PEMBROKE — Two Richmond County leaders were recognized Thursday by the Lumber River Council of Governments as outstanding members of their respective council or committee.
Hamlet Mayor Bill Bayless was honored as the Rural Planning Organization Transportation Advisory Committee Member of the Year and Dennis Holloway as the Aging Advisory Council Member of the Year.
Bayless has been an active member of the committee since 2015 and currently serves as chairman, according to a press release.
“He is a strong proponent of involving local public officials and citizens in transportation planning, which gives rural areas a formal voice in the transportation planning process.”
Bayless has been mayor since 2013 and previously served on the Hamlet City Council from 2003 to 2011.
He is retired from the N.C. State Highway Patrol and currently interim chief of the East Rockingham Fire Department. Bayless has also volunteered with the Lions Club, the Seaboard Festival, the Boy Scouts, and the Hamlet Senior Center Advisory Board.
Holloway has represented Richmond County on the Regional Aging Advisory Council since 2017.
He recently oversaw rebuild efforts in Robeson County following Hurricane Florence with N.C. Baptists on Mission.
“Mr. Holloway is a true servant and works across county lines to assist older adults and those in need. Within the past year, he and his crew built over 50 wheelchair ramps in Richmond and Scotland counties in order for older and disabled adults to safely enter and exit their homes.”
After being honorably discharged following an injury as a U.S. Army paratrooper, Holloway spent 30 years as an enforcement officer with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.
He is an active member of AMVETS Post 316.
The LRCOG recognized several other municipal leaders from Bladen, Hoke, Richmond, Robeson and Scotland counties.
Also from the press release:
The LRCOG received three National Association of Development Organization Innovation Awards. These awards were presented to the Lumber River Council of Governments’ Community & Economic Services Division for its work in partnering with the counties of the region to monitor the Southern Coastal Plain water aquifers; the Lumber River Council of Governments’ Workforce Development Board for the National Dislocated Worker’s Program, which provided temporary workers to local governments and nonprofits throughout the region to assist with recovery from hurricanes Matthew and Florence; and the Lumber River Council of Governments’ Area Agency on Aging for their partnership with Richmond County Aging Services to create Dementia Friendly communities.