County hires two new directors

Published 6:58 pm Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Beaufort County has made two new hires: one to direct economic development; the other, future county planning projects.

Martyn Johnson comes to the Economic Development Commission as an established economic developer with the state, according to Beaufort County Manager Randell Woodruff. Johnson will fill the position vacated by the previous director, Bob Huets. Huets tendered his resignation in June after serving the county for almost two years. Huets said at the time that he had gotten an offer in a bigger market.

Woodruff said Johnson was the best fit for the job, though there were a slew of applicants, four of whom were interviewed.

“We had a good number of applicants,” Woodruff said. “We had some really great people to apply, including some local folks but I just thought it was really important to have someone who had directly related experience. … When you bring in someone who has that knowledge and experience, you start at much higher level than if you start with someone who doesn’t have that background.”

Woodruff touted Johnson’s experience as “the same caliber as Bob Huets.” A native of Australia, who is currently living in Cary, Johnson is now in the process of relocating to Washington to take over the role of the county’s economic development director in mid-September, Woodruff said.

Another recent hire has to do with long range planning for the county. In the county’s recently passed budget, Woodruff requested money to fund the position of a planning director, a move he said will help the county’s future success. Woodruff recently announced that Washington resident Seth Laughlin has been selected to fill the position. Laughlin has a decade of experience behind him and currently works in the planning division of Greenville’s Community Development Department.

“I’m very excited to be able to contribute on a professional level to the community that my family and I love so much,” Laughlin said.