James R. Nichols Community Service Award: Billy Metzger

Congratulations to Billy Metzger, an Operations Analyst in Freese and Nichols’ Austin office, for receiving our James R. Nichols Community Service Award for his exceptional dedication to public service.

Billy has volunteered his extra time to multiple organizations that have benefited and been greatly impacted as a result. Two organizations where he most spends his time are the Adelphi Acre Community Garden and Watch D.O.G.S. at his children’s school.

Adelphi Acre Community Garden is an all-volunteer, organic growing cooperative dedicated to locally sourced fresh produce and sustainable, community-based agriculture. Billy was introduced to this cooperative by a fellow Freese and Nichols employee, Sabrina Joplin, and has held the Treasurer position for about five years. Billy’s efforts helped keep this volunteer community garden alive financially, through bookkeeping, as well as helping with the initial build and continued maintenance. The community of this garden has benefitted not just through food, but also the positive influence of sustainability and working together in a cooperative.

Billy is proud of the impact he’s made through Watch D.O.G.S. to contribute to children’s safety. He began volunteering six years ago, one day a semester, at the school by assisting with teacher and office administration requests, helping kids in the cafeteria and interacting with the kids at recess and in passing. After a few years, Billy transitioned to a leadership capacity and has been serving as a committee member ever since. Every day is different, such as picking up trash on the playground, helping in the library, making 300 paper stockings for holiday parties and walking around the school for safety checks, etc. For a program that used to have one Dad on campus per day, Billy’s leadership has led to having multiple Dads on the same day and sometimes even five or more. This program has become a way for Dads to bond together in and outside the school. Through this program, Billy has had the opportunity to make a positive impact on the students and the school and to have conversations with his children’s teachers and principal.

A few years after FNI launched its Alternative Work Schedule program, Billy decided to fully embrace it and help improve his work-life balance. He used most of his Fridays off to volunteer at the school and ended up with over 100 hours that year. Last year, Billy was appointed “Top Dog,” the group’s highest honor.

The award is named after Jim Nichols, who was Freese and Nichols’ first president after incorporation, one of Texas’ most esteemed civil engineers and a dedicated servant to the Fort Worth community. Among other projects, he oversaw the design of Richland-Chambers Reservoir, the largest lake in the Tarrant Regional Water District system, and played key roles in the creation of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. More about Jim.