The hip and historic city of Winston-Salem, in the Piedmont Triad region of NC – seeks a visionary and experienced local government professional as its next City Manager. The successful candidate exemplifies impeccable interpersonal skills and the natural ability to engage with a diverse group of people from City leaders to community members of all backgrounds. The next City Manager will work swiftly to establish a trusting relationship with the Mayor, City Council, and staff while diplomatically advocating for the needs of the City, its employees, and residents. The ideal candidate has demonstrable financial and accounting skills with experience understanding and administering large budgets of $600M+. The Council seeks a steady leader who remains calm during chaos – one who can balance strategic forecasting while navigating the daily demands of the position and uniting staff around a collective vision. This professional highly values DEI – diversity, equity, and inclusion and will establish an accountable environment where DEI is honored in all decisions, policies, and procedures. This leader is adept in leading communities through change and is sensitive to preserving the culture and history of the community while still addressing the short and long terms needs of community members in a timely manner. With significant experience facilitating plans for growth and sustainability in urban communities, the next City Manager will oversee development and redevelopment projects while bringing innovative and creative approaches to address the City’s challenges including retaining a skilled workforce, availability of affordable housing, poverty, and crime.
About the Community
Winston-Salem is the County seat of Forsyth County and the fifth-largest city in North Carolina. Forsyth County is the fourth largest county in the state. With a population of around 252,000, Winston-Salem is part of the Piedmont Triad region along with the neighboring cities of Greensboro and High Point and is just 80 miles northeast of Charlotte. A city of dual histories, Salem was a Moravian community in the 1700s, and Winston was historically home to the RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company.
Winston-Salem has grown into a vibrant community marked by a strong economy based on health care, higher education, research, and service. With charming cobblestone streets at our historic attractions and museums, to more than 100 restaurants in our hip, walkable downtown, Winston-Salem is a city for the curious traveler. Whether it's arts and history, our array of outdoor adventures, or touring more than 45 wineries in the neighboring Yadkin Valley, Winston-Salem invites you to look forward and travel back. Our annual events and festivals showcase the very best that Winston-Salem has to offer, from the international film fest in the Spring and the summer national tennis tournament to the many harvest festivals and candlelight historic home tours during the fall and the winter holiday season.
Called the “City of Arts and Innovation,” Winston-Salem has a lovely fine, visual, and performing arts community, some of which are within the historic Reynolda district, home to the former Reynolds estate. Paying homage to the philanthropic Reynolds family, the Renolda estate draws visitors to explore American art, nature and history through the revitalized Reynolda House Museum of American Art, Reynolda Gardens and Village and Reynolda Presbyterian Church. A neighbor in the Reynolda district, the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art is an affiliate of the NC Museum of Art and features exhibitions, education programs, experiences and publications that showcase the work of international and American contemporary artists. Another must-see attraction in downtown Winston-Salem is the Stevens Center. A former 1920’s silent movie theatre transformed into a historic performing arts venue in the 1980s, the Center now houses Broadway-scale live performances of music, theater, dance, and opera. Serving as the primary performance space for the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, the Winston-Salem Symphony, Piedmont Opera, and the National Black Theatre Festival, this downtown venue attracts residents and visitors throughout the year for its stellar performances.
Additionally, the a/perture Cinema, a 501c3 non-profit art house cinema entertains and engages the Winston-Salem community through the art of film by showcasing informative, educational, thought-provoking, and inspiring films, 35% of which are directed by women.
Winston-Salem is known as a modern destination with a unique past combining history and culture in unexpected ways. An heirloom garden tour will afford you the opportunity to explore historic gardens that date back some 260 years. Cultivated by the City for the past 50 years, these gardens are in the historic Winston-Salem district known as Old Salem Museums and Gardens. A walkable city, Winston-Salem offers an array of parks, trails, and greenways providing beautiful and lush green space to enjoy and appreciate its natural beauty. Those with a sweet tooth can’t visit Winston-Salem without eating a Moravian cookie, or two or three. A recipe that dates back to when the Moravians first settled in Salem, the traditional ginger-flavored cookies were rolled extremely thin and cut by hand. Today, the recipes live on in Winston-Salem with added flavor varieties and a number of local restaurants incorporating cookie goodness in their seasonal menus. Dewey’s Bakery, a nationally recognized bakery and considered a household name in the area, especially around the winter holidays, has two permanent locations in Winston-Salem and nearly 50 pop-up shops throughout NC.
The site of excellent higher education institutions such as Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem State University, UNC School of the Arts, Salem College, and Forsyth Technical Community College, Winston-Salem is located within easy access to the beautiful mountains and the beaches of North Carolina. Demographically, Winston-Salem’s population is 53% White, 34% African American/Black, 16% Hispanic/Latino, 3% Asian, and 6.5% Other. The City’s median household income is $50,054 while the median home price is $219,000, 42% below the national median. Winston-Salem’s cost of living is 19% below the national average, though its poverty level of 19% is slightly higher than the state level of 14%.
Operating under a Council-Manager form of government, the City of Winston-Salem has a Mayor elected at-large and an eight-member City Council, elected every four years in each of the City’s eight wards. The City Council is responsible for adopting and providing for all ordinances, rules, and regulations necessary for the general welfare of the city. It approves the city budget, sets property taxes and user fees, appoints the City Manager and City Attorney, and approves appointments to City boards and commissions.
