A novice politician with deep roots in Kannapolis, Dayvault swept the Kannapolis City Council election in November and emerged as the top vote-getter. He won almost 28 percent of total votes.
Descended from the man who sold a farm in 1905 that became Cannon Mills, Dayvault has brought his family full circle.
Dayvault now works for the University of North Carolina at the N.C. Research Campus, a biotechnology complex that rises from the ruins of the old textile mill. His great-great-grandfather, Paul Dayvault, sold J.W. Cannon 72 acres of farmland where the copper-topped Core Laboratory Building — the centerpiece of the Research Campus — now stands.
With something approaching encyclopedic knowledge of Kannapolis’s history, Dayvault said he will embrace the past while moving the city forward in 2012.
He campaigned on a pledge to revitalize the center of the city. Once a destination for furniture buyers and outlet shoppers, the former Cannon Village has struggled in the shadow of the Research Campus, with only a handful of merchants surviving since Pillowtex closed in 2004.
Dayvault also told voters he wants to reverse the trend of younger residents leaving Kannapolis, taking with them the energy and drive that can improve the city. He campaigned on change.
Kannapolis residents “want some new energy, some new ideas,” he said.
— Emily FordRyan Dayvault
Occupation: Facilities and special projects coordinator for the UNC-Chapel Hill Nutrition Research Institute at Kannapolis
Favorite book: “Freakonomics”
Most surprising song or artist in your music collection: The Four Tops
Who will you watch in 2012 and why?: Fred steen. “He’s a good friend, and I think he has a good future ahead of him.”
“Fred is a genuine person and someone who … really enjoys helping people, and I think he’s really motivated to become the next congressman from this area.”
Also, fellow Catawba College graduate Pat McCrory in his bid for governor.
Why he is one to watch in 2012: Top vote-getter in Kannapolis City Council election who has pledged to work for change and revitalize the city center.
Reaction to making the list: “Oh dang! Well, how about that.”