The Pasco County Commission took a few minutes at its May 18 meeting to thank David Lambert for his many efforts through the years to improve the quality of life in Pasco County.
Lambert, who has worked 27 years for the Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative (WREC), has played a leadership role on numerous boards and has been an advocate for increasing mental health services, according to a resolution adopted by the board.
He has been heavily involved in efforts to expand mental health services in Pasco and Hernando County through the “Recovery through Work” program known as Vincent House Pinellas, Vincent House Pasco, and Vincent Academy of the Nature Coast, according to the resolution.
Vincent House Pasco, in partnership with Pasco County’s Community Development department recently received the National Community Development Association 2021 Audrey Nelson Community Achievement Award. The project was cited as an “exemplary and innovative use of Community Development Block Grant funds,” the resolution says.
Vincent House Pasco joins Vincent House Hernando and Pinellas in delivering hope, providing individuals with mental illness the opportunity to rebuild their lives, to increase self-worth and to become productive citizens, the resolution notes.
The honor also highlights Lambert’s work with numerous government and community leaders over the years to help create opportunities for others.
Lambert serves as president of Van Gogh’s Palette covering Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando Counties, which offers needed services to those living with mental illness.
He’s worked with WREC CEO Billy Brown and the WREC staff to improve mental health services throughout the Tampa Bay region, the resolution says.
He’s also worked diligently with Van Gogh’s Palette co-founders Elliott and Dianne Steele; founding board member and retired Pinellas/Pasco Public Defender Bob Dillinger; State Senate President Wilton Simpson; the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office; and the Pasco County Commission, the resolution says.
Lambert began his career at the WREC 27 years ago, as a meter reader. Over the years, he has worked as a lineman and journeyman, before moving into his current role in which he oversees five departments, including member and community relations, government affairs, purchasing, safety and human resources, the resolution says.
In his professional role, Lambert has worked closely with local, state and federal officials — fostering the goals and objectives of the WREC’s commitment to its members in its five-county service territory and the community, at large.
He’s held board roles in such organizations as the Pasco County Housing Authority, Pasco-Hernando Career Source Board and Feeding Pasco’s Elderly.
Besides being honored by the county board, Lambert was honored by Summer Blevins, a member of Rep. Gus Bilirakis’ staff.
“I am just here to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of David Lambert, and his countless contributions to our community, and to leave an extension of remarks that have been entered into the official Congressional Record on his behalf,” Blevins said, leaving a binder containing those remarks on the county’s board’s podium for Lambert to pick up.
Lambert was then invited to the podium to offer some remarks.
He responded first, by expressing gratitude.
“Thank you, and I’m very humbled by this proclamation.”
Then, he shared the accolades.
“A lot of credit goes to a lot of people who really have stepped up and done a lot of things. No one does anything by themselves, and you all were instrumental in bringing Vincent House to Pasco, and your leadership was unbelievable.”
He specifically named County Administrator Dan Biles, Assistant County Administrator Cathy Pearson, and County Commissioner Jack Mariano and State Senate President Wilton Simpson for leaving no stones unturned.
“And, for that, you’re going to save thousands of lives,” Lambert said.
“Mental health is a big issue within our communities and, nationally, and we certainly need to focus on that a lot more. I’m just greatly appreciative,” he said.
His gratitude also extends to family, the WREC and for the people of Vincent House.
The people of Vincent House, he said, “prove to me every day, that just because you have a disability — a mental illness or something — you can lead a full and productive life, given the tools and resources, if you have them.”
Published May 26, 2021