United Way Honors Volunteer Leaders


Tory Gillett
336-721-9321 (office) / 336-682-7468 (cell)


Winston-Salem, NC …..
United Way of Forsyth County honored two volunteer leaders last night at the annual Tocqueville and Legacy Society Recognition Dinner at the Old Salem Visitor Center. Henry A. (“Andy”) Brown was awarded the Paul Fulton Tocqueville Leadership Society Award for his ongoing commitment and service to the community through his support of United Way of Forsyth County. Ann Fritchman-Merkel was awarded the Tocqueville Council Volunteer of the Year Award in recognition and appreciation of outstanding volunteer service during the 2015 United Way Annual Campaign.

The Tocqueville Leadership Society consists of donors pledging more than $10,000 to United Way of Forsyth County in a given year. Paul Fulton, Jr. established a local chapter of the Alexis de Tocqueville Society in 1987. That first year, 22 members gave in that capacity. United Way of Forsyth County began its Leadership Circle in 1986. It was chaired by Dr. Thomas K. Hearn, Jr., President of Wake Forest University. In its first year, Leadership Circle had 400 members who gave $550,000. Ann C. Ring was the first recipient of the Alexis de Tocqueville Award. Later the award name changed to Paul Fulton Tocqueville Leadership Society Award. Currently, United Way of Forsyth County has the largest Tocqueville Leadership Society in North Carolina.

Andy Brown is Owner of Twin City Warehouses and COR365 Information Solutions. He serves on the Board of Leadership Winston-Salem. Andy’s service and commitment to United Way are reflected in both his involvement as a volunteer leader and his financial contributions. He served as a United Way Board member in 2005-2015, Board Chair in 2012-2013, and inaugural Chair of the “Place Matters” Committee, which oversaw the implementation of United Way’s place-based initiative, in 2014-2015. Under Andy’s leadership as Board Chair, United Way developed and began to implement its most recent strategic plan, expanding its goal to achieving sustainable community change. His commitment and belief that United Way is best positioned to make a positive difference is unwavering.

Andy first became a member of the Tocqueville Leadership Society in 2000 and a member of the Cornerstone Society in 2007. In 2013, he made United Way’s first major multi-year gift to accelerate outcomes in education. In 2007, Andy funded a step-up match program to encourage new Tocqueville donors. The match allows new Tocqueville donors to make an initial gift of $5,000, which is matched, so they are able to become part of the Tocqueville Leadership Society right away. The donor pledges to “step up” to $7,500 in the second year and the full $10,000 in their third year. This allows donors to implement a more significant financial commitment to United Way over a period of time. The match is credited with allowing our United Way to remain steady in Tocqueville giving through the Recession years of 2008 -2012 and see growth of Tocqueville membership since 2012 from 217 to 269 households, an increase of almost 25%.

Ann Fritchman-Merkel is the Chief Customer Officer for Hanesbrands Intimate Apparel business. She joined the company in 1992 and has served as Regional Sales Manager, Bali Marketing Manager, Department Store Vice President and Service Group Director for Sara Lee Intimate Apparel. Ann was promoted to Vice President of Customer Management in 2003, Chief Customer Officer/Target in 2008, and her current position in 2015. She serves on the Board of Directors for Winston-Salem Symphony and Sci Works . She has been actively involved with the HbI United Way campaign serving as Co-Chair, Chair, and Tocqueville Leadership Society starting in 2011. In 2015, she served as the Chair of the Tocqueville Leadership Society Campaign and the Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes her contributions in this critical role.

Cindy Gordineer, President and CEO of United Way of Forsyth County says, “The success of United Way is contingent upon the support and engagement of individuals like Andy and Ann, who generously give of their time and talents. Their commitment and engagement are invaluable and we thank them wholeheartedly for their past and future contributions to our community.”