MEMBERS ATTENDING (15): Dick Drumm, Bill Dowd, Debbie Rodriguez, Murray Forth, Terry Brewer, Pat Bailey, Ray Hannan, Roberto Martinez, Phil Hannan, Tony Morris, Charlie Foote, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras.
GUESTS (1): Herb Klotz.
In lieu of our regular business agenda, we turned over the meeting time to Herb Klotz, Past Governor of District 7430 (Allentown, PA, area), the Zone 3 membership coordinator and trainer. He was invited to address the club by our President-elect Debbie Rodriguez who enjoyed his presentation on “Successful Data-Driven Club Membership Growth Strategies” at the recent PETS training.
Herb, who analyzed SRC’s membership ebbs and flows over the past few years, presented a slideshow describing multi-Zone studies and surveys about membership matters. Most of the attendees stayed on after the formal part of the session for a Q&A round with Herb. Here are examples of the slides’ content:
MEMBERS ATTENDING (14): Dick Drumm, Murray Forth, Jim Leyhane, Roberto Martinez, Ray Hannan, Pat Bailey, Charlie Foote, Terry Brewer, John Justino, Debbie Brown, Peter Brown, Andy Leyhane, Debbie Rodriguez, Phil Kellerman.
• Easter Baskets: The club delivered, courtesy of drivers Jim and Roberto, 126 baskets to Circles of Mercy in Rensselaer for the annual “Easter Baskets for Cate’s Kids” drive. Thanks to Shannon Romanowski for coordinating the drive this year, and to all Rotarians, families, friends, and Greenbush YMCA staff and members for their generous donations of baskets, contents, time, and money.
• Upcoming programs: On Thursday, April 8, Herb Klotz, PDG District 7430 in Pennsylvania, will speak on “Successful Data Driven Club Membership Growth Strategies” (thanks to Debbie Rodriguez). On April 15, Dave Hannan, PDG District 7021 in western New York, will speak on progress in polio eradication (thanks to Ray Hannan).
BOARD MEETING NOTES:
After the weekly club session, the SRC Board met via ZOOM. The full Board was in attendance, two by proxy. It discussed and approved, without dissent, two items:
• The Dr. Richard Drumm Fund: This is a Donor Advised Fund (DAF), operated within the Rotary Foundation but with local control. Details have been discussed at various club meetings and has been the subject of a Board subcommittee’s research, consultation, and discussion for several months. Once in place, it will allow members and others to make financial contributions that are fully tax deductible, and provide an avenue for formal grants and awards to other 501(c)3 organizations in Rensselaer County and elsewhere in conjunction with then club’s community service efforts. It is named in honor of our current club president and lone remaining charter member.
• Rotaract: In line with recent changes at the national level, the Danes Rotaract club recently voted to change some items in its own bylaws and submit them to us for sponsor approval. Included are the removal of an upper age limit for members, and a name change to NYSCR Danes Rotaract (the initials denoting “New York State Capital Region). The target demographic for membership will continue to be graduates and graduate students at the UAlbany School of Public Health, plus young professionals in the community.
MEMBERS ATTENDING (16): Dick Drumm, Bill Dowd, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Ray Hannan, Roberto Martinez, Jim Leyhane, Terry Brewer, Pat Bailey, Phil Kellerman, Tony Morris, Debbie Rodriguez, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, John Justino, Murray Forth.
GUESTS (1): Dustin Moore.
• Shannon Romanowski, coordinator of our Easter baskets drive, requests assistance assembling baskets at the Greenbush YMCA from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. this Friday and/or 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday. Last-minute donations of small toys, toothbrushes, and toothpaste would be appreciated. She estimates we will be donating 150-175 baskets to Circles of Mercy to be distributed to needy children.
• President-elect Debbie Rodriguez reported on last week’s PETS (Presidents-Elect Training Sessions) virtual workshops. She said the Rotary motto for 2021-22 is “Serve To Change Lives.” She also noted that RI has added an area of focus: “supporting the environment.”
• Debbie R. asked for at least two volunteers to participate in the 90-minute Grant Management virtual training on Saturday, April 10. (That is the minimum needed to allow SRC to apply for Rotary grants in the 2021-22 Rotary Year.) Bill Dowd and Phil Kellerman volunteered. Debbie suggested anyone else who wishes to participate to contact her ASAP so we have backup in case someone drops out.
