Williamsburg Mace Bearer's Award Recipient
Words and Images Courtesy of the City of Williamsburg
Williamsburg, VA – City Council is pleased to announce Jim Joseph as the inaugural
honoree of the Williamsburg Mace Bearer’s Award.
This new award honors individuals or groups who have made a lasting, positive impact
on the City of Williamsburg community.
Joseph, 86, has lived in the City of Williamsburg since 1996, when he moved to the City
with his wife, Marjorie. In 2001, Mayor Jeanne Zeidler and Council Member George
Genakos founded the Neighborhood Council of Williamsburg (NCW) to improve
communication between City Council, City government, and neighborhoods. The two
council members asked Joseph, who served on his neighborhood’s homeowners
association at the time, to help them launch an organization that would be led by the
community instead of the government.
Under Joseph’s leadership, the NCW quickly established itself as a vital resource for
residents. He enlisted neighborhoods to the organization, recruited speakers who led
initiatives or organizations that affected the lives of City residents, and structured the
monthly meetings so that they were regimented and respectful.
“For the past 21 years, Jim Joseph has dedicated his time, energy, and expertise to the
Neighborhood Council of Williamsburg to the greater benefit of the Williamsburg
community,” Mayor Douglas Pons said. “His leadership from the very beginning shaped
this group into an invaluable resource for City residents and City government. Because
of his efforts, our residents are better informed and engaged, and our elected officials
and City staff are more responsive to residents’ needs.”
In his 26 years as a City of Williamsburg resident, Joseph has been active in the
community. From 2007-2012, Joseph served on the City of Williamsburg Planning
Commission. As a member of the Planning Commission, Joseph served on the
Beautification Committee where he started a grant program to support communities to
enhance their entrance landscaping.
Joseph’s first foray into civic life in Williamsburg was as a member of a committee to
find a use for the former site of the Williamsburg Community Hospital. He has also
served on a committee to work with William & Mary to solve problems and enhance
communications. Joseph is a member of the Cedar Grove Historical Society and
volunteers for Cedar Grove Cemetery to repair the American flags used at each
Memorial Day and Veterans Day flag-setting ceremonies. In honor of his wife after her
death in 2016, Joseph established the Marjorie C. Joseph Scholarship Fund through the
Williamsburg Community Foundation.
Recipients of the Williamsburg Mace Bearer’s Award have made significant
contributions to the City beyond what is expected from their employment or professional
roles; demonstrated creative leadership that has positively contributed to the cohesion
and unity of the City community; and contributed significantly to an initiative that has
brought positive change and added value to the City community.
The award is named for the Mace of the City, a Colonial-era artifact that is now part of
the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s museum collections. In the 18th century, maces
were used ceremonially to convey the importance of an event or function. It is believed
that the Mace of the City of Williamsburg was carried in a municipal procession on May
1, 1783, in celebration of the signing of the Treaty of Paris, which ended the
“With Jim as the inaugural member, we are building a society of mace bearers who
embody the values of One Williamsburg and carry this honor with them wherever they
go,” Pons said.
The Williamsburg Mace Bearer’s Award will be held at 6 p.m. today, Thursday, Dec. 8,
2022, at the Stryker Center, 412 N. Boundary St. The ceremony will be held prior to the
premiere of the State of the City video.
See the award video on the City of Williamsburg’s YouTube page at