Chamber Chat – Duke Energy Citizenship and Service Award

July 11, 2021 | Written by: sanford-user

By Meg Moss, Chamber of Commerce Executive Director


Each year at the Chamber Annual Membership Banquet, a representative from Duke Energy presents the Duke Energy Citizenship and Service Award, which recognizes someone that has made a noteworthy contribution to the community above and beyond the norm. It is a tribute to an individual who makes a difference in their community by using their time, talents & compassion to positively impact the lives of others.


This year’s award was presented by Indira Everett, who joined Duke Energy after its merger completion with Progress Energy where she now has over 30 years with the company. Everette manages key contact relationships with regulatory officials, local elected officials, chambers of commerce, and community and civic leaders. Additionally, she manages philanthropic grants and sponsorships for her district.


Duke Energy awarded their 2021 Citizenship and Service Award to Heath Cain, Lee County’s Health Department Director. In part, because he “exemplifies the giving and caring spirit of the Lee County community. Heath takes initiative by leading the way, and demonstrates the courage to shape the future of our community” Everett stated during the awards presentation.


Our Lee County Healthcare Heroes orchestrated a response to the COVID-19 pandemic that was declared by the World Health Organization in March of 2020. On March 16th, the Lee County Board of Commissioners declared a state of emergency, and on March 20th, the Lee County Health Department reported the first confirmed case of COVID-19 affecting a county resident.


Cain mobilized a team of staff and volunteers to lead the effort to fight COVID-19. The pandemic response efforts have been a once in a generation operation that has impacted every aspect of day-to-day life.


Cain led the efforts to get residents tested for COVID-19, and then vaccinated, when the time came. But according to Cain, “the true success came from the support of our local partners who stepped up to support clinic activities, logistics and planning.” Cain arranged partnerships with the Sheriff’s Office, Sanford Police Department, Lee County Schools, Central Carolina Community College, DHHS and other county staff and volunteers that have allowed the Health Department to administer well over 40,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.


It has been an unprecedented call to duty for our Lee County Healthcare Heroes. A call that led Cain to jump into action. As of the end of May 2021, there had been over forty vaccination clinics in Lee County, and the Health Department continues to add and adjust schedules to accommodate changes in demand and need.


Cain even mobilized his staff and volunteers to begin calling every Chamber member in Lee County to ask if their employees needed vaccinations done at their place of business.


Everett concluded that “It is with great honor that I am able to present the Duke Energy Citizenship and Service Award to the Lee County Health Department Director, Mr. Heath Cain.”