North Carolina Solid Waste Enforcement 
Officers Association

The Mike Stilwell Award for Enforcement Officer of the Year 

Mike Stilwell was a member of NCSWEOA’s Executive Committee who served as a code enforcement officer for Mecklenburg County for over a decade. Mike is remembered for providing outstanding service to his community and for his ability to achieve voluntary compliance. Mike was a model public servant who had the abilities and expertise to navigate complex compliance issues with tact and good humor. In an effort to acknowledge Mike’s contributions to public service we present the Stilwell Enforcement Officer of the Year Award on an annual basis to recognize those NCSWEOA members who exemplify the traits, skills, and knowledge that were demonstrated by Mr. Stilwell.

2019 Stilwell Award Nominations are now open!

Eligibility for Nomination:

      • Any individual who has responsibilities for responding to solid waste complaints and/or enforcement of solid waste rules, ordinances, or laws.
      • Current employee of a local, state, or federal government working in North Carolina.
      • Job classification may include part-time involvement in solid waste enforcement activities and not necessarily the primary function of the nominees' work requirement. 

Nomination Criteria:

      • Attach letter of recommendation stating why the nominee is deserving of this recognition.
      • Detail how the nominee has “made a difference.” 
      • Include specific accomplishments, innovative approaches to enforcement, involvement in organizations, community interaction, or assistance to other agencies or entities.
Complete the application and provide a letter of recommendation.

2019 Award Winner

Now Accepting Nominations

2018 Award Winner

Valerie Proper

City of Concord

2017 Award Winner

Jeff Blood

Iredell County 

City of Concord Solid Waste Services Senior Customer Service Specialist Valerie Proper was the 2018 recipient of the Stilwell Award. With 18 years of experience on the job, Valerie serves as the city's first point of contact for solid waste compliance issues. She uses her interpersonal communication skills to achieve voluntary compliance and works cohesively with Code Enforcement Officers as enforcement action is pursued.  She fills in as Compliance Code Inspector as needed, Valerie also supports the enforcement officers by researching case information and maintaining an enforcement case database and providing information about proper disposal and educational materials to the public.

Iredell County Solid Waste Enforcement Officer Jeff Blood was the 2017 recipient of the Stilwell Award. Officer Blood was nominated for his hard work as an enforcement officer. He is able to use education, rather than prosecution, enforce the rules and address violations. He never meets a stranger and can talk to and relate to all socio-economic classes. He can be counted to speak in front of groups and represent the department at community events. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Keep Iredell County Beautiful.

“Blood isn’t afraid of anything and he gets results without making people mad.” 

2016 Award Winner

Duane McGuire

Harnett County 

Our 2016 Stilwell Award recipient is Deputy Duane McGuire, of the Harnett County Sheriff's Office. Deputy McGuire serves as the county's Environmental Officer. He has achieved his success by blending law enforcement training with his knowledge of solid waste. In addition to his successful enforcement program, some of his other accomplishments include the establishment of a remarkable waste diversion program that aids the local food pantry, and an anti-littering campaign that focuses on securing loads as a means of prevention. His supervisor credits Duane with changing public perception of the county through the reduction of illegal dumping and littering. 

2015 Award Wiinner

Kathy McVey

Cumberland County 

  Kathy McVey is our 2015 Stilwell Award winner. As the Environmental Enforcement Inspector for Cumberland County, Kathy's background includes both solid waste and law enforcement experience. She investigates complaints and prepares cases for Environ-mental Court. Kathy also has training in the management of hazardous waste, and operates the county's household hazardous waste facility. She has a reputation for dealing fairly with the public - both complainants and perpetrators, and uses her knowledge and abilities to provide public outreach and education through local events and programs, as well as through her relationship with the local media. 

2014 Award Winner

Jeff Sparrow

Wayne County 

Our first annual Stilwell Award was presented to Jeff Sparrow, Environmental Enforcement Officer for Wayne County. With a background in criminal justice and law enforcement, Jeff took on the task of enforcing the county's solid waste ordinance with what his superiors describe as enthusiasm and dedication. He searched out professional development programs that could expand his knowledge of solid waste laws and issues, and has always made it a point to stay up to date with changing technologies and practices. His department director says that Jeff's communication and organizational skills make him ideal for managing a high volume case load, and for handling recycling, waste diversion, and public outreach programs with equal effectiveness.

NCSWEOA is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization. PO Box 134 Terrell, NC 28682-0134

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