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Two finalists compete for Cass County veterans post

Cass County will interview two finalists today for the position of veterans service officer, left open by the retirement of Jim Brent after 13 years with the county.

Cass County will interview two finalists today for the position of veterans service officer, left open by the retirement of Jim Brent after 13 years with the county.

The finalists are Chanelle Lende, who has worked as a representative in the Veterans Service Office since September 2003, and Thomas Sumers, who has fulfilled a variety of duties for North Dakota Veterans Affairs since January 2007.

County commissioners will interview the finalists separately today at 10 and 10:30 a.m., County Administrator Bonnie Johnson said.

Thirty-one people applied for the job. Commissioners scored each application and gave a written behavioral exam to the top five candidates. The three candidates with the highest scores advanced to oral interviews on June 2.

Commissioners wanted a second round of oral interviews before making their decision, Johnson said.

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Brent's last day on the job was April 9. Johnson said county officials hoped to have the position filled by now, but spring flooding delayed the process.

Mike Vandrovec, who works with Lende as a representative in the office, is serving as interim veterans service officer. He did not apply for the permanent position, which carries a starting annual salary of $42,940.

The Veterans Service Office specializes in assisting veterans and their families in benefits claims with the Department of Veterans Affairs or other federal, state or county agencies.

Lende graduated from Enderlin (N.D.) High School and earned a bachelor's degree in business management from the University of Mary in Fargo. She served in the Air Force from 1998 to 2002 and previously worked as a file clerk and receptionist in the Cass County State's Attorney's Office.

Sumers graduated from West Fargo High School and earned a bachelor's degree in political science from North Dakota State University. He serves in the North Dakota Army National Guard and previously worked for Results Unlimited, a marketing firm in Minot, N.D.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528

Related Topics: CASS COUNTY
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