Wednesday, June 5, 2024

13 State Employees Honored for 45 Years of Public Service Each to receive a Caswell Award in celebration of this employment milestone

Thirteen state employees with 45 years of public service will be honored with the 2024 Richard Caswell Award during a ceremony at the North Carolina Museum of History.
Jun 5, 2024

Thirteen state employees with 45 years of public service will be honored with the 2024 Richard Caswell Award during a ceremony at the North Carolina Museum of History. The recipients, who work at eight 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.

“We are grateful for each of the state employees honored today with 45 years of state service,” said Governor Cooper. “Their dedication and commitment to making our state stronger and a better place to live, work and raise a family is admirable.”

Collectively, the 13 state employees have devoted more than 585 years to public service. Since 2015, 180 state employees have been recognized for their extraordinary duration of service, which reflects a cumulative total of more than 8,100 years.

This year’s honorees include a psychologist working with youth in the State’s correctional facilities; a network technician providing customer service across the state; a braille instructor working with visually-impaired individuals; a State Section 504 Coordinator supporting students with disabilities in the classroom; animal health technicians that travel the state caring for wild and domestic animals; several individuals serving our State’s judicial process in various capacities; the office manager for the Office of State Archeology; and medical professionals within North Carolina’s finest neurological and developmental medical centers.

WTVD anchor DeJuan Hoggard will serve as the master of ceremonies and recognize these recipients of the 2024 Richard Caswell Award. All honorees are based in Wake County unless otherwise noted:

  • Miriam Dixon, Braille Teacher, Department of Health and Human Services
  • Nancy Lee Gilchrist, Judicial District Manager, North Carolina Judicial Branch (Forsyth)
  • Howard Parrish Hand, Jr., Deputy Clerk of Superior Court, North Carolina Judicial Branch (Gaston)
  • C.I. Ingram, Appeals Referee, Department of Commerce
  • Randy Johnson, Sr., Health Care Technician, Department of Health and Human Services (Lenoir)
  • Freda Lee, State Section 504 Coordinator, Department of Public Instruction
  • Camille McEachren, Provisioning Network Technician, Department of Information Technology
  • Dee Nelms, Office Manager, Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
  • Al Sapp, Animal Health Technician, Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
  • Robert Schwacke, School Psychologist, Department of Adult Correction (Burke)
  • Michael Stiles, Animal Health Technician, Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
  • Jovonnie Webb, Registered Nurse House Supervisor, Department of Health and Human Services (Wilson)
  • Ella Wrenn, Court Administrator, North Carolina Judicial Branch (Franklin)

Honorees that are unable to attend the ceremony will receive their Caswell Award from their agency’s 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 setting job alerts for career fields and locations, visit Additionally, there are 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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