Mandy Pitts, Mayor Rudy Wright and Lynne Poyant

By Lynne M. Poyant

At the invitation of Mandy Pitts, Communications Director for the All-America City of Hickory, North Carolina, I was invited to attend the North Carolina City and County Communicator’s Conference in late April. The invitation was the continuation of a friendship established during the AAC Competition in 2007, when both communities won the award.  Last August, Mandy visited Barnstable (and Martha’s Vineyard). She toured all the villages in Barnstable, attended an outdoor concert and enjoyed sailing for the first time off  Cape Cod. A luncheon was held by Town Manager John Klimm in her honor.

While attending the April conference on  social media, press relations and television, I toured Hickory and parts of the Blue Ridge Mountains, attending the annual International Spring Fest and Art on the Avenue in Hickory and enjoying breakfast with Hickory Mayor Rudy Wright. The exchange of information between the two communities has been most useful. It is further testament to the enduring relationships formed through the All-America City Competition.

As an aside: It was not hard to figure out why North Carolina consistently has competitors for the prestigious All-America City Award – Mandy is the All-America City Ambassador! Mandy takes every opportunity to let folks in different communities know what it is about their community that should be featured in an All-America City application!

Lynne Poyant is director of community services for the Town of Barnstable