President Tom Klenda Concludes a Great Term; Erik Ortega Named Rotarian of the Year

By GasserOnline Correspondent, Tim Colwell
Photos By , John Howland

Klenda-Last-Meeting-PicThe last Wednesday of June means Rotary’s Annual Steak Day and once again, Scott Petty and crew manned the Hasty Bake grills as members and guests saluted President Tom Klenda for a great year as club president, 2012-13.

In a musical year-in-review video and comments from the podium, President Tom was recognized for accomplishments this year, including significant improvements in the club’s audio visual technology.  This year we’ve installed new HD-quality cameras and projection, with each program recorded for member playback for missed-meeting attendance make-up.  This was also the first year to include live Skype sessions within the meeting, including a recent video conversation with Rotary International president Sakuji Tanaka.  That encounter was the theme of the humorous “roast video” that followed, introduced by the Rotarian of the Day, Past President Ed Monnet. Thanks to Rotarians Dana Birkes and David Downing, and their teams, for production of the two videos.

Board chair Brenda Melancon presented Tom with his presidential gift from the club – St. Louis Cardinal baseball tickets – and immediate Past President Phil Lakin placed on Tom’s lapel, the traditional past president’s Rotary pin.  President Tom asked the club to recognize the work of his outstanding officers and board of directors and then saluted all committee chairs for the 2012-13 Rotary year.  He also recognized our staff and all the workers at First United Methodist who prepare and serve our meals each week.

President Tom announced that Erik Ortega has been named 2012-13 Rotarian of the Year, resulting in a thunderous standing ovation by members and guests. Tom explained that this year Erik, who has served on the Technology Team for many years, played an important, leading role in purchasing the equipment and implementing the process that have made in the Rotary Club of Tulsa one of the most advanced with a-v technology.  Erik is currently researching other clubs around the world that meet on Wednesday, with whom we can share live programs.

The next meeting will be held Wednesday, July 10, when Karen Keith assumes her role as the 100th president of the Rotary Club of Tulsa.