Catawba County News

Catawba County Employee of the Year and Team Awards Announced

Catawba County Employee of the Year and Team Awards Announced

Published: October 16, 2019

Catawba County Communications & Marketing Strategist Paul Foster has been named Catawba County’s 2019 Employee of the Year. Foster earned distinction for his work assisting residents through the County’s social media platforms, which has significantly increased citizen awareness of and engagement in County news and information.

Foster received the honor during the County’s Employee Awards luncheon October 16 at Catawba Country Club. He has been employed with Catawba County for three years.

As stated in his nomination, “Paul is the steward of the County's social media presence, and through this he exemplifies outstanding customer service. He even jokes about ‘playing’ on social media but has the patience to defuse tense comments and tough topics online. He is responsive to any inquiries received through Facebook (and there are many, at all hours of the day and night), and he tries to respond as quickly and effectively as possible even after hours and on weekends. He is always working, because he is always keeping an eye on our social media presence. Because of this, the County's social media sites have become trusted and popular sources of information in the community. Paul has coached and empowered several departments and programs on how to make their social media presence more effective… Thanks to his continued focus on social media, Catawba County's Facebook following is the largest of any county in North Carolina.”

Eleven other employees were nominated for 2019 Catawba County Employee of the Year. They include Tyler Garrison, Library Business Manager; Tania Harper, Public Health Quality Improvement Coordinator; Brad Honeycutt, Utilities & Engineering Building Services Official; Kristen Keener, Human Resources Administrative Assistant; Sara Kubiak, Public Health WIC Nutritionist; Tiffany Parlier, Social Services Outpatient Therapist; Angie Propst, Public Health Administrative Assistant; Laura Rooks, Utilities & Engineering Building Services Supervisor; Jennifer Sharpe, Public Health Charge Nurse; Chue Vang, Finance Purchasing Specialist, and April Vigardt, Local Foods Extension Agent.

The event also featured the presentation of a 2019 Catawba County Team Award, which honored a group of employees whose combined efforts helped improve County services. A panel of judges in the government field independent of Catawba County awarded this year’s recognition to the Social Services Kinship Team, which led implementation of Caring for our Own, a curriculum to support kinship families who are parenting a child experiencing foster care. They trained 44 participants and nearly tripled the number of kinship families who are licensed foster homes. Team members included Social Services social workers Pam Bookhart, Hendrix Boags, Mandy Rollans, Jessica Norman, Candie Johnson, Lakeyhisa Hannah and Marge Manko.

Two other teams nominated for the award were the 911 C.A.R.E.S. Team and the Public Health Farmers Market Collaboration Team.