VIP History, Awards & Recognitions

1986 - The International City Managers Association selected the VIP Program to participate in the Peer Exchange Program, giving Elma Martinez the opportunity to share information about the program throughout the country.

1986 -The VIP Program won the 1986 National Technology Achievement Award in the Personnel category for "Utilizing volunteers in the delivery of city services" from the Arco Oil and Gas Company.

1992 -The VIP Program won the Volunteer of the Year Award from the Volunteer Center of Plano and the Employer with the Most Diverse Placement Award from Collin County Community College.

1993
-The VIP program was nominated and recognized for the 1993 President's Volunteer Action Award though the Points of Light Foundation for outstanding voluntary contributions by organizations helping in communities and society.

1996
-The Genealogy Group was awarded the Northeast Texas Library System Outstanding Service to Library award.

1996
- VIP Coordinator Robin Popik was awarded the Governor's Volunteer Leadership Award for Outstanding Administration and Management of a Government Volunteer Program.

1996, 2001, 2004 & 2007
- Plano received the Keep Texas Beautiful Governor's Community Achievement Award of Excellence. A large part of award criteria is based on volunteer efforts in the community in the areas of litter prevention, waste reduction and beautification.

1999
- The High Smith Library Award went to the Plano Public Library's Circle of Success Homework Center.

2002
- Small Talk, a program promoting cultural exchange, won the Northeast Texas Library System Outstanding Program of the Year award.

2003
- The Volunteer of the Year Award winners for Collin county were the VIP Program for the Civic / Community Leadership Award and the VIP Teens for the Youth Award.

2003
- The VIP program won the International Association of Volunteer Administration's Distinguished Service Award for improving lives of individuals and communities through the
effective mobilization of volunteer resources.

2003
- Plano Earned the Environmental Vision Award for the Texas Smartscape Lawn and Garden Showcase Event, presented by the Dallas County Corporate Recycling Council. This event was implemented and staffed by Master Composter volunteers.

2004
- A library program operated by volunteers, Library Links with Seniors, won the Northeast Texas Library System's Library Project of the Year Award.

2005
- Sustainability and Environmental Services won the H. Clark Gregory Award for Outstanding Efforts to promote Grassroots Composting, presented by the United States Composting Council. This award honors all of the community education and outreach efforts of Plano's Master Composter volunteers.

2006
- Plano placed first in the National Award from Keep America Beautiful for the Household Chemical Collection and Reuse Center program and the Electronic Waste Recycling program. Both of these programs, are dependent upon volunteer staffing and could not be offered to the Plano community without their help.

2009
- VIP Resources Coordinator Corina Sadler received an award from the National Association of Volunteer Programs in Local Government (NAVPLG) for Outstanding New Volunteer Administrator Award.

2011
- As a Cities of Service Initiative and winner of the 2010 Muehlenbeck Innovation Award, Love Where You Live focus is on community outreach, renewal, and physical rehabilitation, strengthening social fabric, enhancing community cohesiveness and helping neighbors establish a communication network to help ensure their quality of life. "The work is done with great love," says Jim McGuire a partner and leader of the program, "we believe in it and feel it builds neighborhood integrity and camaraderie."

2012 - The U.S. Department of Justice honored the city with a National Award. Police Chief Greg Rushin says his department works with 194 volunteers who after dedicated training run a handicap parking and park patrol program; man observation towers in public places; handle special enforcement requests (such as investigating speeding in school zones); festival patrol; aiding in crime scene assistance; staging as "victims" in various training and emergency management scenarios; and aiding in a variety of administration situations such as front desk, record scanning / indexing and warrant call outs.

2012 - Volunteer Resources Supervisor Robin Popik was named the recipient of the Excellence in Volunteer Management Award given by the National Association of Volunteer Programs in Local Government (NAVPLG). The award was based on the inherent abilities Robin possesses and her genuine passion for the industry she loves. This isn't the first time that Robin has been singled out by her peers for her work through Volunteers In Plano (VIP). For over 2 decades her name has been nationally synonymous with coordinating the finest in local government volunteering efforts. She has been instrumental in not only program development, but in facilitating extra manpower for nearly every city department, numerous local businesses, cultural events, a number of emergency incidents, and many non-profit organizations, totaling hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours.