J. D. Wilson has been guiding leaders of not-for-profits in fundraising, organizational effectiveness, strategic program development and metrics-based communications for more than 40 years.
Early in his career, he was Director of the College Fund and Associate Director of Alumni Relations at Wake Forest University. A former photojournalist with the U. S. Army in Berlin, he enjoys using words and images to connect people, ideas, needs and results.
He has served as a board member for more than 20 not-for-profits, covering civic, arts, cultural, historic, education, social services, and economic development. He has chaired the Board of Visitors at UNC School of the Arts, the Winston-Salem Symphony, Reynolda House Museum of American Art, the Piedmont Triad Film Commission and has co-chaired three capital campaigns of more than $75 million.
The local Mental Health Association created the J. D. Wilson Business & Industry Award to recognize his contributions to mental health practices in the community and workplace. He and his wife, Janie, were named Small Business Persons of the Year by the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce, and The Arts Council of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County gave them the annual Arts Council Award. UNC School of the Arts, where he served as a two-term trustee, awarded him an Honorary Doctorate of Performing Arts, the first such award for service. He also received the School’s highest recognition, the Giannini Award, in New York City. For the past three years, Triad Business Journal has listed him as one of the most influential leaders in the Triad.
He co-founded Excalibur Direct Marketing, the oldest such firm in North Carolina, served as president for more than 40 years and now is chairman and CEO. He is a graduate of Wake Forest University and serves on the boards of the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts, the Winston-Salem Alliance, Helen Simoneau Danse, and he is an advisor to The Center for Creative Economy and several entrepreneurial arts organizations in New York City.