Fast Five with Shawn Heath
Nicole Eaton
Fast Five with Shawn Heath

Which part of the organization do you lead?

I wear a few hats, working as special assistant to the city manager, interim director of Housing & Neighborhood Services and the City Manager's Office staff liaison to Charlotte Water. 

Why did you decide to work for the City of Charlotte?

My wife and I moved to Charlotte in 1999 and I started working for Duke Energy, soon thereafter. We lived in the University Area for five years and then moved to south Charlotte, near the Arboretum.  During my last few years at Duke Energy, I was involved in a range of community issues and this sparked my interest in local government. I love this city and I joined the City of Charlotte because I wanted to be on the front line of important work being done to make Charlotte an even stronger city that is a great place for all residents to live, work and play.

What is the biggest organizational priority you're working on right now?

Two priorities I want to highlight are the use of federal stimulus funds and the work we are doing to address housing challenges. The City of Charlotte has received hundreds of millions of stimulus funding from the federal government. COVID-19 had a tremendous impact on our community and we've leveraged our stimulus funds in support of employees, low-income households, small businesses and non-profit organizations.

In terms of housing, the city continues to demonstrate a commitment to increasing the supply of affordable housing, enhancing homeownership opportunities and combating the involuntary displacement that is challenging too many of our most vulnerable residents.  The Housing & Neighborhood Services Department is hard at work to address these issues head-on and the team recognizes the importance of linking these efforts to other city priorities such as jobs and transportation.

What is your favorite part about working for the City of Charlotte?

The City of Charlotte is filled with employees that serve the community daily. It's important work and local residents count on us 365 days a year. Every department across the City of Charlotte plays a valuable role, whether it's front-line essential workers dealing with urgent needs, personnel that focus on planning for a strong Charlotte in 2040 and beyond or support services staff that keep our organization running smoothly. We are all part of one team.

What is your favorite restaurant in Charlotte?

I'm going to bend the rules a bit on this question and give you three of my favorite restaurants. Ilios Noche [Provide Road location] because the food is great and it's the one restaurant that my wife and I have been to the most over the past 15 years. Ruth's Chis [South Park location] because my immediate family has a tradition to eat there once a year in early December. And finally, Shake Shack (Blakeney location) – Sure, it's a fast-casual restaurant chain, but they make a great burger and my three sons all love it when I walk in the house with a bag full of Shake Shack food.