Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Bill Kase prepares for new role in Lions organization

Bill Kase lived in Plainfield, Ill., then a small town and now a suburb on the west side of Chicago, until he was 12 years old with his four siblings.

When his father got a different job, the family moved to Duluth. He played clarinet in the Duluth East High School concert and marching band plus the pep band at the school hockey games. He worked part time at his parent’s Shakey’s Pizza and also when he attended the University of Minnesota Duluth for two years where he majored in music and physiology. He then went to Duluth Area Vocational Technical Institute where he studied the marketing management two year program.

For the next 10 years Bill worked in a sales position at the Musicland store in Duluth, and later as store manager in Superior, Wis. They would carry vinyl records, cassette, and 8 track tapes, sheet music, as well as musical instruments, and stereo equipment. CDs were just becoming popular in the last years when he was there.

Bill was married and his wife wanted to move closer to where her sister lived. They moved to Mantorville in January, 1984, and Bill worked at Schmitt Music selling keyboards and music equipment. He heard that Culligan in Kasson was looking for an employee so Bill applied and got the job starting in January, 1985. For the next 33 years Bill was a Culligan sales rep selling water softeners, softener rentals, and drinking water filtration systems. He covered all of Dodge County, areas north, west, and south of Rochester to the Olmsted County lines.

Bill was one of the early members named to the Culligan Hall of Fame in 1997 with his successful sales career. He earned company trips to Hawaii, Las Vegas, Atlantis in the Bahamas, and two cruises.

After Bill left Culligan, for the next two years he was employed at Shopko in Kasson which he enjoyed, and he could walk to work. The store was closed in June, 2019, when the parent company closed all the remaining stores and liquidated their inventory.

There were no openings available for the Kwik Trip in Kasson or Byron, but he got a job at Kwik Trip in Dodge Center and he continues to be there one day per week. He also was hired at the Barlow Hy-Vee, and he continues to work at the Hy-Vee Wine and Spirits shop for 30 hours per week for the last five years.

Bill joined the KM Lions in 2004, and has been an active member for the past 20 years. He has held a variety of positions in the club, and has been the club president twice. He has been a Lion Zone Chair, who acts as a link between the district and several local clubs in our area.

Bill has attended the 5M1 District Convention held each January since 2008 for the clubs in the SE Minnesota region. Bill has been in the District Cabinet positions for Leader Dog for the Blind and the Hearing Foundation for the past six years, and will move off these positions in June.

Three years ago he was asked, and he agreed, to be in line for the 5M1 District Governor (DG) position starting as a second DG elect, then first DG elect, and District Governor elect this past year.

In June, Bill will fly to Melbourne, Australia, to attend the International Lions Convention and will be sworn in as the new 5M1 District Governor along with new District Governors from all across the world at that time. He will be spending nine days taking in the convention activities as well as some additional training sessions. 48,000 Lion clubs are located in over 200 countries with 1.4 million members making it the largest service organization in the world.

Bill estimates that he will likely be attending 100 meetings in the coming year visiting Lion clubs, cabinet, zone and regional meetings plus attending many Lion events for the 51 clubs with 1,700 Lion members in SE Minnesota. He will be wearing the traditional District Governor blue blazer when attending many Lion club meetings. It can almost be a lifetime Lion commitment when his District Governor one year term has finished, and he will likely still be involved with various Lion committees for several years!

Bill is a sports fan of the Twins, Vikings, Wild, and Timberwolves. He has attended games in person of each of these teams, and especially likes the Twins and the Wild games. He follows the Kasson-Mantorville sports team activities and has attended many local hockey games through the years. He enjoyed cheering on the Dodge County Wildcats great season, and being there when they were in the girl’s state hockey tournament this year. Bill likes to read sports biographies, and watching the history channel on TV.

Bill went to Disney World three times when his two boys were younger. He has also been to Arizona, Colorado, and Utah. He really enjoyed being at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Bill estimates he has attended 50 heavy metal concerts over the last 20 years, and goes along with one of his sons to the event. One son lives in Wisconsin and the other in Rochester. He has three grandsons, Micah — 11 years, Noah — five years, and Parker — two years old.

Bill has worked with many community projects such as the Kasson Chamber of Commerce, the Dodge County Expo, and the Festival in the Park. He has been an active member of the First Presbyterian Church in Kasson for many years. He taught Sunday School for 15 years, and has been a member of the church council.

Bill has lived in this community for 40 years, and enjoys the small town atmosphere, the friendly people, easy to make friends, and he has stayed involved with the community in many ways.


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Dodge County Independent

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