Personality: Keith W. Hicks

Spotlight on the 2015 Astorian of the Year

12/25/2015, 12:50 a.m.
“To inspire men to a higher moral, intellectual, civic and social standing” through activities that build a better community and ...

“To inspire men to a higher moral, intellectual, civic and social standing” through activities that build a better community and promote racial equality.

That has been the mission of the Astoria Beneficial Club since its founding 114 years ago.

In recent decades, the men’s organization has played a key role in commissioning statues in Jackson Ward to Richmond native Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, a renowned tap dancer, and on Brown’s Island of The Headsman, which commemorates the brave African-American boatmen who contributed to the commercial development along the James River from the 1700s to the mid-1800s.

The 112 members of the civic-minded group consider Keith Hicks to be a sterling example of commitment to the organization’s mission.

They showed their high regard for him by selecting Mr. Hicks as the 2015 Astorian of the Year.

He was presented the award Nov. 15 in a ceremony at The Grace Center, 1302 Victor St., in North Side.

“The award recognizes a person who has strong religious values, intellectual growth, continuous civic and social responsibility and a resilient commitment to the Astoria’s vision and mission,” according to the club.

“It was breathtaking and I was overwhelmed with joy and excitement,” Mr. Hicks says of winning the award.

“I feel honored, overjoyed and grateful for such recognition of my work,” he adds. “It gives me inspiration to continue to assist with the long-term growth strategy of the organization. This award means the world to me.”

Mr. Hicks has been a member of the club for seven years and is Membership Committee chairman. “It is my duty to prepare a program that is inviting and allows a platform for new potential members to interact with existing members,” he states. “This particular membership drive brought in more than 10 new members to the organization.”

He credits his parents, George and Mary Sue Hicks, for teaching him how to be successful in life.

“They both struggled and worked hard to provide a good quality of life for me and my sister,” Mr. Hicks says. “They both worked two jobs when needed and provided a clear window for us to look through so that we could dream and become what God intended us to be.

“The best thing my parents ever taught me is that the world owes you nothing,” he adds. “Hard work and presenting yourself in a distinguished professional manner at all times are the key to success.”

Here’s a look at this week’s Personality, Keith W. Hicks:

Date and place of birth: Jan. 3 in Richmond.

Residence: Historic Battery Park.

Education: Bachelor’s degree, Averett University; master’s degree, University of Phoenix; also studied at Virginia State University.

Family: Wife, Lisa Hicks; son, Devin, 21; daughter, Kelli, 15.

Occupation: Business analyst with Thompson Technologies as a contractor for SunTrust Bank.

Club membership requirement: To qualify for regular membership, an individual shall be a registered voter, and be between the ages of 18 and 50. He also must have two members in good financial standing to vouch for him.