RICHMOND (August 5, 2015)—The Virginia Association of Counties (VACo) is pleased to announce the 34 recipients of the 2015 Achievement Awards recognizing model local government programs. VACo received a record 92 submissions.
This year a number of the winning entries focused on education, and in particular, the learning and development of Virginia’s youth.
Tedd Povar, Associate Director of the Virginia Institute of Government; William Quarles, former Goochland County Supervisor; and Linda Lumpkin, retired Essex County Deputy County Administrator, served as judges for this year’s statewide competitive awards program.
“This is the 13th year of the Achievement Awards program, and we were thrilled to consider 92 entries,” said James Campbell, VACo executive director. “It was difficult selecting winners because every submission was worthy of consideration. However, we want to keep the program competitive so hard decisions were made by the judges. They did a great job throughout the review and selection process.”
The judges selected three submissions as Best Achievement finalists and one as the overall winner. The 2015 Best Achievement Award goes to Carroll County for its STEM Lab for Agriculture program. This is what Povar had to say about about Carroll County’s submission.
“I believe this project incorporates three critical elements: respect for the past (the farming profession), acknowledgement of the present (economic importance of agriculture) and investment in the future (STEM program),” Povar said. “Carroll County should be congratulated for allocating the resources and displaying the leadership to develop, in partnership with several institutions and organizations, a unique, multifaceted program to build a brighter future for current and future generations.”
Lumpkin said she’s encouraged by all the creativity counties are using in finding solutions to problems. “I’ve been fortunate enough to judge more than 150 submissions over the past two years,” Lumpkin said. “That’s a lot of innovative programs. If this is an indication of how creative and bright our county staff and leadership are, then the future is bright.”
Quarles hopes county leaders and division heads review all the entries because he thinks many of the programs can be replicated. “The great thing about the VACo Achievement Awards is that the program can be used as an educational tool,” Quarles said. “There are real solutions to problems most counties face. I encourage county representatives to check out how other counties are doing it and to contact them. I believe sharing ideas and solutions is the true benefits of the Achievement Awards.”
The VACo Achievement Awards is a competitive program open to local government members of the association. Representatives from each of the award-winning counties will be recognized at VACo’s 2015 Annual Conference in November. Also, VACo will present awards at Board of Supervisors meetings.