Feb 27, 2015
Mar 06, 2015
Mar 13, 2015
Mar 20, 2015
Mar 27, 2015
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Upcoming Events
Bunco Game Event
Mar 22, 2015
2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Bill Hughes
February 1
Dana Johnson
February 5
Ned Consigny
February 11
Bill Bulloch
February 17
Don Wilson
February 17
Tom Curl
February 18
Chris Salani
February 23
Steve Stocker
February 29
Spouse Birthdays
Jessica Schmeling
February 15
Join Date
Linda Wickstrom
February 2, 2002
13 years
Fred Gettelman
February 8, 2008
7 years
Greg Bonk
February 15, 2013
2 years
Jascha Walter
February 20, 2009
6 years
Mark Thurner
February 23, 1996
19 years
Jack Melloh
February 27, 1987
28 years
Russell Hampton
This years’ Elmbrook Rotary Progressive Dinner was held on February 13 and it was once again the social highlight of the year. 50 Club Members and their guests attended the homes of 6 different host families then headed over to Don and Kate Wilsons afterwards for their fabulous collection of desserts. A big thank you goes out to the Wilson’s for their generosity in opening their home once again as well as all the dinner hosts which included: Joe & Sharon Pottebaum, Don & Judy Down, Kate Bloomberg, Chris Spresser & Marty Manley, Steve & Mary Ponto, and Mark & JackieThurner. Thanks to Chris Spresser, Chairperson of the Club Service Committee, Marc DeVries and others on the committee for their efforts in planning and coordinating this year’s event.
Even though it was the coldest morning of the year, there was plenty of warm fellowship at Friday's breakfast meeting. Nevertheless, a few of the less hearty members are taking off for warmer territory over the next few weeks as they head for Florida, Mexico and Bora Bora – Can you take us along?!
And our own Vision Team, which includes President Tom and Lynda Curl, VP Mark and Evonne Zalewski, and Jan and Darcy Constable, will be leaving for Antigua, Guatemala. They will spend a week working with our partners at Common Hope on literacy projects and home construction. We wish them and everyone safe travels.
Our speaker this morning was Ian Abston who is Executive Director of NEWaukee. Formed 6 years ago as an organization of young Milwaukee professionals with a mission to promote the “Brand” of Milwaukee, it has grown from 5 volunteers to over 200 volunteers and 5 paid staff. The goal is to make our city competitive with other vibrant growing areas of the country – such as Austin, Seattle or Minneapolis.
NEWaukee works closely with the area business community to attract and retain top young talent to the area by – Accentuating the Positive and Eliminating the Negative about our home town.
Creating and hosting exciting free social activities, with a total over 180 last year including the “Night Market” and Lake Shore Park and Bradford Beach Festival, NEWaukee highlights our town as a great place for young professionals to live, work, and raise a family. Those of us who've either grew up in the Milwaukee area, or have been here awhile, have always known it, and now we want everyone else to know it too.
Next week, Karen Treadwell from the Waukesha Food Pantry which is one of our Rotary supported organizations, will be our guest speaker.
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’s an overview 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!


On March 2 from 9:15 to 10:30 a.m., join Elmbrook Rotarians along with other volunteers and community leaders, to take part in the annual Read Across America Day at Capitol West Academy (CWA) in Milwaukee. Volunteer one hour of your time to read to a group of children at CWA. Just bring your favorite Dr. Suess book or use of theirs. Contact Donna Weber of CWA at 414-465-1355 or for details. "You're never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read with a child."

