Chuck Hiles earns 2024 Jim Vigness Peacemaker Award

Chuck Hiles is one of the Community Violence Intervention Center’s many invaluable care and service partners. 

Chuck earned the 2024 Jim Vigness Peacemaker Award for helping to maintain clean, comfortable and safe facilities, including the agency’s 36-bed emergency shelter: Mary’s Place. Hiles is the owner of C&B Home Improvement in Grand Forks and has managed maintenance and repairs at Mary’s Place Shelter and other CVIC properties since 2014.  

Chuck Hiles, left, accepts the 2024 Jim Vigness Peacemaker award from Ralph Engelstad Arena General Manager and CVIC Board Chair Jody Hodgson at the annual CVIC Judd Sondreal Rise & Shine for Peace Breakfast on May 1, 2024, at Alerus Center in Grand Forks.

“Mary’s Place is a refuge for individuals at vulnerable and sometimes dangerous times in their lives, so everyone’s safety and security are more than priorities they’re necessary. Chuck makes sure we are prepared to best serve our clients at all times and under all circumstances.” 

Shannon Morley, CVIC Director of Shelter Services

The Jim Vigness Peacemaker Award is presented to one individual each year at the Judd Sondreal Memorial Rise & Shine for Peace Breakfast, CVIC’s signature fundraising event. CVIC’s Board of Directors and staff of 85 employees nominate candidates based on their outstanding commitment to ending violence in greater Grand Forks. Current staff and board members and past Peacemaker recipients are not eligible.  

The 2024 award nominees were:  

  • Linda Bunde, Mainstream Boutique 
  • Rachel Egstad, Grand Forks County State’s Attorney Office 
  • Erica Enderud, Grand Forks Police Department 
  • Jennifer Freeman, Grand Forks Police Department 
  • Chuck Hiles, C&B Home Improvement 
  • Christine Litzinger, Grand Forks Public Schools 
  • Andrew Schneider, Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Office 
  • Donna Smith, University of North Dakota 
  • Kyle Thorson, Archives Coffee Shop 
  • El Walsh, Central High School 

‘Above and beyond’ 

Morley said Chuck consistently goes “above and beyond” for us. That above-and-beyond mentality is one of the reasons CVIC staff and board members chose to award Hiles and his team the Peacemaker Award. 

“Chuck installed protective strips on high-traffic hallway corners at Mary’s Place to increase the longevity of our floors in an incredibly cost-effective way,” Morley said. “Although he considered it a minor adjustment, we consider it a way to increase the longevity of our shelter’s flooring, thus allowing us to focus our funding and efforts on supporting our clients rather than pouring money into entirely preventable building repairs later on.”  

Building safety and comfort  

Because of the high volume of people we serve, furniture in the agency’s facilities tends to wear down fast.  

“Another reason we awarded Chuck and his team the Peacemaker Award is because they’re always thinking about ways to make the lives of our clients and staff a bit better,” Aubrey Malnourie, Director of Victim Advocacy & Housing said. 

“From bed frames to bookshelves and nightstands, Chuck can often be found assembling new furniture for us or doing little touch-ups that just make things a bit more comfortable. If some equipment is well used and might need a little TLC, Chuck takes care of it,” Malnourie said. 

About the CVIC Jim Vigness Peacemaker Award 

Each year at CVIC’s premier fundraising event, the Judd Sondreal Memorial Rise & Shine for Peace Breakfast, we honor one local citizen who demonstrates an outstanding commitment to ending violence in greater Grand Forks. 

In 2022 the award name was changed from CVIC Peacemaker Award to the CVIC Jim Vigness Peacemaker Award after the first award recipient, Jim Vigness. Vigness was Grand Forks police office and passionate advocate of domestic violence and sexual assault prevention and intervention. A steadfast supporter of CVIC, its staff and clients, Vigness died in 2022, but his legacy to the violence prevention community lives on in the annual award.