Leaders honor parents at banquet

Hundreds attend the 2018 Chronicle Communjity Service Awards Banquet. Photo by Busta Brown

Leaders honor parents at banquet
March 29
13:05 2018

27 receive awards at 33rd annual event

The Chronicle honored 27 individuals, businesses and groups who’ve made a difference with its 33rd Annual Community Service Awards Banquet held at The Benton on Saturday, March 24.

“Today we celebrate those men and those women who are leaders in our community, who put their lives, their time, their bodies, their money on the line day after day after day to provide a quality service to the people in this community and to make sure this community is a great place to live and relax,” said Chronicle Publisher James Taylor Jr. before more than 500 people.

Z. Smith Reynolds (ZSR) Foundation Executive Director Maurice “Mo” Green and former Reynolds American Vice President Lisa Caldwell were named Man and Woman of the Year.

Green is the former superintendent of Guilford County Schools and current director of ZSR, a family foundation that has invested more than $553 million in the state in the last 80 years. When he became executive director in March 2016, he conducted a yearlong strategic assessment, which included a “Mo Wants to Know” listening tour.

A year later, for the first time in ZSR history, the organization put its core values in writing. They include fairness, justice, dignity, equity, integrity, collaboration and excellence.

“You’ve honored me and showed me how blessed and favored I am to be a part of an organization that has those notions, that has those core values,” said Green.

Green said the Man of the Year award was an inspiration, especially since it was presented to him on a day that just happened to be his 51st birthday. He talked about how he was blessed and highly favored, not challenged in his career, and praised his mother.

“My mother is the most amazing person you will ever meet. I am blessed to be her son,” he said.

He also said the honor on his birthday inspired him to show appreciation for his wife.

Caldwell recently retired as the executive vice president and chief human resources officer of Reynolds American, Inc. after 27 years with the tobacco giant. She has been active in the community in both volunteering and serving on numerous boards. Caldwell said her family didn’t have much money when she was growing up, but was rich in other ways.

“I really didn’t know I was poor because I was so rich in love and support,” said Caldwell. “And that love and support came from my parents, and so it is in that vein that I pay it forward.”

She dedicated her award to her late parents, Roy and Pauline Jeffries.

Youth of the Year Award winner Camden Myers received a standing ovation when he received his award. The 10-year-old has started a pop-up business selling coffee despite his cognitive and physical challenges. He was able to set up shop to provide coffee for Awards Banquet guests.

Judge Denise Hartsfield, the mistress of ceremonies, commented on the award winners throughout the event, and interjected some levity when talking about the food businesses, such as Char’s Hamburgers.

“I realize this crowd may be nutrition conscious, and may not eat pork and all those things that nutritious-minded people do, but if you’ve never had a pork chop sandwich from Char’s, you done missed something great!”

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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