First State Employees Named Honorary Commanders

First State would like to recognize two of our employees, Michelle Johnson and Ava Stallings-Hardy, for being selected as a 2016 Delaware State Police Honorary Commander.

Michelle Johnson (left) and Ava Stallings-Hardy (right) were officially appointed as Honorary Commander on Wednesday February 3, during an induction ceremony at the Delaware State Police Academy in Dover Delaware. They were among nine special leaders selected into Honorary Commander Program. The Honorary Commander Program partners Delaware State Police Commanders with key community, business and political leaders ideally within the Commander’s respective troop area in order to foster a mutually beneficial partnership. Program goals include encouraging an exchange of ideas, experiences and understanding with the benefit of building and strengthening the bond between the Division and the communities we serve. This program also aims to increase the Division’s involvement in civic endeavors and organizations while integrating members of the local community into the Delaware State Police family.

Michelle Johnson was inducted into the program as the first Honorary Commander for Troop 7 in Sussex County. She currently resides in Seaford DE with her husband Pastor Larry Johnson. Michelle diligently serves in her local church as missionary, volunteers as a tax preparer and greeter for the Delaware Earned Income Credit tax program and is also faithful in helping out at the Western Sussex Boys& Girls Club for their monthly community dinners. She is an employee of First State Community Action Agency for more than 15 years and currently presides as the chairperson of the board of Sussex Health Promotion Coalition and the Sussex Success Sub-committee. Michelle’s compassion for people, infectious laugh and animated personality enables her to connect with people from all walks of life and make a remarkable impression on those she meet.

Ava Stallings-Hardy, resident of Dover, was appointed Honorary Commander for Troop 3 in Kent County. Ava is strongly involved in the Kent County Strong Communities meetings and works to empower underserved communities throughout the state to become more self-sufficient. As a former Assistant Vice President of Bank of America, she brings over 20 years in the corporate sector, with extensive experience in service delivery, credit & quality control. Ava uses her leadership and expertise to bring valuable programs, resources & services to low-income, at-risk communities throughout Kent & NC, Counties. Ava’s meticulous attention to details and the issues affecting those low-income people, her unyielding persistence and compassion for the less-fortunate make her an extraordinary advocate for the communities she serve.

Both Michelle and Ava are Community Development Specialists with First State Community Action Agency and have provided great service to Delawareans in need.

First State congratulates Michelle and Ava for receiving this special honor and for their great service to building stronger communities!


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