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Hankins receives highest honor for public service 

Ellis Hankins, former League Executive Director, was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine. This award is reserved for North Carolinians who have served the state enthusiastically through their careers and communities.

“I’ve had the privilege of working alongside many dedicated public servants, some of whom are also recipients of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine,” said Hankins. “It’s an honor to be included in the distinguish group.”

Lyons Gray, Secretary of the N.C. Department of Revenue , presented the award to Hankins at a private reception.

Hankins has been an advocate for sound municipal governance his entire career. He was the League’s fifth full-time executive director. He first joined the League staff in 1982 as assistant general counsel, was promoted to associate general counsel, then general counsel and chief legislative lobbyist in 1987. He left the League to work as a lawyer in private practice in 1993, where he worked with several local governments. He returned to the League in 1997 and served as executive director until his retirement in January 2014.