Thirteen state employees from nine state agencies and universities were honored with Governor’s Awards for Excellence today during a virtual online ceremony. The highest honor a state employee may receive for dedicated service to the state and the people of North Carolina, the awards recognize accomplishments and actions that are outside of the usual scope of their job duties.
Presented virtually at 10 a.m. due to pandemic restrictions on large gatherings, Governor Roy Cooper announced that two honorees were selected to receive the prestigious Spirit of North Carolina Award. Given only twice since the Governor’s Awards for Excellence program was created in 1982, the category recognizes exceptional contributions over the course of a distinguished career.
“The Spirit of North Carolina Award is given to those who exemplify the state motto: esse quam videri – to be, rather than to seem,” Governor Cooper said in congratulating Maj. Gen. Gregory Lusk, retired Adjutant General of the North Carolina National Guard who now serves as Senior Advisor at the Department of Public Safety, and Ronnie Condrey, Special Advisor at the Office of State Human Resources.
State Human Resources Director Barbara Gibson commended all 2020 honorees during the event, which may be viewed any time via YouTube.
“Public service is the perfect fit for our honorees. They thrive in settings where they get to be innovative: to fix things others said couldn’t be fixed, to lend a hand when a solution seems out of reach, or to rush in where others fear to tread,” Gibson said. “I think of Governor’s Award for Excellence recipients as superheroes for the public good.”
Coworkers and leadership across state government and the University System submitted 422 nominations for the 2020 Governor’s Awards for Excellence, with a statewide committee narrowing the highly competitive field to the 13 employees recognized today. The annual event is made possible by funding from the State Employees Credit Union Foundation.
A description of each recipient's winning qualities and videos that share their story are posted to the Office of State Human Resources website.
Retired WRAL news anchor and musician Bill Leslie emceed the event and also sang the National Anthem.
The 2020 Governor’s Awards for Excellence honorees are based at the following agencies and universities:
Spirit of North Carolina
Ronnie Condrey, Office of State Human Resources (Raleigh)
Maj. Gen. Gregory Lusk, North Carolina National Guard, Department of Public Safety (Raleigh)
Michelle Gordon, North Carolina Central University School of Law (Durham)
Efficiency and Innovation
Ozie Stallworth, Department of Secretary of State (Raleigh)
Toy Lambeth, North Carolina Zoo, Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (Asheboro)
Outstanding State Government Service
Ted Campbell, Department of Environmental Quality (Asheville)
Simone Chessa, Broughton Hospital, Department of Health and Human Services (Morganton)
Rodney Parker, Alcohol Law Enforcement, Department of Public Safety (Elizabeth City)
Angela Clark, Juvenile Justice Division, Department of Public Safety (Morganton)
Dr. Anne Dickerson, East Carolina University (Greenville)
Safety and Heroism
Trooper Alex Chehaitli, State Highway Patrol, Department of Public Safety (Reidsville)
Assistant Special Agent in Charge/Bomb Squad Commander Timothy Luper, State Bureau of Investigation, Department of Public Safety (Raleigh)
Capt. Steve Bullins, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission Enforcement Division (Elkin)