WARRENTON — Charla Duncan is not your typical economic development director.
She is more.
On Tuesday, the Warren County Board of Commissioners appointed Duncan to be executive director of the Warren County Economic Development Commission. She was recommended by County Manager Vincent Jones. Duncan has served in the position on an interim basis for the past seven months.
A 2004 graduate of Warren County High School, Duncan earned a bachelor’s degree in English (secondary education) from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a master of public administration degree (public and nonprofit management) from New York University.
After a short teaching career, she returned to Warrenton to accept the position of executive director of the Warren County Chamber of Commerce.
An active member of the community, Duncan was instrumental in the formation of a Young Professionals Network designed to provide professional and social opportunities for individuals in the region. She served as co-chairwoman of the Quilters Lane Committee, program manager for Warren FoodWorks and as a member of the Warren County Tourism Committee. She currently chairs the Warren County Arts Council.
Most recently, Duncan served as grants coordinator and management analyst in the Granville County manager’s office.
She returned to Warren County to accept the position of senior assistant to the Warren County manager.
She brings unique interests and experiences to her position. “I am excited to bring a perspective to the economic development team that is a new one for us — born and raised here, graduate of Warren County public schools, female, millennial, daughter of a small-business owner,” she said in a press briefing released by the county. “It’s a new combination of perspectives for this role in our community, and I look to be an asset to our county’s progress.”
The executive director’s position has been empty periodically over the past two decades and marked by relatively short tenures for appointees. Interim appointments and the economic development staff have kept the office active.
Duncan said, “I am looking forward to not just building an environment for successful business attraction and growth, but also working to grow the economic health and vitality of our residents.”