Keeping Up with People: Karl Ruether Rotary 5060 District Governor

Karl Ruether, Rotary District 5060 Governor Submitted Photo

LEAVENWORTH - Karl Ruether was born and raised in Germany and came to North America in 1986. He has three grown sons and is married to Denise, they currently live in Peshastin.

  Karl started his career in the Hospitality Industry with a Restaurant Apprenticeship in 1976 at the Sport Hotel, Droste, Germany. As is mandatory in Germany, the required Military Service came next followed by achieving the Serviermeister (Master of Service) Certification in 1984.

In preparation to go to the United States, Karl worked as restaurant manager in Southampton, England after which he went to Cornell University in New York for a summer program. At the completion of this program, he worked at one of the hotels at JFK Airport, followed by moving to Tucson, Arizona to open a new All Suite Property.

In 1987, Karl obtained the CFBE (Certified Food and Beverage Executive) designation. From Tucson it was on to Portland, Oregon and then Banff, Canada managing various types of hotels. From there he went to San Bernardino, California and then Leavenworth Washington’s Bavarian Village where being from Germany was not a pre-requisite, but it helped. In Leavenworth he and his partners opened the Best Western Icicle Inn in  1992 which is now known as the Icicle Village Resort where he is the General Manager/Partner. In 1995 he obtained the CHA (Certified Hotel Administrator Designation) and after a successful career spanning 40 plus years and four countries, Karl retired from Hotel/Resort operations in December of 2019.    

 Along the way came various volunteer/appointed positions with Best Western International as a Regional Governor, a board position on the Washington State Hotel and Lodging Association board, serving as Chair in 2005-2006.  A Board member and President of Leavenworth Lodging Association, a founding board member of The Leavenworth Summer Theater serving over 10 years. A Rotarian since 1994 and member of the Leavenworth Rotary Club, President of the Leavenworth Club in 2000. (Presidential Citation Achieved). PDG Jim Adamson Sr., was his mentor and friend and  sponsored Karl into Rotary. Karl served as Board member of the Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce since 1992 and was Chamber Board President for three years

In July of 2000 he was selected to serve a one-year term on the newly formed Washington State Tourism Advisory Committee.  He was the recipient of the ‘Outstanding General Manager of the Year Award’ from the Washington Lodging Association in 2005, as well as the ‘All Star Governor Award’ in 2003 from Best Western International. Karl accepted several Committee assignments in his role as a Best Western Governor that included the Chair of the Education and Training Advisory Committee, a few years back, and then Chairman of the Quality Assurance Advisory Committee (2015).

On July 1, 2019, Karl was appointed Assistant District Governor for Rotary District 5060, and now he is serving as the DG, District Governor for the Rotary year 2022-2023.

Fellow Rotarians, thank you for the confidence you have placed in me for this important role. I am really looking forward to meeting many if not all of you in this exciting continuation of my Rotary Journey. PDG Marvin Monroe used to say, “Rotary is a journey not a Destination” and it is an honor to serve in this role and work closely with many of you.

Editor's Note: Rotary District 5060 has 56 clubs and stretches from Prosser to Kamloops, B.C.




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