04/20/04 — Herring honored by Scouts

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Herring honored by Scouts

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on April 20, 2004 2:03 PM

The Boy Scouts' District Distinguished Citizen award went to Sherwin Herring on Monday night.

The award was presented during the Torhunta District's annual banquet, at the Walnut Creek Country Club.

Tuscarora Council Exe-cutive Bill Lappin announced that the banquet raised $90,500, about 97 percent of the goal of $94,000. He said the district executive, Thomas Millisor, assured him the rest would be raised by April 30.

Sherwin Herring and Family

News-Argus/Bonnie Edwards

Sherwin Herring stands with his family next to his portrait. From left, son Kevin, daughter April, Herring and his wife, Becky.

Herring, 51, is chief executive officer of Southco, a grocery wholesale distributor. It employs 260 people in its plant on Patetown Road.

His pastor, a customer and a co-worker toasted and roasted Herring, prompting last year's recipient of the award, John C. Hine, to joke, "It's going to be hard to get someone to do this next year."

Herring was lured onto the stage, decked out in black coat, hat and sunglasses for a performance of a Blues Brothers routine with co-workers Roger Grant and Colby Smith. He missed a few steps.

There was no way to prepare, explained Herring, who didn't know of the program beforehand.

After receiving the award, Herring said Scouting has meant a lot to him over the years. "We live in a society today where anything goes," he said. "I'm proud to continue to support an organization that stands its ground, believes in God and believes in country."

He credited his mother, Emma, for who he is today. "Every Sunday she had me in church," he said. "She taught me to respect other people, and if there's any question, do what is right."

He said his wife, Becky, is his inspiration and his best friend. They celebrated their 33rd anniversary last weekend.

Born to Allen and Emma Herring of Goldsboro, Herring attended Eastern Wayne High School and then Wayne Community College. He met Becky at Goldsboro High School.

In 1971 after two quarters at Wayne Community College, he decided to try the job market. He and Becky married that year, and he went to work as a warehouseman at Southern Wholesale Co.

He worked in a variety of positions with Southern Wholesale including truck driver, warehouse manager, night-shift manager and office worker.

In 1979, he became part-owner and stayed on as general manager in 1981 when the company was purchased by Ray Bryan, David Weil and Darby Wood. The name of the company changed to Southco Distributing.

In 1986, he became president of Southco. In 1996, he was the principal stockholder of the company. Today, he is CEO.

He and Becky live in Goldsboro with their son, Kevin, who is 14. They also have a daughter, April, who is 24. She lives in Florence, S.C.

Herring became involved in the Scouts at the request of Dick Moffatt. Moffatt asked him to serve on the board of directors for the Tuscarora Council in the mid-1980s.

In 1991, Herring helped with the council's capital campaign. When his son was old enough to join the Cub Scouts, he became the cub master for Pack 22 at Spring Creek School.

He continues to serve as chairman of the Southco Boy Scouts Golf Tournament, which has raised more than $184,000.

He received his Silver Beaver Award in 2000 and his James E. West Fellow in 2001.

In 2002, the Wayne Economic Development Commission named him Industrialist of the Year for the second time. He had also won the award in 1991.

Southco was also named Industry of the Year in 2002, the first time an industry and employee of that industry received both awards.