Rocky Mount City Government

The City of Rocky Mount has named a new chief internal auditor, chief information technology officer and parks and recreation director.

The City of Rocky Mount has filled a long-vacant position and a long-open position and also has promoted an interim department head to permanent status.

Abdul Baloch will be the chief internal auditor, W. Gregory Cotten will be the chief information technology officer and Joel Dunn now is the parks and recreation director.

City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney announced the two hirings and the promotion on Thursday in a press release.

Baloch and Cotten are scheduled to begin working for the city on Sept. 21.

The city has been without a chief internal auditor since Lori Cairo left in July 2019 after having started in November 2018.

During a June budgeting session with the City Council, Small-Toney told the council members the city was going forward to recruit a chief information technology officer “for the second time around.”

Small-Toney, in a press release in January, said Dunn would serve as parks and recreation director for the time being.

Small-Toney, as part of a partial rearrangement of management in autumn 2019, had decided to elevate the previous parks and recreation director, Elton Daniels, to one of the two assistant city manager positions.

According to the press release on Thursday, Baloch has more than 15 years of experience both supporting public and private companies, including some Fortune 500 companies.

The LinkedIn career-oriented website said Baloch has been working in consulting and in auditing and finance with information technology giant Cisco.

Baloch’s prior experience in auditing, as posted on LinkedIn, has included four years with the state Department of Administration and nearly six years with BB&T.

Baloch holds a master’s degree in economics from the University of Punjab in India and a master’s degree in business management from the University of the District of Columbia.

The job of the city’s Internal Audit Department is to provide accountability to the public and promote the efficient use of city resources and operations.

Cotten has more than 20 years of experience in delivering technology after most recently serving as general manager for Standard Office Solutions, the press release on Thursday said.

Cotten was responsible for defining that organization’s long-term technology strategy and vision, the release said.

Cotten also served as chief information officer of the District of Columbia’s Department of General Services, the release said.

Cotten is a graduate of N.C. Central University.

A want ad the City of Rocky Mount posted seeking a chief information technology officer said it was a new leadership position to highlight and expand the city’s technology assets.

Small-Toney, in prepared remarks on Thursday, said she believes that both Baloch and Cotten bring tremendous talents to the city that will make the city’s organization better.

“I’m excited to see how their respective departments will grow and improve under their leadership,” Small-Toney said.

Dunn’s background, as posted on LinkedIn, said he has been with parks and recreation since 2009, when he was hired to supervise the Rocky Mount Sports Complex. The posting said Dunn had been recreation superintendent since 2013.

The posting also said that prior to joining parks and recreation, Dunn had been a recreation program assistant for the City of Greenville for slightly more than 2½ years.

Dunn holds a bachelor’s degree in parks, recreation and leisure studies from East Carolina University and a master’s degree in parks, recreation and tourism management from N.C. State University.

Small-Toney, in her prepared remarks on Thursday, said that she believes Dunn is a proven leader and that his contributions to parks and recreation have been extremely valuable.

“Joel has earned the opportunity to lead the department. Our community is fortunate that we have someone of his caliber leading our Parks and Recreation Department,” Small-Toney said.

The press release on Thursday said that Baloch will be paid $120,000 per year, Cotten will be paid $140,000 per year and Dunn will be paid $128,000 per year.