Committees

The Rotary Club of Ann Arbor accomplishes its goals through the work of its committees that are the heart and soul of the Club. Therefore, this strategic plan is predominantly the aggregation of individual committee plans. Because of the considerable number of committees and the thoroughness with which they prepared their individual plans, the committee sections included in this document were reduced to statements of either their fundamental goals and objectives or new initiatives and strategic issues to be implemented and/or evaluated over the next five years. Detailed plans remain with the committees for use in carrying out their work.

Please use the links below to view the different committees.


CLUB SERVICE

Director: Tom Millard (clubservice@a2rotary.org)

Program
Chair: Dawn Johnson (program@a2rotary.org)
The Program Committee provides quality programs and speakers for the weekly luncheon meetings. Emphasis is on presenting a wide variety of programs to both entertain and inform our members. Speakers include academic leaders, business leaders, nonprofit sector leaders, government leaders (local, state, and national) and Rotary leaders. Committee members assist in evaluating and reaching out to potential speakers and are encouraged to nominate potential speakers/programs. Meetings are held every third Wednesday of the month an hour before the Club meeting.

Set-Up
Chair: Karen Wasco (setup@a2rotary.org)
The Set-Up Committee oversees preparing the meeting room for weekly meetings, putting things away after the meeting, and storing small items and materials used during the luncheon. Each committee member sets up one meeting every two months. Dates are selected by the member, not assigned. Time commitment is 30 minutes or less before the meeting and 20 minutes or less after the meeting when we resume meeting in person. There are no additional meetings.

Audio & Video
Co-Chairs: Bob Dascola (audiovisual@a2rotary.org), Frode Maaseidvaag (sound) (audio@a2rotary.org) and Jim Egerdal (projection) (projection@a2rotary.org)
The Audiovisual Committee is responsible for operating and making improvements, when possible, to the Rotary audio and video systems used during the weekly meetings. In addition, the committee is also responsible for training and scheduling the people needed for the setup and operation of the audio and video systems as well as the three wireless “microphone runners” that allows effective audience participation in the meetings. Committee meetings are held when necessary.

Music
Co-Chairs: Ingrid Sheldon (music@a2rotary.org)
The Music Committee provides songs for the weekly Club meeting as well as providing talent for special programs sponsored by the Club. Each week, a Song Leader and Accompanist select two or three songs for the meeting. Committee members are responsible for providing song sheets for the table (around 150 copies). Most accompanists can transpose music to a key the membership can accommodate vocally. Musicians welcomed. Members are called quarterly to volunteer for available dates. There are no formal meetings.

Meeting Staff
Co-Chairs: Karen Gladney, Mary Steffek Blaske, and Dale Ausherman (meetingstaff@a2rotary.org)
The Meeting Staff Committee schedules members to assist with the weekly duties of greeters, invocation and taking attendance. Weekly schedules are compiled twice a year and members are assigned a duty once a month or so. Member’s preference of how they want to participate is taken into consideration. There are no regular meetings.

Membership Survey
Chair: Sally Petersen (survey@a2rotary.org)
The Membership Survey Committee creates, distributes, collects, tabulates, and reports on the annual club survey of all members. Historically, the survey planning begins in January with the development and approval of the schedule. Typically, distribution to the membership occurs via an online survey tool occurring mid-March for presentation to the Board of Directors prior to the May Board Retreat. Presentation of the results to the full membership is scheduled in coordination with the President. Time commitment varies with survey complexity.

Rotary After Hours
Social
Chair: Susan Smith (social@a2rotary.org)
The Social Committee plans offsite events for Club members and their guests for the purpose of enabling members to become better acquainted with each other and share some of our favorite activities and experiences. Activities selected are of interest to a wide range of members. Members of the committee share the responsibilities of arranging, announcing, and implementing activities. Meetings are held on an as-needed basis.
Bowling
Chair: Dick Elwell (bowling@a2rotary.org)
The bowling team met on Thursday nights from September into April. However, the Service Club League has disbanded and bowling alleys are closed so the future of this traditional club activity is uncertain.


