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Martinsville appoints new City Manager

MARTINSVILLE, VA – Martinsville City Council announced the appointment of Aretha R. Ferrell-Benavides as its new City Manager on Tuesday.

At its meeting, the council approved an employment agreement with Ferrell-Benavides.

She was most recently the City Manager of Duncanville, Texas and previously served as City Manager in Petersburg and Glenn Heights, Texas.

She succeeds Leon Towarnicki, who retired in August after 41 years of service to the city, and Glen Adams, who served as Interim City Manager during the national search.

“The City Council has a great vision for the community that is focused on good government and enhancing the quality of life for residents,” said Ferrell-Benavides. “I particularly look forward to working with local and regional partners on important revitalization and economic development projects. I appreciate the confidence that the Council has shown in me. I am looking forward to getting settled in the city and getting to know and serve the employees and citizens [of] Martinsville.”

The Berkley Group, of Bridgewater, assisted in the search by receiving applications and conducting the initial interviews with candidates and by selecting finalists for interviews with the council.

“Aretha brings a plethora of experience in local government, economic development, and city leadership,” Mayor L.C. Jones stated. “Council was impressed by her many achievements in the City of Petersburg, Virginia and with her proven track record we are certain that she will be a valuable asset to the City of Martinsville.” 

Ferrell-Benavides received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Southern University and an MPA from Howard University.

She completed the Senior Executive Institute at the University of Virginia, Intergovernmental Executive Development Program at Harold Washington College and the Executive Leadership Institute through the National Forum for Black Public Administrators.

Ferrell-Benavides is a member of the International City and County Management Association, the National Forum for Black Public Administrators and a Fellow with the National Academy of Public Administration. 


She will assume her duties in early October. 

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