Benard Simelton Sr. was born in Tiplersville, MS to Mrs. Elaine and the late Eddie H. Simelton. Benard attended College at Mississippi Valley State University in Itta Bena, MS and graduated with a B.S. Degree in Sociology in 1976. He received his Master’s in Public Administration from the University of North Dakota 1981.
Also while at Valley, he was commissioned a 2nd Lt in the United States Air Force and served honorably for 23 years retiring in 2000 a Lieutenant Colonel. While in the Air Force he served in several leadership positions such as Missileer, Flight Commander, Squadron Commander, Professor of Aerospace Studies and various other key leadership positions. During his tour of duty at the Defense Nuclear Agency in Alexandria, VA, he was selected for a special assignment to serve on the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) negotiation team in Geneva Switzerland. This special assignment led to the signing of the START Treaty between the US and Countries of the Former Soviet Union. He received numerous Military Awards while serving on active duty including the Defense Meritorious Service Medal.
He is a life member of the NAACP and has served as President of the Alabama State Conference of the NAACP since Oct 2009. Prior to this, he served as President of the Limestone County Branch for 6 years after helping to reactive the dormant branch in 2002. Since joining the NAACP in Alabama, he has twice received the Regional Medgar Evers Award for Leadership and received recognition from the Alabama State Conference for outstanding leadership of a branch. He also received the Southeast Region Kelly M. Alexander Leadership Award. Benard was elected to the NAACP National Board of Directors in February 2018.
In addition to the NAACP, Benard is very active in his community, a member of Indian Creek PB Church where he serves as a Deacon and is active with the Brotherhood. Benard served on the Athens-Limestone Foundation Board of Directors for 6 years and is past President of the Board of Directors of the Community Action Partnership for Huntsville, Madison and Limestone Counties. The Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice asked him to serve on their Board of Directors when the organization was formed in 2011 and he continues to serve. The Red Cross of North Alabama asked him to serve on their Diversity Committee to ensure that the Red Cross provides services to all communities, especially the community of color. Sigma runs in his blood and he has been a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity since 1973 and served in several leadership positions. He is also Scoutmaster for Troop 947. He completed the FBI Citizen Academy to develop a closer relationship with the FBI and to gain a better understanding of the FBI Operations.
Benard resides in Harvest, AL with his wife of 41 years Elaine. They are the proud parents of Dr. Bernard Jr., Emergency Medicine Doctor in Atlanta, GA and Eric a District Medical Device Sales Representative in Miami, FL…all are life members of the NAACP.