Service Above Self is taken to heart by all Rotarians, but like everything involving people in Ann Arbor, you will find your “overachievers.” Among the many overachievers in our Club, one member that truly stands out in this category is our dearly loved and truly inexhaustible Barbara Eichmuller.
Barbara has been a Rotarian since 1996 when she first joined Ann Arbor Rotary North. The Rotary Club of Ann Arbor scored a major victory when Barbara joined our home-team! We thank her sponsors Lou Callaway, Peter Allen, and Stew Nelson from the bottom of our hearts for bringing this ball of energy to our Club.\
Since Barbara joined the Rotary Club of Ann Arbor in 2009, she has been a whirlwind of activity. No job has been too small or too big for Barbara to take on. She has worked so tirelessly on behalf of the Club that we are only able to list some of the ways she exemplified “Service Above Self” on behalf of her fellow Rotarians.
You have seen her lovely smile and warm greeting welcome members at many, many meetings. Barbara has been a true ambassador welcoming prospective members, new members, and our most experienced members. She is always poised and ready to answer questions, make connections, and extend a warm sentiment when needed.
Barbara has also taken to the podium frequently throughout the years of her membership whenever she was called upon. Whether to offer an earnest welcome to our newest members as their devoted sponsor or to graciously reflect our speaker’s topic or our times of challenge and triumph in her moving and poignant inspirations. Her thoughtful and dignified introduction of our speakers made them feel welcome and respected.
We have watched Barbara jet around the meetings as a MIC runner never missing a beat. We have seen her scurry from table to table making sure all the attendance sheets were collected so that she could take meticulous count of all those present at our meetings. And yes, she has been at-the-ready time and time again to collect funds whether it was dues, Polio or a special event or fundraiser.
Barbara has also been a hub of activity for keeping the Club’s Fellowship strong and intact. As a member of Rotary Cares and Social Committees she has helped organize many happy hours and other Club gatherings. Always present with a smile and can-do attitude, she has made all these events successful Fellowship-building opportunities.
As a member of our Rotary Cares Committee her keen knowledge of our Membership has helped ensure that our outreach to those in our community celebrating or suffering are touched by way of a card, phone call or visit. A shining example was this past holiday season when Barbara wanted to make sure our
Rotarians at senior centers or alone at home felt a sense of embrace amidst the awful isolation caused by COVID. She organized XX beautiful and bountiful care baskets and personally delivered them to our fellow members.
In addition to Rotary Cares and the Social Committees, Barbara was a founding member of the Professional Networking Committee. She has also served on the Program Committee, Public Image Committee, and the Community Allocations Committee. She presently serves on the Membership and the Internal Financial Procedures Committee. Barbara has been an Officer of the Rotary Club of Ann Arbor since being elected as Secretary in 2016. In this role she has worked tirelessly for over 5 years to ensure that the Rotary Club of Ann Arbor runs like a Navy ship, working to shore up practices toward efficiency. No question is too tough for Barbara, and when we were meeting in person, she always had her stylish red carryall loaded with all-things-Rotary to answer any question.
Her attention to detail has ensured that our records with Rotary International and District 6380 are current and precise. She has made sure that all incoming Board Members are supplied with all the tools necessary to serve with confidence. Her devotion to her role as Secretary ensured that minutes were done and accurate, records were kept up-to-date and meticulous, and that there was always a watchful eye over the room making sure no detail was missed. Barbara is one of those people who finds a way to solve any problem, no matter how daunting it may seem. “We can do this,” is her most used quote.
Barbara is also a generous supporter of the Club, the Ann Arbor Rotary Foundation, and Rotary International. She is a Paul Harris Fellow +8, a member of the Ann Arbor Rotary Foundation Sustainers’ Club, and an annual Tee Sponsor and participant in the Golf and Tennis Outing. She was a Silver Centennial Sponsor in 2015. Barbara has always been ready to support our Club’s worthy causes from Polio to hurricane and COVID-India Relief.
Barbara has done all of this while continuing her career as one of the much-loved realtors in Ann Arbor, a town she loves and it shows. Barbara is a Townie and she knows the city. Annie Smith, wife of District Governor-elect and former RCAA club president Collyer Smith, who also knows Barbara through their work together at the Ann Arbor Thrift Shop, told us a story that illustrates and example of Barbara’s commitment to her clients: 26 years ago Barbara was Collyer and Annie’s realtor when they were looking for a home in Ann Arbor. An open house was being held at their home in Birmingham, so Annie and her son Cam, who was an infant at the time, had to get out of the house for the afternoon. They, along with Annie’s mother and their 90-pound Golden Retriever, all piled into Barbara’s car to go house hunting. Not only did Barbara graciously load them all up, but when Cam got hungry, they headed to Barbara’s office to warm his bottle. Annie described Barbara as so attentive, organized, and kind, noting that Barbara still remembers Annie’s birthday each year by sending a card in the mail.
Barbara lives with her husband, Tony Eichmuller, and their two Cavalier King Charles spaniels, Ally and Lula – her “girls.” Tony came with a ready-made family – four children and they now have 10 gradnchildren, including triplets and twins! There is so much more to say about Barbara, but suffice to say that her generous spirit, kind heart, and ‘will-do’ attitude have been true gifts to the Rotary Club of Ann Arbor. We take this time today to honor, with our most sincere respect and gratitude, Barbara Eichmuller with the Rotary Club of Ann Arbor’s Distinguished Service Award to read upon presentation:
“For Tireless Service Far Beyond the Call of Duty to the Rotary Club of Ann Arbor”
June 16, 2021