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Lawrence named new Chase City manager

South Boston News
Lawrence / November 16, 2016

Chase City has a new town manager, Angela Lawrence, who was officially hired Monday night at the regular monthly meeting of Chase City Town Council.

Lawrence, who moved to Chase City earlier this year from Kansas City, takes over the position held for three decades by Rickey Reese until his untimely death in June. In the interim, the duties of Town Manager have been filled by Mayor Eddie Bratton.

The decision to hire Lawrence was approved by members of Town Council Monday. She will begin her new duties after Thanksgiving, according to Mayor Bratton

The exact date is being worked, but it will be either Monday, Nov. 28 or Thursday, Dec. 1.

“The Town of Chase City is pleased to have Angela A. Lawrence join the municipal administration of our town and we are anxious to see the future we believe lies before us,” said Bratton of her hiring.

Lawrence has held a variety of executive-level positions during her career including a brief stint as Mayor of Ashland. More recently, she served as the executive director for the Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation in Richmond, executive director for the National Parkinson Foundation Heartland Chapter in Leawood, Kansas and as executive director of Gilda’s Club Kansas City.

Gilda’s Club Kansas City is a support group for children and adults diagnosed with cancer, as well as their families and close friends. It is provides at no cost to members a comprehensive and professional program of emotional support and education designed to enhance the mind, body, and spirit of people whose lives have been impacted by cancer.

Earlier this year, Lawrence said she decided to sell her home in Kansas City and return to Virginia to be close to her son and only grandchild. She said she applied for the position in Chase City because the town reminds her of Ashland, with its wide variety of community activities, friendly neighbors and local amenities within walking distance.

She said, “Chase City has so much potential and I look forward to working with community leaders, residents and business owners to create a community that everyone can be proud of.”

Lawrence said she enjoyed the opportunities she’s had working in the non-profit arena, but believes her heart as well as her strengths are in public administration and community development.

Her focus on public service began early in her career. While she was earning her undergraduate and graduate degrees, Lawrence also worked for local parks and recreation agencies and then served as the Program Director at the YWCA in Dallas.

After finishing grad school — she earned an M.B.A. with a concentration in Public/Institution Management from the University of Texas at Arlington — Lawrence took a job with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation working on several projects in Southside Virginia. She worked on rails to trails in Charlotte County and wrote the initial grant for a trail project for Staunton River State Park.

While living in Ashland, she volunteered with the town’s parks and recreation committee and served on their planning commission, before being elected to town council and becoming mayor. She also served on the Richmond Regional Planning District Commission and the Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Lawrence, who was born in Battle Creek, Mich., but spent her early years around Kansas City, said she moved back to Kansas City six years ago so her two boys could grow up around her extended family in Kansas and Missouri. Now that her oldest son has graduated from college — he earned his degree this past May from her alma mater, Kansas State University — and with her youngest son in Virginia, Lawrence said she decided to return to the area that “has a special place in my heart.”

When she’s not working Lawrence said she likes to hike with her dog, a black lab mix, walk, bicycle, and garden. She says, “I look forward to getting to spend time at the beach, in the mountains, at the lake, exploring other areas of the mid-Atlantic area, and of course, spending more time with my young grandson.”

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