Roger Settlemire - 2016

Roger was born in Los Angeles during the Great Depression. He served in the U.S. Air Force between 1951 and 1955, where he was assigned to the Intelligence section with a “Top Secret” security clearance. Following military service, he earned a bachelor degree in geography at UCLA and a law degree from the University Of California School Of Law in Los Angeles. He was admitted to the State Bar of California in January 1961, then practiced law in Chico and Chester, California, from 1961 to 1983. During this period he was elected Judge for the Almanor Justice Court in Plumas County, California, in 1976 and Judge of the consolidated Plumas Justice Court in 1983. After six years with the Justice Court, he was elected Judge of the Superior Court of California for Plumas County in 1989, where he served until 1999.

Throughout the years Roger has been a major supporter of his community with special emphasis on Feather River College, the Plumas District Hospital and the arts in Plumas County. He was also a member of the Chester Lions Club for over 30 years. His love of the fine arts and performing arts will find him at art gallery openings and live stage and musical performances.

After a 38-year career in the law, Roger’s retirement allowed him to pursue his interest in genealogy. He has made several trips to Scotland and Ireland, tracing his Scottish ancestors (clans Campbell and Marr) from Scotland to Ireland and on to the frontiers of North America in the 1700s. He was instrumental in developing the Sierra Plumas Chapter of the Nevada Society of Scottish Clans and for several years staffed the Society’s booth at the Plumas County Fair with the assistance of Beverly Donato and several other volunteers. Additionally, Roger helped host the Society’s open houses for members of that community, and has hosted and made arrangements for the Society to participate in the Graeagle Independence Day celebration.

Roger has two sons, Craig of Lake Almanor, California, and Robert of Carson City, Nevada, and a daughter Cathy Michaels of Ft. Collins, Colorado, all of whom share his joy of his Scottish heritage.


Dean McKay - 2015

The recipient of the Society’s 2015 Silver Thistle Award is a businessman with more than 40 years of experience leading and managing technology companies. He has been a systems engineer, business executive, college professor, entrepreneur, management guru and author. He started designing complex engineering systems early in his career which led him to NASA in the 1960s where he worked on the Saturn rocket and the Apollo project to send an astronaut to the moon. He began his career in Texas, but the Tahoe/Truckee Meadows area has been his home since 1989, and he is now deeply entrenched in the regional business community. Currently, he is the CEO of Cirrus Systems, a Sparks company that provides software and hardware services to improve business operations. For example, the company recently developed a real-time traffic control system that manages the movement of heavy load trucks in and out of open pit mines – this has resulted in reduced costs and improved safety. During his long career, he has founded and incubated more than a dozen high-tech start-up ventures and served on several Boards. Currently he brings his experience to: • the Board of Directors of Haws Corps., a 107-year-old
family-owned Nevada company whose founder invented the modern drinking fountain;
• the Board of Advisors for the Department of Computer Sciences at UNR; and
• the Board of Visitors for the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University. He has even found time to volunteer for the Environmental Center at UC Davis, and co-found J V K Cellars, a niche winery. He and his wife have a blended family of five children, their spouses, and 12 grandchildren. He loves his mountain home in Tahoe City where he hikes, skis, and snowshoes. He recycles wood of all kinds into varying pieces of furniture including a cold frame he designed and built, which allows him to grow tomatoes 9 months of the year, which is an amazing achievement for our climate. He is also a proud Board member of the Truckee Tahoe Fly Fishers.


Dr. Bruce Douglas - 2014

Dr. Bruce Douglas of Clan Douglas was honored at the 33rd Annual Nevada Society of Scottish Clans Robert Burns Celebration on Saturday, January 25, as the 2014 recipient of the Silver Thistle “Scot of the Year” Award.  The presentation was made by Chief, Lowell Patton, and Silver Thistle Committee Chair, Douglas McAlpine. 

