2021 Volunteer of the Year - Mark Walker

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The annual Springfield Southeast Rotary Club's Volunteer of the Year Award is our Club’s highest honor.  It  recognizes community service rendered outside Rotary activities.  Mark Walker received the 2021 award at our weekly meeting on April 22.  Tammy Mast (above right), chair of the Rotary Volunteers Committee, presented the award on April 22.

"One of the greatest moments is after we have selected the recipient and we just reflect on the impact that person has had in our community," Tammy said.

Comments that were made about this year’s recipient are:

'I just want to be like him.'

'He always has the right thing to say for that exact moment.'

'He is smart, caring, humble.'

'He steps up and will do anything that needs to be done and he does it with no fanfare.'

'He naturally creates a giving culture for all of those around him and you just want to be a part of that.'

'He is a natural mentor. Sometimes you don’t even know you are being mentored, but you just want to absorb all of the knowledge you can.'

Mark has served on numerous boards at local, state and national levels, advocating for social justice, education and professional development. He has brought key stakeholders together to address opportunity gaps and the needs of some of the most underserved to create sustainable change. He has provided a visionary perspective to create strategic shifts for nonprofit organizations at a time they needed it most.

He has served or is currently on the boards of directors for the national CASA organization, Care to Learn, Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, United Way, Missouri Trucking Association and several organizations in Silicon Valley. He also is on the Drury University Board of Trustees.

Mark is a visionary, a leader, and a mentor. Yet, when asked about his most rewarding volunteer experience, it was time spent in a Mark Twain Elementary School classroom.


Nominations for this annual award are submitted by our club members and community organizations, with the final selection being made by the Rotary volunteer committee.  Tammy Mast is the committee chair and presented the award.

The award has been presented since 1999.  Previous recipients are:

2019     Mark McNay
2018     Charlie O'Reilly
2017     Angela Smith      
2016      Irwin Cohen
2015      Doug Nickell
2014      Steve Rice
2013      Gordon Elliott
2012      Kirk Elmquist
2011      Dennis Whaley
2010      Gerry Lee
2009      Rick Hughlett
2008      Gary Deaver
2007      Bob Hammerschmidt
2006      Doug Pitt
2005      Anne Brown
2004      Todd Parnell
2003      Joy Lamberson Klock
2002      Steve Scott
2001      Barbara Lucks
2000      Mac McCartney
1999      Bill Reser


Rotary Volunteer of the Year Award Nomination Form