ULI Charlotte News

ULI Charlotte welcomes new CCOG Executive Director

Centralina Council of Governments (CCOG) has selected Iredell County Manager Ron Smith as its Executive Director beginning in mid-January. Smith replaces Jim Prosser who is retiring after seven years of service as CCOG’s Executive Director.

The CCOG Executive Board unanimously approved Smith’s hiring at its meeting Wednesday night. His selection was the culmination of a five-month nationwide search.

“Ron Smith brings exceptional skills and the experience required to keep us on course for our rapidly growing region,” said CCOG Board Chair and Charlotte City Council Member Patsy Kinsey. “Our national recruitment identified high-quality candidates from across the country. “We were fortunate to find the best fit for Centralina right in our neighborhood.”

Smith has served as Iredell County Manager since 2011. The South Florida native moved to Hickory, N.C., just before high school and graduated from UNC Charlotte with a B.S. in Geography. He began his career as a planner in Whiteville, N.C., worked at Benchmark CMR Services as a planning consultant, and at Iredell County as a planner, Director of Planning and
Development, Assistant County Manager and County Manager.

As Iredell County Planning Director, Smith spearheaded efforts to get ahead of the county’s rapid growth with the 2030 Horizon Plan and Unified Land Development Code. That work won Iredell County the NC Chapter of the American Planning Association’s 2010 and 2011 Marvin Collins Planning Awards, respectively.

In his six years as Iredell County Manager, Smith’s work has included assisting the Board of Commissioners with initiatives including:
• aligning two economic development corporations into one organization and hiring of one executive director;
• the development of a Specialty Services Division of EMS for convalescent transport;
• building the county’s fund balance to a level that allowed for the debt-free construction of a $26 million detention center; and,
• achieving the county’s first AAA bond rating.

“I am excited about the opportunity to continue Centralina’s nationally-recognized work designing and building the regional systems
and strategies required for our communities to grow jobs and the economy,” Smith said, “and providing customized professional
services to meet the needs of our member communities.” He and his family will continue living in Iredell County once he assumes
his duties as CCOG Executive Director.

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