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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, OCT. 21, 2008

CONTACT: Lee Hunter, director of animal welfare
NCDA&CS Veterinary Division
(919) 715-7111
Gary Gay, director
NCDA&CS Food Distribution Division
(919) 575-4490

NCDA&CS employees honored for outstanding service

RALEIGH – Nine employees of the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services were honored Monday with State Employees’ Awards for Excellence during a ceremony at the N.C. Museum of History.

Eight employees were honored for Outstanding State Government Service. They were members of the Operation MoveOut team that rescued about 200 animals from an inhumane animal shelter in Western North Carolina. Team members were Allen Broadwell, Dr. Jennifer House and Mark Howell of the Emergency Programs Division; Dr. Mary Ann McBride, Gary Stamey, Mike Stiles and Shelley Swaim of the Veterinary Division; and Jennifer Nixon of the Public Affairs Division.

The team worked with animal rescue organizations to find new homes for about 200 animals that had been housed at the All Creatures Great and Small animal shelter in Hendersonville.

“The animals in this shelter were living in horrendous conditions, and our employees worked professionally and quickly to find them better homes,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Through the efforts of these employees, organizations from across the East Coast lent their support to this operation and helped make it successful.”

The ninth employee honored was Gail Weams of the Food Distribution Division. Weams, of Asheville, works with schools and agencies that participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture Commodity Food Program. She was honored in the Public Service category for her work in the community. She regularly volunteers with the Adopt-A-Highway Program, the Manna Food Bank and a local humane society. She also volunteers with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and co-founded the WNC Parrot Head Club, which has a strong community outreach component. Weams is on the board for the WNC Down Syndrome Alliance and co-chairs the organization’s annual Tropical Gala and Auction.

“Gail is a person who gives back to the community in many, many ways,” Troxler said. “She brings that same level of commitment and involvement to her work with the Food Distribution Division.”

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NCDA&CS Public Affairs Division, Brian Long, Director
Mailing Address:1001 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1001
Physical Address: 2 West Edenton Street, Raleigh NC 27601
Phone: (919) 733-4216; FAX: (919) 733-5047

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Steve Troxler, Commissioner of Agriculture

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