The Governor’s Awards for Excellence

The Governor’s Award for Excellence

The Governor’s Award for Excellence is the highest honor a State employee may receive. The program is designed to acknowledge and show appreciation for the outstanding accomplishments of North Carolina employees.

The meritorious service or accomplishments recognized by this award program are so singularly outstanding that special recognition is justified.

Out of approximately 173,000 State employees in North Carolina — only about 10 to 15 Governor’s Awards are given each year.

UNC Charlotte is honored to have had numerous winners over the past years — 17 since 1989!

UNC Charlotte Employee of the Year Recipients and nominees may be submitted by the Human Resources Department for the Governor’s Awards for Excellence.

Qualifying Employees

Nominees must be permanent state employees who are SHRA. Universities have the option to include faculty and administrators who are EHRA employees. Elected officials, university chancellors or employees with the public school or local community college systems are NOT eligible.

Award Categories

  • Customer Service: Provided exceptional service that left the customer fully satisfied with their experience. Exceeded expectations to meet the needs of the customer. Added value to the customer experience.
  • Efficiency & Innovation: Improved the efficiency of state government services. Established new and/or improved methods, practices, plans or designs resulting in innovation, savings and/or efficiencies.
  • Human Relations: Made outstanding contributions toward enhancing the quality and morale of the workplace or creating a better public image of state government (such as positive personal interaction with other employees; public awareness; working on relations internally within an agency; or collaboration between different agencies).
  • Outstanding State Government Service: Exhibited unselfish devotion to duty far and above the normal requirements and contributed significantly to the advancement of state service to the citizens of North Carolina.
  • Public Service: Made outstanding contributions by participating in or implementing community and public service projects (such as volunteering with various non-profit organizations).
  • Heroism: Demonstrated outstanding judgment or courage in an emergency, voluntarily risking his/her life, or exhibited meritorious action to prevent injury, loss of life or prevented damage to or loss of property.
  • Spirit of North Carolina: Exemplified the state motto “To be, rather than to seem.” Mentored others in the pursuit of excellence. Served as an ambassador for the State of North Carolina. This special award is reserved for exceptional circumstances and for accomplishments and achievements of the highest caliber.

UNC Charlotte Recipients of the Governor’s Awards for Excellence

2023 – Amy Wartham, Human Relatinos
2016 – Lebra Nance, Outstanding State Government Service
2014 – David Landrum, Public Service
2014 – James Williams, Efficiency & Innovation
2013 – Steve Clark, Efficiency & Innovation
2012 – Jo Ann Fernald, Outstanding State Government Service
2012 – Jerry Lecomte, Public Service
2012 – Connie Martin, Innovation
2008 – Beulah Shankle, Human Relations
2007 – David Jones, Innovation
2004 – John Heck, Safety & Heroism
2004 – Dorothy Munson, Outstanding State Government Service
1995 – Barbara Leigh Tipton, Innovation
1994 – James Matthews
1992 – Herbert Hechenbleikner
1990 – James W. Clay
1989 – Johnnie Horn McLeod


For more information about the Governor’s Award for Excellence, please email