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International Vice President-Elect Nominee (West Coast Region)

Jim Pekny

Current Optimist Club(s)
Heat Optimist Club of Tucson, Arizona

Other Optimist Clubs you belonged to in the past:

Tucson-Sabino Canyon, AZ

Date you first joined an Optimist Club:

May 23, 1995

Year(s) you were a Club President:

1998 (Distinguished), 2004, 2015 (Honor), 2016

Year(s) you were a Lieutenant Governor:


Year(s) you were a District Governor:

2006 (Distinguished)

International Offices or positions you have held:

District and Club Fitness Committee Member

Optimist Awards achieved:

Distinguished Governor, Distinguished and Honor Club President, 10 Member

Manager and Six Sigma Black Belt

What are your primary qualifications for this office?

I was a successful Club President and District Governor achieving Honor and Distinguished in both positions. I have also held various leader positions in a multi-billion dollar engineering and manufacturing company and I have taught MBA courses in the evenings for over 15 years. I have been the District Leadership Development Chair multiple times, developing future leaders in the Optimist organization. Most important, I believe in this organization and the work we do for the children on our communities. Our hands on approach allows us to understand what is needed for the youth in our communities, and focus our efforts where they can be most effective.

Why should a Club vote for you?

The Clubs should vote for me because I am a proven leader who has been an Optimist for over 20 years. I have proven that I can be successful at multiple levels by achieving Distinguished Club President and District Governor. However, more importantly, I achieved those recognitions because I have a passion for what our organization stands for and I am able to rally members to accomplish great things for the children in our communities. Give me your support and I will enable our region to be successful by being a servant leader who enables the Districts, Clubs, and Members to bring out the best of the children on our communities.

What specific things will you do to help the Clubs and Districts in your Region?

As your Vice President, I will ensure the Districts and Clubs have what they need to be successful in bringing out the best in kids. So what does that mean? It means I will be working closely with your Governors and District leaders coaching and mentoring them on how best to serve their Clubs. My first priority is to ensure the Districts and Clubs are healthy; by healthy I mean the Clubs are strong in membership, sound financially, and working projects for the kids in their communities. As part of staying healthy, I will encourage you to continue to recruit new Members and build new Clubs so we will be able to serve even more youth. I will help to enable good cross talk so we share our best practices and bring new ideas to the Clubs, which will help to keep things fresh and exciting for our Members. I will encourage us to continue to evolve and lead brainstorming on ways we can adapt and stay current so we keep up with the changing times. I will keep things positive and fun, I will be there for you, I will bring a positive attitude, and I will lead our region to be unsurpassed as we bring out the best in kids. I would appreciate your support and I look forward to serving the West Coast Region.

Anything else you would like to say to Clubs. 

OI, the greatest organization in the world focused on helping kids, I want to get that message out. I want us to rally together and grow the West Coast Region so we can continue with our mission of providing hope and positive vision, Optimists bring out the best in kids.

Candidate Bios

2016-17 International President-Elect:

  • Nick Prillaman (Atlanta, GA)
  • 2016-17 International Vice Presidents-Elect:

  • Northeast & Great Lakes Region: Bob McFadyen (Kitchener, ON)
  • Southeast Region: Michael Goldman (Davie, FL) and Hal Sewell (Senoia, GA)
  • Mid-Atlantic Region: Lou Anna Hardee (Greenville, NC)
  • Middle America Region: Kathryn Underwood (Indianapolis, IN)
  • Great Plains Region: Roger Lesofski (Great Falls, MT)
  • Southwest Region: Ron Benson (Edgewater, CO)
  • West Coast Region: James Pekny (Tucson, AZ)
  • St. Lawrence Region: Robert Doyle (Ottawa, ON)
  • Three year term to the International Board of Directors (2 to be elected):

  • Nicole Paquette (Casselman, ON)
  • Mark Weinsoff (Goleta, CA)