The Western Piedmont Council of Governments (WPCOG) elected Jill Patton, Hickory City Councilmember, as the new WPCOG Board Chair, and Joseph L. Gibbons, Mayor of Lenoir, as vice-chair at the November meeting of the WPCOG Policy Board.
The Policy Board serves as the governing board for the agency.
Mayor Gibbons has served as a WPCOG Policy Board member since 2019 and an Executive Committee Member since 2019. In addition, Mr. Gibbons has served as the Mayor of Lenoir since 2011. Before serving as Mayor, Gibbons served as a councilmember for Lenoir from 2005 to 2011 and became Mayor Pro Tem in 2007, serving until becoming Mayor in 2011. Mr. Gibbons is retired from Gibbons Electric Company/Gibbons Associates. Mr. Gibbons is a graduate of Appalachian State University.
Mr. Gibbons’ current Boards and affiliations include Appalachian Former Athletes Association Board Director and Past President, Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporate Community Leaders Council, Chairman of the Caldwell UNC Healthcare Board of Directors, Caldwell County Sports Hall of Fame Inductee 2010, Caldwell County Sports Hall of Fame Committee, Caldwell County Schools Hall of Honor Committee, Caldwell Community College Foundation Board of Directors & Executive Committee, City-County Coordinating Committee, Foothills Regional Airport Authority Board Chairman, First Baptist Church of Lenoir Deacon, Hibriten Masonic Lodge Number 262, Impact by the Rotary Club of Lenoir, Lenoir Business Advisory Board, Lenoir York Rite Bodies, North Carolina Blackberry Festival Hall of Fame Inductee 2019, North Carolina League of Municipalities Legislative Policy Committee, Chairman of the North Carolina League of Municipalities Risk Management Board of Trustees & Executive Board, North Carolina Mayors Association Board of Directors Vice Chairman, Oasis Shriners District Representative, Recipient of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine - December 2016, and Yokefellow of Caldwell County Board of Directors.
“The WPCOG has a strong legacy of regional leadership, and my goal is to see the WPCOG continue to build upon that legacy of reliable, effective, and friendly service to our local governments, clients, and the region,“ said Mayor Gibbons.
Outgoing Chair Bob Floyd, Jr., Mayor of the Village of Cedar Rock, presided over the Policy Board meeting, was recognized for his years of service as chair, and was presented a commemorative gavel by newly elected Chair, Jill Patton.
Their terms as chair and vice-chair begin January 1, 2022.
“Mayor Floyd served the Council of Governments during a difficult time for our region and nation. He showed sound leadership and judgment while guiding the WPCOG during a national pandemic. In addition, Bob’s work as chair helped see the WPCOG grow over the past two years to provide even greater service to our local governments and residents. His legacy will be a region strengthened by its Council of Governments and supported during a time of great need,” said Jill Patton. Patton also stated, “I look forward to leading the WPCOG as we look towards the future and find effective and efficient ways to serve the region.”
Jill Patton has served as a WPCOG Policy Board member since 2016, an Executive Committee Member since 2017, and vice-chair since 2019. Also, Mrs. Patton has served as Hickory City Councilmember for Ward 6 since 2005 and has served as Mayor Pro Tem for three terms. Mrs. Patton is a lifelong resident of Hickory and currently works at Healthstat, Inc., where she serves as the Director of Risk Management. Mrs. Patton is a graduate of Meredith College.
Mrs. Patton has or is currently serving on the following organizations: volunteer at the Hickory Soup Kitchen, Assisting Minister/Lay Reader for Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Trinity Lutheran Church Altar Guild, Foresite Committee Task Member, YMCA Board, Secretary of Corporate Board (2000-2008), Farmer’s Market, Girl Scouts of America, Council for the Arts, Bank of Granite, Hickory Rotary Club, Rotarian of the Year & Paul Harris Fellow, Former President (2012-2013), and Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Council member.
The Policy Board also appointed several new Executive Committee members, including Larry Chapman, Mayor Pro Tem of Hudson, as Secretary; Larry Yoder, Alexander County Commissioner, committee member At-Large; and Marla Thompson, Mayor of Long View as committee member At-Large. The Policy Board also reappointed Malla Vue, District Director of Workforce Development at Goodwill Industries of Northwest NC; Jeanna Price, Healthcare Management; and Randy Burns, Senior Executive Director of Economic Development and Corporate Education, CVCC, as appointed Policy Board Delegates till 2023. Other reappointments included Amparo Alfaro, Erisha Lipford, Tommy Luckadoo, and Helen Chestnut as appointed Policy Board Delegates through 2022.
The WPCOG is a regional governmental agency governed by and serving the 28 local governments in Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, and Catawba Counties. The WPCOG provides a range of services to local governments and residents throughout the region. Those services, departments, and programs include administrative and human resources services to local governments, Area Agency on Aging, Community & Economic Development, Community & Regional Planning, financial administration for local governments, Regional Public Housing Authority, Workforce Development Board, and many other programs.