Trail, vineyards, breweries, parks, and the dozens of other attractions, Bedford County boasts a tremendous portfolio of tourist attractions that have brought people to the community for many years.

Bedford County has a history of providing services to its residents in a conscientious and reliable manner, while maintaining the fiscal balance necessary to preserve the long-term viability and economic competitiveness of the community. Services provided by the County include Police, Fire and Rescue, Public Works, Parks and Recreation, Community Development, Economic Development, Fiscal Management, Human Resources, Information Technology, Tourism, and Nursing Home.

Bedford County employs approximately 405 full-time employees and 192 part-time staff members. The County’s FY 2018 budget is $182M in total funds, $106M of which is the General Fund budget. The County Administrator currently has 12 direct reports. The Fire department is a combined system with full-time staff working with volunteer fire companies and EMS rescue squads to serve residents across the County. Constitutional officers, which includes the Sheriff, Treasurer, Commissioner of Revenue, Commonwealth Attorney, and Circuit Court Clerk, oversee their own staff. The Department of Social Services is a non-deviating agency with its own director and a board that is appointed by the Board of Supervisors. Water and sewer services are provided by the Bedford Regional Water Authority.

The Organization

Bedford County operates under the traditional Board of Supervisors form of government. Governing policies are established by a seven-member Board of Supervisors, all of whom are elected from distinct electoral districts in staggered election terms. A chairman and vice chairman of the Board are selected internally by members annually on a rotating basis.

As the community’s primary legislative body, the Board of Supervisors is vested with the responsibility of appointing a County Administrator to oversee the daily operations of the County. Five constitutional officers, including the Sheriff, Commonwealth’s Attorney, Circuit Court Clerk, Treasurer, and Commissioner of the Revenue, are selected in County-wide elections to serve terms ranging from four to eight years, depending upon the position.

The Ideal Candidate

Bedford’s next County Administrator is a knowledgeable and enthusiastic local government professional with excellent communications skills and extensive municipal fiscal management experience. The ideal candidate is candid, politically astute, resilient in the face of adversity, and has a diplomatic style of management. He or she has demonstrated experience in establishing effective intergovernmental and regional relationships, crafting strategic plans to achieve desired results within budget, and in recruiting and retaining talented staff. The next County Administrator will understand how to lead and develop a talented team of department directors and staff members, build consensus on the governing body, and take the County to the next level of excellence. The ideal candidate will be able to manage in a complex organization, while understanding the importance of relationships in building trust in different portions of the County.

This candidate is confident, service-oriented, open to new ideas, and willing to work in conjunction with the Board of Supervisors to realize the County’s long-term vision for the future. The next County Administrator understands and appreciates diversity in all its forms within both the workforce and the community. The ideal County Administrator will be a strong communicator, skilled negotiator, and effective listener.

The ideal candidate has a proven ability to enhance economic development by understanding the market needs and how to leverage the County’s assets, and by finding ways to improve business processes. The next County Administrator will be a strong leader who is skilled in interpreting data and trends, is fiscally prudent, and can help the County develop and implement plans that balance resources with appropriate levels of service in a growing, dynamic county.

Bedford County’s next County Administrator has considerable knowledge of budgeting, finance, human resource management, economic development, tourism, planning and zoning, and public works.

Bedford County is seeking a County Administrator with these traits:

  • Ethical
  • Effective communicator
  • Customer-focused
  • Analytical
  • Diplomatic
  • Creative problem-solver
  • Approachable
  • Technologically savvy

Experience and Education

The minimum qualifications for this position are a bachelor’s degree in public administration, government, political science, business management, or a closely related field and at least 7-10 years of experience as a City/County Administrator, Deputy/Assistant City/County Administrator, or progressively responsible experience managing in a local government environment.

Preferred qualifications include a master’s degree; experience in budget, land use and economic development, tourism, project management; and experience working with other localities to accomplish goals for the community and the region. Experience with growth and working in the Commonwealth of Virginia is also preferred.


Residency within the County limits within a reasonable time after acceptance of the position is required.

The Community

Centrally located in the Commonwealth of Virginia just minutes from Lynchburg and Roanoke, Bedford County is one of the quickest growing communities in the region. Bedford’s county seat is the Town of Bedford, which operated as an independent City for nearly 45 years before rejoining the County in 2013. The County was officially formed in 1754 and was named for the Fourth Duke of Bedford, an 18th century British statesman. While a large percentage of the County’s land is still rural and agricultural in nature, recent years have brought forth ample residential and suburban development from neighboring communities.

Bedford County has a thriving agricultural community with over 1,400 farms, with an average farm size of over 150 acres. Bedford County is home to a strong agriculture industry and a growing local food movement with more than $28 million in annual farm sales. The most valuable commodity is cattle and calves.

Over 30 different properties and districts within Bedford County are included on the National Register of Historic Places, exemplifying the magnitude of the community’s rich history. In addition, the world famous National D-Day Memorial and Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest are all located in Bedford County.

Smith Mountain Lake, known as “The Jewel of the Blue Ridge,” and one of Virginia’s largest lakes, is partially located in Bedford County, with the majority of its northern shores within the County’s borders. Bedford is home to Smith Mountain Lake State Park, a water enthusiast’s paradise, including swimming, boat rentals, fishing pier, cabins, and more. Smith Mountain Lake offers over 500 miles of shoreline with unparalleled opportunity for outdoor recreation, 12 marinas, seven public boat launching sites, and four nearby golf courses, all surrounded by the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. In addition to Smith Mountain Lake, Leesville Lake also has frontage in Bedford County providing additional recreational opportunities.

Bedford County is in the shadow of the Peaks of Otter, three mountain peaks in the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Peaks of Otter offers lodging, dining, hiking, camping, shuttles to Sharp Top, and countless breathtaking natural amenities, including Abbott Lake, as well as the Blue Ridge Parkway, which passes through the Peaks.

The Bedford Area Welcome Center, owned by the County and home to the Tourism Department, welcomes an average of 55,000 visitors annually. The County is also home to a vibrant artisan community, fine wineries, craft breweries, several orchards, farmers markets, and countless cultural opportunities.

A wide variety of exciting community events can be found within Bedford’s borders on any given day. The annual County Fair, Sedalia Center Summer Concert Series, Celtic Festival, Gross’ Orchard Apple Blossom Festival, Annual Thomas Jefferson Craft Beer Tasting, Centerfest, Olde Liberty Fibre Faire, Sedalia Blues and BBQ Festival, Lyrics on the Lake, and Christmas in Sedalia are only a small portion of the annual and recurring events that make Bedford County such a wonderful place to call home.

Students living in the County are served by Bedford County Public Schools, which operates 13 elementary schools, three middle schools, three high schools. Within driving distance of the County are several colleges and universities, most notably Liberty University, the largest private, non-profit higher education institution in Virginia.

Quick Facts

  • Population: 77,974
  • Median Household Income: $56,725
  • Median Home Value: $196,900
  • Median Age: 45
  • Total Area: 754 square miles


The expected hiring range for this position is $140,000 – 185,000, depending on qualifications, with an excellent benefits package.

How to Apply

Apply Online

Applications will be accepted electronically by The Novak Consulting Group at Applicants first complete a brief online form and then are prompted to provide one document (Word or PDF) that contains a cover letter and resume with salary history. The position is open until filled with a first review of applications October 17, 2018.


Please direct questions to Catherine Tuck Parrish at 513-221-0500 or

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