RICHMOND (August 1, 2017)—The Virginia Association of Counties (VACo) is pleased to announce the 17 recipients of the 2017 Achievement Awards recognizing model local government programs. VACo received 79 submissions.
Winning entries focused on addressing high priority issues that challenge counties today.
“This is the 15th year of the Achievement Awards Program, and we couldn’t be more proud of the innovative work done by our member counties,” VACo Executive Director Dean Lynch said. “I want to thank all who participated. It seems we are faced with more complex challenges every year, but Virginia’s counties have found creative ways to overcome them.”
Tedd Povar, Associate Director of the Virginia Institute of Government; Dr. Sheryl Bailey, Senior Vice President at Springsted Incorporated and former Chesterfield County Deputy County Administrator; and Ted McCormack, retired VACo Lobbyist, served as judges for this year’s statewide competitive awards program.
York County and its Home-Based Business Assistance Program won this year’s Best Achievement Award.
Ted McCormack explained why York County was the overall winner in 2017. “York County’s Home-Based Business Assistance Program is innovative and focuses on an important but often overlooked aspect of a local economic development – meeting the needs of home-based businesses and helping them to grow.”
For the first time in the Achievement Awards Program history, the judges selected a Best Small County Achievement Award (50,000 or less population) and a Best Large County Achievement Award. King and Queen County captured the Best Small County Achievement Award while Chesterfield County earned the Best Large County Achievement Award.
“The Achievement Awards Program is a treasure trove of ideas for all localities in Virginia,” Povar said. “I encourage all county administrators and staff as well as elected officials to review the 79 entries this year. The VACo Achievement Awards is not just a competition but also a sharing of ideas. Each batch of entries every year is a best practice repository available to everyone in the Commonwealth to learn from and perhaps replicate.”
Dr. Bailey said she’s encouraged by the creativity counties showed to find solutions. “This is the first time I’ve judged the VACo Achievement Awards, and I come away very impressed,” Dr. Bailey said. “The future is certainly bright if this is an indication of the resourcefulness and ingenuity of county staff and leadership. I’m inspired by the good work done by Virginia’s counties.”
Chesterfield County tops the all-time Achievement Awards list with 26. Chesterfield County has won an award in each of the 15-year history of the program. Henrico County and Loudoun County are tied for second with 20 awards, respectively. Prince William County is fourth with 18.
The VACo Achievement Awards is a competitive program open to local government members of the association. VACo will present awards at Board of Supervisors meetings and recognize award-winning counties at the 2017 Annual Conference in November.
VACo Contact: Gage Harter