New Hanover County, NC – New Hanover County employees were celebrated at the second-annual Reach for the Stars Awards Banquet on Wednesday, April 27. Chairman Beth Dawson and County Manager Chris Coudriet both applauded the work of county employees, who serve and make an impact every day.
“New Hanover County has the best and the brightest employees who are supporting and serving the community every day,” said County Manager Chris Coudriet. “Each employee has a commitment to our shared values, and they make our county great.”
The Reach for the Stars recognition program began in October 2014 and, since then, 288 Stellar Awards have been presented. At Wednesday’s awards banquet, the first “Five-Star Awards” were also given. Human Resources team members Bo Dean and Cheryl Knips were the first two county employees to receive this honor.
Dean, who serves as the county’s training development coordinator, was recognized for his hands-on involvement with the county’s staff. By immersing himself into the roles of county employees, Dean develops innovate ways to engage, train, and recognize employees in meaningful ways. Knips, an HR Analyst, has been credited for developing and implementing a performance measurement system that has been put into practice across the county. The work of these employees is allowing the county, as a whole, to move forward and meet the needs of citizens more efficiently.
In addition to the Five Star Awards, Stellar Award winners were thanked for making a difference. Among the many awardees is Captain Scott Bradshaw of Engine 16 with New Hanover County Fire Rescue. Bradshaw received a Stellar Award for his leadership when his team helped paramedics in a medical situation and attended to the small children affected by the crisis. The nominator, a local paramedic, said “let me again offer my heartfelt thanks for the professionalism and compassionate care that was provided.” Captain Bradshaw and his team helped a family, and their actions didn’t go unnoticed.
Another Stellar Award winner is Library Associate Max Nunez. Nunez created the annual Super Hero Fun Run around Myrtle Grove Library. Participants dress as super heroes and run the one-mile course while dodging water balloons, overcoming obstacles and facing super villains along the way. The event’s activities tie into the county’s objectives of reducing childhood obesity and increasing literacy; and, this past year, the run also raised more than 300 pounds in canned good donations. Nunez far exceeds his regular job in coordinating this race and his work is making an impact on our community
Reach for the Stars is the county’s employee recognition program, and is a way for both peers and citizens to nominate county employees for their outstanding service. The program is rooted in the county’s shared values of Professionalism, Integrity, Innovation, Stewardship, and Accountability. Citizens and employees can make Stellar Award and Community Service Award nominations, and the top award – the Five Star Award – is given to employees who receive nominations across at least four of the county’s five shared values. To learn more about the Reach for the Stars Recognition Program and how the community can nominate county employees, click here.
Communications & Outreach Coordinator