OXFORD — Republican candidate for Oxford County Treasurer Marc Vanderwood is making his first bid for public office as the region’s top financial administrator.

Vanderwood, 44 of Oxford, explained that his private-sector experience running financial processing systems for information technology companies made him ideally suited to make the jump to the public sector. 

“My specialty is training and running financial planning software. It gives me a great background to work with Oxford County and try to run the accounting programs more efficiently,” Vanderwood said.

For the past 15 years, Vanderwood has worked for an IT company, managing and training others to run comprehensive software programs used by businesses as an umbrella to oversee their business, tracking revenue, expenditures and reams of logistical data critical to their operation. 

Though the county has implemented such a system, he said it’s taken too long to see obvious improvements, such as switching to biweekly payment of employees — something which will roll out this January — or recent issues with employees clocking in and out. 

“Five years of being there is way too long for those issues to be there. I come from a business background where you wouldn’t keep your job if you missed deadlines,” he said. 

Like opponent Democrat Roy Gedat, he said the position of Treasurer is nonpartisan and candidates should be measured on their aptitude.

Vanderwood, who also has a background in customer service and marketing, also served on the board of directors for Western Maine Community Action — a social services group — and was a volunteer curriculum advisor for the IT program at the Oxford Hills Technology School, hopes to help the county adopt a business mindset. 

His interest in running for office was minimal until he learned he learned the incumbent was running unopposed.

 “I felt it was important to offer something else to the community. I think it’s important to bring private sector — which is lacking in a lot of places.”

Vanderwood has a bachelor’s degree in business administration, with a background in accounting and management. A native of Alaska, he moved to Oxford 19 years ago, after meeting his wife. They have one child. 

An outdoor enthusiast, Vanderwood is an avid sled-dog racer. When he moved to Maine, he had a team of 34 dogs, though since downsized to 12. 

While learning the ins and outs of public sector finances will have a learning curve, Vanderwood said he has the skills to get up to speed.

 “I’ve prided myself with learning at a rapid pace, taking new tasks up and exceeding people’s expectations.”