South Piedmont Community College welcomes Blake Hildreth as the newest member of its Board of Trustees.
Hildreth is a native of Anson County, one of two counties that comprise South Piedmont’s service area.
“We are thrilled to have Mr. Hildreth join our Board of Trustees. He brings a wealth of experience and a unique perspective that will be valuable to us as South Piedmont continues to grow, evolve, and expand in its ability to serve both Anson and Union counties,” said South Piedmont President Dr. Maria Pharr.
South Piedmont’s Board of Trustees includes 13 members appointed by the Governor, Anson County Board of Commissioners, Union County Board of Commissioners, and the local Board of Education for Anson and Union Counties. The Student Government Association president serves an ex-officio member.
Hildreth was appointed by the Anson County Board of Education. He was sworn in at the Board of Trustees’ regular meeting Tuesday evening at the L.L. Polk campus in Polkton.
Hildreth’s biography follows:
Blake Hildreth was born in Ansonville, North Carolina, and grew up in Anson County. He attended Ansonville High School and Wingate University. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from NC State. He married Peggy C. Wright, also an Anson native.
He went to work for R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in Winston Salem, North Carolina, but was drafted into the U.S. Army on April 1, 1963.
He completed Basic Training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, Infantry Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia, and he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers. He then completed the Engineer Officer Basic Course at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and served the remainder of his obligation through January 16, 1966, at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, separating as a Permanent First Lieutenant.
After active duty, he went to work with Rockwell International’s Raleigh, North Carolina, plant. He started as a design engineer and held other positions such as senior design engineer, contracts administrator, manager of quality assurance and metallurgical control, and customer requirements. Along the way he had several special project assignments in accounting, information systems, and others, including moving product lines between plants before retiring with 28 years of service in 1993.
Hildreth then relocated back home near Ansonville. He and his wife, Peggy, are active in Red Hill Baptist Church, where he serves as chairman of the Board of Deacons. He is president and owner of Hildreth Wood Products, Inc., which he has run for the last 30-plus years.
Along the way he ran for County Commissioner representing District One and served as chairman for his last three years in office. He represented Anson County as a member and officer of the Centralina Council of Governments (COG), served as chairman of the Rocky River Regional Planning Organization (RPO), served on the Board of Trustees for the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners Risk Management Pools, and worked with other agencies and committees.
As a parallel career, he continued to serve in the military as a member of the active U.S. Army Reserve. First, he was the headquarters company commander and helped organize and activate the Headquarters & Headquarters Company of the 171st Support Group in Raleigh, North Carolina. Over the years, he held various assignments including being the group executive officer as a lieutenant colonel.
Over time, he became branch qualified in the U.S. Army Branches of the Infantry, the Corps of Engineers, and the Quartermaster Corp and Civil Affairs through the JFK Special Warfare Center at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He attended the USAF Cultural Orientation Course, normally attended by members of the Diplomatic Corps. He completed the Army Command and General Staff College and the Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania.
At the age of 43, he was promoted to the rank of full colonel (06) and given command of the 171st Support Group, which included 27 military units and 4,700 soldiers and the DA Civilian Staff in North Carolina. He was extended in this assignment for a fourth year. He had several other assignments, with his final one being deputy chief of staff for logistics (USAR) for the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. With a total of 32-plus years of service, he retired in 1993 at age 53.
Hildreth has had a busy and interesting life — and even some limited experience with the North Carolina Community College System. He taught physics for the Forsyth Technical Community College when he worked in Winston Salem, North Carolina, and he took two courses at Wake Technical Community College when he worked in Raleigh.