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MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: March

Back with another installment of our ever-popular feature: Member Spotlight. Hold on to your hats, here's Mr. Tom Gregorini.

Tom Gregorini

Tom is a remodeling contractor – kitchens/baths, home maintenance and additions. His client base is 100% referral and is proud to say he doesn’t do any formal advertising (sorry Darren). His company does all forms of remodeling from maintenance (roofs, doors, painting, new flooring, etc) to additions and whole house remodels. About 50% of Tom’s clients are remodels that involve the use of his designer. 

Tom’s industry is regulated by MHIC (Maryland Home Improvement Commission) which requires all contractors to have a MHIC license. Of course, many do not. If they remodel in Maryland it is not only illegal but a criminal offense that can include jail time. The role of MHIC is to protect the homeowner from unscrupulous contractors.

Tom gets the most satisfaction helping a client in a situation where they have received bad advice or poor work either from a misinformed or intentionally misleading contractor. It's amazing how often this occurs according to Tom. 

Tom is married to Mary (27 years strong). Mary is a school teacher at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Ellicott City. According to Tom, she's the kind of teacher that thinks it's cheating if she uses a lesson from a previous year. They have four children: Tom- 26, The Culinary Institute of America graduate currently working in Charleston. Sarah- 24, Anthropology degree and currently looking for full-time employment in her field (probably overseas). Domenica -14, the actress in the family. She can remember songs, movies, books (has read all of Shakespeare) word-for-word even only after hearing, seeing or reading it ONCE, brags Tom. Frankie- 11, plays hockey.

Tom spends his extra time with his kids, at church activities, exercising, planning trips -- Italia in June with the family and climbing Kilimanjaro in August with his youngest daughter. 

Tom is a tough audience when it comes to humor. Rarely jokes make him laugh; however, he does love sarcasm (dishing it out is his specialty).

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Committee Showcase:

International Committee

The International Committee has been busy since the fall of 2012 planning existing projects and exploring new opportunities for the club across the world. Lon, Leon, Cliff, San, Tom, Duyshant, and Helena have been diligently planning and organizing the water well project we are working on in Gondar, Ethopia. One of their biggest tasks was to obtain grant money from Rotary International for the additional funding needed for the drilling. Due to their hard work and efforts, they were able to procure over $40,000 in matching grants from local clubs, our district, as well as RI. They are now in the planning and bidding stage of the project and hope to start drilling in the next sixty to ninety days. They should be applauded for their hard work over the past 4 years getting the project to this point.  

In other International news, the group has been actively researching and assisting the district with the International Youth exchange project. Our main goal is to fully understand the process and then approach our Interact Students, as well as youth in and around the club to participate in the coming years. It is a great opportunity for our young people, as well as the club itself to have exposure to this program. We are also researching a Friendship Exchange with another club in Europe with more details to come in the coming months.  

The International Committee is always looking for new members and projects. Please feel free to reach out to Chair Chris DeLuca or any of the committee members for ideas and participation.

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What do the Committees in Rotary do?

In Rotary, each club has committees. We do understand that most outsiders don’t understand the purpose of these committees. But as Rotarians, we often forget that we get so caught up in the weekly meeting agenda that we don’t always know what is going on in the committees in our own club. So, we’re going to begin showcasing some of these committees over the coming months. Our first Committee blog post is for everyone -- for outsiders to understand the purpose and a refresher and reminder for Rotarians.

Committee Role and Responsibilities 

Service Above Self is Rotary’s principal motto, which means that every Rotarian is responsible for finding ways to improve the quality of life in his or her community and in those around the world through service.

The role of the committee is to lead the club’s service initiatives and to help develop and implement educational, humanitarian, and vocational service projects that benefit the local community and communities in other countries.

Develop committee goals to achieve club service project goals for the coming year. 

