Region of Excellence Awards

Regionalism not only encourages collaboration but also the celebration of successful initiatives and innovative local government action. Centralina’s annual Region of Excellence Awards recognizes outstanding achievements in support of Centralina’s mission to expand opportunity and improve quality of life.

Local governments are asked to nominate an innovative project, program, plan or individual that has contributed to significant and positive advancements in the regional community. Each year Centralina asks an independent panel of judges to review and select winners across several categories. Award winners are recognized in front of their peers, creating an opportunity for best practice sharing and relationship building.

2020

Region of Excellence Awards d

The nomination process for projects completed during the 2020 calendar year has begun, and we’ve made several improvements from last year. It will be easier to submit nominations with our shortened entry form, and all entries have a greater chance to win with TWO potential awards given in each category: one for larger and one for smaller jurisdictions. In a year like 2020, we thought it was only appropriate to have a special “judges choice” COVID-19 Resiliency Recognition that will be selected from all nominations in all categories.

Additional information on award categories, qualifications, eligibility and the decision timeline are outlined below.

Cross-Community Collaboration

Strong partnerships, cooperation and communication between local governments and stakeholders not only make our communities stronger, but also demonstrate Centralina’s mission of regional collaboration.

Qualifications:

The recipient of this award convened a range of government, nonprofit and/or private entities to build regional relationships, set goals and/or solve a common problem. The recipient leveraged the skill, expertise and resources of multiple stakeholders, demonstrating the value of partnerships across communities and sectors to achieve better outcomes. The awardee provided a platform for stakeholders beyond the duration of the project, plan or initiative to advocate, educate and communicate.

Local Government Innovation

Local governments are being asked to do more with less at a time when the role of government is under increasing scrutiny. Acting strategically, governments must make optimum use of resources while being innovative and bringing value to our communities.

Qualifications:

The recipient of this award utilized strategic and creative thinking to deliver new and different methods for problem solving. The awarded project, program or plan proved measurable value from new methods or technologies in a way that advances the community, region and/or the field. The awardee is efficient with government resources, drawing on creative partnerships or funding solutions.

Improving Quality of Life

The communities across the region aspire to a high quality of life that enable people of all generations to have the amenities, services and opportunities they need to thrive.

Qualifications:

The recipient of this award developed or implemented a project, program or
plan that enhanced quality of life in their community. Nominations should illustrate the positive affect they have had in one of the following quality of life categories: housing, transportation, recreation, health, economic opportunity or environmental quality. Entries that enhance social equity, encourage community participation, develop solutions that build on the community’s strengths / improve upon its weaknesses or use cooperative volunteerism to maintain or expand services are encouraged.

Clean Cities

The mission of the National Clean Cities Program (locally represented by Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition) is to reduce petroleum dependence, improve air quality and expand alternative fuel use and technology. The program promotes, accelerates and expands the use of alternative fuels in the transportation sector.

Qualifications:

The recipient of this award is a stakeholder organization that reduced the consumption of traditional transportation and fossil fuels by recognizing the environmental, economic and national security benefits. They seek to further the Clean Cities mission by proactively supporting partners in growing the region’s knowledge and understanding of best practices. The awardee demonstrates leadership and excellence in clean transportation options, emerging mobility initiatives and alternative fuel activities. These activities include but are not limited to purchasing alternative fuel and/or fuel-efficient vehicles, using alternative fuels in their fleet, implementing idle reduction policies, improving fleet fuel economy, partnering with fuel providers to expand alternative fuel availability or generally supporting and participating in current Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition/Clean Cities programs and priorities. The Clean Cities award has its own evaluation process and judges.

Aging in Action

Every day 10,000 people turn 60 years old across the Centralina region. Centralina Area Agency on Aging serves as an advocate, leader and partner to ensure older and disabled adults can age with choice, dignity and independence.

Qualifications:

The recipient of this award has assisted adults in their community age with choice, dignity and independence. The awardee has implemented a program, initiative or service that demonstrates a commitment and contribution to older and/or disabled adult issues, engagement, participation and/or volunteerism of older adults and advocacy for and on behalf of older and disabled adults and their families.

James D. Prosser Excellence in Government Leadership Award

Great leaders can be found at all levels of an organization. Their leadership inspires trust, builds confidence and motivates others to invest time in achieving remarkable results for the region’s communities. This award recognizes transformative local government leadership in honor of Centralina’s former Executive Director, James D. Prosser.

Qualifications:

The recipient of this award exemplifies and promotes excellence in government, outstanding leadership and high ethical standards. The award recognizes the cumulative achievements of a local government professional who has served as a role model for others and has consistently exhibited high professional and personal standards throughout his or her public career.

Entries Must Include the Following:

  1. Completed Nomination Form.
  2. One introduction paragraph, 500 words or less, that highlights the nominee.
  3. Completed Award Criteria Form with a typed Criteria Justification for each bullet.
  4. At least one high-resolution digital photograph (Note: submitted photos may be used on our website or social media for award promotion purposes).
  5. Optional: Supporting documentation (i.e. case studies, websites, news coverage, YouTube)

Eligibility & Who Should Apply

  • Centralina invites all municipal (e.g. village, town, city) and county governments, quasi-governmental entities (e.g. Metropolitan Planning Organizations) and non-governmental organizations in the Centralina region to submit nominations.
  • Nominees for the James D. Prosser Excellence in Government Leadership Award must be a local government staff person working within the Centralina region.
  • Nominations for all other award categories can be projects, programs or plans within the Centralina region, either initiated or completed during calendar year 2020.
  • Nominating entities may make multiple submittals; however, each submittal must be on a separate award nomination form.