Dr. Douglas is a third great grandson of John Douglas who emigrated from Scotland to Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1815 and was a pioneer founder of Caledonia, Nova Scotia in 1817.  He has been a Reno resident since 1964, where he and his wife Mary raised their family.

Dr. Douglas is retired from UNR where he served as Professor of Civil Engineering, Chairman of the Department of Civil Engineering, and Director of the Center for Civil Engineering Earthquake Research at the University of Nevada.   It was under his leadership that the Center developed a nationally recognized earthquake simulation laboratory with a focus on improving the earthquake resistance of bridge structures.  It was the first laboratory of its kind.  The RGJ recently reported it as “one of the world’s most well-regarded seismic labs.  The Center for Civil Engineering Earthquake Research recently underwent an expansion, making it the largest lab in the US providing information on quake effects on buildings and bridges.”  

Dr. Douglas, in the early years of the Sierra Highlanders Pipe Band, was one of their pipers.  And in his retirement years created the “Single Malt Scotch Tasters of Reno” with his son-in-law Paul Lenz.


Jackie L. Frady - 2013

Jackie L. Frady was honored at the 32nd Annual Nevada Society of Scottish Clans Robert Burns Celebration on Saturday, January 26, as the 2013 recipient of the Silver Thistle “Scot of the Year” Award. The presentation was made by Chief, Chester Buchanan, and Silver Thistle Committee Chair, Douglas McAlpine.

Jackie is President and Executive Director of the National Automobile Museum, The Harrah Collection, which was recently named “One of America’s Five Greatest Automobile Museums.” During her tenure as Executive Director since 1992 she was able to raise awareness of the museum that culminated in the retirement of a huge construction debt. She is a proud northern Nevada resident who has enriched the lives of many through her activities at the museum. Her 30-year career in the collector car arena was celebrated in 2011 by Reno Magazine in a cover story, “Driven to Success” and in a “Captains of Industry” feature by the Reno Gazette-Journal. In 2012, Jackie was featured on KTVN in “Someone 2 Know,” which recapped her career and influence as a leader and professional, and as a woman who helped pave the way for other ladies in an industry once driven by men.

She is editor and author of two books published by the museum, including Against All Odds about the 1908 New York to Paris Auto Race, and the museum’s award-winning magazine, Precious Metal. Jackie has served as president of an impressive list of organizations important to automobile culture and history, and currently serves as President of the National Association of Automobile Museums. For the past 17 years, she has served as an Honorary Judge at the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, among the “Who’s Who” of the world-wide automotive industry, and one of only a couple of women to serve in this capacity. Jackie is also President of the Washoe Zephyrs Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association, and has been named “Businesswoman of the Year” in 1989, 1993, and again in 2012.

Committed to education, under Jackie’s leadership the museum has produced a series of History Symposiums since 1996 which have all been funded by grants from Nevada Humanities and approved by the Nevada Department of Education for teachers to receive in-service credit. Student programming has been a significant facet of the museum, ranging from student field trips teaching about the automobile’s important place in American history to safe “Trick or Treat” programs. Additionally, she has been a technical advisor to the Comstock Fire Museum in Virginia City, the Off-Road Motor Sports Hall of Fame, and other organizations.

"Uncle" Mike McElfish - 2012

Mike McElfish, a resident of Carson City, formed Save a Soldier's Life in 2007 after learning of the death of his nephew CWO Joshua Robert Rodgers who was killed when his Chinook helicopter was shot down over Afghanistan on May 30, 2007, killing all seven on board. Joshua's death hit “Uncle Mike”, (as he has come to be called by family and friends), especially hard because as he learned the details of the horrific incident it became clear to him that the soldiers on board the Chinook could not return fire for fear of giving away their exact position by the flashes from the muzzles of their weapons. He came to the realization that he, as a machinist, could do something to help see that our military could fire without the telltale muzzle flash if they were equipped with flash suppressors for their rifles.

