courthouse-clocktowerHere in New Hanover County, the community, elected officials and county staff cooperate to balance a high quality of life with a progressive business and economic climate.

At less than 200 square miles, New Hanover County is the second smallest – geographically – of the 100 North Carolina counties; however, it is home to more than 225,702 people.

New Hanover County is not just a great place in which to live or visit. New Hanover County is also a great place to do business. Tourism, film production, the service and retail sectors are the engines that power our economy.

Our Mission: New Hanover County is committed to providing equitable opportunities and exceptional public services through good governance to ensure a safe, healthy, secure and thriving community for all.

The government of New Hanover County is committed to ensuring that you are safe, healthy and secure; that is our promise to you.

New Hanover County Manager Chris Coudriet serves as chief administrator of county government and maintains responsibility for administering all departments under the general control of the five-member Board of Commissioners.

The county manager’s work includes the development of the county’s annual budget. The budget is the policy document, financial plan, and operations guide and communications device of county government. It reflects the county’s response to the needs of the community and residents’ requests for services. New Hanover County’s government is operating on a $458 million multi-fund budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2021 and ending June 30, 2022, serving more than 225,000 residents.

In addition, the manager and his executive leadership team are responsible for aligning the operations of the county to the adopted strategic plan and advancing the county’s mission and vision through five key focus areas: superior education and workforce, superior public health and safety, intelligent growth and economic development, strong financial performance, and effective county management.

Mr. Coudriet has served as the county manager since July 2012. Prior to his appointment, he served as assistant county manager for New Hanover County for four years and as county manager in Franklin and Washington counties, N.C.

Mr. Coudriet has twenty-five years of public administration experience, with fifteen years as a county manager or assistant county manager in North Carolina. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from East Carolina University and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

He is a native of eastern North Carolina. Chris and his wife, Leigh, and two children Montgomery and Silas, reside in Wilmington.

New Hanover County’s work is aligned with six shared values: Professionalism, Equity, Integrity, Innovation, Stewardship, and Accountability. The county’s employees consistently exemplify these values and go above and beyond in carrying out the mission to serve the county’s citizens.

Learn more about the county’s mission, vision, and strategy here.

New Hanover County has received the final economic development target analysis report from Jay Garner titled Pathways to Prosperity: New Hanover County’s Plan for Jobs and Investment and it’s critical companion piece, the Competitive Realties Report.

Manager's Message

Minority & Women Business Enterprise Program Aims to Increase Economic Diversity

Posted December 4, 2019 at 12:47 pm

By County Manager Chris Coudriet

Earlier this year, New Hanover County began working on an update to our Minority and Women Business Enterprise (MWBE) Program to help ensure a higher rate of MWBE participation in all aspects of the county’s contracting and procurement programs, including construction projects, supplies, and material purchases, and professional and personal service contracts.

The updated program went into effect in November and is now a much larger part of our everyday purchasing procedures. I believe this is an important step to boost entrepreneurs and increase economic diversity in New Hanover County.

According to the most recent Census data from 2012, there were 2,022 minority-owned and 4,721 women-owned businesses out of a total of 14,935 in Wilmington. Those numbers have undoubtedly increased in the past seven years with the help of advocates who are empowering and supporting women and minority entrepreneurs.

New Hanover County is a key player in those advocacy discussions and, with the support of our Commissioners, we are working on ways to help make our community more inclusive and more welcoming to diverse workers and businesses.

Improving the MWBE Program is one of the most important initiatives we’ve launched for this effort. The revised policy requires a documented, good-faith effort by employees to include MWBE vendors with each new bid or quote that is obtained. And our employees now have more resources and direct access to a MWBE vendor list that currently includes more than 200 firms.

Our outreach to grow this vendor list is taking place now as we work to recruit additional MWBE businesses not currently in our directory. If you are a MWBE, please enroll in our vendor self-service system. You can find that information, and an overview of our MWBE Program on our Finance website here. And if you know of a potential MWBE business, please tell them about this program.

In Fiscal Year 2019, the county spent $6,430,000 of our $79,250,000 in goods and services with minority businesses. I look forward to seeing a noticeable increase in that number in the years ahead.

As New Hanover County works to increase the diversity and number of higher wage jobs throughout the county, we believe these policy and procedure enhancements will be important to support business growth and economic diversity in New Hanover County.

It takes all of us being intentional and inclusive, so I hope you will take a look at your own business or organization and think about ways you can enhance your practices to help boost entrepreneurs. Let’s be purposeful to include opportunities for all.


NHRMC’s future: where we are and where we’re headed

Posted October 25, 2019 at 11:32 am

By County Manger Chris Coudriet The future of New Hanover Regional Medical Center (NHRMC) is a main topic of conversation throughout the community. I understand why – it is an … Read More »


Purpose-designed government center & redeveloped land will benefit the community

Posted August 21, 2019 at 10:17 am

By County Manager Chris Coudriet A new government center. Possible retail, residential and commercial space. A new hub of activity for New Hanover County and the city of Wilmington. That’s … Read More »


County Zoning Gets Full Revamp After 50 Years

Posted July 16, 2019 at 1:22 pm

By County Manager Chris Coudriet Fifty years is a long time, especially when it comes to development. The way we think about development, its connectivity, density, affordability, and so much … Read More »


Your tax dollars are being spent wisely

Posted June 18, 2019 at 10:52 am

By County Manager Chris Coudriet New Hanover County’s $399 million balanced budget for Fiscal Year 2019-2020 has been adopted by the Board of Commissioners. It focuses on investments in education, … Read More »