Grace Ridge resident John Greene knew he was being honored on May 2 by the Boy Scouts for his volunteer work. He didn’t know, however, that he would also receive the Order of the Long Leaf Pine award – one of the state’s top honors.
“The award blew me away. I never expected anything like that,” he said.
The Order of the Long Leaf Pine award is given to individuals who make significant contributions through outstanding service and accomplishments. North Carolina’s governors have presented the award since the 1960s to people who have had exceptional impact on their communities and the state.
John is the second Grace Ridge resident to receive the prestigious award in recent years. In 2015, resident Ron Martin also received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine award.
A Surprise Presentation
On May 2, John received the Distinguished Citizen Award from Piedmont Council 420, Boy Scouts of America, at a dinner to honor him for his “unwavering commitment to Scouting and his community.”
At that dinner, John also was presented with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine award for going above the call of duty to serve the state and his local community.
“I was pretty overwhelmed,” John said, adding that he never considered that he had contributed enough to the state to receive the award. “I’ve just been very blessed to receive honors over the years for doing things, and I certainly have appreciated it.”
One of the speakers at the dinner was Coach Jerry Moore of Appalachian State University; John’s grandson played football at Appalachian under Coach Moore during the time when ASU won the national championship. In addition, John’s son, daughter and daughter-in-law all are ASU grads.
John has known Coach Moore since he first came to North Carolina in 1989. “We’ve been friends all that time, and he was very gracious to take time to come out and speak,” he said.
Serving the Community
Despite John’s modesty about his accomplishments, it’s clear that he has spent decades serving the local community and the state.
The Boy Scouts noted that John has had significant impact through his service in a variety of areas, including his church, Carolinas Healthcare Blue Ridge, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Appalachian State University, the North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association (NCADA) and the Boy Scouts of America.
Robert Glaser, president of NCADA, described John as a “Triple Crown Winner” within the organization, which he served as past chairman. John also was recognized as North Carolina Dealer of the Year in 2006 and as a lifetime Achievement Award winner in 2005. He also served on the organization’s Legislative Committee for nine years, along with other service to the organization.
Glaser commented that John is a “pillar of the Morganton community” and is recognized by a number of local groups for his longtime service.
The Scouts also recognized John’s long and distinguished record of community service, including his status as an Eagle Scout and service on the Burke County Public Schools Board of Education. He has served in leadership positions with the Scouts and 4H, as well as director of the Burke County Chamber of Commerce.
What advice would John offer to young people who wish to follow in his footsteps of community service?
“You just need to be receptive (to opportunities),” he said. “There’s a lot of charity work and community work that needs to be done.”
Grace Ridge is honored to have John as a resident. We sincerely thank him for his service and congratulate him for this well-deserved recognition from the Scouts and the state of North Carolina! John serves as a perfect example of the spirit of our 30th anniversary theme: Good Moods. Good Times. Good Life. Since 1987.