Category Archives: Club History

Meet 2017-2018 Club President Bob Helbing

Robert Helbing is a California native. He came into this world in San Diego on January 1, 1962. His family has Midwest roots, and he moved to Chicago when his father mustered out of the US Navy. In 1969, the Helbing family returned to California, where Bob was raised in Pasadena. After finishing St. Francis High School in 1979, Bob enrolled in the California Institute of Technology, graduating with a degree in aeronautical engineering in 1983.

Bob worked in the aerospace industry for several years, working on ballistic missiles. His projects included flights and flight hardware for the Minuteman, Trident, Peacekeeper and Small Missile projects. He left the industry in the wake of the post-Cold War downsizing, working in software development. In 1990, he joined the family firm, Air-Tro Heating and Air Conditioning in Monrovia. Bob is a third-generation engineer and a fourth-generation contractor. His family’s roots in contracting go back to the 19th century. He and his brother Tony have built Air-Tro to be the premier provider of HVAC services in the San Gabriel Valley, serving customers such as Occidental College, USC, Caltech, the City of Hope and many other institutions in the region. Bob served a decade on the board of the Institute of Heating and Air Conditioning Industries, holding the Presidency of the Institute in 2013-2014.

Bob has been a Monrovia resident since 1991. He and his wife Erin have three sons, now all in high school or college. Bob is active in the community, having served on the Foothill Workforce Development Board for over a decade, as well as being on the board of both the Monrovia Chamber of Commerce and the Monrovia Rotary Club. He is currently serving as Treasurer of the chamber, and is the newly installed President at Rotary. Bob has found involvement in the community to be a rewarding and enriching experience, discovering meaning in service to others and the delight in sharing that experience with fellow members of our community.

Club Demotes President Susanne

In an annual ritual of Rotary Clubs the world over, the Monrovia Rotary Club demoted 2016-2017 President, Susanne Hayek.  The atmosphere was festive with a 4th of July theme of red, white, and blue flowers and balloons, white tablecloths and fun music arranged by club member and Monrovian Restaurant owner, Sia Soris.

Headed by Past President Bill Shieff, and assisted by his Demotion Committee, Sylvia Domotor, Jan Mueting, and Erica Hahn, the evening was well coordinated and enjoyable.  An amusing “roast” of the outgoing leader included more than a few “blond jokes”.

A slide show of more than 350 images of the past Rotary year provided background to the proceedings, followed by the traditional president’s life video.

Bryan Earll was honored with the Carlson Award, the Club’s highest award, for his outstanding commitment and service to the Club.  Steve Baker was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for his 20 years of service to the club as a Past President, Board Member, and Executive Secretary.  Jan Mueting was awarded “Tiger of the Year”, an annual tribute to the newer Rotarian who has made great contributions. Click here for more photos on FaceBook.

Other awardees were:

Excellence in Service

Monrovia Rotary Club

2016-2017

Andy Montgomery

Finemaster

For Raising Over $20,000 in Club Fines


Excellence in Stewardship

Monrovia Rotary Club

2016-2017

Bill Shieff


Excellence in Stewardship

Monrovia Rotary Club

2016-2017

Bob Helbing


Excellence in Stewardship

Monrovia Rotary Club

2016-2017

Bryan Earll


Excellence in Stewardship

Monrovia Rotary Club

2016-2017

Sylvia Domotor


Excellence in Stewardship

Monrovia Rotary Club

2016-2017

Julie Roybal


Excellence in Stewardship

Monrovia Rotary Club

2016-2017

Darrell Brooke


Excellence in Stewardship

Monrovia Rotary Club

2016-2017

John Campbell


Excellence in Stewardship

Monrovia Rotary Club

2016-2017

Felix Villanueva


Outstanding Service Award

Monrovia Rotary Club

2016-2017

Erica Hahn

For Special Assistance to the President


Outstanding Service Award

Monrovia Rotary Club

2016-2017

Jenny Pappano
f
or Dedication to Interact and Youth Services


Outstanding Service Award

Monrovia Rotary Club

2016-2017

Steve Knight

Room Set-Up

“Always Arrives Early and Always Stays Late”


