Cristina Shaul, the Town’s Director of Communications, to Retire in February
The Town of Davidson is losing its chief spokesperson, Cristina Shaul, as of February 15. Shaul has held the job since May 2012 and looks forward to other adventures in the future.
Cristina came to live in Davidson when her husband’s employer transferred him from Connecticut to Charlotte. In their search for a house in the area, they discovered Davidson. It reminded them of the bucolic villages they loved in New England, and they settled in here.
Cristina became involved with civic affairs in Davidson via the library. She was an active patron, as was her son. She recalled that he occasionally checked out the limit of 99 books and 10 videos at a time! Cristina created the “Read Davidson” community reading program in 2007 in partnership with the library, Main Street Books, and the Town of Davidson’s Parks and Recreation Department.
When the recession of 2010 threatened to close the Davidson library, she volunteered with an ad hoc group seeking to save it, and that effort proved successful. Town officials recognized her efforts and appointed her as public information officer in 2012. Due to her expanding involvement with all town departments, she was recently promoted to director of communications.
Her most notable achievements for the town were aimed at bringing citizens and town officials closer together through use of multiple communications channels, including social media and other forms of technology. She enhanced eCrier emails, re-established the print version of the Town Message newsletter, developed the town’s mobile app, and engineered live feed broadcasts of town meetings. She redesigned the town’s website and helped many town offices to establish an on-line presence.
She also built up the Civics 101 program to help citizens gain an understanding of Davidson’s local government and community organizations, with the goal of encouraging them to participate in town government.
“I have always enjoyed my work here and feel lucky to have had this role in the town I love,” she said. “I’ve met so many wonderful people through this job – staff, elected officials, and members of the community. It’s been a fantastic experience, but it’s time for me to move on.”
The town is now launching a search to replace Cristina, and applications will be accepted beginning next week at Town Hall and online. Though her final day on the job is February 15, she will remain at work part-time through May to help the planning department manage the “What’s Next?” program.
Bill Giduz was the son who followed his father’s footsteps into journalism. He has been involved his entire life with news and photography in schools he attended and jobs he’s held. He believes now that he’s got a few good years left to devote to The News of Davidson.