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Day 1 70th Anniversary Benefit Honors 2015 Community Leaders of Faith

March 28, 2015

 

Photos by Bill Monk available at this link: https://plus.google.com/photos/114749828757741527421/albums/6127725487302858257?banner=pwa

 

The Day 1 annual benefit on Tuesday, March 17, honored eight Atlanta area leaders who are well known for their commitment to the good of the community and who also are deeply committed to their church and Christian faith. The event supports the Day1 ecumenical radio and internet ministry (formerly known as The Protestant Hour) which has broadcast sermons by outstanding preachers from the mainline denominations for 70 years.

WSB Radio was given the Day1 Pioneer Award in Christian Communication. The flagship station for Day 1 since 1945, WSB produces or supports an average of 80 important community service events each year. Last year WSB broadcast more than 4,000 minutes in public service announcements for more than 110 organizations.

Representatives from each of the participating denominations on Day1 were recognized for their servant leadership in church and community. This year's honorees were:

  • Cooperative Baptist Fellowship: Dr. Kamal and Cleo Mansour. Dr. Mansour was awarded the 2001 Shield of Medicine by the Medical Scientific Society of Egypt for being one of the ten most outstanding Egyptian doctors in the world. Among other honors, he also received the prestigious Emory Medal for distinguished service and notable professional and academic achievement in 2008. Cleo Mansour worked in Egypt at a Naval American Medical Research Unit, where she served on the team that first isolated the West Nile Virus. For 14 years she conducted important viral research for women and babies in the Department of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Emory University. The Mansours are members of Second-Ponce de Leon Baptist Church in Buckhead.
  • The Episcopal Church: J. Veronica Biggins. Biggins is a managing director of Diversified Search and is an active member of the financial services and education/nonprofit practices. Deeply active in the community for the common good, she serves on the Trustee Board for the Woodruff Arts Center as well as the Atlanta Board of Visitors for SCAD, Savannah College of Art and Design, and is a member emeritus of the CDC Foundation Board. She is a member of St. Luke's Episcopal Church in downtown Atlanta. 
  • Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:  Gayle and Bill Ide. Mr. Ide is a partner with the national law firm of McKenna Long & Aldridge. He serves as a member of the Board of Directors of Clark Atlanta University, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, and the EastWest Institute. He is founder of the Georgia Legal Services Program and a past president of the American Bar Association.   Ms. Ide has engaged in numerous opportunities for service including the AIDS Alliance for Faith and Health, Habitat for Humanity, The Red Door Café--which provides lunch for homeless clients--and faith based activities for children. The Ides are members of Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Midtown.
  • Presbyterian Church (USA): The Rev. Dr. George Wirth.  Wirth served as senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Atlanta from 1990 until his retirement in 2013, during which time he was one of Atlanta's best-known and most active ministers in the community. He currently serves as a consultant to the Cousins Family Foundation in Atlanta. Wirth was named to the Board of Councilors of The Carter Center. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Princeton Theological Seminary, the board of directors of Cousins Family Foundation, chair of the board of stewards of Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary, a trustee of The Presbyterian University in Kenya, and of Rabun Gap Nacoochee School in North Georgia.
  • United Church of Christ: Sharon Nelson Hill.  Hill is the founding executive director of Georgia Appleseed Center for Law and Justice. Before joining Georgia Appleseed, she served on the bench of the Fulton County Juvenile Court, worked with the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, and the AIDS Legal Project. She was the Judge for the first Family Drug Court in Georgia. She helped form and continues to serve on the Executive Committee of the State Bar's Child Advocacy and Protection Section and is also a member of the Supreme Court of Georgia's Committee on Justice for Children and the State Bar's Indigent Defense Committee. Hill has received numerous community service awards. Hill is a member of Central Congregational United Church of Christ.
  • United Methodist Church: Tommy Nobis. Nobis was one of the most prolific linebackers in the history of the NFL. In a poll conducted in 1970 by ABC to pick the best athlete of the decade of the 1960s, Tommy Nobis was number two in the entire country. Active in service to his community, Nobis is founder and volunteer board member of Nobis Works which began in 1977 to provide vocational training to people with disabilities. Tommy won the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. award for working with the Georgia Special Olympics and was the 2008 recipient of the WXIA TV Community Service Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Community. Nobis is a member of Peachtree Road United Methodist Church.

Emcees for the evening, representing Day 1 flagship station NEWS 95.5 and AM 750 WSB were assistant program director Condace Pressley and afternoon news anchor Chris Chandler. The event co-chairs were the Right Rev. Keith and Suzie Whitmore and the Rev. Dr. William and Carolyn Self.  Keith Whitmore is assistant bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta and director of the Episcopal Studies program at Candler School of Theology at Emory University. Ms. Whitmore is a leader in the church and community, particularly with Rainbow Village, a ministry that provides transitional housing for homeless families. Dr. Self, chair of the board of trustees of Alliance for Christian Media, is former senior pastor of Wieuca Road Baptist Church and Johns Creek Baptist Church. He and Mrs. Self are active in service to the community.

