Comments from Stacy Sigman, Oct. 16, 2018:
Good afternoon. On behalf of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mississippi Valley Division, Vicksburg District, I would like to thank everyone for coming to this special awards ceremony.
Specifically, I would like to thank Greg Miller, Chairman for the Corps Foundation, for traveling all this way to present the ENDURING SERVICE VOLUNTEER AWARD.
For those you who do not know Jerry Shields, I would like share of few words.
Jerry had a 35 year career with AT&T. He started out as grade-one machine operator on the factory floor. He attended night classes for 9 years in order to attain his Bachelor of Science Degree. Ten years later, Jerry spent three years in night classes, achieving his Masters. Five years later he was chosen to pursue his Doctorate in International Business and then promoted to Vice President of Asia Pacific contracting based Hong Kong. As you can see hard work and determination has always been Jerry’s trade mark.
Jerry has been married to his wife Gail for 54 years and has two children, David Shields and Kelly Vaughn.
After retirement Jerry and his wife decided to retire in Montgomery County.
While talking with Jerry he stated that while working, going to school and raising kids he was unable to be volunteer and engage his community like he really wanted. Since retirement he has made up for lost time.
Jerry has received numerous local, state and national awards pertaining to his volunteer work.
As a charter member of the Lake Ouachita Citizens Focus Committee, Jerry has donated thousands of hours of volunteer service to enhance recreation opportunities on Lake Ouachita. Jerry was instrumental in forming a plan for a hiking and biking trail along the southern shore of Lake Ouachita. He, along with a small group of local trail enthusiasts, presented this plan and gained support from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Forest Service fifteen years ago. The plan was developed to construct a trail from Denby Bay on the western terminus of Lake Ouachita to Avery Recreation area. Jerry and the other trail enthusiasts became known as the “Trail Dogs”. The Trail Dogs were instrumental in marking the proposed trail, constructing the trail, and now maintaining the trail.
He has served on the Lake Ouachita Citizens Focus Committee (LOCFC) since 2001, and is currently the Chairman of the committee. The LOCFC was created to benefit Lake Ouachita and its visitors by enhancing U.S. Army Corps of Engineer managed facilities and natural resources.
As a Coalition and Team Builder, Jerry has also been instrumental in forming partnerships with Montgomery and Garland County, the Arkansas Highways and Transportation Department, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Lake Ouachita Resort Owners Association, the Mount Ida Chamber of Commerce, the Montgomery County Health Education Advisory Board, the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Corps of Engineers in gaining support, funding and personnel to construct and maintain the LOViT trail. Jerry, along with the other Trail Dogs and the LOCFC, has garnered over 1 million dollars in grant funding for the trail.
**Before turning it over to Greg I would like to finish with these final thoughts on Jerry:
Jerry is a Leader….He can lead from the tip of the spear or lead by example as a team member.
Jerry does not understand the word impossible! More than once he has been told; Jerry, I don’t think this is possible. He would simply say, HOLD MY TEA GLASS AND WATCH THIS!!!!!
Lastly, Jerry is a FRIEND – A friend to Montgomery County, a friend to Garland County, a friend to the USDA Forest Service and friend to the Corps of Engineers.
[Please read the article about Jerry in the Fall 2018 Edition of “The Corps Foundation Newsletter“.]