PAW PAW — Van Buren County will soon have a new administrator.

The Van Buren County board of commissioners approved a contract with Frank Hardester this past week to become the county’s new administrator effective June 1, according to a news release.

Hardester will replace John Faul, who will transition into a new position as the Palisades Project Director beginning July 2. Faul had been administrator for the county since 2017, and also served as administrator from 2000-06.

Hardester has worked in county government for 25 years. For the last seven, he has been the court administrator for Van Buren County Courts.

Richard Godfrey, board chairperson, said Hardester will bring comprehensive technical experience along with a strong background in management and human resource principles to the job.

“Frank is a recognized court leader and has collaborated with local, regional and statewide stakeholders on a variety of projects. The board is excited to work with him as we prepare for county services in a post-COVID era,” he said in the news release.

Hardester is a life-long resident of the Van Buren County area. He lives in Grand Junction with his wife and their four sons.

He was valedictorian of his class in Bloomingdale Public Schools and later graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University.

Hardester has served on the board of education for Bloomingdale Public Schools since 2016 and has served as president of the Michigan Association of Circuit Court Administrators.