Matt Hester named Dare Employee of the Month

Published 12:13 pm Wednesday, June 19, 2024

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Matt Hester, who serves as Information Technology (IT) director for Dare County, has been named Dare County Employee of the Month for June 2024. The award was presented to Hester by Dare’s county manager Bobby Outten during the Dare County Board of Commissioners meeting that was held at 9 a.m. on Monday, June 3, 2024.

Hester began his service to Dare County on April 28, 2014, when he was hired to serve as an information systems analyst in the IT Department before being promoted to his current position of IT director on June 1, 2017. In this position, Hester performs an assortment of complex duties, and he plays an integral role in ensuring that Dare County’s 700-plus employees are equipped with the technological tools and resources that are required in order for the county to provide its wide array of essential services to residents, visitors and property owners.

During his Employee of the Month presentation, Outten noted that several of Hester’s colleagues had submitted nomination forms recommending that he receive the prestigious honor, and he continued by reading a few remarks that were written about Hester by his fellow Dare County employees.

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“Matt has consistently gone above and beyond in his role as IT director,” wrote one nominator, who works with the Dare County Sheriff’s Office 911 Communications Center in Manteo. “He’s always within a phone call away at any time of the day or night if an issue arises pertaining to the dispatch of our systems as a whole. Within minutes of the issue, he is either already aware of the issue or quickly diagnosing the issue or arriving onsite after hearing of the issue. He constantly reaches out to us seeing how IT can be of help to our center. He is also a massive teacher. The amount of knowledge he possesses is incredible. He is also always willing to share that knowledge. He’s an amazing asset to our agency and to our county.”

Several of these sentiments were also shared by another nominator, who praised Hester for his strong work ethic, dedication to his duties, and willingness to go above and beyond to ensure everything is running smoothly – noting in her nomination form that, “Matt Hester is truly a hero behind the scenes.”

The nominator went on to comment that, in addition to being tasked with keeping up with all of the newest technology and implementing it throughout the county – which includes factoring in the unique needs of each department and individual employee in terms of the specific programs and equipment that are needed for them to perform their duties – Hester has also formed exceptional working relationships with his colleagues throughout Dare County and beyond.

“Matt is on call 24/7 and has formed amazing relationships with all the departments, towns and other agencies. If he doesn’t have the answer, he will use his resources and get back to you,” Outten shared from the remarks submitted on the nomination form. “He has a fantastic team that helps him, and they too go above and beyond to keep the county working. You don’t realize how much Matt does until a piece of technology isn’t working, and then you see him spring into action.”

After noting that Hester’s domain includes everything from the county’s phones, computers, printers and networks to all of its computer systems and programs, emails, faxes, security systems, backup systems and redundant backup systems, the nominator also commented that, “Matt works diligently to ensure the security of Dare County’s many networks and trains all employees on how to recognize threats to the system and the best cyber security practices to utilize.”

At the conclusion of her nomination form recommending that Hester be named Employee of the Month, his colleague also highlighted the incredible importance of the countless complex tasks he is responsible for completing in his day-to-day duties – and emphasized just how essential his role as IT director is to the Dare County community as a whole.

“Matt prefers to be in the background; however, he deserves to be recognized due to the fact that this county couldn’t complete any of its goals to serve its residents and visitors without his expertise and knowledge. He is also a great teacher and mentor and always shares what he has learned to make everyone better,” Outten read from her remarks.

Then, as he concluded the presentation and presented Hester with his Dare County Employee of the Month award, Outten remarked, “I couldn’t say it better. We live that every day. If I brought our 16 department heads up there and said, ‘Tell us about him,’ they would say what I just read. Matt, great job, well deserved, and thank you for all that you do for Dare County.”