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2014 Catawba County Employee Of The Year, Beverly Hester, (right) received the award from County Manager Tom Lundy


Catawba County faced significant property damage during and following the severe flooding of July 27, 2013. County government property was not spared and, since service needs are continual at many properties including the Blackburn Landfill, County staff were challenged to clean up damage and restore normal operations as soon as possible. In many cases, County funds budgeted for other needs have to be used to face an unexpected disaster such as the flooding, and staff must also find ways to recoup those funds.

A Catawba County employee whose attention to detail allowed the County to receive disaster recovery funds for the Landfill flooding from FEMA, and who also met an unexpected staffing shortage at the Landfill as the County was preparing to begin new, expanded recycling programs, has been named the County’s Employee Of The Year for 2014.

Beverly Hester, an Administrative Assistant II with Catawba County’s Department of Utilities and Engineering, was recognized at the County’s annual Awards Night dinner on October 21 at the CVCC Tarlton Center.

“Beverly Hester consistently works above and beyond the expectations and requirements of her position. Her dedication to the success of the Solid Waste Program is exemplified through her commitment to service for the citizens of Catawba County,” said Cindy Meadows, Business Manager I with the Department of Utilities and Engineering, who nominated Hester for the award. “Beverly has many qualities that make up her unparalleled work ethic. Among those qualities is her ability to recognize when something needs to be accomplished and simply get it done without fanfare or recognition, whether the task is within the scope of her job or not. During FY 2013-14, the Landfill suffered significant damage during the flooding of July 27, 2013. Beverly’s attention to detail in cataloguing the damages and repairs was invaluable in the County’s efforts to recoup as much of the cost of recovery from FEMA as possible. Thanks to Beverly’s efforts the Solid Waste Fund was reimbursed by FEMA for $66,464 of the cost of recovery and repair.”

“Also during FY13-14, the cleaning crew for the landfill offices and the County’s Biodiesel Production Facility quit abruptly,” Meadows added. “Without hesitation and without additional compensation, Beverly took on those duties to ensure the office, restrooms and break area were kept clean, saving the County $1,800 until a new cleaning company could be contracted almost 6 months later.

Hester is a native of Catawba County. She is a 1983 graduate of Fred T. Foard High School. Before coming to work for Catawba County, she worked for Piedmont Foam, Inc., Regal Manufacturing Company and Recticel Foam, SA, before working for Catawba County. She began work for Catawba County in 1990 as a Scale Attendant at the Blackburn Landfill. In 1992, she was promoted to the position of Scale Manager. That title was reclassified as Waste Reduction Coordinator in 1997 and again re-classified as Administrative Assistant II, the title she currently holds, in 2004.

“Going above and beyond like this, Beverly also kept the biodiesel facility clean and ready for visitors, Meadows concluded. “With more than 23 years experience, Beverly has become an invaluable asset. Anytime a new solid waste program is established at the Landfill, Beverly volunteers to manage data tracking for the new program, such as the electronics and paint collection. The electronics collection, in particular, is complicated due to its partial funding from State reimbursements based on County population. Tracking of materials collected and expenses is crucial and required by State auditors. Beverly is one of those employees in whom everyone can have the utmost confidence in her expertise, her attention to detail, as well as her unwavering dedication and service to the citizens, customers and her work.”

Hester and her husband, John, live in Conover and have two daughters. Kaitlan is a student at N.C. State University. Kacie is enrolled at Discovery High School, which has a mission to prepare all of its students for college, work, and citizenship through a curriculum that focuses on “project based learning” in a technology-rich environment. Beverly is an active member of Christ Commission Church of Brookford.

Six other Catawba County employees were nominated for Employee Of The Year for 2014. They included: Teresa Buff, Assistant Tax Collector, Tax Office; Darlene Burgess, Public Health Nurse, Public Health; Leslie Campbell, Administrative Assistant II, Public Health; Kristy Connelly, Accounting Services Manager, Finance; Brian Drum, Communications Center Supervisor, Communications Center; and Tommy Poovey, EMT Paramedic, Emergency Services.