Walton named 2012 Courier Legacy honoree

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Retired Highmark Senior Vice President Aaron Walton has been named the New Pittsburgh Courier’s 2012 Legacy honoree. The award is part of the Courier’s annual 50 Men of Excellence awards, which recognize exemplary African-American men in the Pittsburgh region.

AaronWalton
AARON WALTON

“I am very honored, surprised and honored,” Walton said. “When you talk about legacy you talk about history and when you look at some of the other people like (previous Legacy Honorees) Wendell Freeland and Eric Springer, you think of a lifetime of service for the community.”

Walton is the current chairman of the August Wilson Center for African American Culture board of directors. One of his crowning accomplishments was his role in creating the August Wilson Center, an initiative that began in 1996 as part of an effort to attract the national NAACP convention to Pittsburgh.

“Before the national NAACP would agree to come to Pittsburgh they had the city officials agree to have something Afro centric in Pittsburgh. And because of that we now have the August Wilson Center,” Walton said. “We have something that has transformed into a legacy. It’s making an impact. There’s a lot of work yet to be done and now we have to make it what it can be.”

Walton was also the chairman of the Pittsburgh Urban League Board of Directors for several years, teaming with President and CEO Esther Bush in improving that organization.

Walton currently serves as vice chair of the board of deacons at Ebenezer Baptist Church, vice chair of the board of governors of the PA State System of Higher Education, and is a current member of the California University of PA council of trustees, Bethlehem Haven Homeless Women’s Shelter, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, 100 Black Men of Western PA, Kappa Endowment Scholarship Fund, and Sire Archon, Rho Boulé, Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity.

“I’m just proud to be recognized for the work I’ve done over the years in the community,” Walton said. “I’ve probably been on about 35 to 40 boards in my career. There are so many organizations that are trying to do important work in the community and I just want to do the best I could do with those organizations.”

As a former Highmark vice president, Walton was responsible for administering Highmark’s public relations and social mission strategy and overseeing the departments of community affairs, community health and strategic health initiatives. He holds a bachelor’s degree from California University of PA and a Master’s Degree from Carnegie Mellon University.

Walton is married to Gloria Walton, a retired licensed school psychologist and they have two children, Lauren Walton, chief of addiction medicine for Kaiser Permanente in Long Beach California, and Aaron D. Walton, corporate sales division, Wyndham Corp., Las Vegas, Nev.

The Legacy Award is reserved for individuals who have reached achievements above and beyond others, while also dedicating themselves to giving back to those less fortunate.

“It’s important to let people know that there are people who are doing something in our community, but also to set an example for the younger generation that they have to get back.”

The 2012 50 Men of Excellence Awards Reception will be held Oct. 25 from 6-9 p.m. at the Fairmont Hotel.

2012 Honorees

LOUIS T. ALEXANDER

Principal – Byars & Alexander Financial Group

LARRY D. ANDERSON

Sr. Retired Basketball Coach & Volunteer at Soldiers & Sailors Hall & Museum

DAVID J. ATKINS

Director, Digital Marketing – Visit Pittsburgh

KEVIN BOLDING

Urban District Vice President, Membership – YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh

TYRONE BROOKS

Director, Baseball Operations – Pittsburgh Pirates

ARCHIE L. BROWN

Staff Accountant – Urban Lending Solutions

COACH WILLIAM BROWN

Head Men’s Basketball Coach – California University of PA

TONY BYERS, PH.D.

Leader, Global Diversity & Inclusion-H.J. Heinz Company

WILLIAM M. CARTER JR.

Dean, School of Law – University of Pittsburgh

JONAS CHANEY

Public Affairs Director – WPXI-TV and Owner – JjC Productions

CHARLES COOK

Personal Trainer

FREDERICK B. CRAWFORD

President – Highland Park Tennis Club

WAVERLY DUCK

Professor of Sociology – University of Pittsburgh

ERVIN DYER

Senior Editor, Pitt Magazine – University of Pittsburgh

ERIC EWELL

Parent Coordinator – Hill District Education Council

BISHOP JOSEPH L. GARLINGTON SR., PH.D.

Senior Pastor – Covenant Church of Pittsburgh

JUAN GARRETT

Deputy Director – Riverside Center for Innovation

PASTOR GREGORY GREENE

Supervisor – Allegheny County Juvenile Courts; and Pastor – ZION COGIC

STEVEN GRIFFIN

Vice President – FedExGround

STANLEY HOLBROOK

President – Three Rivers Center for Independent Living

CDR. ERIC HOLMES

Head of the Hill District Station – Pittsburgh Police

RODNEY K. HOPSON, Ph.D.

Hillman Distinguished Professor – School of Education’s Department of Foundations and Leadership – Duquesne Univeristy

ELLIOT HOWSIE, ESQ.

Chief Public Defender – Allegheny County Public Defenders

CALVIN L. JACKSON JR.

Councilman, Borough of Coraopolis

BRANDON R. JENNINGS

Graphic Design Teacher – Pittsburgh Technical Institute

VINCENT O. JOHNSON

Consultant – Procurement Resources, Inc.

CHIEF CHARLES R. JONES JR.

Chief of Police – Beaver Falls

FREDRICK O. KENDRICK, PH.D.

International Director of Human Resources – K & L Gates

JOHN R. LAYMON JR.

President/Owner – JRL Enterprises, Inc.

REV. DR. LAMAR D. LEE JR.

Pastor/Teacher/Principal – Saint Mark AME Zion Church

BRACE S. LOWE

Sr. Executive Vice President – A Second Chance, Inc.

FREDERICK A. MASSEY JR.

CEO – Familylinks

DARREN McCORMICK

Transition Manager – City Charter High School

JESSE JAMES MCLEAN JR.

Executive Director – Every Child, Inc.

LINWOOD MITCHELL

Vice President & Market Manager – PNC Bank

LARRY C. PICKETT

Senior Project Manager, Emerging Alliances and Shared Business Services – Highmark, Inc.

CHARLES M. POWELL SR.

Director of Diversity and Community Affairs – URA of Pittsburgh

JULIUS LEE REDD

Retired – Pittsburgh Elementary School Administrator

FREDERICK REDMOND

International VP of Human Affairs – USW

LARRY S. SMEDLEY

Technical Specialist – BayerMaterialScience LLC

HARVEY JAMES SMITH JR.

Athletic Director & Head Football Coach – Imani Christian Academy

KERRY A. STITH Sr. Vice President &Operations Director, Account Servicing -PNC’s Consumer Loan Services Group

WILL THOMPKINS

Director of Community Outreach – The Pittsburgh Project

ROBERT L. THOMPSON, MD

Physician – University of Pittsburgh Physicians

MORRIS E. TURNER, MD

Physician – University of Pittsburgh Physicians

EUSTACE UKU

President and Chief Executive Officer – EXICO

CHRISTOPHAS WALKER

Professor of Public Health & Social Work – University of Pittsburgh

AARON A. WALTON – 2012 LEGACY HONOREE – Retired Senior Vice President, Highmark

RICARDO J. WILLIAMS

Program Coordinator, Dept of Drug and Alcohol – Allegheny County Dept. of Health and Human Services

DAVID A. YOUNG Associate Dean of Academic Affairs – CCAC

Sponsorship and Advertising Opportunities Still Available call 412-481-8302 ext. 129 for rates and more information or email sbroadus@newpittsburghcourier.com.  To purchase tickets call 412-781-3486/412-481-8302 ext. 136 Call 412-481-8302 ext. 129 for rates and more information.

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