CLUB OUTREACH

Director: Norma Sarkar (cluboutreach@a2rotary.org)

Membership Committee
Chair: Aleia MacDonald (membership@a2rotary.org)
To increase the membership base of the Rotary Club of Ann Arbor through active recruitment efforts focused on community members whose interests are aligned with the Club’s mission and initiatives and who are representative of the community’s diversity. Facilitate a mentor program to ensure active engagement of new members and a support system that facilitates participation in the Club’s committees and service initiatives. Monthly meetings are held the second Wednesday of the month at 10:45am.

Membership Development Subcommittee
Chair: (Position Open) (membershipdevelopment@a2rotary.org)
Develop a list of new member candidates and submit for Committee approval. Present nominations to the Board for approval. Organize a new member orientation meeting and induction ceremony for a Spring class and a Fall Class (typically March and October). Total annual new members should approximate 25 to 30 people to offset attrition and contribute to Club growth. Mail acceptance letters, create and distribute new member Welcome Packets plus collect new member data sheets and dues. Meetings convened by the chair as needed.

Membership Engagement Subcommittee
Chair: Sal Barbatano (membershipengagement@a2rotary.org)
The Membership Engagement Committee works to ensure that all members get as much out of their Rotary membership as possible. Volunteer mentors will be assigned to new members to help facilitate their participation in Club activities. The Committee works with the Membership Development Committee to facilitate New Member Orientation and meets with each incoming Class 6 weeks, 6 months and 12 months after Induction to evaluate their Rotary experience. Meetings convened by the Chair as needed.

Membership Retention Subcommittee
Chair: Steve Kesler (membershipretention@a2rotary.org)
The Committee identifies and personally reaches out to members whose attendance rate is below 30% to find out if there are circumstances that prevent the member from attending regular meetings or participating in committees and/or projects. In addition, the Committee assists the Secretary and Executive Director with communication to members behind in their financial obligations. It also conducts exit interviews with members when they leave the Club. Meetings convened by the Chair as needed. This subcommittee also oversees the Emeritus program. Awardees are selected based on total of age plus number of years as a Rotarian. Health and other factors are also taken into consideration. Six to eight awards are made each year. Meetings are convened as needed.

International Humanitarian Projects Committee
Chair: Dan Lewan; Vice Chair:Mary Avrakotos (ihpc@a2rotary.org)
The committee identifies, develops and implements projects with other Rotary Clubs around the world. Projects are funded from several sources including Club and District funding, matching support from the Rotary International Foundation and contributions from individuals. Members who actively develop and manage projects typically work on them for a period of several years. Current projects include support for planting orchards in Sierra Leone to fund education; installing solar power for medical clinics in Niger; helping to improve infrastructure for schools in India; building tricycles for the disabled in the Congo; and augmenting school libraries in Vietnam. For many years we have supported a Nursing School in Haiti and a new pilot project will fund a project designed to recruit women in need of fistula repair in Ghana. Monthly Zoom meetings are held the first Wednesday of the month at 11:00 am.

Global Grant Scholarships
Chair: IHPC Committee (globalgrants@a2rotary.org)
Global Grant Scholarships are awarded by a District Committee to graduate students seeking international advanced degree work. The Global Grant Committee fields questions and offers advice to potential applicants and reviews and ranks any applications received from local candidates. Reviewed applications are then forwarded to the District Selection Committee for consideration. Occasionally Rotary Global Grant Scholars are awarded grants to study at the University of Michigan and our club’s committee may be called upon by the District to act as a local host during their study time at the University. Time commitment is dependent on the number (if any) of applications received, and meeting application deadlines established by the District. Hosting any scholarship holders during their studies at the University could involve monthly contact, hosting at an occasional meeting and if needed providing transportation to another Rotary Club’s meeting and/or the Annual District Conference. Meetings are held as needed.

