Geno Menchetti to be Red, White and Tahoe Blue grand marshal
Special to the Bonanza
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Long-time local resident and Air Force Veteran D. G. “Geno” Menchetti has been selected as this year’s Red White & Tahoe Blue Grand Marshal.
Further, Bruce Townsend and Cindy Boudett have been tabbed as the festival’s Volunteers of the Year.
All three were unanimously selected by festival board members, who will present the winners with All-Event VIP passes, shirts, sweatshirts commemorative glassware and an escorted ride in “Tahoe Salute’s Our Heroes” Parade on July 5.
“Every year we look forward to selecting our Grand Marshal and Volunteers of the Year,” said festival chairman Jim Smith. “Although we had hundreds of volunteers who donated their time to the festival last year, these candidates stood out above and beyond the rest.”
“I am certainly honored to have been selected to be the Grand Marshall for Red, White and Tahoe Blue 2014” said Geno Menchetti upon receiving the news. “My dogs, Buddy and Cashmere, and I all look forward to doing our best to make you and the event proud.”
For over 35 years, the prominent attorney has volunteered time in his personal and professional life to build and sustain some of the most impactful and important nonprofit organizations through the region.
Among the impressive list are his positions on the Board of Directors and president of the former Incline Village – Crystal Bay Chamber of Commerce; board member and counsel adviser for over 20 years with the Incline Village – Crystal Bay Visitors and Convention Bureau; charter member and president of both the Incline Village Rotary Club and the Tahoe-Incline Rotary Club; and emeritus status and member of the Pet Network Board of Directors.
He was appointed by Washoe County to serve on the Reno Tahoe Airport Authority where he volunteered for six years and was chairman in the millennium year of 2000. For many years, Menchetti thoroughly enjoyed his time as director of the Reno Air Race Foundation and Reno Air Race Association.
Menchetti also has served as a member and chairman of the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival and now holds the title of Chairman Emeritus.
It was during the growth of the festival when Menchetti suggested the organization start an educational program for kids. Today, over 50,000 children have attended the festival’s D.G. Menchetti Young Shakespeare Program that is annually offered for free throughout the region.
Professionally, Menchetti is employed wutg the firm of Reese, Kintz, Browhan, which has offices in Incline Village and Reno, NV. His current clients include Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe, North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District and the Incline Village Crystal Bay Visitors and Convention Bureau.
After surviving cancer, Menchetti adopted “Buddy” and “Cashmere” from the German Shepherd Rescue of Northern Nevada.
Today, when you walk into Menchetti’s office, you are greeted by his faithful four-legged comrades who often attend the endless meetings that wrap around Menchetti’s peaceful life in Incline Village and his new home in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
VOLUNTEERS OF THE YEAR
The husband and wife team of Bruce Townsend and Cindy Boudett share the honor as the 2014 Volunteers of the Year for their efforts to decorate and de-decorate the town during last year’s festival.
In addition to what they deemed as a “labor of love,” they were on hand throughout the four day celebration with Townsend loading fireworks to the barge, and both meeting, greeting and selling tickets while they enjoyed every moment of the festivities.
“It was our pleasure to be a part of the spirit of the 4th of July,” Boudett said. “We were happy to be a part of an event that keeps our town so vibrant and celebrates our Veterans in such fine fashion.”
Since moving to Incline Village to retire in 2008, the couple has been active in the St. Patrick’s Church community, Incliners, Crystal Bay Yacht Club and their homeowners association at Third Creek.
Prior to moving to the area, Boudett had a life-long career as an educator in a variety of elementary and middle schools in Oregon and was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Lesotho, Africa, where she taught English to the local high school students.
Townsend invested his professional talents in the field of architecture before he retired and then immersed himself in the local Incline Village Crystal Bay Veterans Club, the Military Officers Association of America and other organizations. He started his military career in the Officer Candidate School for the Navy Air Force and then served in Japan and Viet Nam as a specialist in airborne electronic warfare.
When asked about his favorite volunteer duty, Townsend’s witty nature surfaced.
“I actually enjoyed digging holes for all of the large flags and learning all about the hard and technical work that precedes our fireworks display,” he said. “As a volunteer, you learn new things, make new friends … all while being part of a festival that honors our Veterans and brings the entire town together.”
Lee Weber Koch is executive director of Red, White and Tahoe Blue. For a complete schedule of 2014 events, visit http://www.RedWhiteTahoeBlue.org. If you’re interested in volunteering, call Koch at 775-298-1010.