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A Conversation with MWB Timothy S. Wheeland, Part 1

By January 4, 2022No Comments

During our recent Annual Communication, The Grand Lodge of Ohio welcomed our newest Grand Master, Most Worshipful Brother Timothy S. Wheeland. We had the great pleasure of interviewing him about his journey to Freemasonry and his plans for Ohio Freemasonry in the year ahead. Read on & get to know your new Grand Master!

Most Worshipful Brother Timothy S. Wheeland

1. MWB Wheeland, can you tell us a bit about how you first came to Freemasonry?

One day back in 2005, I was playing golf with my father-in-law (Clyde “Joe” Bourne). Joe and I were talking about different topics, having some adult beverages, and enjoying the great outdoors. While playing golf, Joe mentioned the Masons – and I asked “what is a Mason and how do you become one?”. Joe got a big smile on his face, his eyes lit up, and he took a deep breath. And so it started…

Joe called me a few days later and told me that he heard that there was going to be a Grand Master’s Class event coming up and that he would help get me into Lodge. He found a second line signer for the petition, and the next thing I knew, I was sitting in a packed auditorium with more than a thousand men at the April 2005 Grand Master’s Class event.

After I was raised at the event, I started going to Lodge – every single meeting. I enjoyed the men at my Lodge (University #631). They welcomed me, worked with me, and encouraged me to learn the Masonic way of life. An up-and-coming Master of the Lodge (WB Chris Combs) took me under his wing in my early days and worked with me on the proficiency exams, which I gave in their entirety at the Lodge.

I soon found myself working through the officer chairs, and in 2011 I was elected Master of the Lodge.

2. After many years of being a Mason, what does it feel like to become Grand Master?

It is just an incredible feeling. I never looked to be in a leadership position in the Lodge, District, or Grand Lodge. I just wanted to meet guys that had similar interests and beliefs. I have met men from all walks of life, and I truly enjoy talking with them and exchanging stories. I am blessed to have been guided to this position by the great men of this fraternity. It is because of them that I am here.

Now the hard work begins. We have so many projects and initiatives that need to be completed to help push this organization into the future. It is my goal to complete everything I said I was going to do – and then maybe a little more. But the primary goal of being a Grand Master is to make sure that you leave this organization in a better place than when you received it. I will do my best to make sure that happens.

3. What is something from your personal or professional life you will bring to the Grand Master position?

I have been in the corporate world for more than three decades. I have worn many hats over that timeframe, including Business Management, Membership Management, Project / Product Management, People Management, and Technology Innovation & Integration. A number of the projects and initiatives that we need to work on as an organization span many of these disciplines. I hope that my experience will help drive these initiatives to completion – and also help the leaders in this organization learn how to streamline our processes so that we can learn how to move more swiftly, quickly, and efficiently to achieve our goals and objectives. We must learn to move much more quickly than what we have done in the past.

4. This year, your focus for the Grand Lodge of Ohio is membership. Can you talk a bit more about what that means for current members?

Great question. Our great fraternity is a membership organization. Everything we do is actually about membership. I have a focus on implementing initiatives that drive new member acquisition, retention, and restoration. Our current members are a huge part of that.

Our current members are what will drive our growth. Each and every Mason in Ohio has a role to play in our fraternity. Our current members are responsible for (and are the biggest driving force behind) bringing in new members. New members don’t come from the top leadership in our organization; they come from grass-roots efforts by our members and their local Lodges.  We need our current members to find and bring these new members to our doors.

Our current members also control and drive the atmosphere of our local Lodges. They are the ones who will have the biggest impact on our new members. If new members find men in our Lodges that welcome them, shake their hand, and assist them in learning the Masonic way of life, then we have a much better chance at retaining those new members in the years to come.  When I talk to Lodge leaders, I always ask them: “What type of vibe do you think your Lodge gives off to our new members? Can it be improved?”

Each and every one of us has a role to play in our fraternity – I ask, what is your role?

Learn more about MWB Wheeland’s plans for the upcoming year in his message to Ohio Brethren.