Meeting Notes from June 30, 2021

Joanne Pierson

President Joanne called the meeting to order at 12:30 P.M with the clinking of champagne glasses. This was a very special meeting – the last for President Joanne and the first for President Susan. Tom Strode led us in the National Anthem.

Bob Buchanan

Bob Buchanan’s inspirational message was about change in leadership. He said that we are doing today is probably happening in 34,000 Rotary clubs around the world. “A day of change but a day of stability”. He told us that President Joanne was the only president of our club never to stand behind the podium because of the pandemic. Bob expressed all of our “thank you’s and appreciation” to President Joanne. Bob and Jeannine attended a military change of command recently where the change is based on the transfer of authority and trust symbolized by the passing of the flag from the departing to the new leader. Today, it will be the passing of the gavel when Susan Froelich becomes our new President. Our Club gavel has the fingerprints on it of all of our Club presidents since 1916.

Bob ended with a story about a discussion he had with the late Dr. Karl Jingles who said, “Bob, at Rotary we don’t ask you to do much, but we expect to do it well.”

Steve Pierce and Karen Gladney treated us to a video of Dolly Parton with Ladysmith Black Mambazo singing “Peace Train” from 1996. The words are still so appropriate today as we celebrate our new Peace Pole in Gallup Park.

Today, there will be a Peace Pole celebration at Gallup Park from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM.

There will be another Saturday in the Park this Saturday, July 3 at 10:00 AM at the Medford Pavilion at County Farm Park.

Pierson’s Practical Painless Pandemic Presidency Thank yous
Thank you to the people leaving the Board: Past-President Rosemarie Rowney; Secretary Barbara Eichmuller; Director of Club Outreach Tom Millard; Director of Community Allocations Peg Talburtt

Thank you to the people leaving their current position on the Board, some moving to a new position: President-elect Susan Froelich will be president; Treasurer Mark Ouimet will be President-elect; Director of Club Outreach Norma Sarkar will serve a third year in that position; Director of Public Image Lauren Heinonen has another year in her two-year term; Director of Youth Achievement Steve Pierce will be Treasurer; Director of Youth Development Arthur Williams will serve another 2-year term

Special thanks to Executive Director Lori Walters!!

Thank you to
all those who support of Club meetings:
• Jim Egerdal and the Zoomers, Don Duquette, Steve Kesler, Sara Maddock, Ashok Natwa, and Leo Shedden
• Karen Gladney – Attendance Takers
• Agnes Reading – Reporters
• Ingrid Sheldon – Music peeps
• Mary Steffek-Blaske – Inspirers
• Michael Field/Lauren Heinonen – Harpoon publishers
• Dawn Johnson – Speakers
• Tom Strode – Piano
• Fred Beutler – Photography
• Norm Herbert – Monthly Club Ops and Foundation Budget Reviewer
• Dave Shotwell – Foundation Investment Crew
• Committee Chairs and more

President Joanne’s very clever “Swan Song” can be watched here

Besides the gavel, there is a tradition of passing the Rotary shirt. We watched a video of the passing of the shirt to new President Susan. 

Now Past President Joanne Pierson passing “The Shirt” to newly instated President Susan Froelich.


President Susan Froelich

President Susan took over the meeting. She first thanked Joanne for her outstanding leadership and fun!

President Susan introduced the officers for 2021-2022: President Susan; President Elect Mark Ouimet, Immediate Past President Joanne Pierson; Secretary Kathy Waugh; and Treasurer Steve Pierce. Directors on the Board: Club Outreach – Norma Sarkar. Club Service – Dawn Johnson, Community Service – Roy More, Public Image – Lauren Heinonen, Youth Achievement – John Sepp, and Youth Development – Arthur Williams.

President Susan gave us some of her background first showing a picture of her family. Susan is 3rd generation Ann Arborite; 4th generation from Washtenaw County. In high school, she spent a summer as a foreign exchange student in Rio De Jannero, Brazil. Susan has a degree in History of Art from the University of Michigan, a certificate to teach art from Eastern Michigan University (EMU) and a Masters in Public Administration from EMU. Her work history includes 20 years in non-profit, mostly in Arts Administration; 14 years at the University of Michigan, Government Relations and then Development; and then at the local Ecology Center.

President Susan introduced a YouTube video presentation from the new Rotary International President, Shekhar Mehta regarding his vision for the coming year.

President Mehta started by saying that we must:
Dream Big
Guided by a shared vision
Plan and Set Goals
Inspire Rotarians to reach goals
Goals to increase membership and increase the impact of Rotary around the world

The Guiding mantra will be

Membership continues to be our biggest challenge. For the past 17+ years, the membership has remained at 1.2 million. Together, he he challenges us to change that in the next 17 months. Make the biggest change in the next 17 months. President Mehta’s inspiration comes from George Bernard Shaw who said “You see things; you say, ‘Why? But I dream things that never were; and I say “Why not?” The dream is to change our membership to 1.3 million by July 2022.

How do we do this….Each one, bring one! Ask each Rotarian to bring one member in the next 17 months. Lead by example. Become change-makers.

President Mehta said that he has always been inspired by the Rotary motto “Service Above Self.” Service means to him thinking of others before self. “Service is the rent I pay for the space I occupy on this earth. “He told several stories. One of them was about Ghandi losing a slipper as he was boarding a train. As the train was pulling away, he threw the other slipper off of the train. When asked why he would do that, he said “Someone will find that slipper. What good is one slipper? So, I threw the other slipper to him”

The theme for 2021/2022 is “Serve to change lives” As we all serve others, we change not only loves of others, we change our lives, too.” He ended by saying, “The biggest gift we are given, is to touch a life.” The special focus this year is “empowering the girls.”

“Are you ready to serve to change lives”

In May, our Rotary Board met and split into groups to brain storm. We heard the ideas that came out of four breakout sessions
Group 1 – Intergenerational activities – tree planting, youth performance volunteering with the Ann Arbor Symphony, United Way partnerships, Canoe trip, Huron River Watershed Cleanup, STRIVE student meetups or dual events.
Group 2 – Protecting the Environment – End Plastic Soup (reducing/eliminating single-use plastic, task the program committee to create a speaker track on Protecting the Environment, have part of the business session include a 2 minute “idea from the podium” that individual club members could do to help protect the environment.
Group 3- Empowering Girls – contact and do an activity with Girls on the Run, contact and do an activity with a local sorority, discover what other organizations work with girls, and look into working with Ann Arbor Parks and Rex and their “Give 365” program.
Group 4 – Each One, Bring One – need to provide members with a toolbox and elevator speech so they feel empowered to inviter others to join Rotary, use projects as a gateway for potential members to participate, in-person weekly meetings, an open house for the new members who came into Rotary during the past year to get to know other club members.

This next year will probably be a hybrid year – in person and via Zoom.

The speaker next week will be Deana Fisher, Chief Operating Officer, St. Louis Center in Chelsea speaking on “New Challenges for an Aging I/DD Population (individual with intellectual and developmental disabilities).

President Susan ended the meeting with a quote from Cesar Chavez – “Grant me courage to serve others. For in service, there is true life”.

The meeting was adjourned.

Notes by Carol Senneff
Photography by Fred Beutler