Winston-Salem, N.C. – Clyde W. Fitzgerald Jr., executive director of the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina, has been named the first recipient of the Living Your Best Life Leadership Award. The award recognizes a community leader who demonstrates the possibilities and potential of lives in the Triad. Mr. Fitzgerald will be honored at The Happiness Advantage event on Tuesday, Oct. 4, at the Benton Convention Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. As the recipient of this award, Mr. Fitzgerald is serving as the honorary chair.

The Living Your Best Life Speaker Series was created to support the mission of Hospice & Palliative CareCenter in Winston-Salem. Author Shawn Achor, one of the world’s leading experts on the connection between happiness and success, will be the keynote speaker for this inaugural event. The Living Your Best Life Speaker Series has been overwhelmingly embraced by our community. It is one of the many ways that Hospice & Palliative CareCenter demonstrates their mission of helping people live fully and experience the best quality of life.

A retired executive of R J Reynolds tobacco Company, Mr. Fitzgerald is known as an active leader and volunteer in North Carolina. For over 26 years, he served Second Harvest Food Bank as a board member, fundraiser, a community advocate, and as board chair for three terms. He became Executive Director in October 2008, following the retirement of his longtime friend and the organization’s founding executive director, Nan Griswold. Additionally, he has served as a board member of Prodigals, a drug and alcohol recovery program, as well as on the boards of the NC Stroke Association, the HOSPICE & PALLIATIVE CARECENTER 101 HOSPICE LANE, WINSTON-SALEM, NC 27103 Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce, the Arts Council of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County, the United Way of Forsyth County, Salem Academy & College and the Piedmont Opera, where he is currently serving his 28th year as a board member and has served three different terms as board chair. He has been an active member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church for nearly 45 years.

Rotary International honored Mr. Fitzgerald as a Paul Harris Fellow for his extensive community service activities. Mr. Fitzgerald has been an active Rotarian in Puerto Rico, Canada and Winston-Salem. In its last fiscal year, Second Harvest Food Bank provided more than 25 million meals for more than 300,000 residents in need through its network of 450 partner food assistance program across 18 counties. Under Mr. Fitzgerald’s leadership, Second Harvest Food Bank has significantly expanded programs to address childhood hunger, which now include Kids Cafes, weekend BackPacks, School Pantries and essential summer meal initiatives. In the fall of last year, Second Harvest Food Bank and its Triad Community Kitchen Culinary Training Program introduced Providence Restaurant, a unique dining venue in Winston-Salem offering farm-to-fork cuisine and a residency program for graduates of the training program that provides extended training and employment opportunities.

Linda Darden, President & CEO of Hospice and Palliative CareCenter, recently praised Mr. Fitzgerald, saying, “He’s such an accomplished individual. He’s taken on an important mission in our community by serving as the executive director of the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina. He has served on numerous boards for organizations that support families in need, the arts, and education just to name a few. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to recognize Clyde Fitzgerald for his outstanding accomplishments that, simply put, demonstrate living your best life.”

Ticket Information for the 2016 Living Your Best Life Speaker Series Event presented by Dewey’s Bakery and Story Work International: Tickets for the Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2016, Living Your Best Life Speaker Series event can be purchased on the Living Your Best Life Speaker Series website: Individual tickets, sponsorships and group sales are available for this event. For more information, contact Carolyn Breese, director of development, by email or by phone 336-331-1322.Please click here to download this press release.