During the May 13 Concord City Council Meeting, long-time Electric Systems Department employee, Larry Barbee, was honored as the 2021 recipient of the prestigious Jo Atwater Continuous Core Values Award. The Jo Atwater Award is the highest honor bestowed upon a city employee. Barbee received the honor for his exemplary 34-year service to his coworkers and the residents of Concord.
City Manager Lloyd Payne presented the award to Barbee during a ceremony that included members of his family, Electric Systems Department colleagues, and past recipients of the Jo Atwater Award.
“Larry is a valuable member of Team Concord and the perfect example of respect, teamwork, and high ethical standards,” said Payne. “True to the spirit and legacy of Jo Atwater, Larry has touched countless lives by selflessly giving of his talents and resources whenever possible. He is well respected across the state, beloved by many throughout our community, and unmatched in his commitment to serving others and his dedication to our city.”
Barbee was nominated by his coworkers for continuously demonstrating the city’s core values through exceptional service to the community, genuine concern for the individual, and dedication to the city he grew up in.
“Having worked beside Larry for 21 years, I have seen him give his heart and soul to this community,” said Alex Burris, Electric Systems Department Director. “Larry is the epitome of a true public servant; he will always go the extra mile to help anyone in need, whether it is an electric customer, coworker, or community member.”
Barbee began his career with the city in 1987 as a meter reader before joining the electric underground crew, and was later promoted to his current position as the Underground Supervisor. Barbee is known for continually putting the needs of his coworkers above his own. He has volunteered to take the on-call duties from coworkers so they can spend holidays with family; he provides training and mentoring to new coworkers; and he has taught both basic and advanced underground lineman schools across the state for Electricities of North Carolina. Barbee has also served as the neighborhood liaison to Sapphire Hills for nearly ten years through the city’s Partnership for Stronger Neighborhoods program.
Barbee grew up in Concord and graduated from Concord High School. He has two daughters, and three granddaughters who live with him and his wife, Sharon, who is also a long-time employee of the city with nearly 30 years of service. Barbee’s mother, Kay, also worked for the city for over 20 years before her retirement.
The Jo Atwater Award was created in 2003 to recognize one coworker annually who embodies the city’s organizational core values and commitment to serving others in the community. Jo Atwater was Concord’s Human Resources Director and worked for the city from 1994 until her passing in 2004. She was the first recipient of the award that was named in her honor.