Eckstine named 2013 James P. Oliver recipient

Charles Eckstine was joined by his family at the Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce banquet, in which he was named the James P. Oliver Award winner. His wife, daughters and grandchildren were present at Green Grove Gardens. Pictured are, from left: Kayleigh Smith, 17; Becky Wolff; Josh Wolff, 8; Eckstine; Kimberly Smith, 22; Sue Eckstine; and Krista Smith.

Because he was a personal friend of James P. Oliver, Charles Eckstine was even more honored to be chosen the 2013 recipient of an award named in commemoration of the late Greencastle businessman.

"I was surprised to be chosen," said Eckstine after the Greencastle-Antrim Chamber of Commerce annual meeting and banquet Sept. 26.

Oliver was the first recipient, named posthumously in 1992. Since then, business associates who contributed personal time and service to the community beyond expectations have been recognized. The award is given to people with the qualities Oliver held, said chamber executive director Joel Fridgen.

Eckstine served on Greencastle borough council from 1982 to 1989, and has been on again since 2002. He is currently president. He received the Certified Borough Official Program Award from the PA Association of Boroughs, and is also a member of the PA Borough of Association for Pensions that works with 959 boroughs.

Eckstine has been on the Medic 2 board of directors, and is currently on the chamber board. He was general contractor for the chamber remodeling project, and was active in the renovations at Lilian S. Besore Memorial Library. He is involved with a variety of activities at Evangelical Lutheran Church.

"Like other recipients, Charlie really prefers to work behind the scenes to help organizations and the community," said Fridgen.

Eckstine's career was in aviation, first at Fairchild in Hagerstown, Md., and then as a commercial pilot for Continental Airlines. He retired after 31 years in the industry. He and his wife Sue have managed a commercial and residential real estate business for over 40 years. Eckstine credited his wife and daughters Krista Smith and Becky Wolff as instrumental in what the company has been able to achieve.

He remembered Oliver.

"Jim had a sense of humor. He was it, the first to arrive at a party and the last to leave. He was the entertainment."

They served together on borough council for eight years.

"I'm so glad I called him a friend," Eckstine said.

Chamber board chair Chris Grimm thanked Eckstine for his service.

"His family is number one, no question," said Grimm. "A close second is the community. He is very behind the scenes and doesn't want recognition. I'm sure most people don't know what he does."

Grimm also promoted the values of chamber membership.

"Our foundation is still membership, which maintains its financial stability. Those here recognize the benefits. Pass them along to those who did not come."

He referenced programs which provided opportunities for an online presence, reduced electrical bills, community events and networking.