County honors Maiden woman

Assistant Register of Deeds Rita Beaver was named the Catawba County employee of the year this week.

Seven county employees were nominated, and Beaver was recognized with the award Tuesday night at the county's annual awards night at Catawba Valley Community College.

Beaver is a 35-year veteran of the deeds office. According to a release from the county, she receives praise from coworkers for excellent service, for being a patient instructor and for preserving the county's history.

“When I first came to Catawba County back in 1989, Rita was the first staff person to welcome me to the county and to the Register of Deeds Office,” said Donna Spencer, register of deeds. “Being one of the first paralegals in the area, it was a change for many to adjust to. However, Rita has never looked down on the paralegals nor anyone else that has come into this office. After taking office, I have seen her dedication to the county and her work. She has even stated that she is only a phone call away should we need her after she retires at the end of this year. Her knowledge, her ability to explain matters like no other and her kindness can never be replaced.”

Deputy Register of Deeds Betty Richards said Beaver is a county information source for the public.

“Her vast knowledge of the various departments enables her to direct customers to the appropriate departments in order to meet their needs or requests," Richards said. "As well as being an instructor and general information person, Rita has played a significant role in the preservation of the ‘history’ of Catawba County, assuring precise records are maintained of marriages, births, deaths, land records, maps/plats and document indexes. The most notable project Rita undertook was the conversion of the 1984-1988 Land Record Indexes. To make these indexes compatible with a new operating system, Rita converted each entry made during the years between 1984 and 1988. Through patience and persistence, a total of 88,133 records, with approximately 352,500 individual entries, were converted.”

A Catawba County native and current Maiden resident, Beaver graduated from Bandys High School and later earned an associate’s degree in business administration from Catawba Valley Community College.  During and just after her school years, she worked as a sales clerk with JC Penney, in general office and sales work with Lindy’s Furniture and with Epps Printing in Newton, performing office and bookkeeping duties.

Beaver was hired as deputy register trainee in the Register of Deeds Office on June 1, 1976. 

“Rita’s dedication is evident every day on the job,” said Christie East, another Deputy Register of Deeds. “She has steadily worked on one big project as long as I’ve known her, in addition to completing her daily duties and helping out people who come to the counter. How she juggles it all, I don’t know. But she does it smoothly and without complaint.”  
Six other County employees were nominated for Catawba County Employee Of The Year for 2011.

They included Britt Abernathy, public health school nurse charge nurse, Public Health; Christine Cofer, administrative assistant I, Garage, Finance; Deborah Johnson, director of the Children’s Advocacy and Protection Center of Catawba County, Social Services; Angela Propst, office support specialist, Public Health; Fred Smith, paramedic, Emergency Medical Services; and Kim Sue, code compliance technician, Utilities and Engineering.

Team awards were also presented.

"These awards honor groups of employees whose combined efforts improve county services," said Catawba County Manager Tom Lundy, who served as master of ceremonies for the awards. "We certainly appreciate the value of work done by groups of employees who focus their energies on a common goal."

A panel of judges in the government field, independent of Catawba County, selected three teams as winners for 2011. The winners were a Medical Emergency Response Team from Public Health; a Distracted Driving Video Contest Team, with members from several departments; and a Parent Child Interaction Therapy Team from Social Services.