No triskaidekaphobia (fear of the number 13) at our meeting today as we had a packed venue with a number of guests. We especially welcomed Tiffany Bianco and Olivia Wallesar, and their parents. Tiffany and Olivia were among the award winners from Wisconsin Leaders of Tomorrow and represented the Milwaukee area at the National Leadership Conference in St Louis this past summer. Elmbrook Rotary has been supportive of this project for the past 13 years and a number of club members have served on the Board of Wisconsin Leaders of Tomorrow.
One of our newer members, Chris Salani gave us a Classification talk today. Chris works with the his family's distribution company, Global & Supply Fasteners and was born in Taipei, but raised in Brookfield, later attending Valparaiso University. Chris and is an avid runner currently training for his 3rd marathon and looking for a personal best of 3:05. That’s movin'!
Our speaker this morning was Chuck Stadler, COO of Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin. We quickly learned that Goodwill is more than the donation centers and thrift shops that we all know. Goodwill also provides packaging and supply chain service to industry, operates a major commercial laundry service, feeds the new recruits at Great Lake Naval Base, and employment and job training service to individuals and businesses. Started in 1919, it is the largest Goodwill agency in the US, employing 6,100 people, including 1,000 with disabilities and serving over 72,000 individuals every year.
Our speaker net week will be Ian Abston who is Executive Director of NEWaukee, the organization where Young Professional can connect, socialize and contribute to the New Milwaukee.
The following is a brief report by former Club Member, Larry D’Attilio with updates on the Vietnam Micro Finance Program he helped initiate with the International Services Committee almost 5 years ago. Larry and his wife Pam Foard, who was also a member of the club, have been welcomed guests to recent meetings in between their global travels.
Microfinance programs act as banks to lend poor rural women money to start their own business when they lack alternatives. The ERC program is modeled after the famous Grameen bank.
ERC’s Vietnam Microfinance program is now in the sixth year of eight promised. The ERC Foundation works through VN HELP, Milpitas, CA who processes the gift as fiscal receiver The money is then forwarded to the program in Vietnam. As a large U.S. non-profit, VN HELP also does the accounting, reporting and due diligence for the reports back to ERC as a free service in recognition of ERC’s courageous effort. VN HELP is also connected to the Silicone Valley Rotary through the Executive Director’s membership in that chapter.
The gifts have enabled some new women in the program to start, then grow their businesses, expand them, then begin to employ other villagers too. The confidence that comes from the businesses helps the families to be more stable, increases the education of children and the women, strongly contributes to literacy and helps the growth of the village economy. The number of women served has grown from 900 to over 1400 during ERC’s participation. Their businesses cover a wide range of services and production including metal fabrication, auto and car road side service, probiotic fertilizer distribution,  and of course animal husbandry and organic farming. ERC takes pride in supporting the award winning women in the program who achieve the record of loan and interest payments on time and in full.
The ERC gift specifically supports women in one village in the Vinh Phuc Province near Hanoi thereby providing clear metrics on the impact of the gift. For the “feet on the ground” Pam Foard and I are directly involved working with the program’s director and the manager along with the embedded staff members in the field. We have visited and done inspection of the women’s businesses for all six years and are always amazed at the impact the loans have on the woman, her family, and ultimately her village. The impact of the ERC gift is quantifiable through the detailed loan records of the program’s microfinance bank, a bonus of this type of program.
We will be in Vietnam three more months soon giving us another opportunity to review the program’s success and the impact of the ERC’s donations.  And of course if you come to Vietnam we can arrange for you to meet women in the program helped through ERC’s generosity.
The ERC Club Service Committee is starting 2015 where it left off last year, with a number of social activities for Elmbrook Rotarians to take part in. On January 22, 18 Rotarians and their guests visited World of Beer in Wauwatosa to sample some craft beers from, you guessed it — around the world!  Next month on February 13, we have our social event of the year with the Progressive Dinner then in March 22, the Club will be having its first Bunco Game Event! For more information on any of these events, contact Club Service Chairperson, Chris Spresser at

We welcomed back club members, Linda Wickstrom and Kate Bloomberg from their church sponsored Vision Team trip to Common Hope in Antigua, Guatemala. Both paid “Happy Fines” to describe the positive experiences of the trip.  But Linda also came back with an unexpected “souvenir” – a cast on her broken ankle – injured as she hurried across a dark courtyard on her first day in Antigua. But thanks to a good local doctor, and $160 later, she was back in action even if she was moving just a bit slower. Our own ERC Vision Team will be leaving for Guatemala on February 21, and a presentation to the Club of both trips is scheduled for March 20th.
We had a Classification Talk from one of our newer members – Bill Severson. Bill and his wife Jan live in Pewaukee and he recently retired after 46 years with Rockwell. His long career took Bill all over the world and he wore a number of hats, including sales, customer service and special events planning. Now that he’s retired Bill is focusing on his 2nd career as a volunteer – notably with Junior Achievement. He has also jumped right in to the ERC, volunteering to co-chair this year’s Spikes for Tykes fundraiser along with Barry James. Thanks Bill and welcome aboard!
Our speaker this morning was Ahmed Quereshi – President of the Islamic Society of Milwaukee. The Society has recently completed a new mosque and community center in Brookfield, and Ahmed detailed for us the long and sometime circuitous involved and he gave a special thanks to Mayor and ERC member Steve Ponto for his help in getting the project completed.  Ahmed indicated that the Islamic Society has nearly 15,000 members in the Milwaukee area and now has four community worship facilities.
Ahmed also took a few moments to address the terrible events that are engulfing the Islamic Community worldwide. As with all of us, he indicated that the Milwaukee Community is deeply troubled by them. He indicated they have been actively involved with local and national authorities to monitor local events and educate their community to dangers that fringe elements could present. We also learned that today was Ahmed’s birthday so at the conclusion of his talk; Ned led the Club in a spirited Happy Birthday salute.
Next week our speaker will be Chris Stadler, the COO of Goodwill Industries.