April 3-7, 2024
Denise Szaloky is proud to be your 76th President. A native of Wichita Falls, Texas, she graduated with a Business and Marketing degree leading her to become a professional flight attendant with American Airlines.
In 2001, she moved to Wilmington and immediately became a festival volunteer working with the Queen’s Coronation, Volunteer Workers Party, Queen’s Arrival and Welcome along with Past Presidents Party.
She has enjoyed being deeply involved with numerous organizations making significant impacts throughout our community and has shown dedication to making Wilmington a better place to live, work and raise children. Her efforts include PTA at the local, county and state levels as well as youth sports organizations and booster clubs. Denise has focused on feeding families and home bound seniors in addition to mentoring and tutoring students. She also has been instrumental in leading and organizing such events as Wilmington’s Heath Access for Teens Power of the Purse and New Hanover Regional Medical Center’s Red Dress Luncheon.
For the past 22 years, Denise has loved calling Wilmington home. She and her husband Joe have two sons, Spencer and Grant, who are both proud New Hanover High School graduates.
Justin is a financial advisor and has lived in Wilmington since 1999. Justin has been a volunteer and Patron level sponsor of the Azalea Festival since 2008. He has served as committee chair for Patron’s Relations, Major Sponsor Relations, the Governor’s Press Conference, and Co-Chair of the Parade for Floats. Justin and his wife Missy have also escorted several celebrity guests throughout the Festival’s full spectrum of events. In 2013, Justin was elected to the Azalea Festival board which is widely remembered as the team which advanced the festival concerts to an outdoor venue. In 2017, Justin guided the conversion of the organization from a 501c4 to a 501c3.
Deirdre McGlone-Webb is a Branch Manager at South State Bank in Wilmington, NC. She was born in Wilmington. Dee has served on Festival committees since 1998. She was part of Azalea Pride/Sweep Committee: committee member, co-chair, and chair positions. She was assistant to Festival President, Official Party Coordinator Co-chair, Sponsor Relations Chair, and Major Sponsor Relations Chair before joining the Festival Board of Directors. Other Volunteer Work includes the USSNC Battleship Commission (Treasurer), Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church (Treasurer), Beach to Battleship Triathlon Volunteer, and Work on Wilmington volunteer.
Dr. Stephen Meinhold is a Professor of Political Science at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. He has lived in Wilmington 20+ years and has served on the Festival committee for five years as the Economic Impact Study Committee Chair, Past Presidents’ Party Chair, and Major Sponsor Chair before joining the Board of Directors. Other Volunteer Work includes Good Shephard Center, Lakeside Partners, and the United Way.
Emily Longley was the President the North Carolina Azalea Festival in 2000. She was the President of the Longley Supply Company. Emily was also very involved within her community being a Chairmen of the Chamber of Commerce, on the Board of the Coastal Horizons Center, on the UNCW Foundation Board, and on the Board of WCFHBA Association. Her favorite memory was having the first outdoor concert for the Azalea Festival!
W. A. Raney owned and operated Raney Chevrolet Company with his father until 1968. He was the Co-Founder of Coastal Motors and the first recipient of Wilmington Civitan Good Citizenship Award. He was very active in the community, being the President of the Wilmington Civitan Club, Lt. Governor of NC District of Civitan International, United Way, American Red Cross, and the Cornelia Nixon Davis Nursing Home. He was also the Director of Oakdale Cemetery, Babies Hospital, Family Service Society, and Brigade Boys & Girls Club among numerous other activities. During his time as president, he remembered how loved Queen Abby Dalton was.