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The program was instituted in 1988 by the sponsoring organizations, Rotary Club of Charlotte, Charlotte Business Journal and the Charlotte Chamber, as an approach to measuring management excellence in the Charlotte-area business community.

The Club’s Trade and Professional Relations Committee conceived this award as the perfect instrument to call attention to the second Object of Rotary: “

High ethical standards in business and professions; the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations; and the dignifying by each Rotarian of his occupation as an opportunity to serve society. The selection is made by a committee of Rotary and Chamber members who evaluate the nominees in the following areas:  fairness, consistency, flexibility, knowledge, perceptiveness, sharing, fostering of relationships, communication goals and commitment.


REVIEW the qualities of excellence listed below and think about the senior managers you know who exhibit those qualities.

EXPLAIN how the nominee meets the criteria and why you feel he/she should receive this recognition.

WRITE your comments on one typed 8 ½" X 11" sheet. Please include a brief biographical sketch of your nominee as well. Click here for the nomination form and regulations.
DEADLINE: December 1, 2021

RETURN NOMINATIONS: Return nominations to the Rotary Club of Charlotte.  Either email christine@charlotterotary.org  or mail to 1850 East 3rd St., Ste 220, Charlotte, NC 28204



When nominating your choice, list extraordinary achievements citing examples of leadership and how they reflect credit to the manager and his/her organization.  Consider the following:

- Success in the nominee’s profession and business or organization

- Visionary leadership and execution

- Significant contributions for the good of the Charlotte region

- Civic mindedness and community involvement

- Humble in their success

- A reputation for character in keeping with the values of the Four-Way Test




2022 -- Harvey Gantt, Former Mayor and Charlotte City Council, Gantt Huberman Architects founder
2021 -- Pat Rodgers, Rodgers
2020 -- Anthony Marciano, II, Charlotte Rescue Mission
2019 -- John W. Lassiter, Carolina Legal Staffing
2018 -- David F. Furman, FAIA
2017 -- Governor Patrick L. McCrory
2016 -- Dr. Pamela Davies, Queens University of Charlotte
2015 -- Michael Tarwater, Carolinas HealthCare
2014 -- Jane McIntyre, United Way of the Central Carolinas
2013 -- Wayland N. Cato, Jr., Cato Corporation
2011 -- Frank Harrison, Coca-Cola Bottling & Co. Consolidated
2009 -- Thomas (Tim) M. Belk, Jr. , Belk Stores Services Inc.
2008 -- Peter S. Gilchrist, Mecklenburg County District Attorney
2007 -- Allen Tate, Jr., Allen Tate Company 
2006 -- Luther L. Fincher, Jr., Charlotte Fire Department
2005 -- Tom Nelson, National Gypsum
2004 -- Krista Tillman, BellSouth
2003 -- Dr. Michael Marsicano, Foundation for the Carolinas 
2002 -- Dr. Tony Zeiss, Central Piedmont Community College
2001 -- Jerry Orr, Charlotte/Douglas International Airport
2000 -- Dr. Billy Wireman, Queens College
1999 -- Harry Brace, YMCA
1998 -- John Belk, Belk Stores Services Inc.
1997 -- Hugh McColl, Bank of America
1996 -- Freda Nicholson, Discovery Place
1995 -- James Woodward, UNC Charlotte
1994 -- Johnie Jones, J. A. Jones Construction Co.
1993 -- Edward E. Crutchfield, First Union Corporation
1992 -- F. Kenneth Iverson, Nucor Corporation
1991 -- Byron L. Bullard, Presbyterian Hospital
1990 -- Bill Lee, Duke Power Company
1989 -- Leroy Robinson, Belk Stores Services Inc.
1988 -- A. F. "Pete" Sloan, Lance Inc.




2022 Recipient - 

Former Mayor Harvey Gantt 

Tale of A Trailblazer

Sometimes standing up for what’s right means having the courage to blaze your own trail.

Harvey Bernard Gantt grew up in the 1940s and 50s in then-segregated Charleston, South Carolina. As the oldest child of Wilhelmina and Christopher Gantt, he often attended NAACP meetings with his father. It was there, and at the family dinner table with his four sisters, that he began to appreciate the importance of advocacy and the injustice of racial discrimination.

After graduating second in his class from Burke High School in 1960, Gantt left home to study architecture at Iowa State University. In January 1963, after a legal battle that escalated to the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, Gantt became the first African-American student accepted at Clemson University. In September 1963, Lucinda Brawley became the first African-American woman to be admitted to Clemson and in October 1964 married Harvey. Harvey Gantt graduated with honors from Clemson in 1965, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and later a Master of City Planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

He moved to Charlotte after graduating from MIT, and, in 1971, co-founded Gantt Huberman Architects. A pioneer in blending urban planning with the practice of architecture, Gantt Huberman employed a diverse group of professionals who were charged with designing buildings that encourage community. As a result, the firm has developed some of the city’s most iconic landmarks, including the Charlotte Transportation Center, TransAmerica Square, ImaginOn, Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, and the Johnson C. Smith University Science Center.

While significant, Gantt’s impact on the city extends beyond improving the built environment. He joined Charlotte City Council in 1974 and again broke barriers when he was elected Charlotte’s first African-American mayor in 1983. Remaining in office for two terms, Gantt stood shoulder-to-shoulder with other Charlotte leaders committed to establishing a New South City.

Gantt continues to advocate for equity and equal rights and is often tapped to serve on civic, cultural, and business boards, and to lead philanthropic efforts and community initiatives. In 2009, the former Afro-American Cultural Center opened its doors to a new, award-winning facility and was renamed the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture in honor of Harvey B. Gantt, an American trailblazer.

Copyright 2015  Rotary Club of Charlotte
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