Henderson County Staff Honored at State Extension Conference

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Henderson County’s Extension staff attended the state Extension Conference this week and came away with several honors at the annual awards ceremony. The conference is held each year and honors agents and staff from across the state for their outstanding work. We are proud that our staff came away with so many honors at this year’s meeting.

Steve Pettis won the Lois Britt Award for Outstanding Extension Agent. This award goes to one agent each year in the state that has excelled in their programming and leadership efforts. Steve has been the Horticulture agent in Henderson County for almost six years.

County Agent Award, Steve PettisCounty Agent Award, Steve Pettis

Keai Tilly won the Grange Award for Excellence for Administrative Assistant. The Grange Awards are given each year to recognize exceptional work in various areas. This is the only award designated for administrative assistants. If you have been to our office and met Keai, you know how deserving of this award she was. Keai has been a member of our staff since January 2020.

Karen Blaedow won two awards. The first was the Extension Leadership Award. This award recognizes accomplishments that have helped reduce cost, increase efficiency and increase productivity that exceed normal expectations. Karen’s work with our tomato growers have helped them in all of these areas.

County Agent Award, Karen Blaedow

The second award for Karen was the Grange Search for Excellence Award for agricultural agents. This award recognizes the accomplishments and impacts of the employee over a period of time. Karen’s responsibilities include vegetables and small fruit and her programs are some of the best in the state. Karen has been in Henderson County for almost six years.

Finally, Terry Kelley was awarded the Carol Birkhead Award for Outstanding County Extension Director. This award is given for excellence in the following areas:

  • How the CED’s administrative style involves others in decision-making processes. ● How the CED recognizes and develops others. ● How the CED encourages excellence in program areas and teamwork. ● Recognition of the CED’s leadership ability by others in the county. ● Significant contributions or changes he/she has made in the County Extension Program(s).

Terry has been the Director of Henderson County Extension since May 2017.

We are very proud of our staff and their accomplishments. These recognitions are well-deserved. We have other staff members who are equally skilled and equally important to our office. Most have not been with us long enough to qualify for most award opportunities. So, be looking for more honors for the Henderson County staff in coming years.

We appreciate the support of the county, N.C. State and our volunteers in helping our office serve Henderson County.

awards lightning newspaper article 2022

Local newspaper The Hendersonville Lightning Article about Extension’s Awards