McKinney Sunrise Rotary Club Installs William P. Smith, Jr. as President

When the sun went down at the Vineyards of Mitas Hill near Melissa on June 15, the stars of Rotary came out for the installation of the Rotary Club of McKinney Sunrise’s 20th President, William P. Smith, Jr..

Honored guests included the Immediate Past District Governor Sandy Forster and her spouse Bud Carmichael; incoming District Governor Ean Sullivan and his wife, The Reverend Jan Sullivan; District Governor-Elect Bill Dendy and his wife; and District Governor Nominee Larry Webb and his wife. All are current officers of Rotary District 5810.

The club also has two Past District Governors and First Ladies who include Mrs. Connie Yeager, wife of Col. Paul Yeager (deceased) and Judge Nathan White and his wife Wanda. Also attending were Assistant District Governor Peter McClellan and his wife. Mr. McClellan belongs to the McKinney Rotary Club.

The event was hosted by Steve and Sherie Mitas and Tim and Lisa Kocsis who began the evening with cocktails on their pool patio and a buffet dinner catered by Market Street. Club Service Chair Phyllis Davis and Cheryl Smith, wife of the incoming club president, were in charge of arrangements.

Outgoing President Gary Taylor, who is an official with United Supermarkets of Lubbock and a former manager at Market Street in McKinney, opened the meeting after dinner by presenting numerous awards to cap his year of service. He and his wife Rhonda and son Zachary reside in McKinney. He presented attendance certificates to members who had perfect attendance this past year and awards to the outgoing club officers who served during his term. The price of Rotary is attendance and “service above self.”

District Governor Ean Sullivan installed the incoming officers and directors for 2013-14. They are William P. Smith, Jr., President; Gary Taylor, Immediate Past President; President-Elect Steve Mitas; Jeff Caserotti, Vice President for Fundraising; Dennis Snavely, Secretary; Judge Weldon Copeland, Treasurer; Phyllis Davis, Club Service Director; Dr. Tom Parker, Community Service Director; Pamela Zeigler-Petty, International Service Director; Gene Sera, Vocational Service Director; Dr. Sandi Froese, Youth Services Director; Fred Bahrenburg, Rotary Foundation Chair; Bill Bilyeu, Sergeant-at-Arms and Gary Taylor, Webmaster and Sentinel Editor.

Immediate Past District Governor Sandy Forster presented two Paul Harris Foundation awards to two non-Rotarians for their exemplary service to the McKinney community. A Paul Harris Foundation award is one of the most coveted awards in Rotary that honors a person with a $1,000 donation to the Rotary Foundation for global humanitarian programs.

Janet Froese Nelson has been a public school educator for more than 24 years having served for 5 years as an elementary teacher and for the past 19 years as a school counselor in the McKinney ISD. She has a Masters degree from Austin College and is currently a school counselor at Wolford Elementary School. Ms. Nelson exemplifies the selfless service of our community’s public school educators. Her award was sponsored by her parents Drs. Lyle and Sandi Froese. The second Paul Harris Foundation award was presented to Zachary Taylor, son of Gary and Rhonda Taylor, for his service to the club’s flag lease program. His PHF award was sponsored by the McKinney Sunrise Rotary club. Zachary was also recently awarded a Rotaract scholarship from the club. He is a sophomore at Collin College and is an accomplished musician and computer programmer.

President Gary presented two Rotarian of the Year Awards for exemplary service to the club to incoming President Bill Smith for his leadership to the club’s flag lease program and to Dr. Sandi Froese, for her leadership of coordinating youth services of Interact Clubs at Boyd and North high schools, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, Rotary Youth Exchange inbound and outbound programs, and the Rotaract Club at Collin College. She holds a doctorate from Texas A&M-Commerce and was a former central office administrator for the Sherman ISD. She currently has a private practice in McKinney as a Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor.

Known as Bill, the new president and his wife Cheryl moved to McKinney five years ago to be closer to their grown children and grandchildren. Bill is a Financial Representative for Northwestern Mutual with it’s home office in Milwaukee, WI. He has offices in Frisco and McKinney and has represented company for the past 26 years. He served as President of his previous Rotary Club located in Slidell, Louisiana; established the St Tammany Parish Education Foundation; served on the Slidell Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors; and served 5 years on the St Tammany Parish Children’s Advocacy Center Board of Directors and as Chairman for 2 years. In addition to playing tennis in his earlier years and serving as the President of the Slidell Tennis Association, he is now an avid golfer. Bill’s theme for this year is “Do More Rotary–Have More Fun”.

The Rotary Club of McKinney Sunrise leases flags to subscribers in west McKinney to raise funds for college scholarships, local community charities and global humanitarian needs. The best known global outreach of Rotary International is the Polio Plus campaign in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Health Organization to eliminate polio in every country. The club meets weekly on Wednesday mornings for breakfast and a program at 7:30 AM at Eldorado Country Club in McKinney. For more information about the club’s activities and the flag lease program, go to

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