Schedule & How to Submit Your Nomination

> Nomination Deadline: Monday, March 29, 2021
> Award Recipients Notified: Monday, April 26, 2021
> Award Ceremony: Wednesday, May 12, 2021

For more information about the Region of Excellence Awards, contact RegionofExcellence@centralina.org.

Previous Region of Excellence Awards recognized innovative work across the region in the following areas:
 

Southfork Regional Utility Consolidation Project
Pictured: Joe Albright

Formerly “Growing the Economy Award,” the recipient of this award has implemented innovative solutions to community development or investment challenges and engages in best practice strategies that utilize public/private sector partnerships to maximize investment opportunities; prepares existing sites and infrastructure to meet the needs of target industries; and/or implements economic development including job creation/retention initiatives, etc. Past winners include:

  • Southfork Regional Utility Consolidation (2019)
  • Greater Gaston Development Corp and Partners Gaston County CLT Airport Connected Economic Positioning Strategy (2018)
  • Town of Mooresville Workforce and Education Alignment Initiative (2017)
  • Gaston County Social Services Customer Self-Help Resource Center (2016)
  • City of Kings Mountain Downtown Small Business Success Project (2015)
  • Town of Huntersville Strategic Economic Development Plan (2015)
  • Town of Davidson “PiES” Project (2014)
  • City of Gastonia Technology Park Initiative (2013)
  • City of Belmont Small Business Support, Retention and Recruitment Program (2012)
  • City of Charlotte, Charlotte Business Resources.com (2012)

City of Charlotte Placemaking Grant Program
Pictured: Charlotte Lamb and Monica Carney Holmes

Formerly “Controlling the Cost of Government Award,” the recipient of this award has been creative in implementing a new or innovative program or initiative that is effective and delivers the most value with public funds. Such program exemplifies efficiency by utilizing economies of scale; partnering with other local governments to maximize the impact of public funds; and/or encouraging best practices to maintain or expand services. Past winners include:

  • City of Charlotte Placemaking Grant Program (2019)
  • Town of Huntersville Recreation Center Project (2018)
  • Town of Wadesboro Renovated Wadesboro Police Station (2017)
  • Iredell County Online Septic Record Search Engine (2016)
  • Gaston County Radio Communications Towers Construction Project (2015)
  • Cabarrus County Collaborative Technology Services Initiative with Local Education Agencies (2014)
  • Town of Cramerton Two Rivers Utilities Partnership (2013)
  • Town of Marshville Cost Savers Initiative (2012)

Highland Neighborhood Association Initiative

The recipient of this award best leverages resources to improve the quality of life for citizens. The award recipient has implemented innovative program offerings such as those that enhance social equity; encourage community participation through public and private sector leadership; develop solutions that build on the community’s strengths and improve upon its weaknesses; or use cooperative volunteerism to maintain or expand services. Past winners include:

  • City of Gastonia Highland Neighborhood Association (2019)
  • City of Mount Holly River Front Greenway Expansion Project (2018)
  • City of Bessemer City Centennial Park Revitalization Project (2017)
  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Woodstone After School and Mentoring Program (2017)
  • City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County Cross Charlotte Trail (2016)
  • Gaston County Teen Wellness Center (2016)
  • City of Salisbury, Salisbury Sculpture Show (2016)
  • Town of Indian Trail Resident Recreational Pass Project (2015)
  • Town of Huntersville “S.O.U.L.S.” Program (2014)
  • Town of Matthews Sewer Pipe Art Initiative (2014)
  • City of Statesville Downtown Streetscape Project (2013)
  • Town of Troutman ESC Park Project (2012)

City of Charlotte
Sustainable Fleet Policy
Pictured: Sarah Hazel

The recipient of this Centralina Clean Fuels Coalition award is a stakeholder organization that best demonstrates leadership and excellence in clean transportation and alternative fuel activities. The awardee has recognized the environmental, economic and national security benefits of reducing consumption of fossil fuels and has implemented programs and initiatives to lower their use of traditional transportation fuels. Past winners include:

  • City of Charlotte Sustainable Fleet Policy (2019)
  • Gaston County Propane Vehicle Conversion Project (2018)
  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools for Excellence in Clean Transportation and Alternative Fuel Activities (2017)
  • Town of Matthews for Excellence in Clean Transportation and Clean Fuel Activities (2016)
  • City of Concord for Leadership in Clean Transportation and Clean Fuel Activities (2015)
  • City of Charlotte Solid Waste Services Natural Gas Use in Fleet Refuse Trucks (2014)
  • Benfield Sanitation Services for Excellence in Clean Transportation and Clean Fuel Activities (2013)
  • Clean Cities Gaston County Schools Biodiesel Production and Use in Fleet School Buses (2012)

Dementia Friendly Charlotte Mecklenburg
Pictured: Sarah Maloney, Ashley Stevens and Linda Miller

The recipient of this award serves as a leader in impacting communities, so adults can age with choice, dignity and independence. The awardee has implemented a program that demonstrates a commitment and contribution to older and/or disabled adult issues, engagement, participation and/or volunteerism of older adults and advocacy for and behalf of older and disabled adults and their families. Past winners include:

 

Tracy Finch Dodson,
City of Charlotte Assistant Manager

The recipient of this award exemplifies and promotes excellence in government, outstanding leadership and high ethical standards. The award recognizes the cumulative achievements of a local government professional who has served as a role model for others and has consistently exhibited high professional and personal standards throughout his or her public career. Past winners include:

  • Tracy Finch Dodson, City of Charlotte Assistant Manager (2019)
  • Lane Bailey, City of Salisbury City Manager (2018)