Murrysville's Fey SURE has put in the effort to earn Jefferson Award
Maury Fey hasn't received a paycheck from Westinghouse in close to 20 years. But since his retirement in the mid-1990s, Fey, of Murrysville, has logged more than 14,000 hours working with his fellow engineers. At 76, Fey is the president of Westinghouse SURE – Service Uniting Retired Employees.
Under Fey's leadership, the group has completed more than 1.1 million hours of volunteer work at organizations across the Pittsburgh region. Volunteers with the 850-member group work in local hospitals, deliver and cook meals for homebound senior citizens, and escort visitors around Pittsburgh, to name a few of their myriad efforts.
“I strongly believe that when life's been good to you, you give back to it,” Fey said. “This is my personal way of doing it.”
Fey's role is mostly administrative, he said. The group has existed for nearly 25 years, but when Fey became president in about 1996, its members weren't keeping track of the work they did.
“I thought we really ought to know what we're doing, who we serve and how many hours we do it,” he said.
The first year, the group logged about 36,000 to 40,000 hours. The next, about 60,000. Now, dozens of coordinators keep track of the volunteer hours for their individual organization. It's all kept in an annual report, along with an estimate of what those hours equate to in dollars. Last year, Fey estimates the group put about $18 million worth of volunteering into the community.
For Fey, that's a rewarding outcome.
“My job there is to focus our attention and help to inspire our people to keep going – and to get others to join them,' Fey said.
For his work organizing and leading Westinghouse SURE, Fey received a local Jefferson Award, an award initiated by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, U.S. Senator Robert Taft Jr., and Sam Beard. The award recognizes unsung volunteer heroes and its national award is often referred to as the “Nobel Prize for volunteerism.”
Most of the 14,000 hours Fey has logged were spent leading the organization. But that's not all he's done.
Fey, who works with the Murrysville-Export Republican Committee, helps wrap Christmas presents for local groups. He's delivered daffodils as part of the American Cancer Society's Daffodil Days.
But organizing and leading is what he knows best. Fey spent much of his career at Westinghouse doing just that. In his final role — as a special project manager — the bottom line was his focus. He took a division that was losing $70 million to $80 million annually and helped turn it into a $100 million profit.
That wasn't always easy. Sometimes, he had to tell entire plants full of workers they didn't have a place to work anymore. But other times, he was able to save jobs that were to be eliminated.
Giving back and helping others are more his speed, Fey said. In fact, under his lead, the organization started giving back financially too. He started an initiative that matches any donation up to $250 made by any of SURE's volunteers to a nonprofit they work with.
“It's been a wonderful way to spend your retirement years,” Fey said.
Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8627, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.