Athens, Ga. – The winners of the 2007 Georgia Excellence in Public Service awards include Joe Whorton, senior fellow at the Fanning Institute and associate professor of public administration and policy in the School of Public and International Affairs.
This is the fifth year for the statewide awards program, which is a partnership between the Carl Vinson Institute of Government and Georgia Trend magazine. “The goal of the program is to both recognize those who excel in improving the quality of life for the citizens of Georgia and help promote public service as a career option,” explained Steve Wrigley, Vinson Institute director.
Whorton is the winner in the state/regional category. Since arriving at the University of Georgia in the 1970s, he has been engaged in public service. He served as the first executive director of the Georgia Rural Development Council and was director of the Institute of Community and Area Development. He has worked with Partners for a Prosperous Athens and OneAthens in developing comprehensive strategies for reducing poverty in Athens-Clarke County. “This is well-deserved recognition for Joe’s tireless efforts to improve communities,” said Karen Holt, Fanning Institute director.
The other 2007 award winners have gone beyond the call of duty at the local level. They are Evelyn Turner-Pugh, mayor pro tem of Columbus, city-elected category; Billy Edwards, Hinesville city manager, city-appointed category; Sam Olens, chair of the Cobb County Commission, county-elected category; and Steve Szablewski, Columbia County administrator, county-appointed category. For more information on the Georgia Excellence in Public Service Awards, see www.vinsoninstitute.org/excellence.