Uncle Mike found Smith Enterprises a company that manufactures the Vortex Flash Suppressor and entered into an agreement with them that he would machine the blanks for the suppressors and ship them to Smith for the proprietary or patented part of the manufacturing process. In return Smith would give Uncle Mike the suppressors at a greatly reduced price. Uncle Mike would then offer them at no cost to combat units in war zones.

Uncle Mike and his wife Susan are also responsible for a weekly event that takes place in Carson City. Called simply the Red Shirt Walk it is a group of people, with the core made up of the family of CWO Joshua Rodgers, who walk two miles through downtown Carson City every Friday evening wearing red shirts and carrying flags. The group walks not only to honor Joshua, but also to show support for troops currently serving and recognize veterans. The walk was started in July of 2007 and has taken place rain or shine every Friday evening (Saturday afternoon in winter) with very few exceptions ever since. The walk is often joined by the families of other fallen soldiers. It has been my pleasure and honor to join the Red Shirts on many of the walks and their spirit is always an inspiration.

Mike's devotion to the safety of our military serving in combat zones and his heartfelt support of those who currently serve and have served in the past and especially to those who have given their lives in defense of our Country makes him a prime candidate to receive the Society's Scot of the Year Award.

John Alexander - 2011

The 2011 recipient of Nevada Society of Scottish Clans’ Silver Thistle Award as Scot of the Year is John Alexander of Dayton, Nevada.

The Director of the Healthy Communities Coalition of Lyon and Storey Counties best summarized the merit of Alexander as “one of the most action orientated humanitarians” she had ever met.  This is a person whose name we are proud to add to the list of other fine recipients who have been honored with this award in the past.

John was born in Gooding, Idaho on Robert Burns’ birthday and has traced his Scottish heritage on both sides of his family to clans Turnbull and Alexander.  After 24 years in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, he retired in 1983 as a Physician’s Assistant.  Soon after settling in Nevada, he spearheaded a humanitarian effort for the residents of the Dayton/Silver Springs area to replace an old medical care mobile home with a substantial new building.

His favorite community activity is mentoring boys in Troop 100 of the Boy Scouts of America in Dayton.  He is always pleased to see how boys in just a few years after joining the troop grow both physically and mentally into confident young men – young men with a sense of community responsibility and leadership.  This is not an easy task because several boys have lived in challenging homes – often with no strong male role model.

When he discovered that many families in Lyon County were going without heat, he single-handedly organized a set of volunteers for a nearly winter long mission to cut firewood for these families.  His efforts heated the homes of 30 families, mainly of who were elderly or disabled.  As Christy McGill wrote in her nomination letter, “No tax dollars were used, just . . . determination.  He did not let potentially nasty issues like liability, broken saws, and sore backs stop his mission.”  She further wrote that, “We will always remain in awe of John’s determination and common sense.  He is an amazing role model to our community and evidence that when hard work and honor come together, solutions can be found.

Chip MacLeod - 2010

Chip is the recipient of the Nevada Society of Scottish Clans “Silver Thistle” award as “Scot of the Year” for 2010. He had the distinction of being nominated by several people to be the recipient of the award. Through his leadership role with several Celtic organizations and events in northern Nevada, Chip has been a driving force during the last decade to enlighten the public of all things Celtic. With good cheer and infectious enthusiasm, he has freely given his time and energy to the success of these organizations and events. During this time, he has served as:

1) President of Reno Celtic Celebration (largest outdoor Celtic event in northern Nevada) for the past five years;

2) Commander of the local post of the Scottish American Military Society for several years;

3) Chieftain, Treasurer, or Director on the Nevada Society of Scottish Clans Board of Directors for at least the last 10 years;

4) Treasurer of the Sons and Daughters of Erin

5) Chair of the Nevada Society of Scottish Clans Robert Burns Celebration on two occasions, as well as the master of ceremonies for many years;

6) Initiator of Tartan Day celebration in northern Nevada with the Scottish American Military Society and Foley’s Irish Pub, as well as lead organizer of the celebration since its conception; and

7) Raffle Chair for the Sons and Daughters of Erin’s St. Patrick’s Day dinner, and master of ceremonies of the event for two years.


