SOUTH HAVEN ROTARY SPOKES -- Tuesday, October 6, 2020
Editorian Dene Hadden is off for a few weeks. Tom Renner and Art Ayers will be pinch-hitting. (Our report this week lacks visuals. Tom couldn't multi-task. Sorry.)
Kaileigh did double-duty today serving as the Greeter and Program Chair.
President Dan gaveled us to order at 7 a.m.
We began with the Pledge of Allegiance. Art offered the invocation holding members Mike and Dene in his prayer.
Guests today included Jim Sullivan, representing the District Foundation, and our speaker, Al Pscholka.
Dan's friend, Glenn Campbell,  tried to get our blood pumping. (I prefer coffee :).
* We were reminded to complete the meal survey recently distributed by Dan. To date, we've heard from 32 of you. Please respond this week.
* Dan and Mark will represent us tonight at the Chamber of Commerce recognition event.
* Bill is working on November programming. If you are a program chair, please contact him.
* Board meeting next week (October 13).
* Membership Committee meeting this Thursday (9 a.m. ZOOM).
* A reminder to vote in Tribune South Haven's Best promotion. Rotary among the finalists in the non-profit organization category.
* A reminder that Greeters are back "on" even though we are meeting virtually. Check the website for assignments.
* Dan noted that the recent Rotary International "Gold" Award for our club is a significant recognition. Only seven percent of ALL clubs worldwide achieve this distinction.
On behalf of the District Foundation, Jim Sullivan presented a $4,000 Grant to support our initiative for the city's Splashpad project. Jim, who is also President of the Saugatuck club, commended the president leadership of Mark.
Bob Copping's contribution to the current political climate was an "enlightening" Pearly Gates campaign story.
Guest Al drew Mike Livovich for the 50/50 drawing. Mike in turn drew Jim Davis for the two bucks.
* Deb Davidson's grandson, Shawn, is 15! (We are also treated to a visit by granddaughter Sophia.)
* Marty Graber is celebrating ?? (Editarian missed it, sorry Marty)
* Pastor Jeff's granddaughter, Julie, is five.
In tribute, Larry led us in a Ludington version of Stodola Pumpa.
Kaileigh introduced Al Pscholka, Vice President Government Relations and Public Affairs at Kinexus on behalf of Market Van Buren.
Al began with some positive news, noting that while unemployment in Van Buren County dipped to 20% during the height of COVID it is currently 8% and trending in a positive direction.
He gave a history of Market Van Buren whose purpose is to help create a positive business environment for economic growth. He praised the work of Zachary Morris who is leading the Van Buren County effort.
Among current priorities is the establishment of improved internet connectivity and speed for residents and businesses. Job creation is also a priority. He noted that in the time Market Van Buren has existed that countywide 11 businesses have expanded and over 400 jobs have been retained when businesses decided not to relocate elsewhere. He also said the organization has been busy helping businesses obtain financial relief during the COVID pandemic.
Specific to South Haven, there has been significant financial job training assistance provided to eight companies. An estimated 300 job-seekers were assisted. New programs were initiated in the areas of Nursing Assistance Training and Craft Brewing. Market Van Buren also supported local businesses who have "retooled" in response to needs during the COVID crisis.
Al answered members' questions.
Dan presented our speaker with a gift certificate to a local eating establishment.
Donna Zeppiero from Al-Van Humane Society will be the speaker.
We conclude with the Four Way Test.