Owen Thomas

Title: Council Member

Municipality: City of Lumberton

Position Interested In: Elected Official - At Large

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 a current representative of southeast North Carolina, I am in a rural region that has been effected not only by devastating Hurricanes but also hurting from lack of broadband, jobs, and infrastructure. The knowledge I have gained from this board has helped me to advocate and communicate ways to help provide a better quality of life for all. I've done this mainly through the relationships I have built with numerous members of the legislature and lobbyists at the state and federal level. I would love to continue serving not only the board but also North Carolina. How do we get folks to stay in our rural areas? Jobs and quality of life. We have to think about what will entice our young people to live in a rural community all while supporting the citizens of our community. I fully support the 2030 vision and believe this model is doing a great job bridging the gap.

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.

My first term on council has been very unique. I have spent all 4 years in the midst of hurricanes and hurricane relief/mitigation projects that are very slow moving. In a time of uncertainty with a pandemic and social uncertainty, I have learned how resilient my community is. My community will come together and fight for better days. The weight we have put on the shoulders of our staff makes me so very proud of them. The way our officers and frontline workers have stepped up is phenomenal. I would also like to make note of the NCLM staff and board. We are so blessed with Paul and his staff's leadership and ability to overcome and perform at a professional level. Our board has been able to come together as one representing NC in such a positive light. I will also make note that I represent a few state boards and commissions appointed by our Senate President Pro Tempore including my most recent to the NC Housing Partnership. I represent Lumberton on the Lumber River Council of Governments board.

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

I have completed my MBA at UNC Pembroke and since then have been elected president of the Alumni Association and also taught in the school of business. I have a book of insurance business and am involved with the independent insurance agents of NC on their legislative committee. I have recently started selling real estate. I am from the Cary so I believe I bring a unique mentality of both the rural and metro mindset especially from a millennial perspective. I was recently named to Fayetteville Observer 40 under 40. I won the United Way Dancing with the Stars Competition. I'm the President of the Robeson County Humane Society. I am on the Kiwanis board of directors. I would like to think that I'm a Zoom professional :)

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

  • Affiliate: Young Elected Officials

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