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High Country Council of Governments Hires New Executive Director, To Begin Duties July 1

High Country Council of Governments (HCCOG) has selected Shane Fox as its new Executive Director beginning July 1, 2016. The Executive Director reports directly to a 27-member Executive Board of local officials and is responsible for managing a professional staff of 20 with an annual budget of over $6 million. HCCOG is 1 of 16 regional councils in the state of North Carolina.

Shane Fox received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration Accounting from Appalachian State University. He has worked in public accounting for over 15 years. For almost a decade, Mr. Fox worked as an Audit Manager at Martin Starnes & Associates in Hickory, NC. While at Martin Starnes, Mr. Fox managed hundreds of governmental audits over his tenure while supervising a staff of more than 20 professionals. Previously, he worked as the Assistant Finance Director for Cleveland County, overseeing an operating budget of $100 million with over 26 departments.


Mr. Fox began working at HCCOG in April of this year when he was hired as the Finance Officer.

“My wife and I met at ASU almost 20 years ago and have dreamed of someday coming back to Boone and making it our home. It is great to finally be able to make that a reality. I could not be more excited to be a part of such a long standing and successful organization. HCCOG has been a cornerstone for area government for over 40 years, and I look forward to continuing that history and success for many years to come.”

Brenda Lyerly, current mayor of Banner Elk, and Chair of the Executive Board and Search Committee said, “The Search Committee for the Executive Director position worked through thirty applications, and we are confident that we selected the best fit for our organization. Shane’s sixteen years of experience in finance and management and his commitment to the High Country area will serve the COG well into the future. The committee asked the COG staff for input into the characteristics they would want in a new director, and we are confident that Shane’s inclusive and open management style will serve the staff well. He is smart, enthusiastic, and can see the big picture. We anticipate that he will be an effective advocate for the COG membership.”

Robert L. Johnson, Mayor of North Wilkesboro, past chair of the Executive Board, and member of the Search Committee, said “We look forward to having Shane on board as our new director and working with him.”

The previous Executive Director was Dr. Mickey N. Duvall. He took a job as the Secretary of Commerce for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Nation.

The Executive Director is responsible for the COG’s overall supervision and management, and provides oversight of the agency’s day-to-day activities. Mr. Fox will provide leadership to HCCOG staff in order to meet the goals and objectives as established by the HCCOG Board on behalf of the region’s local governments.

High Country Council of Governments is a planning and development agency serving local governments in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yancey Counties.