Grand Marshal

The Winston Salem Jaycees are excited to announce that our 2019 Grand Marshal will be Eric Aft! You can see Eric along with more than 100 businesses, community groups, and marching bands on Saturday, December 7th. See you there!

Eric Aft – CEO, Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina

With almost 30 years in nonprofit leadership roles, Eric feels privileged to lead Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina as its third CEO.

Second Harvest serves 18 counties in our region – from the northwestern mountains to the eastern piedmont of the state, including the urban centers of Winston-Salem and Greensboro. Through a variety of strategies, the organization seeks to address the immediate need for food assistance and build innovative solutions to eliminate hunger and reduce poverty. In collaboration with its 290 partner agencies, last year, Second Harvest distributed over 40 million pounds of food, educated hundreds of individuals on nutrition, and achieved the 700 mark for graduates from its highly-regarded Providence Culinary Training program.

Prior to joining Second Harvest, Eric was a member of the Wake Forest University Advancement team, served as United Way of Forsyth County’s COO and Vice President for 12 years, and, before moving to Winston-Salem, led two United Way organizations, United Way of Central Virginia and United Way of Wayne and Holmes Counties in Ohio.

Eric is also a Professor of Practice at Salem College in the Non-Profit Management program where he teaches courses in leadership and management, strategic thinking and planning, and fundraising.

He is a graduate of Rhodes College in Memphis and holds a Master’s degree from the University of South Carolina. Along with his wife Lisa, a pre-school teacher, active community volunteer, and former nonprofit executive, Eric lives in Pfafftown. Their son, Avery, is a teacher and the director of bands at Millbrook High School in Raleigh and their daughter, Claire, is a sophomore at Elon University where she is majoring in Human Services and minoring in Leadership Studies.