March 21, 2006
MECKLENBURG COUNTY EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR TEACHES LESSONS IN BOXING AND LIFE
Charlotte, NC - For his leadership in the Park and Recreation Department and his work teaching kids about boxing and about life, Al Simpson was named the Mecklenburg County Gerald G. Fox Employee of the Year.
The announcement was made Tuesday, March 21 before the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners. Simpson is the 43rd annual recipient of the Gerald G. Fox Employee of the Year award. Simpson was nominated by his peers and will receive a plaque, a gift certificate and $250. His name will also be engraved on a permanent marker in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center.
The award is sponsored by the Charlotte Chamber and named in honor of former county manager Jerry Fox. It recognizes an employee whose contributions exceed what is required in the job.
Al Simpson is a recreation leader with the Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department. He is a former Army boxer and coach. He was also a trainer for the U.S. Olympic boxing teams in 1988 and 1992. Now he coaches young people in Mecklenburg County, usually from disadvantaged neighborhoods - as many as 40 a night at the Charlotte Boxing Academy. In seven years, Simpson has coached champions on every level. But don't call his boxers "fighters." Simpson says he teaches discipline and self-control, so the children don't have to fight.
Rusty Rozelle, manager of Mecklenburg County's Water Quality Program, was selected as the runner-up. Rozzelle has kept a watchful eye on our natural resources for more than 20 years. His nominator says Rozzelle's leadership last year led one of the County's greatest accomplishments for clean water - the development of a proposed process to protect streams and lakes from polluted storm water runoff. Rozzelle is a pure Mecklenburger with a passion for the outdoors. It was his ancestors who first began running a ferry across the Catawba River in the early 1800s. The ferry is gone, but Rozzelle's Ferry Road is still there.