Club 31 Welcomes Back Returning Member

 

Patrick Byrne
CEO
Denver Kids, Inc.

Date Joined: 9/15/2020
Rotary Sponsor: Honorary Member/Michelle Maldonado

 

Patrick Byrne is an advocate for under resourced youth with a focus on improving secondary and post-secondary educational opportunities for disadvantaged students to optimize their career potential. Patrick currently serves as the CEO of Community Outreach at Denver Kids. He founded Denver Urban Scholars (which merged into Denver Kids) in 1995, developing the mentoring, volunteer, and academic support programs as well as directing staff and recruiting volunteers. Patrick obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communications from Gonzaga University, and received a Master’s Degree in Non-Profit Management from Regis University. He completed his Masters in Social Work at the University of Denver in 2006 and in 2012 earned his PhD in Leadership Studies from Gonzaga University. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Denver and Regis University. Patrick was the recipient of the Mile High Speaker of the Year in 2017 and the Regis University Civis Pinceps Award in 2019.

For additional information about new members, please log into our membership database at www.dacdb.com.

Club 31 Welcomes New Member

 

Mike Dineen
Senior District Executive Director
Boy Scouts of America

Date Joined: 7/21/2020
Rotary Sponsor: Transferring Rotarian

Before working as a District Executive Mike taught English in Korea, China and Japan.  He has been a Senior District Executive for six years graduating in the top five in his class.  In Mike’s first year, he expanded his district committee to 32 members.  During that time four out of five years he had double digit membership growth and respectively reached 100%+ of their fundraising goal.  The Boy Scouts camping attendance grew participation to 290 total.  They were featured in the International Rotarian magazine for building an international mode for at risk venture crew mentorship program for global impact.  Mike is an active member of Rotary and had acted as the district membership chair.  His favorite hobbies are traveling and volunteering – Mike has had the good fortune to study abroad four times at Southern Illinois University and participate as a member of five networking and community service organizations.  He is an avid reader and am on the way to reading 1,000 books in the next two years.

For additional information about new members, please log into our membership database at www.dacdb.com.

Club 31 Welcomes New Member

Robert Kross
Senior Account Executive
Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce 

Date Joined: 4/21/2020
Rotary Sponsor: Steve Mast

Robert Kross has worked for the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce for the past five years as a Membership Representative. The Chamber works with the Denver business community to focus on critical issues that will determine the health of our community and economy to lead to a prosperous future. His role specifically focuses on building Chamber membership through new member acquisition, retention, as well as keeping current members involved.

Prior to working at the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, Robert worked with the Downtown Denver Partnership and the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District helping with public affairs, communication and marketing. This position enabled Robert to quickly learn about the Denver business community, and what it takes to grow a strong business economy with in a region.

Robert attended the University of Missouri, where he received a BSBA in Marketing and a minor in Sociology. He is also currently sitting on the Associates Board for a local non-profit called Project Helping.

Robert has lived in Denver for the past seven years and enjoys hitting the links as well as mountain actives such as skiing, fishing, hiking and camping.

For additional information about new members, please log into our membership database at www.dacdb.com.

Club 31 Welcomes New Members

Thomas Longino
Founder
Longino Public Finance, LLC

Date Joined: 7/21/2020
Rotary Sponsor: Melly Kinnard
Thomas Longino is the founder of Longino Public Finance, LLC, a law firm focused on representing investors and trustees in connection with high-yield or distressed financing, whether taxable or tax-exempt.  Prior to forming Longino Public Finance, Thomas practiced law in the area of municipal finance at a large southeastern law firm, mostly as bond counsel and underwriter’s counsel, where he gained valuable workout and municipal bankruptcy experience as a member of the team representing Jefferson County, Alabama.  Thomas earned his bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University, his law degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law and a master of laws in federal taxation from New York University School of Law.  A very recent transplant to Denver, Thomas enjoys the Denver restaurant scene, exercise and discovering all that Colorado has to offer.
Debbie Wilkins
Broker Associate
Date Joined: 7/21/2020
Rotary Sponsor: Melly Kinnard & Colleen Cozad
Debbie Wilkins serves as a Compass associate broker.  Debbie is keenly focused on customer relationship development and success defined through achieving set goals.  This customer and goals-driven approach consistently creates positive results for her clients in a rapid real estate market.  Prior to pursuing her career in real estate, Debbie successfully started up and owned her own business from 2005-2019.  The business was private-labeled product sales and distribution, servicing large business maintenance of facilities.  Additionally, her work experience includes multiple sales manager positions in the medical field, including manufacturers such as Johnson & Johnson.  Debbie has a strong affection for four-legged friends, including her own two Havanese, Biewer Terrier, and a Bernese Mountain Dog.  This affection also resulted in training her own as therapy dogs.  Other interests include home remodeling, DYI home projects, travel, and restaurants.  Prior to calling Denver her forever home, Debbie lived in St. Louis, Atlanta, and Dallas.  She holds a BA in journalism from the University of Georgia.
For additional information about new members, please log into our membership database at www.dacdb.com.

