President George W. Bush on Tuesday announced the appointments of more than a dozen nationally renowned leaders from the worlds of business, entertainment, sports, education, government, nonprofits and media — including Wendy Spencer, chief executive officer of the Governor’s Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service (Volunteer Florida) — to the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation.
Spencer is the daughter of Warren Mays and Gladys Muggridge and the granddaughter of Georgia Ferguson, all of Thomasville.
In January 2002, the president called upon all Americans to give two years or 4,000 hours of their lives to service. The council, created by President Bush in January 2003, encourages Americans of all ages and backgrounds to become more engaged in civic activities. Council members provide leadership, serving as “Ambassadors of Service” for the president’s vision of fostering a culture of citizenship and volunteer service in our country.
“I am more than thrilled to be offered this opportunity to assist the president in advancing the volunteer movement in America,” said Spencer. “It is the honor of a lifetime to be asked to serve because, like the president, I believe that volunteerism strengthens families, communities and our nation. Plus, volunteering is good for the soul!”
As CEO of Volunteer Florida, Spencer manages $16 million a year in federal, state, and local grants that engage citizens in volunteer activities. Spencer’s 23-year career includes serving as director of the Florida State Park Service and as resource development director for the United Way of the Big Bend from 1991-2001. Spencer has raised more than $35 million to benefit communities and has volunteered on countless boards of charitable organizations. She currently serves on the boards of The Able Trust and the Florida Association of Voluntary Agencies for Caribbean Action. She also is a current member of the XXIV Class of Leadership Florida, an organization dedicated to developing a strong, diverse statewide network of leaders with a shared commitment to make Florida a better place to live.
The Governor’s Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service (Volunteer Florida) was established in 1994 by the Florida Legislature to administer grants under the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993. The commission grants funds to Florida AmeriCorps and National Service programs; encourages volunteerism for everyone from youths to seniors to people with disabilities; promotes volunteerism in emergency management and preparedness; and helps to strengthen and expand Volunteer Centers in Florida.
“Every Floridian can take pride in the exemplary work Wendy has done coordinating the efforts of hundreds of thousands of volunteers, especially in the wake of Florida’s recent series of natural disasters,” said Gov. Jeb Bush. “I can’t imagine a Floridian better qualified to serve our nation in this important capacity.”
Spencer joins a list of nationally renowned leaders and celebrities whose appointments also were announced Tuesday. New Council members are:
•Stephen Baldwin – actor
•Jean Case – Case Foundation, president
•Ray Chambers – philanthropist
•Jerry Colangelo – PhoenixSuns, owner
•Evern Cooper Epps – UPS Foundation, president
•Myrka Dellanos –news anchor/journalist, Univision Network
•Hilary Duff – recording artist, actor
•Sara Evans – country recording artist
•Darrell Green – NFL, retired
•Patrica Heaton – actor
•Kasey Kahne –NASCAR, rookie of the year
•Art Linkletter –Entertainer
•Mary Jo Myers – Gen. Myers’ wife/USO
•Michelle Nunn –Hands On Network, CEO
•Cokie Roberts –news journalist
•Michael W. Smith – recording artist
•Wendy Spencer – Volunteer Florida, director
•Roxanne Spillet –Boys & Girls Clubs, president
•Hope Taft – first lady of Ohio
•Charles Turlinski – Limited Stores, president
•Mark Yudof – Universityof Texas, chancellor
The new members of the council met at the White House for a roundtable discussion regarding his agenda to promote a culture of service and compassion in America. Also today, USA Freedom Corps and Council members will launch a new radio public service announcement campaign designed to engage more Americans in volunteer service.
Spencer, now in Florida, to serve president’s council