Hon. Robert “Bob” Duitsman, Grand Exalted Ruler

“Honoring the Past – Embracing the Future”

Robert “Bob” Duitsman was born in Inglewood, California and attended local schools, including Inglewood High School, the University of South California, and Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles, receiving a Juris Doctor degree in 1981.

Bob joined the Culver City Elks Lodge in 1989. Moving through the chairs, He was elected Exalted ruler for 1993-94 and again in 1995-96. He was Association Vice-President in 2001-2002 during the presidency of John Carvalho and his wife Sandy, and was then District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler in 2005-06 during the national presidency of the Honorable Louis J. “Jim” Grillo and his wife Lucia. Bob served on several district committees, but developed a particular interest in the ritual program. He has been a ritual judge since 1995 and served in a number of positions in the ritual community leading to CHEA Ritual Training Chair and finally CHEA Ritual Contest Chair in 2007-08. He also served on the CHEA Major Project Board of Trustees from 2013 to 2016, the last year as its Chair. He served as President of the California-Hawaii Elks Association in 2018-19.

On the Grand Lodge level, Bob served on the Committee of Judiciary for six years, 2009 to 2015, the last two as Chair, and is currently in his fourth year as a Justice of the Grand Forum, in effect the Supreme Court of the Order. For two years he served on the Grand Lodge Pardon Commission.

For over thirty-five years, Bob has been an attorney in private practice in the Culver City area, with emphases in the areas of estate planning and parole revocation defense.

He is a Past Chair of the Culver City Chamber of Commerce, a Past President of the Culver City Lions Club, and a Past President of the Inglewood District Bar Association. For over twenty years, he was a Temporary Judge of the Los Angeles Municipal and Superior Courts. For more than thirty years, he has been a volunteer at the Culver City Senior Center, helping its members with their legal problems on a volunteer basis. What little he knows about speaking before groups he owes in large part of the Toastmasters organization, of which he is a thirty year member with a designation of Distinguished Toastmaster. He also knows a little about parliamentary procedure, having attained a designation of Professional Registered Parliamentarian through the National Association of Parliamentarians. He is an ordained elder at Know Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles.

Bob met the love of his life, Beth, in 1982, and they married in 1987. They do not have any children, unless you count their dog, Winston. Together they live in the Ladera Heights area of Los Angeles County.

Bob enjoys gardening, puttering around the house , spending time with his dog, and is one of only 131 people on earth who have finished all 34 editions of the Los Angeles Marathon, with a best time of 3:52.

Bob and Beth are proud and excited to have the opportunity to serve as National President and First Lady of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the United States of America;  meeting and making friends during their travels, and talking about their slogan, “Honoring the Past – Embracing the Future.”

 

 

Hon. John D.  Amen, Past Grand Exalted Ruler, State Sponsor

John D. Amen was born in Denver, Colorado; the third of three sons of Jake and Clara Amen. He was raised in Fort Collins, Colorado and attended public schools there. John was an excellent student and participated in school athletics throughout junior and senior high school. John attended Colorado State University, graduated with honors and was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree with a major field of study in General Business in 1970. During his time at CSU, John met and married the love of his life, Marcia. After undergraduate school John accepted employment in Fort Collins as a design engineer. Thereafter, John entered Law School at the University of Colorado, finishing high in his class in 1973. During his final year of Law School, John was recruited and accepted employment with Chevron Corporation. Following graduation, with a Juris Doctorate degree, John immediately sat for, and passed, the rigorous Colorado Bar exam. After Chevron, John served in various legal and management positions with independent oil and gas exploration and production companies. With Snyder Oil Corporation of Fort Worth, Texas, John served as Vice President of a growing New York Stock Exchange company. Snyder eventually merged into Devon Energy Corp. In 1988, John left the corporate world and joined the preeminent 17th Avenue law firm of Burns, Wall, Smith and Mueller, P.C. as Special Counsel. After a successful practice representing various oil and gas clients, John retired from the firm in 2004. Since that time John has limited his practice to a part time endeavor serving limited clients. John and Marcia have two children, John, Jr. and Jennifer, and are further blessed with four grandchildren, Hailey, Hannah, Hope and Hillary. All reside in Colorado. John and Marcia are very proud of their children’s accomplishments. While working in the natural resources field John acquired professional experience working with both legislators and government regulators; so it was natural that John became involved in government relations with the Elks early in his Elkdom career. Serving as Vice Chairman of the Colorado Elks Association from 1997 and later as State Chairman, John led an active team of Elks that served to represent the interests of the Elks at the state and national levels. John recognizes that all of the good works of Elkdom are carried out at the Lodge level and he has been active as a leader of Denver Lodge No. 17 in a variety of capacities. He has served Lodge 17, the “Mother Lodge of the Rockies,” in all of the Lodge chairs. John’s Lodge has honored his outstanding service by bestowing him the honors of “Elk of the Year” and Honorary Life Membership. In addition to his service to Elkdom, John has served many dedicated hours to support and lead the Colorado Elks Association State Major Project: Elks Laradon Hall. This large project serves over 500 developmentally disabled citizens of all ages. John served two full threeyear terms on Laradon’s Board of Directors, the last five as its Chair, and further served Laradon most recently as a director of its supporting foundation. In 2008, John was elected Third Vice President of the Colorado Elks Association and thereafter served with distinction in each of the three Vice President chairs and then as Colorado Elks State President in 2012. John is a Past District Deputy and served on the Grand Lodge Committee on Judiciary from 2006 through 2013 and chaired this hardworking committee his final two years. “The help we extend to others increases our own riches.” Since his appointment to the Committee on Judiciary, John has been helping the 265 Lodges in Grand Lodge Area 6 with their legal matters. From advising Lodge Officers on statutory procedures and requirements, to helping them with their by-laws and corporate documents, John established many friends and relationships throughout his eight states of responsibility and throughout our Order. John has become a recognized expert on the Law of Non-Profits and taxation of exempt entities. John passionately believes that the principles of Elkdom will guide us through periods of crisis and endorses the concept that maximum effort should be focused on reversing the downward trend in membership. Creative ideas are never scarce with John, particularly when his favorite subject — Elkdom — is the topic.

