After serving as Deputy Director for four years and Interim Director for the last three months, City Manager Lloyd Payne is promoting Sheila Lowry to Director of Parks and Recreation, effective Monday, October 16. Lowry is an experienced leader with a proven record of expanding recreational and programming opportunities for residents of all ages and abilities across the city.
Lowry joined the City of Concord in 2011 as an Athletics Specialist with the Parks and Recreation Department. She later transitioned to a Senior Executive Assistant role before being promoted to Deputy Director of Parks and Recreation in 2019 and Interim Director in August 2023.
As Deputy Director, Lowry played an integral role in the development and approval of the City’s $60 million Parks and Recreation General Obligation Bond. The bond projects include renovations to five existing parks, construction of four brand new parks, and the addition of eight miles of greenway. These projects will greatly expand current amenities and programming available to residents, including the city’s first splash pads and skate park. At Lowry’s direction, the park projects also include features and amenities that improve accessibility for residents and visitors with special needs.
“Sheila’s tireless dedication and commitment to service is the epitome of what it means to be on Team Concord. She is the perfect leader to continue managing our bond projects and work to enhance the quality of life for our community,” said City Manager Lloyd Payne.
During her tenure as Deputy Director, Lowry also oversaw the construction and opening of the Hector Henry Greenway Riverwalk, the Afton Run Greenway, and the Brown Mill Mountain Bike Trail. She also obtained the site control needed to expand the McEachern Greenway and the Coddle Creek Greenway, moving the city closer to fulfilling its goal of 30 miles of greenway by 2030.
For Lowry, “live, work, play” is more than a motto, it is a mission.
“My goal is to provide a little of something for everyone – whether it’s a place to do art, meditate, bike, or play ball. It is an honor to be given the opportunity to create places where everyone, no matter their age or ability or interests, can find enjoyment in the parks and greenways we have here in Concord. I love this city. I work here, I live here, and I play here, and I’m excited to continue the work we’ve started to offer these same opportunities and experiences to residents,” said Lowry.
Originally from Hope Mills, NC, Lowry graduated from Pfeiffer College and received her Master of Business Administration from Pfeiffer University. Prior to joining the city, she spent over 20 years in senior management for some of the nation’s largest retailers and opened the first Dick’s Sporting Goods and Kohl’s department store in Concord.
Lowry is active in her church, is a sports enthusiast, and loves the beach. She especially enjoys spending time with family at Topsail Island, which she calls her “happy place.”