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Bill Rivenbark named NHC Commissioner chair, newly-elected LeAnn Pierce named vice-chair

Ben Schachtman

At Monday’s meeting, outgoing Chair Julia Olson-Boseman was given an award for her service — and a standing ovation. The newly formed board then elected its leader for the upcoming year.

At the beginning of the meeting, County Manager Chris Coudriet awarded Olson-Boseman for her years of service, including three years as chair of the board.

Coudriet said Olson-Boseman’s record would be judged “fairly and well,” and noted her efforts on the “merger” of the hospital, referring to the sale of the formerly county-owned New Hanover Regional Medical Center to Novant Health, which has created both a $350 million escrow account for the county and the $1.25 billion private non-profit New Hanover Community Endowment. Coudriet also praised her efforts during the pandemic.

Olson-Boseman received a round of applause, eventually a standing ovation, as she took her award and appeared to walk out of the historic courthouse where the board of commissioners holds its meetings.

The board then voted on leadership positions. Commissioner Jonathan Barfield, Jr., the longest-serving board member, made the only nomination, for Bill Rivenbark as Chair. Deb Hays “wholeheartedly” seconded and the board unanimously approved the motion.

Rivenbark’s first act as chair was to nominate LeAnn Pierce, the former Carolina Beach mayor, as vice-chair. Barfield seconded her nomination, and the board unanimously approved it.