The most valued honor and award the Governor of North Carolina can bestow is The Order of the Long Leaf Pine. This award, created in 1963, is presented to “persons for exemplary service to the State of North Carolina and their communities that is above and beyond the call of duty and which has made a significant impact and strengthened North Carolina,” according to the Long Leaf Pine Society. For 58 years, the honor continues to be the most prestigious award presented by the Governor.
Governor Roy Cooper recently awarded this high honor to Raleigh, North Carolina native Anthony Blackman, founder and owner of Atlantic Tire & Service. Since Anthony was a young man, he has been intrigued with the idea that a business person could help others. When you walk into any of the Atlantic Tire locations, you can feel his strong commitment to the community from children’s artwork by local students adorning the walls, to numerous plaques showing appreciation of his involvement in community events, to the warm smiles of each employee honored to work for such a revered business leader. There is even a three-ring binder that is bursting at the seams with thank you notes for his service and contributions to an abundance of local charities and businesses. The best part is he has said repeatedly, “being able to give back to the community is the most rewarding aspect of owning a small business.”
The award was presented by North Carolina Representative Gale Adcock, who spoke of Anthony stating, “Anthony is a very authentic person and his words to the audience were so meaningful and sweet. It was a huge honor to be asked to participate in nominating Anthony. Adcock mentions that it was also a privilege to be the one to tell Anthony he won, hand him the award and see the look on his face was so special. “Anthony is the embodiment of the Cary Chamber so, to present him this award in front of his chamber family was even more meaningful. This award meant so much to him and he is so deserving of this recognition.”
Anthony genuinely cares about people and sees all of his employees, customers, and neighbors as friends and family. It is safe to say he makes an everlasting mark on the world and inspires many.
Anthony was overwhelmed with joy and gratitude receiving the award stating, “I am very honored and humbled beyond description. I had some great role models in the Cary community to lead me in the direction of being able to give back and contribute to the community.”
Atlantic Tire & Service is widely regarded as one of the most successful businesses in the Triangle area, having won multiple awards including Business of the Year from Cary and Morrisville Chambers, Best Automotive Repair Shop from the Cary News, and Best Mechanic 10 times in Cary Magazine. While running such a successful business, Anthony continues to be a generous philanthropist who constantly gives back to the community. Anthony and Atlantic Tire have been involved with more than 45 local nonprofits and community-focused organizations over the past 22 years and donate almost 11 percent of their yearly net revenue to philanthropic causes. In 2019, Anthony and his family pledged to donate $10,000 each year for the next five years to Dorcas Ministries, a Cary-based nonprofit focused on serving our neighbors in need. They also sponsor and support several local community projects and school fundraisers.
The community give a big thanks and hearty congratulations to Anthony on being recognized with this very prestigious award. Well deserved!