SPECIAL TO THE DAYTONA TIMES
Deric C. Feacher, a 2000 graduate of Bethune-Cookman and former employee of the university, has been named city manager of Winter Haven. The 36-year-old Winter Haven native became the first minority to assume the position.
Winter Haven commissioners unanimously appointed Feacher on Sept. 10, 2012, when Dale Smith announced his retirement as city manager. Feacher began the city manager job on Feb. 1.
In Central Florida, Winter Haven is known as the Chain of Lakes City and is home to 35,000 residents, with an annual budget of $90 million.
Worked at Cookman, Keiser
Assistant City Manager since February 2012, Feacher began work for the City of Winter Haven in 2001 as a recreation supervisor. Since that time he has filled a number of roles within the city, including serving as its first public information officer. He later was named assistant to the city manager and support services director.
Shortly after being hired by the city in 2001, Feacher entered a one-year management training program where he spent time in each of Winter Haven’s nine departments to gain an understanding of how the city organization operates.
Prior to his full-time employment with Winter Haven, Feacher was a campaign manager for the Florida Democratic Party, community relations coordinator for Keiser University in Daytona Beach, and an administrative assistant to the chaplain at Bethune-Cookman.
“Truly I am honored for the opportunity I’ve been afforded to serve my hometown,” the Winter Haven News Chief reported after Feacher was sworn in as city manager. “Not a town that I moved to, not a town that I adopted, but a city where my family still lives here and my friends still live here … I am here to serve this community to the best of my ability.”
Feacher graduated in 2000 from Bethune-Cookman with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and a minor in public administration. He is a 1995 graduate of Winter Haven High School.
He also is a life member of Bethune-Cookman’s National Alumni Association and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. He and his wife, Keshia, are the parents of one son, Jay.