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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, MAY 28, 2008

CONTACT: Ben Harward, director
NCDA&CS Human Resources Division
(919) 733-2243

Troxler honors NCDA&CS employees, names employees 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. An event took place in Kinston for eastern-based employees earlier this month, and western employees will be honored at an event in Fletcher on Wednesday.

"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. I hope you will keep up the hard work."

As part of the ceremony, Troxler recognized employees with 20 or more years of state service and presented the 2007 NCDA&CS Employee of the Year along with three Commissioner’s Awards for Excellence.

Veterinary Poultry Team Employees of the YearThe Veterinary Division Poultry Health Team was named Employees of the Year for its surveillance work in the spring of 2007 after an outbreak of avian influenza surfaced in West Virginia. The surveillance work required extra work and travel in the evenings and weekends to ensure the safety of North Carolina’s poultry industry.

“This team has shown they are ready to respond in case of a highly contagious disease,” Troxler said. “Each member has communicated clearly and frequently with industry members in their area and maintained good relationships that will help the department’s ability to respond quickly in case of a disease outbreak.”

The Veterinary Division Poultry Health Team members are: Jimmy Collie of Spring Hope, Danny Fryar of Clinton, Travis Love of Pilot Mountain, Brannon Preslar of Bennett, Jeffrey Hardin of Angier, Sylvia Johnson of Rose Hill, Charles Ivey of Marshville, Darrell Minton of Harrisburg, Scott Rackley of Nashville, Scott Moore of Thurmond, Otis Lynn Johnson of Statesville, William Ronnie Smith of Troutman, Ryan Higgins of Sparta  and Zack Spivey of Sanford. | Download high res photo

Gail WeamsGail Weams of Asheville was given the Commissioner’s Award for Excellence in Public Service. Weams, a 27-year veteran of the department’s Food Distribution Division and a field representative covering 26 Western North Carolina counties, is heavily involved in her community. Weams 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 is a co-founder of the WNC Parrot Head Club, which has a strong community outreach component. In addition, she is on the board of the WNC Down Syndrome Alliance and co-chairs the organization’s annual Tropical Gala and Auction.

“Gail brings that same level of commitment and involvement to her work with the Food Distribution Division,” Troxler said. “We’re proud to recognize Gail for her efforts.” | Download high res photo

Debbie RobertsonDebbie Robertson of Wake Forest was given the Commissioner’s Award for Excellence in State Service. Robertson, a 19-year veteran of the department and assistant director of the Research Stations Division, has been highly involved with the department’s efforts to keep the state’s 18 research stations under the operation of NCDA&CS. Robertson has devoted a tremendous amount of time and energy to this, while juggling her regular day-to-day responsibilities. She has been a master at multitasking because of the number of projects and issues she has personally been involved with.

“Debbie has kept a positive attitude in the midst of very trying circumstances, and she has worked hard organizing and overseeing multiple efforts to gather information, meet review committee deadlines and ensure operations on the stations continue as normal,” Troxler said. | Download high res photo

Operation MoveoutTroxler also gave an Outstanding State Service Award to the Operation MoveOut team, which worked on removal and placement of dogs and cats from an overwhelmed animal shelter in Western North Carolina. The team’s efforts capped a more than five-year effort to remove animals from the All Creatures Great and Small Shelter in Hendersonville after the shelter failed to meet basic state animal welfare standards. The effort also demonstrated a teamwork approach with employees from the department’s Veterinary, Emergency Programs and Public Affairs divisions working together to move the animals to better homes.

The All Creatures Great and Small Team includes: Allen Broadwell of Fuquay-Varina, Dr. Jennifer House of Asheville,  Mark Howell of Claremont, Dr. Mary Ann McBride of Raleigh, Jennifer Nixon of Wake Forest, Gary Stamey of Candler, Mike Stiles of Murphy and Shelley Swaim of Advance. | Download high res photo

The Employee of the Year is chosen from the 12 employees who were selected in 2007 as employees of the month. Weam, Robertson and the Operation MoveOut team will be nominated for the Governor's Awards for Excellence.

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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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