(Independent Photo/Graham Sturgeon)

William Archer has been announced as the new director of the Shiawassee County Veterans Affairs and Services department, with July 11 being his first day on the job. Archer is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps. (USMC), having served more than 20 years between the USMC and the National Guard. He earned his associate degree from Baker College of Owosso before transferring to the Flint campus to complete his studies, earning a bachelor’s degree in marketing management and a master’s degree in human resources. He is also a graduate of Owosso High School and lives near Ovid with his wife of nearly 25 years, Julie.

Following college, Archer worked for Manpower employment services as a professional placement specialist in Flint and Lansing, and also spent time with Capital Area Michigan Works. In addition to having extensive military experience and having worked much of his professional life in helping the less fortunate, Archer also comes from a family with a deep military background. His great, great-grandfather fought in the Civil War, his father is a veteran, and his brother is also a veteran of the USMC. Archer served two tours himself, first as a radar technician and then as an embassy guard, in addition to joining the U.S. National Guard on 9/11.

Though William was enjoying retirement with his “best friend and wife,” Julie, he had completed all the home repairs he could and was looking for a new challenge. That led him to apply for the job with the Shiawassee County Veterans’ Affairs Committee, which selected Archer from a pool of 12 candidates. Committee member John Pajtas reports that the entire committee is confident Archer can continue the positive momentum established by retired director, Jerilyn Strein.

“William is a military man of over 20 years, and we all believe he is going to do a great job,” Pajtas said when reached for comment. “The department came a long way under Jerilyn, and we are all looking forward to seeing the veterans affairs department continue to grow. And the committee made the decision together. All five of us selected William as our first choice among the 12 candidates.”

Archer admits that he is still getting acclimated to the job, and the loss of the department’s service officer, Carrie Burns, has put more responsibilities on his shoulders, but Archer is working through the transition. He has leaned heavily on his administrative assistant, Casey Wilder, who he says has been “worth her weight in gold,” “very professional,” and “easy to work with.”

Archer has been encouraged by the response so far, and says the phones have been “ringing off the hook.” He is striving to maintain the level of service that existed under the previous administration, with the focus being to help as many Shiawassee County veterans as possible.

“We are working to provide our veterans with the services they deserve,” Archer said. “The way to do that is to be accurate and timely, and to develop relationships with our veterans. We are here to facilitate, and to expedite the process.”

Archer Named New VA Director was last modified: August 1st, 2016 by Karen Elford