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Land of Sky Regional Council’s Annual Awards were conferred during the December Board of Delegates Meeting at the end of November. District 1 Commissioner Al Whitesides and our own Emergency Services Director Taylor Jones received awards honoring their dedication to our community.
The Council’s Extraordinary Public Service Award for 2022 recognized four outstanding Emergency Management Directors in the region as well as two county commissioners. Madison County Emergency Management Director Caleb Dispenza, Buncombe County Emergency Services Director Van Taylor Jones, Henderson County Emergency Management Director Jimmy Brissie, and Transylvania County Emergency Management Director Kevin Shook were given this award in appreciation for their devotion, commitment, and exemplary service as Emergency Management Directors in our region. The council noted “their unwavering dedication to our citizens has helped our region respond to the many challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Land of Sky Regional Council is grateful for their exemplary leadership and dedication to public service.”
Buncombe County Commissioner Al Whitesides has been a trailblazer for most of his life. He helped lead desegregation efforts in Asheville as part of Asheville Student Commission on Racial Equality (ASCORE) while he was a student. Later in life he was a banker, Chair of the Asheville City Schools board, and Chair of the UNC Asheville Board of Trustees among numerous other public service roles. Commissioner Whitesides made history as the first African-American to serve as a commissioner in Buncombe County. He has received numerous awards and recognitions throughout his career.
Please join us in congratulating Commissioner Whitesides and Taylor on these awards.