News Flash


Posted on: May 29, 2018

Cumberland County Government announces the hiring of Directors for EMA & CDBG



PORTLAND -- Cumberland County Manager Jim Gailey announced on Tuesday the promotion of Joseph Chappell as Director of the Cumberland County Emergency Management Agency, and the hiring of Kristin Styles as Director of the County’s Community Development Block Grant Program.

The Cumberland County Emergency Management Agency (CCEMA) is an independent department of county government that supports disaster preparedness for Cumberland County towns, businesses and individuals. The Agency provides communication and coordination of emergency services before, during, and after a disaster; development of contingency and preparedness plans; and education on how to prepare for and reduce the effects of disasters.

Joseph Chappell was promoted from Deputy Director to Director of the Agency. He had been serving as Acting Director since his predecessor, Jim Budway, announced his retirement in May.

“Promoting Joe was a slam dunk for CCEMA,” said County Manager Jim Gailey. “He learned from the best under Jim Budway, he knows the region well, and he understands the Agency’s capabilities and potential. It was the ideal transition.”

Chappell served in the US Air Force, deploying during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. He joined Cumberland County with a range of experience in public safety through his work in the Lexington County Sheriff's Office in South Carolina, the Portland Police Department and Norris, Inc. Joe has a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice and Incident Management Specialization.

“CCEMA has a critical responsibility,” Chappell said. “The Agency supports residents, municipalities, businesses and non-profit organizations through times of crisis. I look forward to growing the education and support capabilities of the Agency that help our constituents prepare for, respond to, and recover from all types of disasters.”

Cumberland County also announced the hiring of Kristin Styles as Director of the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG). Before joining Cumberland County, Styles administered the CDBG Program for the City of Portland. She is the recipient of the 2017 John A. Sasso National Community Development Week Award and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Studio Art & Architecture and a Master’s Degree in Regional Planning.

“Kristin’s experience with the CDBG Program and her background in planning was exactly the combination that we looked for,” Gailey said. “Her skillset will not only help us to administer the grant, but also determine how it can fit into the broader regional picture and how we can improve its impact.”

The CDBG Program is administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). It provides annual grants on a formula basis for development projects that improve community spaces and boost economic development, with a focus on low- to moderate-income residents.

Through a unique regional compact, Cumberland County government administers the grant program for 25 cities and towns within the County. HUD issues an annual allotment directly to the County and member communities form a committee to review applications from towns and agencies. The committee distributes funds through a competitive process that ranks projects based on their readiness, worthiness and positive impact on the region.

Since 2007, the County program has distributed more than $16 million to its participating communities, funding improvements to housing, public facilities, public infrastructure, and the provision of social services to County residents. Cumberland County is the only county in New England that is an entitlement community for CDBG.

“I am thrilled to join the Cumberland County team,” Styles said. “I have seen the great work that has come out of the County's Community Development Office and it is an honor to join such a well-established program. I look forward to working with all of the communities in Cumberland County.”

Chappell and Styles’s hirings complete a comprehensive redesign of Cumberland County’s management structure and leadership team that began in 2017 with the hiring of Jim Gailey as County Manager.

“Through a combination of planned retirements and reorganization we’ve managed to streamline our leadership team, add capacity, and break down silos in order to better serve our cities and towns,” Gailey said.

Under Gailey, Cumberland County has reorganized its Finance, Human Resources and Public Affairs offices, and recruited leadership staff from the Cities of Portland and South Portland and the United States Senate. Gailey said that he has also been especially proud to promote leaders from within like Chappell and Alex Kimball, the Deputy Manager for Finance and Administration.

Joe Chappell and Kristin Styles both began work in their new positions early in July.