Fast Five with Ryan Bergman

Published on June 29, 2023

Portrait of Strategy & Budget Director Ryan Bergman

In this month’s Fast Five leadership series, we interview Strategy & Budget Director Ryan Bergman. The Strategy & Budget Department is responsible for the development and oversight of the city's annual operating budget and the five-year Capital Investment Plan.

Which part of the organization do you lead?

I’ve been the Strategy and Budget director for the last 3.5 years. I get to lead the department that sets the budget so there are some challenges in balancing the budget and sometimes we must deny requests or trim a department’s budget. It’s all for the greater good and creating a budget that supports our city priorities and benefits everyone.  

For the past six months I’ve also been assisting with assistant city manager duties on an interim basis while Brent Cagle serves at Charlotte Area Transit System.  

Why did you decide to work for the City of Charlotte?

For some reason, I’ve always been really interested in the city management profession. Since job shadowing for one in middle school, I’ve always wanted to help run a city. Charlotte is one of the biggest council-manager forms of government in the country, so it was a cool opportunity. More practically, my wife has a sister and both her parents in North Carolina, and we need all the help we can get watching our kids, 4, 5 and 7. Let me know if anyone reading can help watch them. 

What is the biggest organizational priority you’re working on right now?

We just finished the fiscal year 2024 budget process. Once we help Finance with the year-end process and get the new fiscal year going, we go into our summer mode. Unfortunately, it’s not hibernation but several research and analysis projects we’ve identified to help prepare us for next year’s budget decisions and help the organization improve. We are also working on mobility and infrastructure initiatives in anticipation of some big decisions next year. 

What is your favorite part about working for the City of Charlotte?

Being from Michigan, I was impressed with how supportive both the city and the city government are to outsiders. I also think the budget staff and the group of directors I get to work with are incredibly supportive and everyone gets along well. 

What is your favorite restaurant in Charlotte?

People I work with are probably hoping that I say Buffalo Wild Wings so they can make fun of me. I just can’t let them down. Buffalo Wild Wings.