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Men of Excellence: River City honors 8 for accomplishments, service

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"Men of Excellence" award nominee Walter "Buck" Jolly (fourth from left) poses with seven of this year's winners (l-r) Dr. Michael Sutton, Gustave Smith, William Sterritt, Dr. Edward Eadie, Charles Jordan, Eddie Buffaloe Jr. and Billie Reid at the River City Community Development Corp.'s fourth annual Men of Excellence breakfast at the K.E. White Center, Thursday. Not shown is the eighth award winner, Edwin Rouson.

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By Jon Hawley
Staff Writer

Friday, October 5, 2018

River City Community Development Corp. handed out “Men of Excellence” awards Thursday to eight local professionals known for their diverse accomplishments as well as shared devotion to community.

The fourth annual Men of Excellence breakfast drew hundreds of residents to the K.E. White Center at Elizabeth City State University.

“I think these leaders represent the type of leaders we want to see in society and want to see in our students and our children,” said Master of Ceremonies John Lee Jr., ECSU's vice chancellor of university advancement.

The winners, and some of the accomplishments award presenters Orestes Gooden and Anthony Ferebee cited about them, were:

* Elizabeth City Police Chief Eddie Buffaloe Jr. In addition to being Elizabeth City's police chief since 2012, Buffaloe serves as secretary of the NC Association of the Chiefs of Police, is on the local boards for the State Employees Credit Union and the Albemarle Area United Way, and a referee for local sporting events.

* Pasquotank Commissioner Charles Jordan. Jordan previously worked for the city of Philadelphia and for the Philadelphia Nursing Home. Locally, he's served on the board of 1st Citizens Bank and is a deacon at his church, Mt. Carmel Missionary Baptist.

* Billie Joe Reid, a State Farm insurance agent. Ferebee noted Reid is a former teacher and principal, and a youth mentor.

* Edwin Rouson, director of the Police Athletic League. Ferebee recognized Rouson as a Marine veteran and a coach at Elizabeth City Middle School.

* Gus Smith, a long-time community volunteer. Ferebee noted Smith has served as a Red Cross board member and as director of a coalition to help the homeless, in addition to other service.

* Pasquotank Commissioner Bill Sterritt. In addition to serving as vice chairman of the Board of Commissioners, Sterritt is a retired educator and administrator at College of The Albemarle. He also received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine Award in 2004 and the Witherspoon-Harris Award in 2008. He also served with the former Elizabeth City Jaycees and the Greater Albemarle Chapter of the American Red Cross.

* Dr. Michael Sutton, an area medical director for Sentara Healthcare as well as chairman of the Albemarle Regional Health Services Board of Health. River City also recognized Sutton for practicing medicine with “great compassion, care and concern” for his patients.

River City CDC also recognized Dr. Edward Eadie with its Board of Directors Award, presented by Robert Pippen of the Elizabeth City Morning Rotary Club. Pippen said Eadie has been a well-respected urologist for 41 years, and a charter member of the Morning Rotary Club. He praised Eadie for extensive volunteerism, including to help River City CDC, the Salvation Army and Albemarle Hopeline. Eadie also traveled to Haiti to provide medical care to the impoverished nation's residents, Pippen said.

Pasquotank County Manager Sparty Hammett, the breakfast’s keynote speaker, praised the award recipients as well. He shared that his father taught him to pursue excellence — and didn't accept hearing the word “can't” when something needed doing. He pledged to make excellence his goal in Pasquotank County.

“My personal goal is to move Pasquotank County government 20 years forward in my first five years,” Hammett said.

River City CDC President Lenora Jarvis-Mackey also congratulated the men during the ceremony, describing them as the role models not often heard about in television news. She also praised them as the products of a godly and good upbringing.

“They are living the 10 Commandments every day,” Jarvis-Mackey said. “Their parents modeled and demanded ethical behavior, morality, and all of the skills that have made them the men of excellence we are here to honor today.”

A total of 17 local residents were nominated for this year’s Men of Excellence awards.

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