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Banner Elk Town Mayor Brenda Lyerly, pictured with Robert Johnson, chairman of Region D High
Country Council of Governments, is recognized for her exemplary performance while serving the
High Country Rural Transportation Planning Organization.
Photos by Sherrie Norris

Originally published: 2012-09-13 13:22:35
Last modified: 2012-09-13 13:22:35

Local leaders recognized at 38th annual awards banquet of High Country Council of Governments

Sherrie Norris

Avery County Commissioner Chairman Kenny Poteat and Banner Elk Mayor Brenda Lyerly were among several local leaders honored on Friday, Sept. 7, for their contributions to the Region D Council of Governments at the organization’s 38th annual awards banquet at Linville Ridge. 

More than 200 people attended the event, which is held each year to honor outstanding contributions and achievements by elected officials, local government employees and advisory committee members. Presiding over the awards presentations was Robert Johnson, executive board chairman and mayor of North Wilkesboro.

Poteat, who received the prestigious Charles VonCanon Regional Leadership Award, has been an Avery County commissioner for 18 years, and chairman since 2000. On a regional level, Poteat has been a member of the High Country COG’s executive board for 17 years, during which he has served on the advisory committee and a chairman for one term. He is active in the N.C. Association of County Commissioners, having served on the organization’s Youth Involvement Task Force. 

The VonCanon award was created in 1990 to recognize the leadership and unselfish contributions of longtime Region D Chairman, Charles VonCanon. It is presented only on rare occasions to a person who has encouraged and facilitated regional cooperation. Past recipients are (in addition to VonCanon) Hugh Morton (1994), Tracy Walker (1996), Dick Fender (2003), Phillip Frye (2004), John Miller (2007), Dana Tugman (2009), Charles Vines (2010) and J.B. Lawrence (2011).   

Lyerly was named 2012 Outstanding Rural Transportation Advisory Committee Member for her exemplary performance while serving the High Country Rural Transportation Planning Organization. Lyerly, who has been an active member of the committee for more than seven years, currently serves as committee chair, was chosen by her fellow members on the committee. Her long-term experience as a COG board member has given her a regional perspective of the transportation network, Johnson said. The High Country RPO is an organization of local governments working in cooperation with NCDOT to provide transportation planning for the region. 

Blowing Rock Town Manager Scott Hildebran was recognized as Outstanding Local Government Manager in the High Country region. The award acknowledged Hildebran’s exceptional service and contribution to professional management and intergovernmental cooperation in the region and state.

Since coming to Blowing Rock in 2003, Hildebran has been instrumental in resolving critical town water supply issues and according to Johnson, his professional development is evidenced not only by his obvious dedication, but also his credentials, active participation and leadership in various groups such as the International City Management Association and the North Carolina League of Municipalities.

Burnsville Mayor Danny McIntosh was named Outstanding Local Government Elected Official in the High Country region. During his tenure, the town has created a planning board and made critical upgrades to the sewer system. McIntosh is also active with Yancey County Rescue Squad and previously served as a volunteer fireman. 

The Region D High Country Council of Governments, based in Boone, is a planning and development agency serving local governments in Allegheny, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga, Wilkes and Yancey counties.

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