Jack Jones (57C)
Award: 2011 Distinguished Service Award
Achievements: The work of Jack A. Jones, retired engineer and 2011 winner of the Distinguished Service Award, is characterized by service to people at different ends on the spectrum of life. Colleagues consistently describe Jack as a humble but tenacious advocate for children and the senior members of society.
Jack has worked for the past twelve years in Buncombe County, NC, as a Guardian ad Litem volunteer, a court-appointed position to advocate for abused and neglected children. He works to provide a safe home for the children until they can be placed in a more permanent setting and makes recommendations for the services they need.
The work, which by its nature requires confidentiality and discretion, may not be suitable for those requiring acclaim or numerous accolades. But it suits Jack’s giving nature quite well.
“Jack is a rare find. He is dogged in his advocacy efforts, but he does not draw attention to himself,” says Jennifer Nehlsen, Program Supervisor of the Guardian ad Litem Program for the NC Administrative Office of the Courts.
“We have found Jack to be a humble, dedicated and sincere man who sees the good in every child he has helped,” agree Tim and Lynn Leckron, who adopted a child for whom Jack served as guardian. “He challenges them by using his gifts of knowledge, perseverance and faithfulness as he opens up the world around them in a way that they have never known.”
Jack has also served as board member of the Guardian ad Litem Association and has lobbied the NC state senate regarding the placement of abused and neglected children in foster homes and kinship placements. Separate from his Guardian ad Litem position, he has also worked as a volunteer tutor to disadvantaged children for more than a decade.
Jack’s other legislative work has helped to ensure that another vulnerable segment of our society is not overlooked. As a representative to the Senior Tar Hill Legislature, he assessed legislative needs of older citizens, reported to NC General Assembly and recommended legislation on these issues, and promoted advocacy amongst seniors.
He has also served as a member of the Land of Sky Advisory Council on Aging, a four-county group in North Carolina, and on the Buncombe County Aging Coordinating Consortium Steering Committee, responsible for county-wide coordination of organizations and agencies that serve older people.
Jack has served on the Berry Alumni Council’s Financial Support committee and co-chaired the $100,000 fund drive for the Lawrence E. McAllister Physics Laboratory. He lives in Asheville, NC, with his wife, Katherine.
Jack is also the 2006 winner of the Distinguished Achievement Award.