A friend of a friend-Max Allen-Jimmy Bass-December 23

One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for December 23, 2015.

My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.

On Friday night my wife and I got invited to a surprise 50th wedding anniversary celebration for great friends Mac and Sylvia Campbell. The party was planned by their four adult children -Chris-Brian-McQueen-and Wesley.

Mac and Sylvia being surprised on their 50th wedding anniversary.


It was powerful after Mac and Sylvia entered the ballroom to have their sons speak and pay tribute to them. They bragged on virtues like integrity, service, and humility. It was a fitting tribute to what a great job Mac and Sylvia have done as parents.

McQueen Campbell paying tribute to,his parents.


The event was held at the Hilton in Wilmington, NC and included great food, drink, and live music from a Carolina Beach Music band called The Embers. The event was also a chance to catch up with the athletic director at UNC Wilmington Jimmy Bass and his wife Sarah.

(l-r) Dan Kenney-NC State Wolfpack Club Executive Director Bobby Purcell-Mac Campbell-UNC Wilmington AD Jimmy Bass at Mac Campbell’s 50th wedding anniversary celebration-December 19, 2015.


The UNCW athletic department has made tremendous strides since Jimmy took over the helm of the program in October of 2010, winning 16 Colonial Athletic Association championships in the last five years.

Jimmy has a world of marketing and external fundraising experience. He like a number of professionals in the world of college athletics has been influenced by a great friend named Bobby Purcell who is the Executive Director of the NC State Wolfpack Club. Bobby and his wife were also in attendance at the celebration.Bobby is a great friend of the entire Campbell family. I did a post on Bobby and Mac earlier in the year.


Jimmy served as N.C. State’s Associate Vice Chancellor for Alumni Relations and Executive Director of the Alumni Association from November 1994 to April 2000. He then became the Associate Executive Director of the Wolfpack Club.


In that role Jimmy did a lot of great things to improve the facilities at NC State. Some of his highlights included directing the strategic planning and execution of the Goal Line Drive, a five-year campaign that raised more than $60 million for expansion and improvements at Carter-Finley Stadium.

During the same time, he also spearheaded the Batter Up Campaign for the renovation of Doak Baseball Field and the Advantage Wolfpack Campaign for the construction of the Isenhour Indoor Tennis Center.

During the evening we also talked about my role as Chief of Staff and the mentoring I received from the former  Chief of Staff at UNCW Max Allen who was a great friend of Jimmy’s.

The friend-JIMMY BASS


The friend of the friend-MAX ALLEN


The consumate chief of staff

in June 2015 Max Allen became the new Chief of Staff for Clemson University.


He is about as good as you will find in this country on what he does. I only got to know him for a couple of years but his talents were evident from the first time I interacted with him.

He also was very good in mentoring me when I began my position in 2012. He took time out of his busy schedule to make sure I got information I needed to understand what was needed to support a university chancellor or president.

Max prior to Clemson had served as chief of staff at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington since 2003, responsible for day-to-day operations of the chancellor’s office and managing key administrative functions and strategic initiatives.


He served as chief of staff and director of university communications at Georgia College and State University from 1994 to 2003, and was public affairs officer and spokesperson for the U.S. Navy Base in Charleston and the USS New Jersey in Long Beach, California, and deputy director of the Navy Office of Information, Southeast in Atlanta. He held a number of other appointments during his 17-year Navy career.

Max is also viewed as a leader in an important professional association the National Association of Presidential Assistants in Higher Education where he is past chair.


Max also serves on a number of civic advisory boards, including as president of 100 Black Men of Coastal North Carolina. He earned the Navy League Community Service Award, Meritorious Service Award and Commendation Service Award twice, and the Distinguished Service Award for Public Relations.

On Friday night as I watched a special couple celebrate 50 years of marriage I also realized how lucky I was to know them.  I realized that what I started out to learn this year with daily posts on “A friend of a friend”was true great friends do have other great friends. Jimmy Bass and Max Allen are proof in point.













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