Rotary Club Of Forest Grove Welcomes Three New Members

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New members Michael Cook (left), Cari Atzen (second from left) and Rus Peters (third from left) with club president Janet Peters (center) and recently inducted members Tim Orr, Evelyn Orr and Jonathan Skeele.

FOREST GROVE, Ore. (Sept. 8, 2022) – The Rotary Club of Forest Grove is proud to introduce its three newest members, Michael Cook, Cari Atzen and Rus Peters.

All three were inducted into the club during a special club potluck on Wednesday, Sept. 8.

Michael Cook is the co-founder and principal partner of Brookwood Auto Group in Forest Grove. He relocated the business to Forest Grove in 2019 after starting the business in Hillsboro. Prior to running his own business, Michael spent 23 years as a custom exhibit builder and has designed and produced corporate activations for the likes of Mircosoft, Leupold, Audi, Amazon and Gerber.

Michael’s local connections began in 2000 when he won a role in a play at Theatre in The Grove. Over the next three years he performed in multiple productions, including as George Gibbs in Our Town, Linus in You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown and Conrad Birdie in Bye Bye, Birdie. He also designed and built the set for TITG’s 2002 production of A Christmas Carol.

Michael’s aspiring musical theatre career came to a pause in 2004 with the birth of his son, Brendan. A 2022 graduate of Mountainside High School in Beaverton, Brendan is headed to Oregon State where he will be enrolled in the Honors College to study mechanical engineering. With his parenting now on pause, so to speak, maybe we will see him back on stage at TITG.

Cari Atzen is a partner with Michael Cook in the Brookwood Auto Group as Cari joined with her fiancé, Nate, to expand their motorcycle shop. Before getting into the motorcycle business, Cari worked for the Yamhill County Juvenile Department where she worked as a teacher, counselor, friend and mentor to detained youth. Working with at-risk youth is one of her greatest passions. Outside of her job with Yamhill Country, Cari ran multiple youth programs from a wood lot community service project to projects with the Oregon Youth Conservation Corps.

Raised in Newberg, Cari has a daughter, Sophia, who is a seventh grader in the Forest Grove School District. Her hobbies include traveling, backpacking, rafting vegetable gardening and embarrassing her daughter in public.

Rus Peters was born in McMinnville and later moved to Forest Grove, where he graduated from Forest Grove High School in 1972. He was a three-sport athlete, competing in football, basketball and baseball.

Rus moved to Alaska after graduating and worked for the federal government working to rehabilitate airstrip housing in small villages. He later returned to Oregon and worked as a house framer, a dump truck driver and owner and also helped build the Vista Ridge tunnels on Highway 26. In 2000, Rus went to work for the Oregon Department of Transportation managing the Manning maintenance yard in 2000. He retired from ODOT in April 2020.

Rus and his wife, Janet (our current club president), have been married for 37 years. Together they have four children and seven grandchildren. He played slow-pitch softball for many years and traveled around the country with the different teams he played with. He also enjoys hunting, fishing and traveling.

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