Most Impactful Volunteer

Changing our outlook from one board to the next.

Vicki Myers gets things done. She’s a go-getter who is not afraid to speak up for what’s best, which is why she is often sought out for boards, committees, and volunteer work. Myers also brings a new perspective to the table, one built by years of working in an environment that took grit and determination.

Myers began her professional career in public service in the late 1960s as a juvenile probation officer in Indianapolis and eventually moved into an adult probation and parole officer role in St. Louis in 1971. She was the first female to supervise a district probation and parole office. She was then appointed to the Missouri Parole Board, which has the authority to grant the release of incarcerated offenders. She served 12 years in that role under several governors. She also served in various capacities for the Missouri Division of Probation and Parole and then was appointed as director of human services for the Missouri Department of Corrections before her retirement in 2011. Those roles taught her a great deal about servant-leadership.

 “Whatever job it was, I absolutely loved it,” Myers says. “What is so significant about probation and parole is that you always have someone’s freedom in your hands. I was always making sure that no one on my staff abused their power. You want the right people on the job to look at things and make decisions in a balanced way.”

“Whatever job it was,I absolutely loved it.”

Vicki Myers

After retirement, Myers took those strengths of balanced decision-making to help community organizations, taking on work that was sometimes vastly different from her career. But the same gifts she developed came in handy while serving as a volunteer on various boards.

 “When I retired, I got involved with Capital Arts,” Myers remarks. “It was funny because I am far from being an artist, but someone asked me to be on the board. I enjoyed volunteering at the gallery and now serve as treasurer.”

 Myers has a long list of organizations she has served on over the years, including Zonta, YMCA, Boys & Girls Club, Lincoln University Foundation, Common Ground, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Council of Clubs. She also enjoys giving back at her local church and serving in her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha, the oldest Black sorority in the US, founded in 1908. Myers notes that working with youth and finding ongoing mentorship opportunities is vitally important.

 “Mentorship has always been so important to me, whether in a job, social life, or school,” Myers says. “I strongly feel that some kids are not in a stable system, and that the right person in their life can turn them around. It can help a young person do better in life, so mentoring is very significant.”

 For many organizations, Myers is a seasoned member of the team and provides mentorship to new members. She also is often the only Black member on a board of directors, and her voice becomes a powerful force for inclusion and diversity.

 “Jefferson City is an interesting place racially, and on a lot of boards, there are few minorities,” she says. “I’m supposed to help with that point of view, and that is really needed.”

 Myers also notes the support of her husband, who has been a rock through her decades of service, and her three boys that are grown and out of the house. She now has more time to serve on boards, as well as extra free time to play bridge with her bridge club or catch a new movie. While she’s taken on an extraordinary volunteer journey since retiring, she notes the importance of not just giving a quick “yes” when asked to serve in a board capacity.

 “I’m in situations where we’re looking for board members and volunteers, so the person considering should ask great questions to see if they are a good fit,” Myers advises. “People have to make those decisions — are they a good fit, or do they have time? It has to be more than a resume builder. You have to make a significant contribution.”