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Belk Announces 2011 Award of Excellence Winners

Six Belk Associates Recognized for Exemplary Community Service and Caring for Others

Sep 9, 2011

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 19, 2011 –Six Belk associates have been named winners of the 2011 Belk Award of Excellence. Each received a $500 cash prize and the Award of Excellence trophy at a luncheon hosted by Belk top management in Charlotte on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011. In addition, each winner received an additional $500 to present to the charity of his or her choice.

“We salute these winners for their outstanding community achievements and spirit of giving,” said Tim Belk, chairman and CEO, Belk, Inc. “This award was established 32 years ago to recognize outstanding community service which remains a cornerstone of our company’s values. We are inspired by each winner’s story and their compassion and dedication to helping others.”

The annual award is the highest honor given to Belk associates for outstanding community service and job performance. It is designed to acknowledge and promote the spirit of service that is a hallmark of Belk stores.

The 2011 Award of Excellence winners, who were selected by a panel of fellow associates from among 151 nominees, are:

  • Elizabeth Davis, men’s department sales associate, Belk of Gainesville, Ga.
  • Leneria Edwards, human resources associate, Belk of Athens, Ga.
  • John Hurley, sales and training coordinator, Lancôme cosmetics, Belk Western Division, Birmingham, Ala.
  • Cassey Jackson, housekeeping supervisor, Belk of Natchez, Miss.
  • Sherrel King, manager of fine jewelry, Belk of Regency Mall, Jacksonville, Fla.
  • Allysa McKenzie, cosmetic beauty advisor, Belk of Shallotte, N.C.

The following stories describe some of the key reasons why these Belk associates were selected as 2011 Belk Award of Excellence winners:


Men’s Department Sales Associate,
Belk of Lakeshore Mall, Gainesville, Ga.
(For more information about this winner, contact Lisa Lassiter, vice president and regional store manager, North Atlanta Region, 770-532-7021, Ext. 201,

Elizabeth Davis was honored for her love and support of the weak, poor, the abandoned and troubled in her community. A widow since 1983, Elizabeth supported her family with work in retail grocery and real estate before joining Belk. As her children grew, she made time to put her faith into action. For example, when a family member succumbed to drug addiction, Elizabeth was “hands-on,” participating in rehab sessions and “tough love” counseling.

She continues to assist other struggling addicts in her home, providing critical support in their early stages of recovery.

She also works with her church and local law enforcement to provide a jail ministry to help recently released inmates have a chance at a better life. Last year, Elizabeth had a life-changing experience when she traveled to an orphanage in Haiti where she helped provide food, clothing, and medical supplies for some of the poorest and most desperate people in the world.


Human Resources Associate, Belk of Georgia Square, Athens, Ga.
(For more information about this winner, contact Dawn Blankenship, store manager, Belk of Georgia Square, Athens, Ga., 706-353-7642,

Leneria Edwards says she discovered a calling when she came across police and medics tending to one of the many homeless people seeking shelter under a local bridge during the winter months. Although she had encountered the homeless before, the small amounts of moshe could offer never seemed enou

Concerned for their safety, Leneria called a meeting of the hospitality ministry at her church and told them of her vision to help the homeless. She gathered a carload of warm clothing and blankets, and took them to a new homeless shelter in her community. She continues to conduct drives among friends and co-workers to collect funds, clothing and other items to support the shelter.


Sales and Training Coordinator, Lancôme cosmetics, Belk Western Division, Birmingham, Ala.
(For more information about this winner, contact Becky Blair, merchandise coordinator, cosmetics, Belk Western Division, Birmingham, Ala., 205-941-2474,

John Hurley is a man with a mission – a mission to spread joy, compassion, and beauty. John has seen up-close the toll that the AIDS virus has taken on friends and the community. As a board member of Birmingham AIDS Outreach, also known as BAO, John lives the mission of providing emotional support and education to those affected by HIV/AIDS, and by assisting with daily needs such as clothing, food, nutritional supplements and transportation. This year, John co-chaired BAO’s 20th anniversary fundraiser which raised more than $60,000 through an art auction.

John also joined the effort this year to assist those affected by the deadly tornado in Tuscaloosa, Ala. When designer Alfred Dunner donated 24,000 pieces of clothing, a distribution site was set up where survivors who’d lost everything could select new garments. John organized a Lancôme station where he distributed bags of creams and cosmetics to victims along with the new apparel.


