Carrboro mayor and city manager listed among top 100 black leaders in North Carolina

Left Carrboro Mayor Barbara Foushee (Right) City Manager Patice Toney. Photos courtesy of Town of Carrboro


By Fraser Sherman

CARRBORO – The magazine Black Business Ink has ranked Carrboro Mayor Barbara Foushee and City Manager Patrice Toney among the 2024 Power 100, North Carolina’s most influential black leaders and businesses.

The two-decade old magazine celebrates the achievements of black leaders, entrepreneurs and influencers in the Piedmont region of North Carolina. It launched the Power 100 award last year.

Carrboro’s press release announcing the awards says the 100 include “elected officials, spiritual leaders, entrepreneurs, judges and college presidents.” To select honorees, the magazine solicits nominations from the community after which an independent Black Business Ink advisory panel reviews and evaluates them.”

“I am deeply honored and grateful to be included as a Power 100 Award recipient by Black Business Ink,” Toney said in an email interview. “This recognition affirms the hard work and dedication that I, and many others, have committed to, especially in the space of local government. It is a privilege to stand alongside such remarkable leaders and visionaries in receiving this award, such as Mayor Barbara Foushee, who are invested to drive progress and inspire change.”

“I’m really excited and humbled to be a Power 100 honoree and thank Black Business Ink for the recognition. Public service is a labor of love and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve,” said Mayor Foushee.

The magazine accepts nominations from the public, including self-nominations. People can use the application form to describe the nominee’s accomplishments. How does the nominee demonstrate leadership, rise in their organization or grow their business? Do they do volunteer work? Do they mentor others? If the nominee is an organization, how does it benefit the community? What are the group’s community initiatives?

Born in eastern North Carolina, Mayor Foushee is the second black individual to serve as Carrboro’s mayor and the first black woman. She won election in 2017, then re-election in 2021. “During her time on the council,” the town’s website says, “she has championed housing access and affordability, inclusive community engagement, and community building on issues that matter to all of us.”

Away from elected office, Foushee is a senior technologist in a molecular oncology lab in Research Triangle Park. She’s engaged in community service with her church and her sorority, Zeta Phi Beta, and received Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP’s 2017 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award. Her husband, Braxton D. Foushee, was Carrboro’s first Black alderman.

Carrboro announced in March that it had hired Toney, the assistant city manager in Winston-Salem, as the town’s new city manager. She attended her first town council meeting in May. The town’s hiring announcement says Toney has worked in local government positions for more than 25 years, including interim city manager, budget director, budget and management analyst, public health outreach supervisor and police department communications operator. She received a master’s degree in public affairs/administration from UNC-Greensboro.

The in-person awards ceremony takes place in Greensboro on June 28. Tickets are available via the Black Business Ink website.

Fraser Sherman has worked for newspapers, including the Destin Log, the Pensacola News-Journal and the Raleigh Public Record. Born in England, he’d still live in Florida if he hadn’t met the perfect woman and moved to Durham to marry her. He’s the author of several film reference books and has published one novel and several short story collections.
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