Staunton Hires County’s Vaughn

After 20 Years, Rockingham Official Saying His Good-Byes

Posted: August 16, 2014

HARRISONBURG — Rockingham County’s assistant administrator is going home.

“I’m going to miss the folks here,” Billy Vaughn said Friday. “I’ve been part of a big family here.”

Actually, the better description is that he’s staying home: After 20 years with the county, Vaughn, 59, will soon become Staunton’s new economic development director.

The city announced its replacement Thursday for Bill Hamilton, who is retiring from his position as economic development director. Vaughn, an Augusta County native who has lived in the city for about 40 years, will start his new job on Sept. 15.

“This is just another way to be a part of a great community,” he said.

 Vaughn serves on the Staunton Planning Commission — he’ll step down once he starts the new position — and is a former two-term Staunton School Board member.

“Staunton’s getting a person that’s committed to our larger community, who wants to see our region grow to be economically vital,” County Administrator Joe Paxton said. “He’s always been dedicated and worked hard for Rockingham County and I’m sure he’ll do the same for the city of Staunton. He’s a true team player.”

Vaughn said, “Nothing can be accomplished by yourself.”

While he said that his success over the years in Rockingham County was a product of a collaborative effort, Staunton officials point toward his involvement of several projects as proof that he’s the best man to grow their city.

In a press release, Staunton officials say Vaughn’s work on developing Innovation Village just north of Harrisonburg and expanding WhiteWave Foods in Mount Crawford are but two examples of a commendable track record.

After 21 years working for the Central Shenandoah Planning District Commission, Vaughn joined Rockingham County as its planning director in 1994. He was promoted to community development director in 2000 and then assistant county administrator last September.

The assistant administrator position had been vacant since the 1990s, but with county officials putting a greater emphasis on economic development, they decided it was time to once again fill that role.

“He leaves big shoes to fill,” Paxton said.

Vaughn’s last day in the county is Aug. 29. Paxton said the assistant position will be filled, adding that he wants to take time to find the right candidate.

Contact Preston Knight at 574-6272 or

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