Finance Division Staff Nominated for Awards for Excellence

Photo Credit: Rebecca Kirkland

Written by Maria Fister.

Awards for Excellence is the most prestigious honor bestowed upon non-faculty employees. This award recognizes outstanding accomplishments and contributions of individual employees, above and beyond an employee’s normal job responsibilities. This year, four Finance Division staff were nominated for this award: Andrew Casey, Christopher Hairston, Dwaine Cook and  Lance Newsome.

Andrew Casey

Photo Credit: Rebecca Kirkland

Andrew is the fiscal manager and was nominated by Allison Nelson for the Customer Service category.

Since joining the Office of Contracts and Grants in 2016, Andrew displayed a strong eagerness to learn and serve. He challenged norms, sought reasons behind practices, and relentlessly pursued knowledge, advancing from fiscal assistant to senior fiscal assistant and eventually fiscal manager. Andrew’s dedication extended to mentoring new team members, enhancing the team’s performance. Praised for his exceptional customer service and teamwork, Andrew embodies the institution’s ethos of proactive problem-solving and continuous improvement. His contributions have significantly elevated the Office of Contracts and Grants and enriched the campus community. Andrew’s commitment is truly commendable and appreciated.

Chris Hairston

Photo Credit: Rebecca Kirkland

Chris is a vehicle and equipment operator and was nominated by Bill Carlson for the Customer Service category. Chris consistently receives praise from campus customers for his outstanding service. Going beyond expectations, he ensures excellent outcomes for all involved. For instance, when a customer needed an office chair repair, Chris found a solution that fixed the issue and reduced waste. 

Colleagues commend his leadership, kindness, and dedication to true customer service. During the COVID pandemic, Chris and his team delivered over 3,000 packages, including vital research materials, showcasing his commitment to supporting campus needs. Recognized by university leadership, Chris exemplifies exceptional employee dedication and top-notch customer service. 

Dwaine Cook

Photo Credit: Rebecca Kirkland

Dwaine is an accounting manager and was nominated by Jennifer Brady for the Efficiency and Innovation category. 

Dwaine identified a significant opportunity under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022, enabling NC State to claim clean energy tax credits. Through collaboration with NC State’s sustainability office and external tax experts, Dwaine initiated a pilot program for eligible energy projects. Initial estimates suggest a potential cash rebate of up to $500,000, with the opportunity to continue benefiting for ten years. This rebate could aid in reducing utility costs, meeting energy conservation goals, and funding previously unconsidered projects. Throughout Dwaine’s 19 years of service he has demonstrated exceptional dedication and initiative in pursuing tax credits for the university’s benefit.

Lance Newsome

Photo Credit: Rebecca Kirkland

Lance, surplus property and warehouse services lead, was nominated by Bill Carlson for the Outstanding State Government Service category. 

Lance was elected President of the University Surplus Property Association and is serving a three-year term. In addition to leading the organization, Lance is valued and respected for his knowledge of university surplus operations. Many universities visit NC State’s campus to observe our operation and seek advice from Lance. For those not local customers, he integrates a video walkthrough of the available inventory where the customers get to view, ask questions and then decide how to steward their resources best. 

Also, as part of his second term in the NC State Faculty and Staff Senate, he is serving as the chair of the Onboarding Committee and created the Onboarding Manual and Moodle course used to educate new senators.

Congratulations on behalf of the entire Finance Division to Andrew, Chris, Dwaine and Lance!