CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — Two Montgomery County residents -- Clarksville City Councilman Gary Norris and youth leader Taylor Genee Albertia -- have been recognized as recipients of the Governor’s Volunteer Stars Awards.
The Governor’s Volunteer Stars Award is a program instituted by former Gov. Phil Bredesen to honor adult and youth citizens from each county for exemplary volunteer service to their community.
Norris was selected as the 2019 adult recipient for his long-time commitment and passion to help families obtain affordable, decent homes through his support of Habitat for Humanity, both as a business owner and a board member. Norris also worked to institute the Clarksville Home Builders Association and served in several different capacities on the board throughout the years, working to establish scholarships for Austin Peay State University students and provide donations to Clarksville-Montgomery County School System.
Norris has been giving back to Clarksville-Montgomery County for nearly four decades by volunteering his time and talents to many civic organizations. He also has served on the City Board of Zoning Appeals, Montgomery County Historic Zoning Commission and Common Design Review Board, Clarksville Montgomery County Regional Planning Commission, Montgomery County Board of Zoning Appeals, the Clarksville Chamber of Commerce and as an elder at First Presbyterian Church.
"I believe everyone should become involved in their community. Why not give back to the place that has done so much for us," Norris said.
In 2019, he was appointed to the vacant Ward 11 City Council seat.
Albertia was selected as the 2019 Youth GVSA recipient for her active volunteer experiences throughout Montgomery County.
She also received The President’s Volunteer Service Award for having completed more than 300 hours of volunteer service within a calendar year. She has been an active member of Junior Civitan International. Albertia currently serves as a Valley District Junior Governor, and in 2019 led her district in making Blessing Bags for local police officers after hearing about an officer being shot and killed in uniform. Under her direction, 40 Junior Civitans made 150 Blessing Bags full of snacks, first aid items and personal notes of encouragement, for local law enforcement.
Albertia also serves as an ambassador for Lead United with Clarksville United Way and a Montgomery County Mayor’s Emerging Leader, makes the time to volunteer as a music camp leader, a mentor for those with special needs, visits the elderly in nursing homes and participates in food and clothing drives while maintaining high academic standards and serving on her school’s yearbook staff.
“I give because it’s something we do in my family. I’ve never known anything but volunteering and I think it is important that we show compassion to others,” Albertia said.
Anyone who would like to nominate an individual or anyone who would like to self-nominate can find information about the GVSA at https://www.tn.gov/volunteer-tennessee/vt-events/vt-gvsa.html. Nominations for this year’s honorees are due to firstname.lastname@example.org by Nov. 17, 2020.
City Councilman Gary Norris, joined by his wife, Joyce, displays a proclamation from County Mayor Jim Durrett, left, noting Norris’s being named a Governor’s Volunteer Stars Award. Below, Taylor Genee Albertia, displays her proclamation.