County Manager, Cindy Coto
Cynthia Coto has been the County Manager for the County of Union since November 15, 2010.
Prior to relocating to North Carolina, Ms. Coto was a resident of Central Florida from 1970 to 2010 and spent 36 years in local government service. Prior to being Union County’s Manager, Ms. Coto was the County Manager in Seminole County, FL for 3 ½ years and Volusia County, FL for 5 years.
Ms. Coto earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Central Florida in liberal studies with an emphasis in business administration, elementary education, social science and humanities. She has been a member of ICMA (International City/County Management Association) for 30 years and is a credentialed manager. Ms. Coto is a member of the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners, a Board Member of the United Way of Union County, and a member of the Monroe Rotary.
She and her husband Michael have two sons and one grandson.
Assistant County Manager, Michelle Lancaster
Michelle Lancaster has been Assistant County Manager since April 14, 2015.
Prior to Union County, Lancaster served as Assistant County Manager/Consolidated Human Services Agency Director for Mecklenburg County. Lancaster provided executive oversight of the Consolidated Human Services Agency, which includes the Department of Social Services, the Health Department, MeckLINK Behavioral Healthcare, Provided Services Organization, and Child Support Enforcement and Community Support Services. As a member of the Mecklenburg County Executive Team, she shared responsibility for overall county executive administration. Prior to her role as assistant county manager, she served for 11 years in numerous positions with Mecklenburg County.
Lancaster earned a bachelor of arts in English and a master of public administration degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She also holds an Executive Certificate in Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare multi-system integration from Georgetown University (2012). In 2010 Lancaster was named one of Charlotte's 40 under 40 by the Charlotte Business Journal. She served on the Board of the United Way of the Central Carolinas (2009-2015), as board member for the Institute for Social Capital at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Urban Institute (2008-2015) and is a member of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s College of Human Services Board of Advisors. She is a member of the International City/County Manager’s Association and the North Carolina City/County Manager’s Association.
Lancaster and her husband Brian have two sons, Grayson and Nicholas.
Assistant to the County Manager, Michael James
Michael James has been Assistant to the County Manager since June 8, 2015.
Before coming to Union County, James served as Town Manager for Rural Retreat, Virginia for 3 ½ years. He has also worked for Congresswoman Virginia Foxx and interned with Onslow County, N.C. and Clinton, N.C.
James is a native of Jacksonville, N.C. and graduated from Southwest Onslow High School in 2005. He attended Appalachian State University where he received his for undergraduate degree in 2009 and Masters of Public Administration in 2011.