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Two promoted to positions in Fayetteville City Manager’s Office

Kelly Olivera named interim assistant city manager, Jodi Phelps named chief of staff


City Manager Doug Hewett has announced the promotion of two people onto his leadership team: Kelly Olivera has been named interim assistant city manager and Jodi Phelps has been appointed chief of staff.

Olivera had served as the city’s budget and evaluation director. Phelps was the city’s marketing and communications director. Both promotions took effect Monday, the city said in a release.

Olivera succeeds Jay Toland, who this summer was named associate superintendent of business operations for Cumberland County Schools. His last day with the city was Aug. 12, a spokeswoman for the city said.

Phelps succeeds Rebecca Jackson, who retired July 31, the spokeswoman said.

Olivera has been with the city for 11 years. She most recently worked with Hewett and the leadership team to present a balanced FY22-23 budget to the City Council that advanced city goals without a tax rate increase, the release said.

“Kelly is a proven asset to our organization and her sound decisions helped us accomplish financial goals set forth by the Council,” Hewett said in the release.  “Over the next few months, she will lend her expertise to our team as we progress toward the bond referendums in November and continue moving the city forward.”

As interim assistant city manager, Olivera will oversee several departments, including budget and evaluation, the city clerk’s office, finance, human relations, human resource development and information technology, according to the city’s website.

“I am excited to step into the interim position and have the opportunity to use my experience with the city to better serve our residents, elected officials and staff,” Olivera said in the release. “Having a greater role in the continued success of our city is truly an honor.”

Olivera was hired as a financial analyst in the Finance Department in 2011 before founding the Budget and Evaluation Office in 2014 with former director Tracey Broyles and being promoted to lead the office last year, the release said. She earned her bachelor of science in accountancy from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

Olivera will serve in the interim role while the search is conducted for a new assistant city manager, the release said. Her salary is $140,220, the spokeswoman said.

Phelps joined the city last year from UNC Pembroke, where she had served as the chief communications and marketing officer since 2016, the release said.

Since joining the city, she has launched a new Strategic Communications Plan and rebranded the Marketing and Communications Department, both with the goal of elevating the city’s brand and more effectively telling the Fayetteville story, the release said.

“Jodi quickly came up to speed on city business and used the city’s overall Strategic Plan to produce results,” Hewett said. “Her previous career experience, ability to build relationships and proven leadership make her well-suited to the fill the role as our next chief of staff.”

Phelps has previously served as chief operating officer for Action Pathways in Fayetteville as well as agency advancement and communications director. She has a bachelor of arts degree in communication and history with a minor in art history from Mercer University and a master of business administration from Thomas University.

“At this time of unprecedented opportunity for Fayetteville’s continued growth, I am grateful to continue serving in this new role,” Phelps said in the release. “It is a privilege to be part of a talented team working daily to advance our strategic priorities that will positively impact the future of our city.”

Her salary will be $145,750, the spokeswoman said. 

Fayetteville, City Manager's Office, Kelly Olivera, interim assistant city manager, Jodi Phelps, chief of staff