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Town of Davidson Announces Staff Updates


The Town of Davidson announces the hiring of Mary Jo Gardner in the finance department and Lindsay Laird in the planning department, and the promotion of Heather James in the administration department and Travis Johnson in the planning department.

Mary Jo Gardner
Mary Jo Gardner

Mary Jo Gardner started in July as our new accountant, filling a vacant positon. She handles accounts payable, general ledger accounting, payroll, and day-to-day accounting operations. She comes to us with thirty years of diverse accounting experience from working at small, medium, and large firms in the manufacturing and engineering industries. Mary Jo has a B. A. in accounting from Lenoir-Rhyne University. 

“Mary Jo brings a tremendous wealth of accounting experience to the finance department -- she has jumped in with both feet and is a huge asset to the town,” said Finance Director Pieter Swart.

Lindsay Laird
Lindsay Laird

Lindsay Laird joins us today as a planning technician in our planning department. The Davidson Board of Commissioners approved the creation of this new planning technician role to handle the growing needs for development management and permit approvals. Lindsay has a B. S. in environmental policy and planning and a master’s degree in urban and regional planning, both from Virginia Tech.

“We’re really excited to have Lindsay on board,” said Planning Director Jason Burdette. “She brings with her a commitment to Davidson’s longstanding tradition of planning and will assist the department immediately with permit review.”

Heather James
Heather James

Heather James joined us in February 2012 as our town clerk and human resources coordinator. This fiscal year, the Davidson Board of Commissioners made the decision to fund a human resources manager position to oversee our steadily growing staff of over 45 full-time employees and 60 part-time firefighters. In August, Heather was promoted to human resources manager to manage the town’s recruiting and hiring efforts, develop and maintain personnel policies, manage employee benefits and worker’s compensation, and handle safety and risk management. 


Heather has a dual degrees in economics and political science from the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Charlotte, a post-baccalaureate certificate in urban and economic development from UNC-Greensboro, and will earn a master’s degree in public administration from Appalachian State University in December 2016. We are currently in the search process for a town clerk to replace Heather.

“Besides her town clerk duties, Heather has been responsive to internal staff needs, initiated an employee wellness program, and effectively managed our employee benefits such that there was no increase in cost for the past two years,” said Town Manager Jamie Justice. 

Travis Johnson
Travis Johnson

Travis Johnson has been a town planner for the Town of Davidson since July 2014 and was recently promoted to senior planner with a focus on transportation and geographic information systems. Travis will concentrate on the town's mobility needs, as well as continue to service the mapping needs for all departments. Travis will serve as the project manager for the forthcoming Mobility Plan (a comprehensive transportation plan for the town), and will expand his duties to include development review. He will continue to serve as one of the staff liaisons to the planning board. Travis has a B.A. in public administration from University of Central Florida and a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from University of Florida.  

“As we move into the creation of the Mobility Plan, Travis’s skills and expertise will be critical for future transportation planning in Davidson,” said Burdette.

“As Davidson’s population grows, we are ensuring that we are able to meet our citizens’ service needs by staffing appropriately,” said Justice. “We have a great team at town hall, parks and recreation, and public works working efficiently to accomplish our goals on behalf of the community.”

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