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!



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!

“A Year in Review”

President Pam Adams

Wow! How time flies!

It’s hard to believe that a year has passed since I was writing an article for the Keyway talking about what’s to come for the 2018-2019 Rotary year, and the Presidential theme: “Be the Inspiration”.  As I look back on the year, there are so many things to be inspired by!  Many of those come in relation to “firsts” for our Club.

On the Communications front, the first…

  • Live Facebook streaming of our meetings occurred
  • Committee videos were produced
  • Keyway was distributed completely online
  • YouTube Channel creation occurred
  • Facebook advertising of our Peach Sale took place
  • Soon to be DACdb tutorials distributed

In the Fundraising arena, the first…

  • UnGala was successfully “attended”
  • March Madness contest was a “win” for DRCF
  • Turn Up the B*Heat Summer Auction benefiting DRCF & Denver Kids!

Soon to come is the DRCF 50th Anniversary Celebration!

We were fortunate to celebrate and recognize 15 new members, many of whom got involved from their very first day of membership to start to make an impact in our Club and the community.

Our Meetings and Events Team kept our programs relevant and informative, including a marijuana/cannabis focused meeting series with a dispensary tour.  Our Service Team worked to encourage collaboration among committees, along with the Membership and Communications teams.

I can’t express enough my sincere thanks to each and every member of Club 31, for the privilege to serve as your president, and to work with many of you in a leadership capacity. 

When anyone asks me, “Why Rotary?”  I answer, “The People”.   It’s the diversity of the people serving the organization and the community.  The different interests and backgrounds we bring together.  The ability to respect our various contributions.  The chance to share our talents to complement and collaborate with each other!

Thank you, Club 31!


Pam Adams
President 2018-19
Rotary Club of Denver

P.S.  If anyone wants the “not so statistically significant” results that I shared on the “What’s the scoop?” favorite ice cream flavor survey that I shared at the Change of Leadership Celebration on June 20th, just let me know.

World Community Service Honors Several Distinguished Members!

This year‘s most outstanding new member is John Finegan. 
John jumped in in his first year to become treasurer, as well as attend global grant training in the District.  Thanks for your early efforts John.

The hard luck project award went to Bill Img.
His Moringa leaf project in Zimbabwe ran into several hurtles.  Bill stuck with it to get the final equipment needed to make the project a success.

Greatest impact project this year went to Mac West. 
Mac comes through with projects every year and was awarded this year for his continuing efforts.

And the award for continuing service went to Mitch Benedict. 
Mitch has been on the committee for many years and is always a contributor both with projects and assisting in evaluating new projects from our Club as well as other Clubs.  Thanks for all your efforts Mitch.


2018-19 Rotarian and New Rotarian’s of the Year!

On Thursday evening, June 20th, Club 31 Rotarian’s and their spouses gathered over appetizers and cocktails in celebration of our 2018-2019 year with President Pam Adams and to ring in the new year with President Jim Johnston (2019-2020)!  We honored our Rotarians of the Year and enjoyed musical entertainment provided by the highly talented and accomplished Ian Campbell, our Communications Team VP. Congratulations and Thank YOU Denver Rotarian’s for your many accomplishments and hard work this past Rotary year!


(L to R: Last Year’s ROY Don Lewis, Melly Kinnard & President Pam Adams)

Melly Kinnard is this year’s recipient of the Club 31’s Rotarian of the Year Award for 2018-19.  Here is just a sampling of Melly’s strong and impressive engagement in Denver Rotary.  Her participation covers all aspects of Rotary’s five avenues of service…

  • Has been a High School Mentor for seven years;
  • Major supporter of every Club fundraiser;
  • Works in the kitchen at our annual Peach Sale breakfast;
  • Is a Major Donor of both Foundations;
  • Visits Rotary Club’s whenever traveling, both in the US and abroad;
  • Brings in popular speakers as a member of the Programs Committee;
  • Key participant with the Club and District Rotarians for Mental Health committee, and was instrumental in bringing in a high caliber speaker for the annual State of the State Luncheon;
  • Has sponsored six new members Active with the Evening Membership group;
  • Heavily involved in membership engagement and is the Chair of member retention, prospect outreach, and hosting new member dinners;
  • Received the 2018 District Governor’s Discretionary Award for support of the Disaster Relief effort for Hurricane Harvey;
  • Co-Sponsored our two New Rotarians of the Year!!

