Name: Jim Bates
Originally from: What Cheer, Iowa; moved to Urbandale in 1981 as the last of 5 work-related moves.
Occupation: Spent 6 ½ years in the late 70s and early 80s repairing mini-computers for Data General Corporation (long since defunct), and 27 years as IT Director for ITAGroup in West Des Moines. I’ve been retired for over 5 years.
Joined K of C: January 13, 2013.
Degree: 4th. 2nd/3rd Degree on April 21, 2013. 4th Degree on April 26, 2013.
Offices held in the Order: Deputy Grand Knight, Council 9574. Commander, Assembly 3378. Knights for Life Program Chairman
Hobbies and interests: Auto racing (watching, not driving), Iowa Hawkeyes, Chicago Cubs, faith growth endeavors such as; weekly bible study, Men of Boniface, Christ Renews His Parish, Man-Up Des Moines, the Iowa Catholic Men’s Conference (Des Moines). InnerVisions HealthCare (West Des Moines) board member. Hauling food for the Waukee Area Food Pantry. Chairing (with my wife) my parish’s annual Fall Dinner.
What comes to mind when I think of the K of C? Men willing to share their gifts with their Brothers, fellow parishioners, and their community through action.
K of C projects involved in: A wide variety of council/assembly service and fundraising projects, Honor Guards, 2014 State Convention Raffle Chair, 2016 State Convention Co-Chair, Iowa State Council’s Culture of Life Committee.
Why Am I a Knight?
By Jim Bates
Because someone asked. I know that sounds like a wisecrack, but it’s the simple truth. Prior to that, I had never considered it. This man caught me at the right time. A time when I was looking for a way to share “my gifts”. I started my story this way because we may not know where a man is in their life/faith journey. It’s important we ask him to join us. He might just say, “yes”.
Since joining, I’ve become immersed in lots of Council, Assembly, parish and community activities that all give me a chance to give back. Joining is one of the most beneficial decisions I’ve made in recent memory. I’ve established strong friendships with Brother Knights locally and across the state. Little more than 3 years ago I knew none of these men. Now, I can’t imagine my life without them. They inspire me to be a better Catholic, husband, father, grandfather and member of my community. I tell new and potential Knights that the more you give the Order, the more you receive.
As a member of St. Boniface in Waukee, I have the opportunity to work with an excellent parish staff and parish community. We have lots of enthusiastic people in our parish. It’s easy to be motivated by them. My wife and I joined this parish in January 2012. It felt like home the first time we walked into the church.
I expect to be elected Grand Knight in June (2016). Council 9574 serves two parishes, St. John’s in Adel and St. Boniface in Waukee. Council members voted in April (2016) to split into two councils. Council 9574 will serve St. John’s in Adel and (reinstated) Council 4009 will serve St. Boniface. My term as Grand Knight will be with Council 4009.
My technology career causes me to examine ways my council can leverage technology to provide greater engagement of its 200+ members. Most of our members don’t attend the monthly business meetings, but that doesn’t mean they’re not wanting to stay abreast of council activities and concerns. That’s where we may find a way for technology to help bridge this gap. We have a council website and use email as our primary communication mechanism, but I’m also looking into using newsletters, Facebook, Twitter, and any other tool that might be effective.
In closing, I have to add that I’m a Knight because I want to have a positive impact on the world around me. I can’t think of a better way to do that than by being a Knight of Columbus. Thank you, Tom, for asking me to join.