2009 Razor Walker Award Winners

Photo of the 2009 Razor Walker Award winners

Barbara Buechler


When she came to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in 1998, Buechler aspired to develop women's and children's services to a level on par with the best in the nation, and to provide care focused on meeting the physical, spiritual and emotional needs of patients and families. This family-centered approach requires more space and resources, two precious commodities in times of tight hospital budgets, but Buechler continually lobbied staff, physicians and donors to see the benefits and support this model of patient care. The result of those efforts, the Betty H. Cameron Women's and Children's Hospital, opened in September 2008, giving patients in Wilmington access to rooms specifically designed for new mothers and babies, all private Neonatal Intensive Care rooms and numerous specialized services that previously required families to drive long distances to seek care.

Cedric Dickerson

Public Service

Dickerson, principal agent and owner of the Cedric Dickerson State Farm Insurance Agency in Wilmington, has made and continues to make a significant impact in the community through his countless hours spent helping others, particularly young people. He serves as president of the board of the Wilmington Community Boys and Girls Club. He is a charter member of the Cape Fear Chapter of 100 Black Men of America, and he serves as a mentor for disadvantaged young men. He has volunteered for more than 18 years as a basketball coach at Laney High School and in the city youth league. In addition, he has served on boards and committees for numerous community organizations, including the Cape Fear Council for Boy Scouts of America, the Cape Fear Literacy Council, Wilmington Health Access for Teens and the Salvation Army.

Dr. James H. Goodnight and Ann Goodnight


James Goodnight co-founded SAS software company in 1976 and since that time has served as the company's CEO. Ann Goodnight is director of community relations at SAS. In shaping the corporate focus at SAS, the Goodnights have emphasized support for education. In 2001, the Goodnights were honorary co-chairs of the Wake Education Partnership's "Funds for Education" campaign, which raised more than $1 million for the Partnership, an independent advocacy organization dedicated to uniting community resources for excellence in public education. Other recent examples of their initiatives include financing more than $3 million in software and services for educational programs for students displaced by Hurricane Katrina, matching employees' donations of up to $500 each year to provide materials requested by teachers through a nonprofit Web site, and supporting a 3,000- square-foot expansion of the Communities in Schools Learning Center in Kentwood Public Housing Complex in Raleigh, including equipping it with computers for public use.

Dr. R. Gene Hales

Educational Administration

As superintendent of Clinton City Schools, Hales formed a committee of community members to raise $2.4 million to help with a funding deficit for completion of the new Clinton High School. He also helped to organize, and participated in, the "Dancing with the Clinton Stars" initiative to raise $168,000 to fund smart technologies in all classrooms in the Clinton City Schools. Hales is committed to enhancing all levels of education, continually looking for ways to improve student learning and success. He has demonstrated the power of uniting a city around a common goal of quality education for children and adolescents, and has shown how teachers and school administrators, parents, business owners and civic leaders can harness their energies, talents and resources to make a significant difference.

Judge Howard Manning


Superior Court Judge Howard E. Manning Jr. is best known for his rulings in the 1997 case, Leandro vs. the State of North Carolina, which determined whether the state is meeting its Constitutional duty to provide schoolchildren with a sound basic education as defined by the Supreme Court. Although the lawsuit was originally filed by five low-wealth counties to address inequities in school system funding, Judge Manning noted that he found no evidence to support insufficient funding as the primary problem. In his administration of the case, he has focused on issues of teacher qualification, school leadership and equitable distribution of resources. A staunch advocate for quality education in and out of the courtroom, Manning is often found visiting schools or speaking to legislators, teacher groups, school leadership forums and at higher education conferences.

Boys and Girls Homes of North Carolina Inc.

Educational Administration

Boys and Girls Homes remains one of the few places in North Carolina that provides a residential and educational setting for children and adolescents who come whose families cannot or will not emotionally or financially provide for them. Founded in 1954, it is a privately funded, non-sectarian, not-for-profit agency on a 100-acre campus in Columbus County. As many as 80 students between the ages of 9 and 18 live on campus at any given time, and more than 3,500 children have come through its doors over the years. Students live in cottages under the care of resident parents who ensure that they have good food, clean clothes and a warm place to sleep. Its creed, adopted by the trustees more than 50 years ago: "After we provide food, shelter, clothing and love, the best thing we can do for a child is to give him or her a sound, basic education."

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