Meet new Grand Exalted Ruler

Paul R. Ryan

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T. Keith Mills was installed as the Grand Exalted Ruler of the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks of the USA at the Grand Lodge Convention in Tampa, Florida on July 5th, 2021.

Meet new FSEA President 
Susan "Suzi" Simonelli

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Susan (Suzi) comes from an extended Elks family. Her mother, Betty Tewksbury, PDD, has been an Elk for 23 years and sponsored her when she joined the Stuart-Jensen Elks Lodge. Her stepfather, Harold Tewksbury, PER, was the charter Exalted Ruler of Skowhegan-Madison Lodge #2531 in Maine, and he was an Elk for 45 years until he passed in January of 2016.

Suzi was initiated into the Elks on May 20, 2002. She has served her Lodge as Secretary, and Leading Knight. She is a 3-time Past Exalter Ruler and has served as a Lodge Trustee. She was named the Lodge Citizen of the Year for 2004-05, Officer of the Year for 2007-08, and Elk of the year for 2012-13. Her lodge also bestowed upon her an Honorary Life Membership in January of 2012. Suzi has served on numerous Lodge committees including the House Committee as its chairman, and in 2012 she was presented with a U.S. Presidential Call to Service Award.

On the District and State level she served as the District Drug Trailer Manager and the District Chair of the Drug Awareness & Education Committee both for 5 years. She served as the Vice Chair of the Officer Attendance Committee in 2011-12. She was elected District Vice President for the Southeast Central District for 2012-13, and she served as the District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler in 2013-14.

Suzi chaired and coordinated two state president’s demonstration/celebration parades and she served as the State Chair for the Harry-Anna Trust Fund Committee in 2014-15 where she helped the state surpass the State President’s fundraising goal of $750k by raising $777,495.

Suzi served as the State Membership Chairman for three years and participated in the 2016 & 2017 FSEA Officer Training Seminars speaking on Membership. She served six years on the Florida Elks Youth Camp Board of Directors, two of those as its President. She was appointed State Chaplain for the year 2016-17 and she and Joey served on “Team Harris” State President John Harris’ Hospitality Team.

She was named the Florida State Elks Association’s Elk of the Year at the 2015 State Convention in Orlando. She was Elected State Vice President at Large (VPAL) for 2020-21 and at the 2020 Mid-Year Convention in Tampa Suzi was Endorsed by the PSP Advisory Committee to serve as State President for the 2021-22 Elks Year.

Suzi was born in Waterville Maine on September 23, 1966. She was educated in Maine schools and graduated from Thomas College in 1986 with a degree in retail management. After college Suzi held management positions with K-Mart, CVS Pharmacy, and All East Enterprises before moving to Florida in 1993. Suzi then dedicated the next twelve years to raising her son Tony. During that time, she served as PTA President and received a Martin County Volunteer of the Year Award for her work with the Public-School System. For 25 years she participated at many levels in the Boy Scouts of America serving from Den Mother to Susan “Suzi” Simonelli Florida State Elks President’s Program 2021-2022 5 Assistant Scout Master and Chartered Organizational Representative. She earned many top Scouting awards and in July of 2005 she traveled to the Grand Lodge Convention in Reno, NV where she was awarded The Marvin M. Lewis Award for her dedication to both the Boy Scouts of America and the Order of Elks.

She and Joey have been married for 12 years. Joey is a 24-year Elk and is a Past Exalted Ruler of Stuart-Jensen Lodge. He currently serves his Lodge as a Trustee. Suzi & Joey belong to the Stuart Congregational Church and they enjoy cruising, golf, bowling, and camping in their RV. Suzi’s son’s name is Tony Gordon. Tony graduated from the University of South Florida with 2 degrees Criminology and Marketing. He is an Eagle Scout, he has been an Elk for 6 years and he lives in Lutz, FL.

Motto:  "Teamwork Makes Elkdom Shine”