Club 31 Welcomes New Member

Kris Hemenway
President & Founder
Statera Media

Date Joined: 6/16/2020
Rotary Sponsor: Jim Johnston

Kristopher (Kris) Hemenway is the President and Founder of Statera Media, a Denver based strategy, marketing and media planning firm that focuses on small and mid-sized companies in many different business verticals.  Kris uses a data-driven approach to help his clients find new customers through digital (Social, SEM, E-Mail, Display) and traditional (TV, Radio, Print) media.  Prior to forming Statera Media in 2014, Kris worked for some of Colorado’s biggest and best companies in marketing and media such as:  Vail Resorts, Coors Brewing Company, The Integer Group and Gart Companies.  Kris has lived in Colorado for 23 years and is a proud alumnus of the University of Colorado at Boulder where he graduated with honors with a B.S. in Journalism.  He has been married to his wife Keri for 14 years and is the proud father of two young boys, Harrison (9) and Patrick (5).

For additional information about new members, please log into our membership database at www.dacdb.com.

Donna Hultin Excellence Award Endowment

The Donna Hultin Excellence Award was created by the Rotary Club of Denver in 2008 to honor Donna’s 28 years of dedicated service to Denver Kids, Inc. and her service to Rotary. The annual $500 cash award recognizes one high achieving graduating high school senior who is part of the Denver Kids mentoring program and is college bound. Qualifications include demonstrated academic achievement, excellence in attendance, community service, leadership ability and a positive attitude. For the past 12 years the award was funded annually by the Rotary Club of Denver and for the last two years, this award was matched by a Denver Rotarian and the Hultin Family for a total scholarship of $1,000.

Donna’s husband, Wally Hultin, recently approached the Denver Rotary Club Foundation to create an Endowment to ensure that funding for the award continues in Donna’s name.  Wally offered an initial donation to begin funding the Endowment plus a formula to match contributions from donors. Rotarian Mary Penny then organized a fund raising effort to gather the donations in order to make the Endowment a reality.  Today the Endowment funding is $30,350. Thanks to the vision of Wally Hultin, his generous donation and the generosity of the donors, The Donna Hultin Excellence Award Endowment will now last in perpetuity to fund the annual cash award and recognize future generations of Denver Kids graduates for this prestigious honor.

Denver Rotary Receives Award for the Most Outstanding World Community Service Project in District 5450

Denver Rotary Cub 31 was honored by Denver Mile Hi Rotary for having the most outstanding world community service project in District 5450 in 2019-2020.  Denver Mile Hi donated $100 to Polio Plus in Club 31’s name.  The award was for a six-year $93 thousand project promoting basic education and literacy for girls in Bosnia and to prevent them from becoming victims of human traffickers.  The entire project involved a small direct cash grant and two global grants matched by Rotary International and District 5450.  The project was prompted by the aftermath of the 1990’s Balkan wars (of ethnic cleansing) with the failure to address the problems of girl’s education and human trafficking because of continued ethnic divisions and government corruption.  Bosnia (formally Bosnia and Herzegovina, BiH) is now the poorest country in Europe.  Poor rural families favor education of boys, with girls often dropping out of school after the 4th grade.  Roma (gypsy) girls are illiterate, as are their mothers and most of their fathers.  Bosnia is now the largest center for transit and source of human trafficking in Europe as those under-educated or struggling financially seek opportunities outside of the country.

The project brought parent teacher education meetings to 40 villages reaching 2,000 parents, promoting the importance of girls’ education and warning of trafficking, established a mentoring program for 160 families with fourth grade girls at risk for dropping out of school by using university student volunteers, conducted media campaigns to promote girls staying in school and warning of human trafficking, and conducted literacy classes for Roma girls. The mentoring and public education initiatives are continuing after the grant funding ended with the partner NGO staff.  The Roma literacy program has been funded post grant by another non-profit.

