RUSTBURG, VA - Earlier today, the Virginia Association of Counties (VACo) announced Campbell County as one of their recipients of the 2022 Achievement Awards, which is a VACo recognition program designed to recongize excellence in local government programs. The VACo Achievement Awards is a competitive program open to local government members of the association.
Campbell County was one of twenty-nine (29) localities selected out of 100 submissions, which included winning entries focused on addressing issues of the pandemic, connecting citizens, and other challenges that counties face daily.
“I want to thank all who participated in the 20th year of the Achievement Awards,” VACo Executive Director Dean Lynch said. “This is an anniversary year, and I was encouraged to see that we had 100 submissions, our third-highest total ever. This tells me that the VACo Achievement Awards program’s mission of identifying and celebrating the innovative work by local government officials continues to resonate with our counties. We thank all who participated and recognize those who won an award.”
Campbell County was recognized for their newly designed Campbell LEADS Leadership Development program; an internal staff development program created on the basis of a people-driven value model. Key organizational staff identified leadership training as a core operating principle through which the organization could enhance customer service, communication, ethics, budgeting, and higher levels of institutional knowledge and collaboration.
Campbell County is known for its dedication to professional development and ongoing cultivation of leadership skills in employees.
For many years, Campbell County sent employees to off site, week-long leadership trainings that were based on the Weldon Cooper Center Public Service Program. While these trainings were robust and rewarding, County leadership observed that these employees needed something more specific to the specific dynamics our mid-level managers and new leaders were facing each day in our locality: communication issues, leading through change, conflict management, budgeting, project and priority management, etc. For that reason, in September 2021, the Strategic Leadership Team, comprised of four (4) department heads and the County Administrator) collaborated to launch a new 8 month internal Leadership Academy focused on communication skills, the essence of government service, challenging ethical issues faced in local government, change management, and planning/team building skills.
An initial cohort of 10 leaders/managers were selected as a pilot group. Campbell County’s first internal Leadership Academy, Campbell LEADS, met monthly (September 2021- April 2022) for 3 hour training sessions on topics that directly impact managers. Throughout the program, each participant received several leadership development books that aligned with the topics of discussion for advanced reading. In addition, they were assigned to teams of 3-4 to address organizational and community needs, opportunities, and potential innovations for the County. At the conclusion of the program, Campbell County had provided 10 employees with an in-depth Leadership Training, new connections in the organization, and engaged them in a practical project. This was achieved at the same price point of sending 2 employees for outside Leadership Training.
"This program is the brainchild of Jordan Welborn and Sherry Harding; said Frank Rogers, County Administrator. "It is a local leadership curriculum put in place to facilitate continued leadership development for key individuals in all departments and at all levels of our organization—recognizing that leadership is not a position on an org chart, but a behavior in an organization."
A representative from VACo will be at the October Board of Supervisors meeting scheduled for October 4, 2022 to present the award.
Virginia Association of Counties Achievement Award Press Release
2022 Virginia Association of Counties Achievement Award Recipients