WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WAVY) – A veteran of Williamsburg’s Neighborhood Council, Jim Joseph, has been named as the inaugural honoree of the Williamsburg Mace Bearer’s Award as selected by City Council.

The new award honors people or groups who have made a lasting and positive impact on the city and community.

Joseph, 86, has lived in Williamsburg since 1996, when he moved to the city with his wife, Marjorie.

Joseph, who had served on his neighborhood’s homeowners association, was asked by the then-mayor and city council member in 2001 to help them launch the Neighborhood Council of Williamsburg to be led by the community instead of government.

In a news release, it said that under Joseph’s leadership, the Neighborhood Council established itself as a vital resource for residents, getting neighborhoods to participate in the organization while recruiting speakers who led initiatives or organizations affecting residents’ lives.

“For the past 21 years, Jim Joseph has dedicated his time, energy, and expertise to the Neighborhood Council of Williamsburg to the greater benefit of the Williamsburg community,” Mayor Douglas Pons said in a statement. “His leadership from the very beginning shaped this group into an invaluable resource for City residents and City government. Because of his efforts, our residents are better informed and engaged, and our elected officials and City staff are more responsive to residents’ needs.”

From 2007-2012, Joseph served on the city’s Planning Commission. and served on its Beautification Committee, in which he began a grant program to help communities enhance their entrance landscaping.

He also served on a committee to find a use for the former site of the Williamsburg Community Hospital, and served on a committee to work with William & Mary to come up with solutions to issues and improve communications.

Joseph is also a member of the Cedar Grove Historical Society and volunteers for Cedar Grove Cemetery to repair American flags used at each Memorial Day and Veterans Day flag-setting ceremonies.

He also established the Marjorie C. Joseph Scholarship Fund through the Williamsburg Community Foundation. The fund was named after his late wife, who died in 2016.

Recipients of the Williamsburg Mace Bearer’s Award will be expected to have made significant contributions to the city beyond what they have done in a professional capacity, while demonstrating creative leadership that has had a positive influence on the city’s cohesion and unity, and making a significant contribution to an initiative that has been a positive change and added value for the city.

The award is named for the Mace of the City, a Colonial-era artifact now part of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s museum collections.

“With Jim as the inaugural member, we are building a society of mace bearers who embody the values of One Williamsburg and carry this honor with them wherever they go,” Pons said.