March 11, 2014 In Luncheon Summary
Dena Diorio, the First Woman Mecklenburg County Manager talks about the State of the County and Plans for the Future
Who you missed: Dena Diorio is the Mecklenburg County manager, responsible for executing the policy decisions of the Board of County Commissioners and overseeing the administration of County departments. She advises the Board on operational and financial matters, services and other issues, and submits an annual operating and capital budget for consideration. Raised in Westchester County, New York, Dena started her career in New York City, eventually working for the then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Later she took jobs in Stamford and Danbury, Connecticut until moving to Mecklenburg County in 2007. She has a B.S. in Social Services from the State University of New York at Plattsburg and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Columbia University. Dena is married and lives in Huntersville.
What you missed: CREW Charlotte’s March luncheon featured the first woman Manager for Mecklenburg County, Dena Diorio. Dena’s presentation focused on the state of the County, where we are headed in the future, and her role as a woman leader.
In the combined city-county government structure, Mecklenburg County provides Health and Social Services, Education, Library, Economic Development, and Parks and Recreation services to residents. Following the 2007-2009 Recession, the County has experienced a return to fiscal health, including increasing the employment base by approximately 50,000 new jobs and a corresponding drop in the unemployment rate. Future efforts by the County include continuing efforts in the county-wide property revaluation, working to improve the efficiency of the building permit process, which balances customer service with safety, and creating strategies to address the current lack of income mobility facing the region.
Why: Commercial real estate makes up approximately 40% of the Mecklenburg County tax base. County operations affect commercial real estate in three key ways: (1) Mecklenburg County provides incentive grants to attract new businesses, such as Met Life, Electrolux, and Chiquita, (2) Inefficiencies in the building permitting process are being addressed to promote development in the County, and (3) Through education, competitive tax rates, and workforce development, Mecklenburg County is working to remain highly competitive to potential future relocations.