Winston-Salem, with a AAA bond rating, is dedicated to being a municipal government deserving of public confidence that provides excellent and innovative services and is an active and cooperative partner in creating a vital community. The City’s core values of Accountability, Continuous learning and improvement, Equity, Fiscal Soundness, Integrity, Openness, Respect for all Citizens, and Teamwork are the framework for all decisions and strategic planning. The city has dedicated resources to transparency and accountability for meeting City goals and objectives through the Office of Performance and Accountability. Reporting to the Mayor and City Council, the City Manager is responsible for the daily operations of the City of Winston-Salem including the development and management of a balanced budget. The City’s FY 22-23 budget of $627.6M ($250.9M General Fund) is supported by a property tax rate of $.6360 per $100 of assessed evaluation.
The City Manager joins an organization with 2,425 full-time employees, including 6 direct reports (City Clerk, Budget & Performance, and four Assistant City Managers), across 34 departments. The City Manager will hold employees accountable to high standards of excellence creating unity around the City’s mission to provide quality, affordable services that ensure the health, safety, and well-being of community members while collaborating throughout the community to ensure its economic, social, and environmental vitality.
The next City Manager will demonstrate enthusiasm and commitment to execute the City’s 2022-2025 Strategic Plan ensuring that strategic objectives align with the City’s focus areas: Economic Vitality and Diversity, Livable Neighborhoods, Safe and Secure Community, Quality Transportation, Healthy Environment and Service Excellence. The City Council places an emphasis on the City’s sustainability and
climate change responses, including seeking meaningful methods to mitigate the carbon footprint. Additional key strategic priorities over the next several years is job creation, workforce development, and sustainable funding sources for affordable housing.
A bachelor’s degree in Public or Business Administration or a closely related field is required; a master’s degree in Public or Business Administration and/or ICMA credentialed manager certification is preferred. Candidates must have five or more years of successful and progressive levels of supervisory and management experience; experience in North Carolina local government is preferred.
The City’s core values of Accountability, Continuous learning and improvement, Equity, Fiscal Soundness, Integrity, Openness, Respect for all Citizens, and Teamwork are the basis for actions and decisions. They are the compass for accomplishing the City's mission, vision, and objectives.
• is strategic and innovative regarding areas for growth, new development, and redevelopment;
• enjoys proactively engaging with the community, telling its story, advocating for opportunities, and marketing community strengths;
• effectively leads a diverse group of employees with varying backgrounds, tenures, and skillsets;
• models and communicates expectations, while holding employees accountable for the delivery of excellent customer service to both internal and external customers;
• constructively advocates for and provides guidance to the City Council in helping them achieve their vision and priorities;
• has a proven track record in developing and supporting staff to achieve excellence and has developed organizational succession plans in preparation for turnover through retirements;
• is experienced in evaluating and implementing opportunities to work with the City Council in order to strategically diversify the City’s tax base while creatively assessing ways to increase revenue and manage expenses;
• demonstrates extensive knowledge and application of NC General Statutes, the principles and practices of the general fund and local governmental accounting, the preparation of internal financial statements, and complex external financial reports, including the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and other required regulatory reports;
• understands and has experience with the principles and practices of cost and fixed asset accounting, internal controls, audits, grants management and compliance, municipal budgeting, capital improvement budgets and funding, forecasting and financial modeling;
• is a responsive, detailed and deadline-oriented professional who continuously monitors and engages in process improvement in a service-driven organization;
• is resilient in the face of challenges and seeks innovative solutions to problems;
• is a progressive leader with a proven track record in innovative municipal management;
• is knowledgeable of principles and practices of public administration to include planning, administration and supervision, and preparing and implementing proposals that affect the operations of City government;
• possesses executive level skills in interpersonal and written communications, strategic planning, finance and budget development, critical thinking, administration, and intergovernmental relations;
• diplomatically engages with diverse stakeholders such as the school system, individual community members, community groups, Council members, employees, and regional, state, and federal authorities in order to leverage the City’s opportunities and mitigate challenges;
• represents the City at regional and state meetings such as ICMA and NCLM;
• is skilled in utilizing and implementing methods of technology to improve processes, procedures, and communication across departments;
• communicates excellently both verbally and in writing, and possesses outstanding interpersonal skills both one on one and in groups; and,
• values accountability and holds high expectations of self and staff while also being an effective and respected leader.
The hiring range for the City Manager is $225,000 - $250,000, dependent on qualifications and experience. The City offers a comprehensive benefits package including health, dental, and vision insurance, 401K, and participation in the NC Local Government Retirement System. Executive benefits include a car allowance.
Residency within City limits is required.
The City of Winston-Salem offers excellent benefits to our employees:
Apply here and select the City Manager – City of Winston-Salem, NC title.
Learn more about the selection process, and select “Client Openings” and scroll down to “Important Information for Applicants.” All applications must be submitted online via the Developmental Associates application portal – NOT the City Employment Application portal, nor any other external website; it is not sufficient to send only a resume. Resumes and cover letters must be uploaded with the application. Applicants must apply by May 14th, 2023. Successful semi-finalists will be invited to participate in virtual interviews and skill evaluations on June 15th – 16th, 2023. Candidates are encouraged to reserve these dates for virtual meetings should they be invited to participate.