  • Conduct service projects that include needs assessments, planning, and evaluation. 
  • Identify opportunities for signature projects that will increase your club’s recognition in the community. 
  • Work with other organizations, volunteers, and committee members to maximize the impact of your projects. 
  • Lead efforts to raise funds for projects. 
  • Understand liability issues that affect your club projects and activities. 
  • Work with the club public relations committee to promote service projects. 
  • Reach out to clubs locally and internationally for partnership, fellowship, service, and volunteer activities.

Service provides an opportunity for networking and fellowship among club members. Involving all members in service projects helps keep members engaged and doing good in our communities and abroad.

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MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: January

Back with another popular feature: our Member Spotlight. Ladies and Gentleman... may I present Mr. Chris DeLuca.

Chris DeLuca

Chris recently opened a Construction Management Firm focusing on banking and retail development in the Mid-Atlantic: McHenry Project Consultants. A goal of his since graduating college, Chris was most proud to have had the means and ability to start his own company and is excited that he’s off to a great start. He has also worked in Commercial Real Estate, again focusing on financial, retail, and corporate site selection and leasing.

Having been the VP of Construction for a regional bank, his primary industry served is the banking industry. However, he does enjoy working with small businesses and national retailers with their construction and site selection activities.

Chris has been married to his “amazing wife” Keri Lyn for 3 1/2 years. They have an energetic 17 month old son, Christian, who has completely taken over their home and hearts. They recently rescued a dog, Bo, from the Howard County Animal Shelter. The DeLucas spend most of their free time with family, going to local events and dinners. Chris does enjoy attending numerous sporting events, as well as playing squash, tennis, and biking.

Although his son is now the funniest guy he knows, he is a fan of stand-up comedy and attends shows at the DC Improv “more than I should.”

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MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: November

Our first spotlight was a big hit so we're excited to bring you our second installment. Ladies and Gentleman... may I present Mr. Alan Jefferson.

 

Alan Jefferson

Alan works with entrepreneurs by helping them achieve their goals in business. He presents innovative financing solutions coupled with a complete banking relationship. He prides himself in being a “trusted advisor”, by always putting his clients first. A traditional “small business banker”, while comfortable with larger transactions, in the $1.5mm range, he is at his best in lower ranges. He has the advantage of being able to provide financing solutions for very small needs as well – as low as $10,000, which sets him apart from many bankers.

 

Alan started his banking career in 1974 -- becoming a lender in 1984. His proudest moment(s) over the years have been anytime he was compared to his father. His Dad was a banker for 37 years and did wonderful things in the community.

In his personal life, Alan is very proud of his family. His wife Mary, put her career as a Horticulturist on hold 20 years ago to stay at home and raise their children. A job Alan very much admires. “I often tell people that I have 2 kids, but Mary has 3. If you know me, you’ll understand.”

Alan’s daughter Amanda, is a Jr at UNC-Wilmington where she is a top student in Marine Biology. She is active with the campus Catholic Ministry and is a first string violinist for the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra. She volunteered at the National Aquarium for 2 years, and was a camp counselor for Camp Possibilities (diabetes) and worked at the Conservancy.

 

Son David is a Freshman at Stony Brook University on Long Island, NY. He is considering History and Political Science. David is a computer whiz who started his own company at age 16. An avid cyclist, he typically would ride up to 150 miles a week. David was in scouting from age 6 to 18, and at 16 he went to Philmont Reservation for 2 weeks of high adventure backpacking.

In Alan’s extra time, he enjoys music (loves to go to shows – classic rock), the beach and LOVES the Terps. He is very active with the Terrapin Club and has season tix for Men’s and Women’s hoops, football, Men’s LAX. He served 2 terms on the board in College Park.

 

Anyone who knows Alan understands he has a bit of a warped sense of humor. “I see funny things that others might not. I guess, for the most part, Alan Jefferson likes to laugh at… Alan Jefferson.”

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A Foundation Moment Wake Up.

