Forsyth Tech president speaks, gains accolades

Dr. Gary Green, longtime President of Forsyth Tech Community College will retire at the end of the year.

Forsyth Tech president speaks, gains accolades
December 20
13:23 2018

By Jefferey Griffin & Judi Saint Sing

Dr. Gary Green, the sixth president of Forsyth Technical Community College, will retire at the end of December after 17 years of service. In honor of Green, a retirement celebration was held on Wednesday, Dec. 12.

Guests included Dr. Green’s family, business and industry partners, Forsyth Tech trustees and Forsyth Tech Foundation board members, government officials, and members of the community who all had worked with Green and came to give him a fond farewell.

Days before the retirement celebration, the outgoing Forsyth Tech president addressed a gathering of students, colleagues and family members in Strickland Auditorium as a part of the 2018 SciTech Lecture Series.

In one of his last official appearances as Forsyth Tech’s president, Dr. Green spoke about “Signals from the Future: Creating the Innovation Workforce.”

Under Green’s leadership, Forsyth Tech has become a national leader in technology-based workforce development, while earning designation as a Center of Academic Excellence and East Central U.S. regional center by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. Dr. Green has collaborated on workforce development with numerous industries including Boeing, Reynolds American and HanesBrands.

“It is something that catches our attention at one scale and one locale and points to larger implications for other locales globally,” Green said while identifying signals for the creation of an innovation workforce: geography and globalization, health and bioscience and data digitization.

Forsyth Tech’s commitment to workforce development is driven by a need to prepare students for an innovation economy. Dr. Green defined the commitment saying, “The economic change we see is driven by globalization.”

Russ Read, Executive Director for the National Center for the Biotechnology Workforce, spoke about the purpose of the SciTech Lecture Series. “The aim is to speak to science and technology trends that exist at the college and community at large.”

The presentation concluded as Dr. Green answered questions from attendees and queries submitted via Twitter from Australia and Denmark.

In response to a question about the economic future of the community, Green identified several employment career clusters Forsyth Tech has designated as essential areas for continued development in the local, regional and global workforce: IT programming, cybersecurity, clinical health, robotics, aviation and aerospace.

The SciTech Lecture Series has welcomed more than 3,500 attendees and 60 speakers through 57 events since 2009. Dr. Green’s presentation was streamed across the United States as well as to Denmark, India and Australia.

On Dec. 12. Ann Bennett Phillips, chair of the Forsyth Tech Board of Trustees presented Green with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine – one of the most prestigious awards conferred by the Governor of North Carolina. 

The Order of the Long Leaf Pine is awarded to persons for exemplary service to the State of North Carolina and their communities that is above and beyond the call of duty and which have made a significant impact and strengthened North Carolina.

Referring to some of the recommendations supporting the nomination for this award, Forsyth Tech Trustee Alan Proctor added that Gary Green has been a tireless advocate of the state’s Community College system and has used his knowledge of local business and their training needs to help recruit or expand dozens of important companies in our area.

Proclamations were presented to Green by Mayor Allen Joines from the city of Winston-Salem, 

County Commissioners David R. Plyer and Don Martin presented from the county commissioners and Stokes County representatives presented from Stokes County all recognizing the exemplary service and accomplishments of Dr. Gary M. Green and thanked him for his outstanding and distinguished service to the State of North Carolina and the citizens of Forsyth and Stokes Counties,

There were also representatives from Grand Bassa Community College, city and government officials from Buchanan, Liberia who are collaborators with the sister city arrangement with Winston-Salem. They thanked Green for his contribution in cooperative efforts with Grand Bass Community College and presented him with traditional tunics, the customary clothing for gentlemen in Liberia. 

Green wrapped up the reception with comments of appreciation and said, “Thank you for all the kind words. Especially, thank you for the opportunity to serve Forsyth Tech, it has been an honor and the highlight of my professional career.” 

Judi Saint Sing, public relations manager at Forsyth Technical Community College contributed to this article.

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