Posted by Dene Hadden on Nov 27, 2018
SPOKES VOL. LXV NO. 22                                                                               November 27, 2018
Dene Hadden and Bob Stickland were our greeters this morning.
President Odland opened the meeting with the “My Country ‘tis of Thee” (partly without music) and Art Ayers provided an invocation including our prayers for Julie Weber, Missy Thompson Jean Stein and Ann Hemeter.
Our guests today included prospective member Rosalie Plechaty and speaker Tom Slikkers.  Anyone with concerns about Rosalie’s membership should contact Mark Odland.
No Spotlight this week.
  • Blessings in a Backpack volunteers will be needed December 14.
  • On December 11th we will be having our annual Christmas get together, at Beeches Golf Course.  Invitations were delivered out and a sign up list passed around.
  • We will be working the Tursday Night Dinner at the Congregational Church on December 20..
  • December 18th is the Rotary Open Door Christmas Dinner at the Methodist Church and all are invited to come and help serve.  We will need lots of help.
  • Got your warm clothes?  We are scheduled to Ring the Bell for the Salvation Army on December 22nd.
  • We will hold election of our 2019-20 officers on December 18, as required by our by-laws and Rotary International.  The slate of officers will not change from this year as Steve Larsen will postpone his term as president for two years due to business commitments.
Bob Boerma was our leader this morning and we started our slow, with the 1911 barbershop quartet hit “I Want a Girl (Just Like the Girl Who Married Dear Old Dad)”.  It was a follow up to the hit, “"I'd Rather Have a Girlie Than an Automobile".  We followed that with the slightly more upbeat “Let Me Call You Sweetheart”, a 1910 song that was later used in the movie The Greatest Game Ever Played - an instrumental version by a band is heard on the soundtrack.  We finished with the good old Rotary song, “That Rotary Wheel”.
    Tony Martorano suggested that having someone honest choose our winning 50/50 ticket was not working out well, so Tom asked Tony to draw.  In spite of his efforts he was unable to find one of his own tickets and drew Tom’s ticket.  It would have worked out well for Tom except he drew the 10 and ended up penniless.  Paul Hix did get a $2 prize to invest.
    • Jerry Gruber celebrated the birthday of his eldest son just 56 years ago.
    • Korky Ingersol celebrates his own birthday this week and was rewarded with a Ludington style birthday song.
    • There was almost no mention of any football games from this past weekend.
    • Jerry Gruber was excited to report that the members of the girl’s swim team, coached by his daughter, that qualified for the MHSAA Division 2 State Swim Finals last weekend did an outstanding job.  Several personal bests were achieved and Larry’s granddaughter set a new school record.  Her aunt had actually held that record for a number of years.  In addition Ellie Frost was crowned a state champion in the 50 freestyle.
    • Tom Fleming reminded us again:  Don’t forget that Big 10 Tuesday has commenced and you can save $.10 a gallon on gas from now through basketball season.
    • Bob Copping had a delightful (depending on your point of view) story of a couple of Boll Weevils.
    • Mark Odland told us the Mayor is looking for some technological help for the projectors in our meeting room.
    • Bill Roberts reported that his snow blower started on the first try!
    Richard Swanson introduced our speaker, CEO of Tiara Yachts Tom Slikkers.
    Tom’s dad has been involved in boat making his whole adult life, beginning with Cris Craft way back in the 1940’s.  He began building boats on his own in his garage and decided that he was ready to move into their manufacture and bought a building (with an apartment) in Holland and began building fiberglass boats.  Soon, most of the 14,000 boat makers of the 1950’s were reduced to just 6 or seven today as wood boat makers went out of business.
    The new business, Slickcraft, was sold to AMF in 1969.  With that sale, Tom’s father lost his independence and after a few years, he left that company and in 1974 started S2 Sailboats and a few years later, Tiara Yachts.  For a long time they were the only factory in the world building both sailboats and power boats in the same building.
    They recently sold their “Pursuit” line of boats, manufactured in Florida and now just have the facility in Holland where they employ about 800 people.  They build high end boats from 30 to 60 feet long and that can cost up to 5 million dollars.
    He said that their biggest competition is for time as using boats requires people to have time and now families are spending less time on the water as they get involved in other activities with their children.  As a result, boats have to be designed to work differently than they used to, with things that fit a different lifestyle.
    Tom indicated that their sales are focused on a quality product that includes integrating electronic advancements and other innovations rather than on price point.
    Two workforce issues that he deals with include working with a multigenerational workforce and how important workforce training is to his business.
    Tom concluded by talking about how much he loves his business and his employees, and often enjoys working with his father, who, at 90 years old, still comes to work every day.
    Richard thanked Tom for his interesting presentation and presented him with our speaker’s gift.
    Mark Odland closed the meeting with the Four Way Test
    Next week’s program: Jerry Gruber will introduce Dr. Jeff Postma who will be talking about replacement parts.
    Next week’s Greeters:  Bob Boerma
    Editarian:  Dene Hadden