Radio personality, author and public speaker Willie Jolley recently received the Cavett Award, the National Speakers Association’s highest and most cherished citation.

Jolley is the first Black male to win the award.

The Cavett Award, named after NSA founder Cavett Robert, is presented annually to one member of the association whose accomplishments over the years have reflected outstanding credit, respect, honor and admiration in the association and the speaking profession, and whose actions most closely parallel the illustrious career of Robert.

Prior winners of the Cavett Award include Dr. Nido Quebin, president of High Point University; Jim and Naomi Rhode, founders of Smart Practice, one of the largest dental products companies in America; and Mark Sanborn, bestselling author of “The Fred Factor.”

Renowned motivational speaker Les Brown, who attended the NSA awards ceremony, expressed his pleasure with Jolley receiving the award.

“When I heard Willie’s name called, I was so overwhelmed,” Brown said. “I was in tears because he is one of the best in the world and truly deserves this award.”

Jolley previously made history as the first African American president of NSA’s Washington, D.C., chapter, then the first Black elected to the national board. He was also the first African American to chair the Speaker Hall of Fame Leadership Committee.

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