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Belk Recognizes 2015 Award of Excellence Winners for Exemplary Community Involvement and Service

The award is the company’s highest recognition for associates who embody Belk’s core value of being involved in the community

Sep 15, 2015

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Four Belk associates have been named winners of the 2015 Belk Award of Excellence, the company’s highest honor given to associates for community service and job performance. The winners were honored at a luncheon hosted by Belk management in Charlotte on Tuesday, Sept. 15.


Each winner received a $500 cash prize, along with an additional $1,000 to present to the charity of his or her choice.


The 2015 Award of Excellence winners, who were selected from a group of more than 100 associates nominated across the company, are:


  • Nikita Sanders, Belk Corporate Office, Charlotte, N.C.
  • Pamela Nalley, Belk of Haywood Mall, Greenville, S.C.
  • Abby Smith, Belk of Albemarle Crossing Mall, Albemarle, N.C.
  • Bryan Thomas, Belk of Belk Plaza, Athens, Tenn.


The annual awards program recognizes associates who best represent the company’s value “to be involved in our communities” and highlights the importance of giving back to communities across the South that make Belk’s growth and success possible. The winners were chosen based on their contributions to organizations and causes that fall within Belk’s community focus areas -- education, breast cancer awareness and research and/or community strengthening. The winners also demonstrated excellence in their support of Belk-sponsored community service projects, fundraising events and philanthropic activities, as well as exceptional job performance.


“We honor these winners for the significant contributions they have made to the communities in which they live and work,” said Tim Belk, chairman and CEO, Belk, Inc.  “This award was established 36 years ago to recognize associates for their community involvement, which has always been a cornerstone of our company’s values. We are inspired by each winner’s story and their dedication to helping others.”


The following stories describe some of the key reasons why these Belk associates were selected as 2015 Belk Award of Excellence winners:



Nikita Sanders
Community Relations Manager, Belk Corporate Office, Charlotte, N.C.


Nikita Sanders’ passionate pursuit of volunteer work and her personal commitment to Belk-sponsored programs are improving our communities.


Driven by her aunt’s breast cancer diagnosis, Nikita has been an active volunteer with Susan G. Komen for five years. She served as team captain to one of the largest Charlotte race teams, Williams Warriors, and Belk’s sponsored team, Pink is our Passion. Under Nikita’s leadership, these teams raised more than $52,000 in 2012. Her success did not go unnoticed, and she was named Chair of Komen Charlotte’s Race for the Cure in 2014. More than 13,000 people registered for the race and the event raised more than $1.5 million.


Nikita also serves on the Board of Directors and acts as the public relations coordinator for Concerned Women, Inc. (CWI) in Georgia, a nonprofit formed by her parents. CWI makes a difference in the lives of those less fortunate by providing educational information for youth, computer resources to seniors, and meals to the homeless and underprivileged. Nikita’s passion for service is also evident in her support of Belk initiatives. She is active with Belk’s Women’s Leadership Network (WLN) and Black Employee Resource Group (BERG) and has led volunteer activities for several nonprofits.


In addition to her extensive volunteer work, Nikita’s role as manager of community relations allows her even more opportunities to have a positive impact in the community.



Pam Nalley
Human Resources/Operations Team Manager, Belk of Haywood Mall, Greenville, S.C.


Pam Nalley’s positive impact is evident through her volunteer efforts with the Haywood Belk, charitable organizations, her church and her local community.


Pam serves as chair of the Greenville Women’s Leadership Network and led 11 fundraising events last year, raising more than $80,000 for local charities. She also led the most successful United Way campaign at the Haywood store, raising more than $26,000. She organized a store “Angel Tree” during the holidays to aid associates in need. Associate donations were collected to purchase $150 gift cards for seven associates. She also recruited charities to participate in Charity Day. With Pam’s support, Haywood Belk had the largest Charity Day in Belk history in November, with more than 60 charity partners and sales reaching $1.5 million.


In addition to her volunteer work at Belk, Pam is an active volunteer at her church. She serves in leadership roles, sings in the choir and participates in the “Stewardship Committee”. She also sponsored a child from the Dominican Republic. Pam is a dedicated supporter of organizations that promote breast cancer awareness and treatment. She is in her third year as a Woman of St. Francis and recently spoke at one of their fundraising events about her personal connection to breast cancer. The event raised an impressive $40,000 to support the Pearlie Harris Center for Breast Health.



Abby Smith
Visual Associate, Belk of Albemarle, N.C.


Abby Smith demonstrates her passion for serving her community through Belk volunteer initiatives as well as her personal efforts to improve the lives of others. Abby embraced the Belk Associates Give campaign and rallied her store team to join her in serving the community. She led store volunteer efforts at the local soup kitchen, planting trees, beautifying a local elementary school, packing food at a food bank, and driving the United Way and Angel Days campaigns in store. Thanks to her efforts in championing the Belk Associates Give website, 50% of Albemarle Belk associates created an account and 34% logged volunteer hours on the site.


Abby organized two clothing drives for the Monarch group home for the mentally disabled, which has a team of residents that cleans the store before opening. Abby encouraged others to donate gently worn clothing or new purchases from Belk. The donations were presented to the Monarch residents at a breakfast held for them at the Albemarle Belk store.


Abby not only strengthens her community by volunteering as a Sunday school teacher for students from troubled homes, but she also volunteers abroad. She has traveled with her church to Ecuador and Romania as a missionary.


Bryan Thomas
Operations Team Manager, Belk of Athens, Tenn.


Bryan Thomas dedicates a significant amount of his time to improving the lives of others through his commitment to charities and helping others in his community. He is committed to supporting cancer research and awareness through charitable efforts at his store and his personal volunteer efforts. Bryan led fundraising for the American Cancer Society and together with the associates of the Athens store raised more than $7,500 over the past six years.


In addition to supporting in-store fundraising, Bryan volunteers for the McMinn County American Cancer Society and has served as Chairman since 2007. In this role, Bryan oversees 43 fundraising teams and leads monthly fundraising events, including “Dancing for a Cure” and “Relay for Life.”


Bryan also supports child advocacy programs. He serves on the Board of Directors for Court Appointed Spokesperson Advocate (CASA), an organization of volunteers who help victims of abuse and neglect. He is responsible for the group’s finances, accounting and fundraising events.


Beyond his extensive volunteering and fundraising efforts, Bryan helps the elderly citizens of Athens with their yardwork by mowing and landscaping.


About Belk

Charlotte, N.C.-based Belk, Inc. ( is the nation's largest family owned and operated department store company with 297 Belk stores located in 16 Southern states and a growing digital presence.  Its website offers a wide assortment of national brands and private label 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. Founded in 1888 by William Henry Belk in Monroe, N.C., the company is in the third generation of Belk family leadership and has been committed to community involvement since its inception. In the fiscal year ended January 31, 2015, the company and its associates, customers and vendors donated more than $21.5 million to communities within Belk market areas.


Belk offers many ways to connect via digital and social media, including Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Google Plus, and provides exclusive offers, fashion updates, sales notifications and coupons via email or mobile phone text messages. Customers can also download the latest Belk mobile apps for the iPad, iPhone or Android.


For further information: Jessica Graham, Vice President, Communications & Community Relations, 704-426-8333,