Recently, however, I got a healthy dose of inspiration through a Business & Community Leadership and Ethics awards program I chaired for the 45 Rotary Clubs that compose Rotary District 5320 in Orange County and portions of Los Angeles County.
A total of 21 nominees were submitted in four categories: Business Rotarian of the Year, Leadership Excellence, Ethics in Business, and Community Leader. The Community Leader award was to be given to a non-Rotarian, while the other three awards were reserved for Rotary Club members.
Reviewing the nomination packets for this event confirmed that Rotary is truly made up of "ordinary people doing extraordinary things." Each nominee had an impressive background of leadership and good works in their business, club and community. In addition, the Community Leader category, which had the highest number of nominees, was an especially rich pool of volunteer talents, dedication and drive.
I was particularly inspired by the accomplishments of the Community Leader award recipient. The Rotary Club of San Clemente nominated retired businessman Don Glasgow for the award. Glasgow had been very busy during his retirement. He collected and cleaned 600 full sets of golf clubs and 35,000 golf balls for wounded soldiers at Camp Pendleton. He gathered 10,000 pairs of shoes for the poor in Mexico, refurbished more than 200 bicycles for the needy, and established a ministry to build houses, churches and feed 1,000 children daily before school in Mexico. In addition, he helped to raise funds to construct a playground for disabled people in San Clemente and collected musical instruments for school children.
While Glasgow’s accomplishments were many and varied, he was not alone in demonstrating impressive leadership skills.
Business Rotarian of the Year honors went to Placentia’s Glenn Baldwin, a member for 23 years, who has held numerous leadership positions. As owner of Excalibur Extrusions, he is known for being fair to his customers, employees and distributors. In one case he turned away a major customer trying to cut his distributor out of the supply chain. Active in supporting youth groups, community events and fundraisers, he also was involved in school district accreditation and downtown redevelopment efforts. In addition, he is active in supporter of the Miss California scholarship program. He also transported patients through the Angel Flight program.
The Ethics in Business award went to Lisa M Wilson, a past president of Monarch Beach Sunrise Rotary. She is an attorney who obtained the Martindale-Hubbell “AV” rating indicating very high to preeminent legal ability and ethics, a ranking attained by less than 5% of all lawyers in the USA. She found time to serve as her club’s link to local schools for over 20 years. She incorporates Rotary’s 4-Way Test into school projects, and shares power of ethical decision making with students. She also ran an Art Master’s elementary school program, brought “Reading by Nine” to schools, and worked to improve student math skills.
Buena Park Rotary’s Dr. George West has served pre-school thru graduate students in Orange County for 48 years. He currently serves as Dean of the College of Education at Hope International University and as President of the Garden Grove Unified School District Board of Education, which is recognized as the top urban district in California. Dr. West is recognized for building bridges between schools and Latino, Chinese-American, Korean-American and Vietnamese-American communities. A life-long practitioner of Rotary’s motto of Service Above Self, Dr. West models ethical behavior and serves as a positive role model for young adults.
Each of these leaders deserves recognition for the outstanding services that they perform in our communities.