Denver Rotary World Community Service committee members formulated, wrote the grant application, raised the cash match, shepherded the application through the Rotary International process, and monitored the implementation of the grants. F elicia Muftic chaired the project, initially with Denver Rotarian Dr. Mike Muftic, who passed away in August 2015.  The Mostar Rotary Club was the local in-country supervisor which partnered with a local non-profit family and children counseling agency, Novi Put, to execute the grant.  Over $8 thousand of the cash came from the Denver Rotary Foundation.  In addition to Denver Rotary and Mostar Rotary, eight other 5450 Rotary clubs, Ojai California Rotary and their district, and the Rotary club of Grand Cayman all contributed the cash funds, matched by $20,500 from District 5450 and $37,725 from the Rotary International Foundation.  The last of the two global grants was featured in the April 2019 Rotarian.  For a video made during the first global grant, and to meet the participants, click the image link below.  For more about the entire project, visit Bosniaglobalgrant.com.

Congratulations to our hard working World Community Service committee and to Chair Felicia Muftic who has spent countless hours on this project over the years!

Honorary Rotarian for Life: Darlene Mast

After supporting her husband Rotarian Steve Mast during his Club 31 Presidency in 2003-2004, Darlene put “Service Above Self” by filling the vacancy of her predecessor on a temporary basis as the Rotary Club of Denver and Denver Rotary Club Foundation Executive Director in 2004.  Little did she know at the time, this would become a 16-year long commitment!  Darlene fell in love with the mission of Rotary and the Rotarians she served.  Darlene always remained cool under pressure with a smile on her face and served a new Club and Foundation President every year (for a total of 33 Presidents in 16 years).  She became a wealth of historical knowledge to those she served, always informing her President’s what the Club has done in the past and stepping aside to let them make a decision for how to move forward.  There wasn’t a single President who didn’t call Darlene before accepting this honored position, to ensure she would still be with the Club to support them and help guide them from behind the scenes.  Darlene would say to every President, both Club and Foundation, that her main job was “to help make you look good”, and she sure did!

After many nights working late and many after-work happy hours, Darlene is retiring from the Rotary Club of Denver.  However, even in retirement Darlene can’t seem to step away from her passion for Rotary.  She will continue on a very limited basis as the Club and Foundation’s part-time accountant.  In honor of Darlene’s service to Rotary, Club 31 is awarding her an
“Honorary Rotarian for Life” membership status.  Darlene, you have made a bigger impact than anyone could have imagined during these past 16 years and for that, Club 31 will forever be in your debt.  THANK YOU, Darlene and Congratulations!

Here are just a few examples of Darlene’s Achievements and Service Above Self…

Perfect attendance for 16 years:

  • 688 all-Club lunch meetings
  • 160 club board meetings
  • 96 DRCF board meetings
  • The same number of executive committee meetings for each
  • 16 years of Membership committee and Programs committee meetings

Highlighted Contributions:

  • 1st big project: The Player sculpture installation and dedication at Coors Field
  • Served on the Branch Rickey award committee through 2014
  • Visited RI Headquarters in Chicago with Grant Wilkins, the DG and Club President
  • Relocation of the Polio Plus statue to CU Anschutz
  • Peach Sale originated during her first year as ED, and Darlene was always a top Rotarian seller of peach boxes
  • Moved the Rotary office twice
  • Instrumental in the Club Centennial project, book and celebration

Prior Recognition:

  • 2010 DKI Rotarian of the Year
  • 2013 Edwin A. Bemis Award for Best Club Communications
  • 2013-14 District Governor Discretionary Award
  • 2015 DRCF Legacy Society Charter Member
  • DRCF Silver Fellow
  • Paul Harris Fellow +1

Service Above Self:

  • Darlene attended every Rotarian’s funeral, plus retirement parties and other celebrations
  • The holiday bread baker for her Club boards and leadership
  • Darlene stepped up and became an accountant while remaining ED to help the Club save money
  • Last year for the first time in 16 years, used her full vacation time
  • And her final achievement, after hiring and managing three prior assistants, she found a true replacement and trained her before stepping down as our Executive Director

2019-2020 Rotarians of the Year!

At our Thursday Rotary Club meeting via Zoom on June 25, 2020, Club Rotarians came together for our annual Continuation of Leadership celebration with President Jim Johnston and to ring in the new year with incoming President Debbie Beasley!  As has been our tradition, we honored our Rotarians of the Year.  Congratulations and Thank YOU Denver Rotarians for your many accomplishments and hard work this past Rotary year!

