Have You Met?

There are some people who are just respected and admired by all, and when their name is mentioned – it might as well be put in the same category with Mother Teresa. Such a person is Jackie Norris, the Denver Icon, who just retired after serving as the Executive Director for Metro Volunteers for 13 years. Metro Volunteers is the highly-effective non-profit organization that recognizes volunteers as a critical resource in addressing societal needs in the community. Metro Volunteers is recognized as the expert source in volunteerism and in mobilizing and cultivating dynamic volunteer programs in the metro Denver area.

As you watch Jackie interact with her family and friends, it’s clear why this exceptional lady was able to lead with such warmth, compassion, and enthusiasm. Jackie has built a strong support base; and it’s obvious that she appreciates and is thankful for all that she has been given in her life. Jackie is part of a loving, close-knit family; and you can tell how much her husband and children adore and look up to her - and are proud of all she has accomplished.

Jackie’s accomplishments are truly far-reaching, and her dedication and leadership at Metro Volunteers will be missed. Jackie also feels fortunate to have worked for the American Red Cross for 23 years before coming to Metro Volunteers. She was a volunteer in Vietnam during a critical time in our country’s history in the late 60’s. Jackie Lively Norris was featured in a book called “Angels in Vietnam – Women Who Served” written by Jan Hornung which highlighted some of Jackie’s experiences there. Jackie reflects: “One of the most important things I learned working for the Red Cross was that volunteers can do anything, and I have never forgotten that. Volunteers have started every important initiative and social movement in this country's history. Nothing in our society would work without them.”

When talking about the future for Metro Volunteers, Jackie says with assurance: “Our committed board of directors and our enthusiastic and dedicated staff will continue to build our capacity to serve volunteers, and the organizations in which they serve, all across the community.” Jackie is also confident that Kristy Judd, the new Executive Director taking her place, will bring great skills and Kristy’s own positive perspective to Metro Volunteers.

As one of the Tribute Posters at Jackie Norris’ Retirement Party read: “This isn’t goodbye – just see you later!” True to her optimistic character, Jackie seconds that by saying: “I look forward to continuing my own volunteer activism as I move into my next act…”

What is the first post-retirement book you plan on reading? A book that was just given to me as a gift: “Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia” by Elizabeth Gilbert.

What person besides a family member has had the greatest impact on you - specifically during your career? A great lady who was one of my early supervisors, Janet Baird (now deceased). She really knew how to empower volunteers, and she would say: “Volunteers may not do it the way you would do it, they may do it better…”

What is your plan for the first month after your retirement? To stay home in my bathrobe and slippers until 11 a.m. every morning watching HGTV for ideas on how to fix up my house!

Then what are you going to do? I’m going to see what it feels like to have free time and flexibility in my schedule after 41 years of working.

Are you going to do any traveling? Absolutely! There are lots of places in the country, and all over the world, we want to see.

We hear you would like to go to France, how soon will you be going there? As soon as I can talk Steve into it….

Will you still be involved with Metro Volunteers? Actually, my first volunteer assignment is with MV. But, I have a wonderful successor in Kristy Judd, and I want to get out of her way and let her take MV to the next level.

Are you going to continue working? I’m not planning to work full time, but I’m open to possibilities. I will be doing some projects for our National Organization; “Points of Light” and “Hands on Network.” And, even though my new business cards say: Norris Consulting, I am not starting my own business.

Where do you think you will you be volunteering? I haven’t decided yet. I am looking at all possibilities, but I will take some time to think about it. I am interested in international volunteering opportunities.

Will you be accepting any Board positions? Eventually, but I believe in joining ones I have a passion for, and I haven’t thought of which those might be yet.

Do you think that you and your husband, Steve, will be able to spend so much time together? HECK NO! That’s why his office is upstairs, and mine is downstairs. : )

What do your consider your greatest accomplishment? Having raised two great and wonderful children who have grown up to be successful, caring members of our community.

How do you want to be remembered by future generations? As someone who always did things with a lot of passion and lived life to the fullest.

What will you miss most about working full-time at Metro Volunteers? Working with a wonderful Board and staff… All of whom I will really miss.

Are you really excited about your retirement? YES! But, I’m not retiring from the community – just my job.