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2011 Russell H. Perry Award

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November 8, 2011

DALLAS—Dallas Baptist University honored Norm Miller, Interstate Batteries chairman, as the recipient of the 2011 Russell H. Perry Free Enterprise Award during the annual award dinner which was held on Monday, November 7, at the Anatole Hotel in Dallas.

Established in 1988, the gala dinner continues to honor leaders whose lives are testimonies of achievements in free enterprise and service to the community. The event is named in memory of Dallas business leader and philanthropist Russell H. Perry, whose life of service impacted many lives. Over the past 24 years, the dinner has raised over $3.5 million in scholarship funds for nearly 1,525 DBU students.

Dallas Baptist University hosted the 24th Annual Russell H. Perry Free Enterprise Dinner on Monday, November 7 at the Anatole Hotel in Dallas. Pictured: Joe Gibbs, dinner speaker; Norm Miller, 2011 recipient of the Russell H. Perry Free Enterprise Award; Boone Powell, Jr., honorary chair of the dinner committee; and Mike Arnold, chair of the dinner committee.

Miller began his career with Interstate Batteries shortly after graduating from North Texas State University in 1962. In the past 48 years, he has moved through the ranks of Interstate—from his father’s Tennessee distributorship, to the National Field Sales team at Dallas corporate headquarters, and on to the helm of Interstate’s Executive Management Team.

He assumed the President and Chairman roles in 1978 after working 16 years under his mentor, company-founder John Searcy. Since then, Interstate has grown to become the number one replacement battery in North America with 200,000 dealers across the U.S. and in Canada. Additionally, Miller led the company in the founding of the Interstate Batteries Great American Race in 1983, which has become the world’s richest old car race and America’s premier vintage car event. In 1989, he pioneered Interstate’s entry into NASCAR. Teaming up with Joe Gibbs Racing in 1992, Interstate won the Daytona 500 in 1993 and the prestigious Winston Cup Championship in 2000.

Miller was recognized by DBU for his strong Christian leadership at Interstate Batteries as well as in the community. He serves as a board member for Dallas Theological Seminary and is a founding team member of “I Am Second.”

He and his wife, Anne, have two children, Tracy and Scott; five grandchildren; and one great-grandson.

Past recipients of the Russell H. Perry Free Enterprise Award include: Dr. Wright Lassiter (2010); Tom Leppert (2009); Drayton McLane, Jr. (2008); Andy and Joan Horner (2007); David Dean (2006); Pete Schenkel (2005); Noble Hurley (2004); The Weir Furniture Family (2003); George A. Shafer (2002); Mary C. Crowley (2001); Erle Nye (2000); Ross Perot, Jr. (1999); Jim L. Turner (1998); Rodger Meier (1997); Forrest Smith (1996); Lonnie "Bo" Pilgrim (1995); Bob Minyard, Liz Minyard, Gretchen Minyard Williams, J.L. Sonny Williams (1994); Boone Powell, Sr. and Boone Powell, Jr. (1993); Kenneth H. Cooper (1992); Tom Landry (1991); Maurice and Ebby Halliday Acers (1990); Trammell Crow (1989); and John M. Stemmons, Sr. (1988).

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