In June of this year, the Board of Commissioners embarked on an extensive hiring process to select the best candidate to serve as the next county manager. Hiring a County Manager is one of the most important decisions that a board makes. It impacts the effectiveness of the board and the services to the residents and businesses of the county.
The Caldwell County Board of Commissioners is pleased to announce that Donald Duncan will serve as the next County Manager. The Board of Commissioners voted to appoint Duncan as the County Manager at their meeting on September 27th, 2021, and he is slated to begin in the position on November 1st. Duncan was selected from a pool of applicants from across the region, state, and country. Applicants from as far as Georgia applied for the position, but in the end, the Board chose Duncan due to a combination of his education, experience, and personal characteristics.
Duncan currently serves as the City Manager for Conover in Catawba County, where he oversees a $32 million budget and all city operations with 153 employees. He is a graduate of Appalachian State University, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science with a concentration in town, city, and county management. He also earned his Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from Appalachian State University, one of the top-ranked local government programs in the United States.
Chairman Randy Church said about Duncan's selection, "We are impressed with Mr. Duncan's knowledge and experience. He has a tremendous amount of management experience, including infrastructure and facility construction as well as economic development. He possesses a track record of developing partnerships and providing strategic vision, and that will be very valuable to Caldwell County."
Donald Duncan said, "My family and I look forward to making Caldwell County our home. The Commissioners and staff work hard to create opportunities and a wonderful quality of life for all residents. I am excited at the chance to continue to build upon their success."
Some highlights and accomplishments of Donald Duncan include:
- Nearly 20 years’ experience as a local government manager, including serving as the Conover City Manager since 2006
- Significant economic development including 5 million square feet of re-occupied industrial space and the construction of an additional 2 million square feet while at Conover
- Overseeing the redevelopment of the former Broyhill Furniture site in downtown Conover through the leveraging of partnerships and grants exceeding $13 million, including the rehabilitation and creation of Conover Station
- Construction of the Manufacturing Solutions Center that is operated by Catawba Valley Community College and serves clients all over the United States and the world
- Served in a leadership role to create Greenway Public Transportation, the first urban-rural transit authority in North Carolina
- Vice-Chairman of the Greenway Public Transportation Board of Directors
- Vice-Chairman of the Greater Hickory Metropolitan Planning Organization's Technical Coordinating Committee at the Western Piedmont Council of Governments, which is responsible for the region's transportation planning
- Designated as a credentialed manager by the International City/County Management Association
The Western Piedmont Council of Governments (WPCOG) assisted the county with the search process. The WPCOG is a regional planning, service, and economic development agency that is owned by and serves the 28 local governments in Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, and Catawba Counties.