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. Each year 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 during the past calendar year. An independent panel of judges then reviews and selects winners across several categories. Award winners are recognized in front of their peers, creating an opportunity for best practice sharing and relationship building.
Region of Excellence Awards d
An independent panel of judges selected the award winners. Centralina would like to thank this
year’s judges: William P. Morgan (Jr. Former City of Statesville Council Member), Larken Egleston
(Former City of Charlotte Council Member) and Professor Suzanne Leland (Director of the MPA
Program at UNC Charlotte). A separate panel of experts evaluated the Clean Fuels category; judges
included Carina Trustram Eve (Energy, Climate and Resiliency Program Analyst with Energetics) and
Megan Green (Air Quality Program Manager with Mecklenburg County Air Quality).
We invite you to view the 2021 Centralina Region of Excellence Awards that was livestreamed on our YouTube channel on May 11, 2022. You can also view the press release by clicking the button below.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
Previous Region of Excellence Awards Winners
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:
- City of Albemarle Firefighter Cadet Academy (2022)
- (Small Community) Lake Norman Economic Development (2021)
- (Large Community) Rowan County Education Collaborative (2021)
- Mecklenburg County Public Health Community Partnerships During COVID-19 (2020)
- 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)
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 Gastonia & Gaston County Building Inspections Partnership (2022)
- Gaston County’s Tourism Development Department (2021)
- 2020 Virtual Cheerwine Festival (2020)
- 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)
- (Large Community) Town of Cornelius – Cain Center for the Arts (2022)
- (Small Community) Town of Spencer – Yadkin River Park Trailhead (2022)
- Town of Cornelius – Neighborhood C.A.R.E Center (2021)
- Kannapolis Downtown Revitalization (2020)
- 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)
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:
- UNC Charlotte EPIC PoleVolt Project (2022)
- Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) Electric Vehicle Bus Fleet (2021)
- Charlotte DOT: Strategic Energy Action Plan (2020)
- 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)
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:
- Anna Rice, Former Executive Director of Iredell Council on Aging (2022)
- Town of Corenlius – Senior Community Connections (2021)
- Shirley Wiggins (2020)
- Dementia Friendly Charlotte Mecklenburg (2019)
- Union County Council on Aging Group Respite Program (2018)
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:
- (Small Community) Jonathan Blanton, Town of Ranlo Manager (2022)
- (Large Community) Mike Downs, Cabarrus County Manager (2022)
- Mike Legg, Kannapolis City Manager (2021)
- Dena R. Diorio, Mecklenburg County Manager (2020)
- Lesley “Tug” Deason, Director of Parks and Recreation (2020)
- Tracy Finch Dodson, City of Charlotte Assistant Manager (2019)
- Lane Bailey, City of Salisbury City Manager (2018)
- Mecklenburg County COVID-19 Policy Group
- Remote Learning Center at E.E. Waddell Community Center
- Town of Davidson COVID-19 Business Support