January 15th, 2020 Meeting Notes

  • Both Canadian and American National Anthems were sung.
  • Bob Buchanan gave inspiration, speaking on how life and the world are gifts to us and we must reach out and be grateful, joyous, and truly ourselves.
  • Birthdays were announced.
  • Club meeting volunteers announced.
  • Downs Herold led singing. The key in Rotary symbol was emphasized in song.
  • Special guest Rotary DG Sparky Leonard was introduced.
  • Return to Michigan Union February 5th, 2020 announced with reminder to register for the event.*
    • Register HERE for the Re-UNION Celebration Dinner with John Hewko
    • *On Feb 5th, we will have NO LUNCHEON MEETING, as the dinner (6pm) replaces the Noon meeting that day.
  • Wine, Women, and Song was announced by Susan Smith Gray and Shelly MacMillan. 13 women participating.
    • Our special preview night for this show will be taking place at 8pm on January 23rd, 2020.
    • There will be light food and wine
    • Some tickets are remaining, contact Susan or Shelly

  • A newly Board-approved New Member-Elect was briefly introduced, Daphne Schalbetter.
  • Karen Kerry presented the Distinguished Service Award to Ashish Sarkar.
    • If you missed it, you can watch a video of the presentation here: Ashish Sarkar DSA Presentation 15JAN2020
    • Ashish is most deserving of this DSA. He has been involved with all 6 Areas of Focus in Rotary, and has touched every Rotarian and Rotary Project in our Club.
PP Karen Kerry presenting PP Ashish Sarkar with a DSA
President Rosemarie Rowney, PP Ashish Sarkar, and DG Sparky Leonard


  • Carol Senneff introduced three senior Junior Rotarians from Greenhills School. Two school counselors were introduced.
    • These students are high achievers and leaders in their school and community.
Greenhills Junior Rotarians Will, Neha, and Sabine
  • Dennis Powers introduced speaker: Kentaro Toyama from the U of M School of Information. Title of his presentation was “Artificial Intelligence and the Vanishing(?) Future of Work.” Quotes from his presentation:
    • “Technology is not why a company succeeds.”
    • “Learning doesn’t improve because of technology.”
    • “Technology doesn’t have an impact on poverty.”
    • “Social media has contributed to polarization.”
    • “Polarization more likely to happen because of social media.”
    • “Computers still don’t know how to interpret as well as humans.”
    • “AI as a technology is rapidly improving.”
    • “AI will be controlled by a very small number of very powerful technology companies.”
    • “More and more work will become automated with, or without, AI.”
    • “Social pressure came first, algorithmic solutions came second.”
    • “For the most part, technology amplifies underlying human forces. This will be true with AI and robots.”
    • “If current social trends continue, AI will reduce wages, eliminate jobs, and concentrate wealth further.”


We’d also like to take a moment to share appreciation for our dedicated and skilled photographer, Fred Beutler. Fred, without fail, comes to each of our luncheon meetings and many of our other events and activities, trusty camera(s) in tow, to visually capture the great things that happen in our Club. We’d be left with mere black and white text on a page without him, and with much less knowledge of photography and cameras. Take a moment to thank Fred when you get a chance.

Our photographer, Fred Beutler

This meeting’s reporting comes to you from Tom Millard and Lauren Heinonen