Meet Our Leaders
Rotary is about being a leader. Even in a group of leaders, we have leadership needs, so allow us to introduce you to our Club leaders.
D. Andrew Venters
D. Andrew Venters has been named the club secretary for the 2017-18 year. An attorney/partner with Miller, Luring, Farley & Venters, Co., LPA, his primary practice areas are bankruptcy and family law. Venters is also an assistant public defender in Shelby County, Ohio, working in both Common Pleas Court and Juvenile Court.
A native of Kentucky, Venters completed his Juris Doctorate at the University of Kentucky after earning a bachelor’s degree from Miami University. He was admitted to the practice of law in Kentucky in 2003 and in Ohio in 2008. He is a member of Ohio State and Kentucky Bar Associations, Miami and Shelby County Bar Associations and the American Bankruptcy Law Forum. In addition to his legal responsibilities, Venters was elected to the Tipp City Board of Education in 2015. He made the decision to make Miami County his home after living in Idaho, Oregon, Washington state, and Arizona.
Howard Cheney began working in the funeral profession in 1956 in Richwood, Ohio. He is the owner of Fisher-Cheney Funeral Home, one of the preeminent funeral homes in Troy. He celebrated his 40th anniversary of business ownership in Troy in June 2014.
Howard has been a dedicated Rotarian for four decades, achieving perfect attendance for the past 39 years. For 30 years, he has been the Club’s Sergeant-at-Arms, greeting all who attend the weekly meetings at the front door. In addition to his allegiance to Rotary, Howard is a dedicated supporter of service and professional organizations. To date, he is a dues-paying member of 40 such entities at national, state and local levels.
Howard attended Ohio Northern University and graduated from the Cincinnati College of Embalming in 1962. He has been a licensed Funeral Director/Embalmer for more than 50 years. He has also been a member of the Masons, Scottish Rite and Shrine since 1963.
Thomas R. Giere, CPA
Thomas (Tom) Giere has been in the accounting profession since completing his undergraduate studies. He moved into public accounting in 1984 when he was a manager at an international firm’s tax department after time spent gaining valuable experience with a Fortune 500 company.
In 1989, Tom joined his current firm, becoming a partner and owner in 1992. At Nolan, Giere & Company, he focuses primarily in tax planning and compliance for businesses and individuals. Tom’s experience and education enable him to help clients analyze and implement complex tax strategies to minimize the impact of federal, state and local taxes. In addition, he works extensively in estate and gift tax, succession planning, management consulting and strategic planning.
He holds a bachelor’s degree from Wright State University and a Master of Science degree in taxation from the University of Cincinnati. Tom is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants (OSCPA) and is the 2015-16 Treasurer for the Troy Rotary Club. He and his family reside in Vandalia, Ohio.
J. Andrew Wannemacher
J. Andrew Wannemacher currently serves as the Court Administrator for the Miami County Juvenile/Probate Court in Troy. He has practiced law locally since 1999 and is past president of the Miami County Bar Association. Prior to pursuing a full-time legal career, he worked in the trust department of a Dayton-area bank and as a construction project manager for Wannemacher & Company in Troy.
A true civic leader, he serves as president of the Troy Rec board of directors, is vice president of the Troy Pop Rocks Parents Boosters and an active member of the board of directors of the Troy Area Chamber of Commerce. He completed the Graduate Academy for Community Leadership in 2009 and returns each year to teach a course on the legal issues involving operating a nonprofit organization.
Andrew holds an undergraduate degree from Miami University and a Juris Doctorate from The University of Toledo, College of Law. He resides in Troy with his family.
Past President, 2017-18
Richard Bender became the Executive Director of United Way of Troy in 2010. In this role, he oversees day-to-day operations, works with 29 partner agencies and is responsible for driving the nonprofit’s fundraising campaign each year. This campaign generates more than $877,000 annually to invest back into the Troy community. Prior to a career in nonprofit work, Richard was a banker for three decades, holding numerous positions at several area financial institutions. When he retired from banking, he was Market President for the Ohio region of MainSource Bank.
Believing it is important to support the community in which he lives, Richard is an active member of several nonprofit and civic organizations. He is involved with the Troy Chamber Not for Profit Council, the Troy Chamber Business Advisory to Education Committee and the United Way Area Regional Directors Group.
He strives to achieve a good work-life balance. Richard and his wife volunteer their time as youth leaders at the Ginghamsburg Church in Tipp City, Ohio. They also enjoy hiking and traveling around the globe. A Rotarian since 1984, Richard holds an associate degree in business and accounting from Columbus Business University.
Todd D. Severt
A partner with Lopez, Severt & Pratt, L.P.A., located at 18 East Water Street in Troy, Todd Severt is a member of Miami County and Ohio State Bar Associations. In addition, he is a Board Certified Family Relations Law Specialist with the State of Ohio. Locally, he focuses his practice on domestic relations law, estate planning, and probate cases. He earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Dayton after completing a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of South Carolina.
He has been named the club’s president-elect for the 2017-18 Rotary year. Based on his succession from vice president to club president, Severt will serve as the organization’s leader during the 2018-19 term, the year Troy Rotary celebrates its 100th anniversary of being part of the community.
Todd has a strong history of civic leadership. In addition to his active involvement with Troy Rotary Club, he served on the Troy City Council from 1995-98, was on the Stouder Memorial Foundation and was a member of the board of directors for The Future Begins Today. To learn more about Todd, visit www.lopezsevertpratt.com.
Vice President, 2017-18
Jessica Echols has been elected to serve as vice president for 2017-18. Based on the club’s rules of succession, she will serve as president for the 2019-20 Rotary year. She is the executive director of Partners In Hope, a nonprofit agency that serves the Troy area by providing relief, education and development services to help individuals and families living in crisis. Jessica is also the owner of Famous Cupcakes.
She earned an undergraduate degree in Human Services/Art & Design from Adrian College in Michigan where she serves as a member of the alumni board. While living in Adrian, she was president of the Kiwanis organization. After relocating to Troy, she completed both Leadership Troy and Edison Academy for Community Leadership programs.
She has a strong belief that one should participate in the community and give back when possible. She is president of the Troy Music Boosters and a member of the Troy Community Works board. Jessica and her family reside in Troy.