North Carolina Association of County Clerks

About us


With our first organizational meeting on November 11, 1976 at the Institute of Government, Chapel Hill, the NCACC was formed to provide an opportunity to exchange ideas and techniques used in the performance of the Clerks’ duties, to obtain information on the operation of the respective departments in the 100 counties of the state, to obtain knowledge on existing and new federal and state programs and laws affecting county government, to keep abreast of new trends implemented in and by county governments in the state and to promote, create and improve efficiency in the operations and record keeping of the Clerks’ office throughout the state of North Carolina.


Our goal is to create a professional organization that would give opportunities for Clerks to exchange ideas/information and initiate plans for continuing organizational activities, formulate specific projects to help develop strong leadership and to separate the position of Clerk to the Board of Commissioners from other positions which had historically performed the duties of Clerk, i.e., Register of Deeds, Finance Officer, Manager.

  • Letter from the President

    Letter from the President

    Spring 2024

    I cannot believe how fast the last six years have flown by! It feels just like just yesterday that I was elected to the Board of Directors, in 2018!

    Our annual conference, hosted by Phyllis Nowlen and Cleveland County, was one for the books! I hope you are each still using the tools we learned to find your “Calm in the Chaos.” I’m so glad I was able to catch up with old friends and get to know so many of our new clerks during the conference. I also want to thank those of you who helped with our service project this year! The Cleveland County Animal Shelter was so appreciative of your support. The hardest part for me was to leave without a new family member! Please be on the lookout for information about our “Stuff the Bus” service project at the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners Annual Conference in Forsyth County from August 8-10, 2024! It will be here before we know it!

    As I step into the role of President, I do so with a profound sense of responsibility and humility. I am eager to collaborate with each of you to continue our association’s incredible work. My vision for our association is one of collaboration, innovation, and inclusivity. I believe that every voice matters, and every member has a vital role to play in shaping our future. I am deeply grateful to all of you who work tirelessly to make this association better. This association belongs to all of us, and together, we will continue to move forward.

    Our Board has already met and set goals for this year. We will hold our first retreat in July and start working towards those goals. The Professional Development and Conference Planning Committee will also meet later this summer to begin planning our Fall Regionals, the November Clerk Academies, and the 2025 Annual Conference. If there are any topics you would like us to address, please let me know.

    In closing, I extend my deepest gratitude to each of you for entrusting me with this leadership role. I pledge to lead with integrity, transparency, and unwavering dedication. I look forward to serving you this year. Reach out to me anytime if you have questions or suggestions. Here’s to a fantastic year ahead – let’s make it one to remember!

    Warm regards,

    Melissa Long, MMC, NCMCC
    President, NC Association of County Clerks


Officers and Board of Directors

PresidentLindsay RayChathamEmail Lindsay Ray
Vice PresidentMelissa LongNew HanoverEmail Melissa Long
SecretaryPhyllis NowlenClevelandEmail Phyllis Nowlen
TreasurerMaria HassCherokeeEmail Maria Hass
Past PresidentDebbie HarrisDavidsonEmail Debbie Harris
DirectorKatie M. MosherBeaufortEmail Katie Mosher
DirectorMonica W. WallaceDurhamEmail Monica Wallace
DirectorJulie WandOnslowEmail Julie Wand
DirectorJanna SingletonPittEmail Janna Singleton
DirectorYvonne GilyardWakeEmail Yvonne Gilyard


There are many names and many faces to remember! The Directory of County Clerks & Deputy Clerks gives you a unique opportunity. It will assist in helping you to begin putting faces with names or just prove as a refresher from those you’ve met in the past. It is also a great networking tool! Updates to the directory may be submitted to Melissa Long.


The NCACC President will appoint all committees and has the duty to see that all committees function effectively.

There are currently 18 Committees: Nominating, Outstanding Clerk, Program, Site Selection, Scholarship, Membership, Homepage, Newsletter, Historian, Professional Development, State Certification, Scrapbook, Records Retention, Goody Bag, Door Prize, Hospitality and Directory.

Members should contact the President if they are interested in serving on any committees and/or note their interest on the membership form.

2024-25 Committees

  • Bylaws Committee

    Phyllis Nowlen, Chair
    Katie Mosher
    Dale Stiles
    Debbie Harris
    Ashleigh Matthews
    Kristine Smith
    Melissa Long
    Kym Crowell
    Toni Womack

  • Clerks’ Reference Guide

    Debbie Harris, Chair
    Kym Crowell
    Trisha-Ann Hoskins
    Debra Ivey
    Katie Mosher
    Phyllis Nowlen
    Toni Womack
    Kat Wright
    Melissa Long

  • Communications Committee

    Melissa Hass, Chair
    Melissa Long
    Kat Wright
    Dale Stiles
    Lindsay Ray
    Phyllis Nowlen
    Arlissa Eason
    Laura Williams
    Angela Dean
    Debra Ivey
    Paula Pulley
    Monica Wallace

  • Fundraising Committee

    Katie Mosher, Chair
    Maria Hass
    Phyllis Nowlen
    Debbie Harris
    Dana Cuddington
    Melissa Long
    Debra Ivey
    Trisha Hogan

  • History Committee

    Lindsay Ray, Chair
    Trisha-Ann Hoskins
    Katie S. Mitchell
    Dale Stiles

  • Membership Committee

    Debbie Harris, Chair
    Maria Hass
    Ashleigh Matthews
    Melissa Capps
    Kristine Smith
    Angela Dean
    Paula Pulley

Clerk of the Year Award

Gaston County Clerk Donna Buff Named 2023 Clerk of the Year

Gaston County Clerk to the Board Donna Buff was presented the 2023 Howard Holly Outstanding Clerk of the Year Award on April 11, 2024, during the North Carolina Association of County Clerks Annual Conference in Cleveland County. The conference banquet was held at Spinning Leaf at the Vineyard in Shelby.

