Kathy Behringer And Jerry Jones Named Stevens Award Recipients

GARNER – Town Council Member Kathy Behringer and local businessman Jerry Jones have been named co-recipients of the 2022 James R. Stevens Service to Garner Award—the community’s most prestigious recognition for public service rendered over an extended period of time.

“Kathy Behringer is smart, sincere and hardworking. She knows the community because she has raised a wonderful family here and has been devoted to community life and the people of Garner for more than 25 years,” said former Garner Mayor Sam Bridges (as quoted in the nomination letter for Ms. Behringer).

A Garner resident for nearly three decades, Ms. Behringer is now serving her fifth term as a Town Council member. She has focused on community growth and development and on beautification efforts around Garner, especially around some of the town’s main gateways.

Ms. Behringer has held a special place in her heart for the revitalization of historic Downtown Garner and was named a North Carolina Main Street Champion in 2011 by the N.C. Department of Commerce. She currently serves on the Downtown Garner Association, which helps to lead development of historic Downtown Garner as a vibrant business, entertainment and cultural center through public-private partnerships.

During her tenure on the Council, Ms. Behringer also has been a strong advocate for improving parks and recreation opportunities, and she has advocated in particular for the Garner Senior Center.

Ms. Behringer has been passionate about ending domestic violence and has worked to ensure the Town as well as community groups regularly support InterAct of Wake County.

In addition, Ms. Behringer currently serves as The Garner Woman’s Club president and sits on the Board of Directors for the YMCA. She is active in her Community Watch program and is a member of the Garner Chamber of Commerce.

Ms. Behringer has previously served as the past president of the Friends of Historic Garner and as a board member for Passage Home, a non-profit organization that works to break the cycle of poverty for individuals and families in Wake County by helping them to achieve housing and income security.

Ms. Behringer has been an independent business owner for 41 years. She is married to Jeff Behringer, also an independent business owner in Garner. Together they have six children and eight grandchildren.

Jerry Jones has served the Garner community for almost 50 years.

“Jerry’s family has deep roots in Garner, and he has never forgotten what Garner has done for him and his family,” the nomination letter for Mr. Jones states. “As Jerry’s business and community leadership approaches fifty years, he is still the positive teammate that everyone wants as a friend, neighbor and business confidant.”

Mr. Jones is a Gamer native and joined his father’s insurance business, Jones Insurance Agency, in 1974, soon after graduating from college. He married Brenda Stone, and they established themselves as respected and admired pillars of the Gamer community.

Soon after graduating from college, Mr. Jones joined the Garner Volunteer Fire Department as a volunteer and served in the department for seven years.

He succeeded his father, Purvis, at the helm of Jones Insurance. After serving on the Garner Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Mr. Jones was elected board chair by his peers for 1980-81. He continued to serve in leadership roles with the Chamber for a number of years.

Mr. Jones is a charter member of the morning Garner Rotary Club (chartered in 1978). He served as president of the club and later served as district treasurer. He earned the Mid-Day Rotary Club’s Ethics Award for his personal and professional character and demeanor.

For his support of Rotary, Mr. Jones has been named a Paul Harris Fellow. He also is a member of the Paul Harris Society and has been a generous supporter of local, district and Rotary International projects ranging from annual scholarships for Garner high school seniors to Rotary International’s goal of eradicating polio.

Mr. Jones has also been passionate about education. He served with the Communities in Schools program for seven years as a tutor and mentor, then seven years with the Schools and Communities Organized to Read (SCOR) program for seven years as a reading mentor with second-graders at Timber Drive Elementary.

The Joneses have continued to support local civic, business and service groups and initiatives, including the following:

  • Little League team sponsorships
  • Community of Hope Ministries
  • Garner Senior Center capital campaign
  • Garner Veterans Memorial capital campaign
  • Poole Family YMCA capital campaign

In addition, Mr. Jones has been a Business Advisory Board member of Wake Services and Advisory Board member at North State Bank. Mr. Jones and Ms. Behringer will be recognized at the Aug. 16 Town Council meeting, held at 7 p.m. in the Ronnie S. Williams Council Chambers in Garner Town Hall, located at 900 7th Ave.


The James R. Stevens Service to Garner Award is intended to recognize people who have made substantial, outstanding contributions to Garner over a long period of time. Emphasis is on service rendered over an extended period of time with preference given to nominees with 20-plus years of service. This is in keeping with James R. Stevens’ tradition of service spanning decades. Non-residents of Garner are eligible if the award committee deems that they meet the criteria necessary to receive the honor. The award also can be bestowed posthumously. The award program is administered by the Town of Garner, with a selection committee made up of the mayor, a representative of the Stevens family and other community members.