Rosalyn Green: 2022 John Penn Citizen Of The Year

She grew up in Granville County, and like so many other young people, Rosalyn Green flew the coop when she had the chance. But chickens, they say, always come home to roost. And that’s just what Green did. Granville County is better for her return.

Green was surprised last week when she was named the John Penn Citizen of the Year during the annual Granville Chamber of Commerce banquet at The Barn at Vino in Stem.

“I was so shocked,” Green said in an interview with WIZS News. “I had no idea (they) were giving me an award.”

In fact, she was almost a no-show for the awards ceremony. See, one of her sisters had been in hospital and there was just a lot to deal with.

But Chamber Director Lauren Roberson pulled out all the stops. It’s not every day that Rosalyn Green can be surprised. No subterfuge was involved, but suffice it to say that Roberson wanted to make sure the honoree was going to show up.

In hindsight, Green said, it was a little suspicious: Roberson had asked her to represent Leadership Granville at the annual Chamber meeting. Anybody could have done that, Green recounted during an interview with WIZS News. And then another friend had called her, inquiring about her plans. Dubious, as Green would later remark.

But she was still in the dark about being the center of attention until 2021 recipient Mark Pace stood at the podium to introduce the 2022 award winner and said something about “writing grants” for the Shaw Museum in Oxford.

“I don’t think she realizes how much she does and how much of an impact she has on people,” Roberson said in an interview following the event. “It’s very endearing. She is such a genuine and kind person. She truly loves her community and wants to be involved in making it a better place.”

 To be honest, Green prefers to work “under the radar,” whether it’s collecting food from local grocery stores to deliver to Area Congregations In Ministry -Granville County’s food bank – or writing grants for the G.C. Shaw Museum in Oxford.

When she returned to Granville County n 2008, following a successful career in Washington, DC as a computer programmer with the U.S. Census Bureau, Green jumped in – feet first – to give back to the community.

At the urging of a fellow Leadership Granville colleague, she began working with the bookstore associated with St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. When the Rev. Harrison Simons suggested that she be added to the payroll, she reminded him that she was retired. “I get to come in and leave when I want to,” she recalled saying to him, adding: “I had a good time.”

And the bookstore enjoyed increased sales from all of her friends coming in to buy books, she added.

To this day, Green enjoys doing that behind-the-scenes work that serves to propel her community forward. She’d have it no other way.

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