Posted on Dec 06, 2019

Meet the Rotary Auction's "Mr Cleanup" — Bruce Bachen

By Ian Proffer

It’s been on our minds all summer and fall: how’s Bruce?  After some unexpected health issues earlier this year, Bruce is doing just fine, thank you, and we’re glad to hear it. Sadly, he did have to step back from his role as our treasurer, but 1) he’s much more relaxed now and 2) Roan Blacker has really stepped up to fill Bruce’s shoes in this role.
Bruce joined our club three years ago after he retired from a career as a fisheries biologist and conservationist (more below). Bruce’s experience with Rotary goes back to college: while attending the University of California at Davis as an undergraduate, Bruce received a Rotary Educational Fellowship and spent a year at the University of Adelaide in Australia in 1971. This opened up the world of travel to him—a lifelong passion since!
Bruce and his wife Diane have a grown son and daughter and welcomed the arrival of their first two grandchildren earlier this year. Bruce recalls meeting Diane at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor at a party, where apparently she was told by the organizer that he was a “California surfer type.” She soon realized how wrong that was!  After they finished graduate school (Bruce has an MS in Fisheries from UM) they settled in Alaska where Bruce worked for 20 years as the operations manager for a non-profit dedicated to improving salmon harvest, and for the Alaska Trollers Association. He also served for 7 years as a school board member in Sitka.
In 1999, Bruce and Diane moved to Bainbridge Island, and worked for the City of Seattle, focusing on salmon projects and stormwater management. Since retiring, he works on house improvement projects and Rotary. Bruce needs to keep busy!
Speaking of keeping busy, we all remember how well the cleanup for our auction and sale went this past year–thanks to Bruce’s organizational and team building skills. We couldn’t have done it without him! And he's promised to be back in that role next year too–good news for us all!