Housekeeping Supervisor, Belk of Natchez, Miss.
(For more information about this winner, contact Mary Flach, store manager, Belk of Natchez Mall, Natchez, Miss., 601-442-5559,

Perhaps it was Cassey Jackson’s childhood, moving from base to base with an Air Force family, that inspired her fighting spirit, resilience and selflessness. Today, her life requires all three. A “take charge” mom of two, she and her husband took in a niece and nephew whose mother was addicted to drugs. While in their care, Cassey’s nephew complained of leg pain. Despite modest means, Cassey persevered to have her nephew examined by a local orthopedist, and later by specialists at St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Memphis, where he was diagnosed and successfully treated for bone cancer.

In this same period, her niece became pregnant and left school. Cassey attended doctor’s visits and assisted with the delivery of the baby. She has since helped her niece graduate from high school and obtain a full scholarship to college. Cassey and her husband subsequently opened their small home to additional family members in critical need of shelter, but soon afterwards were evicted. When the larger mobile home they next occupied was threatened by flood waters of the Mississippi Cassey evacuated her family to safety. In the midst of these trials, Cassey found time to organize multiple fundraisers to raise $32,000 to provide cancer treatment and care for her church pastor.


Manager of Fine Jewelry, Belk of Regency Mall, Jacksonville, Fla.
(For more information about this winner, contact Suzie Hartman, store manager, Belk of Regency Square, Jacksonville, Fla., 904-725-7744,

Sherrel King knows how it feels to watch a happy home slip away. By age 16, Sherrel had lost both of his parents and was on his own. He carried with him a deep empathy for those who bear life’s scars, and a determination to change the world by helping one person at a time.

He found his calling as a volunteer at a nearby children’s home. The children come to the 160-acre farm from homes filled with mental, physical and sexual abuse. In his volunteer efforts, Sherrel delivers on the camp’s promise of hard work, discipline and unconditional love. Sherrel devotes his two days off each week and his full three weeks of vacation to making a comfortable and healthy home for these children, many of whom have never experienced a safe place to live.

Beyond his volunteer hours, Sherrel and his wife provide financial assistance for special projects. They paid to remodel the boys’ dormitory with fresh tile, paint, furnishings and a new stove. Sherrel even sold personal items to buy a tractor so the children could enjoy fresh vegetables in their diet.


Cosmetic Beauty Advisor, Belk of Shallotte Crossing, Shallotte, N.C.
(For more information about this winner, contact Keelie Cooper, store manage, Belk of Shallotte Crossing, Shallotte, N.C., 910-755-0939,

When she steps up to the cosmetics counter, Allysa McKenzie comes face to face with women’s natural beauty. When she steps up as a volunteer, she stands toe to toe against their brutal exploitation in the ugly world of human trafficking and enslavement.

Upon first learning of human beings sold into forced labor, including the commercial sex trade, Allysa’s thoughts turned to the world that her own children would inherit. Her worry soon turned into action. Witnessing her passion for these victims, Allysa’s church sponsored her for training in how to battle human trafficking and minister to its survivors. She learned to identify captives, report suspicious activity, and advocate for the thousands of children and adults who fall into the hands of traffickers each year.

Now accredited as a Certified Christian Counselor, Allysa has partnered with law enforcement agencies and organized multiple seminars to raise awareness on the issue. She formed a non-profit organization known as Stand Against Trafficking, or StAT in North Carolina, and is the founder and director of the Life Skilled Facility – a 27-acre safe haven currently under development for women who’ve been brutalized.

About Belk, Inc.
Charlotte, N.C.-based Belk, Inc. ( is the nation’s largest privately owned mainline department store company with 303 Belk stores located in 16 Southern states. The company was founded in 1888 by William Henry Belk in Monroe, N.C., and is in the third generation of Belk family leadership. Its Web site offers a wide assortment of fashion apparel, shoes and accessories for the entire family along with top name cosmetics, a wedding registry and a large selection of quality merchandise for the home. To connect with Belk via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blog, mobile phone text messages or by email, go to: Belk Get Connected.

Modern. Southern. Style.
Belk seeks to satisfy the modern Southern lifestyle like no one else, so that our customers get the fashion they desire and the value they deserve. Our vision is for the modern Southern woman to count on Belk first – for her, for her family, for life.