The 2015 Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year is a businessman, a Sunday school superintendent and teacher, a retired Army colonel and the town’s first African-American mayor.
But what won Doug Boyd the award Tuesday night during the chamber’s annual meeting was what he does to provide scholarships and other educational services to youth through the Doug Boyd Foundation, of which he is the founder and CEO.
Boyd, who served as mayor from 2003-2007, started the foundation during his last year in office. He said in his acceptance speech that when his tenure was drawing to a close he asked himself, “What can I do to give back to the community? ... If we are successful, what can we do to help somebody else succeed?”
Current Mayor James Roberson said in announcing Boyd as the winner that his foundation has awarded $35,000 in scholarships and other educational opportunities for youth. “This individual has been a pillar in our community,” Roberson said, “as a civic leader, volunteer leader and a community leader.”
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Boyd said he derives great satisfaction when a parent of a scholarship winner – whom he might have long forgotten about – comes up and lets him know where that winner is now. “I ain’t got a clue who the lady is, but you see, ‘My daughter got one of your scholarships,” he said.
Boyd said in an interview after the ceremony that most of the money for scholarships comes from the annual Superball Charity Golf Tournament. At the ninth such event last month, nearly 100 golfers participated at River Ridge Golf Club.
“The intent is to help kids that are in need to go to school,” he said. “I’ll work with anyone that has a need.”
Boyd said his Army training and experience helped him in leadership and community service. Part of his time in the service was devoted to disaster preparedness, response and recovery and he headed the N.C. Division of Emergency Management’s temporary housing program during Hurricane Floyd, which hit North Carolina and other eastern seaboard states in 1999.
He was awarded the North Carolina Department of Crime Control and Public Safety Meritorious Service Award for his efforts and was tapped to organize a homeland security branch.
“I learned I can change of deuce of diamonds to an ace of spades,” he said of his time in the Army. “If you can make an elephant dance then you can be successful.”
Disaster recovery – namely providing temporary housing – is still a part of what he does through his business, Doug Boyd Enterprises, which also includes motivational speaking and leadership contracting as well as catering.
Boyd said the varied nature of his business reflects his varied interests and personality.
He is superintendent of Sunday school at his church, Malaby’s Crossroads Missionary Baptist Church. He also earned a bachelor’s degree in business management from N.C. A&T in 1972.
Boyd said he thinks Knightdale has stayed on the correct course since his time as mayor and is glad to see the rapid growth of the town. “With the previous mayor (Russell Killen) and the current mayor, I’m very pleased with the direction we’re going,” he said.
Also winning awards at Tuesday’s ceremony was Autobell Car Wash for Large Business of the Year (more than 20 employees), Knightdale Eyecare for Small Business of the Year and Glennie Ainsworth of Lemongrass Spa Products for Ambassador of the Year.
The event, originally planned for Knightdale Station Park, was moved indoors at the high school because of rain.
Matt Goad: 919-829-4826