Clay County selects Howard Wanamaker as county manager


GREEN COVE SPRINGS – The Clay County Board of County Commissioners voted 3-2 to begin contract negotiations with Howard Wanamaker as the next Clay County Manager. Wanamaker was selected from a short list of four finalists that were interviewed in a public forum May 20. Wanamaker’s start date is yet to be determined.

Wanamaker brings a wealth of experience to Clay County having served as the Chief Strategy Officer and Human Resources Director for Hanania Automotive in Jacksonville, FL since 2016. Prior to this employment, he served in the military for 26 years and was the Commanding Officer (which is very comparable to a City or County Manager position) for NAS-Jacksonville for three years. Wanamaker’s leadership style is dynamic and it varies based on the team members being led, the situation, and the requirements at hand. His management style can be described as extroverted. He is understanding, compassionate, and considerate. Wanamaker’s greatest strength is his unique ability to build positive relationships and influence stakeholders, even those that at first do not agree. The most recent example was working with the City of Jacksonville to change the outcome of a zoning bill that would have been devastating to automotive dealers and ultimately reduced future city tax revenues. In a very short time, he was able to change the course of events by bringing community, industry and civic leaders together to find common ground and everyone walked away with a win/win. Wanamaker has a Bachelor in Environmental Engineering from the University of Florida and a Master in Business Administration with Distinction from the Naval Postgraduate School.

Wanamaker is familiar with Clay County as he serves on the Board of Directors for the Clay County Chamber of Commerce, Habitat for Humanity and YMCA. He also serves as Vice Chair of the USO.

“This is a critical time in the County’s future and the Board believes Mr. Wannamaker is the person that can guide us as our community experiences the rapid commercial and residential growth we are expecting,” said Chairman Mike Cella.

Wanamaker and his family will be relocating to Clay County. “My family and I are looking forward to serving the residents of our thriving community,” said Wanamaker.


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