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The Daily Tar Heel

Carrboro hires new economic and community development director

Will support small businesses


Annette Stone joins Carrboro after working in New Bern.

Due to a reporting error, this story incorrectly stated Annette Stone’s current job. She serves as New Bern city planner. This story has been changed to reflect any changes. The Daily Tar Heel apologizes for the error.

Although Carrboro has a significantly smaller population than her native town, Annette Stone is looking forward to changes — and the challenges — her move to the town will present.

As Carrboro’s newly selected economic and community development director, Stone said her past professional experience in New Bern and her progressive ideas will help her succeed in Carrboro.

“New Bern is a great place,” Stone said. “But Carrboro is a lot more forward in their thinking.”

Stone was born and raised in New Bern. She later became its city planner, a position she has held for 12 years in addition to eight years of other local government experience.

Stone is replacing former Economic Development Officer James Harris, who retired Feb. 1.

Stone said her way of thinking is similar to Carrboro’s, and her previous experience won her the job.

“It’s going to be a change, but it’s something I look forward to being a part of,” she said. “I just think that my values and the town’s values lined up with what they were looking for.”

In her work in New Bern, Stone worked with the Historic Preservation Commission, downtown business associations and tourism authorities.

Stone’s economic style is unusual in that she doesn’t want to recruit big national employers to come to the town, Mayor Mark Chilton said.

He said Carrboro wants to support local businesses and investors to foster an independent, non-Wall Street feel for the local economy.

“Carrboro is really focused on a non-traditional approach to economic development.”

Carrboro Town Manager Steve Stewart chose Stone from a pool of about 70 applicants, said Desiree White, Carrboro human resources director.

The selection process started less than a week after Harris’ retirement.

Stone said she has wanted to move into the Triangle area for several years. She said she plans on living in Carrboro with her 16-year-old son and her puppy, a white Bichon Frise poodle mix.

“I looked at the town and thought it was a place I’d like to be,” she said.

Stone said her first plan in her new position is to adjust to Carrboro.

“I just have to get there and get to know the flavor of the town,” she said.

Stone has a bachelor’s degree in urban and regional planning from East Carolina University and has started a master’s of public administration. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, a group of recognized leaders in city and local development.

Stone will take on her new position March 31.

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