Former Durham city councilman has worked with Kinston officials on projects
In his capacity with UNC Chapel Hill, Thomas A. Stith III has worked closely with local entities in Eastern North Carolina communities — including Kinston — on economic development and community redevelopment projects.
Local leaders now hope Stith will bring the capacity of the Governor’s Office to bear and continue to work with them as he settles into his role as chief of staff for Gov.-elect Pat McCrory.
“Mr. Stith has been highly engaged with our urban planning and redevelopment efforts, which you’ve seen along the Hwy. 11 corridor,” said Kinston Mayor B.J. Murphy, referring to studies carried out by UNC students and faculty — who worked with Stith’s guidance — on the best ways to reinvigorate the Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard corridor.
Murphy continued: “I think by selecting Mr. Stith, (McCrory) has shown that he cares about Eastern North Carolina, and Mr. Stith has experience with municipalities and so that certainly plays well for local governments — besides the fact that Gov.-elect McCrory was a mayor himself.”
Stith is currently the director of McCrory’s transition team, which is laying the groundwork for the governor-elect to take office next month.
“The first step is to really get a good assessment of where we are at the departmental level and to assess which policies are currently operating efficiently, and which policies may need to be refined or changed,” Stith said Friday.
McCrory, the former mayor of Charlotte, is scheduled to be sworn in Jan. 5, and give his inaugural address on Jan. 12.
Stith will become chief of staff once McCrory formally becomes governor.
“I feel it’s a significant responsibility, and one that I plan to dedicate all my experience to ensuring that we have a successful administration,” Stith said.
He served as program director for economic development in UNC’s Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, as well as a three-term Durham city councilman.
Stith has also worked with IBM and Progress Energy, co-founded the Michael Thomas Group marketing firm and served as vice president of the John W. Pope Civitas Institute.
“He just has a wide depth of knowledge on issues important to the governor and important to the state, and the governor is glad to have him leading his team,” said Chris Walker, communications director for the transition team.
David Anderson can be reached at 252-559-1077 orDavid.Anderson@Kinston.com. Follow him on Twitter at DavidFreePress.