rotary russellIthaca Rotarian of the Year 2016-17 Scott Russell (left) receives the coveted plaque from Rotary President Dale Johnson, and make acceptance remarks during the year-end Pass the Gavel ceremony on June 28

The Rotary Club of Ithaca announced that long-time member Scott Russell has been named Rotarian of the Year for 2016-17. The award is given every June in honor of an active club member who exemplifies the Rotary motto of "Service Above Self."

Russell was chosen for the honor by outgoing Rotary president Dale Johnson, who said he selected Scott because "Scott celebrated 25 years as a Rotarian on July 1. He was club secretary for many years, having taken over on an unscheduled basis when the then-secretary was unable to continue."

Russell has gone above and beyond for the Ithaca Rotary Club for two and a half decades. He joined Rotary in 1992, and was named a Paul Harris Fellow in 2001 ($1,000 giving). He served as club secretary for eight years and as assistant secretary for several years before that. He has been particularly active in supporting weekly meetings administration through the Club Avenue of Service Committee, and most recently as the convener of the International Avenue of Service Committee.

"I was completely surprised at the announcement of selection as 'Rotarian of the Year' and, with some reflection, immensely pleased with the recognition of my contributions to the club and community," said Russell. "Volunteering in club community service and fund raising programs has provided me an immeasurable amount of joy from the camaraderie of like-minded members and the self-satisfaction gained from helping others in the community. Rotary is an organization that continually rewards individuals for participation with the satisfaction of a job well done."

Russell retired in the late 1990s after over thirty years working as a U.S. Naval Officer, industrial manufacturing manager with NCR Corporation, and as a procurement and business director for Cornell University. His retirement has been spent volunteering in the community through not-for-profit organizations, providing vocal music entertainment as a barbershop singer and choral participant, and maintaining a level of ability on the golf course. Russell and his wife Jan are relocating to New Mexico to enjoy the warmer climate and be closer to family.