• Dustin Moore, president of the Danes Rotaract, joined us to provide an update on Rotaract locally and proposed bylaws changes which the SRC Board, as his club’s sponsor, will review and vote on at their April 1 meeting. The club’s name will be modified to NYSCR Danes Rotaract (for New York State Capital Region). At the international level, Rotaract has removed the upper age limit (minimum remains 18), which Dustin said he thinks should help in recruitment. The Danes club is changing focus to become more available to younger professionals in the community. A second Rotaract club, sponsored by Albany Rotary, is being formed to make Rotary available to undergraduates on the UAlbany campus. Since the Danes membership is a mix of graduate students and alumni, it would be the next step for members of the fledgling UAlbany club when they graduate.
• Next meeting: Dr. Dave Hannan, immediate past governor of District 7120, will present a virtual program on polio efforts at our 7 p.m. ZOOM meeting. The SRC Board will meet immediately after the regular meeting.
MEMBERS ATTENDING (16): Dick Drumm, Bill Dowd, Debbie Rodriguez, Ray Hannan, Roberto Martinez, Jim Leyhane, Terry Brewer, Pat Bailey, Phil Kellerman, Andy Leyhane, Charlie Foote, Kevin Leyhane, Murray Forth, John Justino, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown.
• President Dick Drumm scheduled a Board meeting to be held immediately after the April 1 club meeting. The main topic will be to make a final decision on creating a club-based foundation, for which $10,000 in startup funds are needed. The Foundation Subcommittee will meet at 7 p.m. this coming Monday. March 22, to firm up the details to be voted on.
• Murray Forth reported that owner John Walsh of Quigley’s said all parties interested in purchasing his restaurant, which has been closed for the past year, have expressed interest in continuing to host SRC’s weekly dinner meetings.
• Shannon Romanowski reported, via Roberto Martinez, that we will produce 150 to 175 baskets for the annual “Easter Baskets for Kate’s Kids” drive in conjunction with Circles of Mercy. Final donations (checks, basket items, etc.) are due by this Friday at the Greenbush YMCA, where Shannon is director and coordinates our basket drive this year.
• Jim Lehayne said just 22 of the original 200 bars of handmade scented soaps he is selling as a club fundraiser remain. Please contact Jim if you would like to purchase any.
• Bill Dowd said he has sent bar code stickers to three members in response to a request for them as part of our Clynk recycling fundraiser. Anyone else who needs them should contact him. The recycling bags necessary to participate can be purchased in boxes of 10 for about $1.75 at any Hannaford supermarket, where bags of containers can be dropped off.
• Dick asked anyone who can line up a speaker to contact him to be put on the calendar.
• The Danes Rotaract has revised its bylaws in response to the national organization’s bylaw changes. As its sponsor, SRC needs to approve the club’s changes. We are trying to line up a Rotaract officer to speak with us at our next meeting. Meanwhile, Debbie Rodriguez, one of our liaisons to Rotaract, will email the revisions to all Board member for review.
MEMBERS ATTENDING (15): Dick Drumm, Bill Dowd, Debbie Rodriguez, Debbie Brown,Jim Leyhane, Peter Brown, Ray Hannan, Charlie Foote, Roberto Martinez, Kevin Leyhane, Phil Kellerman, Tony Morris, Murray Forth, Andy Leyhane, Pat Bailey.
• If anyone knows of an organization in need of face shields, please contact Sue Austin who, speaking on behalf of District 7190l, informed us a limited supply still is available. Sue can be contacted online via the District emailbox.
• Next Friday (March 19) is the final day to drop off Easter basket items or checks at the Greenbush YMCA in support of our annual drive in conjunction with Circles of Mercy. Club member Shannon Romanowski, director of the Y, is coordinating our effort.
• Fundraisers: Hoffman Car Wash tickets are available from Murray Forth. … A few handmade soaps remain available from Jim Leyhane or Roberto Martinez. … Bill Dowd urged members to be sure to use the Clynk container recycling program that helps support ShelterBox.
• Next week’s 7 p.m. ZOOM meeting will be a Club Assembly. Anyone who can recruit speakers for meetings after that is asked to contact President Dick Drumm.
