William Gaston Awards 2015

The 2015 recipients include:

Annette Carter

Annette Carter has spent more than 25 years serving the citizens of Gaston County. Born and raised in Gastonia, she is a graduate of Frank L. Ashley High School and attended Central Piedmont Community College and Gaston College. In 1981, she was a member of the first class of the UNC School of Medicine (UNC Hospitals) Vascular Technology Education Program. She recently retired after 32 years of caring for many in our community as a Registered Vascular Technologist (RVT) for Carolina Surgery, as the Technical Director of the ICAVL Accredited Vascular Lab. She was a charter member of the North Carolina Vascular Technologists (NCVT).

Annette's personal investment in her community is reflected in her vast civic contributions to many Gaston County Commission-appointed Boards and committees. Including:

  • Recreation and Parks Commission
  • School Grace Commission
  • Aquatic / Wellness Center Committee
  • Chairperson - The Positive Action Citizens Committee (Courthouse / Jail Facility Bond Referendum Committee)
  • Chairperson - The Courthouse Dedication Committee

Former County Commissioner Chairman David E Cline said, "The opening and dedication of the Gaston County Courthouse marks a momentous day in the history of Gaston County" and remarked that the "leadership provided by Ms. Carter brought this group of diverse people together without friction".

However, it is with little doubt that Annette's most prominent impact can be attributed to her dedication to the students and families of Gaston County as a Gaston County Board of Education member for eighteen years, representing the Dallas Township, 1993 to 2010, and appointed to fill the At-Large seat from 2011 to 2012.

She was selected by her fellow board members to serve as Vice-Chair of the Board twice from 1996 to 1998 and 2006 to 2008 and as the Board's Chairperson from 1998 to 2000 and again from 2008 to 2010. At that time, she was the first to ever be selected to serve as Chairperson twice, a testimony to the confidence the Board had in her leadership.

She was honored to be recommended by the late educator, Ruth Angel, as an honorary member of the educational Delta Kappa Gamma - Rho Chapter.

During her tenure, Annette strove to ensure that all students were given a chance to succeed by working to provide a more equitable distribution of funding and resources, especially in schools with a high poverty rate. Highland School of Technology was opened during her tenure on the board. Annette was also instrumental in the passage of the 1992, 2001 and 2007 School Bond Referendums for school construction and renovation projects. This dedicated work resulted in more technologically advanced classrooms for teachers and students alike.

Her stalwart efforts enhanced the learning experience of thousands of students and helped to create a climate that supported the philosophy that all children can be successful learners and productive citizens. Her dedication also earned her much deserved recognition when her fellow board members nominated her and she was named to the 2010 North Carolina State School Board Association's All-State School Board for outstanding boardmanship. In their nomination of her they stated "While board chair, Ms. Carter endeavored to create good board/community rapport. She encouraged the use of parent surveys to assess customer satisfaction. She promoted good boardmanship among board members and sought to bring harmony and unity on board issues. A consensus builder, she was unyielding in her efforts to get additional local funding. She met with the County Commissioners and brought about better relations and cohesiveness between the two boards and helped county leaders to understand our needs and how the funds would be used. It was due largely to her efforts that the commissioners provided the school system with additional funding. She is able to ensure the Board understands staff needs, issues, and initiatives, and she makes sure that the Board members support important school programs. During her tenure on the Board, she has made a greater impact on education than any other elected educational leader in this community".

Annette's hard work didn't end with her service on the Board of Education. Appointed to the CaroMont Health and CaroMont Regional Medical Center Board of Directors in January 2013, she was again recognized for her leadership and was elected to serve on the Executive Committee as Secretary of the Board in 2014, as well as Chair of the Nominating Committee (2014 to 2015) and Chair of the CaroMont Health Services Board of Directors (2014 to 2015). Her talents, vision and cooperative spirit were very instrumental in the passage of the 2015 historical lease agreement of CaroMont and Gaston County.

Her childhood church, First United Methodist Church (FUMC), in Gastonia continues to be her place of worship. She served on the FUMC Scholarship Committee in 2014 and 2015.

Annette, the County Commission is indebted to you for your many years of service and for your continuing efforts to make Gaston County a better place to live. Your frontline and behind-the-scenes work is inspiring and has touched many, many lives.

