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Regional council honors Connet for service as city manager

John Connet, second from left, receives award from Land of Sky Regional Council. John Connet, second from left, receives award from Land of Sky Regional Council.

The Land of Sky Regional Council honored Hendersonville City Manager John Connet on Wednesday for service that "has greatly enhanced the quality of life for countless citizens" of Hendersonville

The Robert E. Shepherd Excellence in Local Government Award is presented at the Land of Sky Regional Council’s discretion to a local government professional who has shown great leadership in improving governance and service delivery, especially in the areas of regional cooperation and collaboration.
“This is a well-deserved award,” Hendersonville Mayor Barbara Volk said. “We are delighted Land of Sky chose to recognize Mr. Connet for his work in this region and across the state.”

Justin Hembree, executive director of Land of Sky, explained the history behind the Shepherd Excellence in Local Government Award. Robert "Bob" Shepherd, the first executive director of Land of Sky, faithfully served the organization for more than 30 years. He exemplified what it means to be a public servant in local government. As a result, the Land of Sky executive committee felt it would be fitting to establish an award in Shepherd’s name to recognize local public servants.

Biltmore Forest Town Manager Jonathan Kanipe presented Connet with a plaque that included the following inscription: “The Robert E. Shepherd Excellence in Local Government Award is presented to John Frazier Connet for his dedication in serving the citizens of the City of Hendersonville and the Land of Sky region. His service has greatly enhanced the quality of life for countless citizens. John is a dedicated and faithful local government professional. His leadership and work ethic serves as a shining example for all that choose to serve the public.” The past recipients include Robert E. Shepherd in 2016 and Susan Frady, Hendersonville’s Development Assistance Director, in 2017.

The Land of Sky Regional Council serves Buncombe, Henderson, Madison and Transylvania counties to provide collaboration and cooperation with the goal of improving the quality of life for residents of the communities served. The council coordinates joint regional decisions, provides planning and technical services to local governments and brings local officials together to problem solve.