John R. Hayes is a native of Birmingham, Alabama, where he began his fight against the injustices that African Americans were faced with in his community and across the nation. John has received many awards and recognitions for his accomplishments in his continuous struggles for civil rights and equality and the empowerment of minorities and disadvantage people on a social professional and economic level. He is a dynamic and provocative influence in Asheville and across the state and he still remains in tune with the needs of his home community in Birmingham, where he was raised and nurtured by his late mother, Queen Hayes. John is an ordained Elder of the Churches of God in Christ. He is currently a member of the Sycamore Temple Church of God in Christ. He has been married to the charming Rebecca Hayes for 33 years. He is the father of 11 children and grandfather to 34 grandchildren. He served 16 years as President of the Asheville Branch NAACP, and is President/CEO of Empowerment Resource Center Asheville/Buncombe County, Inc.., and WRES-LPFM-100.7. He was appointed to serve as a member of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission in 2000 by Gov. James B. Hunt. In 1977, one of John’s most noted living legacies was the creation, development, enhancement and growth of the renowned Hillcrest Enrichment Program, which is still alive and strong today. The program was created to build self-esteem and motivation, raise the academic and personal achievement levels of low-wealth children and families.