 

John Holbrook, Member Grand Lodge Fraternal Committee – Area 6

 

Rick Callaway, Special Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler

Rick Callaway was born in the San Diego Naval Hospital in San Diego, California, on August 9th, 1955 to Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Bill Callaway and his wife Doris. Rick was one of four children, two brother and one sister. He grew up in San Diego and graduated from Mount Miguel High School in 1973. He worked in the family automotive business after school and learned to be a master mechanic before moving the business to Roswell in February of 1974 and opening an automotive repair business near the old Walker Air Force Base where he holds the title of shop foreman.
He was and is an avid dirt bike and ATV enthusiast with a love of the outdoors. Rick also loved the sport of drag racing where he met his wife Tracy of 32 years. Together they were sponsored by Anheuser Busch and raced in New Mexico and the surrounding states for over 30 years winning numerous titles. Rick also managed the El Paso, Texas race facility for nine year and owned and operated the facilities in Roswell for 20 years. Rick is also an avid sportsman and hunter; he is a member of the NRA and a Life Member of the Rocky Mountain Elks Foundation. Rick and Tracy have two children, Lindsey and Jessie. Jessie is an RN at Covenant Children’s Hospital of Lubbock, Texas where her sister Lindsey underwent treatment for brain and spinal cancer. Rick, Tracy and Jessie started the Lindsey Callaway Memorial Toy Drive in 2001 after the loss of Lindsey. With the help of the BPOE they have helped thousands of children during their stay in the hospital. Rick was initiated into the Roswell Lodge in 1994 and became the Lodge Chaplain in 1996 where he earned the Officer of the Year Award. In the following years he held the Lodge titles of Esteemed Loyal Knight, Esteemed Leading Knight, Exalted Ruler and Lodge Trustee. In 2002 as Exalted Ruler, Rick was instrumental in the sale of the old Roswell Elks Lodge and in 2003 broke ground on the facility they have today. Loving the Ritual Competition Rick won All State honors in every position that he competed in. In 2003 he led the Roswell Ritual Team to their first ever State AA Team Championship and then to a 2nd place finish in the National Championship Competition in St. Louis. Rick received the honor of being NMEA top Recruiter in 2002-2003 receiving numerous GER membership watches and was also awarded the NMEA Elk of the Year by President Don Holland in 2003-2004, an honor he will always cherish! In his quest to help his State Association he was asked to be State Tiler by President Sam Serna followed up by being appointed NMEA C & B Trust Committee Chairman which he held for four years. Rick was chosen to be District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler in 2005 by PGER Chuck Williams. After his year of District Deputy has was appointed State Ritual Committee Chairman by then President Rob Golden and elected into the position of NMEA Trustee where he served until becoming Vice President in 2008. After his year as President Elect he became the NMEA State President in 2010-2011 where he stood by his motto of “No Stone Unturned” which he still believes in today. As President Rick was chosen to be Voting Committee Captain during the 2011 Grand Lodge Convention in Orlando, Florida. Since his year as President Rick has served the Association as Grand Lodge Housing Committee Chairman, Advisory Committee Chairman, Officer Training Committee Chairman and on the State Convention Committee for three years. He has been a Ritual Judge for eight years and has judged out of state contests. On April 17th, 2014, after the recommendations of PGER Charles F. Williams, Grand Exalted Ruler Millard C. Pickering, with Executive Order No. 13-196 appointed Rick to the position of Special Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler, a position he holds the highest respect for!