• Program: Debbie Brown presented a video called “Revolutionary Gardners,” produced by the Garden Club of America. It featured virtual visits to George Washington’s Mount Vernon and Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello to see what these early American garden enthusiasts and brought to life on their Virginia properties.
MEMBERS ATTENDING (22): Dick Drumm, Bill Dowd, Debbie Rodriguez, Terry Brewer, Jim Leyhane, Roberto Martinez, Ray Hannan, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Kevin Leyhane, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Murray Forth, Charlie Foote, Pat Bailey, Phil Kellerman, Andy Leyhyane, and by proxy Becky Raymond, Ron Annis, Tony Morris, Jennifer Felts, Burke Adams.
• President Dick welcomed members, and surveyed the attendees to see how many had received at least one COVID vaccination. He said that as vaccination efforts continue, we may be able to discuss the possibility of having some sort of in-person event during this Rotary Year.
• Bill Dowd, speaking for the Nominating Committee (he, Dick, Roberto Martinez), reported that he had received 11 “yes” proxies in response to the email announcement of a slate of candidates for 2021-22 that were emailed to all SRC members over the weekend. He noted that six of those 11 people were in attendance, leaving a bank of five “yes” votes. He then read the slate and, per our Bylaws, asked for nominations from the floor. Murray Forth moved acceptance of the slate as presented. A voice vote was 17-0 in favor which, with the proxy votes, resulted in a 22-0 vote in favor of the following, who will take office on July 1:
President: Debbie Rodriguez President-elect: Kevin Leyhane Vice President: Terry Brewer Immediate Past President: Dick Drumm Treasurer: Murray Forth Secretary: Pat Bailey At-Large Directors: Bill Dowd, Jim Leyhane, Roberto Martinez, Dean Calamaras, Becky Raymond
• Terry Brewer, speaking for the Foundation Subcommittee (he, Phil, Dick, Murray, Jim, Roberto, Bill), updated members on research and meetings conducted with an eye toward creating some form of club foundation that would allow members and the public to make tax-deductible contributions through legacy giving, individual donations, and fundraising activities. There are various criteria for creating such an entity, and several different types of foundations. The subcommittee is recommending participating in a Donor Advised Fund (DAF), which is affiliated with the Rotary Foundation. It would require, among other things, a $10,000 base, a 2- to 4-person advisory board, and a draft mission statement. Any grants made by our foundation would be required to be made only to 501(c)3 organizations. There are more than 1,400 such groups in Rensselaer County including most schools, churches, community service agencies, and food pantries. We also would be able to have a separate non-foundation account from which we could dispense financial awards to non-501(c)3 groups or individuals as desired. The next step is for the SRC Board to make a go/no-go decision.
• Debbie Rodriguez reported that the Danes Rotaract club is planning a virtual trivia event for Wednesday, March 10. Our club is underwriting the cost of hats and T-shirts as prizes. Debbie and Murray are meeting at Quigley’s to see if we still have some mugs and other “swag” stored there that also can be used for prizes. Also, Phil Kellerman offered to provide several packs of specialty coffees to be used as prizes. (As an aside, Murray said owner John John is close to concluding negotiations for the sale of Quigley’s. It is not yet known if it will reopen as a restaurant or will be used for other purposes.)
• Murray and Terry, who have been co-chairing our recycling-and-shredding fundraising events, recommended waiting until September before holding the next such event. The consensus of the group was that waiting will allow more time for COVID vaccinations and, thus, increase public comfort with such an event.
• Next Week’s Program: Debbie Brown will share a presentation of famous gardens at our 7 p.m. ZOOM meeting.
MEMBERS ATTENDING (17): Dick Drumm, Bill Dowd, Murray Forth, Jim Leyhane, Debbie Rodriguez, Terry Brewer, Carol Orvis, Ray Hannan, Phil Kellerman, Roberto Martinez, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Tony Morris, Pat Bailey, Charlie Foote, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras.
