Winslow receives Cornerstone Award
By Steve Herring
Published in News on January 27, 2011 1:46 PM
News-Argus/MICHAEL K. DAKOTA
Bill Winslow was recognized by the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce at a lunch, held at Lane Tree Golf Club. Winslow made some brief remarks after receiving the award.
Even though he made sure those in attendance -- including his five children -- knew that while he was honored, he was also a little embarrassed by the fuss, William Troy "Bill" Winslow accepted the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce's highest honor Wednesday.
Winslow was praised for his business acumen and his decades of community service -- exactly the sort of community contribution the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce's Cornerstone Award was created to recognize, those in attendance said.
The award, created in 1996 to annually recognize an individual who has "been a cornerstone" in his or her community, was presented to Winslow during the chamber's annual banquet at Lane Tree Golf Club.
A plaque in Winslow's honor will be dedicated March 3 at noon at the Cornerstone Commons in downtown Goldsboro.
Surrounded by his family, Winslow had the audience laughing when he said, "Go ahead and give me the award," after his niece, Dr. Marlee Ray of WAGES, who was tapped to make the presentation to the honoree, advanced though the slides of her PowerPoint presentation too quickly.
Ms. Ray said the attributes identified in the Cornerstone Award epitomize Winslow's lifelong commitment of making Wayne County a better place to live, work and raise a family.
"His outstanding leadership has helped build a strong business and economic structure while his heartfelt conviction for service has fortified the foundation of our community," she said.
Winslow has received numerous awards over his years of community service, she said.
"But this is not about the awards, so let me tell you about the person," Ms. Ray said.
She said that Winslow was a strong advocate for Wayne County who had spent his life putting his beliefs into action.
A 1949 graduate of Goldsboro High School, Winslow played in the first East-West football game. He is a graduate of Duke University and served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps, stationed in South Korea.
After returning to Goldsboro, Winslow served as president and chief executive officer of American Savings and Loan and on the board of directors of the North Carolina Savings and Loan League.
He later was president of Wayne Realty. As a licensed real estate and insurance agent he has promoted Wayne County as a quality place to live and work, Ms. Ray said.
She said his wide-ranging community involvement included the Red Cross, Salvation Army, Wayne County Chamber of Commerce, Crime Stoppers, United Way and Boys and Girls Club.
He is past president of the Goldsboro Rotary Club and Golden K Kiwanis Club and is active at St. Paul United Methodist Church.
Winslow is a bell ringer for the Salvation Army and often is seen with one of his grandchildren helping out, she said. He is a volunteer with the Meals on Wheels program and volunteers as a tutor at Northeast Elementary School.
"So from old to young, Bill Winslow continues to help people throughout our community," she said. "But most importantly Bill understands that a caring and supportive family is the foundation for all things. He was brought up with the knowledge that service begins with and in the family... family remains his primary focus."
When it came time for his own speech, Winslow was already finished listening to the recitation of his achievements -- and ready to be out of the spotlight.
"Thank you very much for this honor," Winslow said. "You have heard enough from me through what Marlee said. You have heard enough remarks, and my five children need to get back to work."
After the ceremony, Winslow said he has enjoyed serving his home community.
"Well, I was born and bred right here in Goldsboro, right down on John Street where the police and fire complex is," Winslow said after the program. "So all of my life has been here.
"I never will forget being in the financial business, everybody back then asked you to be treasurer of just about every organization that was around. But I learned from Ollie Toomey when I was Chamber president that year to serve the community and I have tried to do that in different capacities."
Winslow said service had been emphasized by his parents as well.
"They meant everything to me, my parents did, working to put me through Duke," he said. "They all (the organizations he serves) mean so much to me, but I guess the Salvation Army as much as anything. I was honored with a life membership -- and that means as much to me almost as what this does. They were both real honors."
Winslow said he has attempted to pass that sense of public service on to his family including his grandchildren who sometimes help him ring bells for the Salvation Army.
It is important to serve, he said.
"You owe something to your community and that is part of it, to give back to," he said. "One thing that I am proud of is that four of my five children live here and one them lives in Wilson and that is not that far away. We have been a close-knit family all of these years.
"There is not any better place than right here."
Also at the banquet, Julie Daniels, outgoing Chamber board chairman, presented the Volunteer of the Year Award to Dr. Ed Wilson.
She called Wilson her mentor and friend.
"You heard me speak of the many tasks that the (Chamber's) Wayne Education Network has been involved with and accomplished during 2010," she said.
Wilson led the charge the whole way, she said.
Mrs. Daniels praised Wilson for providing leadership and direction for the Military Affairs and Job Search committees, as well.
Wilson currently serves as chairman of the Eastern Region Chamber of Commerce Association.
After the awards presentations, Mrs. Daniels handed over the reins of the chamber to incoming board President Ben Seegars.