Community Foundation to Honor 2020 and 2021 Herbert M Davidson Memorial Award Recipients

  • by Ashley.wohlford
  • January 19, 2021
  • Categories: Article, Blog, Press Release, Uncategorized, Video

The Community Foundation, a division of United Way of Volusia and Flagler Counties postponed its 2020 annual Herbert M. Davidson Memorial Award banquet with a declaration that it would recognize and celebrate both its 2020 honoree and its 2021 honoree at the 2021 edition of the event. That event is now scheduled for Friday, October 29 at the Hard Rock Hotel. Its honorees are community and business leader Joe Petrock and educator and civil rights pioneer Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune (posthumously).  

“ After postponing last year’s event, it’s is particularly rewarding to announce our honorees,” said Preston Root, Chairman of the Community Foundation Board of Directors and the 2016 recipient of the award. “Dr. Bethune was our community’s first champion and her legacy is part of America’s history. What an honor for all of us to celebrate her incredible spirit at our event. And today, Joe Petrock embodies the meaning of our award: By every measure, he is a hero of our community.”

The award is named in honor of the late Herbert M. Davidson, former publisher of the Daytona Beach News-Journal. Mr. Davidson was a community leader, a business leader, a journalism pioneer, a civil rights leader, a patron of the arts and a philanthropist. His legacy and that of his family continues to impact the community. The recipients of this award perpetuate his community spirit.

“This award honors our most dedicated and visionary community leaders,” said Greg Sullivan, Chairman-elect of the Community Foundation Board of Directors. “Their work not only helps define our community as a warm and inviting place to live and work, but it inspires those who follow to selfless community service. This award is considered by many to be the region’s highest honor for community service.

Joe Petrock is the Executive Director of the Halifax Health Foundation and has served as a member of the boards of directors or chaired many organizations including the Daytona Regional Chamber, United Way, Volusia Manufacturers Association, Daytona State College Board of Trustees, FUTURES Foundation for Volusia County Schools and many more. In addition to his service to so many vital organizations, Petrock has been honored with dozens of awards for his community service. Among the organizations recognizing him are the Civic League of the Halifax Area, the United Way, the March of Dimes, Boy Scouts of America, Junior Achievement, National Association of Community Leaders and many more.

Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, who is being honored posthumously, is known internationally as an educator, stateswoman, philanthropist, humanitarian, and a women’s and civil rights activist. She is  the founder of Bethune-Cookman University. She was influential in community development here at home and worked closely with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt on domestic and international issues. This summer, her leadership and legacy will be celebrated when a statue of her likeness will be placed in Statuary Hall in the United States Capitol Building. 

“I have no doubt that Dr. Bethune would be humbled by this honor,” said Dr. LaBrent Chrite, President of Bethune Cookman University. “We celebrate her life of service and accomplishment and we carry the torch she handed us with a commitment to build on her legacy.”

The Herbert M. Davidson Memorial Award for Outstanding Community Service was created by the Community Foundation in 1992 to honor individuals who have offered exceptional levels of service to the community. Past honorees include:

1992 John C. (Jay) Adams

1993 Bill France, Jr.

1994 Hyatt and Cici Brown

1995 Susan Root and the Root Family

1996 Tippen Davidson and the Davidson Family

1997 Thomas W. Staed

1998 Lady Lloyd, Robert Lloyd, William Lloyd and the Lloyd Family

1999 Ambassador E. William Crotty

2000 Rev. Hal Marchman

2001 Richard C. Brown

2002 Jimmy Huger

2003 Glenn Ritchey

2004 Oswald Bronson

2005 John Graham

2006 Larry Kelly

2007 Ed Lacey

2008 Jim Foster

2009 Bert Reames

2011 Forough Hosseini

2012 Blaine Lansberry

2013 John P. Johnson

2014 Dave Freer

2015 Mori Hosseini

2016 Preston Root

2017 John Mica

2018 Lesa France Kennedy

2019 Nancy & Lowell Lohman

Also to be recognized at the October event will be the Community Foundation’s 2020 and 2021 Young Leader award recipients, who will be selected this spring. Past honorees include Melissa Burt DeVries, Chris Bowler and Chris Gilpin, Jack White, Melissa Murphy, and Nellie Lupoli.

“The impact of our Herbert M. Davidson Memorial Award honorees – and that of our Young Leaders Award recipients – leaders cannot be overstated,” said Kim McBee, Chairman of United Way of Volusia and Flagler Counties. “They never rest in their commitment to build a bright future for those who follow.

About the Community Foundation


The Community Foundation of Volusia & Flagler is a division of the United Way of Volusia-Flagler Counties. The Community Foundation’s mission is to connect people who care with causes that matter. Through the Community Foundation, new investments are made each year in the form of trusts, family foundations, gift annuities, and donor-advised or donor-designated funds. Donors’ investments not only benefit themselves, but also provide for vital community services. Using philanthropic tools and charitable investment strategies, client investments grow, their financial capacity to give is ensured, and they leave a gift in perpetuity – a gift of lasting significance. This is achieved by:

v   Providing donors the knowledge of our community, charitable planning expertise, and the tax-efficient charitable funds needed to enable them to increase their impact and achieve their personal charitable aspirations for the causes most important to them.

v  Providing expert support to community nonprofit agencies to establish and grow their endowments which enable them to achieve operational sustainability and focus on their mission and programs for long-term solutions for our community.

v  Increasing the United Way’s capacity to build collaborations and raise funds for support of community nonprofit agencies to solve complex social problems in the areas of health, education and financial stability.