Avery County Manager Barrier to Receive Prestigious Edwin M. Gill State Award

Published Friday, May 4, 2018 at 9:09 am

By Tim Gardner

     Avery County Manager Phillip Barrier, Jr. has been chosen to receive one of North Carolina State Government’s most prestigious honors, the Edwin M. Gill Award.    

     The award recognizes Barrier as the 2018 Outstanding Graduate in the Municipal and County Administration Course at University of North Carolina-School of Government in Chapel Hill. Barrier graduated on April 27.

     The Municipal and County Administration Course is an intensive, year-long program designed for city and county managers, department heads, and other city or county officials whose responsibilities require an understanding of functions beyond individual areas of specialization. 

     “I’m very surprised to be chosen for the award, but I’m deeply honored and most appreciative,” Barrier said.

     The award is given each year by the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners in honor of Edwin M. Gill (1899-1978), who served as Chairman of the Local Government Commission and State Treasurer from 1953 to 1976. First given in 1965 and for 12 years given in the Association’s name, the award is presented each year to the student in the County Administration Course with the most distinguished record. It is based on merit, coursework, class participation and evaluations from classmates and the Institute of Government faculty who teach the course.

     Barrier is the first recipient from the far Northwest North Carolina Mountains.

     A cash award was presented to Barrier at the graduation ceremony, and he will be given a plaque at the Association’s annual conference ceremonies.

     Founded in 1908, the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) is one of the most successful and active statewide local government associations in the nation. The NCACC was established for the betterment of county government in North Carolina. 

     Barrier graduated from Avery County High School in 1981 and then received a Bachelor of Science degree from Appalachian State University. He is married to the former Renee Bullis. They have two children and two grandchildren.

     Phillip Barrier, Jr. also has a brother and a sister. His parents are Phillip, Sr. (Phil) and Mitzi Greene Barrier. Phillip, Jr. and his wife and parents reside in the Ingalls Community.

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