The Emerald Isle Board of Commissioners has selected Matthew R. (Matt) Zapp as the new Town Manager. Mr. Zapp will assume his new responsibilities by mid-June, subject to formal appointment and approval of terms of employment in an open Board meeting.
“On behalf of our Town Board of Commissioners, I congratulate Mr. Zapp on his selection after a rigorous search process,” said Mayor Eddie Barber. “We considered many well qualified candidates and deliberated carefully, and we thank everyone who applied. Matt Zapp is an experienced and resourceful local government manager, with a strong educational background. We are particularly impressed with his active involvement in his current community and success in securing and administering grant funds for community projects and services, and his experience with technological innovation, emergency management, economic development and tourism marketing. He will work hand in hand with our Board, residents and Town employees to help make Emerald Isle an even better place to live, work and visit.”
"I am truly humbled to be selected as the next Town Manager for Emerald Isle,” said Zapp. “It is my desire to serve the residents, staff and elected officials with excellence. A kindness can be felt throughout the community and I look forward to contributing to the culture of' 'Nice Matters.' My entire family is thrilled about the journey ahead and we cannot wait to call Emerald Isle home."
Matt Zapp has served as Town Manager in Benson, NC since 2010. He served previously as Village Administrator of Madison Village, OH, and as a parks and recreation director. Prior to that he worked as a drag racing track manager and a business marketing manager.
Zapp earned a Master of Public Administration degree with a concentration in coastal management from UNC-Wilmington, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Akron. He is a graduate of the Public Executive Leadership Academy and the Municipal & County Administration program at the School of Government, UNC-Chapel Hill. He is a current Board member of ElectriCities of North Carolina and the NC Eastern Municipal Power Agency, and the Johnston County Visitors Bureau.
Zapp is a native of Madison, OH and grew up on the shores of Lake Erie. He and wife Haley and their children currently reside in Benson. He is active in their church, and serves as a baseball and soccer coach. His hobbies include running, drag racing and event announcing, and restoring old cars and other items.
The Board received 89 applications, considered a number of well qualified candidates with extensive local government management experience, and selected several candidates for interviews. The Mercer Group, Inc., a national public sector executive search and consulting firm with an office in Raleigh, assisted the Board with its search. Mayor Barber said that the Board greatly appreciated the valuable input of citizens and Town department heads about the qualifications, experience and characteristics that the Board should look for in the next manager. “Our consultant produced an attractive and informative recruitment brochure that included those criteria, and we used those as a guide in making our decisions,” Barber said.
Zapp will succeed Frank Rush, who resigned late last year to accept a position as City Manager in South Lake Tahoe, CA. “We thank Frank Rush for his dedicated service to our citizens and his many remarkable achievements,” said Barber. “He led our Town staff with great professionalism for 17 years, and he is highly respected across North Carolina. We also thank Randy Martin, who is serving our citizens well as Interim Town Manager. Our new Town Manager will find that Frank and Randy left the administration and finances in very sound condition, with the assistance of our excellent Town staff.”