Rod Pender introduced our speaker today, John Bartoszewicz, new President and CEO of the Adrian Area Chamber of Commerce and a former Rotarian. John is originally from Rochester, New York. His father worked for Xerox there and then took a position with Monsanto with an opportunity to move to Pensacola, Florida or Cleveland. He chose Florida! This was in the 60’s John said. John’s wife, Sandra (Linfoot) is a native of Adrian and her family till live on Springbrook Avenue. John worked for the Pensacola Chamber of Commerce (2,000 members and 5 departments – Membership, Economic Development, Military, Tourism and Community Development). He also founded a telephone installation system business while in Penecola. John said that he experienced a medical setback in 2013. He said that he’d been visiting Adrian for the past 20 years since his wife’s folks are still here and that he “has fallen in love with this area”. Sandra’s mother mentioned to her while she was visiting last Labor Day that Anne Hughes was retiring from the Adrian Chamber. She conveyed that to John who promptly sent a resume in for consideration which resulted in his hiring.
John said that Anne left the Chamber (500 members) “in pretty solid shape” and admitted that he has large shoes to fill. He officially arrived on December 11th and took over this past January 1st. John mentioned that through the research he’s conducted of Adrian (a "20,000 foot view"), this Chamber “could really become a ‘business chamber’”. Something else he noticed is that the Chamber really doesn’t have enough committees. One, he said, should be health care since he feels strongly that the prosperity of a community is directly related to health of that community. The Chamber, he said, should engage with the medical community. He also pointed out that there seems to be little engagement with the political process and suggested a system that would allow the business community to recommend to educational organizations the appropriate programs they might want to offer.
He also suggested that a government advocacy group be formed where representatives would regularly attend various city, county, and school board meetings to stay abreast of what was being discussed and acted upon. By doing this, he said, the Chamber “would keep people in the know” and issues “would not slide under the radar”. John said that businesses join a chamber to generate more business so he’d like to see more networking opportunities for businesses in Adrian. Businesses also want “operational engagement” as well where “business development” assistance might be offered to those needing it.
John has assigned staff persons to begin work defining and redesigning the Chamber’s website to make it more user-friendly. John said that he’s already attended the monthly meeting of the Chamber Alliance in Lenawee County where he identified an opportunity to create a site for a common page where all events could be posted.
John also said that member recruitment will also be an important effort of the Chamber. He said also that he felt that the relationship with the industrial services base could be enhanced for a couple of reasons. One, because they have not been reached out to and, two, he is a big proponent of “selling them what they want” and he’s not sure what that is but he is working on it.
This year’s Annual Meeting, John said, is scheduled for January 29th at the Center. Awards like the Image Award will be given out that evening. He would like to increase the Chamber’s Ambassador group of which Rod Pender is a part of. He concluded by saying that he would like to see ambassadors who attend Chamber events dress in red jackets so that they are always easily recognizable. (For tickets to the Annual Chamber event go to: www.adrianareachamber.com.
Welcome to Adrian, John. Great to have you a significant part of this fine community!
President Mary read a letter from Sisters Katherine and Krista on behalf of the St. Claire Home for Girls in Kenya, Africa thanking our club for what we'd done for Purity while she was here attending Siena Heights University who racked up a 4.0 GPA this past year!!
Prez Mary showed members the official "Standards Book" from RI that our club will be adhering to throughout the year in our publications.
Prez Mary announced that she has submitted to the District our Purity Project for consideration in the Hugh Archer Award competition along with the club bulletin in a different category.
Onion Sales - It's that time of the year again when we wait for onions to grow and be delivered to those who purchase them from Adrian Noon Rotary volunteers. Kathye Herrera informed members that we will be splitting the proceeds with the Lenawee Youth Council. She gave every member an envelop with a form to be filled out as we sell them. The onions are expected to be delivered between May 5 and 12th.
Eggs-Stravaganza - The Eggs-Stravaganza was a success last Saturday at Heritage Park. The Kid's Egg Hunt began at 12 noon for 4 & 5 year olds followed by the scavanger hunt for older children that began at 12:30pm. Below is a pic of the Easter Bunny himself along with President Mary, Brittney and Yours Truly. Prez Mary thanked those who helped out on this project.
District Conference – REMEMBER: This year’s District Conference will be at the Grand Traverse Resort from April 30 – May 3, 2015.
Dates to Remember
April 23- Special Presentation - PDG Bruce and DGN Sue Goldsen will be at our meeting to talk about their recent trip to Bolivia. You won't want to miss it!
May 14 - Club Assembly - Presentation of details from the Visioning meeting on March 26th.
May 17 – Erace-Stigma 5k Run - Greg Adams showed us the trophies that will be awarded. Very Clever. Greg said that 130 people have registered - far exceeding expectation along with over 100 children. Way to go, Greg!! He'll need Noon Rotary volunteers
May - District Conference - There's still time to sign up for this important event. Five members have already signed up to attend.
June 24 – Change-Over Dinner and the transition to President-Elect Rod Pender’s year to be held at Mark & Murray's home on Lake Adrian from 5pm-9pm. More info coming.
September 18 & 19 - Art-A-Liscious
GUESTS: Junior Rotarians - Nathaniel from AHS; Tim and Dan from the Lenawee Christian Mission; Don Taylor and Shirley Ehnis.
The object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in particular, to encourage and foster: 1. The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service; 2. High ethical standards in business and professions; the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations; and the dignifying by each Rotarian of his occupation as an opportunity to serve society; 3. The application of the ideal of service by every Rotarian to his personal, business and community life; 4. The advancement of international understanding, good will, and peace throughout a world fellowship of business and professional men united in the ideal of service.