Marblehead appoints new HR Director

Marblehead has officially appointed Thomas Howard as the town’s first director of human resources, who will oversee operations for the town’s newly created Human Resources Department.

After coming to Marblehead in June 2022, Town Administrator Thatcher Kezer aimed to create an HR Department for the town since there had never been one established in the town’s municipal history.

Last year in May, Article 24, which sought the creation of an HR department and subsequent hiring of a department director by the Select Board, passed at Town Meeting, allowing for Kezer and the town to begin the process of the department’s creation. Roughly two months later, a notice for applications for the HR director position was posted by the town.

The Select Board voted unanimously to appoint Howard as director last week at the board’s regular meeting. His term will expire in June. At the meeting, Kezer explained that two employees in the town’s Finance Department have been handling all payroll and benefits. Those employees will transfer over into the new department, along with the newly created director position that Howard will fill.

Kezer also said that Howard has already gotten to work in the town.

“We’ve already started him. We couldn’t wait,” Kezer said. “It’s creating a new department from scratch, so we’re excited.”

Acting Select Board Chair Moses Grader told Howard that he is part of a “reorganizing of the town for more efficiency, for more attention to human resources.”

“That’s becoming very important as we focus on resource management in general,” Grader added.

Howard enters the position with more than 20 years of experience in corporate recruiting and human resources. Before becoming the town’s HR director, he served as executive director of human resources at Andover Public Schools from Jan. 2022 to July 2023.

Howard also worked at the Middlesex Sheriff’s Office for eight years, serving as assistant director of human resources and later as director of career development and performance management.