Rotary Alliance Names Mark Locke Fellow of the Year

Rotary International has two official mottos: “He who benefits most serves best” and “Serving before self”.

The Rotary Club Alliance Rotarian of the Year embodies service.

Mark Locke, president and CEO of the Alliance Area Chamber of Commerce since 2002, received the honor at the Alliance Rotary Club Installation Dinner June 29 at the Whetstone Center.

Locke was surprised and humiliated.

“There are many other people who are more deserving of this honor,” Locke said. “I thank you.”

Although Locke ran out of words in his acceptance speech, former Rotarian of the Year Art Garnes, who presented the award, made it clear in his introduction that it would be hard to find anyone more involved in the community than Locke.

“In Rotary, we talk a lot about commitment,” Garnes said. “Our Rotarian of the Year this year is a classic example of being active and participating.”

Locke, a 1975 graduate of Alliance High, serves on the board of directors of Alliance Area Habitat for Humanity (chairman since 2018), Alliance Area Development (since 2002), and Alliance Planning Commission (member since 2000 and Chairman since 2014), the Workforce Investment Board (since 2000), Alliance City Water/Sewer Advisory Board (since 2010) and Alliance Historical Society (since 2015).

Locke, who retired in 2000 from American Steel Foundries after a 22-year career in which he served as Director of Manufacturing Engineering from 1993 to 2000, has also been involved with several other organizations in the past. , including the Jaycees Alliance, the Carnation Festival Board, Alliance Area United Way, Alliance High School Band Boosters and Alliance/Minerva Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Locke also served as Clerk of Alliance City Council (2000-2006) and Alliance School Board (2002-2013), serving as President in 2008.

Active at Christ United Methodist Church, Locke and his wife, Karen, have been married for 42 years and have two children and four grandchildren.

As for Rotary, Locke has been a member since 2008 and served as secretary since 2017.

“Mark keeps us all informed and up to date,” said Eric Taggart, who served as president from 2020-21 and will serve as president in 2022-23. “He makes the job of president much easier with everything he does.”

Linda Fergason Receives Third Paul Harris Fellow Award

Linda Fergason, member of the Alliance Rotary Club, left, received her third Paul Harris Fellow recognition by former President of the Alliance Rotary Club, Niki McIlvain, at the club's installation dinner on Wednesday, June 29 at the Whetstone Center.

At the installation dinner, Alliance Rotary Club member Linda Fergason received her third Paul Harris Fellowship from former Alliance Rotary Club President Niki McIlvain. Paul Harris Fellow recognition recognizes individuals who contribute or have made contributions on their behalf of $1,000 to The Rotary Foundation. With its third recognition, Fergason joins an elite company of people around the world who are recognized for their commitment to serving above themselves for the benefit of local and international communities.

Board members

The Alliance Rotary Club recently installed its officers and board members for 2022-23.  Pictured, back row from left, President-elect Sid Zufall and Lisa Trummer;  middle row from left, President Eric Taggart, Brad Goris and Stacie Weimer;  and, front row from left, Secretary Mark Locke and Past President Niki McIlvain.  Missing from the photo are Treasurer Jim Edwards, Nicole Brown, Josh Cioci and Nate Sheen.

At the installation dinner, Eric Taggart became president for 2022-2023. He returns to the position after having served as president from 2020-2021. Other officers for next year include Sid Zufall, president-elect; Niki McIlvain, Immediate Past President; Mark Locke, secretary; and Jim Edwards, Treasurer. Other board members are Nicole Brown, Brad Goris, Josh Cioci, Lisa Trummer, Stacie Weimer and Nate Sheen.

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