Sixty members and guests enjoyed an evening of fun and festivities as the Kiwanis Club of La Cañada held the 74th Annual Installation of the board of directors and officers at the Oakmont Country Club, which included inaugurating Terry Piasky as the new president of the Club.
Lending his oratory skills was Dr. Michael Leininger, who served as master of ceremonies. Outgoing Club President Dennis Fors gave heartfelt thanks to the members’ support during his term spanning two years at a critical time when members had to revert to Zoom meetings.
As the program was kicked off, Joyce Brown led the group in a patriotic song accompanied by Linda Fors on the piano. Sky Sprowles conducted the Pledge of Allegiance and Nancy Leininger provided a much-appreciated inspiration.
Before the new board was formally inducted, outgoing president Dennis Fors announced two prestigious awards. The 2020-21 Rookie of the Year Award was presented to Keith Eich in recognition of his outstanding leadership and service as a new member. Eich chaired the Kiwanis Virtual Wine-tasting event, which raised funds for vital community projects. The 2020-21 Gil Smith Award was given to Farhad Motia for his years of exemplary service as treasurer. Motia was out-of-state and unavailable to attend but he was also applauded for consistently raising the bar to inspire fundraising for the Club’s many programs, including scholarships.
As the gavel was officially passed, new Kiwanis President Terry Piasky said, “I am humbled and honored to be the next president as we continue to help as many kids as possible be the best they can be – as I was helped years ago.”
Piasky is a trailblazer who brings a wealth of experience to the Kiwanis. She joined the Kiwanis Club of La Cañada in 2016 and was awarded the Rookie of the Year for her many fine works. Since then, she has moved up the ranks as an officer on the board of directors as vice-president of Programs, president-elect and now as president.
Born in Costa Rica, Piasky, due to family hardships, was in an orphanage from ages 6 to 15 and recalled she loved the workers there and cherished the friends she made. She innately thrived in school and was adopted by a Costa Rican family who had become American citizens.
Coming to the United States was challenging with a new family and living environment but Piasky forged ahead, graduating from high school and attending a small business school.
She climbed the hospitality industry ladder, serving as catering manager for the Doubletree Hotel in Pasadena, and the Red Lion in Glendale. Opportunity knocked and she joined the Los Angeles Times in its new digital media department. She honed her skills and served in the advertising department focusing on eCommerce in the new Spanish market, becoming district manager. From there, Piasky joined the advertising team at the Spanish-language news outlet La Opinion based in Los Angeles; it’s the largest Spanish-language newspaper in the United States.
In 1999, Piasky married Tim Piasky and their son, Jacob, was born in 2002 so Piasky took a well-deserved break to concentrate on her family. In 2004, she got her real estate license and joined Dickson Podley Properties with offices in La Cañada and Pasadena before transitioning to DeasyPennerPodley in Pasadena. In 2020, Piasky joined her current firm, Coldwell Banker Realty, and is currently ranked as one of the top 500 agents among an estimated 54,000 countrywide agents. She is also one of the top 10 agents in its Pasadena office.
For the past 10 years, Piasky has served as a member of the Door of Hope, assisting in its fundraising endeavors, helping to empower families facing homelessness. She is also a member of the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce. Piasky’s enthusiasm about the Kiwanis Club is evident as she looks forward to working with an amazing group of volunteers and is ready to continue the mission of serving youth and the surrounding community.
As a part of the installation ceremony, outgoing president Fors received special greetings, commemorative plaques and/or certificates presented by Senator Anthony Portantino; Teresa Lamb-Simpson, district field representative of Congressman Adam Schiff; Communications Director Blake Dellinger from Assemblymember Laura Friedman; Savannah Moore, assistant field deputy for the San Gabriel Valley, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger; La Cañada Flintridge Mayor Terry Walker; and La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Pat Anderson.
The outgoing officers and the board were formally thanked with their retirement conducted by 2020-21 Kiwanis Division 3 Past Lieutenant Governor Tina Tabora-Lim. The formal installation of the incoming 2021-22 officers and directors was presided by 2021-22 Kiwanis Division 3, Lieutenant Governor Jose Sierra who inducted: Officers President Terry Piasky; Immediate Past President Dennis Fors; President-Elect Trish McRae; Vice President-Programs Joe Radabaugh; Secretary Jeremiah Arnold; and Treasurer Michael Freed. Also inducted were directors Caroline Que Anderson, Greg Brown, Mary Gant, Patrick Liddell, Alice Perez, Matt Regan, Gigi Schlueter, Sky Sprowles and Terry Walker.
Additional highlights included the presentations of certificates of appreciation to outgoing board members Diane Della Valle and Carl Christenson for their years of service; Mary Gant for her dedicated Care and Concern work for members; Linda Fors for her untiring service as chairperson of the Community Service Task Force; and Jeremiah Arnold for his work on new member recruitment.
Formal recognition was also provided to last years’ awardees whom had received their honors during a Zoom environment Sky Sprowles (Gil Smith Award) and Georgina Mueller (Rookie of the Year).
For those interested in making friends and giving back while having fun, the Kiwanis Club of La Cañada extends an invitation to attend a meeting held every Wednesday at noon, which features the Guest Speaker of the Week program. To receive a private invitation to attend, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Also check out the website at lacanadakiwanis.org.