Schooley photo

John Schooley received his 2020 Governor’s Volunteer Service Award from Community Shelter Chief Operating Officer Melissa McKeown.

INDIAN TRAIL — John Schooley, chairman of the Community Shelter of Union County board of directors from 2018 to 2020, has received the 2020 Governor’s Volunteer Service Award.

Schooley was nominated and referred by CEO Kathy Bragg and COO Melissa McKeown.

Schooley first joined the Union County Community Shelter as a volunteer in 2013, then recruited friends to join together to serve breakfast every Sunday for Shelter residents and community neighbors. The group called themselves the Neighbors of Union County, and many still serve today.

He became interested in all aspects of service at the Shelter and joined the board in 2015, later accepting a two-year vice chair role, then the chair’s position for two years.

“Under John’s leadership, the Shelter grew exponentially, culminating in a capital campaign to construct our new $4 million facility,” Bragg said in a statement. “The two-building facility, which opened in 2019, was funded primarily through contributions and expanded the nonprofit organization’s service capability trifold.

“John was an excellent volunteer leader during the construction period and was always available to me when I sought his advice. His professional and calm decision-making ability moved both board and staff to consensus during critical times.”

In addition to serving as board chair, Schooley led the creation of the agency’s new three-year strategic plan. He recruited professionals from Atrium Health, where he serves as a quality assurance executive, to work with the Shelter on a pro bono basis to help develop the plan.

He also worked with staff and volunteers on a year-long rebranding process and chaired the Shelter’s annual golf tournament.

“All the while, John continues to go back to his roots at our agency. You will see him quietly serving in the kitchen on many Sunday mornings, discussing strategies or providing encouragement to staff members,” Bragg said in the statement.

The Governor’s Volunteer Service Award honors people who have shown concern and compassion for their neighbors by making a significant contribution to their community through volunteer service, according to The award was created in the Office of the Governor in 1979.