2023 Annual Allen H. Sims Award Recipient: Mr. Anderson Davis "Andy" Warlick

Do you remember the 21st night of September? The Gaston Community Foundation honored philanthropist, Anderson Davis “Andy” Warlick with the Allen H. Sims Award. The evening served as the annual meeting of donors for the Gaston Community Foundation, as well as the 33rd presentation of the Sims Award.

Highlights from the event include fellowship among community partners and philanthropists; exciting statistics delivered by Foundation Chair, David Rogers; a charismatic depiction of Mr. Warlick’s community impact, presented by Richard Rankin and Gene Matthews; and a bright theme tied into the Foundation’s art sculpture, The Common Thread.

The Gaston Community Foundation statistics presented by David Rogers included:

  • $124 million in assets.
  • $6.8 million grants awarded in 2022.
  • 2022 gifts received totaled $15.4 million. 2022 was the second largest year for gifts since inception in 1978.
  • 110 Scholarships awarded in 2022.
  • 2022 Run raised $1.2 million for local nonprofits, with a match of 35%.

Following Mr. Roger’s leadership of the annual meeting, he recognized the 2023 Allen H. Sims Award recipient, Mr. Anderson Davis “Andy” Warlick and his family: wife, Pamela Kimbrell Warlick; son, Davis Warlick and wife, Annie; daughter, Collins Byers and husband, Fred.

The Allen H. Sims Award is presented each year to an individual who depicts the character of the award: the selfless act of seeing a need and finding a solution, of caring for a community and making a difference.

Dr. Richard Rankin began the presentation of the award, detailing Mr. Warlick’s start in the community, from attending Gaston Day School to playing football on the Optimist Boys and Girls Club football team to attending the Citadel. Mr. Gene Matthews continued the conversation detailing Mr. Warlick’s return to his roots in Gastonia and the impact he has made since. While many items are of note, Mr. Matthews focused on Mr. Warlick’s community involvement in the following areas:

• He chaired the Gaston County YMCA Board.

• He co-chaired Major Giving for the United Way’s annual campaign.

• He co-chaired Gaston Day School’s capital campaign.

• He co-chaired The Citadel’s capital campaign and raised $250 million dollars on a goal of $175 million dollars for his school.

• And he served two terms on the Gaston Community Foundation Board and chaired the Investment Committee, which oversees more than $120 million dollars in investments.

In addition to serving as a leader in the above capacities, Mr. Warlick took the charge on several major projects (quotes from Mr. Matthew’s presentation):

  • “Andy’s biggest springboard for great community change was the creation of the Warlick Family YMCA. To date, no civic endeavor has been bigger or transformed our community more than the $22M Warlick Family YMCA project.
  • Andy wanted to keep that momentum going by rebuilding Gaston County’s reputation as an asset in the Charlotte region. He and Elaine Lyerly co-chaired the Greater Gaston Development Corporation’s efforts to launch a new image campaign called Gaston Outside or ‘GO.’ Upon completion of the project, Gaston County’s perception in the Charlotte area shifted from negative to positive, and this helped boost economic growth and civic pride…two essential ingredients Andy knew we needed then, and in the years to come.
  • Now we have the FUSE District and The W. Duke Kimbrell Center for Philanthropy, which is the new home of the Gaston Community Foundation. The Center for Philanthropy is a stunning structure, and one that has Andy’s footprints all over it. His counsel to the committee was, ‘Let’s envision a building that will make a major statement about our community,’ and his boldness gave us the courage to dream big. That project is now the centerpiece of a larger plan that Andy has coined ‘The New Hope Business District for Philanthropy, Business, and Healthcare,’ and more great things will come.
  • Andy’s business and textile manufacturing experience has inspired the next project that will show the world what the Gaston College Textile Technology Center can do…. with his son, Davis, leading the charge, Andy, John Hauser, and the College’s leadership team are bringing the Fiber Innovation Center to the Belmont campus. It will be the only place in the world where scientists, entrepreneurs, and industry leaders can take a fiber idea and convert it into a textile product under one roof. By drawing global attention, this facility will be yet another source of civic pride for education in the region as we grow and strengthen the profile of Gaston College.
  • Next is an example of how Andy, his Parkdale team, and their industrywide colleagues and competitors came together to help our nation at the beginning of a very uncertain time…when we were hit with the global pandemic called COVID. In the Spring of 2020, we were scrambling to understand the situation, and businesses everywhere were grinding to a halt. That’s when Andy Warlick received an urgent call from the White House asking for help with manufacturing 600 million face masks, as well as medical-grade swabs. In Andy’s own words, he said, ‘When we got the call….we answered.’ In record time, the U.S. Textile Team—led by Andy—fulfilled the request and delivered what the nation so desperately needed.”

“When Andy decides to do something—be it business, the community, or a personal passion—he is all in,” explained Mr. Matthews.

Mr. Warlick’s vast involvement has led him to be the recipient of numerous distinguished awards. To reference a few of those awards:

• The W.D. Kimbrell Lifetime Achievement Award

• North Carolina State College of Textiles’s Leader of the Year Award

• The Citadel’s School of Business Hall of Fame

• Spirit of the Carolinas Award from the Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce

• Recipient of the Long Leaf Pine Award

• The J.D. Hicks Lifetime Achievement Award—which is Gaston County YMCA’s highest award.

The Gaston Community Foundation is honored to induct Anderson Davis “Andy” Warlick into the Sims Society.