Harvey Schmitt has been an instrumental force in linking the growing Wake County business community with our local schools. Over his 20 years as President and CEO of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, Harvey helped secure more than $3 billion in capital investment for the school system. Harvey has always been a strong supporter of the Wake County Public School System. He regularly met with Wake County Public School System Superintendents and WakeEd to ensure the business community effectively supported local schools. With strong schools, Harvey was able to attract RBC Bank – since aquired by PNC – to Raleigh. Harvey retired from the Chamber earlier this year, but his impact on Wake County schools and businesses will be felt far into the future.
Born in Wake Forest in 1931, Vernon D. Malone was a longtime teacher, administrator, county commissioner, and local legislator in Wake County. He was the first chairman of the Wake County school board following the 1976 merger of the Raleigh and Wake School Systems and devoted his life to improving education for all students. The Friend of Education Award is a prestigious honor given by WakeEd Partnership to an individual who has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to public education and shares the personal qualities of the late Senator Vernon Malone, who passed away in 2009.