President, Allan Cady opened the meeting by asking members to observe a moment of silence honoring those who lost their lives in the June 6, 1944 D-Day invasion before Jack Rosenberg led the Pledge of Allegiance.  Ray Smith led those present in singing the minstrel song, "Camptown Races" to get members in the mood to enjoy the Belmont Stakes coming up on June 9.
Guests present at the meeting were Takuma, our inbound Youth Exchange Student from Japan, Carolyn Jones, Alex Hopkins (a soon-to-be Past District Governor from District 5030 in Washington, Andrew Martinez, and Dana, President-Elect from the Tempe Downtown Rotary Club.
Don LaBarge was almost a "triple-crown" winner at the meeting.  His badge number was drawn in the attendance drawing.  Next, the raffle ticket drawn was held by him, making him the winner of the record breaking $71 weekly pot.  He very meticulously shuffled the few cards remaining in the deck and carefully chose a card.  He apparently did not understand which card he needed to draw.  He drew the 8 of clubs rather than the Ace of Clubs, so the accumulating pot (now up to $1,651) will roll over to the June 21 meeting, when the odds of winning will be even greater.
Donna Goetzenberger paid happy dollars for the opportunity to enjoy the District Conference June 1-3.  Ted Williams paid happy dollars for a new grandbaby in their family - number 47.  Counting great grandchildren, there are now 57.
Jim Crutcher paid $100 happy dollars.  Berge ford won the Triple Crown with Ford.  In 2015, the dealership won the President's Award placing in the top 335 in Customer Satisfaction and won 1st place in their group.  In 2016, they won again.  In 2017, the rules changed.  The Berge employees were all committed to win it.  They had to be a Presidents Award Winner, be a Premier Parts and Service Winner and place in the top 100 in the nation in sales.  In July, they were falling short and only had three months remaining.  They had a good October.  In December, they sold 42 cars to employees or their family members.  On December 7, Craig Berge died.  Nancy and her daughters came to the rescue asking his loyal employees to "Do it for Craig!"  On December 20, they knew they qualified for the President's Award.  December 21, the dealership was closed so all could attend Craig's celebration of life where there was standing room only.  December 22 everyone went back to work with lots of dedication from family and employees.  They moved from 132 to 80th place in five months.  They won the triple crown.  In March, they had a big celebration with employees, spouses, kids, and vendors at Rawhide.  Nancy Berge went to Florida in May to celebrate the Triple Crown win.  Jim had sent a story about the inspiration and dedication of their staff.  The story was used to highlight the celebration at the Florida event.
John Pennypacker paid happy dollars as a proud son of Capt. Jack Pennypacker, a World War II Pilot who was in the lead echelon of bombers during D-Day.  In 2016, John visited the base in England where his dad was based.  Pam Cohen paid happy dollars for some extraordinarily good customer service at Berge Ford.  Polly Cady paid happy dollars for the outstanding group of Inbound, Outbound and prior Youth Exchange Students that were present at the District Conference.  Allan Cady paid $5 happy bucks because we met our donation goal for Interact DGE, Colton Cagle's upcoming Crutches for Africa trip, because the District Conference was great,  because Mesa West had twelve members in attendance at the conference. and for the District Achievement Award he received for our club while there.
Soon the second year of our sponsorship program will kick off.  
President Allan called for a vote in the President-Elect and Secretary positions.  voting on the ByLaws has been tabled for the time being because of something that came to light that may need to be corrected before the new governing documents are ready for club approval.
  • The club will be dark (no regular meetings) on June 14 and July 5.
  • The Changing of the Guard (installation social) will be held June 16 at the home of Don and Chris LaBarge.  The main course will be ribs.  Members planning to attend were asked to bring an appetizer or dessert and their own adult beverages.
Don LaBarge had an award to present.  At International Conventions, typically a unique convention pin is sold to help support the costs of the convention.  In Houston, the pin looked like a Sheriff's pin.  At the 2007 Salt Lake City Convention, the International President asked a small team (of which Don LaBarge was a member) to seize some pins about which there was a dispute about registration and trademark.  Somehow, Don ended up with a few that were not destroyed.  He presented one of those pins to Takuma.  
The June 7 meeting was another in the series of business networking meetings featured this year.  President Allan first introduced Wendell Jones, who loves to joke and tries to be funny.
Wendell was the oldest of 8 children in his family and was raised on a farm two miles inside New Mexico.  As a teen, he was up at 5:00 a.m., milked cows, fed stock, fed chickens, gathered eggs, practiced the piano and arrived at church seminary at 6:30 a.m. and then, after all that, attended school.  At 3:00 p.m. he went home to Verden and went to work on the farm doing assigned work for the day , such as chopping cotton, picking cotton, bucking hay, trapping gophers, etc.  When he got older, he learned that not everyone works that hard.  His family strongly instilled the value of "to serve, you have to work."  Church was #1 followed by family in their priorities.
