Tomball volunteer wears many hats

Rob Greening, owner of NiteLite's of Houston, a landscape lighting business, makes time to volunteer at every possible opportunity. His volunteer work does not just entail helping people; he teaches them how to help themselves.

Greening was named the Tomball Chamber of Commerce's volunteer of the year for 2012. Each year the Chamber staff gives the award to a volunteer for outstanding service throughout the previous year. The volunteer is known for consistency, dependability and a giving spirit, according to the Chamber. Last year, Greening also received the Rising Star Rotary International for Service Above Self award.

"It's rewarding," he said of volunteering. "I don't like TV. I'd rather go out and do stuff to help people. It's what we're here for."

Greening, who lives with his wife, Sherry, in Pinehurst, is also an instructor with Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), a program to train residents in first aid, search and rescue, how to put out a fire, and how to assist in emergency situations, such as a hurricanes and floods.

"When someone's in need, you ought to help them," he said. "But I also teach them. It's really rewarding to see somebody when the light comes on and they've learned what I taught them."

The father of three also volunteers with Houston Ground Angels, a volunteer group that taxies patients flying into Houston for medical treatment from airports to area hospitals.

"That's a $100 or $150 ride downtown in a taxi," Greening said. "My father and father-in-law died from cancer. This is the way I give back to the cancer victims."

Greening, who also has three grandchildren, is on the executive committee at the Tomball Chamber and was ambassador of the year for the Chamber in 2010.

"Rob is known for his big cowboy hats, but also for his big heart," said Bruce Hillegeist, president of the Tomball Chamber. "Our chamber has been the beneficiary of so much of his support in so many areas that our chamber and the greater Tomball area community is better today because of him. Rob sets the standard of what we all ought to do; don't just take from our communities, but give. We appreciate his dedication and stewardship."

In addition to his volunteer work, Greening helps the city of Tomball with some of its events, such as the German Festival and the 5K Bunny Run.

Greening will be the Tomball Night chairman for the August parade of illuminated floats.

"I've always loved carnivals," he said. "I make sure everyone's coordinated. It's a challenge. I love a challenge."

On top of that, Greening is also part of Volunteers in Police Service, a group of volunteers that help local law enforcement with security at carnivals, blocking streets and setting up barricades or escorts. Greening also patrols parking lots on weekends.

"It relieves the police officers to do police business," he said. "We patrol just so people see the presence of another officer. It deters crime."

Greening, an engineer, has owned his landscape lighting company for 16 years and works nonstop building his business.

He said he will always have time for volunteering in the community.

"I don't find time, I make it," he said.