Roger is a native of Rocky Mount, North Carolina. He and his wife, Carol, have been married 24 years. His son, Stephen, is a 2006 graduate of Wake Forest University and his daughter, Amanda, is a rising high school junior. He serves as a deacon at Snyder Memorial Baptist Church.
He graduated from Wake Forest University with a B.A. in Politics in 1971. His first resume stated that his career interest was to “help make local government more responsive”. After working several years, he returned to graduate school in 1977 and received his Master of Public Administration from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1982.
Roger’s first job in municipal government was assistant director of human relations for the City of Rocky Mount, investigating and conciliating complaints of mistreatment and discrimination. While completing his MPA degree requirements, he worked as a research assistant at the UNC Institute of Government and as a circuit manager for the Towns of Winterville, Grifton and Fountain, NC. In 1980, he became the administrative assistant to the city manager in Fayetteville.
Roger gained increasing responsibility in Fayetteville, eventually becoming deputy city manager in 1992. He was appointed city manager in Fayetteville December 1, 1997. During his tenure in Fayetteville, he managed an aggressive annexation plan adopted by the City Council to overcome the inability of the City to annex from 1959-83, a time of significant urban growth in the area. The implementation of that plan added more than 100,000 to the City’s population and provided the City the opportunity to manage its own growth and destiny for the future. The City is currently working with Fort Bragg, Pope Air Force Base and the Town of Spring Lake to incorporate the military installation into the city limits, making Fayetteville the third largest city in North Carolina. Roger also oversaw the implementation of the City Council’s strategic vision for downtown Fayetteville. This vision was based on a community plan adopted by the Council and began in earnest with the location of the Airborne and Special Operations Museum downtown. There are currently three major public-private development projects underway, a thriving arts community providing a basis for activity and a major park and amphitheatre under construction. Roger has played a major role in all of those efforts.
In 2001, Fayetteville received the All-America City Award for its ability to identify its challenges, talk about them and develop solutions. In 2005, Fayetteville received the James C. Howland Gold Award for Municipal Enrichment from the National League of Cities. The Howland Award recognized a pioneering effort by the city of Fayetteville to create a fire science curriculum in partnership with the city fire department, Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville Technical Community College and the Cumberland County School System. The objective of the program is to create greater opportunities for women and minorities in the fire service. In 2006, the city of Fayetteville received the Spirit of North Carolina Award for United Way of North Carolina for increased giving by employees. Executive leadership was cited as a major factor in the increased participation.
A higher resolution photograph is available online.