Outstanding Service Award

Monrovia Rotary Club

2016-2017

Kris “K-Rail” Leonard

Bulletin Editor


Outstanding Service Award

Monrovia Rotary Club

2016-2017

Karen Lujan

Club Photographer


Outstanding Service Award

Monrovia Rotary Club

2016-2017

Jim Ward


The President’s “Swan Song”

It hardly seems possible that it was a year ago that I lead my first meeting.  At that time, you may recall that I listed all the 21 past presidents of our club that are still active today.  Because I think that is so remarkable I am going to list them again. 

Bill Shieff 2015-2016

Bryan Earll 2014-2015

Alex Blackburn 2013-2014

Julie Roybal 2012-2013

Tom Hould 2011-2012

Cal Magro 2010-2011

Jim Ward 2009-2010

John Campbell 2008-2009

Dennis Franklin 2006-2007

Kris Leonard 2006-2007

Tim Mishler 2005-2006

Mary Ann Lutz 2001-2002

Paul Genino 2000-2001

Stephen Baker 1999-2000

Rob Hammond 1997-1998

Tom Adams 1995-1996

Sam Wright 1993-1994

Gary Kooiman

Steve Knight 1983-1984

Detro Sells 1982-1983

Herb hezlep 1964-1965

The Monrovia Rotary Club was chartered in 1922; This year, we are 95 years old. 

The club has 57 members and 21 are past presidents…this is very telling because it shows that we are an amazing team.  People stop participating in Rotary when they don’t feel engaged or appreciated, or they feel overwhelmed or burned out.  This doesn’t happen in our club because we work together and we support each other. 

I come away from my year as President with a deep affection for this club and its members.  With a deep appreciation for all the grace that has been shown me and for the help that has been given me.  I had barely been a member for two years when I was asked to serve as president. I didn’t even know every members name in the beginning.  It was definitely a handicap not to have been steeped in the rich history of this venerable club but what made it possible was the help and guidance I received.

I thank you all for this opportunity to serve.  Every job in Rotary is both and opportunity to give and an opportunity to receive.  I have been richly rewarded in this past year and I thank you for the privilege. _Susanne Hayek

2016 Demotion Dinner In Honor of Bill Shieff

A stylish send-off for our stylish outgoing President Bill Shieff and First Lady Sue Shieff. Planned and executed perfectly by 2014-2015 President Bryan Earll and the lovely Sarah Earll, with help from Sia Soris, member of the club and proprietress of the Monrovian Restaurant.  The banquet room was quiet elegance with white table cloths, silver chargers, and stunning hydrangea and rose centerpieces.

There were moving tributes to Bill from Bryan Earll, Stan Pitts, Sylvia Domotor, and Bill’s wife Sue. Bill then thanked the members of the Demotion Committee and his Board of Directors for the past year.

As is customary, the demotion marks the selection of the honorees of the club’s top awards, Rotarian of the Year was deserved by Tom Hould for his work with RYLA amongst other contributions, the Tiger of the Year, given to a newer Rotarian, went to Lynda Linforth for her many contributions including her help at the Race to the Falls and First Fridays, and the club’s top awardee was Dr. Sylvia Domotor, winning the George J. Carlson Award which is given in recognition of multiple years of outstanding service.  Notably, “Dr. D” started and runs the annual Santa Clothes program.

Finally, the presidential pin, a vintage pin dating to the club’s inception,as well as the official gavel, was passed to incoming President Susanne Hayek.

BILL SHIEFF TAKES OVER AS PRESIDENT OF THE MONROVIA ROTARY CLUB

Randolph Shieff_2The Monrovia Rotary Club is one of more than 34,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries. 1.2 million Rotarians around the world volunteer to meet local and international needs.

