Wilson picked to oversee town finances

FRONT ROYAL – A town native is taking over as Front Royal’s head of finance.

B.J. Wilson moves up to fill the finance director position, Town Manager Steven Burke announced Friday.

Wilson will make $87,000, Burke said.

The town interviewed several candidates to succeed Kim Gilkey-Breeden, who retired in March after more than 30 years with Front Royal. Wilson was appointed as acting director while the town looked for Gilkey-Breeden’s replacement.

“(I’m) excited and understanding that it’s a lot to take on,” Wilson said. “I’m learning more every day with the position. Filling Mrs. Breeden’s shoes, they’re some big shoes to fill, trying to see what I need to do to learn everything about the director’s position, what I can do to better myself in the position.”

Wilson, 36, is a graduate of Warren County High School. He and his wife Kelli live in Strasburg with their two children.

Breeden and Burke drafted the fiscal 2017 budget that Wilson helped finalize and Town Council adopted this spring. Wilson took over a department that also recently underwent reorganization, with some positions renamed and responsibilities changed. Wilson implemented those changes.

Asked if the town plans to fill Wilson’s previous position, Burke said officials would work with the director to identify and meet the department’s personnel needs.

Wilson served as the town’s finance business manager for eight years overseeing the daily operation of the payment center and billing program. Wilson brings 18 years of finance and accounting experience, including 10 years in the private sector, to the position. He is certified as a Virginia Contracting Associate for Governmental Purchasing from state.

Wilson said he put college on hold to start a family but noted that he hopes to obtain a degree in the future.

Wilson volunteers with the Front Royal-Warren County Humane Society, the WatchDOG program for Shenandoah County Public Schools and assists with activities for the Strasburg chapter of the American Legion.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com