And That’s a Wrap!
As I duck out the back door after completing my term as president of the Rotary Club of Ames, I have a simple and heartfelt message for you…thank you!  I have sincerely and thoroughly enjoyed serving and representing you!  Ours is a great club with generous and caring members.  Each of you brings a unique talent or perspective to the Club and I am humbled beyond words that you trusted me enough to loan me the keys to the Rotary car.  Oh sure, there’s a couple of scratches in the paint, a dent in the bumper, and that coffee stain on the front seat is courtesy of Jim Mason.  But for the most part, I don’t think I did any major damage.
So, as I wrap up my final President’s column, I thought I‘d borrow an idea from David Letterman, now retired from his long running Late Show television program, and try my hand at a top ten list.  As in…the Top Ten Things I Will Miss About Being President of the Rotary Club of Ames.  Here goes:
#10      Working with Karin Sevde!  Seriously…Karin does a lot of the “heavy lifting” for our   club and over the past 12 months she’s saved my bacon on more than one occasion, and made my job way too easy.  Thanks for everything Karin!
#9        Eating lunch alone.  Okay, I never eat lunch anyway, but instead of absorbing insults from the likes of Jim Mason and Tim Grandon, and arm wrestling for cookies, most weeks I’ve “dined” alone at the “President’s table” in relative peace and tranquility. Kind of embarrassing though…a guy could get a complex.
#8        Serving you!  It’s been a real kick getting to know all of you better.  As I’ve said before, we have amazing people in our club…folks that make things happen.  Wanna get something done?  Ask a Rotarian to help.  Better yet, ask a Rotary Club of Ames member to help!
#7        Watching Don Goering and Del Bluhm cringe whenever I strayed too far away from protocol.  “Good thing Paul Harris isn’t alive to see this Del!”  “You’re right Don!”
#6        The power of the office!  I hope you’ve noticed since last June, the potato bar has disappeared from the lunch menu.  You’re welcome! 
#5        Brussel sprouts!
#4        Welcoming new members to the club.  I can’t, shouldn’t, and won’t take credit for all    of the new members who’ve joined us during the past year.  But I will say how much I’ve enjoyed working with and getting to know them.  They’ve even tolerated my “good-natured” kidding.  New members are the lifeblood of any organization, and our class of 2014-15 was outstanding!
#3        Hanging around the front door before each Monday meeting.  Greeting each of you as you came through the door was fun and reaffirming for me.  I wanted you to feel that your presence at our weekly meeting was important.  I also was impressed and moved by how many of you never miss a meeting!
#2        Poking fun at Tanya Anderson…your next President!  All I can say is that our club is in very good hands next year.  Tanya has a wicked sense of humor, is organized, unflappable, and has put up with my ribbing each and every week.  By the way, I only kid around with those I admire and respect.  I guess you’re all included in that subset!
#1        Standing at the podium.  I have been honored and humbled by this experience.  And I    thank you for giving me the chance to serve you and this outstanding organization.  I wish each of you could look out from the vantage point of the podium and see what I’ve seen this past year.  Extraordinary men and women who give a damn!  Who are leaders in their respective fields and who bring those skills to our club and to this amazing organization called Rotary International.  It’s been TREEmendous!  Thanks again!
Jeff Iles, President
Rotary Club of Ames