Produced and hosted by Peter Wallace, Day1 is distributed nationally to more than 200 stations each week, including WSB in the Atlanta area (AM 750 and 95.5 FM, Sundays at 7:05 a.m.). It is also accessible by podcast at Day1.org.

The award-winning program is produced by the Alliance for Christian Media in association with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, the Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the United Church of Christ, and the United Methodist Church.

Day1 began in 1945 when leaders of several major denominations and church-related colleges and seminaries came together with the goal of spreading the good news through radio. Every week since then, the program has presented compelling sermons from outstanding preachers from across America, bringing faith and hope to hundreds of thousands of people around the world. For more information, visit Day1.org.

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2015 Day1 Community Leaders of Faith Extended Biographies

J. Veronica Biggins

Ms. Biggins is a managing director of Diversified Search. She heads the Boards practice and is an active member of the Financial Services and Education/Not-for-Profit practices. Veronica served as Assistant to the President of the United States and Director of Presidential Personnel under President Bill Clinton. She was responsible for selecting and hiring all political appointees within the federal government. She served as Vice Chairman of the U.S. Delegation to the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. When she stepped down as chair of the Czech Slovak American Enterprise Fund, she received a Points of Light Award from President George W. Bush for her leadership of the Fund. Veronica's background includes 20 years' experience with NationsBank, now Bank of America, and its predecessor, the Citizens and Southern National Bank (and many of us still miss that round C&S office tower). Prior to joining the White House, Veronica was one of the highest ranking women in the banking industry. Deeply active in the community for the common good, Veronica serves on the Trustee Board for the Woodruff Arts Center as well as the Atlanta Board of Visitors for SCAD, Savannah College of Art and Design, and is a member emeritus of the CDC Foundation Board. She is a graduate of Spelman College, earned her Master's from Georgia State University, and had a fellowship at Harvard University's Advanced Leadership Institute. She is an active member of St. Luke's Episcopal Church in downtown Atlanta. 

 

Sharon Nelson Hill

Ms. Hill is the founding executive director of Georgia Appleseed Center for Law and Justice. Before joining Georgia Appleseed in 2005, she served on the bench of the Fulton County Juvenile Court as an associate judge for more than eight years. She began her legal career with the firm of Sutherland, Asbill, and Brennan. From 1989 to 1995 she worked with the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, first in the Cobb County Office and then in the Downtown Atlanta Office as a staff attorney with the AIDS Legal Project. She joined the Fulton County Juvenile Court in 1997. While on the bench she took an active part in the Georgia Council of Juvenile Court Judges, serving in a variety of ways to end "foster care drift" and improve the way courts handle child abuse and neglect cases. She founded the Education Advocacy Program Advisory Committee, piloted the implementation of Model Court Initiatives, and was the Judge for the first Family Drug Court in Georgia. Since joining Georgia Appleseed in 2005, she has been invited to continue her service in the community in a variety of ways. She helped form and continues to serve on the Executive Committee of the State Bar's Child Advocacy and Protection Section and is also a member of the Supreme Court of Georgia's Committee on Justice for Children, and the State Bar's Indigent Defense Committee. Sharon is a graduate of Williams College and Emory University's School of Law and School of Business Administration, earning a joint JD/MBA degree with distinction. Sharon has received numerous community service awards, and is an active member of Central Congregational United Church of Christ, where she has served as the chair of the board and as a member of the Mission and Action board.

 

Gayle and Bill Ide 

Mr. Ide is a partner with the national law firm of McKenna Long & Aldridge. He serves as a member of the Board of Directors of AFC Enterprises, Inc., of Albemarle Corporation, of Clark Atlanta University, of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, and of the EastWest Institute. He is a former General Counsel of the Monsanto Company, former Counselor to the United States Olympic Committee, former chair of the Central Europe Eurasia Law Institute, founder and former chair of the Georgia Legal Services Program, and is a past president of the American Bar Association.   Ms. Ide has engaged in numerous opportunities for service including the AIDS Alliance for Faith and Health, Habitat for Humanity, The Red Door Café--which provides lunch for homeless clients--and faith based activities for children. She spent many years of service at a downtown thrift shop and in school parents' associations. For many years Gayle has practiced yoga and through that study was exposed to the beauty of Eastern religions and the accompanying diversity of races and beliefs. The Ides are lifelong members of the Lutheran Church, and are active members of Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in Midtown.

