Leadership Team

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Name Position Phone
Grant Goings City Manager  252-296-3398 
Harry Tyson  Deputy City Manager  252-399-2462 
Rebecca Agner  Communications & Marketing Director  252-293-5305 
Albert Alston Fire Chief 252-399-2891
Will Aycock  Greenlight General Manager  252-296-3344 
Bill Bass Public Works Director  252-399-2467 
Kim Hands Chief Financial Officer  252-206-5260 
Thomas Hopkins  Police Chief  252-399-2323 
David Lee Director of Parks & Recreation 252-399-2262 
Rodger Lentz Chief Planning and Development Officer  252-399-2210 
Dathan Shows Chief Operating Officer-Wilson Utilities  252-399-2306 
Renee Smith Human Relations Officer  252-399-2309 
Kimberly Van Dyk Director of Planning and Community Revitalization  252-399-2395 

 

Grant Goings, City Manager grant goings headshot

Grant Goings has led the City of Wilson as City Manager since January 2005, including the deployment of Greenlight, Wilson’s municipal fiber network, and the development of Innovate Wilson, guiding Wilson’s efforts to build a local innovation economy. During his tenure private investment in downtown Wilson has grown exponentially, from less than $1 million annually in the mid-2000s to a projected $61 million in 2018-2020.

Goings’ prior experience includes serving as the City Manager in Shelby, N.C., Town Manager for Elkin, N.C. and Town Administrator in Bethel, N.C. He holds a bachelor of science in political science from Appalachian State University with a concentration in city and council management and a minor in urban and regional planning. He is a graduate of the Public Executive Leadership Academy of the School of Government at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as well as the Municipal Administration Program.

Goings is a member of the International City Management Association and the North Carolina City/County Managers Association, where he currently serves as President. He also serves as a committee member for “Lead for North Carolina,” a new program designed to expose recent college graduates to careers in local government through two-year fellowships in local government service. 

He is a member and past President of the Appalachian State University Local Government Alumni Association, and has been a guest lecturer with ASU’s MPA program.

Currently, Goings serves on many state and local boards including Wilson Forward, Wilson County Properties, and the Wilson Economic Development Council. He served on the ElectriCities Board of Directors for six years, including serving as Chairman in 2016.

 


 

Harry Tyson, Deputy City Manager

Harry Tyson is a native of Wilson and a graduate of Beddingfield High School.Deputy City Manager Harry Tyson He earned his Bachelor of Science and Master of Public Administration Degree from East Carolina University. He is also a graduate of the Senior Executive Institute at the University of Virginia and the Public Executive Leadership Academy at the University of Chapel Hill.

During his time with the city, Mr. Tyson has served as a lieutenant in the Wilson Police Department, Management Analyst, Assistant to the City Manager, Assistant City Manager-Administration, and Police Chief. He became Deputy City Manager on January 1, 2010. He also spends his time officiating college football with the Atlantic Coast Conference.

 

 


 

 

Rebecca Agner, Communications and Marketing Director rebecca agner headshot

Rebecca is the Communications and Marketing Director for the City of Wilson. In that role, she is responsible for the overall communications strategy of the city, including all city departments. Prior to joining the city of Wilson, Rebecca was Manager of Strategic Communications for ElectriCities of North Carolina for nearly 12 years. Before she joined ElectriCities, Rebecca was a public information officer, personnel officer, and town clerk at the Town of Knightdale; director of public affairs for the Alexander County School System; and a senior banking executive and assistant vice president with Bank of America.

Rebecca holds a Master of Arts degree in English, technical and professional communication from East Carolina University and a Bachelor of Science in business administration and finance from Appalachian State University. She is a member of the Wilson Rotary Club, the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park Marketing Committee, and chairs the Arts Council of Wilson Branding and Marketing Committee. Additionally, she is a member of the Public Relations Society of America and the North Carolina City and County Communicators Association. 

 


 

Albert Alston, Fire Chief albert alston headshot

Albert Alston began his career as a firefighter in 1999 with WF/RS. He rose through the ranks as Firefighter, Engineer, Captain, Battalion Chief, and as Deputy Fire Chief before being appointed Chief of Department in October 2017. Chief Alston leads a department that has been re-accredited by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International, (an accomplishment that only 238 departments worldwide have achieved) and has a Class I ISO rating.

Chief Alston is a Wilson native and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Fire Science with a concentrate in Management from Fayetteville State University. Chief Alston has graduated from the prestigious National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Office Program (EFOP). He has achieved his Chief Fire Officer Designation from the Center for Public Safety Excellence Commission of Professional Credentialing and has achieved a member (MIFireE) grade from the Institute of Fire Engineers. 

 


 

Will Aycock, Greenlight General Manager will aycock headshot cropped

Will Aycock is responsible for the management and oversight of all Greenlight and information technology operations. He also supervises the management of the Unified Communications Center. He has worked with the City of Wilson since 2001 and has been part of the Greenlight team since its launch in 2008. Aycock previously served as operations manager, assistant director of ITS, GIS manager, and GIS coordinator for the City of Wilson. He is a graduate of both Appalachian State and East Carolina Universities and holds Municipal Administration and Government Chief Information Officer certificates from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

 

 


 

Bill Bass, Public Works DirectorBill Bass public works director Sept 2019

Bill is the Director of Public Works for the City for Wilson. In that role he responsible for overseeing environmental services, streets, engineering, traffic, fleet maintenance, and transit. Prior to joining the city in 2014 he held various technical and management positions with North Carolina Department of Transportation over his 23 years with the department. While at NCDOT his focus was roadway maintenance, construction, and project management.

