Monarch honors dozens of deserving staff during annual awards dinner

Awards DinnerA crowd favorite included an “encore” performance by two contestants from the Stanly County Dancing with the Stars competition held last month to benefit the Butterfly House, a children’s advocacy agency in Albemarle. Martha Sue Hall, member of the Albemarle City Council and a family court administrator in Union County, performed the Foxtrot. Jackie McGowen, executive assistant at Monarch and the event’s organizer, danced a Rumba. Michael Stowers, a teacher at Providence High School in Charlotte and professional ballroom dance instructor, served as partner for both women. The night was full of excitement for unsuspecting honorees and their colleagues. Staff members from across the state who received Monarch’s prestigious awards in various categories include:

The Dream Maker Award is given to express heartfelt appreciation and deserved recognition for staff who provide the level and quality of service to individuals Monarch supports. Recipients of the award are: Tiffany Haywood, behavioral specialist ,Mecklenburg County – Region 1;  Barbara Ann Stewart, behavioral technician, Lumberton – Region 7; Lisa Lisk, administrative assistant, Rockingham – Region 2; Margaret Edwards, developmental specialist, Albemarle – Region 3; Tuanicos “Nikko” O’Neal, developmental specialist, Albemarle – Region 3; Milton Simmons, developmental specialist, Southern Pines – Region 2; Shirolyn Little, developmental specialist, Laurinburg – Region 4; Cheryl Barnhill, lead developmental specialist, Hendersonville – Region 5; Dianne Meadows, administrative assistant, New Bern – Region 6; Annie Blount, developmental specialist, Edenton – Region 6;  Sam Cornog, maintenance journeyman, Southern Pines – Region 10; and Stacey Burris, finance support, Albemarle – Region 10.

The Bill Sackter Award went to Benny Benjamin, of Norwood, who attends Stanly Industrial Services in Albemarle. The award recognizes a person Monarch supports who is an achieving member of society.

The Eula Cranford Professional of the Year honors a staff member who is involved with service to individuals supported. This year’s recipients are: Kristie Cobb, program manager, Biscoe – Region 2, and Helen Kedzierski, qualified professional, Greenville – Region 6.   Appreciation of Dedication of Service Award recognizes an employee who has reached 25 years of service. Those who earned this award are: Bruce Hurst, qualified professional, Raeford – Region 4 and Glindia Harper, developmental specialist, Lumberton – Region 4.

Staff Member of the Year Award honors staff members who have shown exemplary service to people with developmental disabilities. Recipients are nominated by staff and people Monarch supports. A record number of award winners this year included: Queen Troy, developmental specialist, Raeford – Region 4; Sharon Stacy, operations manager, Walnut Cove – Region 5; Glenda Mabry, developmental specialist, Albemarle – Region 3; Eureka Medley, developmental specialist – Asheboro – Region 4; Paula Barnes, lead developmental specialist, Mt. Pleasant – Region 3; Bob Terhune, maintenance director, Albemarle – Region 10; and Angela Furr, administrative assistant, Albemarle – Region 3.

The Martha H. Lowder Award of Excellence honors a Monarch board member who has demonstrated exemplary board involvement. The award went to Monarch’s Board Chair Melinda Rummage, a registered nurse and certified diabetes educator.

Industry of the Year Award went to Package Crafters for their exceptional record in providing sub-contract work for affirmative industries, including Monarch. Alan Deal, director of sales and marketing, accepted the award. Package Crafters is a manufacturing, contract packaging, and distribution company in High Point.

Monarch provides support statewide to thousands of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental illness and substance abuse challenges in more than 55 North Carolina counties. Monarch is nationally accredited by The Council on Quality and Leadership and is CABHA certified. The agency is an affiliate chapter of The Arc of North Carolina and The Arc of the United States. To learn how Monarch is “Helping Dreams Take Flight” for people in our communities, call (800) 230-7525 or visit

Pictured above:  At top (l-r) – Leonard Covington, human resources manager; Queen Troy, developmental specialist in Raeford a recipient of the Staff Member of the Year Award;  and Terri Bernhardt, chief administrative officer. Below (l-r): Michael Stowers, professional ballroom dance instructor, and Jackie McGowen, executive assistant, perform the Rumba. To see more images from the event, click here to visit Monarch’s Facebook page.

Media contact: Natasha A. Suber, (704) 986-1582 or