As a young boy growing up in Sampson County, Stevie Cox followed former commissioner the late Malachi Faison around and learned the ins and outs of local government.
Today, Cox is using that knowledge he gained and is serving as town manager in Wallace.
Cox, the son of Lonnie Cox, graduated from Hobbton High School, and went on to further his education at Wake Forest University, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications. He later obtained his master’s degree in urban planning from St. Louis University.
“When I was a young boy, Malachi Faison introduced me to local government,” Cox shared. “He was my mentor and led me to have an interest in being a part of government.”
In April, Cox joined the Duplin County town as manager after having worked for more than two decades in local government for towns like Monroe, Elizabeth City and Chadburn, Columbus County and in Maryland. Working in local government was always his dream.
“I see a lot of potential in Wallace,” Cox said about his decision to work in the town. “I am excited about working to help the town grow as there is a great deal of opportunities for economic development.”
According to Cox, there are many big projects in the works for Wallace and Duplin County — opportunities that will lead Wallace into the future.
“The town of Wallace is a great area to work and live,” Cox said. “I’m looking forward to being here and being part of the growing community.”
Cox said his mother, who still lives in Sampson County, is aging and he and his wife felt it would be best to get closer to home. Although his wife is from Gulfport, Miss., assisting her husband with caring for his aging mother was an easy choice.
“My mother is the only living parent between the two of us,” Cox said. “We felt it was best to be closer to her. My daughter will be a senior in the fall and she will begin looking at colleges. She is considering schools in the south, and moving has allowed us to be closer to her when the time comes.”
Growing up a Hobbton Wildcat, Cox says the hardest thing about his new job will be pulling for the Wallace-Rose Hill Bull Dogs.
“I’m going to struggle with that a little bit,” Cox added with a laugh.
Wallace is a town of nearly 4,500 residents. As town manager, Cox oversees a staff of 50 employees and works with a $7 million budget.
“Wallace is truly growing,” Cox said. “People are moving to the area. And, it isn’t necessarily people who are moving from one Duplin County town to another. It’s people moving from other parts of the state or other states.”
Cox is responsible for managing and directing all daily operational activities of the town through direct communication with the department heads. Additionally, he is responsible for attending town meetings, preparing the town council’s monthly report, managing the town’s budget, supervising the department heads and all employees and increasing public awareness, interest, understanding and participation in town issues, programs and services.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.