Posted by Rick Taylor on May 12, 2017
At the Rotary Club of Canton's May 12, 2017, meeting Vice President Michelle Mullaly announced the newest 2016 - 17 "Rotarian of the Year": Past President J. Daniel Matthews.
The idea of recognizing an outstanding Canton Rotarian started in the 2011-2012 Rotary year. Rotarians who have received this prestigious Rotarian of the Year Award are: Past President Paul White; Dale Holwick; Past President Mike Gregorek; Past District Governor & Past President Bob Pattison; and last year’s recipient, Past District Governor & Past President, Dave Ewing.
What does this award represent?  It represents the living example of what it truly means to be a Rotarian--looking for ways to get involved with his/her time, talent or treasure; sharing Rotary with others; demonstrating a strong commitment to Rotary through the service they render to the club, the community and the Rotary Foundation; and in truly applying the Rotary motto of 'SERVICE ABOVE SELF'.
This year’s winner, Dan Matthews, is a loyal and dedicated Rotarian who has dedicated 40 years of life service to the Canton Rotary Club, accepts and excels at responsible positions in the club and does so happily, practices the 4-Way test, attends meetings regularly, and lives a life that exemplifies SERVICE ABOVE SELF.
Over the past two months, nominations were cast and the roster of nominees were voted on by the Canton Rotary Club to determine this year’s Rotarian of the Year:
Dan joined the Rotary Club of Canton in 1976 and was sponsored by his dentist, Bob Bandi.
As a Canton Rotarian, Dan has served our Canton Club over the past 40 Years as:
  • Chairman of the Community Avenue of Service;
  • Chairman, Club Extension Committee that chartered the Canton South Club, 1983; Chairman, Club Extension Committee that chartered the Plain Township Rotary Club, 1985; Chairman, Club Extension Committee that chartered the East Canton Rotary Club, 1988;
  • Chairman of International Night Dinner featuring “Komar the Magnificent, the Hindu Fakir”;
  • Vice President under Past President C. Richard Smith, 1983-84;
  • hosted a Brazilian Exchange Student;
  • attended Rotary International Convention in Birmingham England in 1984;
  • served as President, 1984-85, with 323 members, and won a 14th consecutive District Governor’s Cup for Club Excellence;
  • created our club’s tagline, “The Finest Rotary Club in the World!” in 1984;
  • emceed the Canton Rotary’s 75th Anniversary Dinner Dance Party featuring John Trapani Band;
  • served three terms as a Member of the Board of Trustees;
  • served numerous times as Monthly Program Chairman;
  • is a Paul Harris Fellow Major Donor;
  • benefactor of the Canton Rotary Club;
  • served three years as Assistant District Governor;
  • Chairman, Membership Development Committee;
  • sponsored dozens of new members, including his father, Robert J Matthews, brother Robert, and wife Suzette;
  • has done “Meeting Make-ups” in many states, including Hawaii, as well as outside the U.S. in Taipei, London, and Monte Carlo;
  • has had Perfect Attendance for many of his 40 years in Rotary, including the past 13 years;
  • volunteered on various committees such as Community Health & Safety, Rotary Scouts, Pancake Day, Ribs Burn-off, International Youth Exchange, Polio Plus, New Member Orientation, Canton Excellence, Classification, Oktoberfest, Rotary History, Nominating, JA Done-In-A-Day, and Mentorship;
  • started the 2016/2017 “Membership Development Initiatives” connecting  Canton Rotary with leaders participating in the “Leadership Stark County Program" that has resulted in the addition of many new members into our Club in the last year.
Dan has three children (Ted, Jeff and Maria Matthews), and 6 grandchildren (Austin, Katie, Gwyneth, Harris, Owen, and Emmett). Dan and wife Suzette reside in North Canton and will celebrate 17 years of marriage on May 20th
CONGRATULATIONS to our 2016-2017 ROTARIAN OF THE YEAR, Dan Matthews!!!