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Posted on: October 18, 2023

City Manager Sara Hensley Announces Leadership Appointments

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DENTON, TX, Oct. 18, 2023 – Today, City Manager Sara Hensley announced several appointments to the City of Denton leadership team. 

“Our City’s blueprint for organizational success includes the recruitment and retention of talented employees that desire to impact community,” says City Manager Sara Hensley. “These leaders possess an authentic purpose that aligns with Denton’s core values, and I am excited for our future together.” 

Jessica Williams – Chief Financial Officer

Following a national recruitment process, Jessica Williams has been selected as the City of Denton’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and began employment with the City this week. With nearly two decades of experience, she possesses a wealth of state and local government accounting experience, and most recently served as the Chief Financial Officer for the City of Wichita Falls, Texas. Prior to that, she held positions in Oregon and Washington states, respectively. 

As a member of the executive management team, Jessica will be responsible for the strategic planning, implementation and management of Denton’s financial operations and programs. She will oversee the stewardship of City assets and budgeting process. 

“It is our role, as governmental finance professionals, to be stewards of public funds and help to instill public trust in our financial operations,” says Williams. “The City of Denton is experiencing exciting opportunities for growth, change and economic impact. I look forward being a part of a team dedicated to the fiscal responsibility and stewardship necessary to create change.” 

Williams holds a Master’s in Public Administration degree from Portland State University, with undergraduate degrees from Central Washington University. 

Jessica Williams Photo

Megan Gilbreath – Director of Human Resources

Effective Saturday, Oct. 28, Megan Gilbreath will assume her new role as Denton’s Director of Human Resources. Director Gilbreath possesses 13 years of Human Resources (HR) experience, including five years of progressive management and strategic leadership. She currently holds the position of Deputy Director of Human Resources for the City. Prior to joining the Denton team, Gilbreath held HR leadership roles for Select Energy Services in Gainesville, Texas. 

In her new role, Megan will serve as a strategic partner with City leadership and will direct the policies, activities and staff of the Human Resources Department, to include Risk Management, Safety and Policy Administration. 

“I am honored for the opportunity to support the needs of our employees and advance organizational goals as HR Director, says Gilbreath. “Delivering genuine public services to our community requires a first-class workforce, and Denton is unrivaled because of the talent, enthusiasm and commitment of our staff.”

Gilbreath earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Professional Communications and Management from Old Dominion University. She holds a Professional Human Resources (PHR) certification and is a Society for Human Resources Management Certified Professional (SHRM-CP). Additionally, Gilbreath holds a Group Benefits Management (GBA) certification.   

Megan Gilbreath Photo

Nikki Sassenus – Director of Animal Services

Following a competitive national search, Nikki Sassenus has been selected as the new Director of Animal Services. Since August 2023, Sassenus served in the role in an interim capacity. She most recently served as Assistant Director for the City’s Parks & Recreation Department. Prior to her time in Denton, Nikki spent 11 years with the City of Mesquite, Texas.

As Director, Nikki will be responsible for the department’s daily operations, including the Linda McNatt Animal Care and Adoption Center, strategic planning and initiatives, and will serve as staff liaison for the City of Denton Animal Services Advisory Committee.

“I am excited for the opportunity to lead the great team we have at Animal Services,” said Sassenus. “There are lots of exciting things coming as the community continues to grow and we are lucky to have the support of a highly engaged and active board and foundation.”

Sassenus holds a master’s degree from the University of North Texas, with an undergraduate degree from the University of Dallas.

Nikki Sassenus Photo

Ryan Adams – Interim Director of Denton Enterprise Airport 

Effective this coming week, the City’s current Chief of Staff, Ryan Adams, will take on the dual role of Interim Director of Airport. He has served in various roles in his four years with the City of Denton, the latest of which was Chief of Staff. Adams has 10 years of local government experience having previously served in the cities of Athens, Irving, and Southlake, Texas.

As Chief of Staff, Adams provides executive level leadership to various goals, initiatives, and directives of the City Manager. As he takes on the additional role of Interim Director of Airport, Adams will manage operations, strategies, and services of the Denton Enterprise Airport.

“Denton's proximity to the DFW Metroplex provides incredible opportunities for our customers," said Adams. "I'm looking forward to working with staff to enhance the Denton Enterprise Airport experience, one of the busiest airports in Texas."

Adams holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of North Texas, with an undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University.

Ryan Adams Photo

(About Denton) Denton is a community like no other – we’re welcoming, innovative, creative, diverse, unique and authentic. The City is a vibrant and growing community with many opportunities, no matter what your interest or passion. You’re free to be whoever you are in a friendly atmosphere with a small-town vibe that’s just a short drive away from the big city. And we invite your friends to discover Denton, too! 

Contact: Dustin Sternbeck, (940) 349-8251, [email protected]


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