Weekly Meeting Notes Jan 11, 2023

Today’s meeting was called to order at 12:30pm by President Mark with the Ringing of the Bell.  After a long absence from the Anderson Room and it’s piano, Maestro Tom Strode led a full singing crowd with our National Anthem!

Kathy Waugh

Kathy Waugh shared our inspirational message today; thoughts from James Quincy, the President & CEO of the CocaCola company:

Most of us live our lives surrounding 5 components = work, family, health, friends and spirit – often trying to keep all of these ‘balls’ in the air.  Consider, if you will, that 1) Work is a ball that will bounce back, but, 2) the others are made of glass.  If you drop one, they may never be the same.  Understand this and strive for balance!

In honor of Tom Strode joining us in person today, Ingrid Sheldon led us in a fun tribute singing the song ‘Hello, Dolly’ with some edits!  We sang ‘Hello, Thomas’, instead!  Welcome back to the Anderson Room, Tom!

We welcomed two visiting Rotarians today and gave well wishes to the 17 members who have/had birthdays within a two(+) week period in early January: Pattie Katcher, Lars Gunstrom, Jim Miller, Beth Nissen, Barbara Bach, Erik Bakker, Libby Hines, Dan McConnell, Dale Ausherman, Tim Johnson, Larry Marentette, Naren. Bhatia, Mousumi Banerjee, Dan Balbach, Paul Glendon, Marcia Lane, Ebru Misirli Mansfield. Happy Birthday to all and congratulations to Arianne Slay on her one year Rotary anniversary!

Club Announcements:

Paul Webb

Paul Webb reported that the newly formed Environmental Action Committee had us all thinking about energy consumption and conservation with a fun trivia quiz (and a prize for the winner!) titled ‘Reduce the Juice’.  Today’s quiz focused on light bulbs and energy consumption and one important take-away:  Fluorescent, CFL and LED bulbs need to be recycled – they contain hazardous metals and should be taken to a recycle center or various retail outlets for proper disposal.

President Mark provided an update that the hiring committee continues to review resumes as the search for a new executive administrator continues.  In the meantime, a core group of people is taking on the work of the administrator but that is not sustainable.  We need help!  Please volunteer to help with the various tasks that are part of weekly meetings, etc.  Check your email and the website for more information about how to help.

Barbara Eichmuller

Barbara Eichmuller reminded us of the upcoming Wine, Women and Song ‘live’ event returning to the Kerrytown Concert House on January 26.  Seating is limited – reserve now (check your email) – tickets are $40/person.

One of our visiting Rotarians from the Highway M-36 Rotary Club announced a fundraising event coordinated by their club that supports a local food pantry called Farley Hill Pantry, in Livingston County.  The event, a dinner/theater called The Violet Hour, is to raise funds to support the 40% of Livingston County students who are food insecure.  The event will be on February 11 at 6pm, tickets are $75 and for more information, contact the club at m36rotary@gmail.com.

Dennis Powers introduced today’s speaker, Henry Payne, an auto critic for the Detroit News who topic is ‘Riding in a Fully Autonomous Car’

Henry Payne

Henry grew up around cars as part of a racing family – his father raced cars and later he and now his son races cars, describing it is a ‘need for speed’ (to quote the popular Top Gun movie).  As an auto critic, he’s often on the road (literally) testing vehicles and is also a juror for the North American Auto Show.  Recent winners include two electric vehicles:  Kia EV6 and the Ford F-150 electric.  Today’s presentation covered the origins of autonomous cars or ‘no-driver’ cars.  Google was the first to use the technology on a Lexus SUV in 2015 and later on a robot vehicle that had no steering wheel!  Another adopter was Uber who developed an autonomous car using a Volvo SUV in Pittsburgh, PA, noting that the location was important so they could test it in multiple weather conditions.  In the past two years, a Google spinoff company called Waymo has been the first to operate on public roads in Tempe, AZ.  One uses an app on your phone to order the car and it’ll take you to your destination in Tempe.

People are becoming more aware of the electric car company Tesla, which now has the ability to have the car owner download autonomous driver software to the car.  Henry has tested this himself on his own Tesla and found that is operates with some hesitancy, similar to driving with a 16 year old new driver!

In San Francisco a company called Cruise has 50 electric autonomous cars in use.  The company operates the cars from 10pm to 5am and you use an app to order the car.  The cars do not operate during rainy or foggy weather as it interferes with the operation of the car.  Henry tested the app and car on a recent visit to California and during the ride, it started raining!  When this happens the car pulls over and will not operate.  So, Henry had to call an Uber!  Interesting features of the car include an intercom to contact someone in an emergency, a stop button for the car, and some add-ons to the app which allow you to play music, etc.  This technology will only grow and improve in the future, so get ready, it’s coming our way!

President Mark reminded us that next week’s meeting on January 18 is Zoom only!  And he finished the meeting with the Quote of the Day:

“Do every job you’re in like you’re going to do it for the rest of your life, and demonstrate that ownership of it”.  Mary Barra, CEO General Motors

Ringing of the Bell at 1:30pm.

Respectfully submitted by Pattie Katcher