Jimmy Pierce- Kids Making It
Jimmy Pierce is a native of North Carolina. He received his BA degree in 1975 from the University of North Carolina, his JD degree in 1979 from the LSU law school, and is a member of both the North Carolina Bar and the Louisiana Bar. Inspired by his sons, he left his successful law practice in 1996 to establish the Kids Making It Woodworking Program, a national award winning program now open 7 days a week, year-round, serving youth from 8 – young adulthood in a long-term mentorship program, teaching vocational skills, providing entrepreneurship opportunities for youth to earn income, and entry-level paid employment to youth transitioning into successful adulthood through the KMI Apprenticeship Program, designing and creating custom woodworking products in quantity utilizing traditional cabinet shop tools and three production machines, a laser engraver, CNC router, and hydraulic copy lathe.
George Edwards-Historic Wilmington Foundation
George W. Edwards joined the Historic Wilmington Foundation as their 6th Executive Director in November of 2004. Edwards is a professional preservationist with more than 28 years of experience in managing local and statewide nonprofit preservation and downtown revitalization groups. He directed Main Street and economic redevelopment programs in Arkansas, Wisconsin, and Virginia. In addition to these experiences, Edwards served as the chief executive for the Atlanta Preservation Center, the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota, and the Preservation Alliance of Virginia.
The Historic Wilmington Foundation is a non-profit historic preservation organization with more than 800 members that focuses its efforts on preserving the architectural heritage of Wilmington and the Lower Cape Fear region. Since its formation in 1966, the Historic Wilmington Foundation has successfully saved more than a 100 historic properties from demolition. Their mission is to protect and preserve the irreplaceable historic resources of Wilmington and the Lower Cape Fear Region through educational programs, workshops, advocacy and community involvement, a preservation easement program and revolving fund activities. Edwards has initiated an annual most threatened historic places program with HWF, which also includes a traveling exhibit seen annually by more than 40,000 people. He also has created a partnership with the New Hanover County schools that trains and provides guides for the third graders’ Tar Heels Go Walking program which recently completed its fifth year of leading students on tour of downtown. The tours have introduced 12,000 third grade students, 500 teachers and 1000 parent volunteers to our history, architectural and cultural resources.
Historic Wilmington Foundation is the regions only professionally staffed historic preservation education and advocacy organization and it partners with local government, property owners and developers to promote historic preservation as a community value and quality of life issue. The restoration of private property in the City has conservatively resulted in more than $50 million dollars of private investment over the last forty years and the creation of thousands of jobs. Government, churches and non-profits have also spent millions on the restoration of buildings. The rehabilitation of property has generated millions of dollars of new tax revenue and substantially raised the value of property throughout the City. Renewed historic residential and commercial areas helps the City present a vibrant and vital image to prospective new residents and businesses and helps make the City very attractive to visitors, tourists and convention business