This blog features observations from Randy Turner, a former teacher, newspaper reporter and editor. Send news items or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Voices for National Service to honor Rohr, White, Davis
(From the City of Joplin)
In mid-February, Joplin City Manager Mark Rohr will be recognized for his leadership in the recovery work following the May 22, 2011 by Voices for National Service. Rohr was recently contacted by this organization inviting him to Washington D.C. to accept the award. Voices for National Service is a coalition of national service organizations, state service commissions and individual champions, who work to spotlight the impact of national service programs, as well as ensure Americans of all ages have the opportunity to serve their country.
In their invitation, they noted Rohr’s support of the work citizens have put forth in recovery efforts, as well as the City’s partnership with AmeriCorps who provided management and coordination of 155,000 volunteers. “In appreciation for your leadership, helping to ensure community partners and AmeriCorps members were effectively utilized in Joplin’s recovery and rebuilding effort, Voices for National Service would like to present you with our Local Leadership Award.”
Rohr will accept the award on February 11 during the 10th Annual Friends of National Service Awards Reception. “This award is not mine, but it belongs to AmeriCorps and all of the thousands of volunteers who have provided service and hard work for our community’s rebuilding. We would not be as far along on the path of recovery without the dedication of so many who freely gave their time to help us. It will be my honor to accept it on behalf of everyone who has portrayed the Miracle of the Human Spirit these past 20 months.”
AmeriCorps St. Louis established volunteer headquarters quickly in order to coordinate the continuous stream of volunteers coming to Joplin immediately following the tornado. “They were instrumental and provided safety training, and organized volunteer teams to work throughout the disaster area helping those in need,” he said. “They worked with other organizations in many areas, such as setting up donation warehouses, points of distribution, and helped identify other resources that play critical roles in recovery. They were a great support to us.”
Several staff members from the City, including Assistant City Manager Sam Anselm and Parks Director Chris Cotten, worked closely with AmeriCorps during this time. Rohr noted that Anselm and Cotten managed the City’s role in the partnership, while many other staff members were committed to this area and kept the progress moving forward.
“With the large number of volunteers coming into the city to help, our staff worked alongside AmeriCorps to help identify and contact local resources that could provide the necessary assets,” said Rohr. “This partnership worked well because staff provided the local expertise to those AmeriCorps members managing the volunteers. It is this type of teamwork that demonstrates the benefit of all levels of public and private sectors working for a common goal, which was, and still remains – helping our citizens.”
In addition to Rohr receiving an award for local leadership, Missouri State Representatives Bill White and Charlie Davis will also be recognized for their leadership at the state level.
Recipients are generally nominated by the membership of the organization. Because of the City’s strong support of national service, and continued positive coverage of the recovery, Rohr’s name was mentioned early in the process.
This award recognizes individuals for leadership and innovation in leveraging national service to meet local needs. Past honorees have included Mayors Mitch Landrieu, Michael Nutter, and Michael Bloomberg, as well as Representative David Cicilline and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. The annual reception honors national leaders from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors who have contributed to building a culture of citizenship, service, and responsibility within America.
Voices for National Service is a diverse coalition of national service programs, state commissions and individual champions committed to expanding opportunities for Americans of all ages to serve and volunteer. Founded in 2003, the coalition is the respected voice for the service community in Washington, DC, building strong bipartisan support among our nation’s leaders for national service as a viable policy solution to tackle unmet needs, expand opportunity, and leverage social capital. Drawing on the combined experience and knowledge of the service community, Voices for National Service played a key role in the development of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act.