How State Dinners Work

The Mansion Staff

In addition to the personal staffs of the governor and first lady, the executive mansion has many others who pride themselves in keeping the residence running. The North Carolina State Highway Patrol provides security and has officers in the mansion on Executive Detail. Because of their extended training and work detail, these officers are often referred to as Super Troopers, and they provide security for the executive grounds, the Governor and First Lady, and mansion guests. "It takes a long time to get here, even after you apply," said one officer. "It's a job you take because you love it."

Another important group of people in the mansion are the tour guides, or docents. The docents put in more than 1,200 volunteer hours each year. The mansion is host to nearly 1,000 tours with guests from all over North Carolina, the U.S., and the world.

Another integral part of the mansion staff are the trustees. Trustees are men and women incarcerated in area minimum-security correctional facilities. They are responsible for many different functions throughout the mansion, and many come to the mansion without prior skills. Vicki Cilley, Residence Manager under Governor and Mrs. Hunt, dedicates time to train the trustees for the mansion. In addition to the regular mansion staff, trustees are responsible for mansion cleaning, gardening, landscaping, and even cooking. While at the mansion, trustees gain skills that they can use when they re-enter the workforce. "I have one trustee in the kitchen right now," said Cilley. "I'm teaching him about baking and he's so eager, so anxious to learn. That makes it worthwhile."