March 26, 2010
Internal Audit Director Hired
I am pleased to announce that Joanne Prakapas will join Mecklenburg County on April 7, 2010 as the Internal Audit Director. Currently, Ms. Prakapas is the chief internal auditor with the Arizona Department of Revenue.
Ms. Prakapas earned a Master of Science in Accounting and Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from Eastern Michigan University. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) and is also certified in Financial Forensics (CFF).
Prior to joining the Arizona Department of Revenue, Ms. Prakapas held various internal audit and financial analyst positions in the private and public sectors. In her current position, she created a new internal audit unit based on Institute of Internal Audit standards. She also coordinates multiple internal audits and fraud investigations for the Department of Revenue and conducts annual risk assessments to identify business and process control gaps and to develop annual audit plans.
In her new capacity with Mecklenburg County, Ms. Prakapas will lead an audit team of five that is projected to increase by three staff members within the next fiscal year. As a result of this planned expansion, Ms. Prakapas will be responsible for enhancing the capacity and capabilities of the Internal Audit Department to provide timely core audits and other regular audits to evaluate compliance and identify areas needing improvement.
Child Support Enforcement Director Update
Recruiting for the director of the newly formed Child Support Enforcement Department (CSE) is in the final stages. Next week, interviews will be held with six finalists for the position, including three internal candidates. We anticipate selecting the new director within the next two weeks, and will update the Board when this occurs.
Board members who would like additional should contact General Manager Michelle Lancaster, email or 704-336-2621.
As Board members may recall, the National Center for Arts & Technology (NCAT) has been conducting a feasibility study to determine our community’s need for and our capacity to sustain a center that replicates the program models of the Manchester Bidwell Corporation (MBC).
The nonprofit MBC provides school-day and after-school arts education to motivate youth to graduate from high school and encourage them to continue their education. On average, 96% of seniors enrolled in MBC after-school programs graduated from high school, and 89% of those moved on to higher education.
The MBC also provides adult literacy education and partners with corporations to design and provide high-caliber, market-relevant career training programs that lead to full-time employment.
As noted during the Board’s January 26 Public Policy Workshop, we have several initiatives supporting education and workforce development in our community.
However, we still have many children who do not graduate from high school, and many adults without the skills to sustain employment and remain self-sufficient.
Some Board members have expressed an interest in visiting the Manchester Bidwell’s programs in Pittsburgh. Several possible dates have been identified for a site visit.
Board members interested in attending should contact Freda Murphy, email or
For more information about Manchester Bidwell Corporation, the National Center for Arts & Technology, and/or the founder Bill Strickland, please visit www.manchesterbidwell.org.
At its March 16 meeting, the Board was notified that 40-45 full-time employees in the code enforcement division of the Land Use & Environmental Services Agency (LUESA) would be laid off on May 5.
This Reduction-In-Force (RIF) is in response to revenue that is 37 percent below projections, and construction down 50 percent from a year ago. Although residential building permits were steady between February 2009 and February 2010, commercial permits decreased by more than 5,000 in the same period.
Code enforcement employees – including inspectors, plan reviewers and administrative personnel – were told this week whether their position was included in the RIF. The RIF will decrease the number of Code Enforcement employees from 175 to 130. In FY 2009, the department numbered 242.
The County Human Resources Department is offering transition services for the affected employees, including assistance in developing resumes and job search. The County also provides an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for employees and/or their family members in adapting to change and loss. The County’s Organizational Development staff also offers information presentations on adapting to change and loss as well as facilitation in change management practices for directors, managers and front-line staff.
Board members who would like additional information should contact Human Resources Director Chris Peek, email or 704-336-3138.
- Harry L. Jones, Sr., County Manager
Tuesday, April 6
- 3pm Criminal Justice Committee meeting,
11th Floor Large Conference Rm, CMGC
- 5pm, Dinner Meeting, CH14
- 6pm, Regular Meeting, Chamber