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Finance Director Kari Dunlap

City of Hickory hires new finance director

The City of Hickory has hired Kari Dunlap as its new finance director. 

Dunlap started her new role with the City of Hickory on May 6, taking over as head of the Finance department as former Finance Officer Melissa Miller transitions into a new position with the City ahead of her planned retirement later this year.

As a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Dunlap has an extensive background in professional accounting and governmental auditing. She previously worked as an accountant for Carolinas Healthcare System and Lowe’s Home Improvement. She spent 11 years of her professional accounting experience with Martin Starnes & Associates, CPAs, P.A. in Hickory, where she most recently served as a senior audit manager.

During her tenure with Martin Starnes & Associates, Dunlap conducted the City of Hickory’s annual financial audits for the past nine years.

“We are excited to officially welcome Kari to the City of Hickory team,” said City Manager Warren Wood. “As our longtime auditor, she is very familiar with the City of Hickory’s financials and works well with our finance staff. Kari brings her incredible accounting expertise and is sure to quickly adapt to her new role with the City.”

“I look forward to the opportunity to maintain the financial excellence of the City. I plan to work with City management and partners in our community to ensure sound financial management and sustainable growth for many years to come,” added Dunlap.

Dunlap holds Bachelor’s degrees in Management and Sociology and a Master’s degree in Accounting from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

A recent graduate of Leadership Catawba, Dunlap is also active in the community and with professional organizations. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the YMCA of Catawba Valley and as Treasurer for the Council on Adolescents of Catawba County. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the North Carolina Association of CPAs (NCACPA).

A Caldwell County native and longtime Hickory resident, Dunlap lives in Hickory with her husband, Bradley, and their two children, Sage and Summer.