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Embargoed until June 12, 2015
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Winston-Salem, NC (June 11, 2015) — The recipient of the Joel and Claudette Weston Award, Financial Pathways of the Piedmont, was announced and honored at an event on Thursday night at Old Town Club.

The organization was selected after a highly competitive review process with more than double the number of applications submitted than in past years.

Previously called the Joel A. Weston, Jr. Memorial Award, this bi-annual award recognizes excellence in non-profit management. Joel A. Weston was a senior executive at the Hanes Cos. and an active member of the Winston-Salem community. He served as President of the United Way of Forsyth County Board from 1980-1982. The award was established in 1988 by his family and friends to honor his vision and dedication to the community. Today, Joel’s widow, Claudette, continues the family tradition of community involvement and philanthropy through her active involvement on numerous boards and organizations.

Claudette said, “We always believed in giving back to the community. The thought behind the award is that, as a donor, you always want to make sure the groups you are giving to are financially sound and well managed.”

Organizations applying for the award are judged on the quality of their financial and personnel management, services to clients, program effectiveness, marketing and other significant achievements. They receive $15,000 to support their mission. The application review process is managed by the United Way of Forsyth County.

Founded in 1972 as a consumer credit counseling agency, Financial Pathways of the Piedmont has evolved into a charitable, mission-based organization offering professional consumer education and comprehensive financial and housing guidance. The group is dedicated to sustainable progress towards financial stability for all members of the community.   In 2014, the agency directly served more than 5,500 clients and indirectly benefited an estimated 10,000 family members of clients. The Joel and Claudette Weston Award is the second major award that Financial Pathways has won in the past nine months. The agency received the state’s highest honor for nonprofits, the Nonprofit Sector Stewardship Award, from the N.C. Center for Nonprofits in September 2014.

“Financial Pathways of the Piedmont is grateful to receive the Joel and Claudette Weston Award, one of the most highly sought-after and prestigious awards that non-profits can achieve. The Weston Award is validation that financial literacy is the key to good financial health, the establishment of a firm financial foundation, home ownership and other asset accumulation,” said Peter Laroche, President and CEO of Financial Pathways of the Piedmont.

“Financial Pathways of the Piedmont will use the funds to continue to help individuals learn to budget and use credit wisely, to resolve debt, avoid financial crises and meet financial goals. We believe that everyone deserves a chance at financial well-being,” he said.

About the United Way

United Way of Forsyth County believes quality of life relies on three building blocks—education, financial stability, and health. All three are critical and interdependent to the collective success of our community. United Way of Forsyth County changes the community by aligning resources and strategic partners to achieve measurable, lasting results. The organization invests in improving student success and the high school graduation rate, increasing financial stability among lower-income individuals and families, broadening access to health care and prescription medications to the un- and under-insured, and providing critical assistance to those facing immediate crisis. Learn more about our work at

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