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Northeast Times | November 28, 2021

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Local AmeriCorps alum and Volunteer Center employee only representative from Texas to receive National Leadership Award at ceremony in D.C.

Local AmeriCorps alum and Volunteer Center employee only representative from Texas to receive National Leadership Award at ceremony in D.C.

Lisa Tatum, disaster preparedness senior manager at the Volunteer Center of North Texas, was named one of AmeriCorps’ 20 for 20 National Leaders.
AmeriCorps Alums – a Points of Light enterprise – announced Monday the 20 winners of its National Leadership Awards to commemorate its 20th anniversary. They were selected because of their exemplary commitment to a lifetime of service.

President Obama will lead a ceremony at the White House on Friday to recognize the official anniversary, an event Tatum and the other awardees will attend. Other nationwide events include in-person and virtual recommitment ceremonies for the nearly 1 million people who have joined AmeriCorps since 1994.

More than 25,000 served in Texas just last year, and more than 45,000 have served statewide since 1994, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Building on her experience as an AmeriCorps member, Tatum now works to solve critical problems in disaster preparedness. She is an integral part of recruiting volunteers and continuing the Mass Care Task Force, a unique collaboration designed to respond to major disasters.

“It is an honor to be recognized during the 20th anniversary – not so much for myself, but for the other 800,000 plus members who have served,” Tatum said. “We are getting things done and it’s a wonderful time to celebrate service.”

The award winners, chosen from a pool of nominees from all 50 states and all 20 years of AmeriCorps’ history, will serve as spokespeople, advocates and resources for all alumni beyond Sept. 12. For a full list of award winners, click here.

“There is no doubt in my mind that AmeriCorps set me on the path to a lifetime of service,” Tatum said. “I learned so much during my service about how to be an integrated part of a community and to contribute my time and talents that once I served my term in AmeriCorps, I simply never quit.”

Tatum served in AmeriCorps from 1997-1998 and is currently the chapter leader for the AmeriCorps Alums of North Texas and a key member of the North Texas AmeriCorps Alliance.

She has worked at the Volunteer Center of North Texas for four years, where she coordinates volunteer recruitment and management. She also liaises with local VOAD, COAD, Citizen Corps, and Regional Emergency Managers to ensure the Mass Care Task Force collaboration extends across all networks.

“We are so fortunate to have Lisa as part of the Volunteer Center of North Texas team,” said Tammy Richards, CEO of the Volunteer Center of North Texas. “Lisa’s experience in volunteer engagement is invaluable, and her passion for service is contagious.”

Tatum maintains her 16-year standing as a Red Cross volunteer and serves in a leadership role with the American Red Cross North Texas Region’s Diversity Leadership Council.

Tatum responded to disasters like Hurricane Katrina, Super Storm Sandy, and provided professional consulting and support to communities nationally. She also serves as a Board member for Sustainable Education Solutions, a Dallas-based nonprofit opening an environmentally focused charter school, Trinity Environmental Academy, in August 2015.

“There really has been no ‘life After AmeriCorps’ for me,” Tatum said. “I have always endeavored to be connected to service and to AmeriCorps in some way.”