The Builder for January 24th, 2019
President Michelle Kobryn wielded the gavel to welcome 20 Kiwanians and one guest, DP Bob Miller's wife Ann, to the Best Western Inn on the Bay. They bravely faced the snow and wintery weather to induct Kiwanian Dennis Kefalas to our club.
Several Kiwanians sent their regrets at having to miss this induction event, one from as far away as Mexico. (K Travis Dodd is likely to face a few pesos fine when he returns.)
A Special K Report!
K Jim McManaman had the honour to formally introduce K Dennis Kefalas to our club.
Dennis was born and raised in Montreal's multi-ethnic middle-class blue collar Anglophone neighborhood of Notre-De -Grace, more commonly known as NDG or “No Damn Good” by visiting teams.
As a kid, Dennis played every team sport under the sun including baseball, football, hockey and soccer as well as basketball and water polo for his high school West Hill. The same high school William Shatner attended although well after Captain Kirk made his way to the Enterprise.
Dennis was introduced to his wife, to his Co, by a girl he was dating at the time and they had there first unofficial date on Dennis’ 18th birthday. They have been together ever since except for a “break” similar to Rachel’s and Ross’ break, although Dennis sees himself more as a combination of Chandler and Joey. (Co is short for Colette but please don’t call her Colette because she gets mad at Dennis every time someone does and for reasons Dennis still can’t figure out after all these years.)
President Michelle and K Dennis
K Penny Garvin and K Dennis
Dennis attended the Computer Institute of Canada where he received a Diploma for Microprocessor Technology, while working and playing junior hockey for the Royal Knights of Montreal West. Dennis was recruited by Concordia University to play hockey for the Stingers. During training camp after an exhibition game Dennis had a dispute with the head coach over who should be playing and was heard saying as he left the locker room “You came looking for me... I wasn’t looking for you”. So ended his short lived varsity career.
Dennis worked construction for several years before realizing his body was physically breaking down from the amount of hours he was putting in. He knew that he couldn’t be doing this into his 50’s so he decided a change was needed.
During this time Dennis and Co got married and had their son Kyle. A family decision was made that Dennis would return to school as a mature student and become an engineer. With wife and son in hand and with the blessing of the Dean of Engineering Dennis enrolled in Civil Engineering program at Concordia University.
Upon graduation in 1995, Dennis accepted a job with a private sector engineering firm in Yellowknife, NWT. During this time, Dennis was able to visit many communities throughout northern Canada while working on civil engineering related projects. Dennis can now boast that he has swam in every ocean surrounding Canada. Although his plunge in the Arctic Ocean just off the shores of Tuktoyaktuk was a short lived, it still counts as swimming.
After several years in the north Co decided that they were moving back east and Dennis had to find a job, which was situated closer to their families in Montreal. Something he did while being interviewed in the Tim Hortons in the Ottawa airport on the way back to Yellowknife from Truro, Nova Scotia where he was on another job interview.
Dennis spent 3 years working for Trow Engineering in Ottawa, working 16 hour days designing and gaining approvals for large residential sub-divisions during the IT boom of the late 90’s early 2000’s some of which were as large as 900 lots.
Then in 2002 Dennis was approached by the City of Yellowknife to take on the position of Manager, Public Works & Engineering. Soon after arriving in Yellowknife, for the second time, Dennis met Al Mueller who was just starting up a new branch of a service group. Al asked Dennis if he ever considered joining a service group. The group was Kiwanis and Dennis became one of the founding members, mostly because it was too hard to say “no” to Al.
In 2008 Dennis was offered the position of Director of Public Works & Engineering for the City of Yellowknife. He then accepted the position of Senior Administrative Officer or City Manager in 2013 after being asked to apply on the position by the Mayor. He held this position until the fall of 2017 when he asked for his old position back when it became available.
During the winter of 2017/18 it became apparent to both Dennis and Co that the excitement of the north and worn off and that greener pastures, literally, were waiting for them in eastern Canada. It was during this revelation that the position of Director of Public Works & Engineering became available for the City of Owen Sound, a community that checked off a lot of boxes when it came to things both Dennis and Co were looking for when choosing a new home. Needless to say the rest is history.
Dennis and Co just recently celebrated their 30th anniversary in December, they love Owen Sound and share their 3 bedroom bungalow with their two dogs PK and CJ.
Their son Kyle finally asked his girlfriend Alex Schmalz to marry him during a trip to Hawaii just before Christmas and she said “yes” to the delight of Dennis and Co.
Welcome Kiwanian Dennis to our Owen Sound Kiwanis Family!
On the Road with Past IT Gary
Membership Chair for the Americas, PIT Gary was on the road again in Portland Oregan where three new Kiwanis clubs were formed.
He flew in on Sunday to help train local Kiwanians. For the next three days, Gary and K volunteers meet with local business, municipal and education leaders to recruit at least 15 members for each club.
On Wednesday evening, the new clubs meet at a local hall, share a light meal and socialize.
During their meeting they elect their President, Secretary and make a few decisions...where will they meet, when, and talk about family and friends they hope to invite to join as well.
On Thursday team members fly home. Alas, some technical plane trouble resulted in PIT Gary arriving home along with Friday...