Category Archives: Rotary News

Retiring Monrovia Police Chief Awarded by Rotary

The Monrovia Rotary Club has presented retiring Monrovia Police Chief Jim Hunt with the highest award a Rotary Club can present, a Paul Harris Fellow Award, in recognition of his 27 years of service to the people of Monrovia.

Named for the founder of Rotary International, the Paul Harris Fellow Award is given in recognition of individuals who have given $1000 to the Rotary Foundation or worthy individuals in whose name a donation has been made.

Other notable Paul Harris Fellow awardees include U.S. astronaut James Lovell, Mother Teresa, Pearl Bailey, UN Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar, and Jonas Salk.

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

Rotary Donates to Local Organizations

The Monrovia Rotary Club has donated $600 to the Monrovia Firefighters Association for their outstanding and life saving goal of making sure every home in Monrovia has a smoke detector. Other donations this month included $500 to the Monrovia Public Library for their summer reading program, $500 to the Monrovia Historical Society for the Legacy Project and $100 to the United Methodist Church Tea and Fashion show to benefit their pregnancy resource center. Thank you to our donors and club members for making this possible.

Donations to the club may be made by clicking the “Make A Donation” link above.

If you would like information on joining us please contact our Membership Chair using the links in the box to the right.

Club Inducts Deb Pringle

The Monrovia Rotary Club was pleased to induct Deb Pringle to membership.

Deb  is a Realtor® with Vastree Real Estate, specializing in families and historic homes in the Monrovia area. Originally born in Queens NY, Deb grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania where she pursued her love of animals, working with the local VCA Animal Hospital and volunteering her time to train animals for the Susquehanna Service Dogs organization, which provides service dogs and hearing dogs for disabled children and adults. Moving to California, Deb studied high end dining service, eventually working with the award-winning Tavern restaurant in Brentwood and receiving her certification as a Level One Sommelier. Today, Deb is a proud member of the Monrovia community, engaging in social groups, book clubs, and spending a portion of her free time serving as a tutor for adults working to learn English as a second language. At home, Deb takes care of her own animals – two cats and an adorable Boston Terrier. Deb is also an avid baker… a skill that is encouraged by her husband, stand up comedian Ken Pringle (much to the chagrin of his expanding waistline!).

Club Inducts New Fire Chief

The Monrovia Rotary Club has inducted Fire Chief Brad Dover to membership.  Brad is being sponsored by Immediate Past President, Bill Shieff.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Brad Dover began volunteering for Monrovia Fire and Rescue in 1994 as a fire cadet. In 1998, he was hire full time as a firefighter. The following year, he was assigned as a firefighter/paramedic. In 2003, Brad was promoted to fire engineer, a position he still cherishes as one of his favorites. In 2006 he promoted to captain where he spent two years on an engine company. In 2008, he was reassigned as a captain on the ladder truck. He said that assignment is where he grew the most professionally and all of the pieces of incident management came together. In 2015, he promoted to division chief, where he managed day-to-day shift operations. He was also responsible for citywide emergency preparedness programs and department support services. Brad has a Bachelorette of Science degree from California State University, Long Beach. He has completed the California career track programs for Fire Officer and Chief Officer. He was fortunate enough to spend a number of years as part of a California USAR Task Force. Currently, Brad is attending the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy in Maryland. The graduate level program is designed for fire service leaders from around the country. Brad has been married to his wife Anne for the past 18 years, and has 13 year old twins, Blake and Ella. Away from work he loves camping, golfing and being involved in his children’s sports programs. As a die-hard Green Bay Packers fan, he insisted on naming his dog Lambeau, after one of the Packer legends.

The Club is proud that a person such as Brad,  who has spent a lifetime in service to others, has chosen the Rotary Club as an avenue of service.

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.

2016 Student Scholarships Awarded

The Monrovia Rotary Club presented $14,000 in scholarships to deserving students from the Monrovia School District.  These scholarships were made possible by the generosity of our community partners,  our members, in particular Mr. Richard Tipping, and by the generosity of Choon Baick, M.D. and Delos Comstock, M.D. , the original donors to the club’s Comstock Fund. Special thanks to Erica Hahn(Chairperson), Richard Tipping, Jenny Pappano,Tom Hould for your hard work on the 2016 Scholarship Committee!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The 2016 Scholarship Recipients are:

Monrovia High School

Academic

Kaela Polnitz 

Jacqueline Hernandez

Dalila McKelvey   

Ian Flores 

Brian Alvarado

Honorary

Jacob Szymkowski  in recognition of his outstanding academics

Service

Alexandra Haney

Rogelio Lopez   

Amanda Jaramillo

Aisling O’Beirne

Celina Garcia 

Billy Ryan Athletic

Justin Crutchfield

Mountain Park School

Academic

Heather Mercieca

Service

Rachel Acosta 

Tipping Scholarships  

Kirstin Casner

Samantha Proctor

Distinguished Speaker: Zanaida Robles-SGV Choral Company

The Monrovia Rotary Club was pleased to have Zanaida Robles as its guest speaker yesterday, March 1.  She was here to speak about her passion, the San Gabriel Valley Choral Company, of which she is the artistic director.

The San Gabriel Valley Choral Company (SGVCC) was founded by Dr. Thomas M. Miyake in September 1995 to provide local singers the opportunity to “stretch their minds and vocal chords.” The ensemble is comprised of singers from the San Gabriel Valley, the Inland Empire and other local communities. Their repertoire has included music from the Renaissance period to works of the late 20th century. Along with more traditional selections, music performed has included avant-garde, jazz, a Broadway musical review, and staged productions.

Zanaida is a singer, conductor, composer, and music instructor born, raised, and educated in Southern California. She is the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions including the USC Scholar’s Symposium Fellowship, the Young Musicians Foundation Gladys Turk scholarship, the USC Choral Department Scholarship, the USC Black Alumni Association scholarship, two L.A. Artist of the Future awards, the NFAA Young Arts level one award in classical voice, two Charles “Dolo” Coker Jazz Awards, the KCET Emerging Young Artist Grand Prize, the Cal State Long Beach 4-year Dean’s Scholarship for Distinction in the Arts, and the NAACP ACT-SO national gold medal for music composition. She holds a Doctor of Music Arts degree from the USC Thornton School of Music, a Master of Music degree from CSU Northridge, and a Bachelor of Music degree from CSU Long Beach.