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Mary Sharp

Mary Sharp

The first vacancy in 15 years for the Lompoc Valley Medical Center’s board of directors didn’t last very long.

In a unanimous vote among the three board members present at Thursday night’s meeting, the board approved longtime Lompoc resident Mary Sharp to fill the seat that became open when Leslie Kelly’s resignation went into effect Nov. 1.

Sharp, who is a licensed CPA for Lompoc accounting firm Walker Wilson & Hughen, was one of five applicants to seek the open seat. None of those applicants was present at Thursday’s board meeting. Sharp got the call Thursday night that she had been selected.

“I was pleasantly surprised,” she said. “I didn’t know how many people had applied, but I know that well-qualified people apply for these positions. I was glad to be considered and honored to be chosen.”

Sharp will serve out the remainder of Kelly’s term, which ends in November 2014. She will need to run for re-election at that time if she wishes to remain on the board.

Sharp is slated to be officially sworn in at some point this week.

Sharp and her husband, Buck Sharp, had owned Valley Rexall

Pharmacy in Lompoc for 21 years. They sold that business in 2005, which was around the time that Mary earned her CPA license.

Board President Frank Signorelli said that Sharp’s professional skills made her stand out among the candidates.

“We felt it would be nice to have someone with her finance background on the board,” he said.

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The board approved Sharp’s appointment 3-0. Board member Dr. David McAninch was absent.

Sharp said that joining the hospital’s board is something she had considered for a while. She said the current timing felt right.

“I’m just very proud of this hospital we’ve acquired here in Lompoc,” she said. “I want to make sure the quality of care matches this facility.”

Sharp, who moved to Lompoc as a child in 1959 and later raised her own children here, said she doesn’t personally know any of her fellow board members, but she is familiar with them just by virtue of having lived in Lompoc for so long.

Signorelli said that goes both ways.

“She’s got a strong reputation,” he said. “I’m sure she’ll do a great job.”