SEBRING -Randal "Randy" Vosburg accomplished his career goal of being in county administration before he was 35 when he took over as Highlands County's new assistant county administrator on April 22.
Working under County Administrator June Fisher, the young executive's job entails overseeing the day-to-day operations of the county.
He also makes recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners on how to provide services to Highlands County citizens.
With property values down on average two to three percent, meeting the demands for needed services with the resources available can be challenging, but Vosburg feels there are good administrative teams striving to find solutions.
"There is so much going on in Highlands County. We still have a lot of work to do," said Vosburg, who praised county employees for their positive attitudes and exceptional work under difficult economic conditions.
"The last five years there have been no raises, and yet they come in every day and do a good job," he said.
At 34, Vosburg has already established an impressive resume. A member of The American Institute of Certified Planners, Vosburg worked for five years with the planning department of Polk County.
Then, he joined the Polk County Sheriff's Office as director of strategic planning. As he assumed additional responsibilities working with budgeting, accreditation, risk management, grants, and property and evidence, his position evolved into director of professional compliance.
"I like challenges," said the optimistic and friendly professional from his second-story office at 600 S. Commerce Ave. in Sebring.
His walls are covered with framed degrees: two bachelor degrees, in political science and history, from Florida Southern College and a master's in public administration from the University of Southern Florida.
With picture windows overlooking the trees surrounding the Government Center, what stands out the most when you enter the corner office is a prominently displayed, vividly colored drawing of a sunny day, palm trees and a house that was done by Vosburg's 9-year-old son David.
The drawing holds significant meaning, especially to Vosburg. It was the first time the learning disabled child he adopted out of the foster system two years ago had ever drawn a home.
Vosburg and his partner, Nick, were married in 2010 and have two children with special needs.
Eleven-year-old Frankie, who had a stroke when was a baby, picked them out during an adoption matching event put on by Heartland for Children in November. He has flourished under the watchful eye of his new parents and the teachers at the school he attends with his brother. The adoption was finalized in June.
"With both boys, I feel like we won the lottery. They are great kids," said the proud dad.
The couple attends Westminster Presbyterian Church in Lakeland and volunteer through Presbyterian Homes, delivering food to elderly nursing home residents. They also teach a class for Heartland for Children, offering real-life insight into giving a child in foster care a forever home.
"We had great parents.I wanted to be able to pass that along," he said of their pioneer efforts to adopt in the state of Florida.
Born in Virginia, Vosburg has been a Lakeland resident since he was one. His family recently moved back into the house where he grew up, and his mother helps with the children's care.
Growing up in the 1980s, Vosburg credits the historical events under President Ronald Reagan's leadership as instilling in him patriotic pride and the desire to go into public service.
Currently, Vosburg makes the daily one-hour commute to work in an effort to maintain a familiar and stable situation for his kids, but he plans on looking for a home in the area after his probationary period.
He said that in the last three months he has enjoyed familiarizing himself with all that Highlands County has to offer. His family spends weekends exploring and attending area events, like this past weekend's Caladium Festival in Lake Placid.
"The more you know about the county, the more you can serve it," remarked Vosburg. "I feel like I'm doing a good job."