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City and county managers team up to lead United Way campaign

Co-leaders

Lane Bailey

Aaron Church

SALISBURY — Salisbury and Rowan County are teaming up in a new way for the 2017 Rowan County United Way Campaign.

County Manager Aaron Church and City Manager Lane Bailey will direct the United Way’s fall fundraising campaign, which involves hundreds of volunteers throughout the county.

Last year, the campaign exceeded its $1.515 million goal. The money was distributed to 16 local human services agencies approved by United Way.

“We are very excited about Lane and Aaron leading our campaign,” said Henry Diggs, president of the United Way board of directors.

Diggs said this is the first time the campaign has had co-chairmen.

“We love the idea of the partnership between the city and county managers working together,” he said. “There is power in unity, and this is an excellent example of much needed demonstrated unity, working together for the overall good of our beloved community.”

Bailey has worked with United Way campaigns in Rowan County and the city of Lenoir.

“United Way provides essential assistance for our community and serves as a safety net for many people in a number of service areas,” said Bailey, who became city manager in March 2015. “I can’t imagine our community without United Way organizations and the incredible work they provide.”

Church said United Way is important “because the money stays local and the need is real.”

Bailey has 25 years of government experience, with seven years as a county manager and 18 as a municipal manager. Before coming to Salisbury, he was Lenoir’s city manager.

He is a member of the Salisbury Rotary Club and International City County Management Association and is an ICCMA-credentialed manager. He is a member and past president of the N.C. City County Management Association.

Bailey is a graduate of Appalachian State University with a bachelor of science degree in political science and a master’s degree in public administration. He and his wife, Ruth, have two children, son Brennen and daughter Catherine.

Church has served the public for 13 years as a congressional aide in the U.S. House of Representatives, assistant county manager, deputy county manager, and county manager.

Also an Appalachian State graduate, Church earned a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice and a master’s degree in public administration. He holds a certificate in county administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an Emerging Leaders Certificate from the International City/County Managers Association.

He and his wife, Erica, and their two children, Mary and Finlley, live in Granite Quarry.

Local government managers who have headed the United Way campaign in the past —  former County Manager Tim Russell and former City Manager David Treme — took their turns separately.

The Rowan County United Way was chartered in 1956. The 16-member agencies include the Rowan County Literacy Council; The Arc/Rowan; Rowan Vocational Opportunities; Boy Scouts, Central N.C. Council; Communities in Schools of Rowan County; Rowan County YMCA; Rowan County Youth Services Bureau; American Red Cross; Rowan County Rescue Squad; Salvation Army; Trinity Living Center; Rufty-Holmes Senior Center; Meals on Wheels; Families First Inc.; Family Crisis Council; and Smart Start Rowan.

For more information, visit www.rowanunitedway.org or follow the United Way on Facebook.

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