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Wilms resigns as Crow Wing County community services director

Crow Wing County is back in the search for a community services director.

Little more than a year into her time at the helm of a complex department, Beth Wilms, Crow Wing County community services director, resigned.

Wilms’ last day is March 16.

She arrived in Brainerd to fill the vacancy after Susan Beck retired at the end of 2010. Beck was the department’s director since 1998.

Wilms, originally from Sparta, Wis., served as human services director in Houston County in southeastern Minnesota for 10 years before she moved to the lakes area. Wilms started with Crow Wing County in December of 2010. She reported she was bringing high energy and a focus on efficiency and collaboration. Tami Laska, human resources director, said Wilms was wooed by Winona County. Wilms will be director of community services to serve Winona and Fillmore counties. She will be the first director to serve both counties.

“They are fortunate to receive her,” Laska said. “It is definitely our loss.”

The board approved a search for a new director, relying on internal efforts to reach candidates at this point after discussing the merits of searching with county resources versus using an outside search organization. Laska said it’s likely to take four to six months for a search.

“I’m not leaving Crow Wing County because I’m dissatisfied,” Wilms said. She said the opportunity to be part of progressive county government redesign and potentially a model that may be replicated elsewhere in the state was too good to pass up. The return to southern Minnesota will also place Wilms, who is going to be a first-time grandmother, closer to family. “I loved my time here. It was a very difficult decision to make. It’s very bittersweet for me to be leaving.”

RENEE RICHARDSON may be reached at 855-5852 or Follow on Twitter @Dispatchbizbuzz.

Renee Richardson
Richardson is a Pacelli High School graduate from Austin, Minn., who earned an applied science degree from the University of Minnesota, Waseca, with an emphasis in horse management. She worked extensively in the resort industry. She received an associate’s degree from Central Lakes College, where she was editor of the Westbank Journal student newspaper, as well as a summer intern at the Dispatch. She graduated from St. Cloud State University summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and interned at the St. Cloud Times covering business while attending SCSU. She's been with the Brainerd Dispatch since 1996.
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