County DSS head to take over as state director

Keith StrangeStaff Reporter

April 20, 2013

DOBSON — Surry County’s director of social services will be packing his bags next month as he prepares to move to Raleigh to take over the North Carolina Division of Social Services.

Wayne Black has been appointed director of the state department, and will assume the position on June 1.

Black currently 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 department throughout the state.

Shortly after the appointment was announced, Eddie Harris, chair of the Surry County Board of Commissioners, 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 said he is honored to have been tapped for the post.

“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.

“Surry County is very fortunate to have their services,” Black added, crediting the support of county officials with making his job easier. “My uncle told me when I came to Surry County 10 years ago that I was coming to God’s country, and he was absolutely right.”

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.

During his career, 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.

Black is a graduate of North Davidson High School and the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, and holds master’s degrees in public administration and guidance and counseling. He also earned degrees from High Point College and Davidson County Community College.

Locally, he serves as president of the United Fund of Surry and is past president of the Kiwanis Club in Mount Airy.

He and his wife, Kathryn, live in Dobson.

Black said Friday that his replacement will be chosen by the board of directors of the social services department.

“They will meet and begin the process of finding a replacement,” he said. “They are already working with the human resources department to look for an interim director, and after that process is complete they will begin recruiting and selecting a permanent replacement.”

Reach Keith Strange at kstrange@civitasmedia.com or 719-1929.