Ann Arbor Rotary Harpoon


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Harpoon for the Week of October 18, 2017

Wednesday's Luncheon Meeting will be in the
Michigan Union's Anderson Room

Welcome our New Members
World Polio Day and Veterans Events Coming Soon
Our Rosies Reclaim the Record!

Dr. Ravi Vadlamudi, Packard Health
Packard Health is a community health center, promoting access to health and wellness for families in Washtenaw County.   They provide high-quality, affordable primary care and mental health care, complemented by a broad range of fully integrated support service.  Dr. Ravi, as he is known to his patients, is a physician and member of the Packard Health staff.  His background includes providing primary care in Nepal, medical support for Hurricane Katrina victims and now in Washtenaw County brings care to our community which is unique and compassionate.  Dr. Ravi will bring us up to date on the changes at Packard Health since becoming a Federally Qualified Health Center in 2016.  Packard Health is now delivering care to the homeless at Delonis and other housing settings.  He is a primary care physician involved in caring for the homeless, as well as patients who come to the office.  Dr. Ravi received his Master of Public Health from Tulane University and his MD for Michigan State College of Human Medicine.

Song Leader:  Downs Herold
Accompanist:  Joan Knoertzer
Inspirational Speaker: Sue Beutler

Greeters:  Dallas Dort, Laura Thomas

Attendance:  Mel Drumm, Mike Dubin


Upcoming Meetings and Events

  • Oct 20 (Fri): Rotarians at Glacier Hill 10:00 am
  • Oct 24 (Tues): World Polio Day
  • Nov 3 (Fri): DOGS. Operation Bunk Bed.  Phil Weiss.
  • Nov 7 (Tues): Veterans Job Fair - WCC. Don Deatrick. See article below
  • Nov 8 (Wed), Hill Auditorum, VIP event 5:30 pm, performance 7 pm: Stories of Service. Come and help Rotarians celebrate our veterans.
  • Nov. 14 (Tues): Rotary Foundation Gala in Troy
  • Nov 29: Social Committee, Susan Smith Gray

  • Dec. 3 (Sun), 1:30 p.m. - Distinguished Service Award.  Holocaust Memorial Center, Farmington Hills - Collyer Smith

  • May 3-6, 2018 (Thurs-Sat): District Conference at Eagle Crest
  • June 23-27, 2018 (Sun-Wed): Rotary International Convention in Toronto

If you would like  your meeting to appear here, email
Details on monthly meetings may be found on the club's website.


Notes of Interest


We're excited to introduce our October 2017 New Member Class


From L to R: Ken Arbogast-Wilson, Greg Dill, Larry Eiler, Kat Forsythe, John Huber






From L to R: Richard Ingram, Alan Jesiel, Marcia Lane, Dan Lewan, Ashley Plichta





Christine Stead





Coming soon (upon introduction to the club): Christie Bacon, Matthew Bowden, Joe Diederich, Wendy Pestrue.

Please welcome all our new members and stay tuned to the Harpoon for more information on our new members.

World Polio Day is on October 24
World Polio Day is going to be bigger than ever, and Rotary wants you to be a part of it.  Help Rotary and the global community make polio eradication a trending topic around the world.  We’ve made a lot of progress fighting polio over the years, but we still have a lot more work to do to eradicate it for good.  We need your help to make that happen.  Click here for more information.

Mark Your Calendars now: No Rotary on Dec. 27 or Jan 3:

Once again, we are taking off two Wednesdays over the holiday season. Normally, they are the one before and after Christmas Day. This year, however, the Pioneer Choir will treat us to a Holiday Concert on December 20. Thus, we will resume our schedule of Wednesday luncheons on January 10
A Gala for Good
Celebrate the many ways Rotarians in District 6380 are making a difference in our community and communities around the world at the Rotary Foundation Gala on November 14 in Troy, MI! Our Keynote Speaker is Chris Etienne, Zone 29 Rotary Coordinator. Click here <<>> for details and registration information on the District 6380 website.
Road Trip to Rotary International Convention
Interested in attending the Rotary International Convention in 2018? This annual event will be held from June 23 - 26, 2018 in Toronto. The Club will be dispatching President-elect Greg Stejskal as a giant step on the path to his full "Rotarization." If you are planning to go to the Convention, please contact John White. He will get all our attendees coordinated. Click here for more information on this extraordinary event.


How Many Rosies in a Room?

