SMITHFIELD — For 10 years in a row, Zeke Cox has had the same routine.
He attends the first banquet-planning meeting, receives a book of tickets to sell, pours over his list of prior sales, rolls up his shirt sleeves and heads out to sell his first sponsorship of the year. Will this year be different or will Cox still out sell all of his fellow conservationists?
Since joining the Johnston County chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association, Cox has become the go-to man for how to grow membership. In 2003, his efforts earned him the title of CCA N.C. Volunteer of the Year. His enthusiasm has never waned. Since 2003, he has quadrupled his ticket sales despite a struggling economy.
“I believe in what we are doing to conserve our waters for the children of tomorrow,” Cox said. “I supported and attended the first CCA banquet held in Johnston County, oh back in 1994 I believe it was, and have done the same ever since.
“My three greatest loves in life are my family, fostering children and supporting CCA. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
As co-owner and operator of Cox Wrecker and Repair Service in Smithfield, this Johnston County native earns a living reeling in the big ones. Cox is routinely called upon to tow in vehicles in excess of 50 tons. He goes out in any weather, at any hour, to any location necessary to complete his task.
Cox’s work ethic has benefited not only his family and his business but also the CCA. Each year he leads his chapter in the sale of sponsorships and tickets, helping to place CCA of Johnston County in second place out of the 11 chapters in the state.
Between now and Feb. 6, the next knock heard at the door just might be Cox. Will he be successful in selling yet another ticket or sponsorship to help him celebrate his 20th anniversary with the CCA of Johnston County?
“As long as we (members of CCA) continue to make a difference, I’ll strive to remain on top,” Cox said. “I’ll give it everything I’ve got.”