Mecklenburg Shapes Leaders: CSS Director Graduates from ‘Leadership North Carolina’

Waving colorful flag of the state of North Carolina.

A longtime leader in health and human services for Mecklenburg County has graduated from Leadership North Carolina.  

Stacy Lowry, director of Mecklenburg County Community Support Services, is one of 56 civic and community leaders from around North Carolina to complete the highly selective program this year. The class comprised leaders from across the state and across sectors—government, business, nonprofit, education, etc. A graduation ceremony was held May 8 at the Charlotte Museum of History. 

Headshot of Stacy Lowry.
Stacy Lowry

As director of Community Support Services, Lowry is responsible for leading a department that houses various human and community services. The department has about 150 employees and provides benefit claim filing for military veterans; confidential domestic violence therapy and counseling for children and adults; substance use counseling for people in shelters or detention centers; and services for residents experiencing homelessness and housing instability.   

Lowry has worked with Mecklenburg County since 1998, beginning as a social worker with the Women’s Commission, which then operated as a stand-alone County department. She became director and led the consolidation of services into the single Community Support Services department in 2006.   

“Leadership North Carolina gave me the opportunity to see both the challenges and opportunities across our state. I witnessed the true commitment of leaders and the intentionality with which they lead to ensure a prosperous, inclusive North Carolina for all,” said Lowry. “The learning model is to spend our sessions observing, reflecting, and discussing the first year.  As alumni, we get to brainstorm opportunities and act.”  

The mission of Leadership North Carolina is to inform, develop, and engage committed leaders by broadening their understanding of and involvement in issues and opportunities facing the state. It’s first class was in 1995. Participants spend multiple sessions throughout the year learning about issues critical to the state. The sessions focus on six key areas: economic development, education, environment, government, health and human services, and inclusive leadership. 

“My journey included exploring the role of government in addressing issues and solving problems,” Lowry continued. “Plus, learning about the political landscape of North Carolina, learning about the education system, exploring an overview of Health and Human Services, exploring how economic development impacts the long-term prosperity in NC and exploring competing interests and viewpoints in the development of environmental policy.  Most importantly I learned about the interdependencies across the key areas and how important it is for North Carolina to have all areas functioning at an optimal level to propel us towards a stronger, healthier, and prosperous community.” 

As a Leadership North Carolina alumna, Lowry will help plan the March 2025 Health and Human Services session for next year’s Leadership North Carolina class. 

LNC Class 31 Graduation. group shot
Leadership North Carolina Class 31 Graduation