Through his leadership with these organizations and events, he has been instrumental in giving thousands of people living in northern Nevada numerous opportunities to experience Celtic culture. These opportunities were not only available for people of Celtic decent, but were opportunities for the entire community. Such exposure has helped to keep the Celtic culture alive in northern Nevada and has enriched the lives of its people.

Charles MacLeod, a great representative of our Celtic community.

Don Lindsay - 2009

Don Lindsay was born in Camp White, Oregon; the fourth generation of Lindsay's born within 30 miles of the family's original homestead on the Applegate River in southern Oregon. He and Pat have been married since 1960 and have two sons who have given them nine grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

After finishing a six year enlistment in the Navy Reserves, Don moved his family to the San Francisco Bay Area and started a 40 year long career in the grocery business. In the late 70's the family moved back to southern Oregon, but because of Pat's health concerns decided they needed a drier climate and found their way to Carson City in 1984 where they have lived happily ever since.

Since retiring in 2006 Don and Pat have devoted their time to supporting the U. S. Military through Soldiers' Angels, writing an estimated 6,000 cards and letters, and sending an uncounted number of care packages to service members deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. He and Pat recently returned from Las Vegas this spring where they processed over 600 Nevada National Guard soldiers for adoption by Soldiers' Angels, also putting together and distributing goodie bags for all. Additionally, they lend support to military familymembers at times of bereavement and are ever-present when men and women of the military are either sent off or return from combat areas.

Hugh Lantz - 2008

Hugh Lantz was born in San Diego, CA. His family migrated to the US and settled here, from Canada. He and his bride of 50 plus years, Pat, were married in San Diego. They have 2 children, an adopted son and 3 foster daughters, 10 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren.

After 12 ½ years with the San Diego Fire Department, Hugh with his fire experience and love of flying went to work for the U.S. Forest Service as a heli-tack foreman, doing firefighting, mountain rescue and training crews for forest fires. An airliner disappeared in the Sierra that year. After a helicopter crashed on the first day Hugh was put in charge of all air operations at the crash site. The recovery operation took 10 days and had to be done by helicopters and a sky-crane. He received a National Transportation Safety Board Commendation for his work at the crash site at 12,000 ft. altitude. 

Next Hugh became a Policeman for the City of Bishop, later transferring to the Mono County Sheriff's Dept. as a Deputy Sheriff-Deputy Coroner where he served as President of the Sheriff's Officers Assoc. for 2 years. After 23 ½ years of sirens and guns, of being burned, shot, and stabbed, Hugh had a heart attack and retired to Nevada where he received training to be a polygraph examiner. In 1992 he was elected a Life Member by the American Polygraph Association. He is one of only 26 people to be so honored in over 60 years.

Hugh is an active member of the northern Nevada community and has been particularly active in areas that demonstrate his love of his Celtic heritage – both Scottish and Irish - having served in the past as Chief of Nevada Society of Scottish Clans and as President of Sons and Daughters of Erin. He has developed a sense of pride in heritage in his family. Hugh has also been highly involved in community activities through his church and through the Lions Club.

Through the Lions Club he has made numerous trips to Mexico where he, along with his beloved Pat, distributes eye glasses to people in impoverished areas. They also volunteer at a camp near the Ruby Mountains for needy children. Throughout the years he has opened his home to foreign students and has sponsored foster children. With a twinkle in his eye, he has been ever present at Celtic events making one and all feel welcome and leaving them with the feeling that each one of them is the most important person in the world to him. 

William F. McConnell - 2007

William McConnell, a proud Scot, is well-known to many of Nevada Society of Scottish Clans as a long-time member, having served as its Chieftain in 1990 with Chief Clyde Johnson. He is a familiar face about Reno having spent many years working with the Nevada Opera Association and the Nevada Festival Ballet at the Pioneer Theater. He resides in the Hidden Valley community with his wife Louise.

