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Leo Corbin (L) presents Max Ray Joyner, Sr. (R) with the 2016 Citizen of the Year Award.

GREENVILLE, NC - The Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce presented Max Joyner, Sr. the 2016 Citizen of the Year award during its Golden Gala on January 21 at the Hilton Greenville.

Max Joyner, Sr. was born in Pitt County in 1931. He proudly served his country in the U.S. Army in Korea in 1951-1952 where he earned the rank of Master Sergeant. Following his service, Joyner attended East Carolina University where he graduated in 1955 with a degree in Business Administration. After his graduation from ECU, Joyner became an underwriter for Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Company, now Jefferson Pilot. He remained with the company for nearly forty years before retiring in 1995 as a Regional Agency Manager. Joyner’s agency produced more life insurance sales for the company than any other agency in the history of the company, which had 80 agencies nationwide.

“Max has dedicated his life to making life better for others. The words service and philanthropy sum up his many accomplishments,” said Dr. Mary Raab-McConnell. “His generosity is beyond measure. We are all so blessed and fortunate to have Max Joyner as a citizen of Greenville.”

Throughout his life, Joyner has served in many capacities with different organizations. He has served as President of the Pirate Club where he is a lifetime member, Chairman of the ECU Board of Trustees, and on several selection committees for athletic director, head football coach, and chancellor. He is a founding member and former President of the ECU Foundation and former President of the East Carolina Alumni Association. Joyner served as a board member of the BB&T Leadership Committee and the Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce.

Joyner is heavily involved with his church, having been a member of First Presbyterian Church since 1956. He has also been involved as a Lifetime Member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Lifetime Member of the American Legion. Joyner has also served as Vice-President of the Greenville Jaycees, President of the Greenville Kiwanis Club, and President of North State Little League.

Max and his late wife Kitty have been very active in all areas at East Carolina University and have served in various leadership capacities. Together, they have donated more than 40 scholarships to ECU students for the Schools of Nursing and Business as well as the Honors College. They were also instrumental in the founding of The Oakwood School in Greenville.

In 1981, Joyner was presented the Outstanding Alumni Award by the East Carolina Alumni Association, which also awarded him with the Virgil Clark ’50 Distinguished Service Award in 2015. In 2014, Governor Pat McCrory presented Joyner with The Order of The Long Leaf Pine, one of North Carolina’s highest civilian honors.

The Chamber also presented Shawn Roberts with the 2016 Ambassador of the Year Award. Roberts is a Sales Manager with the Hilton Greenville and was very successful with recruiting and renewing members for the Chamber in 2016. An Ambassador is a special volunteer for the Chamber—they are the personal representative of the member and the liaison between the Chamber board, the staff, and the members.

The Chamber annually presents its Citizen of the Year Award to honor a man or woman who has made significant contribution to the Greenville-Pitt County community. The award represents a prestigious recognition by the community of the recipient’s commitment and dedication to the advancement of the Greenville area.


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