Les Presmyk was elected to the Gilbert, Arizona Town Council in 1999 after serving on the Gilbert Planning Commission for four years. He served three terms as Vice-Mayor during 12 years on the Town Council. Mr. Presmyk has been an active member of the Gilbert community since 1990 and after leaving Town Council in 2011 he continues to serve on various boards and commission, including the Veterans’ Day committee and as chairman of the Parks and Recreation Board. He is active in mining and mineral education and has served as a mentor at the Pappas School for Homeless Children. Mr. Presmyk holds a BS degree in Mining Engineering from the University of Arizona.
Les has served as President of the Mineralogical Society of Arizona and chairman of the Flagg Mineral Foundation. He is active in TGMS, currently serving as Vice President, and has been the Competitive Show chairman for 32 years. Les is an active collector, and has a major collection of world-wide sphalerites and Arizona mineral specimens, many of which have been on display at the University of Arizona Museum. He started collecting at the age of 10 in 1962. He has written articles for Rocks and Minerals and the Mineralogical Record, along with co-authoring Collecting Arizona – State of Mines, Legacy of Minerals.
Les and Paula, his wife of 42 years, have exhibited at numerous shows, especially Tucson and Denver, winning the Desautels and Lidstrom trophies, AFMS national trophies at Denver and Ventura, along with the Hamel trophy. Les was instrumental in the Arizona exhibits for the 2008 American Mineral Treasures and the 2012 Arizona Centennial cases at the Tucson Show. He is a frequent lecturer and presenter at various clubs in Arizona, along with the Arizona, New Mexico and Dallas Symposiums, and other venues in Washington, Monday and Ohio. Les and Paula recently transported and exhibited over 650 specimens from their collection to Springfield, Massachusetts as the special exhibitors at the East Coast Gem & Minerals Show in August 2017.
Les recently retired as the Principle Engineer from Salt River Project. He continues to do specimen preparation, collection appraisals and as a dealer of minerals, fossils and gems through De Natura, the company he and Paula founded in 1977. Les is the recipient of the prestigious Carnegie Medal in 2017, recognizing his significant contributions to the mineral and earth sciences community.
Les has been a Board member since its inception.