 

Virgil Scott ~ ROTARIAN OF THE YEAR 2019-2020

Virgil Scott is this year’s very deserving recipient of the Club 31’s Rotarian of the Year Award!  Here is just a sampling of his strong and impressive contributions to  Denver Rotary.  His participation covers all aspects of Rotary’s five avenues of service…

  • Joined Denver Rotary March 15, 2011, with 14 years prior Rotary experience
  • Served on the Denver Rotary Club Foundation (DRCF) Board of Trustees 2013-2019
  • DRCF President 2016-17
  • DRCF Silver Fellow
  • DRCF Legacy Society Charter Member 2015
  • Chair of the DRCF Legacy Society
  • Co-Chair of DRCF 50th Anniversary Campaign
  • Paul Harris Fellow of The Rotary Foundation (TRF)
  • Served on TRF Support Committee & Peach Sale Committee

AND, Virgil has accomplished all of this since joining our Club only nine years ago!

 According to several of his nominators,

“I have had the distinct pleasure of serving with Virgil since he joined our Club nine years ago. During this time, I have gotten to know him well, have very much enjoyed working together and consider him to be a trusted friend and valued mentor.”

“As a DRCF President, Virgil’s message to our Club and its Foundation was Unity…both working together to have a positive impact on our community and our world.”

“About a year and half after joining our Club, he was asked to serve a six-year term on the DRCF Board of Trustees, bringing 30 years of CEO-level nonprofit foundation leadership experience, as well as an extensive history of volunteer board experience.”

“Was immediately asked to lead the Foundation’s Legacy Gift Committee, attempting what many have tried to do for years but didn’t get it done. This Rotarian did. Forming the DRCF Legacy Society in 2013, he almost single-handedly brought in 29 charter members.”

“Our Foundation has a good story to tell and Virgil did it so well, along with sharing their own inspiring personal life journey and that of our members. He leads by example with his continued generous financial support.”

“While most good Rotarians naturally put service above self, Virgil outdid himself this past year. The sheer amount of pro-bono time he spent connecting with, and clarifying the wishes of our Denver Rotary Club Foundation Legacy Society members would have cost the club tens of thousands of dollars had we not had him doing it for us. And with his usual low-key, quiet and behind-the-scenes demeanor he has bolstered the financial future of DRCF, not solely with the stroke of a check but with endless patience and dedication of time.”

“In various leadership roles, Virgil built an awareness of the Legacy Society. He was responsible for increasing the number of Legacy Society members over 60% during the past four years. He was also an essential part of the DRCF 50th Year Celebration campaign by tirelessly consulting with each Legacy Society member whereby they devoted $330,000 in Legacy Gifts to the Wilkins Family Fund Endowment and increased overall Legacy Gifts to $883,000.  His efforts have help to ensure DRCF is sustainable for the next 50 years.  Under Virgil’s leadership and his unwavering support of our Foundation continues, his impact far-reaching.”

“Trust and relationships have always been a part of his life. Personal and professional mix and mesh. With unsurpassed dedication and commitment, he brought his years of fundraising expertise, thoughtful leadership skills and vast experience to this important volunteer role.”

“Virgil is a kind, generous, good man, always making the time to send personal hand-written notes to our many members for a variety of reasons…and even Starbucks gift cards to us lucky ones!”

Rotary’s mission is to do good in the world…a group of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Our Club is filled with some pretty special people…we are all honored and privileged to know such a Rotarian.  Congratulations Virgil!  You make us proud and we are blessed to have you as a member of Denver Rotary!

 

TROY SZYMANSKI ~ NEW ROTARIAN OF THE YEAR 2019-20

This year Club 31 is pleased to honor Troy Szymanski as our New Rotarian of the Year for 2019-20!

 According to several of his nominators,

 “Troy is a great guy and quickly became engaged as evidenced by his great attendance.”

“He became very active in the evening happy hour meetings.”

“Very energetic with a can-do attitude!’

“Brought some needed young blood into the Club.”

“His first Club visit was exactly a year ago today at our Continuation of Leadership on the DAC rooftop…blended right in with an enthusiastic interest in learning more about our Club.”

“Rotary runs in his family!”

In just the past year, Troy…

  • Became a Paul Harris Fellow of The Rotary Foundation
  • Served as an Inspirational moment presenter
  • Participated in the Cherry Creek Clean Up before becoming a member
  • Joined the Membership Committee
  • Co-leading the Evening Group Happy Hour events
  • And get this….will be our new Club Secretary in 2020-21!

After joining Rotary in October of 2019, Troy has already shown a major commitment to our Club and to Rotary’s mission.  We are so fortunate to have such a committed and dedicated new Rotarian as a member of Club 31!  Congratulations Troy!  Thank you for making Club 31 your new Rotary home!  We look forward to serving alongside you for many years to come!