The 2021 Centennial Award for outstanding and exemplary community service was presented to Gerald L. Walden, Jr. at the virtual GBA member meeting on March 17, 2022.
Gerald is married, with two young children. He has a passion for giving back to students, especially to inspire the study of law and to engage with legal associations for professional development and collegiality. He holds active engagement with his fraternity and his church, both its governance and outreach; the church offering his favorite volunteer experience as it offers opportunities reflective of his values and a place where he can grow in his faith journey. There, he serves on the Executive Board.
Too, he is on the Chamber of Commerce Community Programs Advisory Board; the Elon Law School Advisory Board; and the North Carolina Central University Law School (NCCU) Advisory Board. He has served on the North Carolina Bar Association Board of Governors as well as chair of multiple committees; as President of the Guilford County Association of Black Lawyers; and, as chair of various committees of the Greensboro Bar Association.
He taught part-time at the NCCU School of Law for nine years where he made significant impact with the externship program placements, judging various advocacy competitions and mentoring students. He went the extra mile mentoring students with an open door, a giving intellect, and a knack for fun dining experiences with students to humanize the advisory role he aptly served. One can imagine he was quite the popular advisor for that alone! The ongoing engagement by law students and young lawyers is indicative of his service on campus and within legal associations. In fact, he has won awards for influence, legal advocacy and as elite corporate counsel.
Gerald is a summa cum laude graduate of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University with a degree in mechanical engineering; a cum laude graduate of the NCCU School; and recently earned an MBA at Elon University. He clerked for two judges of the North Carolina Court of Appeals (Hunter and Campbell) and has spent the last decade working as in house counsel for a local corporation. He began with oversight in commercial contract matters and commercial real estate and licensing matters; then, became assistant general counsel for labor and employment matters and litigation; then head of legal.
He is currently the Vice President and Deputy General Counsel and head of Diversity for The Fresh Market, voted the #1 Supermarket in the country for the second year in a row by USA Today’s Readers’ Choice.
We are pleased to recognize Gerald Walden for his dedicated service to the community and his commitment to making it a better place for all.