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July's It gives me great pleasure to announce Gary Mueller PER member #7678 as our Elk of the Month for August. Gary joined our lodge in 1999. Not long after, he was approached to join the officer corps. In 2000 he became the Esquire to Irv Geller and went through the chairs becoming Exalted Ruler for the year 2006/07. Over the last several years, Gary has been coaching successful Ritual Teams within our district. When I asked Gary to lead this year's Ritual efforts at Garden Grove, he didn't hesitate. Gary started working with our officers in January and started teaching them new memory skills and techniques with a coaching style that helped them take First Place in the district. He continued to work with the officers and coaches for several more weeks taking them to Fresno to become the CHEA State Ritual Champions! Although we did not take the National trophy in St. Louis, our team performed very well, including having our Inner Guard landing the All-American Title - A first for our lodge and the first time in decades for our district. We are all very thankful and proud of this year's Ritual Team's Head Coach. Congratulations Gary on your outstanding efforts this year!


Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the U.S.A.

Robert "Bob" Duitsman was born in Inglewood, California and attended local schools, including Inglewood High School, the University of Southern California, and Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles, receiving a Juris Doctor degree in 1981.

Bob joined the Culver City Elks Lodge in 1989. Moving through the chairs, he was elected Exalted Ruler for 1993-94 and again in 1995-96. He was Association Vice-President in 2001-2002 during the presidency of John Carvalho and his wife Sandy, and was then District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler in 2005-2006 during the national presidency of the Honorable Louis J. "Jim" Grillo and his wife Lucia. Bob served on several district committees, but developed a particular interest in the ritual program. He has been a ritual judge since 1995 and served in a number of positions in the ritual community leading to CHEA Ritual Training Chair and finally CHEA Ritual Contest Chair in 2007 - 08. He also served on the CHEA Major Project Board of Trustees from 2013 to 2016, the last year as its Chair. He also served as President of the California-Hawaii Elks Association in 2018-2019

On the Grand Lodge level, Bob served on the Committee on Judiciary for six years, 2009 to 2015, the last two as Chair, and is currently in his fourth year as a Justice of the Grand Forum, in effect the Supreme Court of the Order. For two years he also served on the Grand Lodge Pardon Commission.

For over thirty-five years, Bob has been an attorney in private practice in the Culver City area, with emphases in the areas of estate planning and parole revocation defense.

He is a Past Chair of the Culver City Chamber of Commerce, a Past President of the Culver City Lions Club, and a Past President of the Inglewood District Bar Association. For over twenty years, he was a Temporary Judge of the Los Angeles Municipal and Superior Courts. For more than thirty years, he has been a volunteer at the Culver City Senior Center, helping its members with their legal problems on a volunteer basis. What little he knows about speaking before groups he owes in large part to the Toastmasters organization, of which he is a thirty year member with a designation of Distinguished Toastmaster. He also knows a little about parliamentary procedure, having attained the designation of Professional Registered Parliamentarian through the National Association of Parliamentarians. He is an ordained elder at Knox Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles.

Bob met the love of his life, Beth, in 1982, and they married in 1987. They do not have any children, unless you count their dog, Winston. Together they live in the Ladera Heights area of Los Angeles County.

Bob enjoys gardening, puttering around the house, spending time with his dog, and is one of only 131 people on earth who have finished all 34 editions of the Los Angeles Marathon, with a best time of 3:52.

Bob and Beth are proud and excited to have the opportunity to serve as National President and First Lady of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the United States of America; meeting and making friends during their travels, and talking about their slogan "Honoring the Past Embracing the Future."


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