MEETING NOTES: President Dick Drumm welcomed members and led a brief discussion of COVID vaccine experiences. Most members have had at least one shot, several have had both, and several have not been able to get on a list. Members shared possibilities and contact points. … Roberto Martinez, speaking on behalf of project coordinator Shannon Romanowski, reported that progress is being made toward the goal of providing 150 Easter baskets for kids through Circles of Mercy. Donated basket items are being accepted during regular hours at the Greenbush YMCA. The shopping list and project timeline are on the club website. Shannon said anyone not comfortable shopping for items can send a check payable to the Greenbush YMCA to cover the cost of baskets: 20 Community Way, East Greenbush NY 12061. (Be sure to include a note saying the check is for Easter baskets. …
Reminder that the deadline for registration for the virtual March 27 Rotary Leadership Institute is March 20, and the club will reimburse registrants for the $25 fee. Bill Dowd noted that anyone interested in this and other signups can simply go to the clkub website’s calendar page and click on the event rather than search through the website postings if they haven’t bother reading them as they are posted. … Reminder that Jim and Roberto still have some handcrafted scented soaps to sell, and Murray still has Hoffman Car Wash tickets. … Bill suggested that, since we have not had a major fundraiser this year, we begin looking into the possibility of a spring recycling/shredding event in case the pandemic eases enough to allow it to be held. Murray said he will check with our usual vendors to ascertain their availability and report back to the club next week. …
Terry Brewer reported on this week’s Foundation Subcommittee meeting. He explained some of the pros and cons of creating a foundation compared to attaching to RI’s Foundation. Continued study is under way, and another meeting is scheduled for 2/22. … Debbie Rodriguez noted that a meeting of the Danes Rotaract board was held this week, which prompted Bill to report that the club has received an email
MEMBERS ATTENDING (17): Dick Drumm, Bill Dowd, Tony Morris, Murray Forth, Ray Hannan, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Roberto Martinez, Kevin Leyhane, Debbie Rodriguez, John Justino, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Charlie Foote, Phil Kellerman, Andy Leyhane, Pat Bailey.
President Dick Drumm welcomed members. …
• Danes Rotaract faculty adviser John Justino reported on a meeting with Rich Welty of the Albany club and UAlbany student Erica Strand, a former Interact member, who want to form a Rotaract club on the school’s Uptown Campus, primarily for undergraduates. John noted that the Danes Rotaract club on the East Campus that we sponsor is composed of graduate students and alums, and that a cooperative effort of two such clubs might extend Rotary’s reach into the college demographic. …
• Dick appointed a Nominating Committee consisting of himself, Bill Dowd, and Roberto Martinez. They will meet, establish a slate of Board candidates for the 2021-22 Rotary Year, disseminate the list via e-mail to members over the weekend, then hold a vote next Thursday, March 4. That will firm up our incoming Board in time for the Presidents-elect PETS training scheduled for March 6 and the Treasurer and Secretary training session scheduled for March 13. …
• The Foundation Subcommittee is scheduled to meet with an RI representative on Monday to complete research on our decisions on financial futures. The group will report to the members at the March 4 virtual meeting . …
• Last week, Bill Dowd suggested we work on setting a date for a Recycling-and-Shredding Day since we have not had a major fundraising effort in more than a year. Murray Forth reported that since then he has checked with the recyclers we have used before and that both are available. We now will work on setting a date for the event, bearing in mind how COVID vaccinations and infection rates are going locally.
PROGRAM: Tony Morris, our newest member, presented the details of his Your CBD Store franchise, as well as the emerging field of CBD health products.
Tony explained that cannabidiol, popularly called CBD, sold as part of his company’s product line is obtained from industrial hemp, a cousin of the marijuana plant that does not contain halucinogenics. It has been a legal substance nationwide since passage of the federal 2018 Farm Bill. He said it works through the cannabinoids signaling system present in mammalian bodies, with CBD products supplementing natural cannabinoids. Products are formulated for both humans and pets.
He said that this is a “virtually unregulated industry, so there’s a lot of crap out there.” He described the process his 600-store parent company, SunFlora, goes through rigorous process to source and create a line of capsules, oil-based tinctures, and topically-applied supplements. Prices range from as little as $35 to as much as several hundred dollars depending on CBD concentration (20% discount for Rotarians). Uses can be for localized pain relief, skin care, sleep aids, anxiety, inflammation, and more.
Tony’s store is located in the Hannaford Plaza in East Greenbush. Phone: 518-650-7117.
