Posted by Dene Hadden
SPOKES VOL. LXIV NO. 10                                                                               September 12, 2017
Our greeters this morning were Larry Lewis and Dan Liehr.
We opened our meeting with “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” and a moment of silence for the victims of Harvey and Irma and in remembrance of 911.
Our guests today included Prospective member Jeff Melvin and our speaker, Rick DeVries.
No Spotlight this week.
Jim Davis had the pleasure of leading our songfest this week!  We began with the good old “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”, as long it isn’t Comerica Park.  We sang better than the Tigers are playing right now.  We followed that with a fairly recent hit, “Wait ‘Til the Sun Shines, Nellie” from 1905.  Appropriate for the mornings now as it is still dark when we start our meetings this time of year.  We finished with one of our favorite Rotary songs, “Sing! Everyone, Sing!”
  • Don’t forget the Club Runner App for your phones, it’s a great resource! It now features member birthday and anniversaries.  Hopefully consistent use of Club Runner will keep members aware of their anniversaries and save much grief.  Spokes can also be assessed through this app.
  • Marty Graber has arrived back in Kenya and will provide us updates as progress is made on the projects there.
  • Hurricane Harvey and or Irma Relief though Rotary.  If you wish to make a Hurricane Harvey or Irma donation through Rotary, you can do so by writing a check to the Rotary District 6360 Foundation and mail it to the foundation Attention Nan Thompson. C/o Jansen Valk Thompson Reahm PLS, 7171 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo, MI 49009.  Please note Hurricane Harvey or Irma Relief in the check’s memo line.
  • We will need a volunteer to do Spokes for January, February and March, 2018.
  • Don’t forget the District Foundation Raffle!  Tickets are $25.
  • We received a thank you for our donation of sausages to We Care.
  • As sponsors of the Blueberry Festival, we are invited to the festival’s celebration Harvest Dinner later this month.
Larry Wittkop had the lucky ticket and then drew the “2”.  Unfortunately, Dorothy Lockwood drained the pot last week, so Larry won practically nothing.  Bob McAlear was more fortunate, winning the $2 prize and more than doubling Larry’s winnings.
  • Tom Renner’s grandson Tommy celebrated his 12th birthday this week.  We celebrated with a Ludington style birthday song in spite of Tom’s efforts to buy us off.
  • Tom Ruesink managed to discover a picture of Dene Hadden from a past life that included long, dark hair and a polyester leisure suit which provided much mirth as it was passed among members.
  • Dan Leihr’s son has been deployed to Florida along with the rest of his artillery unit.  Let Dan know if you know anyone who needs some demolition done.
  • Melinda Gruber will be off to San Diego shortly.
  • Bob Copping told us the story of a wife unplugging life support at her husband’s request.
  • Glenn Pietenpol was pleased to congratulate his Packers.  He did not mention Notre Dame.
  • Tom Fleming announced that everyone with a Shell Rewards Card will get 10 cents off each gallon of gasoline on a fillup on “Big Ten Tuesdays” for the next several weeks, at least.
  • Most Florida folks reported good news about Florida family and property except that Jim Davis has not heard from his sister.
  • Jeff Melvin announced his son’s engagement and asked where he could get a yellow leisure suit.
  • Larry Wittkop and Scott Mark were kind of pleased with MSU’s win over WMU last Saturday.
  • Dene Hadden invited everyone to the newly renovated gym at South Haven High School on Thursday this week to see the completed work and to watch a very good SHHS varsity volleyball team play Paw Paw in a league match.  Varsity play will begin about 6:30
Glenn Pietenpol introduced our speaker this morning, Rick DeVries of Chemical Bank.

Rick, who is the Regional Bank President for Chemical Bank’s southern region, has had a tremendous amount of experience in the banking industry, having worked in all sections of the country, including four years in the World Trade Center in New Your City prior to 9/11.


He talked to us about the growth of Chemical Bank from a sleepy little local bank in Midland to a regional bank with nearly 19 billion dollars in assets.He credits the innovative and vision centered leadership of the CEO of the bank for this growth.


He indicated that that most of the changes that occur when a bank gets bigger should occur under the tip of the iceberg.The tip of the iceberg is the public part of the banking industry and it is important that this part of any bank stay local and focuses on customer service.


He also talked about the advances in technology that will continue in the banking industry and the convenience they provide.


He, like our speaker a couple of weeks ago, Paul Hix, believes that the economy is in good shape and, provided that the politicians in Washington follow through with their work, should remain in good shape for the foreseeable future, with slow, steady growth


Several times during his presentation, Rick referenced Rotary and the ideals and selflessness that Rotary and its members embrace.He believes that Chemical Bank’s leadership embodies the imaginative, creative and vision following that makes Rotary such a great organization.


President Renner thanked Steve for his interesting presentation and presented him with a Rotary pen.
We closed the meeting with the Four Way Test.
Next week’s program: Bob McAlear will introduce author Peter Ferry.
Next week’s Greeters:  Stu Comiskey and Larry Wittkop
Editarian:  Dene Hadden