David Williams is a graduate of Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, where he received both a Bachelor of Science Degree and a Master of Public Administration Degree. David is a 3rd year doctoral student at Gardner-Webb University where his research focus is on community engagement and the impacts of zoning on economic development in a rural county in North Carolina. David has over 28 years of city and county land use planning experience. Currently, he works in the Gaston County Manager's Office as Community Affairs and Development Administrator where he facilitates strategic planning, transportation planning, intergovernmental relations, minority community engagement, and assigned special projects. In addition, he works with the Gaston County Visioning 2040 project, Project Manager for the Interagency and Intergovernmental Task Force for Homelessness in Gaston County, serves as Minority Business Outreach Coordinator for the Minority and Women Business Enterprise (MWBE) Program; led Gaston County Census 2000/2010/2020 Operations and Promotion; and other various related community initiatives. Previously, for 15 years approximately (2006-2020), David was the Director of Planning and Development Services for Gaston County, NC, where he directed all activities related to the County Land Use Planning Program. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) with the American Planning Association (APA), and a certified Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) with the National Development Council (NDC). He is a military veteran of Operation Desert Storm. His civic duty includes serving on the city of Gastonia Zoning Board of Adjustment for 12 years, Chairman of the Board of the United Way of Gaston County, and coaching high school varsity girls basketball and soccer for 8 years at a local charter school. David enjoys spending time with his wife and three daughters, and family dog Ivey Boone, as well as visiting the mountains.