Birdsong to be honored

Published 8:46 pm Saturday, March 14, 2015

Suffolk’s George Birdsong will receive the 2015 Lenora Mathews Lifetime Achievement Award from VOLUNTEER Hampton Roads at an April 15 event, the organization announced last week.

“I appreciate the recognition, and I’m humbled by it,” Birdsong said. “I’m surprised I’ve been selected.”

Birdsong, chief executive officer and general counsel at Birdsong Peanuts, supports many Suffolk organizations and causes, including the Suffolk Redevelopment and Housing Authority, Suffolk Chamber of Commerce, Obici Healthcare Foundation, Suffolk Foundation, United Way, YMCA, Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts and Nansemond-Suffolk Academy.



Email newsletter signup

Birdsong also supports regional and state organizations like the Nansemond River Preservation Alliance, Virginia Wesleyan College, Virginia Manufacturers Association, Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges, Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Business Consortium for the Arts.

“So many people have said repeatedly, ‘You could not have picked a better person,’” said Kate Meechan, executive director of VOLUNTEER Hampton Roads. “He’s just such a selfless and humble person.”

The organization began giving awards 40 years ago. Since 1998, it has given the Lenora Mathews Lifetime Achievement Award in honor of Mathews, its first executive director. She was the first recipient, and Meechan said she put in many hours not only volunteering herself but also encouraging others to do so.

“What we looked for was somebody that embodied the spirit of volunteerism the way Lenora has done,” Meechan said. “That’s the spirit (Birdsong) embodies, and he encourages others to do that, whether it’s a group he works with, his employees, his family.”

In addition to Mathews, Birdsong joins such company as TowneBank chairman and chief executive officer Robert Aston, the late attorney Peter G. Decker Jr., developer Harvey Lindsay and the recently late Meyera Oberndorf, Virginia Beach mayor.

Meechan said Birdsong was humbled by the honor when she informed him.

“He was hesitant,” she said. “It’s almost like, ‘Are you sure you want to honor me?’ kind of thing, because he’s so incredibly humble for what he does for the community.”

But Meechan said he was also very excited to hear about the 31 other individuals and groups who will be receiving awards for their volunteerism.

Birdsong said he is grateful for the support of Birdsong Peanuts in his volunteer efforts.

“Fortunately, I have the support of my employer,” he said. “Some of (my volunteer efforts) are during working hours. The support of the company has been essential in my involvement.”

He also said he enjoys his volunteer work.

“I do enjoy working on my volunteer activities and helping the type of folks that generally are benefiting from that type of volunteer work,” he said.

Tickets to the April 15 event are $50 each. It will take place at the Founders Inn and Spa in Virginia Beach with a reception at 5:30 p.m. and dinner and awards at 6:30 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or contact Susan Pleasants at 624-2400 or