They say that bad things always happen in threes and, while retirement isn’t really a bad thing, three longtime key players in leadership roles in the High Point community will be greatly missed by those in that city.

The three have contributed a great deal to High Point over the years and have all recently announced that they’re heading off into retirement: High Point Market Authority President and CEO Tom Conley, High Point Arts Council Executive Director Debbie Lumpkins and High Point City Clerk Lisa Vierling are calling it quits after successful careers.

Conley (pictured above) has headed up the High Point Market Authority – known unofficially as the “High Point Furniture Market “– for over a decade, which has included some very interesting times. During Conley’s leadership, the High Point market has had to fend off serious threats from the Las Vegas furniture market, which has attempted to take much of that business, and, in recent years, Conley had to lead the market through all sorts of new obstacles due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

At the end of the year, Tammy Nagem, the market’s chief operating officer, will take over the role of president and CEO.

Debbie Lumpkins, the longtime head of the High Point Arts Council, has been a passionate advocate for the arts in High Point and Guilford County during her career.  She has also announced that she’s retiring this year.

On Thursday, June 16, the High Point Arts Council will use its annual Arts Awards Banquet to honor Lumpkins’ contributions to the organization and send her off in style.

High Point City Clerk Lisa Vierling, whose first job as a local government clerk came in 1985 working for the city of Hamlet, North Carolina, is also heading into retirement.

Vierling has served as the High Point city clerk for over two decades. The Rhino Times has interacted with Vierling many times over the years and she has always been professional and helpful and has provided public record requests promptly.

All three of the leaders will leave big shoes to fill.