Michelle E. Nance, AICP is the Deputy Executive Director at Centralina Regional Council, leading regional planning, community economic development, government affairs and member services for nine counties in the Charlotte region. Her portfolio includes land use and transportation, economic and community resilience, healthy communities, grants management and public administration. Her work is focused on helping communities address local needs through planning, capacity building and peer networks while tackling shared, long-term opportunities through collaboration and partnerships.
Michelle directed the creation of the Charlotte region’s first growth framework, CONNECT Our Future, and established the Centralina Health Solutions aimed at creating healthy, life-long communities. She led a team to develop the greater Charlotte region’s freight mobility study and directed the creation of a two-state, 12-county regional transit planning effort, CONNECT Beyond, a regional mobility initiative.
Michelle led the Centralina Regional Planning department for over a decade and is the former Director of Planning and Development Services for the City of Gastonia. Her public sector service includes state, regional and local government planning and economic development. Michelle holds a Master of Public Administration and B.S. in Urban and Regional Planning from East Carolina University and is a graduate of the UNC School of Government Public Executive Leadership Academy. She is a past president of the NC Chapter of the American Planning Association and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).
She was honored as one of the 2017 50 Most Influential Women in the Charlotte region, was named 2017 Woman of the Year by the Mecklenburg Times and received the 2022 Planning Distinguished Alumni Award from East Carolina University. She serves as Planner in Residence for the East Carolina University Community and Regional Planning program.