Fellingham Award Recipient Makson Makes a Mark

Stan Makson leads the Annual Fourth of July Boat Parade in Seven Lakes West in 2023. Maggie Beamguard/SLI

By Maggie Beamguard

Insider Editor

The recipient of the prestigious Fellingham Award was announced at the annual meeting of Seven Lakes West Landowners Association on March 17. This year’s recipient is Stan Makson. 

The Fellingham Award was inspired by SLW resident Ted Northrup. According to a history of the award by Carolyn Sink, Northrup was “a very prominent and popular member of the community. Upon his death in 2005, members of the community raised hopes for honoring his contributions at the annual meeting.

The award, initiated by Northrup’s memory, was first granted in 2006 to George Fellingham, endearingly known as the “George Washington of Seven Lakes West” for his key leadership role in the development of SLW. 

Recipients of this honor have given 10 or more years to making a “significant and enduring contribution to the improvement of the community of such magnitude as to generate the admiration and respect of the community as a whole,” according to the award criteria. 

Additionally, they have sustained the community’s quality of life, had a positive impact on the lives of SLW members and created opportunities for the community through new facilities or programs. 

The 2024 recipeint of the Fellingham Award, Stan Makson. Photo contributed.

Makson embodies these characteristics of a Fellingham Award recipient. Stan and Amy Makson moved to Seven Lakes West in 2013 and promptly began volunteer service, making major contributions to finance and governance of the community. 

Makson has taken on at least 18 volunteer roles in the community, including serving on the finance, leadership support committee, legal affairs committee, recruiting and human resources committees. He served as the SLWLA treasurer in 2015 and during his term did a lot of “housekeeping,” including charting accounts and updating financial policies. 

He has participated in a handful of ad-hoc committees involving financial and community planning issues.

Makson has been instrumental in the governance of SLW through the legal affairs and leadership support committees. According to the nomination form, “Stan’s unique contributions here are in the writing of the documents, creating the presentations and actually presenting the materials to the board and the community, of course with critical input from team members.

“With robust input from committee members, Stan rewrote the SLWLA New Directors Manual, which was a huge task for all involved. He also created and gave the presentation to the board and the community when the LSC proposed changing the governance model to the concept of Director Liaisons.”

The presentation Makson prepared regarding governance has had lasting impact and is required to be viewed by all new directors, committee chairs and committee members by the board. 

One of Makson’s recent achievements was leading the Vote Counting Processes Team in 2022-2023 to create a new SLW vote counting process, the ballot itself, a recount letter if needed, and the ballot tally spreadsheet. Additionally, Makson has participated in the Board Candidate Questions Panel and been a vote count observer.

Stan has become the informal parliamentarian for the board and has become a “go-to-guy” for questions relating to by-laws, rules, covenants and The NC Planned Community Act. As the current chair of the Leadership Support Committee, he interacts with the members of the board and the HOA management staff almost daily. 

When it comes to his impact on the quality of life of the community, Makson, who has led the Fourth of July Boat Parade for many years, has also made a mark. 

He has served the Lake Auman Sports Club in the roles of president, vice president, treasurer and secretary. As president in 2016, he initiated a successful “Winter Doldrums Event” event for fun, fellowship and new member recruitment. When the event required a piano in the second year, he spearheaded the search for an instrument and made arrangements for its installation in the Great Room at the Community Center where it remains today.

His ideas implemented in the community also include installing swim ladders at Pine Island and a “Ride Around the Lake” event aimed at community members with limited lake access. 

He volunteers regularly for LASC projects and events, lending a hand with Christmas Trees Under the Docks, Fish Stocking and Pine Island maintenance. Additionally he is part of a team that works to control the geese population on Pine Island.

Nominations for the Fellingham are annually sought from the community by the SLWLA Leadership Support Committee and the recipient is chosen by a committee formed by previous Fellingham Award recipients. Nominations forms and recipient criteria are available on the Leadership Support Committee page on the SLW website.

Contact Maggie Beamguard at maggie@thepilot.com