Scotland Partnership names Cox interim director

By: By Beth Lawrence -

LAURINBURG – Benny Cox has been named interim executive director for the Scotland County Partnership for Children and Families by the nonprofit’s board of directors.

The decision was made following a 45-minute closed session meeting on Tuesday. Cox, who once served as the Partnership’s director of operations, will replace outgoing director Anita Riojas.

“Mr. Cox and the Smart Start staff look forward to working with all our Scotland County child care providers as we begin a new school year,” the board said in a written statement. “The Board extends best wishes to its departing Executive Director, Anita Riojas, who is pursuing new opportunities.”

Officials said Riojas has secured another job in the nonprofit sector.

The board chose Cox because of his previous experience with the organization, also known as Smart Start, and was well versed in the day-to-day operation of the group, according to Nick Sojka, attorney for the board.

Cox worked with Partnership for Children and Families for 15 years until September 2016. He returned to the agency in the spring.

“I took some time off to pursue other avenues and look at some professional development,” Cox said.

The position will be opened for applications and Cox will be eligible to apply for the permanent appointment, according to Sojka. For now, Cox will receive the same $52,000 annual salary as his role as director of operations.

“Mr. Cox will certainly be eligible to apply for the permanent position of executive director and the board hopes and anticipates that he will,” Sojka said.

Cox said he is excited about his appointment.

“I’ve spent a long time here in Scotland County, and I look at this as an opportunity to continue the work I did as director of operations,” Cox said. “I believe this is a worthwhile organization, and children and families in Scotland County need our services.”

Smart Start funds programs geared toward children from birth to five years in the areas of child care, family support and health programs for children. The partnership also offers classes designed to educate parents about the needs of the developing child.

Cox said he has heard positive things from families who have used the organization’s services about the difference and positive impact it made on their lives.

The office located at 107 McRae St. For information call 910-276-3333.


By Beth Lawrence

Reach Beth Lawrence 910-506-3169

Reach Beth Lawrence 910-506-3169