Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Getting to Know…International President Dan Rude

Over the next couple of weeks our Membership Coordinator, Nichole Neuman, will be running a series called "Getting to Know..." that will profile some of our International Board members and give you, the reader, a chance to get to know them a little better. So, this week we are starting at the top with a short interview/profile that Nichole did with our new International President Dan Rude.

Dan is a very familiar face around Sons of Norway. He's been an active member since 1972 and most recently served as International Vice President, adding to the long list of International, District and Lodge (Normanden 4-424 in Missoula, MT) offices he's held over the years. You may already know of Dan's passion for youth programming (he even calls the Fraternal Staff his “kids”) and his co-authoring of the Barnsas Norsk Klubb, but what else motivates Dan’s commitment to Sons of Norway? Read on for a short interview and get to know your new President!

Q: Favorite Norwegian Delicacy?

A: Torsk (cod)

Q: Favorite Norwegian Cookie?

A: Jordelbakkels

Q: Ever been to Norway? What were some highlights?

A: Five times – one of them was visiting the church where my grandmother was confirmed. It was also a highlight to visit the exchange students and spend time with them and their families. I also co-chaired a square dance event, which was fun.

Oh! And sitting in the King’s chair in Parliament--though maybe I wasn’t supposed to do that... and I spoke from the podium (Does that make Dan the “king” of Sons of Norway?)

Q: What cultural skills do you practice?

A: I have all three bars for folk dancing and the mentor for that, too, and two bars for stamp collecting and one reading bar.

Q: How get involved with / learn folk dancing?

A: I’ve been instructing for over 30 years, but I went to watch a folk dance and was invited by a young couple to participate and we’ve been folk dancing ever since.

Q: What is the best part of being president?

A: Being invited to be part of all the celebrations and 100th anniversaries and going to go to the FBCs’ vacation. (I hear he’s taking me…) The fun part is working with the people at home office and my board and getting to meet all our members. The people make it.

Q: What are some goals? / Why did you want to be president?

A: I want to see us increase our membership and participation and see what we can do to stop the voluntary leaving. I’d really like to get out and visit the different districts. It’s really quite interesting to see how the different districts handle their business. I don’t think a lot of districts take advantage of the cultural skill programming. I’d like to see more of the districts participate. As well, I’d encourage more districts to get involved with family and cultural camps.

Q: What is your favorite activity from the Barnas Norsk Klubb?

A: The Barneløpet and our Halloween Party

Dan sure has come a long way since he first joined for the travel programs 36 years ago! Over the years he's become a strong leader and a great supporter of fraternal programming. We congratulate Dan, again, on his election to the office of International President and we at the Headquarters look forward to working with him over the next two years.

Be sure to stay tuned for more profiles of your new International Board! Nichole will be back next Wednesday with another update.

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