Duane M. Pelkey of Madrid was recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow and inducted as 2023-2024 president by the Rotary Club of Potsdam at their annual meeting on June 8. He was honored for his demonstrated commitment to the goals and purposes of Rotary and "in appreciation of his tangible assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among peoples of the world." As noted in a nomination of Pelkey for this honor, "Duane stepped up at a critical time and exhibited leadership, despite the fact he has been there before."
Pelkey first joined Rotary 32 years ago in Nimmonsburg, N.Y. He was subsequently a member of the Binghamton, Corning, and Watertown clubs, before joining the Potsdam club about 18 years ago.
He is now completing his third term as president of Potsdam Rotary and will begin his fourth term on July 1.
Both he and his wife, Laurean, are Rotary Bequest Society members. This is Pelkey's second recognition by Potsdam Rotary as a Paul Harris Fellow.
Pelkey graduated from Massena Central in 1983 and SUNY Potsdam in 1989 with a degree in writing, minoring in psychology. He started his career with KeyBank in Watertown and got his first branch management assignment in the Binghamton area.
Pelkey managed a number of progressively larger branches for financial institutions throughout the Southern Tier. He was working for Fleet Bank in 2001, when Community Bank made one of its many acquisitions and he joined them as a commercial lender.
Back in the North Country since 2006, Pelkey has sat on numerous boards and volunteered for many worthwhile organizations.
He retired from Community Bank in 2020 and he and Laurean co-own Scoops in Potsdam.
One-thousand dollars has been donated in Pelkey's name to the Rotary Foundation, a not-for-profit corporation that supports the efforts of Rotary International to achieve world understanding and peace through international humanitarian, educational, and cultural exchange programs.
The contribution honoring him will be used for projects like saving the lives of children through immunization, bringing water to remote global villages, or the establishment of hospitals in underdeveloped countries.