Matthew Brown, Rotarian of the Year 2013, gave the recognition to this year’s recipient of the honor.
Tom Thomas has served as co-committee chair of the golf tournament, and as treasurer, board member for vocational service and president during his years with the club.
He is a deacon at First Baptist Cleveland and a treasurer at the New Hope Pregnancy Center.
“Thank you for this great honor,” Thomas said as he received the plaque. “I will continue to serve the best I can.”
Prior to the installation ceremony, Rotarians heard from District Governor Jerry Wear.
“It’s such fun to be here,” Wear said. “You make Rotary what it’s supposed to be. I wish all of my clubs would do the same.”
He said he was proud of the incoming president, Tim Spires, who succeeded Pam Nelson in the position.
“Tim is going to be a wonderful leader,” Wear said. “I can tell by the work we have done together.”
Past District Governor Jim Buckner also attended the afternoon gathering.
“I think Tim is excited, I really do,” Buckner said. “My challenge to Tim and his core of officers for this new year is not to think there is no more beyond, but like Columbus — more beyond.”
The new officers include: Nicholas Lillios, president-elect; Victor Boltniew, vice president; Carmen Chastain, secretary; Craig Mullinax, treasurer; Cameron Fisher, programs; Peggy Pesterfield, publicity; Patrick Long, publications; Aaron Weatherford, service; Tom Thomas, foundation; Mike Griffin, membership; Bill George, Cleveland Foundation; Martin Ringstaff, sergeant-at-arms; and Gary Sears, chaplain.
“Rotary is a great organization that has been around for many years and touched many, many lives all over the world,” Spires said.
He noted Rotary International President Gary C.K. Huang has chosen as the theme for 2014, “Light Up Rotary.”
“What he wants us to do is light up Rotary by sharing our service, strengthening our club and letting our light shine in the community,” Spires said. “I’ve been thinking about that for many months.”
He told club members they had a better opportunity to show “service above self.”
Spires said it had to do with doing “the basic things.”
“I hope that we as Rotarians can get back to the basics and I think if we live the basics of what was started by [Rotary Founder] Paul Harris many years ago, we will be shown in the community as ‘service above self,’” Spires said.