Maryland, Delaware, and District of Columbia
Elks Association 

BIOGRAPHY OF

PAUL D. HELSEL

GRAND EXALTED RULER

2008-2009

Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the U.S.A.

Paul D. Helsel , born on March 9, 1941, the older of two children, grew up on a 250 acre farm near Trout Run, Pennsylvania with his sister Karen and parents, Paul C. and Marion F. Helsel. Working on the farm until college instilled him with the values of honesty, integrity, and hard work.

Paul attended, a one-room schoolhouse in his elementary years, later graduating from Liberty Joint High School in Liberty, Pennsylvania. He earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University and later a second degree in Accounting from Goldey-Beacom College.

He began his professional career in Facility Engineering and Facility Engineering Management in 1962 with E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Company in Newark, Delaware. As a capable and reliable Engineer Paul distinguished himself and moved to increasingly more responsible jobs with Milprint, Wilmington Chemical Company and finally in 1979 with ATK Elkton Company (formerly Thiokol Corporation) in Elkton, Maryland. Each position he assumed with these companies provided him with valuable technical, administrative and leadership experience. After a distinguished and successful 43-year professional career, Paul retired from ATK Elkton Company on September 23, 2005.

On August 28, 1965, Paul married his lovely wife of 42 years, Jane L. Valiante in Newark, Delaware where they still reside today. They are blessed with two daughters, Diane Coleman and Janet Caruccio, and three grandchildren. Diane with her husband Joe and son Paul Joseph “PJ” (8) resides in Melbourne, Florida. Janet with her husband John, son Benjamin (7) and daughter Amanda (4) resides in Newark, Delaware.

Paul served for more than 20 years on the Board of Directors of the Triumph Industrial Park Utility Maintenance Corporation and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Steam Valley Cemetery Association. He was a Charter Member and Charter President (June 1980) of the Thiokol Chapter of the Toastmasters Club.

Paul was initiated in Newark Lodge #2281 on May 10, 1970. He immediately became active in the lodge and served as Exalted Ruler in 1975-1976 where he earned “All-State Exalted Ruler” honors in the Ritual. He served as the Lodge Treasurer for 15 years and for the last 11 years as a Lodge Trustee.

He remains active in Newark Lodge #2281 on various committees including the Board of Trustees, PER Association, as Chairman or Co-Chairman of the House/Rental Committee, and as a working member of the Bingo Committee.

Paul became active in the Maryland, Delaware and District of Columbia Elks Association in 1976 and has been actively involved in its operation for the past 31 years. He served on various committees including the Executive Committee of Elks Camp Barrett, the Association’s Major Project, was Chairman of the Elks National Service Commission Committee for 4 years, and Chairman of the Elks Training Program for 6 years. He served with distinction as a member of the Board of Trustees for 2 years, as Vice President of the Northeast District and as President of the Association in 1981-1982. He served as State Treasurer for 2 years and was a certified Ritual Judge for 16 years, judging contests in his own Association, the Pennsylvania Elks State Association and the New Jersey State Elks Association. He also served as Chairman of the Advisory Committee of the Association for at least three terms and continues to serve the Association in an advisory and leadership capacity, working closely with the elected State Officers and the District Deputy Grand Exalted Rulers.

In 1979, he was appointed District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler. He continued to serve the Grand Lodge on the State Associations Committee from 1989 to 1991 and in 1992 was elected to the Board of Grand Trustees where he served with distinction until 1996. He continued to serve with the Board of Grand Trustees through 1996-1997 on a Planning Committee tasked with developing a long range plan for upgrading and improving the Elks National Home.

He has been a Special Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler for the past 11 years and is currently serving in his 4 th year as the groups President. He served with distinction as the Chairman of the Host Committee for the 2001 Grand Lodge Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Paul is an Elk that has risen through the ranks of Elkdom as a result of his talents, ability to work with people, dedication and hard work. He leads by example and firmly believes that “you get out of Elkdom what you put into it”. As he fulfills his duties as Grand Exalted Ruler his message will be one of working to build a stronger, better Order. Please join with him and be a part of “Elks - Growing Elkdom and Strengthening America” and demonstrating that “Elks Care – Elks Share”.

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