On Tuesday, Jan. 24, the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce announced the winners of what the chamber calls “Leadership Greensboro’s highest awards.”

The chamber sent out a press release announcing the leaders selected.  They are Former Greensboro Police Chief Brian James – who’s the winner of the 2022 Denise E. Maleska Leadership Service Award – and four winners of the Leadership Service Medal: Courtney Dabney, Steven Matthews, Skylar Mearing and Jimmi Williams.

The chamber uses the awards each year to “recognize the most dynamic and impressive community leaders, demonstrating exemplary leadership that positively affects the citizens and community of Greensboro. “

The group of high achievers will be recognized at the Leadership Greensboro New Year Alumni Celebration on Wednesday, Feb. 8 at 5:30 p.m. at the Barber Park Events Center.

Here is some information the chamber provided about each winner.

  • Chief Brian L James. He’s a Greensboro native who grew up in the Woodmere Park community. A graduate of North Carolina A&T State University, James is an alum of both Leadership Greensboro and Other Voices.

“Chief James served as the 23rd Chief of Police of the Greensboro Police Department, first joining the force in February 1996.  During his tenure, Chief James implemented and changed policies in the GPD to create greater public trust and accountability, and he also implemented a summer employment program for Greensboro’s youth while continually participating in multiple conversations to address issues impacting communities and policing.”

  • Courtney Hammond Dabney. A Greensboro native and graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she currently serves as the Senior Director of Development for the School of Education at UNC Greensboro.

“Her fundraising career includes experience at Children’s Home Society of NC on the Community Engagement team and work at NC A&T State University on the $181 million campaign that included the naming [of] the Hairston College of Health and Human Sciences. She also led a team at Wake Forest University that raised more than $15 million.”

  • Steven Lee Matthews. The chamber uses a lot of words to describe Matthews: a proud father, veteran, community organizer and visionary.

He founded Punch4Pounds KIDS, which uses combat sports to help turn kids into tomorrow’s leaders. The chamber was impressed with his “selfless service of mentoring, and the advocacy of healthy thinking.”

Matthews is also a former member of the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council.

  • Skylar Mearing. Now working as the vice president and director of marketing at the Bank of Oak Ridge, Mearing is a graduate of UNC Greensboro and is a 2014 Leadership Greensboro alum who volunteers a lot of her time to the local community. Mearing serves on the Greensboro Commission on the Status of Women and is a Triad Business Journal’s “40 Leaders Under Forty” Award recipient for business leadership and achievement. She has also received the UNCG Bryan School Leadership and Achievement Award – as well as the UNCG Faculty Senate Award for Outstanding Achievement.
  • Jimmi Williams. He was among the first group of black students in Winston-Salem to be bussed to traditionally white schools during desegregation. Williams graduated with a BA in American and Black American Studies from Amherst College in Amherst, MA.

He has served as Executive Director of Communities in Schools since 1994.

According to the Chamber, “During his tenure, the organization has grown from one full-time staff member serving 200 students at four schools to a staff of 15 serving an average of 2,500 students at 11 schools. The organization is the recipient of the prestigious ‘2 Those Who Care’ Award as well as the Volunteer Center’s Outstanding Volunteer Program.”