Seven Rotary Rosies, one Kiwanian and one friend joined 3766 Rosies from Michigan and eighteen states to bring the title of the world record for the state with the most Rosies back to the Aresnal of Democracy.  Women (and a few brave men) dressed in blue jumpsuits, red socks and black workboots, topped with the signature lipstick red polka dotted bandanna, converged on the EMU Convocation Center on a gloomy October 14 morning to reclaim the title from California.  Fifty-five original Rosies were there, plus a woman pilot who had flown military flights of all kinds throughout the war.  The assembled Rosies thanked these pioneering women who demanded and received equal pay for equal work and set the bar for the generations to come.



From L to R: Karen Kerry, Susan Smith-Gray, Carolyn Grawi, Agnes Reading, Millie Danielson, Ann Mattson (Kiwanian), Betsy Hammond, unidentified (Kiwanian, perhaps), Barbara Eichmuller.


Families needed for Short-term Hosting of Youth Exchange Student:

The Youth Exchange Committee is looking for two more host families for Adel from the Czech Republic. She attends Huron High. One term would be from Thanksgiving to Spring Break and the second term would be from Spring Break until the end of June. Adel is proficient in English and likes sports, cooking and is very outgoing. Please contact MJ Raab if you are willing to be a host or if you know of a family who would be willing to be a host.


Veterans Day is approaching

Don’t forget the events Rotary sponsors surrounding Veterans Day:  The Veterans Job Fair will take place again this year on November 7 at Washtenaw Community College.  Rotary volunteers form a key part of this event.  If you can help, please contact Don Deatrick.  There will also be another event.  On November 8 in Hill Auditorium, you will be able to witness “Stories of Service” in a benefit for Fisher House Michigan.  More information on that will be presented at our November 1 Rotary luncheon meeting.  For more information, or to volunteer, contact Karen Kerry.



Meeting Notes

The Rotary bell rang and everyone stood for a joyous rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” President John gave the signal to Art Williams, who came up to deliver the Inspiration. A distinguished educator speaking on the importance of education, Art, however, didn’t stop there. Huron High School’s beloved former principal expounded on perhaps education’s greatest gift – generosity. Quoting Khalil Gibran, Art emphasized “It is when you give of yourself that you truly give…when we give our time and energy to someone who is lonely.” He ended by counseling us to “be generous with your time.”

John returned to the podium to share the sad news of the death of Dave Felbeck. An emeritus professor of metallurgy at the U-M, Dave joined our club in 1979 and was a Sustainer’s Society member. His kindness, insight, and wonderful conversation will be missed by all his fellow Rotarians.

Joanne Pierson and Joan Knoertzer then led us in spirited song on “The 4-Way Test”.

John, in preparing to introduce Sally Hart Petersen, observed “This is the largest new member class that I can remember. That’s how we get things done.” As soon as Sally came to the podium she remarked, “Our Club’s median age is 67! [muffled laughter in the tone of ‘You’re telling us?’] Clearly, our Service Above Self is the key to longevity. I am grateful President Schlissel has a ringside seat to see [this new member class].” Turning to President Schlissel, Sally extended a thoughtful “thank you for sharing your day with us.” “So now it’s time to introduce our new member class –”

  1. Ken Arbogast Wilson, sponsored by Joanne Pierson: “Welcome, Ken Wilson, to Rotary!”
  2. Greg Dill, Washtenaw County Administrator. As sponsor Barbara Niess-May remarked of Greg: “He’s the most caring person I know. Greg serves on numerous boards, including SafeHouse.”
  3. Larry Eiler, chairman of Eiler Communications. “He’s written numerous essays on communications,” his sponsor, PP Collyer Smith, explained, “and two books.”
  4. Kat Forsythe, according to sponsor Sally Hart Petersen, “Retired to Ann Arbor on a bet from her daughter. She’s written two books, with another on the way. It gives me great pleasure to introduce the ever-effervescent Kat Forsyth.”
  5. John Hewitt, “The head of Emerson School,” began Collyer Smith, “he’s clocked 1,700 biking hours so far this year.”
  6. Rick Ingram, Pioneer High School music director, was introduced by Lois Jelneck. “I’ve known Richard since he was [very young]. He has been Teacher of the Year in Michigan…and has taken his student musicians to Prague seven times -- and to Glacier Hills, a mile away.”
  7. Alan Jesiel, Navy ROTC Program president, is also “a student at Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy,” co-sponsor Henry Johnson described.
  8. Marcia Lane, explained co-sponsor Rosemarie Rowney, “coordinated so many things for the World Peace Conference in so many states. Her father was a Rotarian. She decided that, having done so much [for the WPC and co-sponsor Ashish Sarkar], she should be a Rotarian.”
  9. Don Lewan, sponsored by Paul Smith, is committed to helping others. “Don assisted with global projects in India. [In addition,] he coordinated Central African community services for his church,” noted Paul.
  10. Ashley Plichta “grew up in Howell, Michigan,” noted sponsor Barbara Eichmuller. “She’s an accounting and financial consultant, and lives in Dexter with her husband and their Disney Princess daughter, Primrose.”
  11. Christine Stead is the founder of Headlamp Advisors LLC, a healthcare consultancy specializing in guiding innovative business models and treatments through the approval process. Her sponsor, Norman Herbert, explained “Christine lives every day serving the Ann Arbor community. She is president of the AAPS Board of Education, and is [working to develop] 70 miles of motor-free safe trails in southeast Michigan.”

