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Mendocino County Executive Office Announces a Slew of New Appointments including Director of Social Services


The following is a press release issued by the Mendocino County Executive Office:

Mendocino County, Health and Human Services Agency Assistant (HHSA) Director of Social Services, Bekkie Emery has been appointed as the Social Services Director effective July 25, 2021.

Ms. Emery has served as a HHSA Assistant Director since February 2017. For the five year prior she was the Deputy Director of Employment and Family Assistance Services and Adult and Aging Services. She has been employed with Mendocino County since 1998 and has, during her tenure, worked in all areas of Social Services. Ms. Emery has extensive experience in performance based management and administrative operations. She has led the numerous major projects within HHSA, including the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, system conversions in multiple departments, and has overseen the $90 million budget of Social Services for the past four years. She served for a year as the Department Operations Center Manager for the COVID-19 pandemic response in Mendocino County. Ms. Emery is an active member of the County Welfare Directors Association (CWDA) and is the chair for the CWDA Homeless Services Committee. She is also the Region 3 CalSAWS Consortium JPA Board member representing 14 counties and has strong working knowledge of Social Services programs and budgets.

As the Social Services Director, Ms. Emery is committed to ensuring better outcomes for our children, families, elders, veterans, staff, and the communities we serve by enabling optimum support through infrastructure, administrative, programmatic, and information technology services.

Regarding her appointment, Ms. Emery stated “Social Services is at a pivotal point in how we ensure services to our community; each challenge that we face provides us our next opportunity for success. This is an opportunity to increase our services, strengthen our resources, and support one another.”

Janelle Rau has been appointed as the General Services Agency (GSA) Director effective July 25, 2021. Ms. Rau has been a county employee for 22 years. Ms. Rau has served as Deputy Chief Executive Officer (DCEO) for Mendocino County for the past 6 years. During her tenure as DCEO, she had operational oversight and responsibility for: County wide competitive bidding and contract quality control, real property administration (including purchasing and/or surplusing property), Central Services Division/Purchasing Agent, Information Services Division, Facilities and Fleet, Capital Projects, Board of Supervisors/ Clerk of the Board, Executive Office/Administrative Services Division, as well as served as liaison to County departments.

Ms. Rau began her employment history with the Board of Supervisors in 1999, where she served until promoted as the Central Services Division Manager for the GSA in 2005 and continued in that role through 2015.

As the General Services Agency Director, Rau will oversee the agency and its annual operational and Capital Improvement budget.

“As a proud long time Mendocino County resident, I appreciate the Board’s and CEO Angelo’s confidence in me and my abilities and am honored to lead such a great team.” Rau said. “I look forward to working with the Board of Supervisors and CEO on their strategic goals and priorities that will allow the County to continue to focus on excellent public service to our community.”

Deputy Chief Executive Officer Steve Dunnicliff has accepted a special assignment overseeing Information Services in this time of transition. Mr. Dunnicliff began his career with Mendocino County’s Executive Office in 2008, and has held a number of senior leadership positions in that time. Notably, Mr. Dunnicliff served as Mendocino County’s Director of Planning & Building from 2012 – 2017.

Background info on IS… the Board of Supervisors has adopted an Information Technology Master Plan (ITMP) which prioritized information technology improvements throughout the County system. Key examples include improvements to public safety communication systems, replacement of the property tax system, adding functionality to the County’s finance system, and transitioning to a new email system. The Board has prioritized implementation of the ITMP with funding allocations intended to expedite completion of critical tasks, and the allocation of new positions. A Director-level position was recently approved to serve as the County’s Chief Technology Officer, although recruitment of this new position is on hold while the County completes a strategic planning process.

According to DCEO Dunnicliff, “The County’s Information Services Division has an unprecedented number of priority projects under way. This is an exciting time for the County, and I am grateful for the opportunity to work with our dedicated group of Information Services staff”

Judy Morris joined the Executive Office as a Deputy Chief Executive Officer as of July 25, 2021. Judy comes to us from Trinity County where she sat on the Trinity County Board of Supervisors as their 2nd District Supervisor for 11 years. In her role as a County Supervisor she worked on many local, regional and State issues. She has also held a seat as a Board/Executive Committee member with the California State Association of Counties, also known as CSAC.

Regarding her appointment, Ms. Morris stated, “I look forward to working with CEO Angelo, the Executive Office staff and the entire organization in carrying out the Board of Supervisor’s priorities and addressing the needs of their constituents.”


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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFever
Picking Brains—Baring Bones—Playing it By Ear: I'm a reporter in Mendocino County and the Founder of MendoFever.

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