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Rotary Happenings: Community Leaders, Richard and Johnson, receive Vocational Excellence Award

By Staff | Mar 30, 2016

Each year the Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club presents a Vocational Excellence Award to a non-Rotarian member/members of our local business community who have proven themselves to follow Rotary’s tradition of “Service Above Self.”

Consideration for receiving this award must be presented by a Sanibel-Captiva Rotarian in a written nomination to the Vocational Excellence Award Committee along with an assessment of how the candidate/candidates demonstrate their high ethical standard of maintaining a business leadership role in the community and willingly give of their personal time, talent and treasure.

Richard Johnson and Mead Bailey Johnson came back to the Island in 2004 after other successful careers to assist Mead’s dad, Frances Bailey, in running Bailey’s General Store and following in the tradition of the Bailey family of community involvement.

After Frances’ passing, Richard and Mead took on the responsibilities of the store and have continued to provide the community with a premier grocery and hardware store, along with expanding Bailey’s catering department, adding an in-store coffee-bar kiosk, and establishing a satellite grocery market at the Sundial Resort.

The business officially known as Sanibel Packing Company, was founded in 1899 by Frank P. Bailey providing groceries and general supplies to locals and visitors of the Islands.

Richard and Mead will make the third generation to run the business and a fourth generation is already waiting in wings with Calloway, Bailie and Dane to continue that tradition.

Richard and Mead have long supported CROW, FISH, Friends Who Care, START, SCCF, Shell Museum, Historical Village, BIG ARTS and essentially every organization on the Island.

Richard’s volunteer services have included serving on:

Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors 2006-2012, President of the Lions Club in 2007-2008 and continues to be involved, Current President of Community Housing, Vice President of Sanibel Community Association, and Secretary/Treasurer of the Island Inn.

Mead explained that it is the family’s goal to carry on the traditions initiated by the Bailey Family and, to that end, will continue the annual Bailey Fest, a fun event for the whole family with food and entertainment for all islanders presenting island musical and dance groups; along with Island Night at Hammond Stadium to raise awareness and funds for island charities and scholarships.

This event is, also, known as Coach’s Team in honor of the late Sam Bailey.

The Bailey/Johnson Family is steeped in the family business and willingly with a generous heart follows in the family tradition of giving back to the community.

This year Sanibel-Captiva Rotary was honored to have Rotary District 6960 Governor, Cyndi Doragh, along with the sponsor of Richard and Mead’s candidacy for the 2016 Sanibel-Captiva Vocational Excellence Award, Rotarian, Alex Werner on hand to personally present the VEA awards and Paul Harris medallions to Richard and Mead.

Governor Cyndi spoke about the values of Rotary and about Paul Harris , Rotary’s founder.

In the early 1900’s, attorney Paul Harris practicing in Chicago along with some friends had the idea that camaraderie among businessmen was an important part of doing business in the community.

Understanding that, his vision laid the foundation for Rotary. In 1905, the first Rotary Club was formed in Chicago.

High ethical business standards were expected of all club members and using their professional talent to help the community in which they lived were the grounding tenets of Rotary.

From this very humble beginning in 1905 to today – Rotarians use as their guideline Rotary’s four-way test:

1. Is it the Truth?

2. Is it Fair to all concerned?

3. Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?

4. Will it be Beneficial to all concerned? Currently there are 35,000 Rotary Clubs around the world with 1.2 million members.

Each club elects its own officers and sets individual goals but is part of Rotary International and follows their guiding principles.

The 4 Objects of Rotary to encourage and foster the idea of service as a basis of worthy enterprise. Although, there is not enough room in this column to go through the entire four Objects, but here is the one applied when selecting our Vocational Service Award recipients.

High ethical standards in business and professions, the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations and the dignifying of each Rotarian’s (candidates) occupation as an opportunity to serve society.

Sanibel-Captiva Rotary meets at 7 a.m., every Friday morning at the Dunes Golf & Tennis Club, Sanibel.

Guests are always welcomed.