Sunday, August 7, 2022

Picardi exemplifies life of service

Al Picardi has made his mark on Flower Mound over the past 27 years. (Photo by Helen’s Photography)

“I’ve taught classes from bi-lingual Kindergarten to differential equations,” said longtime Flower Mound resident and substitute teacher Al Picardi. “Now I teach mostly middle and high school students.”

The Town of Flower Mound’s 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Picardi has been active in many organizations on multiple levels since moving to town in January 1993.

“I first got involved through the PTA,” he said. “I started by writing the PTA newsletter.”

Picardi and wife, Jan, were married in March 1987 in Watertown, Massachusetts, and had two young children before moving to Flower Mound. The couple added two more children afterwards.

Fast forward 27 years and all four children are successful adults.

First-born Jill, 29, works with and lives in Arkansas; Mary, 27, works in Speech Language Pathology at UT Southwestern Hospital; Kelly 25, also works at UT Southwestern as an Oncology nurse; and, son, Kevin, 22, software engineer at a firm in Plano.

“All four went to U of Arkansas,” laughed Picardi. “I’m not a grandfather yet, but I’m looking forward to it. Their mother and I are just so proud of how well they all have turned out and contribute to society.”

Born in Massachusetts, Picardi grew up in New Hampshire and earned his BS degree in Business Administration from the University of New Hampshire. He was working for Fidelity Investments in Boston, when the company wanted to grow nationwide it asked if he’d take on North Texas.

From his newsletter start, he went on to serve on several PTA boards, Parliamentarian and Audit teams. He added serving on the Flower Mound Library Board for three to four years in the late 1990’s and has continued his involvement over the years as a member of the Friends of the Library. He’s worked the library’s many fundraisers and programs.

“The best thing about working with the library is the look on the kid’s faces as they walk out loaded-down with armfuls of books,” he said. “It’s the best because you know that’s [the love of reading] something they’ll take with them through their lives.”

He also joined the Summit Club of Flower Mound more than 20 years ago.

The Summit Club of Flower Mound is a service organization comprised of community leaders and hard working men dedicated to serving others.

“People may know us as ‘the hot dog cookers’ at all the town events,” said Picardi with a laugh. “Over the years, we’ve occasionally tried to count how many hot dogs we’ve cooked, but no one’s been able to. It’s in the hundreds-of-thousands.”

But the Summit Club is so much more than hot dogs.

“We put on the annual Easter sunrise service on the Mound with the Women of Flower Mound. And, we give Academic Excellence Awards to all Flower Mound principals of elementary and middle schools for the best fifth and eighth grade student in English, math, science and social studies. We also work with Robotics students and have endowed a chair at North Central Texas College.

“The fellowship and all the friendships of the members is what means the most to me.”

His longtime pals spoke on behalf those who are lucky enough to call Picardi a friend.

“Albert is one of the best human beings that I have come to know,” said Bryan Webb. “His caring attitude and selflessness set him apart.”

“My favorite thing about Albert is a frequent greeting you will receive when seeing him: ‘Hello friend!’ For Albert, everyone is a friend,” said Brit Stock. “Awarding Albert a lifetime achievement was an easy choice. He is the type of person that makes Flower Mound a better place!”

“Albert is the kind of volunteer and philanthropist that makes others want to give more of themselves. While his list of activities, causes, and service is tremendous and admirable, it is his influence on others to give and to service that is most noteworthy,” said Don McDaniel. “I aspire to be the kind of servant that Albert Picardi is, and have been heard to say ‘when I grow up, I want to be just like Al.’”

Picardi has also served on The Mound Foundation as a Board member and was the 2019 Chair.

“We actually own the 13-acre Mound; not the town,” he explained. “Our job is to preserve the Blackland Prairie land and prairie grasses. We raise funds to steward the property by guarding against incursion from other species, we raised and maintain its black wrought-iron fence, worked with a Boy Scout to add a picnic table under the front tree, plus work with the Fire Department regarding controlled burns.

“The board members who handle all the administrative duties, have been joined by as many as 150 people when the call goes out for volunteers to pitch-in on a project.”

On the municipal side of his volunteer coin, he served on the Denton County Appraisal District, the Flower Mound TIRZ Board in 2017, was a Flower Mound Planning & Zoning Commissioner from 2017 to 2019, then he was a candidate for Town Council.

“I’ve enjoyed the social-ness of being involved,” said Picardi. “I’m now helping out with the town library expansion. I’m in charge of laying the new bricks, so you can see me on my hands and knees as a bricklayer.”

Since retiring from Fidelity Investments, he’s also splitting his bricklayer duties with being a substitute teacher for LISD.

“With years of community service, I am known by many Flower Mound residents,” he said modestly.

That’s a lifetime of achievement.

CTG Staff
The Cross Timbers Gazette News Department

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