Class of 1958
Gary M. Vanek
Member of Michigan House of Representatives
President and CEO of MEIA Insurance Agency
Judson Center Board of Trustees for 25 Years
Inducted into Royal Oak High School Hall of Fame, 2014
Gary Vanek is a life long resident of Royal Oak who had a unique high school experience. He began his high school career at Royal Oak High School, but became a student at Kimball when the building opened it doors for the first time. In high school Gary worked in the print shop, served as President of the Conservation Club and was one of the first co-captains of the Knight’s football team. Because he had lettered at Royal Oak High as a sophomore, Gary has the distinction of earning a varsity letter in football from each high school. Not only did Gary open Kimball High School, but he helped to closed it too. Gary Vanek delivered the commencement address to the last class to graduate from Kimball.
Gary earned college degrees from Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan Universities. In Royal Oak he taught graphic arts for 17 years, and served as a leder of the Royal Oak Education Association. In 1978 the voters in Royal Oak elected Gary to represent them in the Michigan House of Representatives. After three terms, he served five years on the State Liquor Commission.
Gary Vanek holds an insurance license and for nearly ten years he served as president and CEO of MEIA Insurance agency. Since turning to the private sector, Gary has demonstrated tremendous entrepreneurial skills in a wide variety of endeavors.
But, it is not just his business skills or his public service that makes Gary worthy of membership in our hall of fame. It is his service to the community. Gary and his wife Sandie have given countless hours of time and significant financial support to many church, school, and community activities.
Gary coached little league football and served on the Raven High School Hockey Team’s Board of Directors. He is currently a board member of the Royal Oak Foundation for Public Education. He dedicated many years of service to the Royal Oak Boys’ and Girls’ Club, and served 25 years on the board of directors for the Judson Center. In recognition for his efforts, each organization has made him a Lifetime Trustee and the Michigan Federation of Children and Family Services chose Gary Vanek as Board Member of the Year. The Detroit Free Press recognized Gary as its Volunteer of the Week.