Peace
Chair: Judy Lynch-Sauer (peace@a2rotary.org)
Our mission is to work locally and globally for peace, social justice, and the non-violent resolution of conflict. Our objectives include: 1) Lending support to organizations and institutions in our area engaged in efforts related to peace building; 2) Supporting our club membership in efforts to enhance diversity, build relationships, and gain cultural competency; 3) Initiating Global Grants for peace building; 4) Supporting the Rotary Action Group (RAG) for Peace and its global projects; 5) Raising the public profile of Rotary as a powerful agent for peaceful progress and cooperation in the world by highlighting how all the actions of Rotary – from polio eradication to the Universal Playground – have a role in peacemaking. Monthly meetings are held on the 4th Wednesday of the month. They begin immediately after the regular club luncheon meeting and last for 60-90 minutes.

Anti-Racism Committee (ARC)
Chair: Marcia Lane (arc@a2rotary.org)
ARC was formed by the Peace Committee and approved by the Board of Directors as a separate committee. Vision: To live in a more equal, inclusive, and just community. Purpose: To raise awareness, present informative programs, and offer opportunities for active discussions designed to help end racism and injustice. We intend to actively create an environment of support and solidarity in our community and encourage personal action by members. Objectives: 1) Raise awareness and stimulate reflection by several means that are regular and consistent. 2) Develop and implement programs that inform and enlighten. 3) Offer quarterly in-depth, interactive break-out sessions as separate meetings; and 4) Maintain an organizational structure so that the committee functions and implements its plan effectively, following guidelines and protocols of the RCAA. Meetings are every other Tuesday via Zoom at 12:30 pm.

Doers of Good Service (DOGS)
Chairs: Elizabeth Trinh, Dan Romanchik (dogs@a2rotary.org)
The Doers of Good Service Committee identifies potential volunteer activities in the community and then recruits volunteers from the membership. Typically, they are one-time project opportunities and the number of volunteers needed varies with the event. The Committee is currently reviewing the best way to identify projects and recruit volunteers. Meetings are held as needed.

Adopt-a-Highway
Chair: Tom Millard (adoptahighway@a2rotary.org)
This committee gathers two or three times per year to clean up the 2.1 miles of I-94 between the State St. and Platt Road overpasses.

Touch-a-Truck
Chair: (position open) (touchatruck@a2rotary.org)
This committee coordinates with the organizers of Touch-a-Truck to supply volunteers to welcome visitors. The event was not held in 2020 but is expected to resume in 2021. There may be a meeting or two before the day of the event.

Rotary Cares
Chair: Barbara Eichmuller (rotarycares@a2rotary.org)
Rotary Cares addresses the personal needs of members by sending out get well, good luck, condolences or congratulations to recognize pivotal moments in members’ lives. A log is kept of which members have received a card or note and is updated monthly. There are no formal meetings but committee members are urged to stay alert to the needs of other members.


COMMUNITY SERVICE

Director: Peg Talburtt (communityservice@a2rotary.org)

Golf and Tennis Outing
Co-Chairs: Charlie Koopman, Greg Stejskal (gto@a2rotary.org)
The Golf and Tennis Outing Committee plans, organizes, and implements the Club’s annual fundraiser. Historically the Club’s fundraising focus has been helping kids succeed through scholarships and support of early childhood development programs. In 2016, the Club celebrated its centennial by providing the community its first Universal Access Playground in a public park partly through funds raised from this outing. Planning occurs throughout the year with opportunities to serve on the following subcommittees: Fundraising, Auction, Golf Event, Tennis Event, Financial, Dinner, Entertainment and Day of Outing staffing. Meetings are held as needed.

Community Allocations
Co-Chairs: Marsha Chamberlin and Amy Fruendl (communityallocations@a2rotary.org)
The Community Allocations Committee solicits, reviews and awards around $50,000 in grants to about a dozen local not for profit organizations that support the Club’s goal of “Helping Kids Succeed.” Members of the committee are responsible for reading and ranking applications in preparation for an annual grant selection meeting in April and approval by the Board of Directors later that month. There is a second cycle to select an applicant for the “District Grant” application in July. Meetings are once a month from November to April.

Rotary Fights Summer Hunger
Chair: Todd Kephart (fooddrive@a2rotary.org)
The Rotary Fights Summer Hunger Committee is responsible for an annual food drive to help our local food bank, Food Gatherers. The drive is held in March and early April because the need for food rises in the summer when subsidized school programs are not available. Committee members work to coordinate with businesses who participate in the drive, other Washtenaw Rotary Clubs, as well as Interact and Rotaract Clubs. The Kickoff Meeting is in early December and the bulk of the work is done in March. No activity between April and December.

