Macon County Commissioner Ronnie Beale was elected to the National Association of Counties’ (NACo) Board of Directors during the NACo Annual Conference in Long Beach, Calif., on July 23.

Beale, who is currently serving as Past President of the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC), was elected unanimously by the NCACC membership to a two-year term on the NACo Board.

“I am deeply honored to have been chosen for this prestigious position,” Beale said. “It is very important for North Carolina to have a strong voice within our national organization, and I look forward to representing all 100 North Carolina counties and especially those issues important to Macon County.”

Beale is the first commissioner from Macon County elected to the NACo Board and only the third from western North Carolina, joining John Vance of Buncombe County, who served on the board in 1943-44, and of Benny Smith from Polk County, who served on the board from 1996-2001.

Beale served as NCACC President in 2014-15. During his term as NCACC President, Beale supported NACo’s Stepping Up initiative, which is designed to reduce the number of adults with mental and co-occurring substance use disorders in county jails. Under Beale’s leadership, 24 counties in North Carolina have joined the initiative, the third-highest total for any state in the nation. At the recent NACo Annual Conference, Beale moderated a session titled, Stepping Up: Key Considerations for Reducing Mental Illness in Jails.”

“Over the past four years I have had the pleasure on serving with Commissioner Beale as a member of the NCACC Executive Committee,” said North Carolina Association of County Commissioners Glen Webb. “I’ve said in the past that though he keeps me laughing, at any moment he can shame you with his immense knowledge of county government and especially mental health.  I’m very proud that he will now be taking that knowledge and great personality national as a member of the NACo Board of Directors.  There is no doubt in my mind that all 3,000 plus counties in the United States will benefit from his service to this board and they will  all hear a strong voice for North Carolina and especially Macon County.  The people of his home county should be very proud, I know I am.”

He is serving his third term on the Macon County Board of Commissioners after first being elected in 2006.

“We couldn’t be more proud to have Commissioner Beale serve on the NACo board,” said Macon County Commission Chair Kevin Corbin. “It has been an honor serving alongside him as commissioner and working with him on the state level to accomplish things for counties in North Carolina. Macon County has been fortunate to have Ronnie on their side and there is no better man to represent North Carolina on the NACo board.”