Charles Clifford Cameron moved to Raleigh in 1949 as President and CEO of Cameron Mortgage Company. After its merger, it was known as Cameron-Brown. Our state was in need of capital to fund growth for residential and commercial mortgages. Cameron convinced many northeastern banks and financial institutions to invest in our state and to move to North Carolina. Cameron-Brown merged with the Scottish Bank and Cliff Cameron became the Chair and CEO of the new First Union Bank in 1966. Many new and expanding companies were provided the capital to grow Raleigh, Research Triangle Park, and the NC economy. Cameron encouraged IBM to make its home here in Raleigh. He served as Chairman of University Research Park, Inc. Cameron served on the Raleigh City School Board in the 1960’s and helped in supporting the successful $20 million bond campaign. Cliff Cameron raised money from lenders and investors to grow our economy and helped Raleigh secure its place as a thriving vibrant city in 2016.
Frank E. Evans
When Frank Evans flew into Raleigh in 1969, from the plane he saw the visage of a city surrounded by green space. Frank Evans became the first director of the Parks and Recreation Department. There’s a reason the Parks and Recreation office building bears his name. The city of Raleigh wanted a more active park system and Frank delivered. He pursued a master plan fittingly titled, “Raleigh – the park with a city in it.” Under Frank’s leadership the city added 1,170 acres of land for public enjoyment. Raleigh launched the earliest comprehensive local greenway system in the country. By the time Frank retired, the city’s greenway system had 900 acres of land and miles of trails. Frank championed a parks and recreation program open to all citizens. He supported specialized recreation services for those with mental and physical challenges. In 1983 the Sport’s Foundation awarded Raleigh the Gold Medal for therapeutic leisure programs that allowed people with disabilities to participate. Frank started the annual Fourth of July celebration that is now an indelible part of Raleigh’s culture. Frank helped build the city’s diverse and unique park system. Raleigh’s citizens owe Frank a debt of gratitude, deep respect and remembrance for fostering the way.
Dr. Dudley E. Flood
Dr. Dudley Flood has been a lifelong educator and student. He is prominently noted for changing the character of North Carolina and Raleigh history, particularly for education, as a champion of desegregation. It had been 15 years since the Brown v. Board of Education decision that struck down segregation in schools. The response of many communities was massive resistance and defiance. But in 1969, most public schools in North Carolina were still segregated, so when Dudley Flood was called to desegregate every school in the state, he was overwhelmed, but he was not skeptical. Dr. Flood emerged as an expert in assisting school systems to faces the challenges which desegregation imposed. He was the most significant personality in the state and nation in coming to terms with desegregation. Dr. Flood has served distinctively as a Master Teacher, Professor and is a walking talking encyclopedia of the transition from a segregated system, to a dynamic integrated system of education, thanks to his wisdom and bridge building skills. Dr. Flood’s philosophy still remains –that education is the great equalizer.
John Kane, is the founder and CEO of Kane Realty, and resident of Raleigh for over four decades. He is best known for his work on North Hills that began in 1999. The billion dollar redevelopment that now encompasses over 165 acres in known as Raleigh’s Midtown. The area has received numerous awards for being pedestrian-friendly and sustainable. Outside of North Hills, he left his impact on helping to revitalize the Warehouse District with The Dillon and open Stanhope Apartments beside NC State’s Campus. He is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization, Chief Executives Organization and World Presidents’ Organization. John serves as a board member for the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority, Duke Heart Center, NC Chamber, Duke University Health System, and serves as the Chairman of the Research Triangle Regional Partnership and the Duke Raleigh Hospital Advisory Board. He is also a founding member of Holy Trinity Anglican Church. He has received countless awards for his work in the area including the Sir Walter Raleigh Award by City of Raleigh and the Thad Eure, Jr Memorial Award by the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Dr. Tift Mann
Dr. J. Tift Mann, III is the founding partner of Wake Heart and Vascular. The practice has grown to be one of the state’s largest cardiology groups. During his time with the practice, he conducted over 17,000 catheterization procedures at WakeMed. In the 1980s, he developed the balloon angioplasty procedure. Dr. Mann also became one of the first cardiologists in the US to perform a cardiac catheterization using the radial artery in the wrist. He helped to pilot and develop the use of countless other cardiac surgical procedures. He is widely considered the “father” of this approach in the U.S. Dr. Mann is a lifelong resident of Raleigh having attended Broughton High School before enrolling at NC State and UNC for his medical degree.
Lou Willett Mitchell
For decades Mary Lou Mitchell has devoted her time and resources to make Raleigh a better place. She has actively served on the Salvation Army Advisory Board, Mental Health Board and Wake County Human Services. Her good work speaks for itself. A few years ago she led the effort to clean all the bronze monuments in Capital Square and replaced the carpets in the State House. Her tenacity and passion helped bring forth the Food Runner’s Collaborative that houses Meals on Wheels and the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. Lou Mitchell assisted with the acquisition of land to start The Healing Place providing addicts hope for a better life. Lou Mitchell is able to perceive civic needs and find innovative solutions. She supported Project INTERACT’s mission to develop shelters for victims of domestic violence. She chaired the Raleigh Junior Woman’s Club committee that planted 250,000 trees in Wake County’s watershed. Lou Mitchell worked on the Mayor’s Committee for People with Disabilities advocating cuts in curbs and adding ramps to existing buildings. She is licensed by the North Carolina Wildlife Commission to care for injured and orphaned animals. Her advocacy at the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine resulted in doubling the Turtle Rescue Team’s hospital space. Lou Mitchell has made a great contribution to Raleigh through her unshaken devotion to community.
