PEMBROKE — The Pembroke Town Council on Friday hired Oryan D. Lowry as the town’s new manager. He replaces McDuffie Cummings, who held the manager’s position for 34 years before retiring at the end of last year.
Lowry, 40, a Pembroke native, begins his new job on Aug. 1. He is currently employed by the Public Schools of Robeson County as a science teacher at South Robeson High School, and previously worked as a food inspector and compliance officer for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He also served in the U.S. Army during Operation Desert Storm.
Lowry holds an undergraduate degree in Biology from The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, and a master’s degree in Public Administration, also from UNCP.
Pembroke Mayor Milton Hunt said that Lowry was the unanimous choice of the council. Between 20 and 30 applicants had applied for the job, Hunt said, with candidates being both local and from outside the area.
“The board did a good job in choosing him,” the mayor said. “He met the criteria of what we were looking for (in a manager).”
Hunt said that Lowry’s “wonderful personality” is one of his key characteristics that makes him the right person to hold the town’s top administrative post
“In this job, you need a personable person,” Hunt said.
Although this is his first town management position, Lowry told The Robesonian that he has been looking for this kind of position since he obtained his degree in Public Administration five years ago.
“I’ve been looking for the right fit,” he said.
Lowry said that in selecting Cummings’ replacement, council members were looking for someone local and young to bring a fresh face and new perspective to the manager’s position.
According to the new manager, he has no plans to immediately make changes or implement new policies and programs.
“First I want to build a rapport with both the staff and the community,” he said. “It’s important to earn the trust of the community.”
Lowry is married to Rebekah Lowry, the current director of the Robeson Community College Foundation.
Reach staff writer Bob Shiles at 910-272-6117 or firstname.lastname@example.org.