Sally, returning to the dais, noted that “there is a Wednesday Welcomer. If you are interested in joining Rotary, please see me.”President John: “Compared with this class, I’m sure that I wouldn’t get into Rotary today!

We are being visited by our Assistant District Governor, Anne Nauts, who is also very involved with the Chelsea Rotary Club.” Long and loud applause circled the room for our October, 2017 class.

Speaker: President Mark Schlissel

Jim Kosteva then came up to introduce our distinguished speaker, University of Michigan president Mark S. Schlissel. “It’s the reason there’s a scientific method,” Jim began. “We thought we’d ‘figured it out’ [reference to last Saturday’s odious football loss]. Our speaker is a scientist, but there is still much we do not know…Since July of 2014, doctors, researchers, and students are using data not available before. It is my pleasure to introduce the 14th President of the University of Michigan, Mark Schlissel.”

“Thank you, Jim, for that wonderful introduction; one of the best I’ve ever received,” began Dr. Schlissel. Thanks also to Ashish and the other organizers of the World Peace Conference. [And] what a fantastic playground! I’m looking forward to when I have a grandchild.”

Then, clearly in synch with the messages of service enunciated through the meeting so far, Schlissel introduced a central point: “We share a value – we’re a service organization, the University of Michigan, dedicated to improving the quality of health and life. [As you know,] the University is celebrating its bicentennial. I can’t think of a better community for the University. Thank you for building this enhancing environment.”

He launched into a dramatic example of the synergy between ‘gown and town,’ the Hailstorm. “It is projected on the Rackham building to celebrate the bicentennial. Please come and help us celebrate; there’s a lot going on.”

“Perhaps the most important thing we’re engaged in is providing world-class education at Michigan’s [premier] public university.” In a sense, Dr. Schlissel’s comments were a slightly more urgent refrain of his speech last year, in the Union ballroom. He stressed that his administration continues to install bigger reflectors around the same candle: “In 1997 we received from the state the same amount -- $300 million – we receive today. Because of that we’ve had to [prioritize] and pool resources.”

Clearly one initiative he is very proud of is The Go-Blue Guarantee: “If your family is below the median income range in Michigan, $63,500, they can attend the University at no charge for four years (provided they qualify academically).” He praised the dedication and sense of stewardship of the Board of Regents for helping to make the Go-Blue Guarantee possible, and admitted that “this [initiative] might be the greatest accomplishment of my presidency.”

Apart from devising ways to maximize educational impact from stagnant funding, Schlissel emphasized what seemed a personal cause célèbre – relevance. “What does Michigan really do for the community?” He noted the U-M’s groundbreaking research in transportation: “to diminish congestion, and lower accidents; now, Ann Arbor is a model city for the testing of new transportation. Pardon the pun, but we’re driving into the future.”

He also mentioned the engagement of University faculty in the community. An example is ‘Teach-Outs,’ “like the teach-ins of the 60s, faculty are teaching about hurricanes, ‘fake news’ (a term we didn’t know about last year), safety on roads – the research on child seats in cars facing backwards, that came from the U-M.”“We train our students for long-term careers, to be innovators,” the president declared. He cited patents garnered by faculty as well as the cultural amenities of Ann Arbor.

“Where else can you attend a world-class performance from UMS (Is Ken Fischer here?) just a half hour from your home? Nowhere. [We have] world-class healthcare…and five million people taking our online courses – free. I hope you share your thoughts and memories of the U-M when you talk with people.”

