JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – “If you don’t care who gets the credit, you can change the world”.

Vanessa Ervin of Jacksonville has received Rotary International’s highest honor, the “Service Above Self Award. ”The award recognizes Rotarians who demonstrate Rotary’s motto, “Service Above Self”, by volunteering their time and talents to help others. This recognition is internationally competitive and is granted annually to no more than 150 Rotarians worldwide.

“It is truly overwhelming to receive such an honor for the gifts and talents God has placed within me,” Ervin said. “They have to be given away; they were never given to stay!”

Ervin is highly regarded as a leadership speaker and makes presentations throughout the United States. Ervin was recently appointed by the Governor of North Carolina to the State Health Coordinating Council and honored by Becker’s Hospital Review as one of 50 Influential African American Leaders in Healthcare.

Since 1991, Ervin has served in many positions including as Zone 33 Assistant Regional Rotary Foundation Coordinator, Assistant Rotary Public Image Coordinator, Zone Institute Trainer, Governor-Elect Training Seminar, and even the President/Chief Executive Officer of Carobell, Inc., a nonprofit health care provider in Jacksonville, N.C., that serves individuals statewide. Carobell is licensed by the state of North Carolina to provide residential, medical, and educational services to individuals with cognitive and intellectual disabilities.  She has also served as an ordained minister for more than 40 years.

Ervin joined the Jacksonville Rotary Club in Jacksonville, NC in 1992 and served as President from 2007-08.  In 2010, she served as the Group Study Exchange Team Leader to D7030 in the Caribbean.  In 2012, she received the “Spirit of Rotary” Award and in 2014, she became the first recipient of the Dr. Kay Gresham Legacy of Leadership Award.  In 2015, she led the Rotary District 7730 first Vocational Training Team to Giridih, India to co-establish the first Hemodialysis Center in the region.  

The Rotary Foundation is her charity of choice as a Major Donor, Benefactor, Bequest Society, Paul Harris Society Member, and Sustaining Member.