Charter Charitable Board Member Bill Hodge Retires

Posted: May 5, 2022 at 10:06 am

After 16 years of selfless service to Operation Round Up’s board of directors, William “Bill” Hodge has retired.

Bill Hodge receives clock and gift basket from Ellen Hamel
Operation Round Up Board, represented by Board Chair Ellen Hamel, recognizes Bill Hodge with a clock and a goodie basket in appreciation of his 16 years of service.

Bill was born in Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, where he grew up on a farm. He served 15 years in the Army and fought in the Korean War. Formerly a boat captain and an assistant city manager, he spent most of his life as a cattle rancher, and, has lived in Hardee County for 27 years.

Bill is the last of the nine original board members that were present on March 16, 2005, when the first Operation Round Up board meeting was held at Peace River Electric Cooperative in Wauchula. The board learned the basics of the program, reviewed their job responsibilities and drew lots to set up the first staggered 3-year board terms.

Never one to shy away from responsibility, Bill served as the foundation’s treasurer from 2007 until his retirement. Respected by his peers for his leadership and keen insight, he served on ORU’s executive and scholarship committees for many years. Bill also helped put millions of dollars back into the local community.

“From Operation Round Up’s beginning in 2005, through 2021, Bill personally had a hand in granting over $2.4 million to help change lives in our service area,” shares Charlotte Heston, PRECO v.p. of corporate services. “Under his watch, funds were distributed to help build homes, support food ministries, sustain local youth in crisis, upgrade hospital services and much more.”

Bill is proud of the years he spent serving the community.

“I have in my long and greatly blessed life served on many boards, commissions and committees, but none that I have enjoyed more or felt a greater sense of service as I have on this one,” explains Bill. “But, all good things sooner or later must end; such is life. I am the last original member of this board, and at nearly 92 years old, I feel like it’s time to leave. I encourage the Operation Round Up board to continue its good work.”

“We wish Bill Hodge the very best in the future,” says Charlotte. “He leaves big boots (and a big hat) to fill. His influence will be greatly missed.”