Sonja Marston is Morganton’s new Assistant City Manager. She was chosen, after a detailed process, from a pool of more than 50 applicants from around the country. Sonja’s professional experiences and leadership qualities make her the ideal fit for the position.
“I am thrilled to have this opportunity. Morganton has been a special place to me since my days at Freedom High, and I have spent much time here over the years,” Marston said. “The economic future is very bright for this community and I cannot wait to work with this amazing team to continue to move it forward.”
As Assistant City Manager, Sonja’s duties will include creative participation in the leadership team, advising and assisting the City Manager and the department heads in planning and administration, interaction with State and Federal governments, and cooperative engagement with other local governments and private sector partners. Sonja will be particularly focused on all aspects of economic development including an active role in the efforts to reuse and redevelop the state properties to be vacated by Broughton Hospital.
Since 2011, Sonja has served as the Dean of Workforce Innovations and Economic Development for Southwestern Community College in Sylva, and she previously served for eight years as Director of Advancement for SCC. Sonja has spent the last several years working with multiple Economic Development organizations, state and local agencies and the private business community to grow the local economy and further educational opportunities for the local workforce.
Marston earned her bachelor’s degree in computer information systems and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Western Carolina University. She started her career as a banking executive in the Sylva area.
City Manager Sally Sandy said that Sonja’s recognition and understanding of the need to connect education and the economy will serve the community well as Morganton continues to transition to a 21st century community and a community of choice for millennials.
“Sonja’s experiences and enthusiasm for building partnerships between the public and private sector will be a great fit for Morganton,” Sandy said. “She has worked with local advanced manufacturing, the tourism and hospitality industry, higher education, and the financial services industry.”
Sonja’s experience in finance, economic development, management, and education equip her with a diverse set of skills that make her an excellent choice for the City. She has a proven history of team building both within her own organization and among a variety of public and private groups by garnering input, promoting support, and completing actions. Throughout her career, she has established successful working relationships with elected officials, State and Federal agencies, and the business community.
“She displays remarkable creativity and energy, and is a passionate advocate of accomplishing goals through teamwork,” Sandy said. “We welcome Sonja Marston to the City of Morganton, and look forward to her participation on our team.”
Sonja grew up in Burke County, but has lived in the Sylva area since she was a teenager. Sonja is married to Brian Marston of Morganton, and has three grown children.
Sonja will begin work Sept. 28, 2015.