Elizabeth Reid Murray
Elizabeth Reid Murray committed her lifelong work and service to chronicling Raleigh and Wake County’s history. Almost any aspect of Raleigh’s past can be understood through her books, from government leadership, to educational development, and significant individuals of all walks of life. Her lifelong passion was in ensuring Wake County and Raleigh’s long and illustrious history was recorded for researchers and preserved for future generations. In 2006, Mrs. Murray donated her entire collection of manuscripts, slides, postcards and photographs to the Olivia Rainey Local History Library. The collections are the largest archives owned by Wake County Public Libraries. She was fortunate to find her life’s work early in life and with the dedication and discipline she brought to the pursuit of the history of Wake County and the state’s capitol, she has left a legacy of information and an example of rigorous scholarship to those who will continue her work.
Betty Lou Ward
Betty Lou Ward is one of North Carolina’s longest-serving County Commissioners. She was first elected to the Wake County Commission in 1988 and served until 2016. Ward was also elected to serve as the Chair and President of the N.C. Association of County Commissions and President of the National Association of Counties. In 2011, the N.C. Association of County Commissions inducted her into its Hall of Fame. During her time as a County Commissioner, she was a champion for schools, park systems and the Arts.
Lawrence Jefferson Wheeler had the vision to develop a 165 acre site that had formally been youth prison into the world class North Carolina Art Museum and Park. Yearly, it is host to 350,000 museum visitors, 120,000 use the park for recreation, and 123,000 participate in educational activities. Wheeler has secured the role of the NC Museum of Art with a $50 million capital campaign focusing on endowment and program growth, developed a major contemporary photography collection, secured a gift of 30 Rodin sculptures, oversaw the building the $70 million dollar West Building designed by Thomas Phifer, continues to secure promised gifts of art for the museum. The NC Museum of Art has received national and international attention under Dr. Wheeler’s leadership.
Capital Area Soccer League
Forty-three years ago a group of parents, volunteers, and citizens wanted a place for kids to play soccer. Their efforts led to the Capital Area Soccer League (CASL). From its modest beginnings, the CASL is now home to more than 11,000 players ages 4 to 18. It is one of the largest recreational introductory soccer programs in the country. They’ve sought to make soccer accessible to all citizens. CASL started TOPSoccer for athletes with mental and physical disabilities. They host the free soccer tournament McDonald’s Friendship Cup giving underrepresented populations a chance to enjoy soccer. CASL has become part of the city’s cultural fabric. In 1979 with the help of Capital Broadcasting Company, they purchased 116 acres of land for soccer fields. The WRAL Soccer Park hosts soccer, ultimate Frisbee, and lacrosse events drawing over 600,000 visitors each year. The annual 4v4 soccer event Kick 4 a Cause raises charitable funds for local non-profits like the Ronald McDonald House and the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. A collaboration with the local professional soccer club will soon rebrand CASL as North Carolina FC Youth. However, the mission to serve the community and provide positive soccer opportunities for youth and their families stays the same.
Methodist Home for Children
The Methodist Home for Children (MHC) was founded in 1899. Today they offer a wide range of services including foster care, adoption, and family preservation. As a provider of family preservation services, they work with parents at risk of losing children to social services. The program provides counselors in the home to model behavior and habits for healthy lifestyles. MHC’s model of care to improve the lives of juvenile offenders is used in every Youth Development Center in the state. They also run a foster care program that serves approximately 230 children each year. Its adoption agency places an average of 12 to 15 children with permanent families each year. MHC’s Jordan Child & Family Enrichment Center is an international model for early childhood education. They earned a five star rating from the state for their innovative approach to educating students with learning and physical disabilities. MHC offers scholarships and mentoring to help children meet their educational goals. Since 1982, MHC has served over 20,000 children, young people, and families. MHC meets the needs of those in crisis. MHC has nourished and healed young lives impacted by misfortune, illness, neglect, and abuse.
Colonel William Polk
Col. Polk was a Revolutionary War hero, twice wounded during his service to the country. He fought alongside the Marquis de Lafayette at the Battle of Brandywine. He made the welcoming remarks in the State House when Lafayette visited Raleigh on his famous tour in 1825. He also hosted a breakfast for Lafayette at his home at the corner of North and Blount Streets.
In addition to his years in the North Carolina House of Commons, Polk was a founder of the Society of the Cincinnati in North Carolina and a trustee at UNC for 44 years.
During his years in Raleigh, he was the first president of the State Bank and was honored as Raleigh’s most illustrious citizen. In 1826, he headed a company to develop navigation on the Neuse River. Throughout his life, he remained a powerful influence in state and federal politics.