Emerald Isle commissioners have selected Matthew R. “Matt” Zapp as the new town manager, officials announced Wednesday.
Zapp, currently town manager in Benson where he has served since 2010, is expected to take the position effective mid-June, subject to formal appointment and approval of terms of employment in an open board meeting, officials said in the announcement. Zapp was selected from a field of 89 candidates.
Mayor Eddie Barber described Zapp as an experienced and resourceful local government manager. “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,” Barber said.
Zapp worked previously as village administrator of Madison Village, Ohio, and as a parks and recreation director. Prior to that he worked as a drag racing track manager and a business marketing manager.
“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.”
Zapp earned a master’s of public administration with a concentration in coastal management from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Akron. He is a graduate of the Public Executive Leadership Academy and the Municipal and County Administration program at the University of North Carolina School of Government. He is a current board member of ElectriCities of North Carolina, the N.C. Eastern Municipal Power Agency and the Johnston County Visitors Bureau.
A native of Madison, Ohio, Zapp grew up on the shores of Lake Erie. He and wife Haley and their children reside in Benson where 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.
Zapp succeeds Frank Rush, who resigned late last year to accept a position as city manager in South Lake Tahoe, California.
“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.”