County’s public affairs director to leave government post to create consulting firm

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Longtime Wilmington-area governmental and public affairs professional Carey Disney Ricks is leaving her post as public affairs director for New Hanover County to start her own consulting firm.

Ricks announced she was leaving her county post for the private sector effective June 8.

“Nearly three years ago, I was given the opportunity to work as New Hanover County’s first public affairs director,” Ricks said. “In this position I oversaw county information, outreach, branding and managing the county legislative needs.

“Three years have passed quickly and I have had the pleasure of working alongside some wonderful and very talented people. Above all else, the public affairs team has proven time and time again to be top notch and a true joy to work and be personally acquainted with.”

Ricks has 15 years of governmental, regulatory and public affairs experience in New Hanover County. She began working for the Town of Wrightsville Beach in 1999, before being named governmental affairs director for the real estate, development and homebuilding industries in 2003, according to her bio on the New Hanover County government website.

In 2008, she joined the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority as its chief communications officer. And in 2012, Ricks was named the county’s first public and legislative affairs director.

“We’ve accomplished great things to include a comprehensive website overhaul, building strong relationships with community stakeholders, performing complex and overdue upgrades to our technical broadcast capabilities, and taking county branding and outreach to a whole new level,” Ricks aid.

In addition to her consulting firm, Ricks will help redevelop two area publications: Livin’ Out Loud and Kidsville News.

“Although I will no longer be stationed in my current county complex office after June 8, I will continue to work with the county on large-scale public relations initiatives and programs, and will coordinate along those lines with the fine men and women of county leadership, management, public affairs and other talented county departments until further notice,” Ricks said.