The 2023 Rancho Bernardo Hall of Fame inductees are Trudy Armstrong and Charlie Crew.
“The article below appeared in the 19 April, 2023 edition of the Rancho Bernardo News Journal and was written by Elizabeth Himchak.
Longtime community volunteers Trudy Armstrong and Charley Crew have been selected for induction into the Rancho Bernardo Hall of Fame.
“We are very excited about our new inductees becoming members,” said President Debbie Kurth.
They will become the organization’s 125th and 126th inductees since it was formed in 1974 to honor those whose volunteer work improved Rancho Bernardo’s development and enhanced its residents’ quality of life.
The ceremony will be held on Aug. 12 at Silvergate Rancho Bernardo for RB Hall of Fame members and invited guests.
Armstrong was selected by the members for her outstanding leadership in the RB Sunrise Rotary Club, chamber leadership (in both the RB Chamber and North San Diego Business Chamber), Soroptimists, RB High School Foundation and RB Business Association, Kurth said.
As for Crew, he was selected for his outstanding leadership in the Rotary Club of Rancho Bernardo, especially when coordinating relief efforts after the 2007 Witch Creek fire, Kurth said. He has also led Rotary efforts pertaining to students.
“I really am truly honored,” Armstrong said about her selection. “I’ve lived in the community, raised my family and made my living in RB. I felt I owed a great deal to the community, so to be recognized for doing so is icing on the cake. It is a marvelous community.”
Armstrong, a native of Springfield, Ohio, said it was her family — especially her father — who instilled in her the importance of volunteerism at a young age.
“My family taught me early on about giving back to my town,” she said, recalling how her father had her join him on Rotary service projects at a time when women were not allowed to join the international organization.
“(Volunteerism) was always part of my family’s life,” she said.
Armstrong came to Rancho Bernardo over 40 years ago and was instrumental in the formation of the Rancho Bernardo Chamber of Commerce, which later became part of the North San Diego Business Chamber. She served as board chair for both organizations and said she was especially proud of her RB Chamber efforts that created an art and wine festival and the RB Alive! Expo, an annual street fair held for over 30 years.
Armstrong was nominated by longtime RB resident Barbara Warden.
“As any good chair does, Trudy led each event and oversaw the work of the committees associated with the chamber during her tenure,” Warden wrote while mentioning events such as the RB Thanksgiving Luncheon (originally a chamber event) and the mentorship/chaperone program Armstrong started for Miss RB titleholders when supporting chamber events. The chamber started the pageant.
Warden also mentioned Armstrong’s leadership in the RB Chamber’s silver anniversary celebration, term as RB Honorary Mayor (1998-99), efforts to increase resident involvement in philanthropic causes through Rotary and effort to bring transitional housing for battered women to the area.
“When the RB Chamber, which changed its name to be inclusive of communities surrounding RB in order to save the chamber, Trudy helped to hire the current CEO Debra Rosen,” Warden wrote. “Trudy and Debra, during Trudy’s time as the chair, together, created the Women’s Week even which ultimately pulled the chamber from financial difficulties. This event brought the chamber in the black.”
Crew was nominated by RB Hall of Fame member and fellow Rotarian Michael Fuqua, who mentioned Crew’s leadership in the Rotary Club of Rancho Bernardo, including as its 2007-08 president.
“2007 was the year of the Witch Creek fire ... It was a disaster of unprecedented proportions in this area,” Fuqua wrote. “Leading a service club during this disaster was a significant leadership challenge. Charley organized several responses from the club to provide relief and assistance to the local population.”
Fuqua also mentioned Crew’s efforts to create scholarships with a local P.E.O. chapter to provide five scholarships to female students who lost their homes, books and other items. He also listed Crew’s leadership from 2011-12 on the RB Rotary Foundation in presenting Rotary grants and supporting youth projects.
“His year of presidency came at a time when the club was growing, and his leadership ability led to the foundation awarding almost $80,000 towards community organizations and Rotary youth programs,” Fuqua wrote, later adding, “It could be said that the year he was president brought the foundation into its own and it has grown and thrived ever since.”
“I was surprised and honored,” Crew said of his selection. “I totally didn’t expect that.”
Crew said he learned more about the RB Hall of Fame after attending last year’s ceremony to support fellow Rotarians Michael Fuqua and Jim Hyldahl for their induction.
“I did not have a strong knowledge of the RB Hall of Fame and what it meant before that,” Crew said. “I am proud to now be connected to it that way. It seems so many qualified people are in it that it feels like I don’t deserve it.”
Crew said he has been a Rotarian for 21 years. His father was a Rotarian in Colorado, where Crew grew up, and learned about the service work it does during his formative years.
“It’s motto is ‘Service above self’ and I’ve always liked doing service work,” Crew said. “I also liked its social piece.”
How Rotarians help one another and their greater community was emphasized to him during the 2007 fire when clubs from all over contacted him to see how they could help Rancho Bernardo. Some sent clothes, others sent water and money.
Crew, 75, and his wife, Barb, have lived in 18 different locations and called this area home twice. His work with what is now Caterpillar Inc. had him working in Rancho Bernardo as the Western regional manager of its lift trucks division, so they lived in Poway from 1992-1996. They moved back in 2000, this time to a home in Rancho Bernardo where they still live. He retired several years later as a vice president with Hawthorn Machinery Company.
Trudy Armstrong Award
Charlie Crew Award
All prior Hall of Fame Members attending the 2023 Gala