Gina Ramsey

Long-time Gaston County resident and graduate of Ashbrook High School, Dr. Gina Ramsey knew early on that she was called to help people. After Gina worked for several years as a Paralegal, she answered that call and returned to college to obtain a nursing degree from Queens University of Charlotte. Gina's career focus quickly turned to helping people one-on-one. She worked in critical care at CaroMont Regional Medical Center caring for high acuity patients and in the Emergency Room at Cleveland Healthcare system and Presbyterian Hospital in Huntersville.

Like so many driven individuals who understand that excellence can only be achieved through constant learning and practice, Gina went on to pursue her Masters of Science in Nursing Degree and Doctorate of Nursing Practice Degree while attending Duke University. She is a Family Nurse Practitioner and holds many certifications including the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification, and she is an active member of the North Carolina Nurses Association and the American Nurses Association.

Dr. Ramsey is currently employed with CaroMont Family Medicine, in Gastonia, where she devotes her knowledge and expertise to caring for all types of patients within the County. She also shares her talents through many volunteer hours for various organizations in Gaston County where she has helped many indigent citizens.

She was appointed to the Gaston County Health Board in 2012 and continued to serve on the Board during its consolidation with the Social Services Board. She continues to work with her fellow Board Members on the consolidated Health and Human Services Board to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of Gaston County citizens. She also serves on the Community Child Protection Team/Child Fatality Prevention Team, and strives to help find gaps in the system in order to protect the children of Gaston County.

She holds many honors including membership to the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing and the Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society. She was also Class Representative at the Presbyterian School of Nursing.

In 2011, she collaborated with health science professionals in the NC SEARCH Program as well as community members in Kinston, NC to design a program to address obesity and its relationship to the chronic disease of diabetes. She also serves as a Preceptor - Nurse Practitioner with Frontier Nursing University where she mentors Family Nurse Practitioner students during their clinical rotations.

This tireless public servant and mother of four attributes her success to her great support system - her family - who have been at her side the entire journey. She was recently quoted as saying "I absolutely love what I do". Perhaps this simple statement best sums up her giving spirit and passion for serving others.

Gina, the County Commission is indebted to you for your many years of service and for your continuing efforts to make Gaston County a better place to live.

Robert Browne

Cherryville native, Robert Browne, has firmly ingrained himself in the greater Gaston County Community. His outreach and volunteer work is truly inspirational and his diligence is evident in his readiness to help and serve, no matter how demanding the cause. He truly cares about his community and constantly strives to make a difference.

Robert has spent nearly three decades as a licensed engineer and prominent businessman in Gaston County. He was the Executive Vice President and Chairman of the Board of Beam Construction Co., Inc. in Cherryville where he has worked for more than 29 years. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from North Carolina State University in Raleigh and has been a licensed professional engineer since 1988.

He is a current member of the Gaston County Economic Development Commission since 2013 and was appointed to the Gaston County Health Board in 2012 as the professional engineer appointee. He continues to serve on the now consolidated Health and Human Services Board.

His vast experience and engineering background have been a true resource to the many boards and committees he has served including the Cherryville Chamber of Commerce Board, the Gaston Regional Chamber Board 2009 to 2015), Small Business Committee (Chair 2011 to 2013), Leadership Gaston Board, Gaston Together (2012 to 2017) and Gaston 2020 Committee. He also served a nine-year stint on the Habitat for Humanity of Gaston County Board, where he chaired the Construction Committee from 2004 to 2010.

Robert also serves on the Greater Gaston Development Corporation Alliance for Growth for which he currently chairs the Sites/Buildings/Infrastructure Committee; the Community Foundation Board since 2013, where he serves on the Development Committee; the Cherryville Impact Fund Committee Chairman (2014 to 2016) and he recently served on the 2015 Gaston County CaroMont Investment Task Force Committee.

He is a dedicated member of the Shelby Seventh-Day Adventist Church, where he serves on the Church Board and has served in multiple leadership roles including Deacon, Head Deacon, Elder, and Head Elder, Treasurer, Sabbath School Superintendent 2003 to 2013, Dominican Republic Mission Trip Construction Coordinator, Lighthouse Fellowship Church Board and the 2015 Chair of the Church Building Committee.

Robert, the County Commission is indebted to you for your many years of service and for your continuing efforts to encourage growth in Gaston County and improve the quality of life for our citizens.