Hall County Administrator Jock Connell has announced his retirement, effective March 31, 2023, and Zach Propes, currently serving as Assistant Hall County Administrator, has been named as Connell’s replacement.
“We are fortunate to have had Jock’s leadership and experience over the past several years,” Hall County Commission Chairman Richard Higgins said. “His experience and knowledge in regard to growth and development has been instrumental in guiding this organization and in the development of future leaders.”
Connell retired in 2009 from Gwinnett County, where he was employed for 23 years. Following his retirement, he served as interim Hall County administrator in 2011 and as a special projects manager for the County in subsequent years. He was hired as Hall County Administrator in 2017.
“I have sincerely appreciated the opportunity to serve the citizens of Hall County for the past several years,” Connell said. “During my tenure, I have experienced the benefits of working with wonderful citizens, committed staff and elected officials to accomplish many goals which will benefit the County for years to come.”
Significant milestones accomplished during Connell’s tenure include the adoption of Hall County’s Strategic Plan, the implementation of the County’s Capital Improvement Plan, the creation of a 5-year operating forecast, and the establishment of an in-house legal department, just to name a few.
“These successes could only be realized through the hard work of staff, the insight of elected officials and the support of Hall County citizens,” said Connell.
Propes, who will succeed Connell as County Administrator, was hired as Hall County’s Director of Financial Services in 2015 before being named Assistant County Administrator in December 2019.
“Zach has passionately served the citizens of this community for a number of years, both as a public servant and as a community volunteer,” Higgins said. “We look forward to seeing how he will continue to serve both the citizens of Hall County and this organization as a whole in this new role.”
Propes was instrumental from a leadership standpoint during both the COVID-19 pandemic and the cyberattack launched against Hall County in October 2020. He was also integral in the implementation of an in-house agenda management software system and improvements in various financial operations, among a long list of other projects.
Propes received a Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting from North Georgia College and State University, a Master of Business Administration degree from Georgia Southern University, and is a Certified Public Accountant. He is active in a number of non-profit organizations, including Gainesville First United Methodist Church, The Gainesville Rotary Club, The Medical Center Foundation and Good News Clinics.
Propes will assume the role of County Administrator upon Connell’s retirement; they will work side by side for the first quarter of the year to ensure a smooth transition in leadership. A permanent replacement for Propes has not yet been named.