The North Carolina Global TransPark in Kinston has new leadership after the park’s Executive Director John Rouse announced his retirement last week.
Preston Hunter, the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Division 2 engineer, has been named the new executive director of the Global TransPark, a multimodal industrial site with an airport that is part of the NCDOT.
“We’re grateful for the leadership and experience John brought to the Global TransPark and NCDOT,” said State Transportation Secretary J. Eric Boyette. “We are excited to have Preston, who has made public service a career, lead the Global TransPark. He is a proven innovator and a results-driven leader.”
Hunter, a native of Lenoir County, has been with the Department of Transportation for more than 30 years and has been the engineer leading operations for the department’s Kinston-based Highway Division 2 since September 2017. During his career, he advanced from assistant division traffic engineer, county maintenance engineer, district engineer and division maintenance engineer to his role as division engineer. Division 2 oversees project development and transportation operations, including the construction and maintenance of roads and bridges, in Beaufort, Carteret, Craven, Greene, Jones, Lenoir, Pamlico and Pitt counties.
Jeff Cabaniss, who is Division 2’s project development engineer, will succeed Hunter as the new Division 2 engineer. Cabaniss, who has served as an NCDOT employee for 30 years, has worked his way up but did not follow a typical path to leadership. He started in 1992 with the Pitt County Maintenance Unit and has since worked as a machine operator, transportation supervisor and county maintenance engineer before becoming the Division 2 planning engineer and then the promotion into his previous role. During his time at NCDOT, Cabaniss has continued his education and earned his license as a professional engineer.
“Jeff has worked his way up through Division 2 and his career serves as a testament to the value of hard work, lifelong learning and public service,” said NCDOT’s Chief Operating Officer Beau Memory. “He is a well-respected engineer and manager and we’re thrilled to have him taking on this new role.”
Rouse, a Kinston native, retired from Global TransPark after more than 31 years with the NCDOT. He started with the agency in 1990 after graduating from N.C. State University with a degree in civil engineering. He served in many leadership roles, including as the assistant district engineer, assistant resident engineer, county maintenance engineer, resident engineer, division project manager, division maintenance engineer, Division 4 engineer, Division 2 engineer and eastern deputy chief engineer. In those roles, he oversaw the completion of the Neuse River bridges, Washington Bypass, Southwest Bypass in Pitt County, Goldsboro Bypass, U.S. 17 Bypass in Craven and Jones counties, and the completion of the C.F. Harvey Parkway in Lenoir County. He served as executive director for the Global TransPark since October 2019 and helped the park secure more than 600 jobs and $16.3 million in investments.