Volunteer hero: Fred Houdek

Fred Houdek has Sierra Club in the veins. His son is the Land Use and Transportation Manager for the North Star Chapter in Minnesota. So when Fred and his wife, Marlene, moved to Albuquerque to be closer to their kids, one of Fred’s first actions was to reach out to the Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter’s Central New Mexico Group.

He quietly started coming to meetings, listening, learning, injecting curious questions with his midwestern lilt. He humbly offered his help as a member of the Bosque Action Team, then as the tabling coordinator, then coordinating our office move to our Lead Avenue location, working with Don Meaders (a union carpenter and volunteer extraordinaire) to turn the oil boiler building into a shed, and finally becoming our Central Group Chair.

Fred has carefully cultivated the volunteer team that is taking over as Fred passes the torch. Fred gets to know people, takes the time to get to know their interests, meets with them one on one and works with them to take ownership of work on the issues they’re interested in. Fred has owned his own business and even been a large hospital administrator.

The Sierra Club has been the lucky beneficiary of the incredible leadership skills that Fred developed from that experience. We’re so lucky to have had him for all these years as our Central Group Chair.  Now welcome to Diane Reese who brings her leadership skills from being a lead volunteer at St. Mark’s Episcopal and board chair at the Hubbell House.

Volunteer hero: Fred Houdek