PEMBROKE — Mary Beth Locklear has been named director of the Office for Regional Initiatives.
Locklear has served as interim director since May 2015.
The Office for Regional Initiatives provides outreach services to people, businesses, governments and nonprofits across the region. The office addresses the diverse needs of the region through initiatives to increase resources, establish networks, and provide training.
“I am extremely excited about this promotion and cannot wait to move the Office for Regional Initiatives’ mission forward, creating opportunities for our community to thrive,” Locklear said. “The ORI is dedicated to improving the quality of life in our region through various projects such as our professional development programs, economic development efforts, continuing education courses and summer youth camps.”
Locklear joined the university staff as assistant director of the Office for Regional Initiatives in 2014.
Ginger Sampson has been promoted to assistant director. Sampson has worked as a counselor with the Youth Start program with the Office for Regional Initiatives since 2002.
“The Office for Regional Initiatives is doing many outstanding things in the areas of economic and youth development and community health,” saidCammie Hunt, associate vice chancellor for Engaged Outreach. “As we searched for new leadership for the ORI, it was imperative to have a director and assistant director that would complement each other and were passionate about the work of the ORI with a strong commitment to the engagement of our local region.
“As UNCP alumni, Ms. Locklear and Ms. Sampson are both passionate about UNCP and their work,” Hunt said. “An engagement project like the Office for Regional Initiatives requires a leader who can realize and capture opportunities. In Mary Beth and Ginger, we have that, and I’m excited about the future.”
Locklear said she looks forward to leading the university in her new role.
“Our office will continue to align its mission and vision with one of the university’s core values — the commitment to serving the local region,” Locklear said. “I envision the ORI not only being an advocate for the university, but one for the region as well. We are the link between the two entities and the opportunities are limitless to empower our region and state.”
The Office for Regional Initiatives is located off N.C. 711 at the Carolina Commerce and Technology Center. The center was established in 2000 and at the time was known as the Regional Center for Economic, Community and Professional Development.
The Office for Regional Initiatives works with organizations to provide management development programs, health care initiatives, customized training, consulting, planning and technical assistance and conference designing and implementation.
Last year, more than 150 students participated in the Leadership Institute, Junior Braves Camp, All-Sports Camp and College Bound SAT Summer Institute.
According to Locklear, an Entrepreneurship Institute for high school students will be offered this summer. The new camp will offer high school students an opportunity to learn the ins-and-outs of starting a new business, including a “Shark Tank competition” with cash prizes.
Before joining the UNCP team, Locklear worked as a communications specialist for the state Department of Health and Human Services. She managed the Communications Department for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Locklear also previously served as the admissions and marketing director for Pinehurst Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center.
She earned her undergraduate degree in Mass Communication from UNC Pembroke. She also holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from UNCP.
A Laurinburg native, Locklear and her husband, Bradley, reside in Laurinburg with their two children, Avery, 4, and Westley, 7 months. She is the daughter of UNCP alumni Ray and Beatrice Brayboy of Myrtle Beach.