Category Archives: Networking

Meet Tim Stadelman: Club President

–submitted by Andrea Kaminski; photo by John Bonsett-Veal

Tim and Rob

President Tim Stadelman (Pictured above at left with Past Club President Rob Stroud) was our speaker on Wednesday, July 23. He spoke about his past and connected it with his goals as President of our club. Tim referred to four core areas of his life – Rotary, Family, Findorff and the Community. He said all four mainstays are connected, and the first three support the community.

Tim thanked his wife Lori and sons Ross, Tommy and Justin as well as his partners and colleages at Findorff for their support. He thanked Rotary members for “the opportunity of a lifetime to lead the Club.”

The sixth of seven children, Tim grew up near Belleville. His father was a cheese maker and the family lived on the upper floor of the cheese factory. After raising seven children, his mother became a kindergarten teacher. Tim’s parents wanted all of their children to go to college, an opportunity they themselves did not have. Tim graduated from UW-Whitewater with a degree in accounting.

In August Tim will celebrate 25 years with Findorff, where he is CFO and an owner of the company. He noted similarities between Findorff’s core values and those of Rotary, including taking a long-term view, fostering strong leadership, maintaining a community focus and engaging multiple generations.

Tim gave a preview of what to expect as the Rotary Board enters the fourth year of our Club’s five year strategic plan:

  1. Marketing will continue to be an emphasis, so that all materials and messaging will have a consistent focus on core concepts;
  2. Membership development efforts will focus on building connections for members, especially those in their first few years with the Club. Each committee and fellowship group will be challenged to organize one shared activity or event with another committee or group.
  3. The Board will lead us in identifying a fourth focus area for Service, in addition to the current areas of Basic Needs, Education and Mentoring, and Civic Leadership.
  4. We will increase involvement with the Rotaract Clubs at UW and Edgewood College, as well as support a new Interact Club at Madison East High School.

Finally, Tim promised 10% more fun! District Governor Dave Warren will explain this in detail at our July 30 meeting.


Highlights from 9th Annual Rotary Scholar-Mentor Picnic on July 13

–article submitted by Ellie Schatz; photos submitted by Noel Pearson and Ellie Schatz

On Sunday, July 13, nearly 80 Rotary scholars and mentors attended our 9th Annual Rotary Scholar-Mentor Picnic. The following photos don’t quite tell it all, but they give the flavor of a day filled with the excitement of shared goals and dreams, the bonding accomplished through conversation and caring, the comforts of an idyllic environment, good food, and people we are so lucky to have in our lives.


Upperclassman Patrick Mather shared the ropes of college with Austin Coppernoll, incoming freshman.


Club President Tim Stadelman heard of dreams and plans, like Sheikh Jammeh’s possibility of working and studying in the Galapagos Islands.


Cheryl Weston spent some quiet moments with Kiran Silwell as she prepares for her senior year.


Alan Rubio and Cristhian Hernandez talked about classes at Madison College (and soccer?).


Our hostess, Noel, never took a breather. When she wasn’t behind the scenes organizing food, chairs, etc., she was behind the camera capturing the fun and future that’s represented at her lakeside table. Thank you Noel and Dick Pearson.


Graduate scholar Chie Yang began a conversation about majors, graduation, graduate school and careers. Mentors reveled in hearing all the BIG ideas and plans.

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A picnic on the lake must include a boat or two?!  Brett Stratton helped Captain Dick bring the boat up for a very popular annual activity.  Seeing Madison from the lake adds new perspectives for many scholars.


New Rotarian Jason Hunt and scholar McKenna Crossen shared some get-acquainted time.

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The Kitchen Committee, as always, got a big heads up as do all the mentors for the delicious dishes, from chips and dips to cookies and pies. Terry Heinrichs, did you make that scrumptious raspberry pie yourself?

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It was a perfect day in a perfect setting. If this is “service above self,” we enjoyed living our Rotary motto.

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Dean Soyeon Shim on Fiscal Responsibility

–submitted by Stan Inhorn

Soyeon ShimOn June 18, Soyeon Shim, new Dean of the School of Human Ecology at UW-Madison, told Downtown Rotarians about her research on influences in creating financial responsibility in young adults. This study was started around the time of the 2008 financial crisis, when Professor Shim was at the University of Arizona. The study is called APLUS (Arizona Pathway to Life Success.)

Shim recognized that many parents worry that their children lack financial literacy, especially when they send them off to college. In a report to a President’s Advisory Panel in 2013, the study found that many students already had large credit card debts. Messages to students to save for the future or for retirement have little impact, whereas emphasis on creating a modest plan for saving has better outcomes.

Her studies found that there are three categories of students in relation to managing personal finances. “Pathfinders” are those who are taught to carry out financial transactions responsibly. “Followers” are those tend to adapt their parents’ style, whereas “Drifters” have no systematic approach to good financial management. Much depends on whether parents and other adults have had meaningful conversations and interactions with their children regarding fiscal management.

In 2013, the study found that in two years after college, only half of college students have permanent jobs.  32% are self-supporting, 51% are still helped by their parents, and 17% are borrowing elsewhere. Dr. Shim’s advice to parents is to be intentional in their interactions with their children and to use adult dialogue. Parents should themselves establish positive financial behavior in order to help students become “Pathfinders”, which in turn results in overall happiness and in becoming successful adults.

(CLICK for a copy of Dean Shim’s powerpoint presentation on June 18.)

