WILSON, N.C. —September 10, 2019 — Craig M. Myers, Chairman and CEO of Watson Electrical, will be honored at the fifteenth annual Wilson-Barton Partnership Leadership Award Dinner on Thursday, Sept. 26, on the campus of Barton College. The event, to be held on Center Campus, will begin at 6:30 p.m.
The Wilson-Barton Partnership, 15 years strong, began out of Barton’s desire to further strengthen its relationship with its hometown community of Wilson. In 2004, the Wilson-Barton Partnership Steering Committee was born and in 2005, the committee proposed an annual business leadership award to demonstrate the partnership that exists between the College and the business community. The selection criteria include: significant contributions to business and/or industry; strong leadership qualities; innovative and/or entrepreneurial qualities; and community oriented. And, as a salute to the community’s involvement in the livelihood and future of Barton, a portion of the funds raised are used to fund annual scholarships for current Barton students. The first Wilson-Barton Partnership Leadership Award was given that same year to Thomas A. Hackney, Jr., former Barton College Board Chair, trustee emeritus, and a widely respected business leader in Wilson for decades. The most recent distinguished awardees include Diane and Jerome Vick in 2014, Dr. Frank Batten in 2015, Lee Gliarmis in 2016, Christy Proctor in 2017, and Ken Jones in 2018.
Sponsorship opportunities are available and begin at $750 for a table of eight. A limited number of open seating tickets are still available at $75 per person and may be reserved by contacting Laura Ashley Lamm at 252-399-6377 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for all reservations is Wednesday, September 18.
Honoring Craig M. Myers —
Craig M. Myers was born in New Iberia, La., to Antoine “Mike” Myers and Janet West Myers. He was lovingly raised alongside his sister, Susan, and his brother, Scott, on nearby Avery Island — known for being the home of Tabasco sauce. Myers’ father worked for International Salt Company until the family relocated to Johnston County, N.C., in 1967, where his youngest sibling, Julie, was born.
Myers graduated from Cardinal Gibbons High School in Raleigh in 1976. He attended Appalachian State University from 1976-77, and North Carolina State University from 1977-78. He graduated from Wake Technical College in 1980 with a degree in accounting. While in college, he met his future wife Sherry Hinson. They were married in Goldsboro in 1981. Myers and his wife made their home in Wilmington, welcoming their son, Cameron, in 1989, and their daughter, Savannah, in 1992. Cameron currently resides in Raleigh, and Savannah now makes her home in Richmond, Va.
His first lesson in hard work was in the tobacco fields of Johnston County where he first primed tobacco. Later, when his legs got long enough, Myers began hanging tobacco in the barns. At the age of 16, he left the tobacco fields for a job with Hertz Rent A Car — but it was during his junior year of high school that he began his lifelong journey with Watson Electrical.
Following in the footsteps of his father, a superintendent with Watson Electrical, Myers was first employed as a part-time Warehouse Clerk at the Raleigh division in 1975. He quickly moved up the ranks to Electrician Helper, Electrician Mechanic, and Job Foreman — each job completed with his father by his side. His brother Scott, now Regional Vice President of Multifamily with Watson, joined the company soon after — making Watson Electrical a family affair for the Myers from day one.
Upon his graduation from college, Myers transferred to Watson’s Wilson office, where he worked in Marketing and Special Projects. Two years later, he transferred to the Wilmington division as Office Manager — and, in 1990, he was promoted to Division Manager, where he oversaw the expansion of service offerings. In 1998, Watson Electrical was sold to Building One Services (later Encompass Electrical Technologies), and, two years later, Myers was promoted to Vice President of Operations, which relocated the family to Wilson. Soon after, Bill Boyette, then the President of Watson, retired, and he was named President of Encompass Electrical Technologies (dba) Watson Electrical Construction Co.
In 2002, Encompass began having financial problems and declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization, with the plans of retaining any profitable companies that were remaining. Watson was one of the companies to be retained, but the existing Management team had other ambitions. Myers led an acquisition team in the repurchasing of Watson Electrical, and, in 2003, they reclaimed Watson’s independence as a privately held company. He was named the President and CEO of the reacquired company. “My proudest moment was announcing to all Watson Electrical employees that we had the company back and that all of our vendors would be paid in full regardless of the Encompass bankruptcy,” Myers recalled. Watson was able to retain its valued employees, customers, and vendors, and has grown to record levels since reacquisition. In 2016, Myers was named Chairman/CEO of Watson Electrical, a position he still holds today.
Throughout his 44 years with the company, Myers is proud of the comprehensive training programs Watson makes available to its employees. Watson’s apprentices have competed and won 10 of the last 13 N.C. Electrical Apprentice state contests, and these knowledgeable employees have won four national Apprentice titles. He pursues the mission of fostering employee talent through Watson Academy, which emphasizes continuous improvement and encourages all employees to “learn something today that they didn’t know yesterday.”
Myers’ community involvement extends beyond his 19 years in Wilson — including President of the Wilmington Sertoma Club, Board of Directors for the Cape Fear Council Boy Scouts of America, and President of American Subcontractors Association (Wilmington Chapter). Locally, he is a Past President of the Wilson Economic Development Council and is a current member of the Barton Society and the Wilson Chamber of Commerce.
He supports many local organizations including Boy Scouts of America, Wilson County Schools Operation Backpack, American Heart Association, Arts Council of Wilson, Wilson Forward, Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park, Wilson Family YMCA, Children’s Hunger Elimination of Wilson, The Spot, Boys and Girls Club of Wilson, Wilson County Humane Society, The Brittany, United Way, Salvation Army, and St. Therese Catholic Church, where he and Sherry are members.
Currently, Myers serves on the Board of Directors (past president) for Carolinas Electrical Contractors Association (CECA), Wilson on the Move, BB&T Wilson Advisory Board, and Barton College Buildings and Grounds Committee.