Margot Seay’s six-year term as AARP Tennessee state president was winding down, and she had decided it was time to stay home and get some things done around the house.
Her husband, Bunky Seay, had another idea — convince her to apply for a brand new job as AARP’s first national volunteer d i r e c t o r.
Seay, of Kingsport, will spend the next two years providing advice and leadership for AARP’s Office of Volunteerism and Service.
“It’s a very new job. It’s a work in progress, and the idea is how to connect all the different volunteers who work for AARP and provide them with resources and advice,” Seay said.
Seay was among more than 50 applicants from around the country representing all aspects of AARP’s volunteer programs, including Tax-Aide, Driver Safety, chapters, NRTA (formerly National Retired Teachers Association) and state-managed volunteers.
“I think one of the reasons that I was chosen for this new position was my state work, but also my work here in Kingsport ... We’ve been able to really partner and collaborate with groups in the city of Kingsport and all work for the common good.”
Seay has a breadth of experience in all facets of volunteer engagement, with particular strengths in consensus-building and motivation. She worked as a recruiter/coordinator of volunteers for the First Tennessee District Ombudsman Program from 1996 to 2002. She began volunteering with AARP in 2001 because of her interest in improving long-term care services, and she served as the Regional Impact Team leader for the Tri-Cities area.
Her passion and leadership were instrumental in efforts to reform Tennessee’s long-term care services. In 2009, she was honored by the Southeastern Association of Area Agencies on Aging as the Outstanding Regional Volunteer. In 2010, she was appointed to the state’s Commission on Aging and Disability. Recently, she has worked with Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration on improvements to the system for serving older Tennesseans and has spearheaded AARP efforts to make communities more livable for all ages.
“When people think of AARP, many times they don’t think of all the volunteer opportunities, and they don’t realize we have a wonderful website that helps you advertise volunteer opportunities in your community,” Seay said. “This job will encompass bringing together Driver Safety, Tax-Aide, the Retired Teachers Association, state volunteers and foundation volunteers and just make sure that they have the best support they can.”
Volunteering is in the blood of both Seay and her husband. Bunky Seay is the chief service officer for Kingsport and is a dedicated volunteer with Meals on Wheels.
“We both enjoy it, and we support each other’s work,” Seay said. “We do have those times when we can get away, particularly in this age of technology. In today’s world, communication is instant and constant. We both take advantage of social media and our computers and our networks.”
AARP Tennessee is now recruiting for a new state president and seeking new members for the executive council of volunteers, which helps oversee activities across Tennessee. Interested applicants should visit http://tinyurl.com/tnaarpvols? , e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org ? or call 1-866-295-7274.comments powered by Disqus