LAURINBURG — The city’s community development director plans to step down to take a job as a regional economic developer.
Teddy Warner, 34, handed in his resignation on Monday.
He will begin on March 21 as a regional industrial manager with the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, a nonprofit that oversees the state’s efforts in business and job recruitment and retention, international trade, and tourism, film and sports development.
“I will serve a 10-county region that includes Scotland County,” Warner said. “I will definitely be involved with Laurinburg and Scotland County and will continue to try to make a difference here.”
Warner, a Hope Mills native and graduate of North Carolina State University, took on the city’s newly created community developer position in March 2015.
As community development director, Warner was responsible for planning and zoning, as well as beautification and functioning as “the face of the city” to industrial and other business prospects.
“Working in Laurinburg was a great opportunity, it really was,” he said. “The fact that I got my real start here means I will always have an attachment and want to give back in any way I can.
City Manager Charles Nichols said Warner was instrumental in “getting the ball rolling on a host of projects.”
“I really couldn’t be happier for him and his family,” Nichols said. “I hate to see him go, but I totally understand. He is moving on for the betterment of his family and his career.”
Warner is credited with helping the city become part of the Downtown Associate Program, a lead-in to the state Main Street effort. Warner also took the lead on the proposed Art Garden at the corner of church and Main streets; the Fruit Orchard project; and a potential industrial park behind the city Public Works facility.
“He has done a great job in a short time with a tremendous number of ideas and projects,” Nichols said. “The city has benefited from his emphasis on downtown improvement as well as retail recruitment.”
Nichols added that having someone who knows Laurinburg with the Partnership could be advantageous to the city. The Partnership has been the main recruiter of new jobs to the state, taking over from the state Commerce Department.
“Teddy may still be able to help us from the state level,” Nichols said. “Our goal is to continue to work with him and we have already started a conversation about that.”
Reach Scott Witten at 910-506-3023