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2003 News from Mecklenburg County

March 18, 2003


Charlotte, NC – A long-standing commitment to public service, exemplary leadership, and a flair for turning money-saving and life-saving ideas into reality.  Those are just some of the qualifications that led to the selection of Robert D. “Bobby” Cobb as Mecklenburg County’s Gerald G. Fox Employee of the Year.  The award was announced this evening at the Board of County Commissioners meeting.

As health and environmental health administrator, Cobb has invested 24 years in serving the people of Mecklenburg County.  A UNCC engineering graduate, Cobb joined the county in 1977 with the Department of Environmental Health. 

Cobb has been instrumental in seeking funding to establish Mecklenburg County as a Regional Bioterrorism Center and in moving the Health Department to an electronic medical data surveillance system.  These upgrades in technology and infrastructure have helped make Charlotte-Mecklenburg one of the most bioterror-ready communities in the country.  These improvements have everyday applications as well, proving crucial to recognizing a recent outbreak of a contagious bacterial infection in schools and child care centers.

“Bobby is truly an energizer,” says Mecklenburg County Health Director Peter Safir.  “He is a source of innovative solutions to meet the changing demands placed on today’s public health system.”

Cobb is a member of Purcell United Methodist Church where he has attended since childhood.  He and his wife Debbie have one son, JT. He serves the community as an active member and past president of the West Mecklenburg Optimist Club.  He has also served as president of the West Mecklenburg Little League Association and is a former little league coach.

“You cannot place a value on being genuinely good,” wrote Environmental Health Manager Sylvia Daniel in her nomination of Cobb.  “I’ve seen him do many amazing things to help those in need.”

Named for the former county manager, the Gerald G. Fox Employee of the Year Award is sponsored by the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce and is now in its 40th year.  It is given to a Mecklenburg County employee whose contributions to the county and the community go beyond their job description. 

Award winners receive $150, a plaque from the Charlotte Chamber and an additional week of vacation.  A permanent display in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center is also engraved with the winner’s name.

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