Bill Shieff, a long time Rotarian, resident of Monrovia, and Chairman of Move Monrovia,  took over the helm of the Monrovia Rotary Club, succeeding outgoing president Bryan Earll of Apex Fasteners, in a custom of yearly leadership turnover practiced in Rotary Clubs around the world.

Shieff, in his introductory remarks, reaffirmed that a top priority of the club will be to offer services and programs to the children and teens of Monrovia including sending high school students to Rotary Youth Leadership Camp (RYLA), sending eighth graders to Teen Leadership Camp (TLC), a continuation and expansion of the clubs Santa Clothes program providing school clothes to needy students, and ongoing support of the Interact Club and Robotics program at Monrovia High School as well as many more. Shieff also commented on the clubs renewed partnership with Monrovia Adult School to provide Vocational Scholarships.

Mr. Shieff and his wife Sue are parents of two and grandparents of six.  They enjoy travel, music, and fine food.  Bill is an avid road cyclist, motorcyclist, licensed pilot and continuing education and technology enthusiast.  He is a Vietnam Veteran with an Honorable Discharge from the United States Navy.

In his business career, he was the President/CEO of Randolph Shieff & Associates, Inc. which provided domestic and international clients with contract manufacturing services.

The Monrovia Rotary Club welcomes visitors to its meetings and actively seeks service minded individuals to join its membership.  The club meets Tuesdays at noon at the Monrovian Restaurant on Myrtle Avenue, in the upstairs banquet room. 

Bryan Earll takes the Helm as Monrovia Rotary Club President

July 1 is a day where around the world, new Rotary Presidents are taking on their appointed leadership role.  Today was no different for Monrovia Rotarian Bryan Earll.  Bryan Earll, Monrovia Rotary’s 95th President, is the current President and Owner of Apex Fasteners located in Monrovia, CA and is also a resident of Monrovia with his wife Sarah Earll.  He has worked in the Fastener Industry for 26 years.

President Earll was handed the reigns and his Presidential pin today at his inaugural meeting today at noon by newly Past-President Alexander Blackburn.  Earll presented four goals for the year:

  1.  Have fun
  2. Honor our club by becoming a 100% Paul Harris Club
  3. Approve the updated Rotary Constitution and By-Laws
  4. Establish a strategic plan and vision for our club moving forward.

Earll was clear in his message that “this is not “My Club” it’s “Our Club” and it’s “Your Club”. It’s “Our Year” to collectively shape a vision of what we would like to accomplish over time and we have a great future ahead of us.”

Judy Ryan (Yoder) Thomas passed away on Tuesday, November 5, 2013.

Judy was very connected to our club and was an honorary member, club secretary for many years, and her husband, Art Thomas, is a devoted member of our club.

Prior to her marriage to Art, Judy was the wife of PDG William (Billy) Ryan 1982-83. Judy created a scholarship in Billy’s memory entitled, “The Billy Ryan Athletic Scholarship” which is awarded annually to a football player from Monrovia High School.

Visitation – Friday, November 15th – 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Zook’s Mortuary

Memorial Service – Saturday, November 16th – 1 p.m. with reception to follow at 1st Presbyterian Church

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/pasadenastarnews/obituary.aspx?n=judy-ryan-thomas-yoder&pid=167941434&fhid=15769

Monrovia Rotary Honors Detro Sells and Herb Hezlep for over 50 years of Service

The Rotary Club of Monrovia will honor two of its longstanding members on Tuesday November 5, 2013 at Cafe Opera in Monrovia.  Herb Hezlep and Detro Sells each have over 50 years of service to the Monrovia community as members of the Monrovia Rotary club.  Below is a brief bio of each member being honored:

Herb Hezlep:

Herbert Hezlep has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of California, Berkeley. In 1950, he joined his father’s small hardware manufacturing company, Acme General Corporation, which eventually was expanded from its base in Monrovia, California, to Canada and Europe. Herb served as executive vice president, president, and chairman of the board before retiring in 1988. Active in his community, he has served as president and board member of the YMCA of Monrovia and board member of Huntington Medical Research Institutes in Pasadena.

