Hometown Heroes: Dustin Vacek

Dustin Vacek.

Although he has been involved in his community for most of his life, Dustin Vacek said his efforts increased three years ago, mainly because he’s a realtor with RE/MAX Opportunities. “I got into real estate because I love to help people, and this is something I now get to do on a daily basis,” said the 42-year-old Fairchilds resident, explaining that prior to becoming a realtor, he was an accountant at Chevron for 14 years.

“When I worked downtown, I didn’t have much time to volunteer, but now that I work in my community, I’m able to serve others,” Vacek explained. “My family has always been community oriented, and it’s important to me to keep my community a great place to live and work.”

Vacek’s efforts – and cooking skills – are well-known around the Fairchilds and Needville communities. Not only does he help cook for the Fairchilds Volunteer Fire Department Benefit – “My dad and I cook around 75 gallons of beans,” he said – he and his father also make 50 gallons of barbecue sauce for Needville’s St. Michael’s bazaar.

“Spending time with my dad cooking for various events is special because I’m proud to help carry on his legacy,” he said, adding that his dad has been cooking for community events for 35 years.

Vacek also serves on the Needville Area Chamber of Commerce board, and as the membership director for the Needville Knights of Columbus, he organizes meals for the monthly meetings, assists with the Friday Fish Fries during Lent, community projects and other fundraisers throughout the year.

Vacek also serves as treasurer of the Needville Preservation Project. “We are raising funds to preserve historic assets in the Needville area. The water tower is our main focus, but we are making plans to restore the little jail and the 1947 fire truck,” he said.

Dustin Vacek with his niece Rylie Mikulec and nephew Myles Mikulec as they prepare to pass out flags with the Exchange Club at the Fort Bend County Fair parade.

Outside of the Fairchilds-Needville area, Vacek serves on the OakBend Restaurant Week committee and the board for the After Hours Exchange Club, participating in community projects such as “Give a Kid a Flag” during local parades and providing Christmas gifts to families. He is also on the committee for the Old 300 Horse Show at the Fort Bend County Fair, which is an event for riders with disabilities. “I love all of the things I’m involved with, but the Old 300 Horse Show tugs at the heart strings,” Vacek said. “Between the riders, families and volunteers, it’s such a positive and supportive environment.”

And to his credit, after becoming a graduate of the Central Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce in 2018, Vacek has been intensely involved with the chamber, serving on the board of directors and as the 2019 chair for the Young Professionals division. “This has really been the vehicle to get connected to my community,” he stressed, adding that the Chamber’s website offers a “long list” of nonprofit organizations to get involved with. “Some of my best friends I met through my involvement with the chamber.”

Being supportive of his community is undoubtedly paramount to Vacek, and he strives to adhere to the advice given to him by his “great friend and mentor” Ray Aguilar. “He has always told me to lead with a servant’s heart.”

And in doing so, Vacek said he’s learned important lessons through his community work. “You get back way more than you give. Volunteering gives you a real sense of pride and at times, gives you a chance to see, first-hand, the issues in the community,” he said, adding that the experience is often filled with treasured times and camaraderie.

“Volunteers are always in demand, so do not hesitate to become one,” Vacek said. “I guarantee you won’t regret it.”

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