Clyde W. Fitzgerald, Jr.
Clyde Fitzgerald is Chief Executive Officer of Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina, the premier hunger relief organization in its 18 county service area. Second Harvest Food Bank is part of Feeding America’s national network of food banks.
Clyde is a retired senior executive of RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company where he enjoyed a long and successful career. Clyde began his business career in Reynolds’ marketing department, became Chief Executive Officer of two of the company’s international divisions and also served as Senior Executive Vice President of Reynolds’ US operations and a member of R J Reynolds Tobacco Company’s board of directors.
Clyde has a long history of community service and leadership with a variety of organizations. He served a number of years as a board member of Prodigals Community, a drug and alcohol recovery program. He served 6 years on the board of the North Carolina Stroke Association. He’s in his 30th year as a board member of Piedmont Opera, where he has served three different terms as board chair. Clyde has also served as a Trustee of Salem Academy and College, The Arts Council of Winston-Salem / Forsyth County, The Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce and The United Way of Forsyth County, among others. He has been an active member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church for over 45 years.
Clyde has been an active Rotarian in Puerto Rico, Canada and in Winston-Salem, NC, where he’s currently a member of the Downtown Rotary Club. Clyde was honored by Rotary International by being named a Paul Harris Fellow for his extensive community service activities. In 1987, he was publicly honored by the Government of Puerto Rico for his personal commitment to human service endeavors and to the development of arts and cultural activities for the benefit of the Puerto Rican people. He was the first, and remains the only, non-Puerto Rican to receive such an honor. In 2016, Clyde was named the first recipient of Hospice & Palliative CareCenter's Living Your Best Life Leadership Award. The award recognizes a community leader who demonstrates the possibilities and potential of lives in the Triad. In 2017, Triad Business Journal named its “Most Admired CEOs” of 2017, and Clyde was among the 18 honorees.
He is an honor graduate of the University of Georgia and a Vietnam-Era veteran of the US Air Force. Clyde and Carol, his wife of 52 years, have three grown children and five grandchildren.
Eric A. Aft
Eric began serving as Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC’s Chief Operating Officer in September 2017. He will succeed Clyde Fitzgerald as Second Harvest’s CEO when Clyde retires in June 2018.
Prior to joining Second Harvest, Eric was a member of the Wake Forest University advancement team as the Director of Development for the Mid-Atlantic region. He also served as United Way of Forsyth County’s COO for 12 years. While there, he led initiatives that resulted in improved graduation rates at our community’s most challenged high schools and reduced long-term homelessness, while also overseeing the investment of more than $12 million annually to improve the quality of life in Forsyth County.
During his more than 28-year career in the nonprofit arena, Eric has served as CEO for more than 11 years and in senior leadership positions for the remaining time. He has raised over $39 million, managed staff and volunteer teams, and led and implemented multiple strategic plans challenging the organizations he served to maximize their community impact.
In coming to Second Harvest, Eric returns to the human service work which he defines as his life’s calling and joins an organization dedicated to addressing both immediate and long-term needs of residents and the community as a whole.
Eric lives in Pfafftown (a suburb of Winston-Salem) with his wife, Lisa, and daughter, Claire, who is a senior at Reagan High School. His son, Avery, is a teacher and the Director of Bands at North Forsyth High School. He serves as the volunteer co-treasurer on the Reagan Athletic Boosters and is the volunteer assistant coach of Reagan’s field hockey team, where he had the chance to coach his daughter. In addition, Eric is an adjunct faculty member at Salem College in the Not-for-Profit Management program, teaching one course each semester.
His passion is matching people’s interests and goals for helping their community with the opportunities that can make those goals a reality.