SOUTH HAVEN — A familiar face in the South Haven community will be leading the city’s human resources department.

City officials have hired Kim Wise of South Haven as the department’s new director. Wise, who will start her new duties June 3, replaces Deb Lull, who retired at the end of April. Wise’s annual salary has been set at $70,000.

Eighteen candidates applied for the job, according to City Manager Brian Dissette.

“We had a lot of terrific applicants,” he said. “We were excited we had a number of local applicants. Kim’s applicant stood out because she has a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree and more than a decade of very relevant experience being a human resources director or working in that capacity.”

Wise has been employed by Bronson Healthcare Group in Kalamazoo as its system employment and leave of absence supervisor, serving 9,000 employees. Prior to that, she worked as human resources, marketing and foundation director for South Haven Health System, which is now part of Bronson Healthcare Group.

Her bachelor’s degree comes from Siena Heights University, where she majored in business administration. Wise then went on to obtain a master of science in management degree with a concentration in human resources management from Indiana Wesleyan University.

While impressed with Wise’s professional and educational credentials, the city’s interview committee liked something else about her.

“The thing that stood out for me and the interview committee was her commitment to the community,” Dissette said.

For 10 years, Wise helped organize the annual National Blueberry Festival 5K race, an event that attracted more than 1,000 runners each year. More recently, Wise became involved with South Haven Public Schools’ award-winning Robotics Club, where she serves as co-advisor along with Kevin Dee, director of operations for the school district. She also is a member of South Haven Area Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors.