Meeting of 12/8/16: ‘Banking Today,’ and ADG visit

screen-shot-2016-10-16-at-7-10-54-pmMeeting at Quigley’s Restaurant
593 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY
December 8, 2016

Members Attending (15): Debbie Rodriguez, Murray Forth, Roberto Martinez, Bill Dowd, Jim Leyhane, John Sawchuk, Terry Brewer, Stewart Wagner, Dick Drumm, Dean Calamaras, Ray Hannan, Becky Raymond, April Dowd, Melissa Bill, Charlie Foote.

Guests (1): Assistant District Governor Jack Faddegon.


Melissa Bill leads listeners through a ‘financial wellness’ checklist.

Club member Melissa Bill, the West Sand Lake branch manager for Key Bank, described her background of 12 years in the industry during which she worked her way up from part-time clerk to management. In that period, she has worked for five different banking companies.

Melissa explained that beyond basic banking services, many modern companies deal with customers’ “financial wellness,” something she said fits within her personal philosophy of banking. What that means, she said, is “paying attention to what people really want and need from their bank.”

She also noted that younger customers tend never to go into a bank, preferring to handle all their transactions electronically. In answer to a question about how to get young adults to be more bank savvy and proactive in  their financial dealings, Melissa advised that they should get to know their bank branch managers and make an appointment for an annual  review of their finances. “Think about it the same way you do for a checkup from your doctor,” she said.

She supplied a list of questions her bank asks during client interviews, and suggested we all use it as a self-assessment.



ADG Jack Faddegon speaks.

ASSISTANT DG VISITS — Jack Faddegon, ADG of District 7190’s Area 8 (SRC, Cohoes, Lansingburgh, Colonie-Guilderland), was our special guest. He said DG John Mucha has asked each ADG in the District to come up with a cooperative project involving their Areas’ clubs. Among suggesti0ns already up for consideration are a work project at a local historic site, conducting a public “What Is Rotary?” informational event, undertaking a membership improvement effort for clubs having difficulty, or any other item we can think of. He said he will coordinate among the clubs, and hopes to decide on an effort shortly after the upcoming holidays.

Jack also switched to his role as District coordinator (along with wife Nancy) for ShelterBox to express thanks for SRC’s continuing support at a high financial level for the international disaster agency, and to Bill Dowd for serving as the club’s ShelterBox Liaison Officer. SRC Treasurer Murray Forth then surprised Jack with our latest check for ShelterBox — this one for $2,600, funded by five SRC members’ special contributions.

NEW MEMBERS — President Debbie Rodriguez announced the acceptance of new members Phil and Mary Bonnie Nasca. Phil is dean of the UAlbany School of Public Health, and Bonnie is a retired special education teacher. We hope to welcome them at the December 22 Holiday Party.

T-SHIRT DISTRIBUTION — Jim Leyhane and Roberto Martinez distributed the special T-shirts the club purchased to support a Rotary Foundation fundraiser. He said members also can pick up shirts at the Third Thursday club breakfast meeting next week; thereafter, shirts will be stored at Quigley’s for further distribution as needed.

screen-shot-2016-12-05-at-10-37-19-pm“VOTES & VOLTS” — President Debbie urged strong attendance at next week’s dinner meeting, reminding members that the agenda calls for (a) a vote on proposed Bylaws changes as emailed to all members and posted on the website, and (b) a presentation by webmaster Bill Dowd on “The Website, Social Media and You.”

INDOOR SIMULATOR GOLF — Tentative dates of Saturday, January 21, and Saturday, March 11, are being discussed with Burden Lake Country Club for our usual winter fundraising events. Murray will report back when the dates are solidified.

basketHOLIDAY PARTY — Our annual “Holiday Party & Themed-Basket Silent Auction” will begin at 6 p.m. Thursday, December 22, at the Forth residence in East Greenbush. Murray asked members to email him at no later than December 19 to let him know if they plan to attend, and how many guests — including children — they plan to bring. The event may be a bring-a-dish, but that is not certain at this point. Members are asked to be sure to bring a themed basket for auction since all money raised by that activity  will go directly to the club treasury.

BOWLING FOR VETS — Representatives of the two organization that will receive a total of just under $3,000 from our fundraiser — the Blue Star Mothers military family aid group and Capital Region Nordic Alliance (CRNA) which offers adaptive sports programs for vets — will attend our January 5 meeting to receive checks. It was noted that  Phil Kellerman still is selling specialty coffees to raise additional funds for CRNA.

adopt-a-family-logoADOPT-A-FAMILY UPDATES — Our three separate but complementary efforts are doing well. April Dowd said virtually everything has been accounted for on behalf of the Circles of Mercy family; Terry Brewer reported similar success for the Doors of Hope family, and John Sawchuk said his staff and students at Columbia High School will complete collections for seven families.

RESOLVED TO RECYCLE — Publicity efforts for our New Year’s paper and electronic recycling fundraiser in support of community service projects have begun. Flyers already have been posted on the website and on various Facebook pages, and copies have been given to club members for distribution in support of the Saturday, January 14, activity. A signup sheet to line up volunteer help will be circulated.

rotary-home-cooking-logo-2ROTARY HOME COOKING — We have five hosts lined up for our annual  member-hosted dinner series from January through May. In response to Roberto Martinez’s inquiry about additional availabilities, it was noted that the series is not limited to monthly dates. In fact, it was mentioned that  because these are small-group events, having more than one a month might encourage more people to get involved as either hosts or guests.

NEXT MEETINGS: On Thursday, December 15, we will hold a 7 a.m. breakfast meeting at the Greenbush Area YMCA, 21 Community Way, and a 6:15 p.m. dinner meeting at Quigley’s, 593 Columbia Turnpike, both in East Greenbush.

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