New Member Introduction: Chuck Wells

We’re happy to welcome our newest member: Chuck Wells. Here’s his introduction, as read by friend and sponsor, Tim Nissen.
“I am pleased to introduce Chuck Wells to the Rotary Club of Salem today.  Chuck was born in the Exeter, California hospital that is now part a farm equipment dealership. Farming was always in Chuck’s blood.  He grew up on a farm, studied plant physiology at UC Davis and also has a degree in agricultural economics from Fresno State University.  Chuck married his home-town sweetheart, Kathy, and together they raised four kids in California’s Central Valley.   While living in Modesto, he started and built three businesses and was first introduced to Rotary. Modesto Sunrise Rotary became a passionate pursuit where he served in various roles including two board positions, eight years as the Davis High School Interact advisor, and was club president in 1998.  Kathy and Chuck are both Paul Harris fellows.
Chuck‘s favorite Rotary moment was leading the Interact Club to        Tecate, Mexico for various service projects including the construction of a school for the disabled. He was known as “chef Chuck” around Rotary, for large group cooking projects including the Club’s annual Lobster Dinner and Bacchus & Brew. The Club hosted 500-1,000 attendees at these fundraisers.  For seven years, he also cooked for 500 people every Monday in a nutrition ministry at CrossPoint Community Church of Modesto.  Chuck likes hands-on projects of all sorts, and he enjoys working directly with young people.  I have already signed him up for our October Blood Drive and enlisted his support for the Salem Rotary Foundation, but he needs more to do.
When Kathy was diagnosed with cancer in 2005, with a not-so-good prognosis, they decided to sell the businesses.  With two daughters still in school, a son in college and another son entering the United States Marine Corps, the demands of two careers and running a business was more than they wanted to deal with.  Salem was the first choice of three possible career moves.  Salem was a great move for them as their daughters thrived at West Salem High School and Kathy received wonderful treatment at Hematology-Oncology of Salem and Salem Hospital, until her passing in 2009.
Chuck was blessed a second time with a partner in life, and married Tracy Preston in 2012.  Of note, Tracy and I were high school classmates about fifty years ago in San Rafael, California, and we renewed our friendship a couple years ago via the Class of 69 web site and Facebook.  It’s the modern world, one thing led to another, and here we are.
Chuck and Tracy have a beautiful blended family of five children ranging from 21 to 35 years old.   Chuck noted that he and Tracy are “amateur wine makers and professional wine drinkers.”   Chuck likes to fish, play a little golf (poorly, he notes), travel and ride his motorcycle.
Professionally, Chuck is the chief appraiser at the Oregon Department of Transportation where he manages the appraisal program for ODOT.
As you can tell, Chuck Wells is already a great Rotarian; he just needed to find a new club to join, and I am pleased he found ours.”