New Assistant Guilford County Manager Victor Isler – one of two new assistant county managers that Guilford County Manager Mike Halford just hired – comes with extremely high praise from his former boss – Forsyth County Manager Dudley Watts.
“We’re really, really going to miss Victor,” Watts told the Rhino Times this week now that Isler is working for Guilford County and is no longer the director of the Forsyth County Department of Social Services.
“He’s an extraordinary person,” Watts added.
Watts said Isler had been a “real stabilizing force” in Forsyth County government and said Isler has excellent leadership skills.
Isler served as the social services director in Forsyth County, starting in 2014, before taking the assistant manager job with Guilford County government.
Isler previously served as the Interim assistant director/program manager for Child Placement & Permanency for Durham County.
He’s also held several positions in the behavioral health services field.
It’s a very good thing that Isler has a lot of experience with social services departments, because Heather Skeens – the former director of the Guilford County Health and Human Services Department – resigned earlier this month. Skeens began her career with Guilford County as the social services director.
Watts said that, aside from Isler’s numerous talents running local government, he will greatly miss something else in Isler’s absence: the frequent discussions the two men had about chicken farming.
“He raises poultry and I live on a farm,” Watts said, adding that the two would discuss chicken matters a lot.
“He would call up and say things like, ‘When will this chicken ever lay an egg?’ and ‘Which chicken tractor should I get?’”
Watts said both men often traded stories and nuggets of advice on chicken farming and added that Isler had a “cool family” that was very enjoyable to be around.
Watts also said that, if Guilford County or any of its employees needed advice about raising chickens, Isler would be a good source.
“You can ask him chicken-related questions,” Watts said.
While that knowledge may come in useful at some point, it’s Isler’s skills as an administrator that Guilford County will rely on the most. Watts said that, while Isler was the director of DSS in Forsyth County, he headed up several major initiatives that improved the county’s operations. Watts also said Isler had really gotten the social services department on track after that department experienced difficulties.
Isler earned his undergraduate degree in Sociology from Winston-Salem State University and has two master’s degrees – one in Health/HealthCare Administration / Management from Pfeiffer University and one in Social Work / Child Welfare from the University of North Carolina in Greensboro.
In a press release announcing his new job with Guilford County, Isler stated, “I am honored to join the County’s team and be able to serve the residents and the Board of Commissioners. Guilford County is an innovative and exciting place to work and I can’t wait to get started.”