Distinguished Service Award


The Distinguished Service Award was established in 1970 and is given to a person other than a county official who, in the judgment of the Board of Directors, has rendered a truly outstanding and distinctive service to the cause of improving local government above and beyond his usual duties or occupation.
Year Recipient Service(s) to Association
1970 State Representative Samuel H. Johnson Chairman, Local Government Study Commission, 1967-1970
1971 State Representative Herschel Harkins Charter member, Local Government Study Commission
(Study commission responsible for “historic grant of home rule power in 1969, restoration of local government Sales Tax, 1971)
1972 Governor Robert W Scott Responsible for establishing a Department of Local Affairs; planning regions
1974 John L. Sanders, Henry W Lewis and Joseph S Ferrell of the Institute of Government For their roles in helping the institute train and assist county government
1975 Congressman L.H. Fountain Responsible for General Revenue Sharing and Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations
1976 State Treasurer Edwin M. Gill Responsible for the state’s financial standing and financial integrity of counties and cities
1977 Former Montgomery County Commissioner R.B. Jordan, Jr. For his bringing the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) into preeminence in the National Association of Counties and his continued guidance after his exit from county office.
1987 State Representative Vernon James Introduced local Option Sales Tax legislation
1991 Former Secretary of Human Resources David Flaherty Pioneered efforts to involve county officials in Human Services planning and initiatives
1997 State Representative Anne Barnes Orange County Commissioner (1978-1981); state legislator (1981-1996); long-time chair of House Education Committee; responsible for county representation in an effort resulting in structured sentencing and Criminal Justice Partnership Act and promoting school bond legislation in 1996
2003 State Senator Robert L. (Bob) Martin Pitt County Commissioner (1956-1984); state Senator (1985-2002); president of the association (1971-1972); chair of the Appropriation Subcommittee on Natural and Economic Resources (1989-2002); and advocate for counties in the state budget process
2005 State Representative W.C. (Bill) Owens NCACC Past President (1991-92) and former Pasquotank County Commissioner (1976-95); as a state representative Owens has consistently brought the county perspective to the budget process and has advocated for association positions.
2009 David M. Lawrence and William Rand Kenan Jr. - Professors of Public Law and Government at the University of North Carolina School of Government Advised and educated thousands of county commissioners, managers, attorneys, finance officers and other county officials on local government finance, open meetings and public records laws and a myriad of issues affecting counties and county officials.
2015 Prudential Financial Services Helps fund Advanced Leadership Corps, which provides training to help county commissioners become better leaders and prepare themselves to serve in a higher office.
2017 UNC School of Government Provide invaluable support to counties through educational programming, leadership training and day-to-day advice.