 

Cleo and Kamal Mansour

Dr. Mansour is widely known for perfecting a technique that replaces the esophagus. He was awarded the 2001 Shield of Medicine by the Medical Scientific Society of Egypt for being one of the ten most outstanding Egyptian doctors in the world. He also received the prestigious Emory Medal for distinguished service and notable professional and academic achievement in 2008, and was awarded the Southern Thoracic Surgical Association 2010 Inspiration Award-only the second physician to receive this award. During Emory's 175th anniversary in 2011, he was recognized as one of Emory's History Makers. The Medical Alumni Association honored Kamal, who is professor emeritus of cardiothoracic surgery, the Award of Honor for his longtime efforts to advance training in his field at Emory and in the Middle East. Kamal attended medical school in Cairo, Egypt, completed his residency at Emory, and subsequently joined the faculty. For several years Kamal has traveled to the Middle East to provide advanced cardiothoracic services and training. Before he retired in 2004, Kamal and Cleo provided a substantial gift to establish the Kamal A. Mansour Professorship of Thoracic Surgery. Cleo Mansour was born in Switzerland and received her degree in medical technology and microbiology at the University of Zurich. After graduation, she worked in Egypt at a Naval American Medical Research Unit, where in conjunction with the Rockefeller Foundation she served on the team that first isolated the West Nile Virus. After marriage, Cleo joined her husband at the Baptist Hospital in Jordan and then in the Gaza Strip and was responsible for the operation of the medical lab and the training of laboratory students. For 14 years she conducted important viral research for women and babies in the Department of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Emory University. She has also worked as an interpreter for the Customs and Border Protection at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport for several years. She fluently speaks at least seven languages and has also learned several others. The Mansours are active members of Second-Ponce de Leon Baptist Church in Buckhead.

 

Tommy Nobis

Nobis was one of the most prolific linebackers in the history of the NFL. He was the first player drafted by the Atlanta Falcons organization in the inaugural 1966 season, and he quickly became the first ever Falcon voted to the Pro Bowl. Know as "Mr. Falcon," Tommy led the team in tackles in nine of his 11 seasons, earning five trips to the Pro Bowl. In a poll conducted in 1970 by ABC to pick the best athlete of the decade of the 1960s, O.J. Simpson was number one-but Tommy Nobis was number two in the entire country. His uniform number 60 was the first one the Falcons retired and it's been worn only by him during the team's history. Tommy has received awards too numerous to list. He has been voted into the Hall of Fame of the National Collegiate Football Foundation, the State of Texas Hall of Fame (where he was the most outstanding lineman in college football at the University of Texas), and the State of Georgia Hall of Fame. Tommy was also a member of the Falcons' front office for more than 30 years following his 11-year playing career. He has been just as active in his service to the community, as founder and volunteer board member of Nobis Works, formerly the Tommy Nobis Center, which began in 1977 to provide vocational training to persons with disabilities. That has grown from operating out of a trailer into a 52,000 square-foot state-of-the-art center in Marietta with an $11 million annual budget. Tommy also won the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. award for working with the Georgia Special Olympics, and was the 2008 recipient of the WXIA TV Community Service Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Community. Nobis is a member of Peachtree Road United Methodist Church.

 

The Rev. Dr. George Wirth

Dr. Wirth is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Journalism and of Princeton Theological Seminary. He was ordained by the presbytery of Philadelphia in 1973, and served as associate pastor of the Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania for five years, then became senior pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Sewickly, Pennsylvania from 1977 to 1990. He served as senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Atlanta from 1990 until his retirement in 2013, during which time he was one of Atlanta's best-known and most active ministers in the community. He is now pastor emeritus at First Presbyterian, and currently serves as a consultant to the Cousins Family Foundation in Atlanta. In 1986 he received the Doctor of Divinity degree from Waynesburg College in Pennsylvania, and completed his Doctor of Ministry through Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in 1990. In 1993, Wirth was named to the Board of Councilors of The Carter Center. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Princeton Theological Seminary, the board of directors of Cousins Family Foundation, chair of the board of stewards of Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary in Atlanta, and a trustee of The Presbyterian University in Kenya, and of Rabun Gap Nacoochee School in North Georgia. Wirth is also a trustee emeritus of the Westminster Schools and the Woodruff Arts Center, a former member of the Mayor's Advisory Council on Homelessness, and has served on the boards of the Holy Land Institute for Pastoral Renewal, Warren Wilson College, and Agnes Scott College.

 

Day1 Pioneer Award in Christian Communication

WSB Radio

WSB has been the Day1 flagship station since 1945 and is almost always the number-one ranked radio station in the Atlanta market. WSB is Atlanta's local news station of record, devoting nearly 200,000 minutes of regularly scheduled news content in a year, including Atlanta's Morning News with Scott Slade and the team, and throughout the day on the hour and half-hour, notably with Chris Chandler anchoring the afternoons. WSB donates airtime for a number of outstanding and important causes, such as the American Cancer Society Volunteer Program. With its news/talk and information format WSB discusses issues of public interest on a variety of local programs each week. Religious programs including Day1, the Lutheran Hour, and the First Presbyterian Church broadcast join the public affairs programs Perspectives and Business in the Black on Sunday mornings. Last year WSB broadcast more than 4,000 minutes in public service announcements for more than 110 organizations. What's more, they promote important community service activities like Clark Howard's Habitat for Humanity Winter Build, the WSB Care-athon benefiting AFLAC Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, the Ronald McDonald House Fundraiser, Clark Howard's Christmas Kids benefiting the Georgia Department of Family and Children Services, the US Marines Toys for Tots Campaign, and others. WSB produces or supports an average of 80 community events each year, and its employees volunteer in a variety of ways. WSB is a shining light of community service.

 

 

 


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