By Yolanda Brown
Anyone who knows Herb Zwernemann knows that he is a straight-shooting, risk-taking kind of guy, one who has dedicated his entire life to helping people.
Herb has been an AARP volunteer veteran for the past eight years. His love of people and working with seniors inspired him to volunteer with the organization, first as a delivery driver delivering supplies to AARP-sponsored events.
Herb served as chapter leader for Chapter 2700 in Austin from 2003 to 2005, a time during which the chapter membership grew from 168 to more than 600 members. He helped implement AARP community programs such as the National Night Out, Grandparents Day and the National Day of Service. His willingness to portray Santa Claus at the senior Christmas parties was evidence of his dedication to the cause.
Since 2005, Herb has served as chapter liaison for eight other chapters in Texas, assisting other leaders with training and compliance with AARP bylaws.
A graduate of LaGrange High School, located between Austin and Houston, Herb packed up his belongings at age 17 and headed to Houston, where he found work at a small grocery store. At the age of 21, he was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he served two years at Fort Sam Houston before being discharged in 1957.
Later that same year, Herb was employed with Prudential Insurance Company, becoming the first million-dollar producer within the organization. Throughout his career, he was promoted to several positions including sales manager, home office manager and district manager in Fort Worth.
After 17 years of service, Herb resigned from Prudential and established his own insurance company in El Paso.
In 2004, Herb retired from the insurance business and began volunteering with AARP on a full-time basis. He and his wife, Pat, also a dedicated volunteer, now reside in Cedar Park. They have five children and four grandchildren and spend most of their free time volunteering and traveling.