Jennifer Robinson

Title: Council Member

Municipality: Town of Cary

Position Interested In: President

Tell us why you would like to serve in a leadership position at the League. In particular, specify goals you would like to accomplish as an officer or board member and indicate how, if attained, they will help to achieve Vision 2030 – the League’s future vision of how cities and towns will operate in 2030.

As our country deals with the coronavirus pandemic, local governments are challenged to the greatest extent of any time in recent history. For municipalities, weathering the pandemic depends largely on our ability to provide needed services to our citizens in the face of lower revenues and higher expenses. The League plays a critical role as the only organization in the state established to bring all municipalities together, to serve all municipalities, and to promote the wellbeing of all municipalities.

As a leader of the League in this next year, I would like to help the League provide much needed assistance to cities. When I first applied for an executive role in the League, I wrote that I wanted to focus on increased engagement of managers and elected officials from across the state:

I would like to amplify our relevance to cities and towns of all sizes by ensuring that we are providing (1) the right information and education at the right times and in the right ways; (2) valuable networking opportunities that lead to ongoing intergovernmental communication; (3) guidance and resources for communities; and (4) access to new technologies and services.

The same holds true today. We must continually anticipate the needs of our members, look for new ways to assist them, and nurture our relationships with our state and federal representatives so that they understand our needs.

Over the years, I have seen my town receive the many benefits of being a member of the League. And, as an elected official, I have received help from the League in developing my knowledge and skills, network, and perspective. I am thankful for the League and would be honored to be able to give back to the organization in a meaningful way.

Tell us about your experience as a municipal official. You may want to include information on your service on the municipal governing body, other related boards and special areas of interest.

I have served as a councilmember for the Town of Cary since 1999. I believe that impactful elected leaders are visionaries with a strong resolve to get things done. In executing my office, I place a priority on having forward-thinking planning, environmental stewardship, and excellent infrastructure, services and amenities. With a focus on protecting the quality of my community, I hope that the work done today will ensure that my community is a desirable place to live for future generations.

I have spearheaded many successful initiatives including the construction of the Western Wake Regional Library, the A.M. Howard Agriculture Park, Cary’s land banking program, Cary’s multi-use path system, greater focus on urban design for public projects, work with Wake County to site schools, grade separated greenway crossings, joint land use planning with Chatham County, several road and greenway projects, many policies and ordinances, and, most recently, our regional transit organization’s Youth Ride Free program.

As a Councilmember, I have served on the following boards:

Town of Cary Economic Development Committee

  • Committee Member
    2002 – present

Triangle J Council of Government

  • Board of Directors
    2003 – present

  • Executive Board
    2012– 2017

  • Chair
    2014 – 2016

GoTriangle (regional transit board)

  • Board of Directors
    2013 - present

  • Chair
    2015 – 2017

NCLM: 2013 – present

  • Board of Directors
    2013 - present

  • Executive Director Search Committee
    2013 - 2014

  • General Government Legislative Action Committee (Co-chair)
    2014 - 2015

  • Vision 2030 Strategic Plan Committee (Co-chair)
    2014 – 2015

  • Executive Committee
    2016 – 2017, 2019 - present

  • NCLM Headquarters Working Group
    2016 – present

  • First Vice President
    2019 – present

  • Finance Committee Chair
    2019 – present

National Association of Regional Councils (NARC)

  • Executive Board
    2015 – present

International City County Management Association

  • Smart Cities Advisory Committee
    2017 - present

Tell us about your educational background, professional experience, and/or community or civic activities. 

I have a B.S. in English and Studio Arts from the University of Virginia. I have worked in software development and data management since 1989, with the exception of 10 years in which I took off to be a stay-at-home mom/volunteer/elected leader. Throughout my career, I have been involved in all phases of the software development lifecycle for federal agencies, local governments, school systems, and corporations.

I presently work at SAS, the world’s leading Data Analytics Company. At SAS, I am a member of SAS’s US Government Practice. I work with municipalities and counties across the country to employ new technologies and analytics.

I have served on a several non-profit and civic boards including:

  • Read and Feed

  • Taylor Family YMCA

  • Northwest Cary YMCA

  • Cary Community Foundation

  • Cary Women’s Giving Network

  • Paragon Bank Advisory Board

  • TowneBank Advisory Board

My biggest passion at this point is raising funds to ensure that all children in Cary households that cannot afford childcare can attend 9 weeks of YMCA camp and afterschool care throughout the year for free.

I have spent several years teaching 5th and 6th Grade Sunday School (9 years), coaching youth soccer (3 years), being a classroom room mom (14 years), designing and managing stage sets for VBS (six years), and working with Boy Scouts. Last year, I initiated a Town Hall Badge Day at the Town of Cary for Boy Scouts. We had 276 scouts attend, each earning a merit badge in municipal-related subjects such as public safety, water resources, and architecture and planning.

Have You Participated in Any NCLM Events or Committees? 

  • CityVision Annual Conference

  • Town & State Dinner or Town Hall Days

  • Advocacy Goals Conference

  • Legislative Lobby Days

  • Legislative Action Committees

  • Vision 2030 committee

  • Building committee

  • Finance committee

Please provide any other information you would like the Nominations Committee to consider.

I have been actively involved in the League since I first joined the board in 2013. My experience with the League has involved:

  • Serving on the executive director search committee which resulted in the hiring of Paul Meyer

  • Co-chairing the General Government Legislative Action Committee

  • Speaking at conferences

  • Moderating a panel of state officials at Town Hall Day

  • Co-chairing the Vision 2030 committee

  • Participating in a small focus group for the branding initiative

  • Speaking on behalf of the League and its members before the Legislature

  • Meeting with state legislative representatives and our federal representatives in Congress

  • Presently serving on the Headquarters Working Group

  • Presently serving as First Vice President of the League

  • Chairing the Finance Committee

Additionally, I have obtained a “Mentor” level status by LELA and am a graduate of the Advanced Leadership Corps program.

I hope that the committee finds me to be a worthy candidate for the President's seat. I am a collaborative leader and an anticipatory thinker that strives to move the organizations I serve forward in a tangible way.

I have served a two year term as Chair of my region's transit authority, GoTriangle (which serves Durham, Orange, and Wake counties) and a two year term as Chair of TJCOG (which serves a seven county region including Chatham, Durham, Johnston, Lee, Moore, Orange, and Wake counties). In these roles, I have worked hard to make sure that every meeting is run well, that every person at the table has a voice, and that their time is spent in a meaningful way.

I enjoy tackling challenges and finding ways to resolve them. Since 2013 and especially over the last few years, I have helped the League address the challenges before it. I believe strongly in the League’s mission and purpose, and I would be honored to help move the League forward in its effort to serve our municipalities and strengthen our State.

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Vimeo
  • LinkedIn

© North Carolina League of Municipalities