New Bern, N.C. – The Craven Community College Foundation announces recipients of the 8th annual Community Fabric Awards (CFA), an annual event that celebrates leadership excellence in the community. This year’s recipients include J. Troy Smith, Jr. for Individual Leadership, Trent Cadillac Buick GMC for Business Leadership and Jorge Benitez for Leadership in Education.
The Community Fabric Awards were created by the Craven Community College Foundation to showcase excellence in leadership as demonstrated by outstanding initiative, impact of service and inspiration of others. The recipients will be honored during the annual CFA Awards Ceremony and Luncheon, held Tuesday, April 24, 2018 at the New Bern Riverfront Convention Center.
“This year’s CFA recipients are emblematic of why we began this event,” said Craven CC Executive Director of Institutional Advancement Charles Wethington. “The committee reviewed many great nominations this year, but those who were ultimately selected were named because of the incredible length of time and depth of initiative in which they each have shown a commitment to truly serving our community.”
Smith assumed a leadership role in improving the quality of life in his community since arriving in New Bern in 1967. In addition to his work at Ward and Smith, P.A., Smith has served as chair of the Craven Regional Medical Center Foundation through which his leadership was critical in the development of the collaboration between CarolinaEast Health System and UNC Cancer Care. Smith is a passionate advocate for Boys & Girls Clubs of the Coastal Plain, where he has served on the advisory board for three years and was instrumental in bringing a new club and teen center to New Bern. He is also a supporter of many nonprofits in eastern North Carolina, including the Salvation Army, Religious Community Services, United Way and Boy Scout troops.
The award for business leadership will be presented to Trent Cadillac Buick GMC President Mike Deichmann and Vice President Pete Deichmann. Trent Oldsmobile Cadillac originally opened on South Front Street in New Bern in 1957. Mike took over the business in 1970 to become the youngest approved Cadillac dealer in the United States and his brother Pete joined him in 1971. In the years they have been in business, Trent Cadillac Buick GMC has consistently been a supporter of innumerable nonprofits and initiatives in our community. Some of these include: RCS, Partners in Education, New Bern Military Alliance, Promise Place, Coastal Women’s Shelter, NBHS Bears Club, Craven County Hospice, Craven County Special Olympics, Relay for Life, Wreaths across America, Craven Literacy Council and local churches, fire departments and law enforcement entities.
Benitez was selected for the leadership in education award for his work as the director of bands at Havelock High School, where he has worked since the fall of 1994. Each year he directs over 200 students across various ensembles and has collaborated with music faculty to write and receive local grants. Benitez is currently one of the lead music teachers in Craven County while also serving as a mentor to new music teachers and clinical interns, including four band directors in Craven County who either worked as his assistant band director or interned with him. He also is an active clinician and adjudicator for marching, concert and jazz band festivals throughout North Carolina.
All three recipients will be honored during the 8th annual Community Fabric Awards Ceremony and Luncheon. The event begins at noon and individual tickets go on sale Monday, March 19. For more about the Community Fabric Awards, call 252-638-7351 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Funds raised through event sponsorships and tickets are used to support the Craven Community College Foundation’s programs, as well as equipment, facilities and emerging initiatives of Craven Community College. The event creates awareness of and support for Craven Community College and showcases students and their accomplishments. Last year, the Community Fabric Awards raised more than $53,000 in support of the Foundation’s mission.
For 40 years, the Craven Community College Foundation has supported the vision of higher education for the residents of Craven County and beyond. Established in 1977, the Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides financial support to students through scholarships and funding for programs, equipment, new and emerging initiatives, facilities and other priorities on the New Bern and Havelock campuses.