Nicole M. Jacobs


Nicole is a Bandys High School alum recently returned to Catawba County. She graduated from Appalachian State with a BS in International & Comparative Politics. After graduation, she worked on numerous campaigns for Democratic candidates at the local, state, and federal level before joining the City of Durham's Human Relations office, where she investigated housing discrimination complaints. Wherever she went, she remained in party leadership positions. Now back in Catawba County, she works for a remote software company and is the proud mother of Lucy the cat and Salvatore the dog. Nicole serves as Chair of the Catawba County Democratic Party Candidate Recruitment Committee and represents Catawba County on the 10th Congressional District Executive Committee. In addition to her Democratic Party roles, Nicole also serves on the Hickory Walk to End Alzheimer's Committee as the Chair of Team Retention.

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John David

Vice President

John David Whitener


John David Whitener is the Choir Director at Hickory Ridge High School in Cabarrus County but is a proud resident of Catawba County. He is a former graduate student at the Manhattan School of Music and Middle Tennessee State University where he studied voice performance and music education. He moved to North Carolina in 2016 with his husband and immediately immersed himself in the local arts and education communities. He has worked for the Newton-Conover Auditorium, The Green Room Community Theatre, and several school systems. He was awarded Catawba County's First Year Teacher of the Year award for his work at Catawba Elementary where he taught general music as well as cultivated their new performing arts programming, including their first musical, The Wizard of Oz. He has taught private voice and piano; provided direction and conducted for multiple theatrical productions including Disaster!, Beauty and the Beast, The Wizard of Oz, etc.; and has cultivated a varied performing career by playing roles such as Tony in West Side Story, Jesus is Jesus Christ Superstar, and Ferrando in Mozart's Cosi fan tutte. He is currently completing his Masters of Music Education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. 

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Toni Abernathy 



Toni is a Hickory native. She went to East Carolina University where she obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology. She has a passion for environmental sciences and public service. She will be attending UNC-Chapel Hill in the fall where she will finally be able to complete her Master of Public Administration degree. Toni strives to better communities by making sure everyone has a voice in policy changes.

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Sarah Sakatos


Sarah was raised in Startown and graduated from Fred T. Foard in 2008. She got her start in politics as campaign manager for Michelle Morgan’s 2018 run for County Commissioner and has been hooked ever since. Sarah served as Secretary for the Catawba County Democratic Party for the 2019-2021 term and hopes to be elected Third Vice Chair for 2021-2023. She has also served as the county’s representative to the 10th District Executive Committee, Vice-President and President of the YDCC, and 10th District Chair of the Young Democrats of Catawba County. Sarah currently resides in Conover with her kittens Carol Danvers and Bruce Banner. 

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Recent Activity

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    Jennifer Okeefe
    followed Officers 2021-07-08 20:32:22 -0400
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    Nicole Jacobs
    published Officers in About 2021-04-29 09:00:56 -0400