Three finalists selected for city Human Resources director

The field has been narrowed to three candidates to fill the long-vacant human resources director position for the city of Augusta.

City Administrator Fred Russell released the names and resumes Tuesday of an internal committee’s top three picks for the post, from among 150 who applied. The city will bring the three to Augusta for interviews with staff and commissioners starting Feb. 20.

The finalists include an attorney who works as HR director for a New York paramedic business, an HR director for the University of South Carolina and the former HR director for an Atlanta civil engineering firm, according to their resumes.

The only male finalist, Christopher Westbrook, has a law degree, a master’s degree in accounting and management information systems from Fordham University, and a bachelor’s degree in finance and economics from Pace University.

Since 2004, Westbrook has served as HR director, general counsel and paramedic for Rockland Paramedic Services in Chestnut Ridge, N.Y. He’s also deputy town attorney for Mamakating, N.Y., according to his resume.

Westbrook, an Air Force veteran who served in Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm and on the Space Shuttle Medical Recovery Team for three NASA missions, seeks a position in the southeast that utilizes his education and experience at a salary of $100,000, his resume states.

Two southeastern candidates with several years’ experience each in human resources roles are also after the $65,000 a year job.

Diometra Frierson worked as human resources director for B & E Jackson and Associates, an Atlanta civil engineering firm, for nine years until the company closed last year, according to her resume. Frierson is a certified human resources professional with a master’s degree from Troy University, according to her application.

Finalist Tanika Bryant currently works as a HR director for the University of South Carolina, according to her resume. She was HR director at Denmark Technical College in South Carolina for a year and for five years as an HR consultant and manager for the South Carolina Budget and Control Board.

Augusta has been without a permanent human resources director since the August 2011 resignation of Rod Powell. The Augusta Commission for months contemplated outsourcing the entire department to Automatic Data Processing before interviewing two candidates for the post in November. They had to restart the search, according to Russell, because their top pick, former Tampa, Fla., International Airport HR Director George Williams, accepted another position.

Earlier this year, the administrator notified about six remaining city HR staffers they will be forced to reapply for their jobs when a director is hired.

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