Owen Thomas

Title: Council Member

Municipality: City of Lumberton

Position Interested In: At-Large - Elected Official

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.

I'm very familiar with the 2030 vision's pillars and principals and love them! I am an advocate of promoting and working toward the success of this vision. I will continue to support it as much as possible. I am in a rural area of the state that has been effected not only by devastating hurricanes but also the loss of various industry over the years. I believe we must embrace opportunities to attract new businesses and jobs, educate our youth in technical skills, and improve our quality of life overall. We have to provide opportunities and resources that will attract millennials and Gen Z's to our communities. I have relationships with many legislators and lobbyists at the state and federal level. I do my best to link NCLM staff with these decision-makers on our legislative priorities.

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 believe my first term on council has been unique to say the least. When elected, I wasn't aware of the true impact of the devastating Hurricane that had recently hit our community. I am learning daily that the rippling effects are massive especially when you experience two in a very short period of time. As a matter of fact, next month, I will be making a presentation to Leadership North Carolina (which I am a recent graduate of) focusing on the effects of the hurricanes. I believe the City of Lumberton's relationship with the NCLM has helped us through this recovery. Rose Vaughn Williams and her team have actively lobbied to ensure our issues, such as infrastructure, are at the forefront of the conversation and we are very thankful.

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

I earned my MBA and have taught in the school of business at UNC Pembroke. I am an insurance agent and realtor, by trade. I am involved with the Independent Insurance Agents of NC and serve on their legislative committee. I am originally from the Raleigh metro area so I believe I bring a unique perspective of both the rural and metro mindset, especially from a millennial viewpoint. I was selected as a Fayetteville Observer 40 under 40. This year, I was chosen to join the Hunt State Policy Fellows program with leaders across the state. 

See resume. 

 

Have You Participated in Any NCLM Events or Committees? 

  • CityVision Annual Conference

  • Town & State Dinner or Town Hall Days

  • Legislative Goals Planning Events or Process

  • Regional Meetings

  • Legislative Lobby Days

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

I hope that my relationships around the state will help with the efforts of the board to be more successful. My experiences on council, in my professional business as a realtor and in insurance, and teaching/research experience will bring a unique skillset to help advance NCLM's Vision 2030.

I thank you for taking my application into consideration.