Berry Gray has announced he is leaving his job as the Johnston County Planning Director to accept a job closer to home.
Gray, 41, has accepted a position as the Wayne County Planning Director in Goldsboro. Wayne County is where Berry was raised.
“It was a difficult decision to make,” Gray said this week from his county office. “I have made a lot of good friends here. A lot of good things are going on here in Johnston County. I am going to miss the people.”
Berry graduated from Charles B. Aycock High School before attending Appalachian State University where he received his degree in 1998. He was a planner for Pitt County from 2000 until 2002. In 2002 he started to work in Johnston County as a Planner. In 2006 he was promoted to Planning Director.
Berry says he accepted the new position simply because it was home. “It’s a good move for me. It is where I am from. I look forward to going there and moving forward in my home county.”
“First of all, we are all sad to see Berry leave us,” stated Johnston County Manager Rick Hester. “He is an excellent planning director. He combines expert knowledge with a super personality and attitude. Not only is he a great planning director, he is one of the finest people I know. We will miss him and wish him all the best.”
Johnston County Commissioner Cookie Pope agreed. “The complimentary letters that we have received are a testament to the quality work that has been generated in a customer service driven office managed by Berry Gray. The citizens of Johnston and surrounding counties will sorely miss his ability to suggest ways to “make it work” and his ease of denial when it could not happen. Handling the planning for the explosive growth in Johnston County has certainly prepared him for his work in Wayne County.”
Hester said the County is currently searching for a replacement and will be looking for someone that has knowledge of land use planning and has great people skills. The deadline to apply is April 23rd. An interim planning director has not been named yet, but that will likely happen before Gray’s last day on the job.
“I have had a lot of support over the years and I definitely appreciate that,” Gray said reflecting on the county manager and commissioners.
Gray’s wife is a teacher at North Johnston High School. They have two children, a 6 year-old boy and 10 year-old girl. They live in the Princeton community.
An interesting tidbit about Berry many of his co-workers may not know – he is a triplet. His sister is a Wayne County school teacher and his brother is in the US Air Force. He also has an older sister who works at Wayne Community College.
Gray’s last day on the job as the Johnston County Planning Director is May 4th. He will begin work as the Wayne County Planning Director on May 7th