The Rotary Club of Ithaca is pleased to introduce four new members who have recently joined the service club. These community members bring professional experience from the business sector and volunteer in Tompkins County. Ithaca Rotary’s motto is “Service Above Self.” Membership is open to all community members who share in this belief; new members are accepted year-round.

“The Ithaca Rotary Club is delighted to welcome these individuals,” said Rotary Membership Chair Ron Provus. “Our members come from all walks of life and have a wide variety of interests to match those of Rotary. As members of Ithaca Rotary, individuals give of their time and skills to positively impact the needs of our community.”


Ithaca Rotary welcomes:

ImageElizabeth Brando is currently the associate director for institutional advancement for the Paleontological Research Institution, which oversees the Museum of the Earth and Cayuga Nature Center. She also serves as board treasurer for the Ithaca Children's Garden. Prior to transitioning into the nonprofit world, Elizabeth worked in Silicon Valley with various technology companies. Elizabeth lives in Willet, NY with her husband and young daughter. Originally from Phoenix, Ariz., Elizabeth is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation. She earned her B.S. in marketing and an MBA from the University of Arizona, Tucson.



ImageJosh Friedman is the new managing director of the Hangar Theatre. Previously, he was the production manager at Houston’s Alley Theatre. Josh is an alumnus of the Stanley K. Lacy Leadership Association LEAD program and served on the board of the Indianapolis Fringe Festival. He has also served on grant selection panels for the Theatre Communications Group and has presented at various national conferences. Friedman is a graduate of Drew University in Madison, NJ, and studied Fund Raising Management at The School of Philanthropy at Indiana University. He and his family are excited to join the Ithaca community.


ImageJoseph “Jay” O’Leary is the managing member of HPM Enterprises, and the president and CEO of ActionXL, a former subsidiary of Kionix. Jay moved to Ithaca in 1982 as director of administrative services for Citizens Bank. He then founded and served as president of Micro Support for nine years before becoming a teacher of computer technology courses at T-S-T BOCES. Jay holds an A.A.S. degree in computer science from TC-3. He is an avid flyer, navigating everything from hang gliders to single engine airplanes. He joined Kionix in 2000.




ImageJohn Spence is now in his eighth year as executive director of Better Housing for Tompkins County. Prior to this position, he was the director of development at Corning Community College, and has served as president of the board of the Ithaca Unitarian Church and the Community Arts Partnership. He is a past executive director of the Tompkins County SPCA as well as GIVE Tompkins. John is a graduate of Cooper Union in Manhattan. He and his wife Carol have called Tompkins County home for more than thirty years.


New Rotary members are invited to serve on projects and committees that are beneficial to Ithaca and the global community. Activities range from a few hours to longer time commitments. New members meet fellow Rotarians at weekly luncheon meetings held at the Holiday Inn downtown beginning at 12:15 pm every Wednesday. The public is welcome to attend a lunch meeting to learn more about Rotary. The cost for guests is $13.