Cal Jordan, left, receives the Order of the Long Leaf Pine award from Bob Kucab, executive director of the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, at his retirement party Friday, June 22. Jordan spent his career working in housing rehabilitation
Posted: Thursday, July 19, 2012 1:00 pm | Updated: 4:10 pm, Wed Jul 18, 2012.
Another one of Hillsborough’s own has earned North Carolina’s highest civilian award.
After a long career of serving state residents in the housing industry—both as a bank manager and with the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency—Hillsborough resident Robert Calhoun “Cal” Jordan III received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine.
“I think it’s a great thing,” Jordan said. “I’m very proud of it.”
By receiving the Order of the Long Leaf Pine —an award presented to North Carolina residents with a record of service to the state, typically for more than 30 years —Jordan joins the ranks of the likes of Billy Graham, Michael Jordan and Bob Timberlake.
Jordan gathered with coworkers, friends and family Friday, June 22, for a retirement party—where the group had a little surprise in store.
“We knew that the retirement party was going to be that, that they were going to do dinner for him,” Cindy Jordan, Cal Jordan’s wife, said. “But that’s all we knew. ... I was very proud of him, and I’m very excited. They had kept it a secret from both of us.”
The setting seemed appropriate for the presentation given that it was for his work with the Housing Financing Agency that Cal Jordan received the state honor. While with the organization, the latest member of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine worked most prominently in the housing rehabilitation programs. Different projects helped people with a disability stay in their homes, taught construction skills and sought grants to make a house more energy-efficient.
“I think it’s great,” Bill Dowse, director of strategic investment for NCHFA, said of Cal Jordan joining the Order of the Long Leaf Pine. “Cal was a great employee with us for 10 years. ... Since he’s left, people that he worked with come up and ask us about him. He really made a big impression on so many organizations and so many people across the state, and I think that’s one of the reasons why he definitely was a good recipient of the award.”
In his position at NCHFA, Cal Jordan had to work with a host of partners, from government agencies to private ones. A stickler for details, he never held his own perfectionist tendencies over others, Dowse said.
“He was with us during the time when those programs were extremely productive,” he said. “Typically we would do 1,000 units under those programs a year, and Cal he had a background in both banking and construction, so when he came to us he really had a perfect set of skills to help him be successful. But beyond that, he also had really good people skills; people really like him.
“He was a perfectionist himself, but he was patient with people. ... He was a perfectionist, but he had a way of encouraging them without being overly demanding or dictatorial, so that was a great combination. Our success that we’ve had with the housing rehabilitation programs, he was just instrumental in that success.”