Orange County Vice Chair Renee Price was honored as the North Carolina County Commissioner of the Year by the N.C. Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) on Aug. 15 during the association’s virtual annual conference.
Price shared the M.H. “Jack” Brock Outstanding County Commissioner Award with Yadkin County Commissioner Kevin Austin. According to the NCACC, the Award is presented annually to a commissioner who has demonstrated special achievements and efforts, primarily during the past 12 months, on behalf of county government throughout the state and/or region, not just within his or her county. It was first presented in 1963.
“This is an extremely emotional moment in my life because I was nominated and selected by my peers, my colleagues, my friends,” Price said. “To know that my fellow commissioners across North Carolina are appreciative of me and my work is an amazingly good and warm feeling. I am very grateful and humbled to be among the wonderful people previously honored with this prestigious award, including two other commissioners from Orange County: Moses Carey (who was honored in 1997) and the late Richard Whitted (1983).”
Price was chosen for her active involvement as a member of the NCACC Board of Directors, the NCACC Justice and Public Safety and Health and Human Services Steering Committees, and as a member of the President’s Economic Development Task Force and the President’s Special Task Force on Mental Health Engagement. Commissioner Price is also completing her term this month as President of the North Carolina Association of Black County Officials. She served as NCABCO President for four years.
"Commissioner Price has done much to support the work of counties at home across our state and nationally and certainly is deserving of the OCCA award,” said NCACC Executive Director Kevin Leonard.
Price was recently appointed to serve in various leadership roles for the National Association of Counties (NACo) including Chair of the Arts and Culture Commission, Vice Chair of the Justice and Public Safety Subcommittee on Courts and Corrections, and as a member of the Rural Action Caucus.
“Being an elected official is a calling, and this recognition in a way validates my sincerity in serving the women, men and children of Orange County,” she said. “It also signifies my dedication to advancing quality of life and justice for all people—particularly those in our historically-marginalized and underserved communities—locally, statewide and nationally.”
Price was first elected to the Orange County Board of Commissioners in November 2012. She said it didn’t take long for her to realize her influence could expand beyond the borders of Orange County, and she became involved in the state and national organizations.
“Being engaged in NCACC, NCABCO, NACo and NABCO has afforded me the opportunity to understand and realize the depth and breadth of my role as a county commissioner,” she said. “These organizations offer courses and information on county-related issues and provide platforms for discussing and advocating on behalf of our constituencies. Over the past eight years, I have been able to share materials and ideas with my Orange County community on such initiatives as criminal justice reform and mental health awareness. Most importantly is the camaraderie; we are family.”
Price also expressed her appreciation to her family members, colleagues, friends, teachers and even strangers for supporting her involvement as well as her friends and family.
“This award also is for family members, colleagues, friends, teachers and even strangers who have shared in my journey through life--instructing, guiding and inspiring me," she said. "I truly appreciate the wonderful members and the fantastic staff of the NCACC, and of course, I am grateful to the fabulous Orange County community. Many thanks also to Michael Carmichael, who continues to be by my side, patiently awaiting my return from countless meetings and happily attending banquets and receptions with me. Finally, I especially—again, especially—lovingly thank my father and my late mother, the two people upon whose shoulders I stand and who have always been the wind beneath my wings.”
Price is up for re-election this fall. She has no opposition in the general election.