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Harriss, John Riddick

Given to Mr. Harriss by the Tobacco Farm Life Museum at the Excellence in Agriculture Dinner on October 14, 1999, honoring his outstanding contributions to our agribusiness community.

John Harriss was born in Newark NJ on January 2, 1917 to James B. and Diana R. Harriss. In 1928 the family moved back to Wilson, his father's hometown. He graduated from Charles L. Coon High School in 1934. During high school John was the President of the student body and was awarded the Churchwell Trophy for being the best all around student. Following high school John attended the University of North Carolina. John was married to Jean Abbitt Harriss on December 20, 1939. They had four daughters.

From 1944 until 1964, John was the Assistant Sales Manager and the Vice President of Harriss Sales Corporation / Smith Tobacco Warehouses. From 1953 until 1973 he was the owner and manager of the John R. Harriss Insurance Agency. John began his career as Supervisor of Sales for the Wilson Tobacco Board of Trade in 1971 and from 1972 until 1997 was the Supervisor of Sales and the Secretary for the Wilson Tobacco Board of Trade and is currently the Assistant Supervisor for the Wilson Tobacco Board of Trade. John has had 65 years in the tobacco business.

Many organizations have benefited from John's involvement over the years. He is a member of the Jaycees, the past president of the Wilson Life Underwriters Association, is a past Exalted Ruler with the Wilson Elks Lodge, has served as chairman of the Agri-Business Committee for the Wilson Chamber of Commerce, has served as treasurer for the Wilson Active Artists Association, served as the director and treasurer of the Community Concerts Association, sat of the Board as Director for the North Carolina Symphony, and has served as chairman of the Wilson County Elections Board. John is also very active in his church serving as the secretary of the vestry. His hobbies include model railroading and pen and ink drawing.

John is known by all as a good friend and a tireless worker for the tobacco business. But above all his accomplishments, John has enjoyed and is the most proud of helping to raise four lovely daughters and eight wonderful grandchildren.

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