NCACC Swears In New President, Names Awardees at 110th Annual Conference

Durham, N.C. - On Saturday, August 12, the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) wrapped up its 110th Annual Conference, which was hosted by the Association in cooperation with Durham County.

The NCACC Annual Conference is held over several days each summer to bring together commissioners and county officials from the state’s 100 counties to conduct official Association business and discuss important county issues. The event also provides networking and educational and training opportunities for commissioners and county staff.
The event culminated with the swearing in of NCACC’s new President, Brenda Howerton, Durham County Commissioner, with honors performed by Congressman G.K. Butterfield (D-NC). In her new role, President Howerton will lead the Association, focusing her priority initiative on youth cultivation to help ensure that the next generation of North Carolinians thrives.
“Our children need our love and attention…and it is up to us – as county leaders – to stand up and find solutions that give our children the essentials that they need to thrive,” said NCACC President Brenda Howerton.
During the Business Session of the conference, NCACC elected Ronnie Smith, Martin County Commissioner, to serve as the Association’s next Second Vice President. In addition, commissioners voted for Surry County Commissioner Larry Phillips to serve as President Elect and Yadkin County Commissioner Kevin Austin to serve as First Vice President. Furthermore, Davidson County Commissioner Fred McClure became Past President.
During the conference, several counties were recognized by the Local Government Federal Credit Union and N.C. Cooperative Extension Service for establishing innovative partnerships that improve services to citizen. And, NCACC honored several individuals for their achievements in support of counties. NCACC awarded honors to the following recipients:
  • Fred McClure, Past NCACC President, Davidson County Commissioner received the Outstanding County Commissioner Award1
  • Delilah Blanks, Former Bladen County Commissioner, Past NCACC President; David Thompson, former NCACC Executive Director; and Danny Wright, Former Vance County Commissioner, Past NCACC President were inducted into the NCACC Hall of Fame2
  • Michael Sprayberry, Director, NC Emergency Management received the Friends of the Counties Award3
  • UNC School of Government received the Distinguished Service Award4
Participants heard from prominent speakers including the author of “Color Blind,” Lieutenant Colonel Phillip Woody, U.S. Marine Corps (Ret.); and mental health advocate, author of “A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy,” and mother of Columbine High School shooter, Sue Klebold.

As part of the conference, NCACC teamed up with 4-H Youth Development (a service of NC Cooperative Extension) and Boys & Girls Clubs of North Carolina to sponsor YouthVoice for the eighth consecutive year.  YouthVoice brings together youth delegates ages 14-19 and county officials to promote dialogue between current county leaders and the next generation of leaders.  It also helps educate youth delegates on the county’s role in their community and the complex art of governing.

NCACC also launched a project related to the conference theme, “Amplify Your County Story,” which aims to encourage county leaders to share personal stories they hear in their communities.  The conference featured a County Story Stage to begin collecting impactful stories from around the state, which will be posted on the Association’s website and included in NCACC publications. 
Editors: Print-quality photos may be downloaded from Photo should be credited as follows: Photo courtesy Chris Baucom/NCACC.

About the NCACC: The North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) is the official voice of all 100 counties on issues being considered by the General Assembly, Congress and federal and state agencies. The Association provides expertise to counties in the areas of advocacy, research, risk management and education and leadership training.

1Each year the NCACC awards the M.H. “Jack” Brock Outstanding County Commissioner Award to a commissioner who has demonstrated special achievements and efforts on behalf of county government throughout the state and/or region.

2The Hall of Fame Award was established in 2011 to honor individuals for their contributions to county government at the state or national levels, recognizing their service and leadership as a member of the NCACC Board of Directors and/or leadership role with the National Association of Counties (NACo) or service in a higher office.

3Established in 2005, the Friend of the Counties Award recognizes non-county persons and organizations that take significant actions to advance the interests of counties and the Association.
4The Distinguished Service Award was established in 1970 and is given to a person other than a county official, who in the judgment of the NCACC Board of Directors, has rendered a truly outstanding and distinctive service to the cause of improving local government above and beyond his/her usual duties or occupation.
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