National Philanthropy Day

2013 AFP-WNC National Philanthropy Day Award Recipients

Philanthropy Day is celebrated around the country to highlight giving, givers and the causes they represent. At our own WNC celebration on November 14, 2013, over 300 professional and volunteer philanthropists came to the Renaissance Asheville Hotel to recognize the outstanding individuals, corporations, foundations and professionals in the fundraising world who exhibit excellence in our area. We invite you to learn more about our 2013 AFP-WNC National Philanthropy Day award recipients!

 Outstanding Philanthropist: Mack B. Pearsall

Mack B. Pearsall is Chief Executive Officer of PVC, Inc., hotel management company and Chair of the Board of PSC Automotive Group. A lawyer by license and training, Mack is businessman by trade and environmentalist by choice. He is a life-long North Carolinian, a product the Asheville School, twice a UNC Chapel Hill graduate (AB and JD), a member of North Carolina Order of Long Leaf Pine, recipient of the 1991 Rocky Mount Distinguished Citizen Award, former Co-Chair of the Commission For A Competitive NC, co-chair of Jim Hunt’s 1992 campaign for Governor, former member of Board of Trustees of Warren Wilson College, founding member of the Asheville Hub and member of its Executive Committee, and chair of the Asheville/Buncombe Sustainable Community Initiatives. Mack is married to Janice Pearsall, and they have one son, Mack B. Pearsall, Jr. (Brad) who, with his wife Sarah Duran Pearsall, have Mack’s two grandchildren, Grace and James. In his spare time, Mack enjoys hiking, lake-boating and international blue water sailing.

Outstanding Volunteer in Philanthropy: Cissie Stevens

Imogene Radeker “Cissie” Stevens is a quality leader who generously shares her time and talent in raising funds and raising leadership for organizations whose missions she passionately supports. Her leadership style, her dogged determination, excellent organizational skills and persuasive pitch have motivated others to join her in supporting projects and organizations she has adopted. Cissie is the former director of Leadership Programs at UNC Asheville and currently serves as past president of their board of trustees. She serves on the board of Christ School, was a trustee for Blue Cross Blue Shield; and has served as President-Elect, President, Past President, Chair of Nominating & Membership, Capital Campaign Chair, and Chair of the Development Committee for MANNA FoodBank. Cissie is now is an Emeritus member of the board at MANNA where she is serving on the Campaign Planning Committee.

Outstanding Business in Philanthropy: Charlotte Street Computers

Charlotte Street Computers owner and CEO Jennifer Mayer has always championed the concept of philanthropic marketing, creatively leveraging marketing funds while building partnerships and nurturing long-term relationships with many local community-building organizations. Through the Charlotte Street Computer’s sponsorship of Asheville Community Theatre, she has connected more than 25 nonprofits to the opportunity to sell exclusive theater tickets as a fundraising activity. Charlotte Street Computers brought together the Asheville Design Center, the residents of the Klondyke public housing development, and other community partners to design a playground for children in the community. This process is being replicated in other neighborhoods throughout Asheville. Charlotte Street Computers has also given tens of thousands of dollars in direct support to numerous organizations in the region. Jennifer has begun  to share her management philosophy other socially responsible businesses, including Vermont-based Small Dog Electronics, where she currently serves as Vice President, measuring success by the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit.

Outstanding Foundation: Western North Carolina Medical Society Foundation

The Western Carolina Medical Society (WCMS) Foundation is the physician and community-led charitable arm of WCMS.  The Foundation is well respected for its leadership and innovation in addressing issues of access to quality healthcare, disparities in health, and prevention and wellness. The Foundation’s nationally recognized flagship program is Project Access®. Created in 1996 by area physicians, Project Access is a comprehensive volunteer primary and specialty physician network providing access to healthcare at no charge for low-income, uninsured residents of Buncombe County. Another key program is WIN (WCMS Interpreter Network), which addresses disparities in health due to linguistic barriers across WNC. The Foundation Endowment, formed in 1998, recognizes the tradition of giving by physician families. Every year, the Community Foundation of WNC on behalf of the WCMS Foundation awards grants to health and wellness programs in our community.

Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy: Pageant Nevel

Pageant Nevel’s mother first introduced her to the world of service. While she was still young, her mother and a friend founded Bares It All for Breast Cancer. It was from Pageant’s family that she learned of the power she has to enact change and impact people’s lives. Her love of service was nurtured during her middle school years when she attended The Mountain Community School. Pageant was inspired to get involved with the Blue Ridge Humane Society upon entering Hendersonville High School. She found this to be an equally supportive community and was able to dedicate her time to other causes of great importance to her. She worked with Interact to serve our local and global environment and formed the Pride Club to support the LBGTQ community. Pageant is in her first year at Salem College and hopes to pursue a career in wilderness therapy.

Outstanding Fundraising Executive: J. Donald Harris

Except for a year of teaching history in South Carolina and a year of active duty in the Army, Don has lived in Asheville since the age of 2. A graduate of Lee Edwards High School, Don attended Asheville Biltmore College and Western Carolina University graduating with a BA in Creative Writing. His career has included teaching, editing a newspaper, owning frame shop, advertising, and marketing. Don has provided invaluable service as a professional fund raiser to six local nonprofits—all but one of which needed his help on major capital campaigns. When he is not out asking donors for money, Don spends his time as a published author, an accomplished artist, a pretty swell dancer, and an avid fly fisherman. Don’s family includes Fran, daughters Whitney and Tye, grandson Nathaniel, and two pretty sharp sons-in-law.

T. Kennon Roberson Award for Non-Profit Management Excellence: Paul Vest

Paul Vest has been the President and CEO of the YMCA of Western North Carolina for 17 years. Under his leadership the organization has grown from one facility to a five branches, serving 61,000+ people annually. The Y currently employs over 800 people, works with 350 volunteers, and is the largest provider of afterschool childcare serving 825 children daily. The Y is a leader in addressing our community’s the health and wellness needs. Last year the Y provided over $2.5 million in subsidized services through its charitable work. The Y is currently raising funds to develop an affordable, overnight camp for children of WNC. Next year, during the Y’s 125th Anniversary, Paul and his team will open an innovative Medical Y in partnership with Mission and Pardee Hospitals. Paul has a lifelong history with the Y. He and his wife, Vicki, have two sons, two daughters-in-law, and one granddaughter.

The Association of Fundraising Professionals Western North Carolina Chapter thank these award winners for their commitment to philanthropy in our region!

Please click here to learn about the generous sponsors who are helping us with
our National Philanthropy Day celebration!

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Previous National Philanthropy Day Award Recipients

Fundraising Summit Award

2011-The Janirve Foundation, 2008-Pat Smith, 2006- Norman Fink and Marshall Monroe, 2002-Mimi Cecil

Outstanding Philanthropist/Philanthropist of the Year

2012-Charles and Jody Silver, 2011-Teddi Segal, 2010-S.M. “Buddy” Patton (in memoriam), Marilyn Patton and Barbara Blomberg, 2009-Don and Lisbeth Cooper, 2008-Charles D. and Cary Owen (Charlie and Cary), 2007-Dr. Kathleen McGrady, 2006-Margaret and Duane McKibben, 2005–Tina McGuire, 2004-Mark and Teri Muir, 2003-Paul F. Toebke, 2002-Mr. and Mrs. Jack Ferguson, 2001-Dr. Keith Black, 2000-Morris and Leah Karpen, 1999-Joel B. Adams, 1998-Dr. and Mrs. George M. Bilbrey and James A. Cooper, 1997-Martha Guy, 1996-J. Wesley Jones, MD and the Junior League of Asheville, 1995-Adelaide Daniels Key, 1994-Pamela Mills Turner, 1993-John Teeter, 1992-Raybern H. Dean.

Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser

2012-Harry Brown, 2011-John Hartom and Lisa Blackburn, 2010-Richard Hurley, 2009-Richard “Dick” Allen, 2008-Jennie Eblen, 2007-Janice and Joe Brumit, 2006- Dorothy Dellenger Marlow, 2005-Colin E. Thomas, MD, 2004-Doris Eklund, 2003-Brenda Nash, 2002-Ruth and Luther Barnhardt, 2001-Alice and Arthur Green, 2000-James W. Stickney, IV, 1999-Phyllis Foxx, 1998-Hugh and Margaret (Danny) Verner, 1997-Marcia Burton Caserio, 1996-June Lenoci and Sue McClinton, 1995-W. Louis Bissette, Jr., 1994-C. Robert Bell, Jr., 1993-Ernest Ferguson, 1992-Glenn Wilcox.

Outstanding Business in Philanthropy

2012-State Employees’ Credit Union, 2011-Asheville Savings Bank, 2010-Parsec Financial Management, 2009-Johnson, Price & Sprinkle, PA, CPA, 2008-Carolina First, 2007-Mast General Store,  2006- Asheville Cardiology and Associates, 2005-Office Environments, 2004-Eaton Electrical, 2003-HomeTrust Bank, 2002-Ingles Markets, Inc., 2001-Steelcase, Inc., 2000-Wachovia Bank of WNC, 1999-First Citizens Bank, 1998-Nantahala Outdoor Center.

Outstanding Foundation in Philanthropy
2012-The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, 2011-CarePartners Foundation, 2010-Eblen Charities, 2009-Mission Healthcare Foundation, Inc., 2008-Community Foundation of Henderson County, 2007-Melvin R. Lane Fund of The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, 2006- Sisters of Mercy of NC Foundation, 2005-Vineyard Family Foundation of Hendersonville, 2004-New Leaf Fund, 2003-The Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation, 2002-The Janirve Foundation.

Outstanding Fundraising Executive

2011-Linda Wilkerson, 2010-Alex Comfort, 2009-John Pfaff,2008-Anita R. Metcalf, 2007-Ann Fritschner, ACFRE, 2006- Michelle Garashi-Ellick, 2005-Carla Sutherland, 2004-Myra Grant, 2003 Fern Wallin McCrimmon, 2002-Raymond Cruitt, 2001-Bruce D. Thorsen, 2000-Patricia S. Smith, 1999-Mark A. Bailey, 1998-Albert S. Gooch, Jr., 1997-George J. Pfeiffer.

Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy

2012-Katy Conner, 2010-Carter Tindall, 2006-Anna Martin

T. Kennon Roberson Award for Management Excellence in Non-profit Health & Human Service Agencies

2012-Allison Jordan with Children First/Communities in Schools, 2010-Ellen Clarke with WCCJ, 2009- Robin Myer with Big Brothers Big Sisters of WNC, 2008- Scott Dedman with Mountain Housing Opportunities, 2007- Holly Jones with YWCA of Asheville, 2006- Jim Barrett with Pisgah Legal Services, 2005- Celeste Collins with Consumer Credit Counseling Service of WNC/OnTrack WNC, 2004- Lewis Kraus with Habitat for Humanity, 2003-Toby Ives with MANNA Foodbank, 2002-T. Kennon Roberson with Asheville-Mountain Area Chapter of the American Red Cross.

A note regarding the T. Kennon Roberson Award for Management Excellence in Non-profit Health and Human Services: In January 2001, after a 36-year career with the American Red Cross, T. Kennon Roberson retired from his position as Chapter Manager of the Asheville-Mountain Area Chapter.  He exemplified so many qualities of outstanding leadership in his field, the Red Cross Board of Directors established an annual Award for Management Excellence in Non-profit Health & Human Services in his honor.  A committee of citizens was charged with the administration of this award, which annually recognizes the valuable contributions of professional managers in non-profit health and human services agencies in Buncombe County.  Beginning in 2012, this award is presented at the Association of Fundraising Professional’s National Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon in November.