National Recognition Awards Presented by NAVPLG for Excellence in Volunteer Management
The National Association of Volunteer Programs in Local Government (NAVPLG) convened for their annual meeting and awards presentations online across the nation on June 21, 2023. The organization is pleased to announce five national award winners. The awards recognize excellence in volunteer leadership in city and county governments. Awards presented:
Award of Merit – presented to Corina Sadler, CVA, Volunteer Resources Supervisor, City of Plano, Texas. Corina has worked in local government since 2014 and was a local government volunteer in her teens. Corina founded the North Texas Volunteer Administrators in Government Group to serve as a resource-sharing and training outlet for fellow local government colleagues. The group has grown to include 52 members from 26 city and county governments, with Corina continuing to serve as group leader. Corina created a 3-day volunteer management certificate program and facilitates two cohorts a year in Dallas-Ft. Worth through the Center for Nonprofit Management, where she trains nonprofit and local government professionals on volunteer engagement best practices and skills.
New Volunteer Administrator Award – presented to Brian Beach, Volunteer Services Coordinator, Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. Brian proudly served 9 Years in the National Guard as a Combat Medic. He joined the Southwest Veteran’s Team in January 2022, and there were only 3 active volunteers at the time. He brought back 169 volunteers in 2022, which yielded 1,487 service hours. He planned and executed the organization’s first Veteran’s Resource Fair and established a partnership with Physical and Occupational Therapy students at the University of Pennsylvania to support an adaptive golf program for veterans. Thanks to his work, even those in wheelchairs can participate in the sport.
Innovative Program Award – presented to the City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for their Action for Literacy Day. Over the last 9 years, the City of Fort Lauderdale, Rotary Club of Fort Lauderdale, and Action For Literacy, in collaboration with the Broward County School Board and Libraries, Early Learning Coalition, and other business, church, and nonprofit entities, have built, stocked and maintained 136 Fort Lauderdale Little Free Libraries through the city to provide access to free books at any time continuously. Action for Literacy Day was created as a pilot in January 2022 and featured an array of free activities at a local park aimed at exciting children in reading. There were a lot of free giveaways, which kept scholars and parents engaged, and carnival-style games with prizes.
Outstanding Volunteer Administrator Award – presented to Kellie Vitaich, Community Services Program Coordinator, City of Davis, California. Kellie encourages departments to consider using volunteers to enhance their services and strives to make using volunteers as easy as possible. Many City of Davis volunteers come from the University of California, Davis campus. She has done a few key things to increase their volunteer participation. First, she worked with the parks and community garden staff to ensure they had regular, ongoing opportunities for interested volunteers or groups to sign up for. Second, Kellie worked with the Parks Manager and Parks Supervisor to create a “menu” of projects she could offer to groups that wanted to schedule volunteer days for their organization.
Rising to Excellence Award – presented to Volunteer Gwinnett, Gwinnett County, Georgia. Volunteer Gwinnett has worked alongside nonprofits and civic organizations for years, including the Gwinnett Coalition, Gwinnett County’s public-private initiative that works to drive positive community impact. Since 2012, Volunteer Gwinnett and the Coalition have partnered annually for Gwinnett Great Days of Service to host events during the third weekend in October. From 200 projects planned in 2018 for Gwinnett County’s Bicentennial to collection drives in the 19 districts of the Gwinnett County School System and its 139 schools, Gwinnett Great Days of Service has been a volunteer staple of Gwinnett County. In 2021, Volunteer Gwinnett stepped up to facilitate the operations of Gwinnett Great Days of Service with guidance from the Coalition for a smooth transition. That year, through a pandemic response, Gwinnett Great Days of Service served over 10 nonprofits. Immediately after, Volunteer Gwinnett began planning the 2022 weekend. At the beginning of 2022, the newly expanded Volunteer Gwinnett team of two part-time program leaders introduced a nonprofit year-round support program called Gwinnett Serves.
“With the National Association of Volunteer Programs in Local Government Awards, we hope to shine a national spotlight on the work being done in cities and counties to build stronger bonds between people and to lift those in need. This year's award winners do just that – supporting literacy for young children, providing adaptive sports opportunities to veterans, caring for the environment, and collaborating across sectors to promote service and volunteerism in their communities. We applaud these programs and the volunteer managers who make them possible. Congratulations to the award winners,” said Mary Lynn Perry, President of NAVPLG.
NAVPLG is the only national association of directors, managers, and administrators of volunteer programs in city, county, and other local governments. The organization aims to strengthen volunteer programs through leadership, education, advocacy, networking, and information exchange. Founded in 1997, NAVPLG focuses exclusively on the unique needs of volunteer programs within the structure of local governments. Challenges and issues for volunteerism in municipalities and counties can differ substantially from those in nonprofit volunteer programs. NAVPLG welcomes active participation by NAVPLG members to serve on the Board of Directors. Open positions include Nominations Chair and committee associates. If you are interested in serving, please contact NAVPLG at President@navplg.org For more information about NAVPLG or the Awards program, please visit: www.navplg.org