"I want to thank the board of directors, our dedicated staff, funding sources and partners, and the citizens of Wilson along with all of North Carolina for embracing the OIC of Wilson mission."

Howard Jones



"Immense, Lasting Impact"

Chamber honors OIC's Howard Jones

By Rochelle Moore Times Staff Writer

A community man dedicated to helping the less fortunate was honored Thursday with the Wilson Chamber of Commerce 2016 Distinguished Citizen of the Year Award.

Howard Jones, founder and executive director of the Wilson Opportunities Industrialization Center, not only received the chamber’s highest honor but was also recognized for his work by U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-Wilson, N.C. Rep. Susan Martin, R-Wilson, and Gov. Pat McCrory.

Jones, who founded OIC in 1972, continues to show passion for helping the hungry through OIC’s quarterly food distribution program that serves 20,000 people each year and its pre-vocational program that helps residents find stable employment.

RIP to Our CEO/ President 


“As founder and president of Wilson OIC, Howard Jones made contributions to Wilson and eastern North Carolina that cannot be measured.  For more than forty years, he immersed himself in his work to help all citizens who could not help themselves.  Through his leadership, thousands of citizens were motivated and trained to obtain gainful employment.  The OIC team supported him in every respect and carried out his mission of training and finding suitable employment for the unemployed and underemployed.  Each holiday, all of Wilson looked forward to the community food delivery at OIC.  Through Howard’s relationship with the corporate community, he was able to provide food to families in need. 

“Wilson, North Carolina has lost a giant.  And, I have personally lost a great friend.  He now belongs to the ages.  The citizens of Wilson and adjoining counties have benefited from the life and work of Howard C. Jones, citizen extraordinaire.  I extend my deepest condolences to the entire Jones family.” 

Click on pictures for more information