Darren Rhodes, Chief Planner. Darren, a Piedmont area native, first joined DCA as a Community Development Planner in 1999 and has been Chief Planner since 2004. Darren's prior experience includes work with the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) in Washington, DC as well as service in local government as a city planner and town manager. He holds a B.A. in Political Science and a Masters in Public Administration from Appalachian State University. Darren's areas of specialty include economic development strategic planning, land use planning, small area planning, community visioning, meeting facilitation and training.
David Fencl, Senior Planner. David joined DCA as Senior Planner in 2004. David's prior planning experience includes work with the City of Monroe, NC and Orange County, NC. He also has experience managing municipal public works construction and maintenance projects. David graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Political Science, Appalachian State University with a Masters in Public Administration, and Belmont Technical College's Building Preservation and Restoration Technology Program. His areas of specialty include land use planning, design guidelines, community visioning and training for planning boards, historic district commissions and boards of adjustment.
John Hanes, Community Development Planner. John is a native of Surry County, NC who joined DCA in 2007 after working for two years as a Planner for Rowan County, NC. He is a graduate of Catawba College with a B.S. in Business Administration and Clemson University with a Masters in City and Regional Planning. John works primarily in the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) counties located in the Piedmont Regional Office's service area. His planning experience includes work in land use planning, historic preservation, meeting facilitation and GIS mapping.
Cari A. Hopson, Community Development Planner. Cari joined DCA in 2008. Her most recent experience includes serving as Planner for Alamance County and the Piedmont Triad Council of Governments. She also has extensive experience in regulatory compliance and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Cari holds a B.A. in Geography from the University of Iowa and a Masters of Public Affairs from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her areas of specialty include environmental planning, historic preservation, meeting facilitation, and policy development.
Penny Shermer, Office Assistant. Penny is a Piedmont area native who joined DCA in 2006 after working in the private sector for more than 20 years in a variety of marketing, sales and financial services positions. She is responsible for the Piedmont Regional Office's community billing, supply procurement, report writing and overall office management.