Throughout their lives and careers, Margaret and Smoky have been visionaries in positioning our region for its significant and growing role in the international community. Whether by building world-class structures of international note or by instilling global perspectives in young minds, the Bissells have accomplished great things for our community and done so in an unassuming and collaborative manner.

Margaret is a legend in educational circles, and in particular the international sector. As Head of School at Charlotte Country Day, Margaret recognized the importance of exposing students to global education. She created exemplary programs for international awareness and study, which have received widespread accolades and continue to set the standard for effectiveness and innovation. During her 40 years of teaching and administration, Margaret has positively impacted and shaped the future of many generations of scholars and prepared them to compete in, enjoy and appreciate what is becoming a very small world.

Charlotte is now a global gateway for international business and economic development as a result of Smoky’s decades-long dedication to forging ahead as a region, despite tough economic times, keeping us globally competitive. His landmark real estate projects, in SouthPark, Ballantyne and other places in the Charlotte area, have drawn the notice of national and international companies. They see, in Smoky’s enthusiasm and optimism about our region, a compelling reason to join us and to become part of something special here.

Without Margaret’s and Smoky’s philanthropic involvement and global awareness, our community would be a much less interesting and prosperous place.