To celebrate National Volunteer Month, each April the City of Madison looks at the prior year’s accomplishments and recognizes three of its most valued civic volunteers. Madison is rich with citizen leaders who give graciously of their time and talent to benefit us all. To each and every city volunteer – from appointed officials to event volunteers, from singular specialty projects to enduring program management, from paperwork gurus to laborious tasks – the City of Madison would like to express gratitude for your service above self.
VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR Award
Mr. Ben Proulx
Ben is an essential member of the Greenspace Conservation Commission. He is an excellent example of someone who combines professional knowledge and passion for community to the benefit of all.
Ben’s leadership on the Conservation Committee and his service on the Plantings & Beautification Committee have insured that Madison will have greenspace and tree cover well into the future. His illustrative plans aided the Council understanding of our revised tree ordinance.
Ben has taken the lead on a new proposal for downtown beatification. Too early to let the cat out of the bag, we can tell you this project will be transformational. Ben has already produced some extraordinary work, and the team working on this is fitting together all the puzzle pieces for this nascent project.
He is one of our elite volunteers. Ben, thank you so very much.
Superlative Service Award
Ms. Judy Senft
Since its inception, Judy has served as the Chair of the Housing Opportunity Commission. In that time, HOC became certified by the Georgia Initiative for Community Housing, supported two low-to-moderate housing developments (with a third slated for construction this year), secured four $300,000+ grants to make homes safe and sanitary, and sponsored numerous engagement activities. This has been accomplished through Judy’s leadership which has created a true team dedicated to providing housing opportunities for all Madisonians.
We would be remiss not to mention Judy’s previous volunteer service to our community. She served on the Historic Preservation Commission for seven years, including four as Chair. Judy was a member of the Madison Bicentennial Committee and continues to serve on the City’s Audit Committee. This equates to an untold number of hours given to the betterment of our community.
Thank you, Judy, for your ceaseless devotion to community service.
Inspirational Leadership Award
Mr. Phil Smeltzer
Phil is in his second year as Chair of the city’s Greenspace Conservation Commission. This is a board with many irons in the fire from parks, trails, and tree planting to outreach and public policy. Phil’s time management and organization skills have been essential in maintaining the momentum during the transition of GCC leadership.
While Phil has high expectations of his fellow commission members, he demands the same of himself especially in the area of fundraising. He has initiated a Green Fund Me Campaign and has personally written grant applications so that Madison can acquire and improve its greenspaces. A professional health advocate, Phil understands that access to green places is essential to our citizens’ quality of life.
Thank you so very much for your service, Phil.