FVSU’s director of corporate and governmental affairs, Charles Jones, J.D., picked up another on a long list of accolades on Tuesday, February 27. The former general counsel for FVSU received the 19th Annual Justice Robert Benham Award for Community Service from the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism of Georgia at a sold-out ceremony in Atlanta. The award is presented to ” judges and lawyers who have combined a professional career with outstanding service and dedication to their communities through voluntary participation in community organizations, government-sponsored activities or humanitarian work outside of their professional practice.” Created in 1998 by then- GA Supreme Court Chief Justice Benham and others, the award spotlights standouts among a decreasing number of state lawyers who take leadership positions in community service areas. The awardees are noted for measuring success in ways other than financial gain.
Jones was honored for his leadership roles in the community, including service as as a board member for Mount de Sales Academy, where he develops educational resources and programs to help educate students throughout the area. He also develops local food, clothing and shelter initiatives.Before serving in his current role at FVSU, Jones previously served as FVSU’s director of the Public Service Center, chief legal officer and director of government relations, beginning in June 2011. He and his wife Mary Jo Jones were partners in the law firm of Jones and Oliver, PC in Fort Valley, Georgia for 18 years. His primary practice was in the areas of municipal, civil and criminal law. He has also served as a state certified mediator and arbitrator.
Affiliated with the State Bar of Georgia, the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism, the first body of its kind in the nation, was created in 1989 by the Supreme Court of Georgia with the primary charge to enhance professionalism among Georgia’s lawyers. In carrying out its charge, the Commission provides ongoing attention and assistance to the task of assuring that the practice of law remains a high calling, enlisted in the service of client and public good. Composed of representatives of the organized bar, practicing bar, judiciary, law schools and the public, the Commission serves as the institutional framework for sustaining an environment that fosters professionalism in the legal community.
Jones earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in business and public administration from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a Juris Doctor degree from Georgia State University. In civic life, he has served as a member of the Peach-Crawford Bar Association, Houston County Bar Association, Evening Optimist Club, Peach County Chamber of Commerce, and board member for the Salvation Army, Robins Regional Chamber of Commerce, Mount de Sales Academy, Kay Community School and River Edge Foundation. He has served as adviser to West Central Georgia Community Action Council, Fort Valley Downtown Development Authority, Fort Valley Housing Authority and Fort Valley Boys and Girls Club. He also served as baseball and football coach in the Warner Robins Recreation League for several years. He is a life member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and a member of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity.
Charles and Mary Jo Jones have three sons, Chris, Ken, a recent graduate of the University of Missouri, and William, a senior the University of Georgia.