Zig Ziglar Servant Leadership Award Recipient, 2020
Prestonwood Christian Academy is pleased to honor Norm Miller, Interstate Batteries Chairman, as the 2020 recipient of the Zig Ziglar Servant Leadership Award.
Miller began his career with the company shortly after graduating from North Texas State University (now University of North Texas) in 1962. In the past 57 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.
Miller 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. Searcy developed the successful Interstate system of marketing, product delivery and service, and Miller expanded the team that established the current Interstate network of more than 179 retail battery centers, 259 distributors and 171,398 dealers across the U.S., Canada, Central and South America. Unit battery sales have steadily improved from the 1965 total of $250,000 to a world record of more than $18.8 million replacement battery sales for a twelve-month period ending this past fiscal year. In 1991, Miller relinquished the Presidency to spend more time focusing on ministries and other Interstate strategies and issues facing the company.
Additionally, Miller led the company in the founding of the Interstate Batteries Great American Race in 1983 and it became the world’s richest old car race and American’s premier vintage car event. In 1989, he pioneered Interstate’s entry into NASCAR racing. Teaming up with Joe Gibbs Racing in 1992, Interstate won the 1993 Daytona 500, the 2000 Winston Cup Championship, the prestigious 2015 Sprint Cup Championship and the 2019 Monster Energy Cup Championship.
The year of 1974 was a major turning point for both Miller and Interstate Batteries. It was then he became a follower of Christ and changed the way he approached business and his personal life.
Through all these years and successes, Miller has maintained a commitment for spiritual development, as has the Interstate management team. As a result, Interstate encourages employees to develop fully as individuals, not just professionals. With the stress and pressures of the times, combined with those of career and family, it is crucial for people to have easy access to spiritual support. Interstate management believes the workplace should be included, and therefore they try to make God’s love and help a priority in business.
Miller was one of the key leaders interested in funding the original vision for a Christian School in the Bonton/South Dallas Community shared by Founder of BridgeBuilders, Mike Fechner. And in 2017, Miller contacted Daron Babcock, Executive Director, Bonton Farms and Dr. Larry Taylor, Head of School, Prestonwood Christian Academy to assist with the development of a Kingdom education school in South Dallas. One year later, Miller made this dream a reality by committing to provide the start-up funding for The King’s Academy. This incredible leadership gift provided the two to three-year funding essential to launch the school. And, in August 2019, The King’s Academy opened its doors to 27 students in PreK through 1st Grade.
Norm and his wife, Anne, have been married for 57 years and have two children, Tracy and Scott; five grandchildren, Zach, Kyle, Braden, Grant and Matalin Anne; and one great-grandson, Jackson.