FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 31, 2020
Contact: Missy Cole
Human Resources Director
Human Resources Division
Mayor Appoints Susan Norton as Chief of Staff Following Resignation of Don Marr
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.— Mayor Lioneld Jordan announced today that his chief of staff, Don Marr, is resigning at the end of January to return to Virginia where he can be closer to family and continue his human resources and operations career. “I am thankful for Don’s years of leadership and service to the City of Fayetteville. We value his accomplishments and support his decision to step down for family reasons. We wish him and his family the very best,” Jordan said.
Marr stated that Fayetteville is one of the best places in the world to live and work. He thanks City staff, residents and friends throughout Fayetteville and the entire Northwest Arkansas region for their years of continued support. Marr commented, “I have had the wonderful experience of working for the best boss anyone could ever have, and with staff and City Council members who wake up every day to make Fayetteville a better place. It’s truly been a rewarding professional experience.”
With Marr’s resignation, Mayor Jordan also announced his appointment of Susan Norton as his new chief of staff. Susan was appointed by the Mayor as the City’s communications and marketing director in 2015; she will begin serving in her new role on February 3, 2020. Mayor Jordan is confident that by appointing Norton, a member of his current leadership team, the City’s daily operations, administration and strategic initiatives will continue to thrive. As chief of staff, Norton will ensure that policy directives from the Mayor and City Council are implemented. The chief of staff works directly with the Mayor and supervises the administrative leadership team to deliver City services, develop budgets, oversee initiatives and implement master plans. Norton will also assist the Mayor in evaluating plans, policies and objectives by performing research and working directly with all levels of government, including federal, state, regional, county, city and school board.
Additionally, as a member of the Mayor Jordan’s leadership team, Norton works in policy analysis and serves as liaison to both state and federal legislators on a variety of municipal advocacy initiatives, including committee roles with the Arkansas Municipal League and the National League of Cities. Norton serves as the primary liaison with the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville Public Schools and external media outlets.
“I have known Susan Norton for more than 40 years, stretching all the way back to the University of Arkansas. I cannot think of a better appointment for this City’s next chief of staff. She is intelligent and organized, an excellent communicator and a reliable leader with proven management skills that will help take our leadership team to new levels. I rely on her as my policy counselor and will continue to depend on her to help with Fayetteville’s lobbying efforts to maintain our leadership position and to advocate for local control in Arkansas.”
Susan Norton has served as the City’s communications director since June of 2015, overseeing the City’s Communications and Media Services Departments. In that role, Norton manages the communication, stakeholder outreach, and community engagement efforts of the City, including management of the City’s website and social media channels, the Speakup Fayetteville public engagement portal, and digital video upgrades at the City’s Government and Public Access Channels. Norton also oversees the implementation of the City’s Welcoming Plan and serves as staff liaison to the Mayor’s Digital Inclusion Task Force and Census 2020 “I Count” Complete Count Committee.
A 47-year resident of Fayetteville, Norton earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Arts in Communications from the University of Arkansas. Currently, Norton volunteers in executive leadership roles for the nine-state MidAmerica GIS Consortium and the Arkansas Academy of Computing.
Norton’s career spans 38 years in public service at varying levels of leadership at the University of Arkansas, the State of Arkansas, Fayetteville Public Schools and the City of Fayetteville. Program leadership, budget development, personnel supervision and project management have been her strengths in each role she has served.
“Susan is an excellent choice by Mayor Jordan,” said Missy Cole, City of Fayetteville human resources director. “Susan has a passion and commitment that will continue positioning Fayetteville as a leader in our region, state and nation. I think this is a wonderful decision for our community. As a human resource professional, I am also proud to see Mayor Jordan continue with his promotion and advancement of highly qualified internal candidates who have already proven to be leaders in our community. Additionally, this promotion helps us advance the City of Fayetteville’s diversity initiatives by promoting one of our excellent female management leaders to direct City’s operations.”
To learn more about the City of Fayetteville, please visit www.fayetteville-ar.gov.