Tuesday, April 25, 2023

19 State Employees Honored with Caswell Awards for 45 Years of Public Service

Nineteen state employees with 45 years of public service will be honored with the 2023 Richard Caswell Award during a 2 p.m. ceremony in Daniel Auditorium at the N.C. Museum of History.
Apr 25, 2023

Nineteen state employees with 45 years of public service will be honored with the 2023 Richard Caswell Award during a 2 p.m. ceremony in Daniel Auditorium at the N.C. Museum of History. The recipients, who work at 11 state agencies, will join the distinguished ranks of long-serving employees who have earned the award established in tribute to North Carolina’s first governor. 

Collectively, the 19 state employees have devoted more than 855 years to public service. Since 2015, 167 state employees have been recognized for their extraordinary duration of service, which reflects a cumulative total of more than 7,515 years. 

“State employees are the backbone of our state government,” said Governor Cooper. “You provide the tools for our schools and businesses to succeed. You ensure that people have access to clean air and water. You keep our communities safe and healthy, and so much more.” 

This year’s honorees include a social work supervisor at one of the state’s neuro-medical centers; the first African American driver license hearings officer and the first female driver license assistant director for the DMV; a travel counselor who has spent her entire career at a state welcome center that recently marked its 50th anniversary; a historic preservation and restoration specialist; the office manager for the Office of the Governor; the director of the state agency that oversees the structural pest control industry and the safe and legal use of pesticides; leaders who advocate for children in need and supports for their families; administrative assistants who support leaders of complex programs; and the docket director for court system for workers’ compensation claims. 

WTVD anchor Steve Daniels will serve as the master of ceremonies and recognize these recipients of the 2023 Richard Caswell Award: 

  • Rhoda Ammons, Human Services Program Consultant II, Department of Health and Human Services 

  • Addie Avery, Administrative Associate II Office of Administrative Hearings 

  • Lamm C. Bond, Social Work Supervisor Department of Health and Human Services 

  • James W. Burnette Jr., Director of Structural Pest Control and Pesticides Division, Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services 

  • Gale Dixon Coor, Director of the Children’s Developmental Services Agency, Department of Health and Human Services 

  • Gary Cramer, Database Administrator II, Department of Commerce 

  • Randy Dillard, Engineer II, Department of Transportation 

  • Renee Gledhill-Earley, Historic Preservation and Restoration Supervisor, Department of Natural and Cultural Resources 

  • Boyd Hamrick, Transportation Worker II, Department of Transportation 

  • Phillip Hopkins, Administrative Specialist, Industrial Commission 

  • Peggie Lee Hunt, Travel Counselor Hostess, Department of Commerce 

  • Debra Johnson, Administrative Assistant, Office of the Governor 

  • Beth Laughinghouse, Health Care Technician I, Department of Health and Human Services 

  • Sally McDonald, Human Services Program Consultant III, Department of Health and Human Services 

  • Johnnie McManus, Pre-Admission Screening and Resident Review Coordinator, Department of Health and Human Services 

  • Ruth McNeill, Judicial Services Coordinator, Department of Adult Correction 

  • Roxann Murphy, Administrative Associate II, Department of Commerce 

  • Marcia Page, Administrative Specialist II, Department of Labor 

  • Rhonda Raynor, Assistant Clerk, Judicial Branch 

Several honorees are unable to attend today’s ceremony and will receive their Caswell Award from agency leadership in local ceremonies. 

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. 

To learn about opportunities to work for the State of North Carolina, including creating an online profile and settling job alerts for career fields and locations, visit https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/northcarolina. Additionally, there are new FAQs about Governor Cooper’s Executive Order 278. The order, Recognizing the Value of Experience in State Government Hiring, reduces barriers to state employment by recruiting qualified candidates who can apply directly related knowledge and skills from prior jobs and experiences to positions across state government 

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