Darla Orr Odom
Darla brings 32 years of local government service to The Berkley Group after retiring in April 2020. Through her farming community roots in eastern North Carolina and public service career in both rural and urban settings in North Carolina and Virginia, Darla offers a unique understanding of diverse communities and citizenry and a comprehensive knowledge of local government.
Darla began her local government service in her small hometown of Williamston, North Carolina, working for the Martin County Economic Development Commission where she assisted in growing the County’s economic base and with zoning compliance and building construction. After taking the “road to Richmond” in 1990, Darla began her over 23 year career with the Chesterfield County Planning Department in 1991 as a Planner. In 1996, Darla accepted the opportunity to serve Brunswick County, Virginia, as their Director of Planning. Darla returned to the Chesterfield County Planning Department in 2001 as part of the Zoning and Special Projects team as a Planning Administrator, where she remained until her retirement.
Darla understands that local governments must evolve to remain efficient and good stewards of tax dollars. She managed numerous improvements to the zoning process to include development and implementation of a system that permits web-based filing, distribution and review of zoning applications and incorporated new technology into reports and presentations, using graphics and visualization to assist in communicating complicated information to local officials and the public. The web-based zoning application received a NACo Achievement Award.
Darla served as a lead for Zoning and Special Projects team, supervised zoning staff and served as acting assistant director and zoning team manager as needed. She studied urban and regional planning at East Carolina University and Virginia Commonwealth University.