In addition to being the managing partner of Carolina Designs Realty (CDR), owner Monica Thibodeau, has always held a strong commitment to the well-being of Outer Banks communities. This is reflected in many ways, but primarily through member affiliations and active participation in local boards and committees.
Monica, who has served as Mayor Pro Tem of Duck since 2003, recently made the decision to run for a seat on the Dare County Board of Commissioners. If elected, Monica will bring the same vision, passion and energy to the County as she demonstrates in the growth of her business and her commitment to the town of Duck.
Carolina Designs Realty is a leading Outer Banks property management company. Like most successful corporations, at CDR there is a resounding vision and direction that guides business standards, employee development and their shared commitment to the community. Behind the helm of this success is Monica, her associated partners and dedicated long-standing staff. This, folks … is leadership!
During my conversation with Monica, she notes that her leadership roles at CDR and within the town of Duck have provided her the essential experience required to make government function. “I will bring a strong managerial strength to the county. I am accustomed to reviewing budgets and working within them,” she said. “At my company, we establish and closely manage our budgets, and my experience has only broadened while serving on the Duck Town Council. It all comes down to sound business practices and common sense.”
Beyond the nuts and bolts of business management, Monica also brings a real world perspective on how to work with others. “By nature, I view all sides of an issue to find common agreement so issues do not become polarizing. This is a crucial component in moving forward towards a resolution.”
There are a number of issues that she intends to address as a commissioner. “One issue that is important to me as a private citizen has always been the education of our youth. Planting seeds to encourage a keen interest in learning and then providing children with every possible opportunity for higher education. Establishing pre-K early education opportunities is crucial for young minds. Empowering children with healthy nutrition, nurturing their self-esteem and then providing them with the tools they need to embrace education is the key to our future.”
Monica is also committed to the environment, but recognizes a balance must be established to maintain realistic long-term solutions. “It is clear to me that our environment is our most precious commodity because it drives our economy. It is essential that we maintain clean beaches and preserve the natural beauty of this region.”
Part of the debate about the environment focuses on beach nourishment, a project that is moving forward in the town of Duck, as well as other Outer Banks towns. Although she’s in favor of the project, Monica acknowledges she has had reservations and recognizes there are limitations.
“Years ago I held extensive concerns about beach nourishment projects, and I still do from a number of standpoints,” she said. Pointing to the success of nourishment in Nags Head, she also noted that the project must be viewed realistically. “Nags Head’s nourishment has proven this type of project can go well. It is also remarkable that we have funded these projects completely at the local level, with no state or federal assistance. My concern is that resources will eventually reach a cap. If this occurs, it’s important to recognize you cannot tax your way out of future needs.”
She draws a compelling analogy between the shoreline and our road systems, “We must make continuous investments in our beaches because it’s the reason guests visit our area. It is essentially our infrastructure.”
As she talks, Monica consistently points out there is considerable common ground held by those who live within Dare County. Within these shared viewpoints, she sees the starting point to move forward. “I am a conciliatory person, and my focus begins with issue points people can agree upon.”
Dare County is the place she has called home for almost thirty years. It’s where she built a business and home with her late husband, Art, and where they raised their children. “My vision for Dare County is one that moves forward to greatness based on our unified conviction to protect this region. It’s true we have diverse personalities living under one roof, but like most families we can certainly work together to protect and celebrate our Outer Banks lifestyles.”
We are confident that if she is elected Monica will bring the same vision, passion and energy to the county that she has given to Carolina Designs and the Town of Duck.