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Donald Baker's service shines in Selma

Presented by Selma Mayor Cheryl Oliver at The Annual Meeting on January 26, 2015

The Distinguished Citizen Award is given annually to citizens who, over the years, have consistently served the Smithfield-Selma area with outstanding ability and dedication. Recipients of this award have demonstrated their commitment to the vision of the chamber by "making the Smithfield-Selma area a community of choice." This award is sponsored by Woody’s Computing Service.

We’ve all heard the quote:  “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.”  However, once in a blue moon, there is someone who comes very close to pleasing people all the time.  The recipient of this Distinguished Citizen of The Year Award is one of those individuals.

He is a Selma native who has spent most of his life in Selma.  We are very fortunate to have such a person who lives a life of service to his family, his church, our schools, our town, and surrounding communities. 

In 1984, shortly after graduating from Smithfield-Selma High School, Donald Baker began working for the Town of Selma as a Third Class Lineman in the Selma Electric Department.   A series of promotions led him to Second Class Lineman, First Class Lineman, and Line Crew Leader positions.  In 1997, he was promoted to the position that he currently holds as Director of the Town of Selma’s Electric Department.

This position is critical to the quality of life of our citizens, the operations of our businesses, and our future economic development.  It is a demanding position that requires 24 - 7 oversight.  Thanks to his personal diligence and his leadership for his team, Selma has few electrical outages and when they do occur, the downtime is minimal.  When natural disasters strike and cause power outages, our town is consistently one of the first to have power fully restored.    He is also known for extending a helping hand to other communities to help them through difficult times such as ice storms in the western part of our state.

Selma Town Manager, Jon Barlow, believes that “the Town of Selma is blessed to have Donald as a member of its staff.  His experience and knowledge of local government, particularly in Selma, just scratches the surface of what he brings to our organization.  Perhaps his biggest contribution is his personal set of values and how he uses them as he goes about conducting his job as Electric Services Director.  He is always willing to go the extra mile, take the time to help someone with a problem, or complete a task.”

Despite all the demands of his job, this person has always found time to support our community in numerous ways.  To name just a few, he teaches Sunday School and serves on the Board of Selma Tabernacle Church of God. He has coached baseball and basketball for Selma Parks and Recreation and also coached Middle School Baseball for Princeton.  He gives presentations on electricity and safety to students at Selma Elementary School.   He and his son have been faithful participants in our annual “Arms Around Selma” service projects.

His wife, Cindy, and his sons, Nicholas and Matthew, are very proud of their 
husband and Dad.  So is the Town of Selma.  There is no doubt that Selma  shines brighter because of this individual.  It is an honor and privilege
 to present this 2014 Distinguished Citizen of the Year Award to Donald Baker.


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