Veteran’s Initiative
Chair: Don Deatrick (veterans@a2rotary.org)
Members of this event serve as volunteers for the annual “Hire MI Vet” event in November. The committee greeters/guides volunteers act as guides for veterans and their families. After veterans register volunteers assist the veterans review their job skills, review the jobs available, help evaluate which employers best match their skill set and guide the veteran to several employers. Other volunteers will function as Greeters-at-large in the employer areas to help veterans to approach and talk to potential employers regarding jobs available that match their skill set. Meetings are held between September and December.

Veteran’s Job Initiative
Chair: Don Deatrick (veterans@a2rotary.org)
Veterans Initiative committee members are volunteers for the veterans annual Hiring Veterans Event. This event includes Ambassadors of Good Will, greeters at the front door, a large Resource Room full of agencies providing benefit information for veterans, live jazz music (starting 2019), and Panel of Experts to discuss important topics to veterans.
The committee greeters/guides volunteers act as guides for veterans and their families.  After veterans register volunteers assist the veterans review their job skills, review the jobs available, help evaluate which employers best match their skill set and guide the veteran to several employers. Other volunteers will function as Greeters-at-large in the employer areas to help veterans to approach and talk to potential employers regarding jobs available that match their skill set.  Each monthly meeting is on Wednesday before regular meetings and is one half an hour of each month between July and November. The Hiring Event is the first Thursday of November each year. Meet between July and November planning the Greeter/guide function of the Annual Hiring Event at Washtenaw Community College. During the Hiring Event, Committee members select one or two shifts each two hours in length, between 9:30 A M to 1:00 PM.

VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance)
Chair: Bob Mull (vita@a2rotary.org)
The VITA program provides free tax preparation to low-income individuals and families, allowing them to receive the maximum refund possible, to meet current basic needs or save for the future. Support and training are provided by knowledgeable employees, volunteers and the IRS. Rotarian volunteers can serve as Intake and Exit Specialists, Tax Preparers or Quality Reviewers (for returning volunteers only) and are asked to commit to:

  1. Training in December and/or January (3-9 hours, depending upon volunteer experience &

    role).

  2. Self-study and completion of certification tests (2-12 hours, depending upon volunteer

    experience & role).

  3. A minimum of four 3.5 hour shifts from February through early April.
  4. For new volunteer training requirements, contact Bob Mull.

YOUTH ACHIEVEMENT

Director: Steve Pierce (youthachievement@a2rotary.org)

Rotary Readers and Tutors
Chair: Jim Egerdal (tutors@a2rotary.org)
Rotary Readers and Tutors volunteer in community schools. Rotary Tutors work at Angell Elementary and Burns Park Elementary in Ann Arbor and Beatty Early Learning Center in Ypsilanti. Placements are also available in other local schools, particularly if the tutor has a relationship with a teacher or student. In addition to Rotary members, there are several friends- of-Rotarians and spouses that volunteer as part of our program. Tutors generally work one session a week during the school year, although a number work multiple sessions. The tutoring and reading schedules are established in September and continue throughout the school year, with some substitution for snowbirds. Committee members receive meeting credits for their work. One hour weekly except with multiple sessions, September through May.

Service Above Self Scholarships
Co-Chairs:  Tom Kuslikis (scholarships@a2rotary.org)
The Scholarship Committee works with the Financial Aid Office at Washtenaw Community College to award scholarships to students who are current or past graduates of any local high school. The Club may award up to eight scholarships a year. These need-based applicants are required to write an essay about service. Committee members review the applications and make recommendations for the awards. Meetings are held in the spring during application season.