Often at our 7:30 breakfast meetings, it takes a while to wake up. We have announcements, welcome guests and listen to a vocational moment. At this point, most of us are still on our first cup of coffee and won't be wide awake until our morning presenter delivers another fantastic program. But then there are those special moments some mornings that wake you up more than any amount of coffee ever could. On this particular morning, one of our members stood up and delivered a well done, to the point foundation moment that really opened eyes and hearts and reminded us why we do what we do. Enjoy.

"This week’s Rotary Foundation Thought is about PolioPlus.

In 1985, Rotarians made a promise to the children of the world to eradicate polio. Since PolioPlus began, the number of polio cases worldwide has declined by 99 percent, thanks largely to the efforts of Rotarians around the world. Rotarians have committed nearly US$650 million toward global polio eradication efforts. Already, five million children are walking who would have been paralyzed, and more than 1.5 million lives have been saved. None of this would be possible if it weren’t for Rotary’s leadership and vision.

What a wonderful legacy we are leaving to the children of the world. Goodbye Polio. Thank you, Rotary."

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The Rotary Club of Columbia/Patuxent has selected Abby Glassberg as the recipient of its inaugural Community Service Above Self Award. Each year, the award will recognize a non-Rotarian who gives back to the community in a way that promotes the Club’s spirit of having fun through community service.

 

Abby, who works with a wide array of community organizations including Leadership Howard County, the ARC, Columbia Triathlon Association, Special Olympics, and Ronald McDonald House, was among 19 individuals nominated to be the first recipient of this award. Her work with these organizations made her a clear choice - As one of her two nominators said, “If Abby is involved, it is always engaging, meaningful, and FUN!”

 

“Our Club introduced this award to help promote the benefits of serving our community, doing it in a fun way and leading others to join in improving the lives of those in need.” Club President Dave Lerer said. “Service Above Self is the core mission of the Rotary Club of Columbia/Patuxent and we congratulate Abby on being the first recipient of this award and on leading a life of service to her community."

 

In honor of Abby's service to the community, a donation of $5,000 will be made by the Club on her behalf to Grassroots, a local non-profit that provides emergency and transitional shelter to individuals and families in need of a place to sleep, advice or other help and was selected by Abby to receive this gift.

 

Joan Athen, Chairman of the Charitable Trust, said, “We are proud to present this award to such a true example of our ideals and Abby has selected a non-profit that touches many lives in Howard County to receive the Club’s donation.”

 

Abby will be recognized on November 1st at the Club's Annual Fundraiser, a Night on the Riverboat, which will be held at the Doubletree Hotel in Columbia. Anyone wishing to attend this event and join in honoring Abby may do so by registering at www.columbiarotary.com.

 

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Introducing: MEMBER SPOTLIGHT

We're excited about our new blog series: Member Spotlight

Yes, we're all great Rotarians but we'd like you to know a little bit more about us as professionals and members of the community. We hope you enjoy our first spotlight. Ladies and Gentleman... may I present Ms. Sherri Brogan.

Sherri Brogan

Sherri sells commercial office furniture for Columbia Commercial Interiors. She also does space planning and offers design assistance. She works with all commercial elements: Office, Healthcare, Hospitality, Restaurants and Home office – any place that could use a chair, desk or file cabinet!

 

Her proudest proudest career moment? 

“Since we are such a small business, every time I win a contract over a large company is a proud moment for me. I guess the best moment, was landing a 1.2 million dollar project that I specified and worked on for over a year.”

In her personal life, she has been married for 20 1/2 years to a man she met in High School! Jim and Sherri dated their sophomore year, broke up and started dating again after graduation. She has two great rescue dogs, Pudge and Miami and she’s “Aunt Sherri” or “Aunt She She” to 8 great nieces and nephews!

Sherri is very family oriented and spends a lot of time with her family. She’s also a big sports fan and loves to sport the Orioles and Ravens as often as she can. “I also love to bake!”, says Sherri. 

Anyone who knows Sherri, knows she’s full of fun: “I laugh pretty easily! So when I'm with friends and family, I'm generally laughing!”

