Cabarrus County Manager earns regional leadership award

Mike Downs honored by Centralina Regional Council
Mike Downs received the award during a ceremony on February 8 in Charlotte.
Mike Downs received the award during a ceremony on February 8 in Charlotte.(Cabarrus County)
Published: Feb. 21, 2023 at 6:10 AM EST
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CABARRUS COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - Cabarrus County Manager Mike Downs was recently honored with the James D. Prosser Excellence in Government Leadership Award from the Centralina Regional Council.

Downs received the award during a ceremony on February 8 in Charlotte, according to a press release from Cabarrus County. The James D. Prosser Award is presented to “an individual who exemplifies and promotes excellence in government, outstanding leadership and high ethical standards.”

During a 37-year career with Cabarrus County, Downs worked as a Zoning Inspector, Zoning Administrator, Development Services Director, Public Safety Services Director and Deputy County Manager. He became County Manager in 2011.

According to his nomination form: “Mike has led Cabarrus County’s involvement in numerous transformative projects: construction of the downtown Courthouse, the new Emergency Medical Services headquarters, the downtown Concord parking deck and many more.

“He pushed for more transparency in government operations, evidenced by the County’s award-winning website and communications efforts. He spearheaded efforts to collaborate with other governments within the county—the quarterly Elected Leaders Summit he helped organize continues to this day. He led efforts to create the County’s first Strategic Plan, which set the framework for individual goals and performance measures for all county departments.”

After accepting the award, Downs said he was honored, adding that “recognition belongs to the incredible team I work with every day. Their dedication and commitment truly make Cabarrus County shine.”

Outside his work with Cabarrus County Government, Downs is a longtime member of the Rotary Club of Cabarrus County. He is a board member of The Cabarrus County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Cabarrus Economic Development, Centralina Economic Development District and United Way. He also serves with Stokes Masonic Lodge and Oasis Shriners.

Centralina Regional Council serves the greater Charlotte region, including Anson, Cabarrus, Gaston, Lincoln, Iredell, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Stanly and Union counties. Its mission is to lead regional collaboration and spark local action to expand opportunity and improve quality of life.