With Henrico County Finance Director Edward N. Smither Jr. leaving to become the county administrator for Powhatan County, Henrico has promoted his deputy director, Meghan Coates, to lead the county’s finance department.

In Henrico, the director of finance serves as the county’s treasurer and commissioner of revenue while overseeing the divisions of real estate assessment, accounting and purchasing, and the county’s general fund and capital budgets.

The department has more than 160 employees and a $13.7 million budget this year.

Coates previously worked in several budget management roles in Chesterfield County before coming to Henrico in 2019. She has since become the face of the county’s finance operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, speaking to reporters and giving budget presentations to officials in public meetings. Her promotion is effective Saturday.

In a news release and in comments at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Henrico officials said Coates was key in navigating changes to the 2020-2021 fiscal year budget after updated revenue projections anticipated a $99 million shortfall because of the pandemic’s economic impact.

Henrico announced the personnel change Tuesday, a month after Powhatan announced that Smither would assume the role of county administrator there on Aug. 1.

Smither has been the Henrico’s director of finance for the past three years. He will succeed County Administrator Ted Voorhees, who resigned in January at the request of the Powhatan Board of Supervisors.

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