Current Westerly, Rhode Island town manager and University of Connecticut graduate Derrik Kennedy was recently named Mansfield’s new town manager.
Mayor Paul Shapiro and the Mansfield Town Council voted to appoint Kennedy as the next Town Manager. Kennedy will start work in May, according to a Mansfield press release.
Kennedy has been Westerly’s town manager since 2015, where he oversaw all departments and staff and focused on the town’s financial stability and growth, infrastructure improvements, organizational development and capital planning, according to the press release.
He served as Assistant Town Manager of Enfield from 2013 to 2015, the press release said. Prior to that, he worked for the town of Colchester, where he was responsible for Human Resources and acted as the Chief Information Officer during emergencies.
Kennedy said he is honored to have been selected as Mansfield’s next town manager, and said the town has everything a manager is looking for in an opportunity.
“Mansfield has... a reputation in the state as being a great town to live in and having an exceptional, professional town staff,” Kennedy said. “(Mansfield also has) predecessors who are well-known and respected in the municipal management profession, with the former manager and assistant manager being top-notch. Further, the schools are excellent for a young family such as mine. And as I went to school at UConn, I have a connection and affinity to the area.”
Kennedy said that as town manager, he hopes to oversee school-related, infrastructure expansion and economic development projects while keeping taxes at an acceptable rate.
“While that encompasses the more outward facing portion of the job, I’m hoping to be a good leader for the staff, a professional for the town council and someone the residents, university and business community sees as a fair, available and progressive leader for the community,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy holds a B.A. in history and political science from UConn’s Storrs campus and an M.A. in public administration from the university’s former West Hartford campus, according to the press release. He is currently pursuing a Master of Science Degree in Organizational Leadership through Quinnipiac University’s School of Business.
Shapiro said in a statement that Mansfield is fortunate to have Kennedy as its new town manager and said Kennedy is everything the town was looking for in a candidate.
“He has a proven track record of success everywhere he has worked and those who know him speak of his high standards and tireless work ethic,” Shapiro said. “The Town Council and department head team recognized Derrik as a poised, knowledgeable leader. We look forward to working with Derrik as we address the challenges that face our community.”
Gabriella DeBenedictis is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.