At recent Friday meetings, two new Club Members, Bill Severson and Chris Salani gave their Classification Talks. With Bill growing up in Wisconsin Rapids and Chris originally from  Taipei, Taiwan, there backgrounds and ages say a lot about the diversity in our club. And while their experiences and interests are different, both of them have a passion for service. Here are overviews on their talks.
Bill Severson Classification Talk
Bill was born in 1947 in Wisconsin Rapids as the 2nd oldest of 9 kids. He lived there until 1965 when he left for Madison to attend a Tech School known as the Wisconsin School of Electronics. It was a 2-year program where after finishing and going through interviews with a number of companies, he joined Allen-Bradley Company.  He had little knowledge of the company but soon learned about the products and began a long career their holding many positions over a 46 year period.
Starting out as a Sales Trainee with A-B, now Rockwell Automation, Bill spent 4 years on inside sales in their Detroit Sales Office. After that, he came back to the Corporate Headquarters in Milwaukee working in the Sales Department in Customer Service. During the 80’s, he moved into Rockwell’s District Sales Office Operations and started doing more traveling for work. During his down time in Milwaukee from business travels, Bill started assisting an Admin on planning for business meetings. With one event leading to another, it eventually lead to where Bill became the “go to” person at Rockwell for special events, hospitality, and meetings of all sizes throughout the world. Highlights include, planning and securing the company’s presence at PGA Golf events, including customer events at courses like Pebble Beach in Carmel, CA. Bill even planned and coordinated events in Europe, Latin America, Canada, in addition to meeting throughout the U.S. and of course, in the Milwaukee area.  He eventually joined a professional organization called MPI, Meeting Professionals International in 1984 and was active in the Wisconsin Chapter having served on many committees, the Chapter Board, in addition to serving as Chapter President during the 90’s. Over the years, Bill has received numerous awards including Meeting Planner of the Year. After 46 years with Rockwell, Bill retired in September of 2013.
Bill’s family life includes an earlier marriage where he raised three daughters, Jill, Lexi and Lisa. He was married for a second time in 2005, and his wife Jan has 2 daughters, Jenna and Lindsey. Combined, they have 3 grandchildren with another one due this spring.
In addition to Rotary, Bill is active in volunteering for organizations throughout the Milwaukee are including Junior Achievement, Hope House, and HAWS (Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha County), and many others. During his “free time” Bill enjoys working out almost every day, playing golf and watching the Packers and Badgers Football games.  He joined Elmbrook Rotary in September of last year and was introduced to club by Elmbrook Rotarian Steve Stocker whose wife Nicki plays tennis with his wife Jan.  After being invited by Steve to attend a few meetings and meeting some of the members, Bill joined. He said he likes the social aspects of Rotary and of course he enjoys helping others. Bill has even stepped up to get involved on our Major Fundraising committee and our Spikes for Tykes event. Glad to have you in the club Bill!         
Chris Salani Classification Talk
Chris Salani was born in Taipei Taiwan and grew up in Brookfield, Wisconsin. He attended Brookfield Central High School, then went to school at Valparaiso University for several years then received his undergraduate degree in Business Communications in June 2012 from the University of Phoenix.
Chris loves to run and will be running his 3rd marathon in Chicago this coming fall. His goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon with a time of 3 hours and 5 minutes or better. During last year’s Chicago Marathon, he was close to meeting his goal but off by 10 minutes even though he improved a great deal from his first effort. In addition to running, Chris enjoys playing tennis, golf, and almost any type of sports activity. Chris’s other passion is food and he and his girlfriend enjoy tyring new restaurants in Milwaukee and when they travel. 
During college, Chris worked in the car business for 3 years, then held several other positions in sales, customer service, and security guard with other companies in an effort to gain experience across a number of fields. Following this period, Chris’s Dad offered him a position with his business which consists of 2 companies: Global Fastener & Supply and GF&D Systems. Between the two companies, they distribute screws, bolts, and grease fittings for industrial manufacturing and other customer in the United States. His position involves learning all aspects of the company from the ground up and Chris is currently working in the warehouse logistics area, where he is learning how products are packed and shipped.packed. This can involve from just a few to over 300,000 pieces that need to be packed and shipped on schedule every day. His day involves manage the company inventory and database and coordinating shipments on time by working with the inside sales team who process orders on a daily basis. It’s a challenging, time-sensitive job but he finds it rewarding working for a smaller company and learning about how the business operates.
What attracted Chris to Rotary is when he learned that a good friend of his, Vedran Rimracuk was a member of Elmbrook Rotary. In addition, he enjoys our weekly meetings because everyone is so nice and friendly and the focus is on giving back to the community by helping those who are less fortunate. One example he mentioned was when he took part in buying a gift for one of the kids at SaintA orphanage, over the holidays, and the good feeling he had from being involved. Chris joined the club in August of last year. We’re glad you joined Chris!