A longtime former Guilford County administrator – who also once served as the head of the Guilford County Animal Shelter – has landed a job as the top dog in Cumberland County government.

Former Deputy Guilford County Manager Clarence Grier is now able to drop “Deputy” from his former title and replace the word “Guilford” with “Cumberland” – which, of course, makes Grier the new manager of that eastern North Carolina county that calls Fayetteville the county seat.

Guilford County government parted ways with Grier two years ago, just weeks after a new Democratic-led Board of Commissioners did not see eye to eye with former Guilford County Manager Marty Lawing. Lawing had hired Grier as his right-hand man, and, after Lawing left, it became clear that Grier would also leave Guilford County government within weeks – which he did.

This week, the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners voted to make Grier their county manager.

Grier has been serving recently as the deputy city manager in Roanoke, Virginia and he’ll assume the role of Cumberland County Manager on Mar. 1, 2023, after the retirement of current Cumberland County Manager Amy Cannon – who’s held that job for the past eight years.

Grier stated in a press release that he truly appreciates the confidence the Cumberland County commissioners have put in him.

“I am excited and truly honored to be provided the opportunity to serve the Board and citizens of. Cumberland County as County Manager,” Grier stated. “I am honored and thankful for the Board’s confidence in my experience and leadership, and I am looking forward to becoming a member of the Cumberland County community and continuing the mission, vision and objectives of the Board and broader community.”

Cumberland county has about 336,000 residents and roughly 42,000 of those are veterans.

The current Cumberland manager stated that she’s thrilled about the selection of Grier to follow her.

“We are excited to welcome Clarence Grier to Cumberland County to serve as our next County Manager,” Adams stated in the press release. “He has roots in this area and his background and experience make him an exceptional choice to lead our organization and accomplish the Board’s priorities and objectives to continue our forward momentum.”

Before coming to Guilford County government in 2015, Grier served as the assistant county Manager and Chief Finance Officer for Orange County, North Carolina.

He has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Business Administration degree from Campbell University and is an International City/County Credentialed Manager. Grier is a Certified Public Accountant as well.

The 6-foot 7-inch Grier was an amazing college basketball player who, at Campbell, led the Campbell Fighting Camels basketball team to great heights. At the time that Grier was hired by Guilford County in 2015, the county had just entered into the Guilford Cup Competition which pitted Guilford County staff against City of Greensboro staff in the sports of basketball, football and softball. The Rhino Times frequently joked that Grier was actually hired as a ringer for the basketball part of the competition.

In his six years with Guilford County, Grier headed up various special projects. For instance, Lawing placed Grier over the Guilford County Animal Shelter after the shelter went through a huge animal neglect and abuse scandal.