I was born in New Jersey. I’ve lived in Massachusetts and Connecticut. My dad, Fred Barakat, was a basketball coach and teacher. We moved around a lot as his career progressed from Associate Assistant Coach to Assistant Coach and to Head Coach. We finally settled down in Fairfield, CT where he was head coach at Fairfield University (Go Stags!). My mom (Florence) was a Realtor and my dad’s fiercest cheerleader. I have two sisters (Christie and Amy) and a brother (Rick).
I attended Fairfield University and studied political science. I’ve always been a political wonk. I have early memories of me as a seven-year-old, holding a pad, asking my classmates if they wanted Humphrey or Nixon to win the election. (For those of you doing the math that was 1968 making me 60). I don’t remember the vote tally.
In 1981, my family relocated to Greensboro when my father took a position with the ACC. I decided to stay behind in Connecticut. I got married and had two sons (John and Michael).
I worked at a jewelry store, the Silver Ribbon, in Westport during high school and college. I learned a lot about inventory control, customer service and the value of hard work. I didn’t have a car, so I took a bus from Bridgeport to Westport every day. I learned a lot about mass transit. The challenges of juggling groceries, children and being on time. The bus waits for no one. I waited in the rain, snow and heat.
In 1982, I went to work for a German based engineering company, Koch Material Handling Systems, in Norwalk CT. (I was still taking the bus). I learned how to run an office with precision.
In 1985, Koch moved their offices to Manhattan, and I was hired by one of our clients, Interim Dewatering Services, in Trumbull, CT. (I finally bought a car!) I ran their marketing department. IDS was a hazardous waste management and sludge dewatering company. I liked that we were working for a clean environment and sustainability. I worked for IDS until 1988 when we decided to relocate to Greensboro.
In 1989 I went to work for Talley Laundry Machinery. We sold industrial laundry and dry-cleaning equipment, parts and service throughout the U.S. Our typical customers were hotels, hospitals, linen rental plants, uniform rental plants and prisons. (A load of laundry was 1200 pounds). I started in marketing, was promoted to Parts Manager and then promoted to Director of Operations. I was responsible for the day-to-day operations, budgeting, profit and loss statements, personnel and coordinating the sales efforts of 24 nationally based salesmen. I wrote a monthly column for our trade publication. I graduated (first woman) from the Maintenance Management Institute. I taught the benefits of preventive maintenance and safety to engineers in our industry.
I retired after 18 years when my daughter (Catherine) was young. I wanted to watch her grow up. An opportunity that I missed with my sons. I was room mom. Daisy/Brownie leader. Carpool driver. And a Sunday school teacher.
In 2016, I was hired as Executive Director of the nonprofit Guilford Green Foundation. GGF is a philanthropic organization that supports programing, services and advocates for LGBTQ rights and protections. While at GGF I attended the Guilford Nonprofit Consortium’s Nonprofit Management Institute. I retired in 2018.
I am a licensed Real Estate Broker with Allen Tate Realtors.
As soon as I moved to Greensboro I got involved in local issues, Painter Boulevard (the Urban Loop), school redistricting and the last “Battle on New Garden Road” rezoning.
I was elected to council in 1997 as the District Four representative. I served two terms and temporarily retired when my daughter was born. In 2009 I was elected as an at-large councilmember (one as mayor Pro tempore) and elected as mayor in 2013.
I am the only councilmember to serve in all three positions. This gives me the unique perspective to understand the challenges that each councilmember faces. I am a consensus builder. It helps that I understand the dynamics of council. I respect their views and the expertise of our staff as we work together to do what best of the City of Greensboro.
It is my honor to serve as your mayor. It is the best job in Greensboro. When people ask me what I remember most about being mayor, it’s not the ribbon cuttings and jobs announcements. It’s the times when leadership counts. Just in the last three years, I have faced unprecedented challenges – a tornado, urban flooding, a deadly fire, the death of Marcus Smith, civil unrest, police accountability, a pandemic and recovery.
This city, our residents, always come first. I am unconflicted by business or personal interests and you always know where I stand.
I am lucky my children have decided to make Greensboro their home. I have two grandchildren (Keaton and Macie). I love seeing Greensboro through their eyes. They love our parks, the Children’s Museum, the Science Center, strawberry picking, fireworks and soccer.
I’m mom to five labs. They are always happy to see me.
#TogetherWeCan…be the best Greensboro
Nancy Vaughan and Her Family Celebrate Greensboro
Mayor Nancy Vaughan Supports Greensboro
A long-time Greensboro civic leader, Nancy is a tireless grassroots organizer dedicated to building stronger neighborhoods for the betterment of the community at large. The emphasis in both her private and public lives has always been on economic development and public safety.
She serves or has served* on:
- City-Community Working Group*
- “Doing Our Work” Committee*
- Greensboro Beautiful, Inc.
- Greensboro Chamber of Commerce
- Greensboro Day School Board of Trustees*
- Greensboro Downtown Parks, Inc.*
- Greensboro Housing Development Partnership*
- Greensboro Performing Arts Center Financing Options Committee*
- Greensboro Rotary
- Greensboro Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization
- Guilford County Economic Development Alliance
- International Civil Rights Center and Museum*
- Laundry News Panel of Exports (Textile News)*
- New Garden Road Petitioners Committee*
- NC A&T Board of Visitors
- NC League of Municipalities
- NC Metro Mayors Coalition
- Piedmont Triad International Airport Authority*
- Reading Connections*
- Say Yes Scholarship Board*
2006 March of Dimes Signature Chefs Fundraiser, Co-chair
2013 IMPACT Greensboro
2015 Dancing on the Diamond with John Vanderwerff for ARC of the Triad
2017 Guilford Nonprofit Consortium Nonprofit Institute
2017 People of Influence (#2)
2018 TEDxGreensboro Speaker
2019 UNCG December Commencement Speaker
2021 Other Voices Executive Program
Recognitions & Awards
2014 Greensboro Realtors Association
2015 Equality North Carolina
Jamie Kirk Hahn Ally Award
2015 NC Recreation & Parks Association
2015 The Professional Fire Fighters of Greensboro
Friend of the Fire Fighter
2016 NC Housing Coalition
Public Official of the Year Award
2019 Guilford Green Foundation
Dawn S. Chaney Award