Donna Buff has worked for Gaston County since 2008. She was appointed Clerk to the Board in 2012. In addition to the numerous committees over the years, she has served as a member of the Associations’ Board of Directors and Executive Committee and was President of the Association from 2020-2021. She has achieved the designation of North Carolina Master County Clerk through the North Carolina Association of County Clerks.

The Howard Holly Outstanding Clerk Award is presented in recognition of accomplishments superior to accepted standards and distinguished continuing contributions to county government in North Carolina. 

Congratulations Donna!

Pictured above: Clerk to the Board Donna Buff (center), daughter Taylor, granddaughter Olivia, mother Becky, husband Robby, and Gaston County Commissioners Allen Fraley and Bob Hovis.
  • Previous Clerk of the Year Awards
    YearNameCountyServed as President
    2022Trisha HoganTransylvania2021-22
    2021Kimberly HinesPitt2017-18
    2020Penny OwensTyrrellN/A
    2019Debbie HarrisDavidson2022-23
    2018Julie BennettWashington2016-2017
    2017Paula WoodardJohnston2015-16
    2016Kristen KingFranklin2014-15
    2015Gaynell LeeLeeN/A
    2014Carolyn BargerRowan2013-14
    2013Kathy GreeneCaldwell2009-10
    2012Debby CoreBrunswick2011-12
    2011Jeanette DeeseCarteret2010-11
    2010Marcia WilsonWayneN/A
    2009Gwen BryanCraven2003-04
    2008Brenda HunterDavie2007-08
    2007Elizabeth “Libby” CornHenderson2006-07
    2006Kathy HughesBuncombe2005-06
    2005Kay BlanchardHarnett2004-05
    2004Susan BanksPitt1998-99
    2003Pam RobertsonRockingham2002-03
    2002Lois AskewWashington1993-94
    2001Joyce EnnisJohnston2000-01
    2000Wanda SmithCaldwell1997-98
    1999Sandra CatherwoodVance1996-97
    1998Betty BlankenshipCaldwell1997-98
    1997Marsha FogleCumberland1987-88
    1996Ida SmithColumbus1992-93
    1995Barbara MooreUnion1994-95
    1994Charles MashburnAlexander1991-92
    1993Bobbie WilsonGranville1989-90
    1992Alice FortnerIredell1979-80
    1991Jane ColeForsyth1983-84
    1990Oleta LopezHoke
    1989Odessa JohnsonRockingham1985-86
    1988Norma BodsfordGuilford1988-89
    1987Lucie HarrellNew Hanover1986-87
    1986None Listed in HistoryN/AN/A
    1985Eleanor CreechJohnstonN/A
    1984Judy MatthewsTransylvania1980-81
    1983Virginia EdwardsCarteretN/A
    1982Belinda FormyduvalOnslow1982-83
    1981Rachel GoinsStanly1981-82

Minutes, Forms & Resources


Dear Fellow Clerks and COG Secretaries:

It is time to renew your annual membership in the North Carolina Association of County Clerks to the Boards of County Commissioners.  If you have never joined this wonderful organization, I would like to invite you to consider it now.  Dues are payable during the first quarter of each calendar year and should be remitted by September 30, 2023.

Membership in the Association continues to gain ground and you will surely benefit from taking advantage of the improved benefits and vital training offered to Clerks.  The benefits from our professional organization, which is an affiliate of the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners, include:

Training through the Association and in conjunction with the School of Government (SOG) 

Ever increasing legislation adds layers of complexity to our roles as Clerks.  Training events are structured to ensure we stay abreast of those changes and the way in which they affect our profession and our boards of commissioners.  We are ever mindful of the need to render sound management practices.

SOG November Clerks Academies

Topics for the annual SOG Clerk Academies are chosen by the Association and also by the NC Association of Municipal Clerks.  Who better to suggest topics for training than those of us who are in the trenches on a daily basis and are in need of the most accurate and up to date information available?  We constantly strive to improve the administration of our offices and the topics selected for the January Clerks School offer sound management practices to help achieve our goals.

North Carolina Certified County Clerks (NCCCC) and North Carolina Master County Clerk (NCMCC) 

The Association and the SOG listened to county clerks across the state and responded to the need for a state certification program for county clerks.  The program focuses on objectives that are more relevant to county government.  The first inaugural class was recognized by the Dean of the SOG during the January Clerks School in January 2010.  The certification may be used in conjunction with, or replace, the Certified Municipal Clerk (CMC) and Master Municipal Clerk (MMC) designation conferred by the International Institute of Municipal Clerks.


For clerks who need financial assistance in attending the Annual Conference, there are scholarships available.  If your county has limited funds for educational training, or has imposed travel restrictions, please apply for a scholarship.

Membership Fee 

We can never learn too much.  The $55 membership fee is a wonderful bargain in exchange for the knowledge, training, networking, and certifications to be gained for our professional development.  Download a membership application (PDF) and mail it with the $55 fee to the address listed on the application or use the online membership payment form for processing.


Debbie Harris Signature

Debbie Harris
Clerk to the Board
Davidson County Board of Commissioners
NC Association of County Clerks Membership Committee, Chair