Deputy County Manager Tatum to retire this month

Ronda Tatum

Deputy County Manager Tatum to retire this month
December 11
14:48 2019

Deputy County Manager Ronda Tatum will be retiring Dec. 20 after a trailblazing career that spans 26 years with Forsyth County Government.

Tatum is the first woman to become an assistant manager at the county. She was also the first woman and the first African American to hold the position of Budget and Management director. 

Tatum is a native of Statesville who now resides in Winston-Salem. She is a graduate of Winston-Salem State University, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. She also graduated from High Point University and has a master’s degree from UNC Chapel Hill. 

Tatum said her parents and her WSSU professors helped inspire her to a life of service. WSSU’s motto is “Enter to Learn, Depart to Serve” and she took that motto to heart. She had a college internship at the General Assembly, but found that she wanted to help people on a local level. While in grad school, she interned at the City of Winston-Salem. She said it was a great experience that exposed her to both the Budget and Finance departments at a local government.

She worked as a management analyst with the City of Decatur, Ga., and a budget analyst for Catawba County before she took a job with Forsyth County in 1993. She started as a budget analyst and had a variety of positions over the years. She was an internal auditor with the Finance Department and a Social Services business officer before returning to an analyst position in the Budget and Management department.

She became budget director in 2009. In 2014, she became an assistant county manager and became deputy county manager in 2018. She oversaw the county’s consolidation of its Public Health and Social Services departments, and currently acts as the Health and Human Services director for the county, 

Her other accomplishments include becoming a Certified Local Finance Officer. She said she’s proud of her work helping start the county’s Stepping Up Program, which helps those with substance use and mental illness issues who’ve been in the county jail. Tatum said she feels she’s left Forsyth County Government better than she found it.

Though she’s had offers to go elsewhere over the years, she’s glad she chose to stay with Forsyth County throughout her career.

“I enjoy the people I work with, I know the commissioners and where they are coming from,” said Tatum. “It’s been more like a family to me than anything else. If I’d left, I don’t know if I’d gotten the opportunities I’ve gotten here”

Tatum said she looks forward to the next chapter in her life and the new adventures that await her in retirement.

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