STRIVE
Chair: Brian Schrag (strive@a2rotary.org)
STRIVE stands for “Students Taking a Renewed Interest in the Value of Education.” In partnership with Pathways to Success High School, the Ann Arbor Rotary STRIVE Program helps turn young lives around. PTSHS provides a new opportunity for these students to focus, be successful in school, and get their high school diplomas. PTSHS and STRIVE work together to provide a unique structure, incentives, and motivation to help the seniors accomplish these life- changing objectives. During the year, the STRIVE committee gives the students mentorship and guidance to graduate from high school, awards scholarship money, and assists in the student’s enrollment at Washtenaw Community College. In addition, the Strive at Work program takes them to area companies to observe first-hand what the world could look like with a college degree. Meetings vary and are held during the school year.

Junior Rotarians
Chair: (Vacant) (juniorrotarians@a2rotary.org)
The Junior Rotarian Committee works with counselors from five Ann Arbor high schools to identify three outstanding senior students to be honored as Junior Rotarians from each of the schools. Student honorees are paired with a Rotarian mentor according to their career interest. During the business meeting, Junior Rotarians speak briefly about their accomplishments, activities, and future plans. Committee members are responsible for arranging separate Junior Rotarian days for each school with the Club and the schools. They send invitation letters to students and parents, line up a mentor and a host for each student, provide table assignments, name tags, certificates and photography.


PUBLIC IMAGE

Director: Lauren Heinonen (publicimage@a2rotary.org)

Harpoon
Co-Chairs: Michael Field and Lauren Heinonen; Reporter Chair: Agnes Reading (harpoon@a2rotary.org)
The Harpoon Committee’s charge is to disseminate information about the club and to promote club activities through Rotary’s electronic newsletter. The work includes newsgathering about members, a weekly report of the club’s meeting, noting Rotarians in the news, and such reports as shall be assigned to committee members by the editor. The committee has various responsibilities including formatting operations of the Harpoon, primary and backup reporters to the editor at the weekly meetings, and others volunteering to help in any capacity. Meetings are randomly scheduled as needs arise, but much of the contact among members is by e-mail.

Website
Chair: Lauren Heinonen (website@a2rotary.org)
This committee is responsible for the club website. The committee works with the club administration and committees to edit and update website content, including posting issues of the Harpoon and information on Club and Rotary International programs. In addition, it keeps the Director up to date, posts information from other Club committees and Rotary International Programs. Experience with website content management systems is helpful, but not required.

Social Media
Chair: Steve Pierce (twitter@a2rotary.org)
The committee will work with the Website, Harpoon, and Public Relation committees to showcase news, updates, and events from our club, our club members, and Rotary through our club’s social media accounts. Frequent posts are made on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other outlets. The goal of the social media committee is to inform, update, and engage both the Rotary community and the larger public.

Public Relations
Chair: Dennis Powers (publicrelations@a2rotary.org)
The committee will provide support to other club committees to highlight and promote specific events and projects throughout the year using print media, radio, TV, slideshows and social media support. The PR committee will be successful when it has a team of committee members that are proactive about meeting the needs of the various committees in promoting upcoming events and reporting on past projects and events and being called on to do so by the various Club Committees and the Board. Also, a dynamic relationship will be maintained with other PR committees such as Website, Harpoon and Social Media committees.

Photography
Chair: Fred Beutler (photo@a2rotary.org)
This committee records pictures that chronicle Rotary activities. Photos are published in the Harpoon and archived in a Dropbox account or retention and future reference.


YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

Director: Arthur Williams (youthdevelopment@a2rotary.org)

Interact
Co-Chairs: Ed Wier (Huron) and Linda Carter (Pioneer) (huroninteract@a2rotary.org and pioneerinteract@a2rotary.org)
Provide support and guidance to the Pioneer and Huron High School Interact Clubs, educating students on the purpose and objectives of Rotary and introducing students to the Rotary Club of Ann Arbor and its members. Assist students as they seek opportunities to engage in meaningful service projects (local and international) and develop leadership and organizational skills.

Rotaract (University of Michigan)
Co-Chairs: Bev Seiford, Dennis Powers (rotaract@a2rotary.org)
The Rotaract Committee supports and mentors the Rotaract Club at the University of Michigan. Rotaract provides young adults the opportunity to serve local and international communities, while providing professional development and leadership skills. The committee is busy from September through April, but then takes the summer off along with the students. The Rotaract committee is the one for you if you are interested in mentoring the next generation of Rotarians and you like to have fun!