Posted by Dene Hadden on Oct 29, 2019
SPOKES VOL. LXVI NO. 15                                                                               October 29, 2019
Our greeters this morning were Tony Martorano and Don Hodgman
President Odland opened the meeting with “My Country ‘tis of Thee” and Art Ayers provided another inspiring invocation including our most prayerful thoughts those of our club suffering at this time.
Our Guests this morning included prospective new members Brian Kurtz, Mike Livovich and Stiffin Davis, Ashley Albrecht from the Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan Council and our speaker George Erickcek.  Also visiting was Erica Morrison from We Care.
Spotlight: Girl Scouts – Heart of Michigan Council
Ashley Albrecht gave a brief presentation about the growth of girl scouting in South Haven.  They have had a good year recruiting and are working hard to keep our troops active and growing.
President Odland presented a check to Ashley for $500 for scholarships to allow four girls to join girl scouts who would not be able to join otherwise.
  • There will be an after action review of the Harbor Fest after our meeting today.
  • We are pleased to announce the Al Ruppert is the winner of our Rotary District “Golden Trowel” award for his service to our community.  The Award will be presented to Al on October 30.
  • November 21st is our Chamber ABO at the Moose Lodge with the Moose.  Volunteers needed.
  • December 10th is our Holiday Party at the Yacht Club
  • December 21st is the Open Door Dinner at the Methodist Church
  • December 21st is our day to do the Salvation Army Bell Ringing
  • Blessings in a Backback next stuffing will be on November 1st at 1:15 at Lincoln School
  • We have new member applications from Mike Livovich, Steffin Davis and Brian Kurtz.  Anyone with concerns about any of these prospective members are urged to speak to their sponsor before consulting Board members.
It was Bob Boerma’s turn to lead us in song this morning.He lead us off with the always rousing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”.This 1908 Tin Pan Alley song was sung with gusto, and when the words “home team” were up, there was a Ludington style substitution of everything from Tigers to Cardinals to Cubs.(Not sure how “Cubs” gets divided into two syllables.) Next up was “Wait ‘til the Sun Shines, Nelly”.In a long-standing tradition, floor traders at the New York Stock Exchange sing this song on the last trading day of every year and on Christmas Eve.[4] The song has been the stock exchange anthem at least back as far as 1934.We finished with one of our favorites and best done songs, “Sing, Everyone, Sing!”
The Dene Hadden/Tony Martorano syndicate finally had the lucky ticket after years of trying.  Unfortunately, Dene drew the Ace which would have been great in Las Vegas, not so great in South Haven.  Ashley Albrecht drew her own number to add $2 to the Girl Scout fund.
  • Rosalie Plecharty is celebrating her husband’s birthday this week – a very special celebration.
  • Tom Renner has grandson turning 8 years old this week.
  • Bob Stickland was able to give us a positive report on his wife Delores who suffered a broken hip last week.  She is recovering well and will start rehab this week.
  • Dan Leihr noted that every female astronaut was a Girl Scout when they were young.
  • Scott Smith was pleased to announce that construction has started on the splash pad and Baer Park has been returned to the city as a public park.
  • There was much appreciation for Michigan’s football victory this weekend, and a mention of the Bronco’s but no mention of any green teams.
Bob Straits introduced our speaker this morning, George Erickcek from the Upjohn Institute.
George, who worked for the Upjohn Institute for many years, returned to Michigan and South Haven as a friend of the community.
He reviewed the definition of economic development:  To increase the income of existing residents.
He offered that bringing in new talent has little effect on residents and may, in some cases, hurt them by raising home prices as evidenced by San Francisco or many cities in Oregon.
The plan should be to grow current businesses.  This includes attraction, growth and retaining base jobs.
His one concern is income inequity.
He thinks that manufacturing in a place like South Haven should focus on niche items that can be manufactured in small factories.
What we want is innovation and design.
George suggests that it is important, but extremely difficult, to develop better job skills in current residents and employees.  The best scenario is for them to get on-the-job training somehow.  He noted that in 2017 50% of all working residents drove 25 miles or more to get to work.  He suggested that there may be better jobs for those folks in another direction or closer but there is no system to help them find those jobs.
He has three great ideas for our community:
  1. Develop a system for helping residents find better job matches.
  2. More entrepreneurships using Small Business Assistance Centers and the large pool of experts in many fields, especially marketing and accounting to help new businesses succeed.
  3. Small business growth
George answered several questions from members clarifying his beliefs in these great ideas.
President Odland thanked George for his interesting and visionary program and presented him with one of our valuable speaker’s pens.
We closed the meeting with the Four Way Test.
Next week’s program: Rosalie Plecharty will introduce Jim Marcoux from the Greater South Haven Area Community Foundation
Greeters:  Kathy Brickley and Bob Boerma
Editarian:  Dene Hadden