County Manager Dena Diorio
Dena R. Diorio is the Mecklenburg County manager. She is responsible for executing the policy decisions of the Board of County Commissioners and leading the County organization by overseeing the administration of County departments. She also advises the Board on operational and financial matters, services and other issues, and submits an annual operating and capital budget for the Board’s consideration.
Dena joined Mecklenburg County in 2007 as director of the Department of Financial Services. In 2013, she was promoted to assistant county manager for fiscal control, policies and standards compliance where she provided executive management oversight of the County’s Financial Services Department (comprising Central Finance, Human Services Finance, and the Office of Tax Collector) as well as MECKLINK Finance and the Assessor’s Office.
Raised in Westchester County, New York, Dena started her career in New York City, eventually working for then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Later, she took jobs in Stamford and Danbury, Connecticut until moving to Mecklenburg County.
Dena earned her B.S. in social services from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.
Dena is married and lives in Charlotte.
Dena's Work Plan
Deputy County Manager/Chief of Staff Chris Peek
Chris Peek is deputy county manager/chief of staff and also serves as chief Human Resources officer. In this role Chris is responsible for assisting the County Manager in the coordination, planning, organization, direction, staffing, troubleshooting, implementation, evaluation and control of all organizational and functional elements of Mecklenburg County. Chris provides executive oversight to Human Resources and Organizational Improvement, the Business Support Services Agency, and the administrative functions of the County Manager’s Office including the Clerk to the Board and Legislative Affairs.
Chris joined Mecklenburg County as a senior Human Resources manager in 2006 and was promoted to Human Resources director in 2007. In May 2013, Chris was named as a member of the County's Executive Team. He was named deputy county manager/chief of staff in 2014. Prior to joining Mecklenburg County, Chris spent 11 years with the Salvation Army Human Resources Department at its corporate headquarters in Atlanta, GA.
Chris is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and is certified as a professional in human resources (PHR) by the Society for Human Resources Management and holds an IPMA-CP designation with the International Public Management Association.
Chris's Work Plan
Assistant County Manager Michelle Lancaster
Michelle Lancaster is assistant county manager for the Consolidated Human Services Agency. In this role Michelle provides executive oversight of the Consolidated Human Services Agency, which includes the Department of Social Services, the Health Department, MeckLINK Behavioral Healthcare, Provided Services Organization, and Child Support Enforcement and Community Support Services. As a member of the Executive Team, she shares responsibility for overall County executive administration.
Michelle joined Mecklenburg County as staff assistant to the Board of County Commissioners in 1998 and was named assistant to the county manager in December 2000. In 2003, she was named executive assistant to the county manager and was promoted to associate general manager in 2006. She was named general manager in 2008 (retitled as assistant county manager in 2013).
Michelle earned a bachelor of arts in English and a master of public administration degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She also has an Executive Certificate in Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare multi-system integration from Georgetown University (2012). In 2010 Michelle was named one of Charlotte's 40 under 40 by the Charlotte Business Journal.
Michelle's Work Plan
Assistant County Manager Leslie Johnson
Leslie Johnson is assistant county manager for Sustainable Communities. In this role Leslie provides executive oversight of the Land Use and Environmental Services Agency, which includes Code Enforcement, Air Quality, Solid Waste and Recycling, Water and Land Resources, and Environmental Health. She also provides executive oversight to Park and Recreation, Economic Development Services, and the County’s strategic planning and evaluation initiatives. Leslie collaborates with County agencies and community business partners in developing and executing strategies associated with workforce development and literacy. She is liaison to the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Historic Landmark Commission, and Centralina Council of Governments. As a member of the Executive Team, she shares responsibility for overall County executive administration.
Leslie joined Mecklenburg County in 2001 as director of planning and evaluation. She was promoted to associate general manager in 2011 and assistant county manager in 2014.
Leslie holds a doctor of philosophy degree with a concentration in housing policy and research from Virginia Tech. She also earned a master's degree in urban and regional planning with a multi-focus on planning/management methods and community development and physical planning, and a bachelor of architecture degree from Virginia Tech.Leslie's Work Plan
Assistant County Manager Mark L. Foster
Mark L. Foster is the Assistant County Manager for financial services. In this role, Mark provides oversight for the Financial Services Department, the Office of the Tax Collector, and Information Technology. In addition to these duties, he leads the County’s enterprise risk management strategy and is accountable for financial planning and compliance throughout the organization.
Mark has over 25 years of financial management experience in both public and private sectors. For the past 11 years, he served as the Chief Financial Officer for the North Carolina Department of Transportation; a $4 billion state agency. Prior to that Mark held an upward succession of finance, accounting, and HR administration roles at Ryder System, Inc. and ran his own CFO consulting practice. He served on the Board of Trustees for the State Retirement System and currently sits on the Audit Committee for the NC State Employees’ Credit Union. Mark earned his BBA in finance from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also holds the designation of Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
Mark is married with two children.