Town fills budget, project management role

kjahner@newsobserver.comOctober 21, 2013 

— An Illinois woman joins the town staff next week as budget and special projects manager, putting her in the middle of work on the budget, operations analysis and projects such as those funded by the bond passed in March.

Jamie Ludovic, whose first day will be Oct. 28, will replace Kady Doelling. Doelling departed last spring for Colorado from a position then-titled “management analyst.” Ludovic moved last weekend with her husband from suburban Chicago.

“It’s exciting. I’m really interested to learn about a new state and a new part of the country,” Ludovic said from her U-Haul as it entered the state Friday. “The more I learned about the community and the things going on in it, the more excited I was about the job. The leadership team in Garner, at least from what I have gathered, is phenomenal.”

The Wisconsin native last worked as village administrator for Montgomery, Ill., on the western edge of the Chicago suburbs. She has a master’s degree from Northern Illinois in public administration and an undergraduate degree in that field from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse.

Town Manager Hardin Watkins said Ludovic, 26, was chosen from a pool of more than 80 candidates.

“She comes highly recommended by her current employer and past employers and colleagues,” Watkins said in a statement released Thursday. “She is described by those who know her as being many things – adaptable, outgoing, friendly, enthusiastic, energetic, very analytical, flexible, well-spoken, hard-working, creative and charismatic.”

The position pays $62,940.

Ludovic spent more than two years in Montgomery after working in Downersboro, Ill., while earning her master’s degree. Her husband works for Medline and was transferred to Durham, and she searched through the International City and County Management Association. She said she was thankful for the opportunity.

“I think the town of Garner has a lot to offer, it’s a growing community,” Ludovic said. “Some of the things the community is doing, the leadership team, it’s a great palace to learn. And the community has a lot to offer.”

She said while she expects a bit of a culture shift after life in the Midwest, she said the towns share a lot of similar goals such as managing sustainable finances, economic development and parks. She hopes down the road to work as a town manager somewhere.

In her spare time Ludovic said she and her husband like outdoor activities – another key attractive feature of North Carolina she said – and following pro and college sports teams. The couple likes college basketball in particular. They’re looking to pick a local college team to follow, and also intend to look into the Hurricanes.

Ludovic also said that in visits to check out the area they had “three of the best meals we’ve ever had traveling,” including a barbeque stop at The Pit. They will live in downtown Raleigh to start, and hope to eventually buy their first home.

“My husband and I are looking for a place to start a family, a place to call home,” Ludovic said.

Jahner: 919-829-4822; Twitter: @garnercleveland

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