Press Release from Town Manager Norman Khumalo: Two New Hires

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In a press release sent late last night, Town Manager Norman Khumalo announced the hiring of two new team members to his Town Hall staff filling the Operations Assistant to the Town Manager and Finance Director positions:

"It is with great pleasure that I inform you that James P. Hellen (Jamie) has accepted the position of Operations Assistant to the Town Manager for the Town of Hopkinton. Jamie’s first day will be Monday, July 9, 2012.

Jamie has over 13 years of public service experience, working first as Municipal Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Community Preservation Initiative and then as Speechwriter/Public Relations Specialist for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs. He later became the Chief of Staff/Communications Director with the Massachusetts General Court. Most recently he has been the Municipal Services Coordinator for the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC).

Jamie’s exceptional stakeholder management and conflict resolution skills, detailed knowledge of state and local budget processes, strong working knowledge of the fundamentals of local government, intimate knowledge of policy and strategic planning and demonstrated communication skills will make him a true partner to the Town Hall team, Board of Selectmen and Hopkinton community. His passion for public service, self confidence and unwavering commitment to work collaboratively, combined with his ability to think strategically, will help formulate and drive strategic business improvements in Town government. His personality and demonstrated ability to lead in a facilitative manner stood out during the interview process, making him an excellent match for the Operations Assistant to the Town Manager position.

Jamie holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from University of Massachusetts- Boston. Suffice to say, Jamie is also an Eagle Scout.
The Department Heads and I look forward to working with Jamie in enhancing the internal organizational processes and related infrastructure for the Town."

Khumalo had this to say about the new Finance Director:

"It is with great pleasure that I inform you that Christopher J. Ketchen has accepted the position of Finance Director/Town Accountant for the Town of Hopkinton. Chris’ first day will be Monday, July 2, 2012.

Chris has over 12 years of experience in public sector finance encompassing reporting, treasury functions and financial controls. He worked as Project Manager and Budget Analyst for the Massachusetts Department of Revenue and Prince George’s County, Maryland. His experience at local and state levels has afforded him a comprehensive understanding of managing the financial function.

Chris’s most recent work as Deputy Director of General Government for the Town of Wellesley has uniquely positioned him as a general strategist and visionary, transcending the financial functions of town government. Further, this position afforded him the opportunity to communicate strategic issues, with managers, staff, boards/committees and residents, while highlighting his leadership skills.

During his tenure in Wellesley, Chris has proven to be an accomplished, results oriented manager and leader. These skills, combined with Chris’ experience, education, problem solving abilities, uncompromising integrity, strong work ethic and personality make him an excellent match for the Town of Hopkinton and its leadership team.

Chris holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from University of Massachusetts- Amherst. He is certified by the State of Massachusetts as a Procurement Officer.

The Department Heads, Appropriations Committee, School Department and I look forward to working with Chris on long-term financial planning and implementing further efficiencies town wide."