Community News

Concord City Council and Mayor William C. “Bill” Dusch presented retired Electric Systems Director Robert “Bob” Pate, Jr. with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine during the October council meeting. This is the highest award for public service granted by the Office of the Governor.

In presenting the honor, Mayor Bill Dusch recognized the distinguished roster of individuals Pate joins as a recipient of the prestigious award.

“North Carolina Governors have bestowed their highest praise and grateful appreciation upon citizens of our state by conferring upon them this special award. Among recipients of the award are names like Andy Griffith, Bill Friday, Reverend Billy Graham, Maya Angelou, Dale Earnhardt, Michael Jordan, General Henry Hugh Shelton, and Bob Timberlake. We are now proud to see one of our own being honored among these North Carolina notables.”

The Order of the Long Leaf Pine is awarded to persons for exemplary service to the State of North Carolina and their communities that is above and beyond the call of duty and which has made a significant impact and strengthened North Carolina. 

“Bob was an instrumental member of Team Concord for over 37 years,” said City Manager Lloyd Payne. “His in-depth knowledge and experience in public power is exemplified in the State’s highest honor.”

Born and raised in Concord, Pate attended Tusculum College in Tennessee before returning home and joining the City of Concord in 1984. Pate served as director of Concord’s Electric Systems for 12 years before his retirement on April 1, 2021.  During his distinguished career with the city, Pate helped the community through some of the region’s worst natural disasters, including Hurricane Hugo, and skillfully guided the city’s Electric Systems through challenging financial periods.  Thanks to his leadership and the hard work of his team, today the city’s Electric Systems has some of the lowest rates in the state and continues to maintain a reputation for exceptional customer service.

“I am very humbled by this recognition for just trying to do the best job possible for the town I grew up in,” said Pate. “The real recognition should go to my coworkers in the electric department, city directors, city management, and the City Council and Mayor who have supported me over 37 years of employment with the city.”

Pate is also the ElectriCities of North Carolina 2021 Public Power Distinguished Service Award recipient.  This award recognizes leaders with 10 or more years of experience who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and dedication to public power, brought their organization to a new level of excellence, led by example, and inspired their employees and staff to improve processes, services, and operations.