Bill is a North Carolina State University graduate and a registered Professional Engineer. He is a member of the American Public Works Association where he serves on the Street Division Board of Directors. Additionally, he serves on the Wilson County Health Board and is a member of the Wilson Evening Lions Club and serves as vice president.

 

 


 

 

Kim Hands, Chief Financial Officerkim hands headshot

Kim Hands has been with the City of Wilson since 2007.  She earned her Bachelor’s degree in business administration and accounting from Malone College located in North Canton, Ohio.  Kim holds a certification in Health Systems Administration from Mt. Union College and a Master’s degree in business administration and educational leadership from Ohio University.

Prior to relocating to Wilson, Kim was the Chief Financial Officer for Summit County Developmental Disabilities Agency located in Akron, Ohio for over 18 years and carried state certifications as both a School Treasurer and Business Manager.  Kim is a member of the International Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA), North Carolina GFOA, North Carolina Local Budget Association and North Carolina Local Investment Association.  She sits on multiple boards and is a member of the local United Way Budget Committee.

 


 

Thomas Hopkins, Police Chief thomas hopkins headshot

Chief Thomas P. Hopkins began his law enforcement career with the Wilson Police Department in 1995. He was promoted to Sergeant in 2003 and was promoted to Lieutenant in 2006. Chief Hopkins was appointed to the position of Chief of Police in February 2010. This was a unique appointment, as he was the first police officer to progress through the ranks of the Wilson Police Department to be named Chief of Police.

Chief Hopkins is a General and Specialized Instructor with the State of North Carolina in Firearms, Physical Fitness, and First Responder and periodically teaches as an adjunct instructor at North Carolina Wesleyan College. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degrees in Psychology and Justice Studies from North Carolina Wesleyan College and holds a Master of Science degree in Criminology with a concentration in Law from Indiana State University.

 


 

David Lee, Director of Parks and Recreationdavid lee headshot

David Lee is the Parks and Recreation Director for the City of Wilson. He also writes a weekly Saturday morning column for The Wilson Daily Times. He is the past President for the North Carolina Recreation and Parks Association and 2011 inductee into the J.H. Rose High School Sports Hall of Fame. In 2018, he was awarded the Fellow Award, the highest award given by the N.C. Recreation and Parks Association. He has also published a book entitled Every Moment Counts.

 

 


 

Rodger Lentz, Chief Planning and Development Officer rodger lentz headshot

Rodger Lentz, AICP, is Chief Planning and Development Officer for the City of Wilson. His areas of responsibility include Planning, Community Development, Land Development, Code Enforcement, Inspections, GIS, and Downtown Development. Rodger serves on the Board of Directors for the 44,000-member American Planning Association and is the former North Carolina chapter president.

Prior to Wilson, Lentz served for 6 years on the Davidson, NC Planning and Design Review Boards, and worked in planning with the City of Charlotte, Cabarrus County, and Matthews, NC. He also serves on the boards of the Wilson YMCA and the American Planning Association Foundation. Rodger holds a BA in Geography from UNC Greensboro where he concentrated in Urban Studies and an MA in Geography from UNC Charlotte where he studied Urban and Regional Planning. He is also a graduate of the UNC School of Government County Administration program.

 


 

Dathan Shows

dathan shows headshotDathan is currently employed by the City of Wilson as the Chief Operating Officer for Wilson Utilities.  In this position Dathan is responsible for leading a team that includes the departments of Wilson Energy (Electric and Natural Gas Distribution), Water Resources (Water Production, Distribution, Collection, and Reclamation), and Greenlight (the City’s Fiber to the Home network that also provides internal Information Technology Services to the City).  All of these utilities are considered Enterprise Operations and are funded by rates for consumption and usage not tax dollars.
 
Dathan has experience working in three municipalities from Kansas to the North Carolina coast in positions ranging from Town Manager to Safety Officer.  Dathan completed his undergraduate degree in public administration from Elon College, his Master of Public Administration from the University of Kansas, and has attended numerous programs at the Institute of Government and UNC Chapel Hill including completing the Municipal Administration program.

 


 
 
Renee Smith, Human Relations Officer 

renee smith headshot

F. Renee’ Smith is a graduate of Eastern Wayne High School, Goldsboro, N.C. She received a BA degree in criminal justice from North Carolina Central University and a Master’s of Science in administration with a concentration in public administration from Central Michigan University.

In January 2008, Mrs. Smith was appointed as the Director of City of Wilson Human Relations Office. Prior to this, she was a police officer/investigator for the City of Goldsboro Police Department and a Human Relations Specialist for the State of North Carolina. She also serves on the Wilson Community College Board, the Wilson Martin Luther King Jr. Commission, United Way Board, the National Association of Human Rights Workers, and acts as secretary for the Wilson Preparatory Academy Board.

 


 

Kimberly Van Dyk, Director of Planning and Community Revitalization kimberly van dyk headshot

Kimberly Van Dyk serves as the Planning & Community Revitalization Director and Downtown Development Director for the City of Wilson, which houses the divisions of Planning, Community Development, and Downtown Development. In conjunction, she serves as in-kind Executive Director for two non-profit entities, Wilson Downtown Development Corporation and Wilson Downtown Properties.

Ms. Van Dyk has over 20 years of experience in planning, historic preservation, community development, and downtown and neighborhood business district redevelopment. Prior to her appointment with the city, she was the Founder and Executive Director of Neighborhood Ventures, Director of the Neighborhood Business Specialist Program, and Assistant Director of South East Economic Development in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She holds a Masters of Public Administration degree, a graduate certificate in nonprofit and government leadership and administration, and Bachelor of Arts degrees in both communications and German language, all from Western Michigan University.

 

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