County Manager: Jim Walker
Jim Walker was appointed County Manager by the Henry County Board of Commissioners on March 31, 2014. As County Manager, Jim administers the countyís $127.5 million annual budget and manages the daily operations of the countyís nearly 1,600 employees.
Jim was born in Columbus, Georgia on October 5, 1959. He is the oldest son of a career Army officer father and school teacher mother. He attended Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee on an ROTC Scholarship, graduating in 1981 with a Bachelorís Degree in Business Administration. He also holds a Masterís Degree in Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma, and in conjunction with an American Political Science Association Fellowship, studied Congress and Foreign Affairs at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C.
Jim served in the U.S. Army from 1981-2001, retiring as a lieutenant colonel. An infantry officer and Airborne Ranger, Jim served in both the 25th Infantry Division and the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). His additional military assignments included Aide-de-Camp to the Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Operations Briefer to General Colin Powell during Operation Desert Shield, Aide to President Ronald Reagan, Congressional Fellow to a Senior Member of the House Armed Services Committee, and Congressional Affairs Officer for the Secretary of the Army.
After retiring from the Army, Jim worked in Washington, DC as a strategic consultant for a Houston-based company before being appointed as the State of Alabamaís first Director of Homeland Security in January 2003. As a member of Governor Bob Rileyís cabinet, Jim served as the senior state official for man-made and natural disasters and events, including five major hurricanes and the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
In November 2010, Jim joined Presidentially-appointed Claims Administrator Ken Feinberg in administering the $20 billion fund set aside by BP to help citizens and businesses recover from the effects of the oil spill. Jimís areas of responsibility were the states of Alabama and Mississippi.
Jim is married to the former Sherry Nicole Styles. They reside in McDonough and attend Glen Haven Baptist Church.
Email: Jim Walker
Assistant County Manager:
Cheri Hobson-Matthews began her professional career in 2001 with city, county and federal experience. She is a graduate and Eisenhower Fellow of Alabama A&M University. Cheri received her Bachelor of Science degree in Community Planning and Urban Studies specializing in Environmental Planning, and earned her Masterís Degree in Urban and Regional Planning specializing in transportation planning. She has been a member of the American Planning Association since 1995, and previously worked with the City of Decatur in Alabama and the Federal Highway Administration-Department of Transportation in Washington, DC.
Cheri began her career with Henry County in 2002 as a Planner II and was promoted within the organization to Chief Planner, then to Director and Assistant Director of Planning and Zoning and Director of Transportation Planning, where she managed a $1.2 million Comprehensive Transportation Plan, which won top honors from the Georgia Planning Association for Outstanding Planning Document. She most recently served as the Interim Division Director for the Community Development Division in which she supervised the Planning and Zoning, Building, GIS and Community Development Block Grant departments.
In her role as Assistant County Manager she will assist in planning, directing and managing the activities of the county government and will provide direct leadership to multiple mission-critical departments. Additionally, she will assist the County Manager with special projects, strategic planning, project and contract management and budget preparation. She will also provide assistance with coordination of intergovernmental, public and private initiatives, as well as issue policy statements and provide management reports.
Cheri resides in Henry County with her husband and two daughters.
Email: Cheri Hobson-Matthews