Executive Leadership Team
Deputy County Manager, Matt Rhoten
Matthew “Matt” Rhoten joined Gaston County Government in 2014 as an Intern and has worked his way up through the ranks, from Budget Analyst to Budget Director to Financial & Management Services Director to Assistant County Manager to now Deputy County Manager. He also serves as an Adjunct professor at UNC Charlotte’s MPA Program.
As Deputy County Manager, Matt will oversee essential public safety and administrative/general government departments, including Budget & Management Services, County Police, Emergency Management & Fire Services, Finance, Gaston Emergency Medical Services, Human Resources, Information Technology, and the Tax Office. He will also serve as the acting manager in the absence of the County Manager.
Originally from Tennessee, Matt received his B.S. in Political Science from East Tennessee State University and his MPA from UNC Charlotte. He also has an M.S. in Community & Economic Development from University of Central Arkansas and is a Municipal & County Administration Course Graduate from The School of Government at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Matt currently lives in Gaston County with his wife, Lacey, and their two children, Mia and Reid.
Assistant County Manager, Karen Whichard
Karen Whichard joined Gaston County in June 2021, after working for two years as Assistant Town Manager for the Town of Davidson.
While with the Town of Davidson, Karen managed a department portfolio that included public works, parks and recreation, economic development, human resources and finance.
Prior to joining the Town of Davidson in 2019, Karen spent eight years with the City of Charlotte working in three different departments – Charlotte Water, Strategy & Budget and the City Manager’s Office. Her work included budget development and management, racial equity, crisis communications, media relations, process improvement, and intergovernmental affairs. Before joining the City of Charlotte in 2011, she served as the Communications Director for the City of Kannapolis, where she was a key member of the city and community team that managed the redevelopment of the core city from textiles to the NC Research Campus.
Karen holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Masters of Public Administration from UNC Charlotte. She is married with three children.
Community Services Manager, Pam Overcash
Pam Overcash holds a BS in Communications from Emerson College in Boston. She had a 20 year career in television news before joining Gaston County as Public Information Officer in 1999.
In 2008 Pam moved into the role of Human Resources Director and was recently promoted to Community Services Manager, overseeing Hope United, the Library System, the Gaston County Museum of Art and History, Travel and Tourism, and Veteran’s Services, and supports Elections. She has always had a keen interest in learning about what makes people tick and a passion for training. Pam is a certified trainer in the DiSC personality profile and the 5 Behaviors of a Cohesive Team.
Pam currently serves on the board of Crisis Assistance Ministry as secretary, the Health Equity Team and the Opioid Workplace Champions committee.
Infrastructure & Asset Manager, Ray Maxwell