The Ron Miller Spirit of Volunteerism Award

Designed and created by Al Gustave

Designed and created by Al Gustave

The Vero The Vero Beach Art Club is proud to offer The Ron Miller Spirit of Volunteerism Award, in memory of artist and member Ron Miller. Ron exemplified the kind of person who enables an Art Club like the Vero Beach Art Club to function. The Club plans to memorialize his spirit both as a successful and talented wood turner, and as a dedicated volunteer and supporter of the Club and its functions. His relationship with the Club was almost symbiotic; he volunteered unstintingly, and got love and support from Club members in the same measure. The Club will be forever grateful for the love, dedication, and kindness it received from Ron Miller, the Miller family and Ron Miller’s friends.

The Ron Miller Spirit of Volunteerism Award is a permanent Award from the Club, which was initially subsidized by donations from friends and family of Ron Miller, and which is given to an outstanding volunteer on a yearly basis. The Award commemorates and helps to perpetuate the giving spirit that Ron Miller embodied when it came to volunteering for the Club. The Club purchased the sculpture from Al Gustave with room on its base for at least 16 name plaques. The sculpture resides permanently in the Club office for all to see. At the end of the event season, and before the Annual May Luncheon, the outstanding volunteers for the previous season are nominated to go into a pool of names. At the Annual May Luncheon, the recipient of the Ron Miller Spirit of Volunteerism Award is randomly drawn from that pool of volunteer names. The winner of the Award has his or her name inscribed on a plaque and a short Bio featured in the June/July Newsletter and on the website. The winner also wins one of the following prize options: free entry to the next two Club Luncheons, $50 of Club Collectibles, or a one-year free membership.

This piece was designed and made by artist Al Gustave, which he brought to the Art Club office on November 13, 2018. The woodwork is a special segmented process. Various woods are cut in angles to make a body of various woods like cherry and maple with fine lines of ebony. Once assembled and glued then it is turned in undulating shapes to expose the wood patterns and contrasting colors. The base is of maple with special stain. It is a special one of a kind process that cannot be duplicated.

Who was Ron Miller?

Ron Miller exemplified the kind of person who enables an art club like The Vero Beach Art Club function. His relationship with the club was almost symbiotic, he volunteered unstintingly, and got love and support from club members in the same measure. As a successful and talented wood turner, he supported the club’s efforts to provide high quality venues where club members could sell their works safely and securely, and in return was able to use these venues to sell his own beautiful creations. We are lucky that his efforts on behalf of the club did not derail his marriage but, rather, strengthened it, drawing his wife Rose into the circle of the club as well. The club will be forever grateful for the love, dedication, and kindness it received from Ron Miller.

These are some excerpts from what Ron’s friend Beth Fairchild said of him:

Ron was a friend to everyone in the Art Club whether you knew him or not. He was always there taking care of you and the Club and probably worked every event in the Art Club. For Under the Oaks he was the show manager which sounds like a fun job but is nothing more than really hard work. If you were ever wait listed at Under the Oaks, he was there working to find a space for you at the last minute so you wouldn’t miss out on the opportunity to show at this prestigious event. He was there at Under the Oaks first thing in the morning and last to leave in the evening making sure your tent and art were safe. If things didn’t go perfectly, he was there letting you know everything would be OK, you did your best and he appreciated it. He worked long hours and if he couldn’t find volunteers, he did the job himself never letting the committee down. He never bragged about the hours he spent and never complained about it. He owned the job and when he got sick he was upset someone might take his job away. He loved the club so much and wanted everyone to volunteer so they could reap the benefits he felt he reaped - lifelong friendships, the great feeling of doing a tough job well, and the fun of the events he worked on.

Ron Miller Biography

Ronald E. Miller was born on May 3, 1947, in Newark, NJ to Gloria Garbin and Edward M. Miller of Scranton, PA. Ron’s family later moved to Hillside, NJ, where he attended and graduated Hillside High School in 1966. Ron followed in his father’s footsteps and was accepted into the Northeast Carpenter Apprentice School of Essex County, NJ and he proudly became a Union Carpenter of Local 1342 Essex County, NJ. In 1969, He married Rose Ann Negron of Elizabeth, NJ and had 3 children, Ronald, Kimberly, and Jennifer. In 1978, Ron and his family moved to Lake Ariel PA to start his own Construction Company and he spent many successful years building new homes and raising his children with his wife. In the early 1990s, he focused on the next aspect of this career and returned to Local 1342 in Essex County as an instructor for the Union Carpenter’s Apprentice Program. In this capacity, he was an educator, mentor, and friend to many young carpenters learning to master their trade.

In 2008, Ron retired from the Carpenters Union Local 1342 and moved to Vero Beach, FL with Rose to settle into retirement. He quickly transitioned his love of carpentry to love of woodworking and became a dedicated and skilled woodturner. He joined the Woodturning Club of Fort Pierce, FL and furthered his craft by learning and working with his peers. His passion for woodturning continued to grow and his artistic abilities blossomed with each pen, bowl, sculpture, and treasure he created. He later joined the Vero Beach Art Club and became an enthusiastic member who always willing to support the mission of the club and his fellow artists.

Ron was an accomplished carpenter, educator, and artist. He was a valued member of every community he lived in, but most importantly he was a dedicated husband, father, and grandfather. His passion for family, brotherhood, community, and creativity was palpable in all areas of his life which was sadly shorted too soon by cancer. Just as he lived his life, he fought his illness nobly. He will be forever missed by his family and friends, but his life will continue to have influence and impact on those who knew him best.

Ron is survived by his wife, Rose, his son, Ron Miller, daughter in-law, Alisa Coviello Miller, daughter, Kimberly Miller, daughter Dr. Jennifer Miller Brown, son-in-law, Ted Brown, and grandchildren, Ron J. Miller, Teddy Miller Brown, and Rose E. Brown.

Volunteer Coordinator Co-Chairs:
Eric Frederiksen * 772-345-6051
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Stephanie Lovallo * 772-664-2297
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