Thank you, Billy Smith

Saying goodbye isn’t easy. United Way of the Cape Fear area was fortunate enough to have the energy, excitement, and authenticity of Billy Smith working with us as Campaign Chair for the fiscal year 2023-2024. As an employee of First National Bank for over 20 years, Billy has connections throughout our community. He is always among the first to volunteer, to encourage, and to contribute to the causes we support.

Whether he was whipping around on a tricycle to get folks engaged, or making countless phone calls to keep communication open, Billy shows up for the causes he cares about. We felt his passion and commitment in every aspect of his work.

Billy’s work was so outstanding that in June he received the 2023 Community Spirit Award from First National Bank, which resulted in a $2,000 donation to our campaign! Read the excerpt below to learn more about Billy and his history with First National Bank (FNB).

How long have you been with FNB?  

20 Years (with FNB and merged predecessors)

What is the main focus of your volunteer work? 

Over my 31-year career in Wilmington I would have to say that I have a very special passion for the United Way. 

In 1993 I was introduced to the United Way through a workplace campaign. Through the years I have served as a volunteer on multiple committees and provided leadership through various committees and the board of directors.  When asked why I support the United Way, I always give a simple answer- “It’s the right thing to do”. 

What are some of your other hobbies and interests?

I spend a lot of time with my English Setter best friend- Asher.  He likes to take boat trips to barrier islands, walk trails and chase birds. He is a great beach dog!

Best words to live by? 

Well done is better than well said (except when it comes to steaks)

What inspires you to volunteer?  

It is the right thing to do.

What advice do you have for other FNB employees about getting involved in their communities?

Be visible in your community. First National Bank gives its employees the flexibility to be generous with their time. You can do what you feel is the right thing and create exposure for yourself and the bank.

What did winning the FNB Community Spirit Award mean to you?

It reinforced to me that my employer and co-workers appreciate what I do in my community.

As part of winning the FNB Community Spirit Award, you were provided the opportunity to donate $2,000 to a qualified charity of your choice. Tell us about why you selected the United Way of the Cape Fear Area to receive the donation.

I selected the United Way because I have spent the last 12 months as the Campaign Chair for the UWCFA. This award helped us achieve our goal for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2024. The funds will be used to support many nonprofit organizations in my community.

Billy is such a hardworking, exciting, compassionate person that I have had the privilege to work with on the campaign for the past year.  He dedicated himself to the campaign and he made it fun for the volunteers as well as the staff to follow his leadership while we worked toward our campaign goals.

Having Billy as the campaign chair for my first year with United Way of the Cape Fear Area helped me a lot as he introduced me to many people and businesses in our community.  I am very glad that Billy is going to be active in the campaign next year as the Emeritus Chair.” –Pete Miller, Director of Relationship Development UWCFA

Thank you for everything, Billy!