Les retired to his current home on Topsail Island, NC, in 1996, with his wife Connie, after completing a career in public education in Pennsylvania. Born and raised there, he attended the Sharon, PA public schools. After graduation, and at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he became an electronics specialist working in Naval Intelligence. Upon his discharge from the service, he returned to Pennsylvania where he earned Bachelors and Masters degrees from The Pennsylvania State University, and a Doctorate from Lehigh University. Les applied his education to the support and development of children as a Physics teacher, Planetarium Director and school administrator working in the Boyertown Area School District. He has also taught higher education for Penn State University, Lehigh University and Cabrini College.
During those same years, Les served as a Councilman on his Town Council in Boyertown, and as a member of the Board of Directors for his local United Way. He served the New Hanover United Methodist Church by heading up their consecration and tithing initiative. He also represented his school system as an active member of his local Rotary club. Les and Connie enjoy astronomy and frequently share their passion with students and other serious amateurs. Their son, Chris, and his wife, Cindy, still reside in Pennsylvania where Chris is a senior high school chemistry teacher. Their own three kids, Beth, and twins, Katie and John, are all excellent scholar athletes and musicians.
After retiring to NC in 1996, Les became a member of the Topsail Island Area Kiwanis Club where he became a Distinguished Member, Club President, Lt. Governor for Division 18, District Trustee for Region 6, an MNT Multi-Divisional Coordinator, District Chair for Education and Leadership Development and ultimately our 2015-16 Governor-Elect. Les understands that “Creative planning is far superior to creative problem solving.” He believes strongly in the potential of Kiwanis to make a significant positive difference in the lives of all children within the Carolinas District. In his own words, “Together, we can accomplish some pretty amazing things. It requires our careful planning, the application of “best practices” and the pooling of our efforts, talents and resources. It is great to be a part of it all! ”
Mary Jo first joined the Kiwanis Family in Florida as a Keyette at Seminole High School. In 1987 the Kiwanis Club of Marietta, Georgia voted to accept women into their membership and Mary Jo joined the club as one of its first five women members. During her years as a member of the Marietta Club, Mary Jo contributed to a variety of committees including Spiritual Aims, International Understanding, Modified Marshall Plan, IDD, Major Emphasis Project, Scholarships and Flag Project.
Moving to North Carolina, Mary Jo joined the Kiwanis Club of Banner Elk. Mary Jo has served her current club as a board member, Vice President and President. She has chaired the club’s major fund raiser, the annual Woolly Worm Festival and coordinated the club’s RIF (Reading Is Fundamental) project. Mary Jo has served Carolinas Kiwanis as Division 3 Lt. Governor, Division 3 Project Eliminate Chairperson, District Trustee for Region 1 and Chairperson of the District Committee on Fundraising. She has participated in training for New Club Builder and Club Counselor. Mary Jo serves on the Key Leader committee and is a Certified CLO Trainer. She is a George F. Hixson Fellow and a Walter Zeller Fellow.
Professionally, Dr. Mary Jo Brubaker has a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from Florida State University. She has worked for school systems in Florida and Georgia. Mary Jo is also a licensed Auctioneer in the State of North Carolina. Mary Jo strongly believes in servant leadership and over the years has served in a variety of leadership capacities for community organizations and churches. She is a member of the Banner Elk Chamber of Commerce and attends Banner Elk United Methodist Church. Mary Jo and her husband, Reverend Dan Brubaker, have two children and six grandchildren. Dan and Mary Jo reside in the mountains of Banner Elk with their Cairn Terriers: Corky, Muffin and Boomer.
Dawn had dedicated her life to the service of children. She is a 1996 graduate of the University of Kansas with a Master of Social Work and Law Degree. Dawn has been a volunteer and the PTO president at her son's school and is an after-school tutor through an outreach program at her church. Because of her passion for children, Dawn joined the Kiwanis Club of Greenwood in 2000.
Dawn was a Distinguished Club President in 2009-10, and she was named the Outstanding Club President of the Carolinas District. She served as Lt. Governor for Division 22 in 2010-11, the Trustee for Region 9 from 2011-14, and is a certified club counselor for the Formula. As the Carolinas District Membership Committee Chair, she conducted several membership workshops at the district and mid-year conventions and numerous membership building programs at club meetings. A Zeller Fellow, she has served as Eliminate Coordinator for Region 9. The first Friday of each month for the past 15 years she has enjoyed passing out Terrific Kids Awards in every classroom at Merrywood Elementary School in Greenwood, SC. It is the highlight of her Kiwanis service.
Dawn and her husband Andrew have a ten-year-old son, Drew. They are members of the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection.
Bill’s Kiwanis journey began in South Bend, Indiana at the Potawatomi Kiwanis Club in of 1978. It all began because a friend, George Lamphere, asked him to consider such a venture. Bill’s employment travels provided him an opportunity to serve Kiwanis in the Indiana, Florida and Carolinas Districts. He has been Club President twice and distinguished once. Past International Vice President Jim Brooks asked him to run for Lt. Governor in 1988 and Jim would not accept no for an answer. With the help of many great Kiwanians Bill became a Distinguished Lt. Governor. Bill has served several past Governors in various capacities: As Interclub Chair under Phil Harris; and, as District Chair of the Kiwanis International Foundation for seven years beginning with Governor Henry Fishburne’s term. At the request of David Burnette Bill became a Certified Trainer for CLO and still remains a member of the District Education Committee. He also was appointed to the Executive Committee of the District Foundation where he served for nine years, three as Vice President and three as President. In 2004 Bev Martin appointed him District Treasurer where he remained until last year when he was elected Governor-elect.
Bill holds several honors. He holds life member status in Kiwanis International and the Carolinas District. Bill is a member of the George F. Hixson Fellowship and a Legion of Honor member with 33 years perfect attendance. In addition, he is a charter member of both the Heritage and Legacy Societies. He is a Carl B. Hyatt Fellow and a Tablet of Honor recipient from KI. In 2000, Bill received the Larry A. Hapgood Outstanding District Chairman Award from the KIF. The “Past Lt. Governor of the Year” award was presented to Bill twice (1995-96 & 2006-07) from the Past Lt. Governors Council for his service to the Carolinas District.
Outside of Kiwanis Bill serves as a volunteer administrator for the Black Cap Veterans Group which has 238 members. Bill and Marjorie have been married for 46 years and attend the Presbyterian Church. During their entire married life they have always had two indoor feline “fur kids”.