Rotary Club of Madison Welcomes UW & Edgewood Rotaract Clubs on March 5 2014

–article submitted by Mark Stover; photos by Moses Altsech and Jeff Smith

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The Downtown Rotary Club of Madison, WI got a glimpse of the future on Wednesday,March 5.  Students from the Rotaract Clubs of Edgewood College and UW-Madison took over the helm and the program.  Rotarians heard details about how the Rotaract Clubs got started, what they’ve been working on this year, and their respective plans for the future.

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Cory Kundert, President of the Edgewood College Rotaract explained that the word “Rotaract” is a mash-up of the words “Rotary” and “Action.”  True to the Rotary spirit, Rotaract members are all about taking action in showing how they live “Service Above Self.”

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The Edgewood College club members volunteer to support our Ethics Symposium, the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life and Gilda’s Club.  They also support the good work of other groups like the Heifer Foundation, Combat Blindness International and Badger Honor Flight with fundraisers.

Brittni Palkert, President of the UW-Madison Rotaract Club, told a similar story about her group’s work.  The UW-Madison Rotaract Club got started as a merger of the International Student Business Association on campus with the Rotaract Club concept.  Members of the UW-Madison club volunteer in support of Wisconsin Public Television Pledge Drives; work with senior citizens in the Triangle area of Madison; and also support Relay for Life.

Brittni also mentioned work that the UW-Madison Club has done with a connection to an AIDS support group in Harare, Zimbabwe.  Fundraisers in Madison have gone to help students with AIDS in Africa attend trade schools and colleges so that they can become financially independent.  Contact Brittni if you’re interested in a yoga fundraiser they have going this spring!

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Both Presidents pointed out that the value of Rotaract has been to help their members gain skills and hone talents that are useful in their vocations.  Leadership and teamwork are critical components of keeping these self-managed groups operating effectively.  In a video of former Rotaractors from both clubs, this theme of preparing for professional lives came through for the former treasurer of the Madison club (now a financial analyst for Kohl’s Corporation).

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Finally, hats off to Dan Larson, Moses Altsech, Dick Pearson, and Jacqui Sakowski for the many hours of support they have provided to the two clubs.  Our Rotary and global future looks very bright indeed based on the people we met today.


What is Rotaract?  Rotaract is a club for adults ages 18-30 that meets twice a month to exchange ideas, plan activities and projects, and socialize. While Rotary clubs serve as sponsors, Rotaract clubs decide how to organize and run their club and what projects and activities to carry out.  Our Rotary Club sponsors two clubs – one at the UW-Madison that was formed in 2002, and one on the Edgewood College campus that was formed in 2008.

Rotaract clubs organize local hands-on service projects, they have fun networking and social activities, they provide professional development opportunities for their members, and they have an international network of young leaders.

If you are interested in becoming more involved in our Rotary Club’s Rotaract Advisory Committee, contact the Rotary office to sign up ( or 255-9164).

Rotary Wine Event January 30 2014

–submitted by Mike Wilson


On the cool and snowy Thursday night of January 30, the Wine Fellowship Group met at the home of Mike & Patty Wilson. All 17 guests brought along a wine with a short description, together with a snack as part of a “BYO Night.” We had several of the regulars attending; the return of some that had not been to the Fellowship lately due to other commitments; and new Fellowshippers providing an excellent mix of individuals.  An extraordinary collection of wines and snacks also arrived, and Steve Mixtacki was able to put these together in groups for all to taste.

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Photo 1: Mary Janet & Karl Wellensiek; Photo 2: Rich & Joan Leffler

All of the wines were excellent and many had special meanings to the donors.  Most are available on the market but some were from personal collections and no longer available, or bought for a special personal event, but all were brought to share and celebrate with other Rotary Wine Fellowshippers.  An extraordinarily good time was had by all, and great fellowship occurred; the essence of the many different Rotary Fellowship groups.

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Photo 1: Juli & Keith Baumgartner; Photo 2: TeDee & Gail DeDee with Mike Casey; Photo 3: Patty Struck & her husband, Larry Bechler

New Member Coffee Event January 9 at Blackhawk Country Club

–submitted by Stan Kitson; photos by Ellsworth Brown

DSC_1094Jason Beren (pictured at left) hosted a Coffee Event for 20+ new and experienced Rotarians at Blackhawk Country Club on Thursday, January 9. We started with coffee and fellowship, quickly moving to introductions and the presentation. Jason, with remarks from Past President (2012-13) Wes Sparkman, incoming president (2014-15) Tim Stadelman and future president (2015-16) Ellsworth Brown, set the expectations for the President Roast and asked that two new members step up as co-chairs.

Jason continued the presentation by reviewing many of the committees, turning to Tim Stadelman, Rob Stroud and Donna Beestman to elaborate on CECADE, Rotary International and Ethics Symposium. It was stressed that joining most of the committees is simply a matter of contacting the Rotary office and letting the staff know you’re interested and attending the meetings; there is no reason to wait until the official spring sign-up period.

DSC_1097Jeff Tews (pictured at right) followed with an interesting discussion about fellowship groups, prompting members as to why they joined the groups they participate in and how they benefit from joining. More than one commented that they joined Rotary because it brought three “desires” together… “the desire to give back to the community, the desire to create new friendships and the desire to help their businesses…” The latter results from the first two.

We adjourned at 8:45.