City of Albemarle introduces new economic development director

ALBEMARLE — Beginning next month, Albemarle will have a new face in charge of overseeing its local economy. 

City Manager Michael Ferris announced in a March 16 press release that Albemarle native Lindsey Almond has been chosen as the city’s new economic development director. 

With a resume of valuable economic experience in local, regional, and statewide functions, Almond was selected for the position after a nationwide search and recruitment process.  

“Lindsey Almond’s professionalism and track record of getting results stood out during our evaluation process,” Ferris said. “Lindsey’s references highlighted not only her skills but also her outstanding qualities as a person. As an organization that places high value on character, we’re excited Lindsey is joining our team.”  

Almond is slated to manage the upcoming Albemarle Business Center — with the development still in the construction process — and coordinate the City of Albemarle’s Main Street Program, which is designed to support and promote economic development in the city’s downtown area.  

“I can’t wait to continue building on the positive momentum in Albemarle,” said Almond. “The City has worked diligently to create an atmosphere where businesses and industry can thrive. The strategic plan Albemarle City Council has adopted is providing the direction and goals necessary for City Staff to turn vision into reality. I’m thrilled to join a team working collaboratively towards a common goal.”  

Prior to her latest position, Almond was an economic development coordinator for Stanly County before working in various positions for the Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland. During that time period, she served as a business engagement and development manager, discretionary grant manager, and an equal opportunity officer. 

Additionally, Almond gained economic experience during her time as the vice president of operations for the Fayetteville Cumberland Economic Development Corporation.  

Most recently, she worked as the director of Two Hawk Workforce Services, an employment and staffing agency that provides Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) services to multiple workforce boards.  

During Almond’s time at Two Hawk Workforce Services, nearly 400 people were given access to on-the-job training programs while over 1200 were advised on increasing their occupational skills; nearly 2,200 businesses were advised on ways to improve their workforce. 

In Almond’s new position as the City of Albemarle’s economic development director, she will be taking over for former director Keith Tunnell, who was hired back in 2020. Prior to Tunnell’s tenure, Mark Donham held the role for six years.  

While Tunnell was instrumental in the formation of the Pfeiffer University Health Sciences Center (Albemarle campus), he also assisted in the development of the Albemarle Business Center — a chief target of local economic development that will continue under Almond’s watch. 

The 282-acre center is located on 4-lane NC Highway 24/27 and US Highway 52 and has been in the works for several years now. Designed to help support economic development and provide quality jobs and careers in Albemarle, the center recently received (via the City of Albemarle) $763,100 in funding from the Golden LEAF Foundation to assist with construction costs.  

“We’re grateful to the Golden LEAF Foundation for their support as we take this exciting step forward for our City,” Albemarle Mayor Ronnie Michael said in a December 26 press release. “The City has taken an active role in developing our economic future, and the Golden LEAF funding, combined with the City’s investment, creates an opportunity to be competitive for business investment and job creation.”