After thunderous applause, Dr. Schlissel mused, “Imagine the applause I would have had if we’d won last weekend!”John thanked our speaker warmly, then reminded the assembly of the poker chip ‘customer survey,’ and JET: Join leaders; Exchange ideas; Take action.“Be the difference that makes a difference.” – Nagaraja Rao

 Notes by Ed Hoffman

Meeting Statistics
A total of 121 Rotarians learned about U-M's plans for the future presented by Honorary Rotarian (and also U-M President) Mark Schlissel. We also had three visiting Rotarians (Carter Good from Ypsilanti, Mark Lippincott of Flint and ADG Anne Nauts of Chelsea). We also had twelve guests. In conjunction with the luncheon, a total of 21 Rotarians participated in meetings of the Community Allocations, STRIVE and Interact committees. Also reported were the meeting of the Board of Directors early in the day (14 Rotarians) and the New Member Orientation (21). Three members of the Survey Committee met on October 9 and Joan Knoertzer received credit for arranging a meeting that day aimed at getting a piano for us when we move to Weber's next May.

Summary of the Board of Director’s Meeting:

The Board of Director’s Meeting was held Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at the United Way Building. President John called the meeting to order and motions were made and approved to accept the Agenda and September Minutes.

The Club’s membership on September 30 was 305 Active Members plus six Honorary members and eight Inactive Emeriti. The Club’s average attendance in September was 34% for three luncheons and two events (Golf & Tennis Outing and Playground Grand Opening). The average attendance for the luncheons was 99 members plus 11 others. Our engagement ratio was an impressive 67%. The ratio is based on the proportion of our active members earning at least one attendance credit during the month.


On September 30, the Operating Fund Balance was $69,072.59. The Club's Endowment Investment market value was $1,995,136.54. 


The Survey Committee is updating the survey questions to better take the pulse of the membership. The Board agreed that having semi-annual “wellness checkups” vs. “annual checkups” would be more timely and informational. Attendees were asked to suggest candidate


After a hiatus during the Centennial Celebration, the Endowment Development Committee has reconvened and is actively pursuing ways to grow our Endowment Fund. The goal is to increase our annual withdrawal from $60,000 to $100,000 so the Club can fund more grant requests.


Reports from Directors included 1) Friends in Deed are recipients of a Community Allocations Committee Grant and DOGS have been helping to assemble bunk beds for families. 2) VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) is gearing up for the 2017 tax year end. 3) The Veteran’s Hiring Event will be held at WCC on November 1. 4) Stories of Service will be held on November 8 at Hill Auditorium.


Makeup Cards for Roving Rotarians:

None this week.


District 6380 Newsletter for October:

This month's issue leads off with an article from DG Barry Fraser recounting the recent One Rotary Summit. Other articles cover relief for hurricane victims, a polio inmmunization trip to Ghana, why new clubs are important, World Polio Day on October 24, Youth Services, 30 years of women in Rotary and various articles on activities and events at other clubs. Highlights of the issue were two full-page articles from our club. One was one the Golf & Tennis Outing. The other was on the Grand Opening of our playground. Finally, several articles covered a range of membership tips, insights and resources. Click here to read the complete newsletter.


Monthly Membership Report to the District:

After the resignations of Bob Johnston and Susan Rossi, we finished the month of September with 305 Active Rotarians. Average attendance during the month was 34% for the five meetings (three luncheons, one Golf & Tennis Outing and one Playground Grand Opening). Not reported to the district but calculated for club use were the averages of 99 Rotarians and 11 others (mostly guests) at our weekly meetings. Our Engagement Ratio for the month was 67%.

Websites of interest to Rotarians

Rotary International: The RI home page has links to About Rotary, The Rotary Foundation, Club Locator and Member Access. Our Club is in Zone 29. The zone has 17 districts and covers portions of Maryland, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ontario.

District 6380Our district's website includes 51 clubs in the counties of Washtenaw, Livingston, Oakland and Macomb in Michigan and Kent in Ontario. The district’s monthly newsletter and articles of district-wide interest are posted there.

Rotary Club of Ann Arbor: Our Club’s website provides background material and information including the current Annual Report, Active Framework (aka Strategic Plan), New Member Nomination Form, Committee Descriptions, Club and Golf Outing brochures, synopses of upcoming programs and an archive of Harpoons. Find us on Facebook.

Submit news, committee meetings, and announcements to the Harpoonthe newsletter of the Rotary Club of Ann Arbor. Contact the Club to subscribe by email.

Our Club also sponsors the following Rotaract and Interact Clubs:

 U-M Rotaract Club

Huron High Interact Club

Pioneer High Interact Club

"Rotary Serving Humanity"