Spirit of NC Award recipients announced by United Way of North Carolina


Two Wilson organizations won statewide recognition this month from the United Way of North Carolina for having outstanding, creative employee campaigns.

Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations and the City of Wilson were each selected for the Spirit of North Carolina Award, presented during United Way’s annual statewide meeting and awards program in Pinehurst.

Both organizations also won the Nancy Sallenger Spirit Award from the United Way of Wilson County; those awards were presented Feb. 18.

“Bridgestone and the City of Wilson always find fun ways to inspire their employees,” said Judi Thurston, executive director of the United Way of Wilson County. “We are grateful for them and all the companies working to improve our community.”

Both companies sent a team to the statewide conference in Pinehurst on Feb. 10, 2016. They were joined by the staff of United Way of Wilson County for the awards ceremony.

The City of Wilson was also asked to present at the conference, and city employees shared details about what made their campaign successful. Speakers were Bonnie Gay, Terri Smith and Jerry Stancil, assisted by Dave Baumgartner, Tonya West and Matt Shaw.

They showed a video from the kickoff for the 2015 campaign, various city departments competing in a ‘80s lip-syncing contest. The city also had agency tours, and United Way agency directors spoke at department meetings. The city’s contribution topped $100,000 for the first time.

Bridgestone’s campaign included a challenge to increase its Leadership Circle, the group that each contributes $1,000 or more. They had a drawing for more than 100 prizes, plus they held a basketball tournament and a management lock-up amongst many other fun incentives that resulted in a record total of $421,734

Each year, the United Way of North Carolina recognizes and awards companies and organizations that have demonstrated strong community support through local United Way involvement.  The Spirit of North Carolina Award celebrates the partnership of people working together to develop and implement innovative solutions for long-term community change.

Businesses, professional and non-profit organizations, governmental entities, healthcare and educational institutions – large and small – are nominated to receive the Spirit of North Carolina award because they are champions of change.  They raise their voice to share the story of their community, volunteer their time and expertise, and invest their resources.

A team of 21 United Way leaders from across North Carolina judged 58 outstanding applications selecting 33 as winners.  The established Seven Standards of Excellence, including volunteer culture, partnership with community to raise awareness of needs and foster a spirit of giving, leadership involvement, and campaign coordination are the criteria on which applications are judged.

United Way award recipients, City of Wilson, NC