Dustin Peele, who serves as special projects and purchasing manager for Dare County, has received the prestigious honor of being named Dare County Employee of the Year for 2023. The announcement was made during the Dare County Board of Commissioners meeting that was held at 9 a.m. on Monday, February 5, 2024, by Dare County Human Resources Director Elizabeth Reilly.
“I’m honored to be here today to present the 2023 Dare County Employee of the Year,” said Reilly. “Dare County employees are our number one asset, as you all know. They give it their all to make Dare County the best. We would not be here if it wasn’t for our employees who work tirelessly around the clock for our residents and our visitors.”
Throughout the year, Employee of the Month nomination forms are submitted to the Dare County Human Resources Department, whose staff provides them to a committee consisting of past Employee of the Month award recipients. The members of this committee then review the nominations that have been submitted and determine who the award will be presented to each month.
At the end of the year, the committee looks back at the 12 exceptional employees who received the Employee of the Month award and selects one to receive the prestigious honor of being named Dare County Employee of the Year.
After announcing Peele as the recipient of the 2023 Employee of the Year award, Reilly turned over the presentation to Dare County Finance Director David Clawson, who described how Peele’s dedication to his many complex duties earned him the esteemed honor.
A native of Hatteras Island, Peele officially began his service to Dare County on July 7, 2014, when he was hired as a purchasing agent for the Finance Department. In this role, he is responsible for an assortment of tasks that range from approving requisitions and processing purchase orders for all Dare County entities to managing surplus property transactions and property disposal procedures, among many other duties.
On May 17, 2021, he was promoted to special projects and purchasing manager and took on an array of additional responsibilities—most notably overseeing all aspects of the special projects taking place throughout Dare County. This involves everything from facilitating the initial bidding process for a project and managing multiple phases of construction to keeping projects on schedule and finding solutions to any potential issues that arise leading up to each project’s successful completion.
“I talked to our contractors, Barnhill [Contracting Company], and they asked that I pass along to you that he’s one of the best they’ve ever worked with,” Clawson told the Dare County Board of Commissioners during his 2023 Employee of the Year presentation. “[They] just couldn’t be happier.”
Since receiving the promotion to his current position less than two years ago, Peele has played an integral role in managing several special projects that will have a positive and long-lasting impact on the community.
These projects include the construction of a new academic building on College of The Albemarle’s Dare County Campus in Manteo, which was completed in 2022; extensive renovations and a new addition to the Dare County Department of Health & Human Services’ offices in Manteo, which were also completed in 2022—as well as the construction of three new Dare County EMS facilities that are currently scheduled to be completed this spring and summer:
- Dare County EMS Station 4 in Southern Shores – (March 2024)
- Dare County EMS Station 7 (MedFlight Hangar) on Roanoke Island – (April 2024)
- Dare County EMS Station 1/Kill Devil Hills Fire Department Station 14 in Kill Devil Hills – (July 2024)
In addition to these three new EMS stations that are rapidly approaching completion, Peele is also working diligently to oversee several other special projects that have recently gotten underway or are slated to begin in the near future.
These projects include the second phase of Dare County’s ongoing efforts to renovate and modernize outdated EMS facilities throughout the county—which will consist of the construction of a new EMS station in Kitty Hawk and extensive renovations to EMS Station 8 in Manns Harbor—as well as the construction of the new Roanoke Island Youth Center on Highway 64 in Manteo, among several others that are planned to be completed in future phases.
“He couldn’t do it better,” said Clawson. “He does a lot of different things, and he does them all well.”
2023 Employee of the Month Recipients
Dustin Peele, special projects and purchasing manager for Dare County, was selected as Dare County’s 2023 Employee of the Year from the 12 exceptional Dare County employees who were each honored as Employee of the Month throughout 2023. Congratulations to all of Dare County’s 2023 Employee of the Month recipients, who received the award as follows.
Captain Jack Scarborough, Communications Director for the Dare County Sheriff’s Office 911 Communications Center
Jackie Tillett, Director of the Dare County Elections Department
April Bodiford, Fitness Coordinator for the Dare County Parks & Recreation Department’s Hatteras Island Division (Fessenden Center)
Crystal Ambrose, Income Maintenance Supervisor, Dare County Department of Health & Human Services’ Social Services Division (Economic Services Unit)
Carleen “Carly” Darsee, Administrative Assistant for the Dare County EMS Department
Dustin Peele, Special Projects and Purchasing Manager for Dare County (Finance)
Brandon Reed, Warehouse Technician for the Dare County Public Works Department’s Fleet Maintenance Division
Norma Miranda, Administrative Technician for the Dare County Department of Health & Human Services
Angie Austin, Administrative Technician for the Dare County EMS Department
Stephanie Banfield, Public Relations Coordinator for the Dare County Public Relations Department
John Morris, Leisure Activity Specialist for the Dare County Parks & Recreation Department’s Northern Beach Division
Angie Grant, Administrative Officer for the Dare County Department of Health & Human Services