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RMLEB Board of Directors

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John L. Ballagh - Treasurer

John L. Ballagh is a member in Lions District Colorado 6 West and Colorado at-large, and has been a Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank board member since 2013.

He received his Bachelor of Science in horticulture from California State Polytechnic University and a Master of Science in forestry from Colorado State University, Fort Collins.

John served in the US Navy from1968 through 1972 and was honorably discharged as a Lieutenant, Naval Flight Officer. Over his career, he held positions including Assistant Director, Mesa County Planning; Land Development Consultant; Project Coordinator, Grand Valley Drainage District; and Manager, Grand Valley Drainage District with responsibilities for the operation, maintenance, and improvement of agricultural and urban drainage over 100 square miles in the Grand Valley. He was instrumental in bringing Mesa County, the cities of Grand Junction and Fruita, the town of Palisade, and the Drainage District (a special district) into a new 521 Drainage Authority to deal with the EPA's unfunded non-point source regulations. He was also elected to Clifton Water Board six times where he served as a director, secretary, and president for the domestic water provider whose customer base rose from 6,200 to more than 11,000 while transitioning to a nano-filtration process treating in-stream flows of Colorado River water. In addition, he was elected to Colorado Special District Association and served from 1993 until 2010, and as President from 2003 until 2007. He maintains his Commercial Pesticide Applicator's Qualified Supervisor license through the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

John and his wife Tammy Ballagh have two sons, Jeffrey A. Ballagh and Preston D. Ballagh, and six grand children (five girls and one rascal boy). He is an avid white-water rafter and has done two Grand Canyon runs. In addition, he is a big game hunter, gardener, and cook, including stints as the Clifton Lions Chili/Spaghetti Marinara Sauce Chef. He is proud to house Grand Junction Rockies rookie league baseball players during the summer.

He has been a Clifton Lion since 1986 and held the offices of club director, secretary, treasurer, and president as well as cabinet zone, region, youth chairman, and cabinet secretary in 2013-2014. He earned the designation of Able Toastmaster from Toastmasters International and he is a qualified member of the Tailhook Association.

Mike Bussey - Director

G. Michael Bussey (Mike) has been a member of Lions District Colorado 6West Orchard Mesa Lions since 1974.  

 Mike earned an Associate Degree from Casper College.  He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wyoming and a degree from the Colorado Graduate School of Banking in Boulder, CO. 

He worked for the regional accounting firm of Dalby, Wendland, & Jensen for two years.  In 1976, he became a certified public accountant.   Mike spent the next 14 years in banking with the First National Bank in Grand Junction, the last 10 years as Senior Vice President of Operations.  He returned to public accounting in 1989 until 2017; he then joined the practice of Grisier, Bussey, & Kaper CPA’s until his retirement of July, 2018.

 Mike has served on numerous boards including Hilltop Community Resources, Hospice Planned Giving Council, Riverview Technology Corporation, and The Pregnancy Center.  He is currently Treasurer of Orchard Mesa Lions and Redlands Community Church.

 He and his wife Bev have two grown sons and five grandchildren.  Mike enjoys most sports, travelling, ATVing, reading, and an occasional hand of poker.

Joanne Cook - Director

Joanne Cook is a member in Lions District Colorado 6 Southeast and has been a Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank board member since 2013.

She has a B.S. in accounting from Colorado State University, Pueblo.

She was a senior audit manager at McPherson, Breyfogle, Daveline & Goodrich, PC, from 1995 until her retirement in 2014. She is a Licensed Certified Public Accountant in the State of Colorado since 1996. She currently does part-time accounting consulting.

Joanne and her husband Robert (Bob) have two children, Ted and Nicole, and three grandchildren, Tyler, Asha, and Jaxson. She is a member of the Pueblo Charter Lions Club and currently serves as treasurer. She enjoys spending time with her grandchildren, volunteering at the local elementary school, golf, reading, and needlecrafts.

Bruce Heimbuck - Vice President

Bruce Heimbuck is a member of Lions Wyoming District 15 and has been a Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank board member since 2017.  He is currently a member of the Cheyenne Sunrise Lions Club.  He a member of the Guernsey Lions Club for 36 years prior to his move to Cheyenne.

He served in education for 33 years starting his teaching career in a one-room county school in South Dakota and ending it as Superintendent of Schools at Platte County School District #2 in Guernsey in 2006.  He spent the next few years working in Community Development in Guernsey until his move to Cheyenne in 2016. 

He enjoys being active in his community and his club and sees the work of the Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank as a way to serve others in a way that often changes a life for the better.

Carole Kitchell - Director

Carole T. Kitchell is a member in Lions District Colorado 6 Northeast and has been a Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank board member since 2014.

She has a Bachelor of Arts in social work and Master of Social Work from Colorado State University. She is a member of both the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and the Golden Key National Honor Society.

