Hillsborough Honors Employees for Innovation, Customer Service and Endurance

Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023
Stephanie Trueblood
Public Space and Sustainability Manager Stephanie Trueblood won both a Gold Endurance Award and the Innovator of Distinction for her work on the Comprehensive Sustainability Plan and Engage Hillsborough.

The Town of Hillsborough recognized 41 employees Monday, Nov. 13, for innovation, customer service and endurance demonstrated during Fiscal Year 2023.  

Town Manager Eric Peterson presented the awards during a regular meeting of the Hillsborough Board of Commissioners. He acknowledged that while the selection committee had some significant achievements to review for this year’s awards, some great work likely was overlooked. 

The awards program was implemented in 2008 to highlight and reward the ideas and actions of employees that go beyond the expectations of their jobs. The point is to recognize, learn, and be inspired from the excellent work performed by town employees, Peterson said. The recognized employees set great examples to everyone in the organization on ways to better serve the community. 

Based on the award level, recipients received a trophy, monetary award and extra vacation leave. See the full list of awards recipients in the related documents. 

Gold Endurance Awards 

This year, three employees in the Community Services Department received the Gold Endurance Award for management of a stormwater infrastructure project and for development of a comprehensive sustainability plan. Both projects have been recognized with awards from several organizations. The Comprehensive Sustainability Plan is now being used as a model for other communities. 

Odie Street Green Infrastructure Project Management — Stormwater Program Coordinator Heather Fisher served as the project manager of the high-profile and long-term Odie Street green infrastructure project. Fisher’s role included overseeing the coordination of multiple partners, community outreach, and the construction of bioswales and treatment swales within the Odie Street right of way. The project demanded long hours and a consistent commitment to excellence. Ultimately, the project helps meet the town’s sustainability goals while also directly benefiting Odie Street residents and town residents downstream. The project received an award from the Stormwater Management Division of the American Public Works Association North Carolina Chapter. 

Comprehensive Sustainability Plan — Since October 2020, Planning and Economic Development Manager Shannan Campbell and Public Space and Sustainability Manager Stephanie Trueblood have worked on the Hillsborough Comprehensive Sustainability Plan with the public, town staff and consultants. The effort culminated with the Board of Commissioners adopting the plan this past June. Campbell and Trueblood were recognized for their extreme endurance, professionalism, and commitment to the plan’s development. They spent many hours updating the consultant’s initial work product into a plan of excellence that will have a direct and meaningful impact on Hillsborough’s future. The plan and its public input process have been recognized with awards from several organizations, and the plan is now being used as a model for other communities. 

Innovator of Distinction 

Trueblood was also recognized with the Innovator of Distinction award for her efforts in developing the town’s comprehensive sustainability plan and Engage Hillsborough pilot program.  

She initiated moving beyond the statutorily required comprehensive land use plan and creating a comprehensive sustainability plan that adds the elements of climate protection, resiliency and equity. The novel approach goes beyond what other communities are doing, especially communities of Hillsborough’s size.  

Trueblood also came up with the idea for an alternative outreach program, now called Engage Hillsborough. She worked with the Communications Division and Police Department on developing the pilot community engagement program, which is coordinated by the Communications Division and encourages engagement from additional and different voices.  


Community members can recommend town employees for an award by contacting Human Resources Technician and Town Clerk Sarah Kimrey by email or by phone at 919-296-9443. The next round of the awards program will cover work performed in Fiscal Year 2024 — between July 1, 2023 and June 30, 2024. 

Related documents

Document Award guidelines  

Document Award recipients