Greetings fellow Elks! I am honored and humbled to have been elected your Exalted Ruler for 2015-2016. Rest assured, this is a role I take seriously and something for which I have been preparing since I first became an officer in March 2010.
Helping me with that preparation has been our good friend and outgoing E.R. Terry Lincoln. A big thanks goes out to Terry for his leadership. His years of experience as the Zoo Director prepared him well for the varied and ongoing challenges of E.R. (Not to mention shepherding another set of animals called “Officers”!) I would also like to thank Di Lincoln for her own hard work and dedication to the Elks. Together, the Lincolns represented Lodge #1199 with undeniable grace and dignity.
According to the Elks manual, the Exalted Ruler “is the President and Executive Officer of the Lodge. The E.R. is responsible for all operations, programs, social quarter activities of the Lodge and presides at each Lodge session”. This is quite a daunting task, for sure! But I am confident the job will be made a lot easier with a great set of Officers and Trustees!
I would like to congratulate the following people and thank them in advance for dedicating their time and talents in the upcoming year: Rich Skjonsby – Esteemed Leading Knight; Jeff Carlson – Esteemed Loyal Knight; Chad Gasser – Esteemed Lecturing Knight; Brian Peterson – Esquire; Mark Webster – Inner Guard; Mike LaLonde – Tiler; Arlan Scholl – Lodge Secretary; Daryl Aberle – Treasurer; Bob Dolajak – Organist, and Trustees Keith Ulmer, Buzz Benson, Scott Volkert, Rod Bakken, and Dennis Hensel. Thanks also to outgoing Trustee Rick Parkes. And finally, thanks to all of you, Lodge #1199 members, for your dedication and support of the Elks.
The volunteer leadership of your Elks club comes from a vast, diverse set of business backgrounds; insurance, real estate, retail, service, medical, banking, media, sales, and business consulting are all represented. Together, we feel the business and life experience we bring to the table helps us make well-rounded decisions on your behalf. While we are not perfect, one thing is for certain; we all care deeply about Lodge #1199 and its vision of “being the Elks lodge to which all other lodge’s strive to emulate.”
A little about myself: My wife Lynn and I were married 17 years ago, when her children were 12 and 7 years old. Today, our family is fortunate to all live in the same community. Daniel Heitzman, is a Civil Engineer with Houston Engineering and his wife Jenny, a hair stylist with Image Makers Salon. Daughter Lisa Heitzman is a teacher’s aide with Bismarck Public Schools.
I am the youngest of four children and a second generation Lodge #1199 Member. My father Marlow, a long-time Bismarck businessman who passed away in 2006, proposed me for membership in 1999, then proceeded to put me to work on a Seafood team! My mother, Marcy still resides in Bismarck. Since 2002, I have worked with The Rainmaker Group, a business-consulting firm. I also own and manage a number of residential and commercial rental properties. Previously, I was Vice President at The Bismarck-Mandan Chamber of Commerce and a television reporter/anchor for three North Dakota NBC affiliates.
Among my personal goals for the Lodge is to increase membership and member engagement. Elks members possess a wealth of knowledge, talents and volunteerism. As such, we highly encourage you to share your time, talents and ideas with us. Find any one of your Officers and Trustees and share with us your thoughts and ideas. We would love to hear them. Engagement also means simply showing up. It means sharing the club experience with family members and friends, and making the Elks your choice for lunch, drinks, dinner, and other gatherings. We look forward to seeing you at the club in the coming year!
It is my sad duty to announce the death of Todd Fraser, Jerry Schmidt, Carl Condon, George Seifer, U.J. Dillavou, David Muhlbradt and Terry Steckler. May their virtues be written on the tablet of love and memory.