The Governor’s Award for Excellence is the highest honor a state employee may receive for dedicated service to the State of North Carolina and its residents. Nominations may be submitted by coworkers, managers and/or Agency Leadership to recognize any exemplary state employees who lead by example and contribute well beyond their normal job requirements.

Details regarding the nomination process and seven categories of recognition may be found online at The deadline to submit nominations for 2022 ended April 14. For your convenience, a checklist to aid you in preparing your nomination and a listing of each Agency/University Governor’s Awards coordinator is available here. Below, you can click on “Past Recipients” to access all previous winners’ videos since 2015. This will give you ideas of the qualities the Selection Committee will be looking for.

Honorees selected for this prestigious award will be recognized in late October. To view last year’s honorees, click here: 2022 Governor's Awards for Excellence Recipients. On this page you will also be able to few individual video tributes for each honoree.

Qualifying Employees

Nominees must be permanent state employees and include:

  • Employees who have a permanent appointment, including the managerial and administrative levels such as:
  • Deputy and Assistant Department Heads
  • Division Directors
  • Deputy and Assistant Directors of major divisions in the larger departments
  • Key assistants to the Department Head or University Chancellor who exert major policy influence.

Employees not eligible

  • Elected officials, Department Heads, and University Chancellors
  • Employees of the public school system or Community Colleges
  • Employees of the Judicial Branch
  • Employees of the General Assembly
Tab/Accordion Item

Awards are presented in seven categories:

  1. Customer Service – Provided exceptional service that left the customer fully satisfied with their experience. Exceeded expectations to meet the needs of the customer. Added value to the customer experience.
  2. Efficiency and Innovation  Improved the efficiency of state government services. Established new and/or improved methods, practices, plans or designs resulting in innovation, savings and/or efficiencies. This is an ideal area to nominate an employee who has thought of and implemented an employee suggestion that has proven successful.
  3. Human Relations  Made outstanding contributions toward enhancing the quality and morale of the workplace or creating a better public image of state government (such as positive personal interaction with other employees; public awareness; working on relations internally within an agency; or collaboration between different agencies).
  4. Outstanding State Government Service  Exhibited unselfish devotion to duty far and above the normal requirements and contributed significantly to the advancement of state service to the citizens of North Carolina. 
  5. Public Service  Made outstanding contributions by participating in or implementing community and public service projects (such as volunteering with various non-profit organizations).
  6. Safety and Heroism  Demonstrated outstanding judgment or courage in an emergency, voluntarily risking his/her life or exhibited meritorious action to prevent injury, loss of life or prevented damage to or loss of property.
  7. Spirit of North Carolina  Exemplified the state motto “To be, rather than to seem.” Mentored others in the pursuit of excellence.  Served as an ambassador for the State of North Carolina. This special award is reserved for exceptional circumstances and for accomplishments and achievements of the highest caliber.

Online Submission Checklist

  1. Employee’s name, home address and position title
  2. Employee’s basic job description
  3. Employee’s supervisor’s name, email, and phone number
  4. Agency/University Coordinator name and email address
  5. A written a summary of why this employee is being nominated. The summary should be a minimum of 350 words but can be longer if needed.
  6. Category you are submitting this nominee for consideration
  7. Consent from the nominee’s supervisor. The supervisor must be made aware of your intent to nominate the employee before you complete the nomination form.

Once you have this information ready, you are all set to begin the online nomination!


Number of Submissions Allowed Per Agency University

Number of Employees Number of Nominations
Less than 300 employees 3
300-1,999 employees 6
2,000-10,000 employees 8
More than 10,000 employees 12

Agency/University Coordinator Email
Administration  Stephanie Bryant
Agriculture Nicole Houghton
Appalachian State  Holly Turlington
Auditor Lauren Eiswirth
Commerce  Deborah O’Neal
Community Colleges Jessica Richardson
Natural and Cultural Resources  Tammy Penny
East Carolina University Justin Yeaman
Elizabeth City State University Tanisha Brumsey
Paula Bowe
Department of Environmental Quality  Megan Church
Fayetteville State  Debbie Disbrow
Health & Human Services   Felicia Lacy
Information Technology Evangeline Phillips
Insurance  Amy Tyndall
Justice  Kendra Schum
Labor Beth Benson
Military & Veterans Affairs Creshaye Graham
NC A & T Linda Mangum
NC Central University Keesha Judd
NC Lottery Van Denton
NC State University  Britt Hurst
Office of Administrative Hearings Angeline Hariston
Office of the Governor Karen Cheek
Office of State Budget & Management Melissa Sincebaugh
Office of State Controller Glenda Ellerbee
Office of State Human Resources Karen Cheek
Public Instruction Steven Oberhausen
Public Safety Margaret Ekam
Barbara Revels
Revenue  Angelina Harvey
Secretary of State  Margaret Reader
School of Science & Math  Jaime Kelsky
Transportation Dennis Franz
Treasurer  Debra Thomas
UNC – Asheville   Karla Piccirillo
UNC – Chapel Hill Jessica Pyjas
UNC – Charlotte   Cindy Edwards
UNC System Office Kathy Bryant
UNC – Greensboro  Sarah Alston
UNC – Pembroke  Sheila Hardee
UNC – School of the Arts Kemora Brownlee
UNC – Wilmington  Michel Shackelford
Western Carolina University Cory Causby
Wildlife Resources Commission Patricia Barnes
Winston Salem State University Sharon Hill