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Belk CEO Tim Belk receives 2015 World Citizen Award

Tim Belk, 60, chairman and CEO of Belk Inc., received the 2015 Citizen Award Wednesday for his work to grow the regional department store's footprint in the global community.
Tim Belk, 60, chairman and CEO of Belk Inc., received the 2015 Citizen Award Wednesday for his work to grow the regional department store's footprint in the global community. CHARLOTTE OBSERVER FILE PHOTO

Tim Belk, chairman and CEO of Belk Inc., has received the 2015 World Citizen Award for his work to grow the regional department store’s impact in the global community.

The award, presented by the World Affairs Council of Charlotte, honors prominent citizens or organizations with “achievements of international significance.” Belk, 60, accepted the award Wednesday night at a dinner at the Westin Charlotte in uptown.

In accepting the award, Belk said he and his brother Johnny, the company’s president and chief operating officer, believe in the Charlotte community’s place “on the world stage.”

“We see the elements that are essential to Charlotte’s positioning as a global city – our airport, a strong urban core, a commitment to diversity that welcomes people from different countries and different cultures and leadership that thinks for the long term and puts international high on our agenda,” Belk said.

The retail chain, which said earlier this month it hired investment bank Goldman Sachs to help it explore a sale, is the largest family-owned department store in the country and operates almost 300 stores across 16 states.

In addressing the sale, Belk quipped that he had received a number of calls over the last several days, and not just about the awards dinner.

“I’m fine, we’re fine, we’re doing great,” he said to laughter and applause.

In introducing the award, Bruce Rockowitz, CEO and vice chairman of Global Brands Group and a friend of Tim Belk’s, lauded the retail CEO’s commitment to attracting top IT talent to Charlotte as well as his commitment to growing the company’s supply chain to Asia and Central America.

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