Tom King was awarded the Most Outstanding Member Award at the American Wine Society National Conference in November. The AWS is the largest consumer based wine organization in the world, with close to 6,000 members. The conference this year was in Costa Mesa, California.
King was presented the award for his many years of volunteering as well as serving on the educational foundation board which awards scholarships to doctoral candidates in viticulture and enology. King also served as regional vice president several times as well as chapter chairman. King and his wife Linda joined the society in 1979 and are lifetime members.
“It made me very proud to know the Executive Advisory Board, and the American Wine Society Board of Directors of the AWS felt that the many projects I had participated in over the past 30 years, met the threshold for consideration for the 2016 Outstanding Member Award,” King said. “This award has been presented every year since 1976. Looking at the list of past recipients causes me to feel very humbled, and appreciative of being part of such an auspicious group. These are the people who have held board positions, volunteered for numerous projects, ran conferences, served as local chapter chairs, served as regional V.P.s, and gave back to the society copious amounts of time and effort.”
King said he had many cherished memories from his time volunteering with the American Wine Society.
“The two memories that stand out are basically the same in nature. In 1987 after final remarks at the banquet, and before the band began to play, we asked our Pittsburgh conference committee to stand and be recognized. The banquet attendees jumped to their feet and gave the committee a very long and loud standing ovation. The joy and appreciation on the faces of the Pittsburgh conference committee was equaled in 2007 when the same thing happened at the end of the banquet in Winston-Salem. After a year-plus of planning, working with a committee of people 16 to 20 strong, to see that all of the hours of frustration, setbacks, and accomplishments are really and truly appreciated makes you almost want to do it again, despite the incredible amount of work involved.”
The Kings moved to Yadkin County in 2002 when Linda King was hired to be the winemaker at RagApple Lassie Vineyard in Boonville. The couple have been involved with the Yadkin Valley Wine Region since that time.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.