“It’s all about community,” a humbled Rod said, with his family nearby Monday.
“This is a great community, and I am glad to be a part of it and help out.”
A former Chamber of Commerce president, Rod said that a few years ago he wondered if he would ever reach the heights of his father by hearing Killeen announce his name at the breakfast, but he really didn’t think it would happen.
“It goes through your head a little bit, and you might think about it a little, and you want to be a little prepared because you don’t want to look foolish. But like I said, I thought it would be a long shot,” he said.
“But it’s nice to be able to follow in my father’s footsteps.”
Rod spends some of his time in semi-retirement in Florida but still makes his way home several times each winter, often heading out for runs down the mountain at his favorite ski areas.
In order to get him to venture north for this special day, however, daughter Deena Giltz McCullough engineered a tricky ruse (fake letterhead and all) about Northern Insuring winning some award in Massena, for which Rod just had to be present.
It worked, but Rod was a bit disappointed.
“We didn’t get any award,” he laughed.
The popularity of Rod’s selection was evident, as the line of well-wishers shaking hands with him after the breakfast snaked far across the Warren Ballroom floor. It ate away precious moments of the workday, although no one seemed to mind too much.
“There are a lot of good people who have won this and a lot of good people who could win, so it’s nice to be recognized by your peers,” Rod said.