July 25, 2012NORTHUMBERLAND — A five-and-a-half-month-long transition period began on Wednesday, July 18, when the three-man board of county commissioners selected the county's current Director of Finance, Jennifer Fish of Colebrook, to succeed incumbent Sue Collins as county administrator when she retires at year's end.
"I'm looking forward to the challenge," Fish said in a telephone interview later that day.
"Ms. Fish has proven herself in the short time she has been employed as the Coös County Director of Finance," said chairman Burnham "Bing" Judd of Pittsburg. "The board has confidence in her ability to do a good job as the county's CEO."
When she takes the lead job on Jan. 1, 2013, Fish will not only fulfill her new responsibilities but also continue her finance duties.
She explained that she did not apply for the top slot when it was first advertised, believing that the presence of an inside candidate might discourage even highly qualified people from applying. Only when the person said to be the top candidate withdrew his resume did Fish apply.
"I wanted to be sure that the county got the very best and most experienced person possible," she said.
Fish graduated from Pittsburg High School in the 18-member Class of 1991; graduated in 1995 from Keene State College with a B.S. in Management; and earned her M.B.A. in 2003 from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, Cal. As a new college graduate, she first worked for Peoples Heritage Financial Group of Keene as an internal auditor and then headed west to work in the entertainment industry for eight years. She returned to Coös and worked from 2006 to 2010 at the First Colebrook Bank in Colebrook before joining the county's administrative team.
Fish said that she was fortunate to have worked with a fine team at First Colebrook as well as under the direct supervision of county administrator Collins, learning the ropes.
Fish's parents, Jarvis and Carlene Fish of Pittsburg, are retired, and her only sibling, a sister, lives downstate. Both her grandmothers — Bernice Fish and Mildred Young — also live in Pittsburg.
Fish does not intend to live on the single-family house on the grounds of the Coös County complex in West Stewartstown, but will continue to live in Colebrook. Her salary has not yet been set.