Living in the country, accidents and broken bones are commonplace.  At age 7, he was crushed in a tractor accident.  He was in a body cast for months.  He recovered and basketball was his life in Junior High, High School, and College.  Wendell learned to love music.  He plays saxophone, piano, and loves to sing.  His claim to fame is that he graduated from the 8th grade with honors two years in a row from two different schools in two separate states.  He begged to take the 8th grade over because had been moved ahead when in the small Verden, N.M. elementary school, and he did not want to try to make the basketball team in the larger Arizona high school when he was a year younger than most of the other freshmen.
Wendell attended Junior College in Eastern Arizona.  He enjoyed time spent serving on a mission for his church in Guatemala - El Salvador where he perfected his spanish and to this day loves speaking it.  After returning to the states, he finished college at Brigham Young University.  He married, passed the CPA exam and went to work for Arthur Andersen in their Los Angeles office.  He worked there for 3 years before transferring with the firm to their Phoenix office.  Sadly, his marriage ended in divorce after his relocation.   A year after the move, his Uncle Maury Jones persuaded him to leave Arthur Andersen and join Henry and Horne.  
Wendell has been with Henry and Horne for 44 years, 40 years as a partner and four of those years as their managing partner.  One of the bonuses that he discovered at his new firm was his "better 90%, Carolyn."  He technically retired 10 years ago so he and Carolyn could serve a mission for their Church, but he remained connected to the firm and continues to serve some 50-60 clients.  His title is Partner Emeritus.  He has an office, sets his own schedule and works a couple of days a week during tax season and maybe one day every two weeks outside of tax season.
At the time Wendell became a Henry and Horne partner, they had 20 offices spread throughout the state.  With that structure, each partner in each office had to be knowledgeable about everything, making specialization difficult.  When Wendell and his successor became managing partners, they consolidated down to three larger offices located in Tempe, Scottsdale, and Casa Grande.  This change enabled them to emerge as experts in areas of accounting specialization.  In addition to being experts in delivering regular accounting services, they became known as specialists in the following areas:
  • Audits, compilations and reviews
  • Business valuations
  • Money management
  • Business taxation and planning
  • Individual taxation and planning
  • Estate, gift and trust taxation and planning
  • International taxation
Wendell personally worked with auto dealers, real estate investors, agricultural owners and professional business owners.  The move to specialize was very beneficial to the firm.  Today Henry and Horne is known as the largest locally owned accounting firm in Arizona.
The firm has been recognized for the following achievements:
  • Named as one of Accounting Today's 100 Best Accounting Firms to Work For in the United States in 2017
  • Named among Arizona's Most Admired Companies by the Arizona Business Magazine for three years running
  • Ranked in the Top 10 Best of Arizona's Business Accounting Firms with 30 or more CPA's every year for the last ten years.
When Wendell joined Henry and Horne, they encouraged him to be involved in the community.  He has loved being involved in Rotary for the last thirty years and has served many other community organizations, including service on their boards.  As stated earlier, he met Carolyn after joining the firm.  They were both single with children at the time at the time they met.  He had six and she had three, so they started their marriage with quite a large family.  Today they have 42 grandchildren and 22 great grandchildren, and they love every one!  
They have enjoyed vacationing with their family.  A highlight was time spent travelling to and from a reunion in Nauvoo, Illinois, seeing all the Church sites along the way and spending several nights at the Tievoli Hills Resort in Missouri.
The next presenter, Dan Coons, was introduced by President Allan.
Dan was born in Springfield, Illinois.  He was the middle of three children, the only boy, with one older and one younger sister.  Growing up, he learned home maintenance from his dad.  They lived on the edge of town and could see farmland from their home.  He has a sister who is married to a Sheriff in Illinois, a fact that would not grant any favors for him or his friends who might visit there. 
At the time Dan relocated to Mesa, it was his first time west of Missouri.  His first job was with Fry's Food Stores at 35th Avenue and Van Buren.  He left that job quickly.   He started college at age 25.  After college, he worked in an Accounting job in Midland, Texas.  He returned to Mesa, joining a local accounting firm.  He consulted with banks in Texas.  When Dan first joined Rotary, his classification was "unemployed."
Through Dan's involvement with Rotary, he learned how to give.  He loves the international experiences available through Rotary.  He led a GSE team to Australia, and both of his sons have been Youth Exchange students.
Dan's Rotary sponsor introduced him to the printing business about 23 years ago.  During that time, he has seen a lot of technological changes, and in the industry, the demand for paper printing has significantly declined.
Five years ago, Dan married Collen and gained 13 and 14-year-old sons.  Becoming a "family man," has greatly improved his life.
Following Dan's presentation, President Allan asked for five more minutes.  Because the club will be dark on June 14, and he and Polly  will be travelling to the International Convention and will both miss the June 21 and June 28 meetings, the June 7 meeting was the last meeting of his presidential year.  He was very emotional as he thanked the club for honoring him by electing him to be their 2017-18 Club President.  "Mesa West is a wonderful club.  It has been a very rewarding year."  He will no longer be President, but he and Polly will continue to serve the club during Chris Krueger's year, attempting to fill the big shoes of Don LaBarge, as co-chairs of Community Service.  He was confident under Chris Krueger's leadership, next year will be even better.