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The Mason of the Year Awards are sponsored each year by the Valley of Santa Rosa Scottish Rite. This prestigious award is given to one Master Mason who has demonstrated outstanding service for his local Masonic Lodge. Recipients are chosen by the worshipful Masters from each of the 30 local "Blue Lodges" within the Redwood Empire located north of the Golden Gate. The Award is presented at a formal black-tie banquet and award ceremony held at the Santa Rosa Scottish Rite Masonic Center in late August or early September.

The most recent recipients of this award from Temple Lodge No. 14 appear below:

Ian Kruljac with California Grand Master Larry L. Adamson
Ian Kruljac with California Grand Master Larry L. Adamson

2009 Mason of the Year
Ian Kruljac

Ian Kruljac is currently the Junior Deacon of Temple Lodge No. 14. He also wears many hats and often goes above and beyond what is expected of a brother of our Lodge. Ian is often the very first to volunteer to get an important task accomplished. One shinning example of this is when he volunteered to lead and oversee a recent Veterans Day Observance in which a historic flagpole and a bronze marker were dedicated at the Sonoma Masonic Lodge honoring the memory of the late 5-Star General and Freemason Henry Hap Arnold.

A native of Sonoma, Ian graduated from Sonoma Valley High School. Following high school, he attended Texas A&M University at College Station where he earned a Degree in International Agricultural Economics and Marketing. Today, Ian is a highly respected Senior Construction Engineer with Brown and Caldwell. In this capacity, he oversees complex environmental engineering projects in both the San Francisco Bay Area and across the nation.

A family man who contributes to charitable causes on a regular basis, his other non-profit affiliations include the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller - an order of Chivalry that dates back to the Crusades.  He is also a 32-degree Scottish Rite Mason and is active in the Valley of Santa Rosa.

Ian's many outstanding accomplishments have distinguished him above and beyond the vast majority of his peers and he enjoys the special trust and confidence of those he comes into contact with both socially and professionally. Without question, he is totally dedication to the great principles of brotherly love, relief and truth. His outward expression of these through fellowship, compassion and a concern to find ways in which to better serve God, his family, his country and his neighbors - has earned him the title of Mason of the Year for 2009!

Robert Leonard
Robert Leonard

2008 Mason of the Year
Robert Leonard

Bob Leonard has been an officer of Temple Lodge No. 14 for the past five years. Beginning in 2009, he is the Assistant Secretary of the lodge. He is also the creator and Web Master of this Web site. His Masonic journey began early when he became a member of the Order of DeMolay prior to graduating from high school. Today, he is also a 32-degree Scottish Rite Mason and a member of the Shrine. Bob was born in Cincinnati, Ohio but grew up in the small town of Milford just outside of this city.  He was named after his maternal great grandfather who was a Master Mason, a 32-degree Scottish Rite Mason and a member of the Knights Templar Order of the York Rite. Bob's maternal grandmother (a proud member of the Order of the Eastern Star) helped raise him. Prior to her death at the age of 101, he promised her that he would become a Master Mason.  Therefore, he delivered on his promise. Bob is a former Vice President with the J. Walter Thompson Company - one of the largest and most respected advertising agencies in the world. He spent 25 years as an advertising/marketing executive during which he was responsible for developing successful marketing strategies for a wide variety of diverse products ranging from Burger King Whoppers to Gulfstream V luxury business jets.  Today, Bob runs a luxury residential real estate business with his wife Kathy in Sonoma. He is also a Chair for Vistage International - the World's leading CEO Membership Organization. Bob's education includes a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Morehead State University and a Master of Arts Degree from Pepperdine University. Prior to his business career, Bob served in the armed forces as a U.S. Marine Corps infantry officer during which he achieved the rank of Captain. Along with Freemasonry, Bob's non-profit charity and community service affiliations include the Sonoma Valley Rotary Club and the Sovereign Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights Hospitaller. For the last several years he has also been the Chairman of the two preeminent veterans events in the Sonoma Valley: the "Wine Country Marine Corps Birthday Ball" and the "Sonoma Valley Joint Memorial Day Observance."    

Jason Bryant

2007 Mason of the Year
Jason Bryant

Jason Bryant is the 2007 Senior Warden of Temple Lodge No. 14. He was born in San Francisco, but grew up near Atlanta, GA. He is the only child of his parents and was raised with the principles of love and respect for self and others. He has devoted his life to the betterment of his fellow creatures and through his study of humanity and nature, has been a friend and mentor to many whose lives he has contacted. He returned to California after earning a BA degree in Music from Georgia Southwestern State University, where he was a member of Kappa Kappa Psi, Honorary Band Fraternity, having served as an officer of the organization before graduating from the university. Jason has exemplified all of those characteristics we seek in a committed Mason, a brother and a friend.  He has worked tirelessly to advance the craft and has steeped himself in the ritual and degree work by not only memorizing the work required of his station, but also the work of everyone else as well, making him an indispensable part of our degree work and ritual in the lodge. When we talk about finding Masons that canbest work and best agree’, you’ll find no better candidate than Jason Bryant. Jason, from the moment he was raised, has contributed to a serious debate and practice of Masonic principals and he never misses an opportunity to encourage his fellow Masons to do likewise. He is also a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason and is looking forward to his term as Master of Temple Lodge No.14 for the 2008 Masonic Year.

Karl L. Hipkiss, Past Master

2006 Mason of the Year
Karl L. Hipkiss, PM

A proud son, brother and father of Master Masons, Karl Hipkiss is a Past Master of Temple Lodge No. 14. He grew up in Sonoma and graduated from Sonoma Valley High School in 1962. He is both an Eagle Scout and a Past Master Councilor, Order of DeMolay (Sonoma Chapter). After receiving his BA Degree from Sonoma State University, Brother Karl was a Science teacher for 34 years in the Sonoma Valley Unified School District. He was raised as a Master Mason in Temple Lodge in 1990 and was elected Master of the Lodge three times in 1995, 1998 and 2005. During his first term as Master he provided the leadership required for the Lodge to relocate to its present quarters. He is an excellent ritualist who participates in many of the Degrees. He is also a 32 Degree Scottish Rite Mason and a Shriner. We are very lucky to have the Hipkiss family as members of our Lodge – especially Brother Karl.