BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - ExxonMobil is a huge corporate citizen in Baton Rouge, employing thousands, nurturing community outreach. You'll find bright red Exxon t-shirts among the working volunteers at a poor woman's home with Rebuilding Together in North Baton Rouge. They always participate in the United Way during a Day of Action. This year it was refurbishing a local school. It just makes sense that a super volunteer would come from these ranks.
Marvin Borgmeyer is a retiree from ExxonMobil with decades at the plant. The gifts he developed on the job, he carries into his volunteer work.
When an executive at Exxon, it helped to be able to network with other professionals. Borgmeyer now serves on community boards and helps members rally support for worthy causes. There is no way to estimate how many volunteer stints on projects, boards, foundations, he's donated...but he loves his volunteer work.
"When I moved to Baton Rouge in 1975," he said, " I soon learned that this just was a fantastic area and was very easy to join things, to become involved in things. In larger cities, like Houston for example, it can be very hard to get involved in something because there are so many people involved. You almost have to be very wealthy or something to get on somebody's board!"
9News followed Marvin to a special Rotary meeting at BREC Headquarters. There he greeted long-time friends warmly, and interviewed people manning exhibit tables about some of the BREC facilities. Borgmeyer saw zoo director Phil Frost. Marvin is a governor board member at the zoo, and even knew the name of the young woman dressed in a six-foot tall fuzzy elephant suit.
Borgmeyer found fellow retirees like former School Board member Roger Moser and former bank presidents. In South Louisiana, it helps to be friends with people in businesses and high places. Marvin's warm personal style makes that sort of networking easy. He helped get Baton Rouge's first efforts to start the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge. He's helped the Baton Rouge Speech and Hearing Foundation, now called the Emerge Center. The list goes on.
Donna Britt laughs, she estimates, "Marvin's probably served on more than a hundred boards!"
WAFB toured the Salvation Army's Brookstown Road Corps Community Center. The clean paint and the cinderblock building has a large space to seat a crowd for seminars, prayer meetings, community gatherings.
People are entering the building and approaching a series of tables where Salvation Army employees are seated with computers. They are given forms to fill out. This is where the Salvation Army vets all the applicants for Angel Tree Christmas Toy distribution. Applicants patiently fill out the forms as Marvin Borgmeyer talks with Captain Brett Meredith, who leads the Baton Rouge Army with his wife. Marvin is currently trying to find donors who can help the Salvation Army answer some significant debt so it can begin to raise funds for a new building on Airline Highway.
It's been a campaign that previous local leaders have not been able to win. Something tells us that with Marvin on the team, anything is possible.
Marvin Borgmeyer is very humble..."I'm a terrible hunter, fisherman, and I gave up golf about 38 years ago. It's kind of just a pastime, a hobby anyway. I just enjoy trying to help out a little bit."
The Power of 9 Volunteer award is sponsored by Capital One Bank, Capital Area United Way's Volunteer Center and WAFB. To nominate someone you feel is deserving, contact the United Way.