The now former Lodi-Tokay Rotary President Mike Pretz was "kicked out" with a fire department-themed skit at Mason's beach on Monday, June 23. The current city of Lodi Fire Chief, Mike Pretz was given a humiliating end to a successful year as Lodi-Tokay Rotary President. Mike lead the Club during the 2007-08 year to host and organized the first annual Lodi International Wine Awards. The International Wine Awards along with Oktoberfest were the two major fundraisers for the Lodi-Tokay Rotary this year.
The Club welcomed the new President David Akin for the 2008-09 Rotary year. David Akin has been a winemaker for 35 years and began his wine career working for a large central coast winery in its sparkling wine cellars in 1969. After graduating from U.C. Berkeley with a degree in bacteriology and graduate studies in molecular biology he returned to this winery as a chemist, microbiologist and eventually assistant winemaker. Since that time, he has held winemaking positions at several wineries eventually becoming a general manager of a prestigious central valley winery. Currently, he is a consultant for several wineries and has his own label, Akin Estates, specializing in Zinfandels. Akin is a professional member of the American Society for Enology and Viticulture, and a past director of the Wine Institute and member of its tasting committee. Akin has resided in Lodi sense 1978 and strongly supported by his wife Brenda.
Other officers that were installed are John Marshall, president elect; Bill Meehleis, vice president; Suzanne Mangum, secretary; Tom Azevedo, treasurer; Bill Meehleis, administration committee chair; Ron Williamson, membership committee chair; Jennelle Bechthold, public relations committee chair; Mike Bennett, service projects committee chair; and Janet Harrington, foundation committee chair.
The Lodi-Tokay Rotary is excited to hold two events this year including Octoberfest, and the second annual International Wine Awards. All fundraising events and service projects during the 2008-09 year will support the Lodi Parks and Recreation to update the area playgrounds to meet safety requirements.
For information on the Lodi-Tokay Rotary, call Jennelle Bechthold at (209) 333-5618.