Dustin Peele, who serves as the special projects and purchasing manager for Dare County, has been named Dare County Employee of the Month for June 2023. The award was presented to Peele by Dare County Finance Director David Clawson at the Dare County Board of Commissioners meeting that was held at 9 a.m. on Monday, June 5, 2023.
Peele initially began his service to Dare County on July 7, 2014, when he was hired as a purchasing agent for the Finance Department before being promoted to his current position of special projects and purchasing manager for the Finance Department on May 17, 2021.
In his role as special projects and purchasing manager, Peele is tasked with a wide array of responsibilities, including approving requisitions and processing purchase orders for all Dare County entities; developing, implementing and administering the procurement and purchasing system; managing all surplus property transactions and property disposal procedures; and establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with vendors, associates and the general public.
In addition, Peele’s role as special projects and purchasing manager encompasses overseeing all aspects of various special projects that take place throughout Dare County, from the initial bidding process to the multiple phases of construction and each project’s eventual completion. Since taking on this role in 2021, Peele has overseen numerous special projects, including the construction of College of The Albemarle’s (COA) new academic building on COA’s Dare County Campus in Manteo, which was completed in 2022, as well as several projects that are currently underway to improve and modernize numerous Dare County EMS facilities located throughout the county, among many others.
As he began his Employee of the Month presentation, Clawson commented on the complexities of Peele’s position, noting that its level of difficulty was mentioned in one of the nomination forms that were submitted to recommend that he receive the prestigious award.
“The first one says they’re nominating Dustin because it’s underestimated how tough his job is,” said Clawson. “He has to work with so many vendors and contractors and coordinate all those projects while having to answer to the deputy manager, the manager and the board.”
Clawson continued by reading the words that were written by Peele’s colleague on their nomination form: “He’s always able to help when I have a question about something and always reaches out when he has a question. His general positive demeanor and actual interest in his fellow employees make him a delight to work with.”
A second individual who recommended Peele for Employee of the Month highlighted his positive attitude, as well as his willingness to tackle virtually any task that needs to be completed, writing the following in their nomination form: “Dustin does a wonderful job handling whatever is thrown at him—it is never too small or large and often not in his job description! He’s not afraid to let you know he doesn’t know something, but he will find answers or help you find someone who knows the answer. The best part is, he always does it with a smile and much needed humor so that a task is not a task but an opportunity for growth.”
Clawson went on to share how Peele has played an integral role in managing Dare County’s many ongoing projects, keeping them on track and promptly finding solutions to any issues that arise during the process.
“You all know the project side, and he’s learned that so well—and thank goodness [he’s] taken it over from me. You know we’ve got three large ones going on right now, and I cannot imagine how much time and work that takes,” said Clawson, referring to the renovation and modernization projects that are currently underway to construct new facilities for Dare County EMS Station 1 in Kill Devil Hills, EMS Station 4 in Southern Shores and the Dare MedFlight Hangar (Station 7) on Roanoke Island.
“The thing about the projects is he deals with stuff every single day,” Clawson continued. “There will be something going on with the contractor and a project every day, and he never fails to come to me—and usually I find out about things after the fact because it’s already been solved—and I find out what happened, why it happened and what the solution is, so it’s minimizing my time, it minimizes [County Manager Bobby Outten’s] time, and it’s minimizing your [the board’s] time, and he does a great job.”
As Clawson concluded his Employee of the Month presentation and presented Peele with the prestigious award, Dare County Board of Commissioners Chairman Bob Woodard also took the opportunity to offer praise for Peele and the exceptional work he performs for the county.
“This is one of the best moves our board has ever made when we tried to take some of that work off of Dave [Clawson] and Bobby [Outten], especially special projects, and what brought it to light was the incredible job you did with COA and Barnhill [Contracting],” said Woodard. “This board recognized that, and we put that extra monkey on your back to do special projects, and you’ve just done a phenomenal job. I commend you, Dustin, for always working closely with me on those special projects. That’s just one of many that you’re working on, and this board couldn’t be more pleased with what you do for us, and I want to personally say that publicly and thank you for all of that.”