Meeting held virtually via ZOOM videoconferencing.
MEMBERS ATTENDING (22): Dick Drumm, Bill Dowd, Carol Orvis, Murray Forth, Maggie Forth, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Debbie Rodriguez, Geoff Brewer, Terry Brewer, Tony Morris, Charlie Foote, Roberto Martinez, Jim Leyhane, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Pat Bailey, Andy Leyhane, Kevin Leyhane, Becky Raymond, Phil Kellerman, John Justino.
GUESTS (2): Lara Vazquetelles, Carrie Knudsen.
MEETING NOTES: President Dick Drumm welcomed members and guests. The 22 members constituted the largest such group we have had since transitioning from in-person to virtual meetings for this Rotary Year. … Bill Dowd reminded members that rather than sending out repetitive emails each week to give Rotarians the link to our ZOOM meetings, everyone is asked to check the calendar page on the club website to find the link and simply click on it to access the session. …
Our guests were two teachers from the East Greenbush Central School District, sharing their experiences so far handling “Education In the Age of Pandemic” — Lara Vazquetelles, a veteran special education teacher who joined the district in September, and Carrie Knudsen, who has been teaching sixth-graders at Goff Middle School.
They discussed the changes in public education created by the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic.
They touched on the variables in class size, the need for innovative use of technology, group dynamics, distractions during virtual instruction (barking dogs, loud music, etc.), the ongoing need for socialization while maintaining proper distancing and safety measures, and so forth.
They took questions from members both during the meeting and for another 20 minutes or so in an “after hours” session attended by nearly every member who had participated in the formal meeting period.
NEXT MEETING: 7 p.m. Thursday, January 21. Terry Brewer will lead a discussion on the possibilities of applying for 501(c)3 IRS status (the club currently is recognized as a 501(c)4 organization) and the pros and cons of creating a foundation as an adjunct to the club. Members have been sent copies of an analysis by Terry that will serve as background for the discussion.
Held at Quigley’s Restaurant 573 Columbia Turnpike East Greenbush, NY 12061 Virtually
Members Attending (19): Phil Kellerman, Dick Drumm, Terry Brewer, Murray Forth, Pat Bailey, Bill Dowd, Jim Leyhane, Dean Calamaras, Doris Calamaras, Debbie Rodriguez, Roberto Martinez, Kevin Leyhane, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Carol Orvis, Ray Hannan, Charlie Foote, Geoff Brewer, Becky Raymond.
Guests (1): Merlin the Cat.
FOR THE SECOND TIME this spring, the club held a virtual business meeting via Zoom video conferencing. (We also held a virtual social hour last week, and will do so again on Thursday, May 21.)
• The main item on the agenda was the election of the Club Board for the 2020-21 Rotary Year. The slate provided to the membership a week earlier was accepted by those present without amendment or objection:
PRESIDENT: Dick Drumm PRESIDENT-ELECT: Debbie Rodriguez VICE PRESIDENT: Terry Brewer TREASURER: Murray Forth SECRETARY: Pat Bailey AT-LARGE: Bill Dowd, Jim Leyhane, Roberto Martinez, Dean Calamaras, Kevin Leyhane IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT: Phil Kellerman
• President Phil updated members on progress in putting together the package of documents to be submitted to the Internal Revenue Service as part of our effort to regain tax-exempt status. The 8990 EZ forms have been completed, and the 1024A form is next. Within the next week, we hope to put all relevant documents on a password-protected web page. The current Board will have access to review the documents before final submission.
• Terry reported that we have received verifications from Columbia and Rensselaer high schools that scholarship recipients have been selected. We still need to hear from Maple Hill. The club subsequently voted to approve $1,000 individual scholarships for one graduating senior at each of those schools. Recipients will be invited to join us at a Zoom meeting, but the actual checks will be mailed to them.
• Roberto reported that we are on schedule to meet all requirements and deadlines for District Grants for the current and 2020-21 Rotary Years.
• Murray reported that a $1,040 grant check has been sent to the Freedom From Fistula Foundation, and that the same amount will be mailed to The Oley Foundation. The grants are funded by proceeds from our Foundation Bowl-a-Thon.
• Because of a lack of club activity, it was agreed to cease print advertising until September.