Carole spent her career in the secretarial field starting as a secretary/receptionist and progressing to levels of increasing responsibility. She was an executive secretary to the Director of Tri-County Health Department in Englewood and the executive secretary to the senior vice president of the wholesale operations group of Servco Pacific in Honolulu, HI. She finished her career at Cyprus Minerals as the relocations specialist for transferring/incoming employees as well as a COBRA administrator. Since "retiring," she has volunteered at the Gateway Battered Women's Shelter in Aurora; the 8th Judicial District Court, as a deputy probation officer; Elderhaus Adult Day Care; and the Fort Collins Lions Club where she is a Melvin Jones Fellow, site supervisor of the 9Health Fair in Fort Collins, trustee, and former club president. Currently, she chairs the club's KidSight Program, which performs vision screening of pre-schoolers and elementary-age children (they screened 2800 children in the 2013-2014 school year).

In her spare time, she reads, sews, gardens, and cares for three dogs – two of which were therapy dogs in CSU's HABIC (Human Animal Bond in CO) program.

Terry Lutz- Director

Terry Lutts is a member of the Denver Lions Club, which he joined in 1991. 

  • He has been chairman of their Sight Committee since 1998.
  • He was president of Rude Park Board from 1992-94.
  • He was president of the Denver Club 2015-2016.
  • He joined the RMLEB Board of Directors in 2017.
  • Terry graduated from the University of Colorado in 1974.
  • He graduated from the University of Denver College of Law in 1977.
  • He practiced as a trial attorney until he retired in 2012.
  • He is married to Kay Lutts and has 2 daughters, 3 grandchildren and 1 great grandson.

Joe Rall - President

Joe Rall is a member in Lions District Colorado 6 Southeast, and has been a Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank board member since 2014.

He received his Bachelor of Science in business management from Southern Colorado State College. He attended the Wharton School of Real Estate and Investment Analysis at the University of Pennsylvania as well as the American Management Association for Cash Forecasting Analysis.

Joe is recently retired and is now focusing his efforts on Lions Clubs International within Southeastern Colorado.  He has been a Lion with the Canon City Noon Lions Club for 26 years and he is PDG of Colorado 6 Southeast District. 

He recently worked with Congressman Doug Lamborn as his deputy district director in Colorado Springs, CO.  He served two terms as a Fremont County Commissioner from 1995 to 2002.  He also was the Vice President of Finance with Craddock Development Company during the seventies and early eighties. 

Joe has served as past chair on the Colorado State Medical Services Board, the Colorado State Workforce Coordinated Council, and the Fremont Community Foundation Board as well as serving on other local or state boards. As a dad and grandfather, he has organized and coached youth football and basketball.

Joe has been married to his Lion wife Brenda for nearly 22 years and they live in their country home between Cañon City and Florence, Colorado. They have seven children and eight grandchildren, plus Rudy and Pudgie their two wonderful pets.  They enjoy traveling and being together and when Lion Brenda retires from being a child protection socialworker, they want to see more of the sites and beauty of the states of America.

Jim Rapp - Director

Lion Jim became involved with Lions in 1972, joining the Sparta Lions Club in Wisconsin. After moving to Wyoming in 1977, he joined the Lions Club in Sheridan and has held all of the club offices at least once.

 In the 2014-2015 year he was District Governor of District 15, followed by being President of the Lions of Wyoming Foundation the next year. In addition he is a progressive Melvin Jones Fellow, has received five International President's Certificate of Appreciation awards, a Group Coordinator award for Campaign Sight First for the year of 1993-1994 and in June of 2018 he was awarded a Presidential Medal from Lions Club International President Dr. Naresh Aggarwal.

He has been married to his wife Lion Leslea since 1963. They have 2 children, 1 granddaughter and 1 great granddaughter. He finally completely retired in 2016 after 36 years working for a CPA firm as a tax accountant.

Also, some of the other things he is involved in are: a member of the Sheridan Elks Club, the Sheridan County Sportsmen’s Association, the International Studebaker Drivers Club (SDC), where he served on the Board of Directors for 6 years; the Wyoming Chapter of SDC, and also is a member of several other local and regional car clubs.  After 12 years he finished the restoration project of a supercharged 1963 Studebaker Avanti and is now starting to work on restoring his parents 1964 Studebaker pickup with the help of his granddaughter.

Ed Wright - Secretary

Ed Wright is a member in Lions District Wyoming 15 and has been a Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Bank board member since 2014.

He has an A.A. from Mesa Community College, a B.A. from Arizona State University, an M.A. from Arizona State University, an Ed.S. from Idaho State University, and an Ed.D. from Montana State University.

Dr. Wright retired from the field of education in 2003 after serving as a teacher, principal, and associate superintendent. His experience includes work at private, foreign, parochial, and public schools from 4th grade teacher to university instructor. In 2003, he was appointed as Wyoming's 25th Adjutant General by then Governor Dave Freudenthal. As TAG, he was the commanding general of the Wyoming Army and Air National Guard. As the state director of the Wyoming Military Department, he served as the governor's principal advisor on military affairs and state emergency response. He also supervised the state veterans’ cemetery, Veterans Affairs Commission, Youth Challenge Program and state partnership with the North African country of Tunisia. General Wright retired from Military service in 2011 as a Lieutenant General.

Dr. Wright is married to Meg Wright and together they have three children and six grand children. After his retirement from the military, Dr. Wright was appointed by Governor Matt Mead to the Wyoming Parole Board. He is currently an adjunct professor at Eastern Wyoming Community College where he teaches in the political science department. His wife and he live on a farm near Torrington, Wyoming where they enjoy gardening, church service, and traveling to visit friends and family.