Shane Clark 

Dedicated to Family, Service

By Rodney Campbell

Lessons from more than 30 years of military service remain important in Shane Clark’s life. The retired Command Chief Master Sergeant for the Arizona National Guard relies on that hard-earned education in his professional and personal lives.

The results are clear: He has the responsibility of serving as the director of the Pima County Office of Emergency Management and is the military recipient of this year’s Father of the Year award.

“Shane supports all those who serve and always displays how to be a professional,” said Southern Arizona Leadership Council President and CEO Ted Maxwell, who served with Clark in the National Guard. “Shane balanced all the challenges and difficulties of his commitment to service and family as well as anyone I know. Throughout all his roles and the challenges of balancing all he was asked to do, Shane never put his family second.”

Clark and his wife, Lori, will celebrate their 22nd wedding anniversary in May. They have two daughters, Sierra, 21, and Kendall, 19. Both are living on their own but their dad’s influence is still there.

“My role as a father when my kids were under my household was to love them and prepare them with the tools to live in the greatest country in the world,” said Clark, who also has been a firefighter and paramedic. “I taught them to love someone and enjoy a long life with that person but, at the same time, to be independent and know they could conquer the world on their own if needed.”

Maxwell said Clark and his wife, a retired firefighter, set fine examples for their daughters. Clark always participated in a wide variety of activities with his children.

“It seemed like every time I turned around, Shane was doing something with his kids,” Maxwell said. “Coaching everything from basketball, volleyball and golf to acting and singing with them in shows at church. When Shane starts talking about people in is life, he lights up. He is a true combination of a gentleman, cowboy and airman.

“He’s dedicated to his country and his family.”

Clark leads a life of personal responsibility, a trait he honed during his time in the service. He may be busy but he never loses sight of his priorities.

“I do best when my faith is No. 1 and my family is No. 1a,” Clark said. “From honoring the friendships and relationships to my ability to be at peak performance serving my country in military service to now my community of Pima County, balance has been the key and when that balance is not there, something suffers. I don’t want that to be my obligation to being a man of faith, a husband and father.”

Clark learned a lot from his dad, who instilled in him and his brother a love of sports, hunting, camping and teamwork. Clark’s father was a blue-collar man who never shied away from hard work.

“I learned to have a strong work ethic from my dad,” he said. “We didn’t have as much as many and more than some, but we always had all we needed.”

Working hard is part of Clark’s job. He and his team must be ready for the next emergency in a region of more than one million residents.

“I was a servant leader in my military life and I am a servant leader in my current role in county emergency management,” he said. “We plan and train for emergencies our community has or will face and will take care of the needs of our community to the very best of our ability when the next emergency occurs.”

Clark didn’t see his Father of the Year honor coming. This time, he was caught by surprise.

“I was and still am shocked and humbled,” he said. “I am blessed there are those that think of me of being a father worth recognizing. I feel there are so many other fathers who have been there for me along the way that are more deserving of this recognition, those who I have modeled being a father, that I learned from and have been a part of my journey being a dad. I feel that I will be representing them.”

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