Walton named 2012 Courier Legacy honoree
- Category: Pittsburgh
- Published on Wednesday, 03 October 2012 10:33
- Written by The New Pittsburgh Courier
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Retired Highmark Senior Vice President Aaron Walton has been named the New Pittsburgh Courier’s 2012 Legacy honoree. The award is part of the Courier’s annual 50 Men of Excellence awards, which recognize exemplary African-American men in the Pittsburgh region.
“I am very honored, surprised and honored,” Walton said. “When you talk about legacy you talk about history and when you look at some of the other people like (previous Legacy Honorees) Wendell Freeland and Eric Springer, you think of a lifetime of service for the community.”
Walton is the current chairman of the August Wilson Center for African American Culture board of directors. One of his crowning accomplishments was his role in creating the August Wilson Center, an initiative that began in 1996 as part of an effort to attract the national NAACP convention to Pittsburgh.
“Before the national NAACP would agree to come to Pittsburgh they had the city officials agree to have something Afro centric in Pittsburgh. And because of that we now have the August Wilson Center,” Walton said. “We have something that has transformed into a legacy. It’s making an impact. There’s a lot of work yet to be done and now we have to make it what it can be.”
Walton was also the chairman of the Pittsburgh Urban League Board of Directors for several years, teaming with President and CEO Esther Bush in improving that organization.
Walton currently serves as vice chair of the board of deacons at Ebenezer Baptist Church, vice chair of the board of governors of the PA State System of Higher Education, and is a current member of the California University of PA council of trustees, Bethlehem Haven Homeless Women’s Shelter, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, 100 Black Men of Western PA, Kappa Endowment Scholarship Fund, and Sire Archon, Rho Boulé, Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity.
“I’m just proud to be recognized for the work I’ve done over the years in the community,” Walton said. “I’ve probably been on about 35 to 40 boards in my career. There are so many organizations that are trying to do important work in the community and I just want to do the best I could do with those organizations.”
As a former Highmark vice president, Walton was responsible for administering Highmark’s public relations and social mission strategy and overseeing the departments of community affairs, community health and strategic health initiatives. He holds a bachelor’s degree from California University of PA and a Master’s Degree from Carnegie Mellon University.
Walton is married to Gloria Walton, a retired licensed school psychologist and they have two children, Lauren Walton, chief of addiction medicine for Kaiser Permanente in Long Beach California, and Aaron D. Walton, corporate sales division, Wyndham Corp., Las Vegas, Nev.
The Legacy Award is reserved for individuals who have reached achievements above and beyond others, while also dedicating themselves to giving back to those less fortunate.
“It’s important to let people know that there are people who are doing something in our community, but also to set an example for the younger generation that they have to get back.”
The 2012 50 Men of Excellence Awards Reception will be held Oct. 25 from 6-9 p.m. at the Fairmont Hotel.
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