George V. Hanna - Recipient of the 2015 Ayscue Professionalism Award
At the 2014 Law & Society Luncheon, George V. Hanna III was awarded the 2015 Ayscue Professionalism Award. The Mecklenburg Bar Foundation's Ayscue Professionalism Award is presented each year to a present or former member(s) of the Mecklenburg County Bar to recognize exemplary professionalism. Criteria may include outstanding service through or on behalf of the Mecklenburg County Bar or the Mecklenburg Bar Foundation for the benefit of the legal community or the community at large; substantial and significant service to the community, to the Bar, or to the justice system, whether on the basis of lifetime contributions or a specific project; and/or embodiment of the traits to which all attorneys should aspire: high ethical standards, model conduct, unquestioned integrity, and consistent competence.
George Hanna has exhibited the highest standards of professionalism and excellence in his 40-plus-year career as an attorney in North Carolina. In addition to his impressive service to the legal community, his civic endeavors have had a tremendous impact on the Mecklenburg County community.
The son of a Marine Corp serviceman, Mr. Hanna spent his childhood moving around the country, including a stint in Charlotte from fourth through ninth grade. He received his A.B. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1965 and received his J.D. from UNC School of Law in 1968. Upon graduation, Mr. Hanna was admitted to the NC State Bar and has been making a positive impact on the legal community ever since. Mr. Hanna is one of only two people to have served as both the president of the Mecklenburg Bar Foundation (1997-2000) and the Mecklenburg County Bar (2003-04). During his tenure as MCB President, he founded MCB’s Special Committee on Diversity and served as the Committee’s first co-chair. Mr. Hanna remains heavily involved in the Committee’s activities to this day.
In addition to his outstanding service to the Bar and Foundation, Mr. Hanna has also been dedicated to serving the profession on both a local and state-wide level. Mr. Hanna is a founding member of the Moore & Van Allen (MVA) Public Service Committee and the MVA Diversity Committee. He is a former chair of the board for both Council for Children’s Rights and Legal Services of Southern Piedmont. He served for nearly a decade on the North Carolina Bar Association’s Pro Bono Planning Committee and chaired it for three years. He is also a member of the NC Chief Justice’s Commission on Equal Access to Justice.
Mr. Hanna's dedication to public service extends well beyond the legal community. While his two sons were involved in scouting, Mr. Hanna chaired their troop committee. After his sons left scouting with their Eagle rank, Mr. Hanna and his wife Deb were original members and early co-chairs of the Mecklenburg County Boy Scouts Urban Scouting Committee. Urban Scouting offers support and unique programs for at risk families and communities to ensure that culturally diverse youth have the opportunity to join the Scouting program.
Mr. Hanna has been actively involved in the Charlotte YMCA for almost 40 years. He joined the fledgling Harris YMCA board and continued to serve for 13 years, becoming Vice-Chair as the Harris Y became one of the largest, fastest growing family oriented YMCAs in the country. Mr. Hanna then volunteered to serve on the board of the McCrorey Family YMCA, which has a proud history of being the predominant Y serving the African American community in Charlotte. Mr. Hanna currently serves on the Simmons YMCA Board, focusing on the challenges of serving the east side of Charlotte with its rapidly changing demographics, increasing crime, and declining economic investment.
In the words of a colleague, “George’s professionalism makes him a leader in both action and word, allowing him to serve as an extraordinary and approachable role model to attorneys of all ages.” It is for these reasons and many more that we are proud to award George Hanna the 2015 Ayscue Professionalism Award.
Past winners of the Ayscue Professionalism Award include E. Osborne Ayscue Jr., Julius L. Chambers, Russell M. Robinson, II, Joseph W. Grier Jr., Chief Justice Sarah Parker, Ray S. Farris, Peter S. Gilchrist III, Ted Fillette & Ken Schorr, Mark R. Bernstein and Robert C. "Bob" Sink.