What a true blessing Norm Miller, Chairman of Interstate Batteries was to our Tampa Bay Leadership Prayer Breakfast for 2009.
Norm shared his challenged past, growing up in bawdy Galveston during the early years of World War II and then later becoming a slave to alcohol. Norm’s awakening and abrupt change of course to follow the Lord was an incredible story of strength and faith.
The Tampa Bay Leadership Prayer Breakfast Committee thanks Norm Miller for taking time out of his busy schedule to come to Tampa and speak at our event. Many lives were changed that morning because of Norm’s personal testimony.
He first worked for his father who had an Interstate Battery distributorship. John Searcy, the company founder, soon spotted this hardworking young salesman. Norm moved through the ranks, eventually taking over the company when Searcy retired. Interstate Batteries has continued to grow to the point where it is now the number one seller of replacement batteries in the world, selling over 12 million batteries a year.
Further, Interstate Batteries has made its mark on the racing world. In 1983 the company founded The Interstate Batteries Great American Race, America’s premier vintage car event. Then in 1991 they teamed up with the Joe Gibbs Racing Team to sponsor Dale Jarrett and later Bobby LaBonte in the #18 NASCAR. In 2000, LaBonte & Interstate won the Winston Cup, NASCAR’s year-long championship.
Norm’s personal journey has not always been a victory lap. He worked constantly. He was on the road frequently. A family history of alcoholism took its toll on Norm and his marriage. His wife Anne had decided to leave him. At that low point, Norm received Christ and turned his life over to God. Ever since, he has run his life and his company on Christian principles. With this new power source in his life, Norm has been able to rebuild his marriage and the business grew to be The Interstate Family. “Some distributors told us,” reports Norm, “there’s something special here — a feeling of love, unity, family.”
Norm and Anne are involved in numerous church and ministry activities but still find time to have fun with their two children and five grandchildren.