Bill had an impressive military history having retired from the Air Force at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. In retirement bill has been a researcher, lecturer, and writer of early military history of Nevada. His love of military history led him to research some of the early military posts of Nevada, including the Civil War Camp Nye whose exact location had been lost. It was through his research and his article on Nevada’s Lost Military Past that state officials were able to validate the actual site and erected State Historical Marker 235 on October 11, 1981.

A lifelong Civil War enthusiast, Bill used his 30-year experience as a military intelligence officer to bring to life the exploits of Civil War hero and general, Jesse Lee Reno. The book “Remember Reno” was cited as an inspiration for the erection of a statue of General Reno now standing in Powning Park that was dedicated on Memorial Day in 2006. Bill has donated copies of the book to local school libraries.

On Wednesday, July 12, 2006, Bill and Louise McConnell, were called before the Mayor and Reno City Council-to-be presented with a Certificate of Adoption into the Reno/Reneau family as a result of “their dedication, devotion and contributions to the history of our illustrious kinsman, General Jesse Lee Reno.” The certificate was presented by the Reno City Council on behalf of the Reno/Reneau National Family Reunion.

Jim Galloway - 2006

Jim Galloway, Member of the Washoe County Commission, has service on a long list of other local government entities: Debt Management Commission, Tahoe Conservation District, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, Washoe School District Facilities Oversight Board, Criminal Justice Advisory Committee, and the County Senior Citizen Board. Galloway is an engineer with Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctor’s degrees in several fields of Physics. 

This proud Scotsman, affiliated with Clan McFarlane, is known for his dedication to the service of the people, and frequently called the commissioner for the little guy. He has served on the Commission since January, 1997.

Dr. John W. Whitney - 2005

Dr. John W. Whitney is a high-achieving inventor, and founder, Chairman and CEO of the worldwide firm, Itronics. The project that resulted in his choice for the Silver Thistle, is an exotic process that removes silver from the discharge of local waste treatment. It removes virtually all toxic heavy metals, including silver, from photochemicals and converts the residue into environmentally beneficial fertilizers. Whitney’s Scots ancestry is Kellogg-MacDonald.

Carrie Porter - 2004

Carrie Porter, statewide leader in women’s interests, was also chosen from the ranks of NSSC members. A former chief of the Society, she is president of the Nevada Women’s History Project, and worked tirelessly in support of the project to place a statue of Sarah Winnemucca in the U.S. Capitol. She developed the Jean Ford Research Center, and is curator of the Special Manuscripts Collection in the UNR Library. Her clan is MacFarlane.

Ronald James - 2003

Ronald James, Nevada State Historic Preservation Officer, Author and Artist. He was the first member of the NSSC to be chosen. Ron James is responsible for making pioneer history available to all Nevadans, young and old. Besides overseeing the physical treasures of the state, Ron has written books on the people who built the human infrastructure – the miners, financiers, teachers, gamblers, prostitutes, writers and assorted characters. In his “spare” time Ron volunteers with programs for Scottish events, and plays the bagpipes with the Sierra Highlanders pipe band. Clans Morrison and Galloway.

Dr. James W. Forsythe - 2002

Dr. James W. Forsythe, is a physician in private practice, and a former U.S. Army medical officer. He was the first to identify the Fallon leukemia cluster. He founded the oncology units in all the hospitals in Washoe County. Dr. Forsythe has published numerous articles in the field. He retired from the U.S. Army Medical Corps as a Full Colonel with a Commendation Medal for his work. Of course, he belongs to Clan Forsythe.

Dr. Steven MacFarlane - 2001

Dr. Stephen C. McFarlane is the Chairman of the Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology at the University of Nevada, Reno. He served as interim President of the UNR Medical School, and as University President while replacements were recruited. He has written extensively in the field and his books have been translated into many languages for use as textbooks around the world. He and his son, Paul, conduct tours of Scotland and other parts of the United Kingdom. He affiliates with Clan McFarlane.