2014 Tax Employee of the Year

Durham, NC – May 23, 2014. Posted by Shelley Hare.

Intro: At the 2014 North Carolina Tax Collector’s Association (NCTCA) Spring Conference in Asheville, Wayne County Assistant Tax Administrator Alan Lumpkin was presented with the annual Tax Employee of the Year Award in recognition of and appreciation for his exceptional job performance and distinguished contributions to the NC tax collection community.

Each year, honorees of this award are selected for promoting improvements and displaying a willingness to provide new and creative ideas to the area of tax collections. Awardees challenge themselves and those around them to provide the best customer service to citizens of North Carolina, and are motivated to set high standards for other employees to follow.

Farragut interviewed Lumpkin to get his take on this recognition of his outstanding service to his community and gain insight into what motivates his noteworthy leadership and exceptional interpersonal skills.

Championing Tax Knowledge

Lumpkin is the Assistant Tax Administrator for Wayne County, where he has cheerfully served his local community for more than 22 years. He has a remarkable ability to connect with those around him, applying his charismatic personality to build and foster relationships in both his personal and professional life.

He is involved in several North Carolina tax associations and committees, including the NCTCA, the NC Association of Assessing Officers (NCAAO), and the NC Property Tax System (NCPTS) Steering Committee. He is considered an NCPTS expert and uses his insight to offer clarity and suggestions that continually improve upon the functionality of the software to further enhance appraisal and collection functions that benefit all NCPTS users.

Through the NCTCA and the NCAAO, Lumpkin plays a large role in the planning and site selection of their annual conference events, using his ingenuity to create fun and educational learning environments that keep his fellow tax officials engaged.

“I’m excited that in the last couple of years we have trended towards offering more educational classes for certification hours that coincide with the conferences,” said Lumpkin. “By moving the conference location around the state, it gives local tax offices the chance to take classes that they might not have otherwise been able to take part in, and at a cheaper rate,” he explained.

Community Involvement

Lumpkin’s service to his taxing jurisdiction goes far beyond his work at the tax office. In addition to his day-to-day duties, Lumpkin balances his free-time to participate in fundraisers for cancer research and juvenile diabetes, even hosting as MC for a variety of community events.

He is a member of the Dancing Stars of Wayne County, a non-profit theatre group that uses event proceeds for educational programs and scholarships, while providing quality entertainment! There are no limits to his involvement – Lumpkin proves, as he continues to draw upon his dancing talent and good-natured spirit to participate in the Wayne County Womanless Beauty Pageant fundraiser to benefit Cure for Cancer, where he was awarded Second Runner Up and Most Talented several years in a row.

Award Recognition

Lumpkin was asked how it felt to be recognized by his peers for his prevalent contributions and be awarded with the 2014 Tax Employee of the Year Award:

“It was very shocking and humbling,” responded Lumpkin. “I had no idea. I have known the people in the tax community for all these years and I feel like there are so many who are deserving, that it was just an honor to be selected for an award like this,” he told us.

Any Advice?

Lumpkin is known by many as someone who can keep calm and professional in every situation, who maintains a promptness for getting things done, who never hesitates to participate or assist in committees, who is a great boss, co-worker, and friend. We asked Lumpkin if he would mind sharing advice to others in the tax industry looking to achieve similar success in their personal and professional lives.

“This is a rewarding job and I love interacting with people on a daily basis,” he shared with us. “Patience is the key. Try and put yourself in the taxpayer’s shoes. The job may often be redundant as you receive the same questions over and over from many people, and it’s easy to become frustrated. But, for each taxpayer, it is the first time he or she is hearing the information. Take your time, be patient, and explaining things rationally will often result in a positive outcome.”

“Also, I would encourage others to get involved in the NC tax associations. Becoming involved in both organizations is the best way to learn and give back,” informed Lumpkin.