County governments in North Carolina are the critical link to citizens. As partners with the state government, counties provide many state services to citizens while also developing their own policies and programs to enhance and improve the quality of life for their citizens.

Counties are innovative and progressive, creating a variety of programs to meet the needs of their citizens while being fiscally responsible. To recognize the creativity and imagination of counties, the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) presents a number of awards each year to elected county officials, county employees and the counties themselves. The NCACC also recognizes outside groups for their work to advance county government through such awards as the Friend of the Counties and the Distinguished Service Award.