History

The Durham Junior Chamber was founded over 75 years ago in 1938 as a group for young professionals aged 18 to 36 seeking to develop personally and serve the community. President Woody Woodhouse called the first meeting to order in June at the Palms Restaurant on Chapel Hill Street.

The 1940s and 1950s saw the organization expanded dynamically and started to become a philanthropic and leadership force. Membership grew from 41 chartering members to over 100 members by 1941. During the wartime effort, Jaycees organized paper drives, and after the war, the Jaycees organized the first professional football game in North Carolina when the Chicago Bears played the Philadelphia Eagles at what is now Wallace Wade Stadium. The group also played an instrumental role in locating the new Raleigh-Durham International Airport and held air shows there as fundraisers.

The 1960s and 1970s saw the integration of the Durham Jaycees with member Asa Spaulding. Numerous fundraisers were held including a Battle of the Bands, several galas, the Mrs. Durham Pageant, a roast of Terry Sanford, the circus, and concerts featuring the likes of Roberta Flack and violinist Nicolas Kitchen. The organization used profits from these various fundraisers to provide seed money for the construction of the Durham Civic Center and updates to the Museum of Life and Science. The Jaycees also created the first recycling effort in Durham, organized golf and tennis tournaments for youth and started what is now the July 4th Festival at the Eno during the era.

In the 1980’s and 1990’s the organization continued to thrive. It held a notable follies at the Carolina Theatre which was the last event held there prior to the renovation. The Jaycees brought the Special Olympics to Durham, admitted its first female members and played a major role in several political issues including bond referendums and the merging of the city and council school systems. The organization celebrated its 50th anniversary during this era with a cocktail party at the Durham Arts Council followed by dinner at the Durham Civic Center.

Today, the Durham Junior Chamber has become the definitive organization in Durham for young professionals seeking to better their community while developing leadership, managerial, and other personal skills.

Past Presidents

  • 1938 Woody Woodhouse
  • 1939 Egbert Haywood
  • 1940 William P. Farthing
  • 1941 E.N. Jones & Chris Hamlet
  • 1942 Paul Harrison & Bob Holleman
  • 1943 J. Frank Jarman
  • 1944 Gordon Perry
  • 1945 Tom Ricks
  • 1946 William A. Kirkland
  • 1947 Hugh Germino
  • 1948 W.S. Swindell, Jr.
  • 1949 J.B. Brame *
  • 1950 Southgate Jones, Jr.
  • 1951 Joseph A. Robb
  • 1952 John Forlines
  • 1953 Carl Sapp
  • 1954 J.B. Harris
  • 1955 W.R. Grabarek
  • 1956 James R. Hawkins
  • 1957 Thomas B. Cranford
  • 1958 Marvin O. Snipes
  • 1959 J. Sidney Booth
  • 1960 Charles P. Wrenn
  • 1961 Paul H. Reaves
  • 1962 John R. Umstead
  • 1963 Robert N. Westbrook
  • 1964 Larry Thomas
  • 1965 Jimmy Smith
  • 1966 Bill Self
  • 1967 Bill Rogers
  • 1968 Tom Greene
  • 1969 John Locke
  • 1970 E. Carlyle Teague
  • 1971 William G. Harriss
  • 1972 Stancil B. Roberts
  • 1973 W. Kimball Griffin, Jr.
  • 1974 Phillip L. Herington
  • 1976 Louis A. Leimone
  • 1977 Reich L. Welborn *
  • 1978 Barnette C. Crabtree
  • 1979 James A. Hastings
  • 1980 Ted N. Griffin
  • 1981 Charles J. Stewart
  • 1982 Randall A. Brame
  • 1983 Stephen E. Hancock
  • 1984 R. Carlton White
  • 1985 Charles W. Ripley
  • 1986 Timothy J. Harrell
  • 1987 Nathaniel M. Hyde
  • 1988 James E. Sorgi
  • 1989 Joseph M. Johnson
  • 1990 Donald L. Martin
  • 1991 Nancy Ellen Brown
  • 1992 James H. Allen, Jr.
  • 1993 Madeline Armstrong
  • 1994 Jonathan W. Biggs
  • 1995 J. Michael Woodard *
  • 1996 Alice Smith
  • 1997 Kristy Whisnant *
  • 1998 Eddie Blount
  • 1999 Luther Misenheimer
  • 2000 Reed Hollander
  • 2001 Bert Woodall
  • 2002 John Rublein
  • 2003 Michael Wilson
  • 2004 Sara Brown
  • 2005 D. Christopher Hyland
  • 2006 Erin Locklear
  • 2007 Bryan Misenheimer
  • 2008 Michael White
  • 2009 Baxter Webb
  • 2010 Laurie Hyland
  • 2011 Karen Rowell
  • 2012 Catherine Thomas
  • 2013 Chandler Vatavuk
  • 2014 Catherine Thomas
  • 2015 CJ Broderick

* Were also presidents of the North Carolina Jaycees