North Carolina Leader Honored for Advancing Business and Minorities through Ethical Leadership

“You don’t earn medals for not stealing chickens,” Nathan Garrett remarked on his original thoughts as to why he had been honored with CPT’s Being A Difference Award.

“But then I recalled a line written by Scottish poet and folk song writer Robert Burns,” Garrett said. “O would some power the gift to give us to see ourselves as others see us.”

It was evident that others recognized Garrett’s unprecedented ethical leadership, and influence as more than one hundred family and friends, partners and colleagues, board members, and fraternity brothers attended the award reception at the North Carolina Mutual Heritage Ballroom in Durham on May 13, 2008.

For over 40 years, Garrett worked as a CPA, attorney and served as a community leader in Durham, North Carolina. He has been the owner or partner of various CPA firms since 1962. After an extraordinary career, he retired as partner of Cherry Bekaert and Holland, LLP in 1999.

Garrett is a founder and former executive director of the Foundation for Community Development (FCD). The FCD, originally Nathan Garrett Receives National ‘Being A Difference’ Award formed as part of the North Carolina Fund, was created in 1963 to “break the cycle of poverty” that was plaguing many of North Carolina’s residents.

Additionally, Garrett contributes to his community in various capacities. He is chair emeritus for North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance and a trustee emeritus for Duke University. He served as a Durham County Commissioner, president of the North Carolina Association for Minority Businesses and chair of the board of trustees at Fayetteville State University.

On a national scale, Garrett served as chair for the Minority Development Advisory Committee to the US Secretary of Commerce, chair of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy and president of the National Association of Minority CPA Firms.

“Through many years of work I painted the picture of my life,” Garrett said in closing. “I am glad that The Center for the Public Trust and others have seen it as I could not see it and have placed a value on it that I did not know was there.”

Garrett and his wife, Wanda, reside in Durham, North Carolina. They have three children, seven grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.

> Learn more about the NASBA Center for the Public Trust

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