Matt Hillman DSS Director-1.jpg

LINCOLN COUNTY – There’s a new director at the helm of Lincoln County’s Department of Social Services. Matt Hillman came to Lincoln County from his former position as a program administrator over children and adult’s services in Burke County.

“Prior to that I was with Catawba County as a supervisor in their adoptions and foster homes licensing unit,” he said. “I always wanted to help families and kids. When I was in high school, I had a wrestling coach who took a lot of time with me. He helped me get to Gardner-Webb University with a small wrestling scholarship. He put a lot of time into ensuring I was going to make the right choices.”

This coach inspired Hillman to want to give back and help others. He found himself wanting to work with children and families. 

“A while back, I completed a leadership program with Catawba County,” he said. “While going through that leadership program, I was a supervisor. I learned a lot about leadership and grew my own skills. I saw a lot of potential in the role of being able to influence people, develop programs and help newer staff grow and build programs.”

When the Lincoln County director position came open, Hillman, who always had a lot of respect for the county and the work done in the county, applied.

“I’m privileged to get the honor to carry on with what the last two great directors did,” he said. “I got to shadow Tony Carpenter a short period of time before he retired. He had a great plan and took his time to make sure I became familiar with the supervisors, managers and other staff. I was blessed to be able to come to such a great department and county. Lincoln County is a county where all the departments wrap around the citizens and work closely together. I’ve had a lot of great support for everyone.”

For his first year, Hillman plans to get to know the strengths of the agency and how to build on those.

“I want to look at the positives and see how we can grow to serve the community,” he said. “There are a lot of changes coming with services such as Medicaid expansion and other policy changes.”

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