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Hickory Assistant Manager named best in state 

Hickory Assistant City Manager Andrea Surratt was recognized by the North Carolina City and County Management Association as the Assistant Manager of the Year at the annual conference in Wilmington June 20.

The Association recognizes outstanding contributions to the local government management profession through this awards program. This is a great opportunity for professionals in local governments to receive recognition for the excellent performance and leadership in their profession.

"I am so proud of the team that I work with in Hickory. It’s an enthusiasm and love of public service that we share that makes this such a great place to work. I am so honored to be recognized for my part in this team effort with this award," said Surratt, who has dedicated the last eight years of her career to the City of Hickory.

City Manager Mick Berry, who nominated Surratt for this award, added, "I think selecting Andrea from a very competitive group of professionals ended up being pretty easy for the association, that is just how well respected she is across the state. Her work on Inspiring Spaces and ultimately the successful bond referendum was fantastic. Andrea is so talented, we are very fortunate to have her on our Hickory team!"

Surratt’s career includes working in planning and development as well as town and city management since 1991.

Surratt has experience implementing strategic planning processes that have been established by elected and appointed officials on topics such as: council priorities, visioning, budget planning, transportation planning, economic development for overall city and downtown revitalizations, land use planning and city-initiated annexations. She has managed capital improvement projects for new public facilities, including the public structure in Downtown Hickory, The Sails on the Square. The purpose of the structure is to provide a home for the farmers market as well as an event venue for the community. Both ventures are very successful largely in part due to Surratt’s vision and strategy to create a welcoming community area for the City of Hickory.

Surratt also led citizen involvement initiatives, such as the City of Hickory’s Inspiring Spaces program, Small Area Plans, Comprehensive Plans and a Citizens Local Government 101 program. The Inspiring Spaces plan addressed streetscapes, urban design, parking and associated landscaping, bike and pedestrian linkages, greenways, site furnishings, public art, way-finding and gateways. It was a city-wide planning process that provided a framework for prioritizing improvements to the public infrastructure and properties that will improve and promote Hickory as a welcoming, vibrant and thriving place to work, live and play. Surratt’s work on the Inspiring Spaces plans was instrumental in moving a $40 million bond referendum forward for the city.