June 16--NATCHEZ -- The Adams County Board of Supervisors hired a new director of veterans' services for the county Friday.
After interviewing nine of 11 applicants -- two did not show up for the interview Friday -- the board selected Joseph Belling Sr. to replace outgoing director Vivian Toussaint, President Darryl Grennell said.
The retired insurance manager and his wife are both veterans, Grennell said.
"(Belling) did an excellent job of showing his interest and concerns about helping veterans in the area, and he was very energized about the idea," he said.
Supervisor Mike Lazarus said the board had a number of good candidates from which to choose, but Belling was "ready to hit the ground running."
"I really like having all these interviews, because all these people bring different ideas to the table, and we get to pull all those ideas together and bring them to whoever we hire," he said. "I get to learn from these people and pass it on to the new folks."
Belling will start before the end of the month, when Toussaint will leave to attend seminary out of state, Grennell said.
Toussaint will attend Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta. She will also be the pastor at Trinity United Methodist Church in Austell, Ga., during her studies.
Toussaint was hired in September to fill the veterans services director position vacated by outgoing director Erle Drane when he announced his retirement last year.
The director of the veterans' service office helps veterans and their eligible family members prepare benefits claims with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
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