Herb followed in his father’s footsteps, joining the Rotary Club of Monrovia in 1958. He became club president in 1964-65, district Group Study Exchange chair in 1967-68, and district conference chair in 1973. Herb has been an active supporter of the Group Study Exchange program over the years and considers it his favorite Rotary Foundation program.

Herb and Elizabeth have been married for over 57 years. They have four children, four grandchildren, and one great-grandson. Liz is a retired society editor for the local newspaper and remains active with the Luminaires, a support group for the Doheny Eye Institute. Herb and Liz support The Rotary Foundation through the Herb Hezlep Endowed Fund.

Detro Sells:

Detro Sells was inducted into Rotary Club of Monrovia in 1962 and served as President in 1982-1983.

He graduated from Williamsport, Indiana high school and moved to Detroit looking for work.  There he met Bliss, and they were married in 1941.  When WW II came to the USA, Detro joined the Marines. An exceptional marksman, he was ultimately assigned to the defending headquarters unit for Admiral Nimitz of the United States Navy.  His unit served in Hawaii and Guam and other locations.  Bliss had returned to Indiana while Detro finished his tour of duty.

After the war, Detro and Bliss traded their home and furnishings in Williamsport for a 1947 Pontiac and trailer and headed west.  They arrived in California in 1949, staying first with relatives in Temple City.  Work after the war was very difficult to find but Detro had some skill working on radio cabinets.

During a job search he heard about California Furniture in Monrovia.  He and Bliss visited the town and found ‘an open city with people out and about.’  Detro met the owner of California Furniture, a Rotarian named Neil Hunter.  Neil offered Detro a job paying $55 a week; a few years (and hopefully a few raises) later, Detro became a partner in the firm.  After Hunter’s retirement, Detro and Bliss opened Sells Furniture at 627 S. Myrtle in 1960, and in 1962 Detro joined The Rotary Club of Monrovia sponsored by Neil Hunter.  Sells Furniture prospered until Detro’s own retirement at age 75, in 1997.

In addition to his term as President of the Rotary Club of Monrovia, Detro was President of the Monrovia Chamber of Commerce in 1976 and also served as Chairman of the Monrovia Merchants Association.

Bliss was ‘a jewel’ among the Rotary Anns, organizing blood drives for the Red Cross as well as bake sales and numerous club events.  Detro’s favorite quote at his demotion was from Past District Governor and fellow Monrovia Rotarian George Carlson:  “Detro, I don’t know whether to give this award [The George Carlson Award] to you or to Bliss.”

Detro and Bliss, married since 1941, have been a team of professional success for years.  Detro and Bliss were blessed with four daughters:  Georgia Jean; twins Sandra Leigh and Susan Marie; and Lana Gail.  They have grandchildren and great grandchildren that can’t be counted on fingers and toes.

Celebrating 90 Years of Service

The organizational meeting for a new Rotary Club in Monrovia was held on June 22, 1922 at the offices of the Southern Counties Gas Company, 114 E. Lemon Avenue in Monrovia. This historic location still exists in Old Town Monrovia. This was after it had been determined that there was a sufficient level of interest in a new club and enough individuals who would qualify as charter members. Application was made to Rotary International for a new club in Monrovia, and the Rotary Club of Pasadena was the sponsor. The application was approved by Rotary International, and the club’s charter was issued October 24, 1922. Monrovia Rotary was Club #1269 in the Rotary World. The first president was Walter E. Keefe, District Manager for the Southern Counties Gas Company. The last surviving charter member, Dr. William G. Barks, died November 24, 1967 after being a member for forty-five years.

Over the years, Monrovia Rotary has been honored to provide two district governors for our district: George Carlson and William “Billy” Ryan. The former is now memorialized with an award presented annually to a member of the club who has provided outstanding contributions to the betterment of the club, while the latter is memorialized with a scholarship presented annually to an outstanding scholar-athlete at Monrovia High School.

