Tom Lundy Awarded Highest Honor by ICMA

Posted by Monica Hoel
Because of an interest sparked and kindled while at Emory & Henry, Tom Lundy spent 44 years in local government, retiring in 2016 as Catawba County Manager, a position he held since 1979.

In October, the International City/County Management Association (ICMA)
awarded Tom their highest honor, the 2021 Distinguished Service Award in
recognition of his successful career in local government, but also for his
commitment to training the next generation of local management
professionals. In addition to serving as a mentor to young interns, he served
as an adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina School of
Government’s Masters of Public Administration program.

Tom believes strongly in the influence local government can have on the quality of life, growth, fiscal stability and diversity of communities, whether the local  government is “rowing” (doing the work itself, with its own staff) or “steering” (influencing, cooperating with other governments) or contracting with the private and  non-profit sectors. Throughout his career, he looked for opportunities to work with the private and non-profit sectors, and with neighboring cities and counties to provide services, and Catawba County has been lauded for its intergovernmental cooperation over the years.

With Tom at the helm, Catawba County garnered many laurels for innovation
and intergovernmental cooperation. Recognition included nine North
Carolina Association of County Commissioners Outstanding County Program
Awards, 194 (not a typo) Achievement Awards from the National
Association of Counties, and a national Thomas H. Muehlenbeck Award for
Excellence in Local Government.

Tom shepherded the county into some especially innovative answers to a
growing waste problem. Catawba County was the first county in North
Carolina to offer countywide curbside recycling in the early 1990s. Realizing
the importance of raising a generation that valued the importance of
recycling, an education program was started at the elementary school level.
As a result, the County has ranked either first or second in North Carolina in
recycling in the years since. The County’s “Ecocomplex” received awards
for successfully tackling recycling and the generation of biodiesel fuel from
crops, and he partnered with communities around the world to help them
develop similar waste strategies.

You can enjoy a conversation with Tom, recorded shortly after he was back to campus to celebrate his 50th college reunion, in the WEHC archives.

  • Tom Lundy
    E&H Class of 1971

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  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/1037-dr-lee-wheeler-honored-by-the-virginia-community"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/6,9,190,193/7100_wheeler.rev.1571864387.webp 1x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/6,9,190,193/7100_wheeler.rev.1571864387.jpg 1x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/6,9,190,193/7100_wheeler.rev.1571864387.jpg" alt="Dr. Lee Wheeler, E&H Class of '74, back row left." width="345" height="225" data-max-w="184" data-max-h="184" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/1037-dr-lee-wheeler-honored-by-the-virginia-community">Dr. Lee Wheeler Honored by the Virginia Community College System</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"> Dr. Wheeler (E&H ’74), and wife, Anne, were awarded the 2019 Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy. <a href="/live/news/1037-dr-lee-wheeler-honored-by-the-virginia-community" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>
  • <div class="lw_news_image"><span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/news/1354-got-a-minute-find-out-how-drew-johnson-laney-is"><picture class="lw_image"> <source type="image/webp" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,549,549/8512_drew_laney.rev.1599169346.webp 1x"/> <source type="image/jpeg" srcset="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,549,549/8512_drew_laney.rev.1599169346.jpg 1x"/> <img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,549,549/8512_drew_laney.rev.1599169346.jpg" alt="Drew Johnson Laney with guitar and a big smile leading friends in music." width="345" height="225" data-max-w="549" data-max-h="549" loading="lazy"/> </picture> </a></span></div><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_news_headline"><a href="/live/news/1354-got-a-minute-find-out-how-drew-johnson-laney-is">Got a minute? Find out how Drew Johnson Laney is enhancing lives</a></h4><div class="lw_news_summary"><p><span style="font-weight: 400;">On Thursdays, you can often find Drew Johnson Laney (re’83) playing the ukulele and singing with a bunch of stuffed animals on Zoom.</span></p><p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But don’t worry about her: she’s working.</span></p><a href="/live/news/1354-got-a-minute-find-out-how-drew-johnson-laney-is" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div></div>