Roger Kozak
District Governor 2009-10
Rotary Club of Vermillion
Roger Kozak was born in Lake Andes, South Dakota. After graduation from high school, he started work on a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration until college was interrupted by a call to serve in the United States Army.  Roger spent the majority of his two years of service stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia, serving as a non-commissioned officer in Battalion Headquarters for the 2nd Engineering Battalion.  After discharge from the U.S. Army, he returned to the classroom and earned a bachelor’s degree from Southern State College and a Masters and Doctorate Degree from the University of South Dakota.
Roger's career was focused on public higher education. After earning advanced degrees, he began teaching in the college classroom and after five years moved into higher education administration and began his administrative career in Pierre, South Dakota. In Pierre, he served four years as the Director of Research for the South Dakota Board of Regents. In 1979, Roger relocated for the last time and moved to Vermillion, South Dakota, where he began a twenty-two-year employment engagement with the University of South Dakota. For the first five years he served as Special Assistant to the President, moved into the position of Associate Vice President for eleven years and completed his employment with the University of South Dakota by serving as Vice President for six years. Roger retired from the University in 2002 and was named Professor and Vice President Emeritus.
During his tenure at the University of South Dakota, Roger was actively involved in the community. He served on the Vermillion City council for seven years, served as Mayor of the city for three years and served on numerous boards and commissions such as the Chamber of Commerce, Vermillion Development Corporation, Junior Achievement, Community Foundation, Dakota Hospital Foundation and others. Roger remained active in University activities by serving on several University committees and by serving on the University of South Dakota Foundation Board of Trustees.
Roger served as a member of Rotary for 30 years. At the club level, Roger served as a member of the Board of Directors and held several officer positions. Roger also served as an Area Assistant Governor for several years for District 5610. Rotary was an important part of Roger's life and continued to increase in importance because of the opportunities Rotary makes available to multiply the efforts of a single individual many times over to make the world a better place for all. When Roger's year as District Governor ended, he began serving as an Assistant Regional Rotary Foundation Coordinator (ARRFC).
Roger resided in Vermillion with his wife, Patricia, both Paul Harris Fellows. When not involved in community volunteer activities, they both enjoyed golfing, traveling, sailing, hiking and kayaking.
Roger Kozak
Service Above Self Award
This award was first conceived about four years ago and has been awarded three times to past recipients:  George Twitero, Pat Sutliff, and Chuck Lindemann.
“In recognition of exceptional service to Rotarians in Rotary District 5610. This award honors the memory of Roger L. Kozak, long-time member of the Vermillion Rotary Club, who served as District Governor, 2009-10, and who distinguished himself as an exceptional servant leader.”
Call for Nominations
Roger L. Kozak Service Above Self Award
“Each year the Roger L. Kozak Service Above Self Award is awarded to one Rotarian in District 5610.  It was conceived in 2016 and has been awarded three times to date.  It is given in recognition of exceptional service to Rotarians in Rotary District 5610. The award honors the memory of Roger L. Kozak, long-time member of the Vermillion Rotary Club, who served as District 5610 Governor, 2009-10.  Roger Kozak distinguished himself as an exceptionally dedicated servant leader.”
Roger Kozak’s wife, Pat Kozak, once wrote the following:  “I think the Kozak Award should go to someone who lives the Rotary motto of Service Above Self, and applies the Four-Way Test to all aspects of life.  The person should have rendered exceptional service to the community lived in and to the Rotarians of District 5610.”
Application – Limit to one-page and 200 words.
Deadline – September 15, 2021.
Presentation – District Conference in Deadwood, October 14-16, 2021.
Email To: --
Selection committee consists of PDG Ed Jacobson, Chair; PDGs Dan LittleIna Winter, & Dave Lorenz; the past three Kozak winners, Chuck LindemannPat Sutliff, & George Twitero; and Kathy Chandler, designee of the Vermillion club, where she serves as secretary.  Nicole Rawden and Larry Lyngstad serve as consultants to the committee.
Ed Jacobson
Past District Governor (2016-17)
Rotary District 5610
(605) 224-2433