The fist civic project attempted by the Club was the erection of a band shell in Library Park in Monrovia. The band shell was constructed during the 1927-1928 Rotary Year. While it has been moved from its original location, the band shell still serves its intended purpose in the park. New signage to be installed in October of 2012 will now prominently identify the band shell’s Rotary origins. Also during the 1927-1928 Rotary Year, the Monrovia club sponsored the formation of the Rotary Club of Arcadia.

The next notable civic project of the club was the conversion of an abandoned reservoir site at the corner of Lime and California Avenues into an attractive neighborhood park. The vacant land was landscaped, and playground equipment was purchased and installed by the club. The renovated corner has been known since 1969 as “Rotary Park”

Responding to a desire to honor those from Monrovia who gave their lives in the Vietnam conflict, the club under the leadership of President Rob Hammond provided the funding for a memorial in Library Park bearing the names of those who perished. The monument was dedicated May 27, 1996.

The construction of a new public library in Monrovia inspired the Club under the leadership of President Mary Ann Lutz to establish a fund for the purpose of helping to furnish the new building once it was completed. Several years of fundraising activities allowed the Club to assist with the innovative furnishings of the “Cozy Corner” in the children’s wing of the new library. The area has been a favorite of young library patrons since the library opened in 2009.

While not visible to the general public, “Fort Rotary” at the Trask Scout Camp in the mountains above Monrovia enhances the camp experience of those scouts who spend time there. A joint venture with the Rotary Club of Arcadia, the project was designed and constructed by Rotary volunteers.

Additional civic projects include a drinking fountain in the alley of the 600 Block of S. Myrtle Avenue, and the scoreboard at the Mary Wilcox Youth Center.

Monrovia Rotary has participated in several international service projects in addition to local projects: a water well in Africa, construction at Valle de Las Palmas in Mexico, a house for a deserving family in Tijuana, school supplies for children in South Africa, and wheelchairs for those who cannot afford them in Mexico. The project with the broadest scope has been participating in Rotary International’s goal, with the assistance of the Gates Foundation, of eradicating polio throughout the world. Members of the Monrovia Club have given generously to this ongoing project, and the goal is now within reach. All Rotarians would like to see polio join smallpox as a disease banished from the face of the earth.

There has always been a strong relationship between Monrovia Rotary and the students in Monrovia’s public schools. In addition to providing academic achievement awards to deserving students at Monrovia’s two middle schools, the Club provides numerous scholarships to graduating seniors at Monrovia High School as well as Canyon Oaks and Mountain Park Alternative Schools. Monrovia Rotary also supports the Monrovia Adult School with financial assistance for specific areas of vocational training.

Rotary’s motto has been “Service above Self” almost since 1905 when Rotary was founded in Chicago. The members of the Rotary Club of Monrovia are grateful for ninety years of service to our community and for the dedication of individual club members that has made our service projects possible.

Steve Baker
Executive Secretary
October 10, 2012

Rotary_1925
Rotary Club May 12, 1925

Rotary_Carlson_Treadwell_1957
Wilbur A Treadwell, Pres Monrovia Rotary,George Carlson – June 29, 1957 (Milton K. Bell Photographer)

 

Rotary_Davis_and_Banks
Pictured at right: C.F. Davis, W.G. Banks

Steve Baker to be 2011 Cathy Hotchkin Humanitarian Awardee

 

 

Steve BakerOur own Rotarian Steve Baker is being honored by the Santa Anita Family YMCA on Thursday, Sept 29th as the 2011 Cathy Hotchkin Humanitarian Awardee!
Steve will be honored at the 3rd Annual Red Envelope Gala to be held at the Embassy Suites Arcadia on Thursday, September 29, 2011.  A silent auction reception will be at 5:30pm and dinner will be served at 6:45pm.  Tickets are $75 per person and go to the Santa Anita Family YMCA.
If you are interested in attending the event please contact Cheryl Reynolds at 626-359-9244 or cherylreynolds@ymcala.org