Martin named First Citizen

Published 8:31 pm Monday, March 12, 2012

The Suffolk and North Suffolk Rotary clubs have announced the winner of the 2012 First Citizen award.

M. Caroline Martin will be honored with an event next month at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts. She was notified on Monday that she is this year’s honoree.


“I am overwhelmed and humbled,” she said. “We’re all first, I think. Without a team and a community, nothing happens. I hope this is recognition for my family and for my friends and for those that I’ve enjoyed working with.”

Email newsletter signup

Martin and her husband Brian moved to Suffolk in 1966 and have been heavily involved in the community ever since.

Martin currently serves as president of the board for both Suffolk Partnership for a Healthy Community and Western Tidewater Free Clinic.

At the free clinic, she stepped down from her role on the board for a year in the clinic’s infancy to serve as interim executive director. She also serves on the board of the Virginia Association of Free Clinics.

She also is on the board at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts, where she is the assistant treasurer and chair of the governance committee.

She is vice president of Suffolk Sister Cities and was a founding member of Edmarc Hospice for Children. She also served with Physicians for Peace.

In her business career, Martin was executive vice president of the Riverside Health System for nearly 20 years. She also was an instructor at the Louise Obici School of Nursing. She and her husband now own Gates Custom Milling Company in North Carolina.

“We love Suffolk and have enjoyed being a part of its growth and feel a real responsibility as a corporate citizen to it,” Martin said.

She added that she is overwhelmed by the recognition as First Citizen.

“It am a little bit speechless,” she said. “Whenever any one person gets recognized, it’s really because they’ve surrounded themselves with people who are much more accomplished than they are themselves.”

The event will be held April 19 at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts.