“I can’t say no” is Glenn Borgard’s simple explanation of why he’s so busy volunteering in Chesterfield.
“I got involved in boy scouting as a kid, and it has three aims – the outdoors, physical fitness and citizenship,” said Borgard, who turned 84 on Dec. 17.
“We preach helping other people and being involved in the community. I’ve also been in the military, where it was important to help people and be a good citizen.”
Borgard was chosen as the 2014 Chesterfield Citizen of the Year, recognized for his volunteerism, working on community projects and overall civic contributions.
Having lived in Chesterfield for 36 years after growing up in the Overland/Breckenridge Hills area and graduating from Ritenour High School in 1950, Borgard has seen a great deal of change over the years, including being an integral part of the recovery of Chesterfield valley after the Missouri River flooding of 1993.
A semi-retired mechanical and civil engineer, Borgard now works out of his home with his own company, Borgard Engineering. He officially retired in 1998 – he, along with Bob Volz, started what became the Volz Engineering and Elbring Surveying Company in 1969.
Borgard’s expertise and knowledge were put to use as a member of the Mayor’s Emergency Task Force Committee following the flood. He served as a director of the Chesterfield Valley TIF Commission, which brought about $72.5 million in funding for critical infrastructure needs in the valley. Later on, Borgard was a part of the Chesterfield Task Force for the Development of the valley’s western area. He has provided engineering services to many Chesterfield developers, including Sachs Properties who developed Chesterfield Village, in addition to numerous home builders and the city itself.
Borgard was part of the Land Use Zoning Ordinance Committee during the city’s early stages of incorporation in the 1980s and served as a commissioner on the Monarch Chesterfield Levee District, appointed by St. Louis County.
A great point of pride for him is his more than 50 years of continuous service with the St. Louis Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He’s been a cub scout leader, Webelo leader, assistant scoutmaster, a committee chairman, a scoutmaster for Troop 361 out of St. Marks Presbyterian Church, then a commissioner and later vice chairman of the scouts’ New Horizons District. He also was appointed by the St. Louis Area Boy Scout Council as a Scoutmaster of a National Jamboree troop in 1981. In 1985, he was appointed the contingent leader by the St. Louis Area Council to the National Jamboree and he took four scout troops there that year.
“I was a boy scout in the 1940s, all my sons (Kevin, Michael, Steven, and Gregory) were boy scouts (two of whom were eagle scouts), and now I have grandsons who are scouts,” Borgard said. His family also includes Shirley, his high school sweetheart, and wife of 61 years, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
One of the many scouting awards he has received is the Silver Beaver Award, the highest honor in the St. Louis Area Council for a volunteer.
Borgard also has a 38-year military career, having retired in 1993 as a captain in the Navy. He served as a commanding officer of the Naval Air System Command in St. Louis. He is a Korean War veteran and received numerous medals and service ribbons.
He has served two terms as a trustee for his Chesterfield Meadows subdivision – which he originally designed when he was with Volz Engineering.
He and Shirley are members of St. John’s United Church of Christ, where the couple volunteers for many leadership positions and projects – Glenn is church treasurer and on the church council’s executive board.
Borgard now is a member of the Chesterfield Development Advisory Council and a former director of the Chesterfield Community Development Corporation which evolved into the Advisory Council.
“I get a lot out of doing all this – it’s very rewarding,” Borgard said.