Skip to Main Content

Retiring RMS Head Receives Long Leaf Pine Award 

By Ben Brown, NCLM Advocacy Communication Associate

If Bob Haynes wanted to retire quietly, he was in for disappointment.

Because after 26 years of exemplary service to League insurance pool members, growing those pools dependably and leading as a trusted friend to League staffers, Haynes was due a load of gratitude – which took no time to materialize when he first announced his impending retirement as director of Risk Management Services in August.

But now, he’s leaving with one of the highest honors that can be bestowed on any North Carolinian.

Haynes, who made his League retirement effective Oct. 31, was inducted into the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, which the governor orders for exceptionally meritorious servants or providers to the people.

Familiar inductees include Michael Jordan, Billy Graham, Maya Angelou, Gaylord Perry and Andy Griffith, in addition to several local government officials who’ve worked with the League.

Haynes was presented the honor during CityVision 2016, the League’s annual conference held Oct. 23-25 in Raleigh. But he didn’t know what was coming.

He knew something had to be up, though, when League officials asked him to a meeting that he wouldn’t ordinarily attend. Things grew more suspicious when he was asked to sit in the front row, in a reserved seat.

He recalled what came next with a laugh, and then solemnity.

"I’m still very humbled by it," Haynes said. "I’m thankful to have spent 26-plus years at the League.... To cap off my career there – in a job that I just absolutely loved, just to cap it off in this manner, I can’t think of a better way to go out."

Haynes joined the League in 1990 as manager of risk management and loss control services and rose quickly in the organization. By 1996, he had reached the position with which he’d retire.

In a farewell letter, Haynes wrote: "My greatest pleasure has been getting to know so many municipal officials over the years and forming lasting friendships that I will carry with me. I have utmost respect for the elected and appointed officials who serve their communities so well. I am proud to have had the opportunity to work with each of you and can say with confidence that North Carolina is a better place because of the sacrifices our public servants make day in and day out."