March 29, 2019
KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – Kannapolis City Manager Mike Legg was one of 35 CEO’s honored by the Charlotte Business Journal last night during a ceremony held at the Westin in Charlotte. The Most Admired CEOs of the Charlotte Region included leaders from the fields of education, healthcare, manufacturing, sports, entertainment and tourism, banking, real estate, marketing, and technology.
Other honorees included: Fred Whitfield, President of the Charlotte Hornets; Pamela Davies, Chancellor of Queens University; Phil Dubois, Chancellor of UNCC; Eddie Edwards of CommScope Inc.; Luke Kissam of the Albemarle Group; and Phil Jurney of Paragon Bank.
Mike was recognized for his contributions to ensure the financial health of Kannapolis, for creating a great work culture for employees and his contributions to the community.
Mike has ensured the City’s financial success utilizing a strategic approach to all funding mechanisms available to local governments: cost controls, capital improvement budgeting, general fund budgeting, leveraging bonds and other loan products. Under his leadership the City of Kannapolis has survived the closure of one of the world’s largest companies, the layoff of 4,000 employees, the recession and stagnant revenues.
“Mike doesn’t say “we cannot do this” or “governments don’t do this” instead he focuses on exploring all avenues for success and the question is “how we can make this happen?” He is very good at leveraging the right people at the right time to make good things happen for Kannapolis,” said Kannapolis Mayor Darrell Hinnant.
He has served as City Manager of Kannapolis since 2004. He began working for Kannapolis in 1995, first as the City’s Planning Director and then as Deputy City Manager. He has been involved in the dramatic change in Kannapolis over the past decade with the transformation of the community from a textile-based economy to a regional economy with expanding roots in biotechnology and tourism.
As a trained planner Mike knew a strategic plan for growth throughout the City was needed. He has systemically used financial best practices to ensure Kannapolis capitalizes on the interstate growth nodes. He has ensured the City’s investment in infrastructure along the I-85 corridor where people and companies are now investing in residential and commercial development. The Kannapolis Parkway and the Gateway Business Park are two examples of the City spending funds to achieve long term financial rewards. The Gateway Business Park investment has led to the location of the Stewart-Haas Racing NASCAR and Formula One Team and now a $17 million spec manufacturing building.
The City’s elected officials made the decision four years ago to further control their destiny with the purchase of approximately 50 acres, and eight blocks of downtown buildings. Mike and Kannapolis City Council negotiated the purchase for approximately $6 million.
With this purchase Mike has led his management team to development a strategic downtown master plan which has resulted in a three-phase approach for the Downtown Revitalization Project: infrastructure and streetscape; the construction of a sports and entertainment venue and a mixed-use district – all now under construction.
Mike goes above and beyond to meet with residents, work with elected officials and representatives from non-profits, businesses, churches, homeowner associations and other stakeholders. Because of his position he serves on numerous boards and initiative groups such as the Cabarrus Economic Development Corporation, and the Cabarrus Chamber of Commerce.
He is also a member of the following organizations and boards:
International City and County Managers Association (ICMA)
NC City and County Manager’s Association (NCCCMA)
Vice Chair, Water and Sewer Authority of Cabarrus County (WSACC)
N.C. Kannapolis Rotary Club (President in 2015-16)
Board of Directors, Kannapolis Education Foundation
Board of Directos, N.C. Music Hall of Fame
Board of Directors, Foundation for the Carolinas – Cabarrus (past)
Board of Directors, Cabarrus Arts Council (past)
Board of Directors, United Way of Cabarrus (past)
A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte his professional career has included positions with the City of Charlotte, the City of Cape Coral, FL, the Western Piedmont Council of Governments, and Vice President of Benchmark, Inc.
He and his wife, Kelly, have two children.