By Matt Bumstead, 2014 Rita Harmon Award Recipient
Like all the previous recipients of the Rita Harmon Volunteer Service Award, this year’s honoree, Norval Pollard, has done so much to make our community a better place for all, and has done it with no expectation of praise, and certainly with no expectation of recognition like this.
It is an honor to present this award to someone who has given so much of himself to serve the Lubbock community for the past 35 years.
Norval came to Lubbock from Durango, Colorado where he majored in political science at Fort Lewis College. He enjoyed a 28-year career at the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal where he was executive sports editor, assistant managing editor, and director of consumer marketing. While at the A-J, he won a variety of writing and editing awards and served as president of the Texas Associated Press Sports Editors.
Norval’s passion for literacy led to his Make Kids Count marketing program that emphasized children’s literacy and parental involvement and garnered national recognition. His former boss at the A-J, Randy Sanders, commented that he served on the United Way board with Rita Harmon and can attest that Norval has the same servant’s heart she did.
Norval recently retired from his role as vice president for business development at City Bank and continues to work part-time for the bank as well as being involved in Lubbock’s volunteer community. Norval’s friend Jeff Klotzman said “I always felt like City Bank’s Community Rewards program was Norval’s baby. He fostered it, promoted it and pushed it to grow. What a great testament to a community servant – help create a unique program that has meant a huge difference for so many nonprofit agencies.” In fact, in Norval’s 11 years of managing the program, $600,000 has been awarded to more than 120 nonprofit organizations.
I could share a very long list of the volunteer roles Norval has taken on, but let me name just a few. He has served on the boards of three of United Way’s Community Partners: The Volunteer Center of Lubbock, Literacy Lubbock, as well as the Guadalupe-Parkway Neighborhood Centers Board Advisory Committee. Other boards include the Community Foundation of West Texas, Remember our Heroes, Osher [OH-SURE] Lifelong Living Institute, Youth Corps and Lubbock Meals on Wheels.
He is very proud of coordinating City Bank’s Meals on Wheels delivery efforts involving more than 1,200 employees. Norval has also facilitated financial literacy classes for Guadalupe-Parkway, Habitat for Humanity, Tomorrow’s Leaders and various high schools.
All of that, and we’ve yet to mention all he has done for Lubbock Area United Way. Norval is currently on the United Way board and has taken on many responsibilities for our organization through the years. These include serving on the Public Policy, Nominating and Marketing committees and many jobs in the annual campaign: campaign coordinator, working in the Pacesetter, Special Gifts, Corporate and Leadership giving divisions as well as serving on the Campaign Cabinet.
Sharon Bass with the Volunteer Center sums it up very well when she says “I love Norval Pollard. There are so many things about him I could list that inspire me. I am astounded at the many – only he knows the actual number – organizations he has served on their board or volunteered with or connected to other people … the best part to me is that when you’re with him he is so present – on the phone or in person… you are going to leave confident that you are the dearest of friends and your organization is at the top of his list … all of us feel that way … he listens, his brain and heart never stop making up good stuff, and we’re all better because of it … and ALL of us are his favorite.”
Please join us in congratulating the recipient of this year’s Rita Harmon Volunteer Service Award, Norval Pollard.