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Posted on: July 25, 2017

City CAO Gregory resigns for MSU post

Thomas Gregory has stepped down from his post as chief administrative officer for the city of Greenwood to take a job at Mississippi State University.

Gregory will be a community planner for the Carl Small Town Center at MSU, his alma mater.

“It kind of came out of the blue, and when I learned about the opportunity, it seemed like it was a perfect fit for me,” he said.

The center is named for Fred Carl Jr., the founder and former chief executive of Viking Range.

Gregory will start his new job Aug. 16. He will manage planning projects and “work closely with director Leah Kemp to build upon the center’s 40-year history, and further position the organization as an advocate for meaningful planning and design in Mississippi’s small towns,” he said in a Facebook post Monday.

For now, Gregory has pledged to help Mayor Carolyn McAdams find the best candidate to take over his position.

“I will be 100 percent cooperative with the mayor, and I have the utmost appreciation and respect for the mayor,” he said.

As of Monday, there was no one in particular lined up for the position, but the mayor confirmed there will be an interview process.

Gregory worked closely with the mayor for about eight years, and the two have worked on several projects together including the renovation of Howard and Main streets, Greenwood Leflore Recycling, the Yazoo River Trail and Rail Spike Park.

“I am sorry that he is leaving us, but I am excited for him to have the opportunity,” McAdams said. “It is a good thing, but it is bittersweet for sure. He has been with me since I started.”

Gregory said he is thankful for the opportunities the mayor has given him and considers her not only a boss but a mentor and friend. He and his wife, Anne Marie, have loved living in Greenwood, and hope to stay connected, he said.

“I can’t say for certain I will be back, but both of us hope that an opportunity will present itself to come back to Greenwood,” Gregory said. “God has led us in directions that we have not always expected.”

Anne Marie formerly led the Greenwood Leflore Recycling Center but left in January to become a registered dietitian. She will graduate from Delta State University in?December.

“Both of us are excited for a new adventure,” Gregory said. “We have been talking about it for some time, about what was next for us. Anne Marie is from Portland, (Oregon,) so we thought we might go to the West Coast, but this came along, and it was a perfect fit.”

Gregory said he is looking forward to using his graduate degree in city planning in his new position and meeting new people in Starkville.

“One of the things we love about Greenwood is the community,” he said, “and we will have to build that same type of community in Starkville, which will be a challenge but also exciting as well.”

Gregory is expected to officially leave his position mid-August.

“He will be missed by everyone,” McAdams said. “He has been a great chief administration officer, and it will be a hard shoe to fill.”
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