|Charlotte Post Foundation To Honor Leeper|
|For ‘Lifetime Achievement’|
|Published Sunday, August 2, 2009 7:00 am|
CHARLOTTE – A leader who fostered racial understanding as a politician, blazed a trail as a respected minority contractor and continues to advocate for the underserved is this year’s winner of the “Luminary – Lifetime Achievement” award from The Charlotte Post Foundation.
Ronald J. “Ron” Leeper will accept the honor as the highlight of the “Post Best” banquet scheduled September 19 at the Hilton Center City Uptown.
The Charlotte Post Foundation is part of The Charlotte Post newspaper.
“Ron Leeper – wrongly – tends to run under the radar when it comes to praising local leaders,” said Gerald Johnson, publisher of The Charlotte Post and president of the Foundation. “With this award, we hope to show people just how important Ron has been and continues to be for Charlotte.”
As a young leader in Charlotte’s African-American community, Leeper helped spearhead a drive for district representation on city council. Ultimately successful, that effort made black representation possible and Leeper served for a decade as a representative from Charlotte’s southwest side, District 3.
Leeper used his position to highlight problems that beset the black community, particularly in housing, education and job opportunities.
After serving as mayor pro-tem, Leeper struck a friendship with Hugh McColl Jr., longtime leader of Bank of America. McColl created a learning program at the former FN Thompson Construction Company. That ultimately led to Leeper forming RJ Leeper Construction Company.
Leeper and his firm participated in building a number of iconic Charlotte structures, among them the Charlotte Transportation Center and the headquarters for the Urban League of Central Carolinas.
“Ron has been a tremendous leader not just for the black community but the community in general,” McColl said. “I would put him right up there with my friend Harvey.” (Former Charlotte Mayor Harvey Gantt won the Luminary award in 2007.)
“I’m not surprised at how much of a success Ron Leeper has been,” said Dennis Rash, the McColl lieutenant who put the construction training course in place. “He’s thoughtful, he’s focused and he can make tough decisions.”
Currently, Leeper continues to operate the construction firm that bears his name while he promotes good government and youth empowerment with a decided Christian flavor.
Patrick Cannon, who long served the same District 3 and who is running for city council at large, considers Leeper his political godfather.
“He instilled in me to never lose the common touch and make sure I represent people from all walks of life,” Cannon said.
Leeper remains concerned that not enough people share in Charlotte’s economic largesse. “It seems to stand to reason,” he said, “that if you had more people who are doing well, you possibly would have more people who are doing good.”
Also at the banquet, The Charlotte Post Foundation will honor its Teacher of the Year. She is Sharon Anderson, who teaches English at Midwood High School.
A cancer survivor, she specializes in saving students in danger of falling through the educational cracks.
As in past years, two African-American high school seniors will receive Post Foundation scholarships to the college of their choice. Winning this year are Jenay Powell of Charlotte Latin School and Hubert Humphrey of Myers Park High School.
The Foundation has expanded its focus to concentrate on systematic problems that impede education for African-American students. At the banquet, the Foundation will report on a pilot program working with students who have just finished second grade and are identified by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools as meeting the Foundation’s profile of those most likely to drop out by ninth grade.
It is about time. We tend to round up the "usual suspects" when it comes to giving out awards. I am glad to see someone get honored who gets things done without fanfare,
|Posted on August 4, 2009|
|Ron Leeper is the quiet hero, who loves people and has an affinity for youth. Congratulations Ron!|
|Posted on August 4, 2009|
|Ron Leeper is well deserving of this award. Congratulations to an outstanding man who has reached out in helping to build a strong foundation for the Charlotte community.|
|Posted on August 3, 2009|
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