Rowan Social Services director takes new job in New Hanover County; Heidrick to retire

Published 10:29 am Monday, September 21, 2020

Donna Fayko, Rowan County’s Social Services director since 2012, will take a new position Oct. 6 as New Hanover County’s Health and Human Services Consolidated Agency director.

New Hanover County announced Fayko’s hiring on Aug. 31. She’ll be the county’s first director of a consolidated health and social services department.

“We took the past year to consolidate and ensure better efficiencies among the departments, and we determined that a director of the two agencies would help bring even greater integrated service delivery to our community,” said New Hanover County Manager Chris Coudriet. “Donna has experience in a consolidated agency in Mecklenburg County, she has a deep understanding of social work and human services and has a demonstrated history of being a strong leader. She understands what the county wants to achieve as a Health and Human Services Agency in the years to come and will be integral in developing new partnerships for the collective good of our entire county.”

Donna Fayko is outgoing director of the Rowan County Department of Social Services.

Prior to Rowan, Fayko was deputy director of Mecklenburg County DSS Youth and Family Services and has served within the health and human services system for 32 years.

In New Hanover County’s news release, Fayko said she’s looking forward to her new position.

“I have already heard from local officials and others across the state how talented and dedicated the staff is and I know they are doing incredible work. So I am ready to work with each one of them — as well as everyone in the community — to build strong partnerships, enhance quality customer experiences, and encourage synergy across the departments and across the county to benefit those we serve,” Fayko said.

Fayko holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a bachelor’s degree in probation and parole from Pfeiffer University as well as a master’s degree in counselor education from Pennsylvania State University. She is immediate past president of the NC Association for County Directors of Social Services.

The Rowan County commissioners agenda for Monday includes a special recognition for both Fayko as well as Finance Director and Assistant County Manager Leslie Heidrick, who is retiring. As a result of Heidrick’s retirement plans, Rowan County has reclassified the finance director and assistant county manager position to only oversee the finance department when a new hire is named. Heidrick is a longtime county employee who served as interim county manager for a time in following County Manager Gary Page’s retirement in 2014.

The county is currently advertising for a Department of Social Services director position.