03/16/07 — Pate will receive BSA Distinguished Citizen Award

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Pate will receive BSA Distinguished Citizen Award

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on March 16, 2007 1:49 PM

Mike Pate of the Pate Dawson Co. will receive the 2007 Wayne County Distinguished Citizen Award April 23 during a banquet hosted by the Torhunta Boy Scout District.

The event will begin with a reception at 6:30, followed by dinner at 7 p.m. at the Walnut Creek Country Club.

A Goldsboro native and grandson of J.H. Pate, who founded the company in 1885 as a retail grocery operation, Mike Pate began as a Cub Scout and joined Troop 6 at age 12.

He became an Eagle Scout and attended the World Scout Jamboree in Paris in 1947 where he was selected to carry the American Flag in the opening ceremonies.

As an adult, he served on the Boy Scout Committee at the First Presbyterian Church and later as the assistant scoutmaster for Troop 3. He was leader for Troop 1 Explorer Patrol for a year.

When Pate was still in high school, he started working part-time in the warehouse and driving a delivery truck for the family business.

When he graduated from Goldsboro High School, he attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for about a year and a half before joining the Navy, where he served four years. He returned to UNC, and upon graduating, returned to the family business.

He worked in every facet of the business from sales and delivery to inventory control and purchasing until his father, J.M. Pate Sr., died in 1963.

He became president, and today Pate is chairman of the board and chief executive officer.

Pate has been a member of the board of directors for the National Frozen Food Association and on the board of directors for Pocahontas Foods and various other industry-related organizations. He has received the Distinguished Citizens Award from Pocahontas Foods.

The Wayne County Distinguished Citizen Award banquet is one of three that will be held this year in the Tuscarora Council. Wayne County's district is Torhunta. The others are Neusiok, which covers Johnston County, and Coharie, which covers Duplin and Sampson counties.

The award goes each year to an individual who has provided leadership through volunteer or philanthropic efforts, contributed to the community through business leadership and who exemplifies the qualities that Scouting works to instill in youths.

Invitations will go out in the next couple weeks, Tuscarora Council Executive Harold Keller said.