Category Archives: Social Media

New Member Networking Event December 10

–submitted by Haley Saalsaa; photos by Dave Ewanowski


Club President Ellsworth Brown and Haley Saalsaa

On the morning of December 10 25 of us got together for a new member event at the Blackhawk Country club. We were welcomed with fresh hot pastries accompanied by coffee and orange juice.


From left: Jorge Hidalgo, Mike Casey, Larry Collins & Carol Goedken

We took the first thirty minutes to talk amongst ourselves and then the fun really began. Jason Beren orchestrated a Bingo game deriving answers from surveys we had all previously taken. It was a unique networking event and fun to try something new. Often times networking is the same and discussions become routine. The bingo game allowed us to find out unique things about our fellow Rotarians that we may not have known before. For example, did you know that our president Ellsworth Brown played cymbals in high-school? He could put on quite a show incorporating CO2 for special effects OR that TJ Blitz is a trained stage actor?


From Left: Sandy Morales, TJ Blitz, Craig Bartlett & Tom Popp



From left: Mary Borland, Ellsworth Brown, Nick Curran

These are the types of things that likely would not have come into conversation if we weren’t playing an exciting game of Bingo! Jason threw a great event and I look forward to this spring for more events to come.


Rotary Business LinkUp Meeting on August 9

-submitted by Dave Ewanowski

From left: Steve Musser, Deb Raupp, Bill Montei, Dave Ewanowski and Paul Olsen

Fifteen Rotarians and guests met at the Madison Club on Thursday, August 9th for an informative “Business LinkUp” session.  Members learned more about each other’s businesses and organizations as they discussed stimulating topics posed by moderators Derrick Van Mell and Roger Phelps.  Questions included “What is the value of a great idea?” and “What was your greatest risk?”  In addition, Rob Ringeisen spoke about his business (Tom James clothiers) and Dave Ewanowski, founding partner at KEE Architecture, highlighted recent work of the firm.  More LinkUp sessions are planned for the future.  Stay tuned…

Speed Rotary – Rockstar Networking

Submitted by Rotarian Linda Baldwin

Who knows networking? Rotarians.  We displayed our prowess on May 30 with a fast round of Speed Rotary.

For the 2nd time this year, Rotarians spent five minutes each with five different Rotarians learning a little bit more about their lives.  Speed Rotary sped along, and those five-minute conversations seemed over in an instant. 

Overheard and tweeted…
“Old dogs can learn new tricks…when they are taught them by younger dogs.”

“Having your legacy go on after you are gone involves bringing in new blood.”

“Take your wife to your favorite places in the world before it’s too late.”    “LinkedIn has all these bells and whistles I could really use.”

“As a guest, I was totally impressed that Rotarians would take this time to get to know one another.”  
“Different generations talked today – someone asked me how old I was!”  

“People are job hunting….subtly.”  
“Caught up with some old friends.”  
“Made a return phone call in person.”  
“Met a techie who doesn’t tweet.”

Try it – tweeting that is, go to, find #speedrotary and comment about today.  Then touch tweet.  

Rotarians – what an interesting bunch.

Mary Gaffney-Ward & Dora Zuniga

Inaugural Rotary Tri-Quest May 20

Volunteers began arriving at The Legend at Bergamont at 5:00 a.m. on Sunday, May 20th, to begin the registration and course set-up for our Rotary Club of Madison’s Inaugural Tri-Quest Event.  We had over 50 Rotary volunteers to help throughout the day, and the location and staff at Bergamont were superb.

By 7:00 am, many participants were on site—some were on the golf course and others getting ready for the 8:00 am 5K Run.  The 31K Bicycle Race started by 9:15 a.m. and we also had an afternoon golf event.

Weather cooperated in general, although many of our participants would tell you that it was a little warmer than they preferred and the wind presented more of a challenge for parts of the course.

Registrations totaled 129 for our event, and this was a good level for our first time around.  We will provide news on the total amount raised for our Madison Rotary Foundation Synergy Fund in the coming weeks but expect it to be at the $25,000 level.

Congratulations to the following winners:
Corporate/Relay Division
Mens’s               Group Health Cooperative
Women’s          Sun Prairie Rotary
Coed                  CUNA Mutual
Individual Division
Men’s                 Dave Nelson
Women’s          Karen Mittelstadt
Two-Person Team
Men’s                 John Ratkovich & Tim Schertz
Coed                   Paul & Debbie Zampelli
Four-Person Team
Men’s                  McGladrey
Individual Medalists
Run- 1st place Men’s              David Schneekloth (Smith& Gesteland)
Run- 1st place Women’s       Jennifer Norr (CUNA Mutual)
Bike- 1st place Men’s             Jon Furlow (CUNA Mutual)
Bike- 1st place Women’s      Glenda Hodge (M3 Insurance)
Golf-1st place Men’s               Rob Peters (CUNA Mutual)
Golf 1st place Women’s         Carrie Wall (Rotary Team #2)     

Dave Nelson


From left: Tri-Quest Committee Chair Scott Haumersen, Steve Goldberg (CUNA Mutual) and Larry Zanoni (Group Health Cooperative)

For additional photos in a slideshow format visit:
Rotary Tri-Quest

Thanks to everyone—sponsors, participants, volunteers and those staffing the event—for helping us to make our 1st annual Rotary Tri-Quest event a huge success.

Rotary New Member Coffee BINGO!

Jason Beren, with the assistance of Mary Gaffney-Ward of The Madison Club, organized an enjoyable coffee for new members at The Madison Club on Tuesday morning, March 6. About 25 new and longer-term Rotarians gathered for a tasty breakfast buffet, followed by “Rotary Bingo” devised by Jason. Everyone received a bingo card with mysterious clues to the identities of those who attended and proceeded to write in the names that fit the clues.

Roger Phelps and Sarah Dunn-Carpenter

Steve Musser, Mary Helen Becker, Melanie Ramey and Roger Phelps

Did you know that a member of our club spent 3 months in the Sahara at a camel market?

Do you know which fellow Rotarian went to an Edgewood High School prom with the late comedian Chris Farley?

Mary Kaminski and Rico Goedjen

Or who played on a “Final Four” soccer team at the University of Chicago?

Who was arrested in North Carolina during a Civil Rights Protest?

Ralph Cagle and Tim Hausmann

Who went hunting with Sam Walton of Walmart?

One Rotarian had just participated in the Birkebeiner, and another was in an Ironman Triathlon.

John Thompson and TJ Blitz

A good time was had by all, and new friends were discovered among a very fascinating group of Rotarians.

–Submitted by Mary Helen Becker; Photos by Michael Engelberger

Our thanks to Deb Raupp who pitched the idea of bingo and provided Jason assistance in bringing this event together.

A Typical Rotary Moment

Dear Fellow Rotarians,

Welcome to my blog.

This little adventure is prompted by the social media committee and as is typical in Rotary only through the support, encouragement and hands on work of several members is this a reality.  Social committee members read a draft post, got me to switch to a different platform, coached me extensively on making the most of this, did behind-the-scenes IT work. . . Special thanks to all who commented and Rick Kiley, Tony Stroessenreuther, and Bryan Chan.  Also to UW Health phototog John Maniaci who took the shot of the Capitol skyline on a moment’s notice for me.

All of which is to say this is the club’s blog so please read, comment, and I hope enjoy.

My objectives are to offer my personal reflections on my year as president, offer information and (if we are lucky) insights, and create another forum for fellowship and a place to advance the ideals of our club.  This is an experiment yet designed as a project that can be sustained by future presidents.

It is also an alternative to me just free-associating at the podium.

With that, we are off!