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We're Volunteers. Damn good ones.

Whenever I talk to others about being a Rotarian, I am often asked just what type of volunteer is a Rotarian. We’re just volunteers like any other. There’s no level as to how much or how little you do it. And most importantly you should only do it if YOU want to -- if you want to make a difference. Volunteering is when you give your time to help an organization, or an individual in need. Volunteering should never be something you are made to do, and is not done for financial gain. The rewards are about the satisfaction of putting something back into society, about gaining useful experience and skills, meeting new people, and hopefully having fun!

Volunteers are valuable assets to any organization and it is therefore important that the voluntary worker is happy in their role. Many times after completing community service, we all take a deep breath and look at ourselves and just smile. There’s something about making a difference in someone else’s life or supporting a great cause through service. Often it takes so little time to do but means the world to someone. I have to admit, often I feel a little guilty because we have so much fun. To me, there’s no better volunteers in the world than Rotary. Won’t you join us?

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LIVING THE FOUR-WAY TEST Each Rotarian undertakes to apply The Four-Way Test in his daily life and relationships of all kinds.

SERVICE Rotary is a service club, above all else. Each Rotarian must undertake to provide his sincere best efforts to work together with his or her fellow Rotarians, both local and worldwide, to achieve the Object of Rotary, to strive to make the world a better place for all people everywhere in all ways possible, and to always be in the vanguard, leading the way. A Rotarian never says "no" when asked by Rotary to serve or help in any task or endeavor which is within his or her capabilities and not an unreasonable burden.

FELLOWSHIP Each Rotarian participates fully in the warm fellowship with other Rotarians - in his or her local Rotary Club week by week and also with Rotarians from other Rotary Clubs whenever possible. District Assemblies, District Conferences and the International Convention provide regular opportunities to expand a Rotarians fellowship with other Rotarians. Visiting other Rotary Clubs while travelling is a privilege accorded to all Rotarians in good standing around the world - the local Club Secretary should have a Rotary International book listing meeting information for all Rotary Clubs, and that information is also provided on-line by Rotary International (RI) in the When and Where Clubs Meet section of the RI website. The internet now provides a wonderful opportunity to communicate with other Rotarians around the world without the burden of travel - for example the Rotarians Online! Conference Center (ROCC) of the International Computer Users Fellowship of Rotarians.

GOODWILL The spreading of goodwill and friendship is the hallmark of Rotarians in every Rotary Club in the world - with those one sees every day, with those one works with or sees in his or her business or profession, with those in the same community, city or town, with those in the same country, and with all of humankind around the world, including all races, nationalities, creeds, religions, philosophies and heritages.

TOLERANCE AND UNDERSTANDING Rotary is non-sectarian - there is no place in Rotary for religious conflict or the urging of ones religious beliefs on others. Rotary is non-political - there is no place in Rotary for political campaigning of any kind. Rotary embraces every major religion, every political philosophy, every person - and shows favoritism to none. Rotary has accomplished marvelous things around the world over the past 90+ years, and has done so, in no small part, because of its universal appeal and dedicated furtherance of religious and political tolerance and of world understanding among all faiths, nations and peoples.

FINANCIAL SUPPORT Each Rotarians pays dues to his or her local Rotary Club. Part of those dues provide funds for the operation of the Club and for some part of the Club's local projects, while part goes to the Rotary District and to Rotary International for operational expenses and projects at those levels of the organization. The Rotary dues include a component for the Rotarian's subscription to "The Rotarian" - the official monthly magazine of Rotary. Each Rotarian pays an admission fee to the local Rotary Club on becoming a member.

