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John Baines, CPA Picked as United Way of Denton County 2023 Humanitarian

United Way of Denton County Board of Directors to recognize John Baines’ 40 years of philanthropic dedication to Denton County nonprofits with Dr. Bettye Myers Humanitarian Award at 12th annual UNITED Tribute.

John Baines through the years (L-R): 1950s as poster child for United Fund, as United Way of Denton County Board Chair in 1990s; with Dr. Bettye Myers in 2010s; showing students assembly-line at Peterbilt. Photo credits: John Baines

DENTON, TX (November 2, 2023) – United Way of Denton County has announced the 2023 Dr. Bettye Myers Humanitarian Award will recognize local CPA John Baines for his selfless dedication to supporting dozens of nonprofits and community organizations including United Way of Denton County for over four decades. The prestigious award will be presented at the organization’s twelfth annual UNITED Tribute gala celebration on Saturday, January 27, 2024.

Baines’ United Way ties began over 70 years ago with Houston’s United Fund, the precursor to United Way.

“My parents were poor college students,” Baines explained. “They placed me at a day care that was part of the United Fund. The newspaper came out and took my picture in 1952 and I became the poster child for the United Fund.”

Baines grew up in Houston. At age 19, his father, a military veteran and middle school principal, encouraged John to enlist in the military telling him, “You’ve got to get off these streets if you want to make anything out of your life.”

Baines spent two years in Germany. “Being a kid from the inner city, I’d never have had that opportunity,” remembers Baines. “I got to visit England, Holland, and other places. Thank you, dad, for putting that on my plate.”

After his military service, Baines graduated from the University of Houston and got his master’s degree from the University of Texas at Arlington. He and his wife moved to Denton in 1983, and shortly thereafter he got his CPA license and opened John E. Baines, PC CPAs.

Baines extensive resume of community work began on the board of Denton County Friends of the Family in the 1970s and includes leadership involvement with United Way of Denton County, Denton Pre-Natal, Denton Chamber of Commerce, Channel 13 Foundation, Denton Community Development Corporation, Denton Black Chamber, Denton Blue’s Festival, State of Texas African American Chambers of Commerce, Denton 2000, You are Beautiful, and many more.

In 2001, Baines was honored at the White House as Outstanding Minority Small Businessperson in America.

Today Baines has turned his attention to paying it forward with our youth through the Young Minority Entrepreneurs Institute. His mission is to help young people become business owners and find success on unconventional avenues, like trade schools. He wants to change the paradigm that you must go to college to be successful.

“John Baines is a selfless civil servant who has dedicated over 40 years to making our community a better place for every person,” said Gary Henderson, President and CEO of United Way of Denton County. “And there’s no sign of him slowing down as he connects with our young people to engage them in opportunities to think outside the box to build successful, productive lives.”

When reflecting about his late friend and the award’s namesake, Dr. Bettye Myers, Baines said, “You could not live in Denton and not know Bettye. What a wise woman. What a philanthropic person. What a fine example of service.”

The Dr. Bettye Myers Humanitarian Award was established by the United Way of Denton County board of directors in 2012 to recognize the highest level of community leadership and philanthropy with time and resources. Recipients of this prestigious award are purposeful in promoting human welfare and have demonstrated active engagement in the community. Previous Dr. Bettye Myers Humanitarian awardees include its namesake, Dr. Bettye Myers, Janet and Joe Mulroy, Stan Morton, Debbie and Mark Merki, Bill Patterson, Denton County Commissioner Bobbie Mitchell, Ellen M. Painter, Denton County Judge Andy Eads and former Denton Mayor Chris Watts, Michelle and Brian Cree, and Terry and Bob Widmer.

The twelfth annual UNITED Tribute Gala featuring the crowd-favorite “Dancing with Our Stars” will be held on Saturday, January 27, 2024, at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Denton Convention Center. This event celebrates the year’s successes for our community and pays tribute to the companies, employees, and community leaders who are part of the tapestry of United Way of Denton County. Event sponsorships, tables, and individual tickets can be reserved by visiting, emailing, or by calling Kristin Jones at United Way of Denton County at (940) 566-5851 ext. 102.