 AND, Melly has accomplished all of this since joining our Club only seven years ago!  There is nothing she can’t or hasn’t done!

 According to several of her nominators,

“As a Rotarian for more than 22 years and in three previous Clubs, seldom have I come across a Rotarian who is more passionate about our organization than this person. A self-directed ambassador for Denver Club 31, she was diligent in getting to know me and my profession so she could connect me with other Club members of similar professions/backgrounds.” 

“Passionate about growing our membership, she makes it a point to collect business cards from nearly every visitor to our Club and follow up with them to ensure they stay engaged enough to join the Club.”

“She is most certainly Rotarians for Mental Health’s favorite Rotarian!”

“She is incredibly generous with her time and dollars. She embodies Rotary in everything she does. She jumped right up and was one of the first to give to the Hurricane Relief Fund.”

“She is also extremely active in the community as Chair of Denver Health Newborns in Need 2013-present; Second Chance Center Board; Nathan Yip Foundation Gala Chair 2018-19…just to name a few. She was also just awarded Junior League of Denver’s Sustainer Star Award for her years of dedicated service and financial support since 1972.”

“This Rotarian is passionate about people.  It reflects in everyone and everything she touches. I have heard so many members say, “we need more of her in our Club”!  Think of all we could accomplish and what a joy it would be!”

“Rotary’s mission is to do good in the world…a group of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.  She exemplifies what it truly means to be a Rotarian…but she is no ordinary woman!”

Need we say more?  Melly enjoys being a Rotarian…engaging and selflessly giving with both her time and money, in both Rotary and numerous other non-profit organizations!  In fact, she will introduce herself as a “full time volunteer”, and the community couldn’t be luckier to have her.   Nor could our Club.

Congratulations Melly!
You make us proud and we too are blessed to have you as a member of Denver Rotary!


(L to R: President Pam Adams, Sarah Kleinschmidt, Jeff Kleinschmidt,
Brian Sweet & Last Year’s NROY Colleen Cozad)

This year was a little different than most…we had so many strong and worthy candidates, that we have a tie!  Additionally, many of our nominators expressed the desire to award both of these “new outstanding members” with a joint award.  Our New Rotarians of the Year for 2018-19 are Brian Sweet and Jeff Kleinschmidt!  As business co-founders and friends, Brian and Jeff joined the Club together eight months ago and have already jumped in feet first, with no hesitation.

 According to several of their nominators,

 “I am Jeff Kleinschmidt’s sponsor, so I have watched him jump in and join the programs committee.  He is working hard to expand ideas and bring in good speakers.  Jeff also works on Project Cure.  He wants his sons to be community minded, so he brings them to every work opportunity like the Cherry Creek clean ups.”

“Brian has jumped in with Membership and worked very hard to be involved.  He has jumped at all opportunities to help in any way and has been great.   He is very kind, and I always see him sitting with different people and getting to know his fellow Rotarians.”

 “Brian and Jeff didn’t waste any time getting involved!  They were introduced to Rotary by a friend who is a mentor and adviser, and a member of the Rotary Club of Kansas City.  They represent the future of Denver Rotary….and are really nice guys!”

In just the past year, Jeff…

  • Became a sustaining contributor of both our Foundations;
  • Became actively involved in our Programs Committee;
  • Has directly contributed his time to volunteer with his sons, at our Cherry Creek Trail Clean Ups and Project CURE Sort Nights;
  • Between our lunches, volunteer projects and committee meetings, have 100% attendance;
  • And will be our Service Team Co-Vice President in 2019-2020!

In just the past year, Brian…

  • Became a Denver Rotary Club Foundation New Member Fellow;
  • Became actively involved in our Membership Team and prospective member outreach;
  • Between our lunches and many committee meetings, have 100% attendance;
  • And have made your commitment to be our incoming Board Secretary in 2019-2020!

After joining Rotary in October of 2018, both have already shown a major commitment to their Club and to Rotary’s mission.  We are so fortunate to have two of the warmest, hardworking and dedicated new Rotarians as members of Club 31!

Congratulations Brian and Jeff!
Thank you for making Club 31 your new Rotary home!  We look forward to serving alongside
you for many years to come!