Category Archives: 2. Meetings

May 18: WI Sec. of Agriculture Randy Romanski

–submitted by Janet Piraino

WI Sec. of Agriculture Randy Romanski gave Rotarians an overview of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) and discussed the impact of agriculture on Wisconsin’s economy.

In addition to advising and providing financial support to farmers, DATCP regulates food safety, animal health, consumer protection laws and the meat packing industry. Agriculture is critical to our economy, with one in nine Wisconsinites employed in agriculture. Wisconsin is fourth in the world in cheese production.

Romanski’s presentation included a visit from Alice in Dairyland, who promotes Wisconsin agriculture products. He gave shoutouts to past Alices in attendance, including our own Carol Koby.

If you missed our Rotary meeting last week, you can watch the video here. (Our thanks to WisEye for videotaping our guest speaker last week and for allowing us to post it on our club’s YouTube channel.)

March 16: MGE Works with Customers for a More Sustainable Future

–submitted by Larry Larrabee

At our March 16th meeting, Scott Smith, Vice President of Business and Regulatory Strategy for Madison Gas and Electric, informed us of MGE’s performance and commitment to reliability, changes in productivity to accomplish Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050 and how the company assists home owners, landlords and corporations in using power more efficiently.

Among items mentioned was that in 2020 MGE was ranked number one among all  American power companies both in fewest and shortest outages; achieving first or second in both categories since 2015.  The company also provides E-vehicle owners with off peak charging facilities in their homes.

If you missed our meeting this week, you can watch it here:

February 16: Five Reasons Why the Trojan War Really Happened

–submitted by Jessika Kasten

On February 16, UW-Madison Professor William Aylward shared, “Five Reasons Why the Trojan War Really Happened.”

  1. Geopolitics of the Agean Sea – The location of Troy was on a main trade route and it makes sense that competing forces would want to control this strategic location.
  2. Walls of Troy – The walls have been discovered and intended for protection.
  3. Evidence for Destruction – Siege, capture and destruction were all evident.
  4. The Ancient Greeks and Romans Who Lived Near Troy Promoted the Legend – They created art and literature to keep the story alive.
  5. We Want to Believe – Questions asked about values and morality are still applicable today.

February 9: UW-Eau Claire – One of the Safest Places to Be During the Pandemic

–submitted by Jessika Kasten

On February 9, UW-Eau Claire Chancellor Dr. James Schmidt spoke to the club about the impacts of COVID-19 on his campus and the UW System Colleges. Dr. Schmidt credited the power of partnerships in making the UW-Eau Claire campus one of the safest places to be during COVID. Throughout the pandemic, UW-Eau Claire focused heavily on following public health protocols, testing and encouraging vaccination. To date, they have had no classroom outbreaks/transmissions in any of their classrooms, nor any outbreaks in their residence halls. As they developed best practices, they took their learnings and solutions out into the community to extend the Wisconsin Idea.

If you missed our meeting this week, you can watch it here:

February 2: Character Based Management for More Productivity

–submitted by Jessika Kasten

On February 2, Robert Beezat spoke to the Club about Character Based Management, offering keys to more productive and effective organizations. Robert talked about the critical job of managers and the importance that strong character plays in being a good, effective manager. If you reflect back on great managers you’ve had in your life, you’ll likely reflect on those who had integrity – meaning their actions reflected their words. Robert reminded us that although no one can be perfect, we can all be better. He encourages leaders to continuously evaluate themselves and invest time in improving their managerial skills.

If you missed our meeting this week, you can watch it here:

DAIS: Making Adjustments to Provide Services During a Pandemic

–submitted by Andrea Kaminski

On January 12, Shannon Barry, executive director of Domestic Abuse Intervention Service, spoke about how her organization adjusted to support survivors through the pandemic. This required new strategies just when their clients’ own situations were more dire. During the Covid lockdowns, victims were isolated with their batterers. DAIS provides an array of personal services and advocacy and has the only domestic violence shelter in Dane County. The volunteers who previously staffed the DAIS 24-hour helpline were let go, and all staff members had to help staff the line. With a Paycheck Protection Program loan, DAIS has purchased additional phones, improved its technology and made the workplace safer.

If you missed our meeting this week, you can watch it here: