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Savannah City Manager Announces Eight New Hires

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March 19, 2012 - City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney has announced several recent hires and promotions to the City organization.

• Julie McLean has been selected to the position of Director of the Development Services Department, which includes Building Permitting and Inspections; Zoning; and Design and Construction. In this role she serves as the City Engineer. She has worked for the City of Savannah Water Resources and Public Works Bureau as a Senior Civil Engineer for nearly 10 years, and has successfully managed over $50 million worth of capital improvement projects. 

• Also in the Development Services Department, Cristy Lawrence has been selected to fill the position of Development Liaison Administrator. In this role she will work very closely with the development community and shepherd projects through what sometimes is a complex process. Lawrence has over 15 years of experience as an engineer and project manager for Thomas & Hutton in Savannah.

• Roger Raines has been selected to fill the position of Stormwater Management Director. Raines has over 25 years of experience as an engineer, the last 11 in the City’s Stormwater Management Department as an engineer and administrator.

• Carla R. Byrd has been selected Director of Purchasing. Byrd is a Certified Public Purchasing Officer and Buyer with a Masters Degree in Business Administration and a Jurist Doctorate of Law. She has over 10 years of municipal purchasing experience, including service with the City of Macon and Charleston County.

• Iris Ellsberry Smith has been appointed Director of the Vehicle Maintenance Department. She has worked for the City of Savannah for 25 years, including 17 years in the Vehicle Maintenance Department, as well as service as Acting Director of the Coastal Workforce Department.

• Luciana Spracher
has been named the Director of the Research Library & Municipal Archives, where she has worked since 2005. Before coming to the City, she was the owner and principal of Bricks & Bones Historical Research specializing in architectural and local history, and worked as a project archivist for the Georgia Historical Society, the Savannah Jewish Archives, and the Catholic Diocese of Savannah Archives.

• Marty Johnston as has been appointed to the position of Director of Special Projects. This position provides direct oversight to major projects such as the proposed arena, the proposed cruise ship terminal, the St. Patrick’s Day Festival, and the Rock ‘n Roll Marathon. Johnston brings 35 years of government service to the position of Special Projects, including service in the City of Savannah as Civic Center Director, and most recently, as Acting Assistant City Manager for Management Services.

• Renee Higgins has been appointed the Executive Assistant to the City Manager. Higgins has been with the City since 2008 in the Bureau of Public Development as the Executive Assistant to the Assistant City Manager. She was an Analyst for the U.S. Army in the 1990s and was stationed in Seoul, South Korea and with the 101st Airborne Division Air Assault-Fort Campbell, KY.  Higgins was an administrator with the Savannah office of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division from 2005-2008.
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