ATTENDANCE The local Rotary Club's regular weekly meetings are the heart and soul of Rotary anywhere in the world. The Club needs its members present and participating - the Rotarian needs the regular weekly fellowship with his or her fellow Rotarians. When a member is absent from a meeting, the Club loses, the member loses and the fellow Rotarians each lose. Dedicated Rotarians routinely record 90% attendance. Any Rotary Club Secretary can testify that those whose memberships terminate by failure to meet the attendance requirements are almost always individuals who did not participate in Rotary projects when they were in the Club; and that those members whose attendance routinely hovers around the minimum 60% are generally not very active in Club projects. One of the great strengths of Rotary has always been that it provides for automatic "pruning" of the "dead wood" of inactive members.

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An Onion Special to the Eggstra

AREA BANKER'S HEAD EXPLODES


In an unprecedented medical event, area banker Alan Jefferson was the first human being to have a Spontaneous Cerebral Cataclysm, more commonly known as "his head exploded." It happened when the last square of the Super Bowl pool board was sold and he hit “send” on his email.


Fellow Rotarian and host Rob Foy was standing next to Jefferson when it occurred. "He let out a yell that the squares were set and then 'poof'', his head was just…gone. Nothing left but the smoking stump of his neck. I expected to get stuff on me, but there was nothing in there but used ticket stubs from the University of Maryland. Sort of like confetti. Actually, it was kind of festive, like New Year's."


Another witness, Darrell Nevin was almost unable to respond, just shaking his head and muttering "Just like we thought. Nothing but Terp tickets..."


Associates had long awaited this event, figuring it would happen when Maryland won the National Championship a few years back or when a Rotary meeting ran over by a whole 2 minutes.


Hostess Anne Marie Foy was last seen on the phone negotiating with the Hazmat Unit to help clean up the mess. Rumors of help from FEMA have not been confirmed.


"I'm sure we are going to miss him. We’ll be hours getting over this,” offered Ken Solow. "Of course, the biggest loss is that we'll have to get someone else to run the pool next year. Is Jimmy the Greek still dead?"


Jefferson is survived by his wife Mary who, when reached by phone responded "Alan who?" His children were unavailable for comment as they were arguing over what to do with the money they made on ebay selling his Grateful Dead memorabilia. Amanda wants to invest it. David wants to just spend the entire $15.

The banking industry is trying to assess their loss. H. Farnsworth Debit, noted banking folklorist, predicts that the industry will slide into chaos. "Alan Jefferson's contribution to competitive banking sales cannot be overestimated," he said, "Bankers will no longer be able to close the deal by saying 'Well, at least I'm not Alan Jefferson'." Sundry Springs Bank will be draping a couple of ATM's in black for several minutes in honor of their lost employee.


Bank plans for a memorial service are being delayed while an expense account issue is investigated. It appears that Mr. Jefferson made up to 200 separate $100 withdrawals from various accounts over the last week, leaving behind cryptic notes such as "Board B: Saints 4, Colts 8." A bank representative refused comment, other than to say she was sure he did it.

In a related story, The Rotary Club of Columbia Patuxent raised over $13,000 for local charities. Mr. Jefferson would be very proud, if he were still in possession of his head.

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The New Rules of Marketing and PR keynote presentation and Q&A session delivered by David Meerman Scott at the Business Marketing Association 2009 national “Unlearn” conference. Scott spoke June 10, 2009 at the sold-out conference held in Chicago’s Drake Hotel. Since the BMA is a business-to-business organization, Scott’s keynote is tailored to a B-to-B audience. Scott argues that when others spread your ideas and tell your stories online, buyers are eager to do business with you and all kinds of doors begin to open.

David Meerman Scott keynote at BMA 2009 national conference from David Meerman Scott on Vimeo.

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Practical Wisdom

Barry Schwartz makes a passionate call for “practical wisdom” as an antidote to a society gone mad with bureaucracy. He argues powerfully that rules often fail us, incentives often backfire, and practical, everyday wisdom will help rebuild our world.
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Peace Day

Here's an interesting and inspirational video on the efforts to establish and international day of peace. As Rotarians, this effort meshes perfectly with our goals for world peace and understanding. Check it out.
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