Tuesday, April 27, 2021 - 00:00

17 State Employees Honored with Caswell Awards for 45 Years of Public Service Collectively, the 17 state employees have devoted more than 765 years to public service.

Seventeen state employees with 45 years of public service have been honored with the 2021 Richard Caswell Award.
Apr 27, 2021

Seventeen state employees with 45 years of public service have been honored with the 2021 Richard Caswell Award. The recipients, who work at seven state agencies, join the distinguished ranks of long-serving employees who have earned the award established in tribute to North Carolina’s first governor.

Collectively, the 17 state employees have devoted more than 765 years to public service. Since 2015, 142 state employees have been recognized for their extraordinary duration of service, which reflects a cumulative total nearly 6,400 years.

“Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are grateful for the deep institutional knowledge and steadfast experience of our Caswell Award honorees,” said State Human Resources Director Barbara Gibson. “Together, they demonstrate the vast scope of job opportunities across state government, and the satisfaction of a public service career that spans five decades.”

This year’s honorees run the gamut of a one-time receptionist who rose through the ranks to become a Division of Social Services Program Coordinator; the Grounds Operations Supervisor at one the of state’s top historic destinations; and a female scientist who proved her hiring manager was wrong to think she wouldn’t stay long on the job by eventually becoming District Manager. It also includes three elected Clerks of Superior Court.

As we are unable to safely host the traditional in-person ceremony this year due to the ongoing pandemic, honorees are celebrated in a video message from Governor Roy Cooper and Director Gibson: https://youtu.be/gWAqTPQVdWA. They will receive a framed Caswell Award certificate and letters of commendation from Governor Cooper, Director Gibson and their Agency Head.

Recipients of the 2021 Richard Caswell Award include:

  • Department of Commerce: Dr. Cathy F. Battle of Whitsett, Career Advisor; Sharon R. Peacock of Raleigh, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics Program Manager
  • Department of Environmental Quality: Mary H. Johnson of Garner, Administrative Specialist; Katy West of Greenville, Marine Fisheries District Manager
  • Judicial Branch: Michael Huneycutt of Albemarle, Clerk of Superior Court (Stanly County); Shirley G. Johnson of Murfreesboro; Clerk of Superior Court (Hertford County); Evelyn L. McLeod of Raeford, Clerk of Superior Court (Hoke County); Ides A. Pettaway of Tarboro, Deputy Clerk (Edgecombe County); Laurinda O. Robertson of Raleigh, Civil Procedure Specialist
  • Department of Health and Human Services: Maude Body of LaGrange, Physical Therapy Assistant; Connie W. Dixon of Snow Hill, Program Coordinator II; Judy Hinson of Goldsboro, Health Care Technician I; Patricia Link Hovis of Iron Station, Early Intervention Service Coordinator; Pink W. Moore of Morganton, Community Employment Program Manager
  • Department of Public Instruction: Marilyn L. Johns of Raleigh, Administrative Specialist
  • Department of Natural and Cultural Resources: Keith A. McClease of New Bern, Grounds Operations Supervisor at Tryon Palace
  • Wildlife Resources Commission: Gary Dail of Chinquapin, Chinquapin Construction Supervisor

Richard Caswell was a Maryland native who dedicated most of his adult life to North Carolina. He was the first Orange County clerk of court before taking up arms during the Revolutionary War. He later became a member of the colonial assembly, where he was a champion for free public education.

With our young nation’s independence from Britain, Caswell became North Carolina’s first governor, serving from 1776-1780. He next served as state controller, returning to the job of chief executive from 1784-1787. Caswell also was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787, then served again as a state senator. In 1789, at age 60, he suffered a fatal stroke while presiding over a senate session in Fayetteville.

For more information about OSHR, or to learn about opportunities to work for the State of North Carolina, visit https://oshr.nc.gov/.

Note to Media: For additional information about Caswell Award honorees in your area, or to request interviews with recipients, please contact OSHR Communications Director Jill Warren Lucas at Jill.Lucas@nc.gov or 984-236-0802.

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