Yarboro receives BSA Distinguished Citizen Award
By Dennis Hill
Published in News on May 18, 2011 1:46 PM
From left: Tuscarora Council President Danny Jackson, Tom Yarboro, his wife, Betty, and their children, Eleanor, Virginia, Thomas and Charlotte. They are seen with a portrait of Yarboro, who received the council's Distinguished Citizen Award.
Former Tuscarora Boy Scout Council President Tom Yarboro received the council's Distinguished Citizen Award on Tuesday at a banquet held at the Walnut Creek Country Club.
Yarboro, an executive with Goldsboro Milling Co., was lauded for his service to young people, both with the Boy Scouts and with the Boys & Girls Club, at the local, state and national levels.
"I never met anyone that brought more passion or integrity to their work with young people," said Kirk Dominick, senior vice president of operations for the Flanders Corp. and a former executive vice president of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. "Tom has an incredible record of service to the community."
Dominick said Yarboro's work with the Boys & Girls Clubs of North Carolina -- he served as state chairman for two years -- led national leaders to seek his help. Yarboro has helped guide Boys & Girls Club state organizations across North Carolina and in Virginia, Tennessee and the District of Columbia. He has served on the Boys & Girls Clubs of American National Area Council Committee since 2005 and currently serves as chairman of the organization's Leadership Subcommittee.
"When a gathering needs to make critical decisions, they do everything they can to be sure Tom Yarboro is at the table," Dominick said, citing Yarboro's leadership ability and business acumen.
Dewey Preslar, a Food Lion executive and the executive director of the North Carolina Self-Insurance Security Association, said Yarboro, who serves as chairman of the organization, helped guide it through the recent global financial crisis and is a major reason the association has such a good record and high standing among state officials.
He called Yarboro "an astute businessman" who provided the association with "break-through thinking" and "a person of integrity and high ethics."
State Sen. David Rouzer, who was on the committee that selected Yarboro for the award, said Yarboro and the Maxwell family, which owns Goldsboro Milling, "epitomizes what's great about America."
Bill Bryan, president and chief executive officer of Mt. Olive Pickle Co., and a past council president, noted Yarboro's many years of involvement in the Boy Scouts, starting with his youth in Shelby. Yarboro has served in many capacities in Scouting, Bryan pointed out, from assistant scoutmaster to receiving international awards for his efforts. Last year, Yarboro was recognized by the White House with the president's "Call to Service" Gold Volunteer Service Award.
"He has served the Tuscarora Council in many roles," Bryan added, pointing out that he was known among many Scouters as "Col. Yarboro" for the many Scouting patches he wears on his uniform. Yarboro was a major factor in fundraising efforts to improve Camp Tuscarora, Bryan said. He was instrumental in expanding the shooting sports program at the camp, among other improvements.
"He is a man of class, honor and devotion," Bryan said.
John Morton, representing Area 7 of the Boy Scouts of America, which includes North Carolina and Virginia, called Yarboro "one of our financial experts," and said Yarboro has lent assistance on many occasions to the 12 other councils in the two states. Yarboro is expected to be elected president of the regional organization soon, Morton said.
Yarboro, a native of Shelby and a graduate of N.C. State University, said he was honored to have been chosen for the award.
"I am very humbled to join the ranks of the previous recipients," he said, calling them "leaders and legends" in Scouting. He called Tuesday night's ceremony a tribute to the many people who work to make the Tuscarora Council successful.
"I've had the great fortune to part of a team of great people," Yarboro said. "I consider tonight to be a spotlight for their good work. I know I have gotten more from these relationships than they have gotten from me."
He said an organization's ability to maintain momentum through changes in leadership is key to its continued success and said that he has learned that it is important to train leaders to take over so that momentum is not lost when the reins are handed over to the next generation of leaders.
He pointed to the Scouting leaders who went before him and credited them with the success he enjoyed while serving as council president.
"I was simply assisting in reaping the fruits my predecessors had planted," Yarboro said.
He thanked his parents and his family for their guidance and support and said that he has been guided by the principle that "when you find an opportunity to make a difference, seize it."
In addition to the award, Yarboro was presented with a portrait painted by Zeno Spence.