The Past Exalted Rulers of Escanaba Elks Lodge 354 have selected John D. Berres as the Elk Officer of the Year for 2011-12. Berres is currently the Leading Knight and the Exalted Ruler-Elect for 2012-13.
In considering Berres for this honor, they noted the activities of the Lodge in which Berres has been involved and his leadership roll in them. He has been the Escanaba Elks' Veteran's Committee Chairman since 2006.
He is responsible for arranging the four trips a year to the Oscar Johnson Veterans' Facility in Iron Mountain where the veterans were treated to bingo and a social. This last year at Christmas, 42 gift bags were given to the veterans in a program he chaired.
Other activities he participated in this past year included the Adopt-A-Highway program and youth programs, including annual Youth Week. He also chaired the committee to improve the Elks bowling operation.
Berres and his wife, Michele, are parents of Kyle, a student at Bay de Noc Community College, and Kerry, a sophomore at Escanaba High School. He graduated from Escanaba High School in 1980, earned a degree at Michigan State University and a master's degree in social work from Eastern Michigan University.
Berres has been employed as a Pathways supervisor for ACT in Escanaba since 2008. He has been with Pathways since 2004. He previously worked for Clinton-Eaton-Ingham Community Mental Health Center, starting in 1986.
The award will be presented to John Berres as part of Awards Night and the Installation of Officers on Saturday.