Kagel named as new County Administrator; Bookheimer to become CFO

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Bobby Kagel

WEST CHESTER — Bobby Kagel was named Tuesday to lead Chester County’s government as its new County Administrator, effective Sept. 1. He will replace the retiring Mark Rupsis, the long-time administrative leader of county government.

Additionally, the Chester County Commissioners moved to make Julie Bookheimer, CPA, CGMA the Chief Financial Officer for Chester County. Bookheimer had been Director of Financial Services for the county for six years. 

Kagel, who has served as Director of the Chester County Department of Emergency Services for four years, will be responsible for the supervision and direction of all County government programs, finance and administrative operations under the leadership of the County Commissioners.

The votes for both moves were unanimous.

“As the head of the Department of Emergency Services, Bobby Kagel has overseen the implementation of our $45 million emergency radio system and the construction of our Public Safety Training Campus, two of the county’s biggest recent investments,”Chester County Commissioners’ Chair Michelle Kichline said.  “His ability to manage these projects alongside the day-to-day running of the department and the direction of emergency incidents demonstrates that he will undertake the role of administrator with professionalism, a high level of appropriate experience and a thorough understanding of county government systems.”

Kagel, 38, joined Chester County’s Department of Emergency Services as a Quality Analyst in 2002, was promoted to Assistant Director for Quality in 2007 and Deputy Director for Emergency Management in 2010.  In addition to his current role as Director of Emergency Services, Bobby represents Chester County as Eastern Area President of the Keystone Emergency Management Association, Vice-Chair of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Regional Task Force and was appointed to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Region 3 Regional Advisory Council.

Kagel is an Emergency Medical Technician and a volunteer firefighter, and since 2003 has been an Adjunct Instructor for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency, National Emergency Training Center, Emergency Management Institute in Emmitsburg, MD.  Kagel earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Legal Studies from California University of Pennsylvania and he holds an Associate of Applied Science degree in Technical Studies: Emergency Management and Planning.

“The decision to appoint Bobby as County Administrator was unanimous,” noted County Commissioner Kathi Cozzone.  “During his time with the County he has worked closely with the leaders of many other departments including Human Services, Health, Community Development and the Courts.  He has established relationships with many county partners – from municipal leaders to the first responder community and residents.  All of this has resulted in a valuable understanding of the roles and functions of Chester County government in providing quality services to citizens.”

As Chief Financial Officer, Bookheimer will play an enhanced role in the financial matters of the county. She will continue to oversee the departments of Procurement, General Services, Board of Assessments and Tax Claim as well as managing the Finance Department.  Bookheimer worked for Montgomery County for 26 years and served as First Deputy Controller prior to joining Chester County Controller’s Office in 2010 in the same role.  In 2012, she was promoted to Director of Financial Services. She is accredited as a Certified Public Accountant, a Chartered Global Management Accountant and is a graduate of Villanova University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accountancy.

“Julie’s knowledge of the County’s finance procedures is immense and in this new role she will provide great support to Bobby Kagel as he begins the responsibilities of County Administrator,”County Commissioner Terence Farrell said. “We are fortunate to have many leaders within Chester County government who direct programs and services that are award-winning and often replicated by counties across the state and the nation.  Bobby and Julie are two of those leaders and we are confident in their abilities to oversee County operations.”

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