Coastal Plain Council taps new director


Robert Hiett


From Staff Reports

Saturday, June 9, 2018

The Upper Coastal Plain Council of Governments has appointed Robert Hiett to be its next executive director beginning July 1.

He replaces Greg Godard, who is retiring after 25 years.

The Council of Governments is a regional planning and development organization for Edgecombe, Halifax, Nash, Northampton, and Wilson counties and 40 municipal governments in the five-county region. The council administers several federal and state programs within its region. Its major program areas involve aging services, business and economic development, community planning programs and workforce development programs and services.

“I look forward to working with local and regional leaders to keep the UCPCOG strong, focused on serving its member governments and looking for new opportunities to help the region thrive in today’s global economy,” Hiett said.

The council conducted a national search for its next executive director, interviewed the top candidates and recommended Hiett as the sole finalist for the position. The council’s Board of Directors appointed Hiett by a unanimous vote on May 15.

“We interviewed the top four candidates and by far, Mr. Hiett was our best qualified candidate for the job,” said Barbara  Simmons, the council’s board chairwoman. “He will bring years of experience in administering regional programs and services.

“His leadership skills will be most valuable to the region.”

Hiett has extensive experience working in councils of government and began his career at the McIntosh Trail Regional Development Center in 2001. Hiett currently serves as the executive director of the Three Rivers Workforce Development Board, branded as WorkSource Three Rivers, and the deputy executive director of the Three Rivers Regional Commission. WorkSource Three Rivers has been engaged in High Demand Career Initiative planning and is finishing up Georgia’s first workforce area business and talent development portal.

Hiett served for six years as the Georgia Transit Association’s president and spent more than a decade as its legislative committee chairman. He also served as the Georgia Association of Regional Commission’s designated representative for rural transportation and transit policy for the past 15 years and six years as the Georgia state delegate for the Community Transportation Association of America. Hiett was elected to the Rural Planning Organizations of America executive committee in 2016 and is scheduled to become the national vice chairman in 2018.

Prior to joining the Three Rivers Regional Commission. Hiett served 12 years in the U.S. Army Reserve Corps of Engineers, attained the rank of captain and was honorably discharged in 2003.