Staff photo by Allison Potter
Jim Smith receives the 2014 Nancy Faye Craig Volunteer of the Year award.
The 2014 Nancy Faye Craig Volunteer of the Year award was given to resident Jim Smith for his service to the Town of Wrightsville Beach.
After moving to Wrightsville Beach in 2005, Smith became involved with the Wrightsville Beach Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee and has since continued in public service.
Alderwoman Lisa Weeks of the Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen nominated Smith before the board chose him as the recipient during a February closed session. Smith received the award during the March 19 board meeting.
“I was taken totally by surprise,” Smith said during a March 24 phone interview. “I had no idea and actually was kind of enticed to be there. They did a very good job surprising me, so I was kind of taken off guard.”
The award was established in 2003 with Nancy Faye Craig named as the first recipient.
Weeks said the award recognizes people in the community who have gone above and beyond in community service.
“It’s very flattering and it’s nice to be recognized, although all of the things I’ve done volunteer-wise have been done with groups, so I really can’t take specific credit for anything,” Smith said.
Weeks acknowledged Smith’s current service as co-chair of the Wrightsville Beach Foundation with co-chair Lori Rosbrugh and also as a member of the citizen advisory committee for the Wilmington Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Cape Fear Transportation 2040 long-range plan.
“There are a lot of things that we just can’t afford to do and the staff doesn’t have the time to do, so it’s nice that there are organizations at the beach that get so involved in trying to make improvements,” Smith said. “A lot of the stuff we work on is twofold, it helps the year-round citizens and it also helps tourism.”
Smith also served previously on the Wrightsville Beach Unified Development Ordinance Committee with Mayor Bill Blair.
“Jim does a good job,” Blair said during a March 24 phone interview. “… I think he’s a good pick.”
During the day, Smith works as a development manager at the Oleander Company developing and managing real estate.
While he has his hands full now, Smith said he plans to continue to be active in public service in the future.
“In fact the award kind of encourages you to do more just because it’s really a nice thing to see people recognize what you’re doing,” Smith said. “... The thing about Wrightsville Beach is you can turn around and see the fruits of your labor because it’s right there in front of you. It’s a small town and if you help do something, you’re likely to be able to see it and touch it and feel it. So it’s a very rewarding experience.”