FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2007
Ben Harward, director
NCDA&CS Human Resources Management
Troxler recognizes NCDA&CS employees;
Garner resident named Employee of the Year
RALEIGH - Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler held an employee appreciation ceremony to recognize N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services employees for outstanding service and longevity last week at the State Fairgrounds.
"I am constantly telling people that we have the best and hardest-working employees in state government," Troxler told his employees. "And I am extremely proud of that. You make the department look good and you make me look good. Keep up the hard work."
As part of the ceremony, Troxler recognized employees with 20 or more years of state service and presented the 2006 NCDA&CS Employee of the Year along with two Commissioner's Awards for Excellence.
Abe Costa of the Agricultural Statistics Division was named Employee of the Year. Costa manages the IT section and oversees the helpdesk and network administrators. Costa is well known for his willingness to go above and beyond to fix computer problems and provide top-level technical support.
"Abe's expertise and leadership in the IT department ensures that when we log in to the computers every day, everything just works, and we don't have to think about it," Troxler said.
In addition, Costa chaired the department's record-breaking State Employees Combined Campaign effort last year. Costa is a resident of Garner. | Download high res version of Abe's picture
Jennifer Nixon of the Public Affairs Division received the Commissioner's Award for Excellence in Human Relations for her work with two projects she started to build unity within the department and with the community. Nixon, of Wake Forest, organizes the annual Potato Drop at the Farmers Market, which marks National Hunger Awareness day with Inter-Faith Food Shuttle and Society of St. Andrew. The event allows NCDA&CS employees and community volunteers to bag sweet potatoes for the less fortunate. She also organizes a team to participate in the annual Komen N.C. Triangle Race for the Cure. She began the team in 2005 when a co-worker was diagnosed with breast cancer. | Download a high res version of Jennifer's picture
Yvonne Stott of the Marketing Division received the Commissioner's Award for Excellence in State Service. Stott, of Raleigh, is a 21-year NCDA&CS employee and 35-year veteran of state government. Stott reports to three assistant directors who have responsibilities varying from farmers markets to international trade missions. She is often seen helping out co-workers, even though it means she will need to stay late to get her own work done. When co-workers turn to her for her working knowledge of the department and its programs and procedures, she is always willing to help and pitch in when needed. | Download a high res version of Yvonne's picture
The Employee of the Year is chosen from the 12 employees who were selected as employees of the month. Nixon and Stott will both be nominated for the Governor's Awards for Excellence.