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Simpson Receives Barrett Award

Simpson Receives Barrett Award

Cary Town Attorney Chris Simpson

By Russell Rawlings
The North Carolina Bar Association Government & Public Sector Section presented the Grainger Barrett Award for Excellence to Cary Town Attorney Christine B. Simpson on Friday, Feb. 22, at the N.C. Bar Center in Cary.

The award was presented in conjunction with the section’s annual meeting and CLE by Aimee Carole Scotton, section chair. Accepting the award on behalf of Simpson, who was unable to attend due to a work commitment, was her daughter and fellow NCBA member Christina E. “Tina” Simpson, chief compliance officer for Emtiro Health, LLC, in Greensboro.

Reached later for comment, Christine Simpson stated that “receiving the Grainger Barrett Award is a true honor – one I know to be more deserved by many of my unacknowledged friends and colleagues who serve government and public sector clients.

“As Cary’s town attorney I’ve been extremely fortunate in having a client that both inspires and supports me. Cary’s council, management and staff are the embodiment of engaged public servants – being their legal advisor makes me look good.

“I especially appreciate that peers who represent and work to promote responsiveness and resilience in their own government and public sector clients gave me this award. I hope my receipt of this award brings recognition to their valuable efforts.”

Tina Simpson, left, accepts award on behalf of her mother from Aimee Carole Scotton.

Simpson is a graduate of Catholic University and William & Mary Law School. She began her career as an associate at Williams, Worrell, Kelly & Greer in Norfolk, Va., and Wishart, Norris, Henninger & Pittman in Burlington.

She joined the Town of Cary on a contract basis in 1990 as a Wishart Norris attorney and then became employed as an assistant town attorney in 1999 and was named town attorney in 2005.

Simpson is a past chair of the Government & Public Sector Section and past president of the N.C. Association of Municipal Attorneys.

“Chris has been instrumental in Cary’s growth over the past 20 years to a town of over 160,000 residents and over 1,200 employees,” stated her nominator and fellow NCBA member Lisa Glover who serves as Cary’s senior assistant town attorney.

“(Her) driving personal and professional passion has been in building effective, resilient and responsive communities for its citizens,” Glover added. “She is a strong believer in the importance of resilience and adaptability and works to instill those qualities in the groups she works with and the systems she helps to build.”

The Government & Public Sector Section award is named for the late Grainger Barrett who served as county attorney for Cumberland County. Barrett died in 2009 and received the award posthumously in 2010, at which time it was named in his honor.

The purpose of this award is to honor an outstanding government or public sector attorney as an exemplar of the excellence, dedication and passion for justice of North Carolina’s government and public sector attorneys.

Previous recipients of the Grainger Barrett Award for Excellence are: M. Ann Reed (2001), Jo Anne Sanford (2003), John Stuart Bruce (2004), Gill P. Beck (2005), Dan McLawhorn (2006), Ann B. Wall (2007), Curtis B. Venable (2008), Jeffrey P. Gray (2009), Grainger R. Barrett (2010), James B. Blackburn III (2011),  M. Lynne Weaver and Philip A. Lehman (2012), Ellis Hankins (2014), Chief Justice (ret.) Sarah Parker (2015), Frayda Bluestein (2016), Judge Frank Whitney (2017) and Thomas A. McCormick Jr. (2018).