RALEIGH, N.C. — Mayor Dontario Hardy of Kinston has been selected as chair of the N.C. Mayors Association Board of Directors and will serve a one-year term leading the organization and its 11-member board.

His selection was made during the organization’s annual meeting on Tuesday, April 20th. Mayor Hardy comes to the position with a passion for public service. A decorated Navy Veteran and former Kinston Police officer, he has served as the mayor since first winning election in 2017.

“It is very humbling to have been selected by my peers to serve as the board chairman of such a diverse and seasoned group of mayors,” Mayor Hardy said. “In the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, I knew I felt a desire to run for mayor of my hometown and being the mayor of Kinston has been one of my greatest honors of my life.”

He added, “I am thrilled to lead this association as we continue on the front lines, fighting our way out of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as we tackle whatever challenges we stand toe-to-toe with next. Whether it be a natural disaster or a global pandemic, we stand ready and willing to be the leaders that our citizens elected us to be. I am so proud to lead such a resilient group where the sky is the limit.”

Hardy succeeds Mayor Gloristine Brown of Bethel. Mayor Joe Gibbons of Lenoir has been chosen as vice-chair.

The N.C. Mayors Association is an affiliate organization of the North Carolina League of Municipalities formed specifically to provide a platform for all of the state’s mayors to work together regarding the major goals and challenges of cities and towns.

NCLM Executive Director Paul Meyer praised Hardy and the other organization leaders for their commitment to helping all the state’s municipalities find solutions to common challenges. “Mayor Hardy and all of our mayors truly embody the notion of, ‘Working as One. Advancing All,’” Meyer said.

The North Carolina League of Municipalities is a member-driven organization representing the interests of cities and towns in the state. Through their collective efforts, League member cities and towns better serve their residents and improve quality of life. For more than 100 years, the League has been a voice for cities and towns working for a better North Carolina