Tag Archives: Jorge Hidalgo

Wrapping Up Our Rotary Year – Virtually!

submitted by Ellsworth Brown

Thump5Well!  This was quite a meeting.

It was more of an elegant hand-off than the usual changing of the guard from President Andrea Kaminski to new President Jorge Hidalgo, featuring inspiring reports of accomplishments well-earned by the Club and well-directed by President Andrea.

But first . . . this recap only suggests the substance of the meeting, which was recorded and is available at https://youtu.be/MoH8PYLW__E.

President Andrea began with an uplifting recital of six new members and their credentials:  LaVar Charleston, U. W. Madison; Sara Eskrich, Democracy Found; Amy Griffin, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art; Rob Roquitte, eCIO, Inc; and Angela Trevino, UW Health and Clinics.  It was especially nice to see the swelling stream of welcoming messages in the presentation’s adjacent comments box.

The second opening order of business was the presentation our Rotary Club’s International Service Award—pin and plaque—to Joyce Bromley for her engagement in international service projects of the club.  Congratulations, Joyce!

In her formal closing remarks, President Andrea recognized the continuing tech work of Brian Basken and Jason Beren, who silently present what we view each week.  She also listed a series of personal take-aways from her presidential year, among them “hit the bell at the bottom, not the top, to make it ring,” how to compromise on matters of music and program Q&A, how to master tech from home, and especially how much her presidential experience has given her joy and broad connections.

Many were thanked, reinforcing her primary revelation that willing help was always available.  Please read President Andrea’s remarks for a list of key people for the past year.

Also read Jorge’s remarks, which were constructive, thoughtful and clear.  They were preceded, direct from Florida, by unexpected comments and congratulations to the club’s first Latino President by former member Dora Zuniga, who asked Jorge to join the club six years ago.

President Jorge (sounds great, doesn’t it, Jorge?) introduced himself—born in the Dominican Republic, a West Point economics graduate who served in the Army for eleven years, a resident of New York City and now the well-known owner of an award-winning Honda Dealership.  Only President Jorge could make this list of achievements sound humble!  He pledged to try new things, further the consideration of large questions before us all now, ensure a wide variety of programs, and move through the coming year on the platform of respect for the individual.  This platform is linked to Jorge’s assertion that in addition to club members’ immediate work, we bring a vast array of additional experiences, knowledge and achievement that should also be shared.

Other reports included Mary Thompson’s PowerPoint presentation of our very important membership satisfaction survey; and Bog Sorge’s presentation of the membership development committee, which has introduced several new ideas and a comprehensive concept of how to gain new members from a position of strength (great video, Paul Ranola, who created the video, and you can view it at the same link above.

Of course, the meeting included the usual array of past presidents, pin presentations, and a very nice gift certificate to Andrea (sorry, no longer president . . . but “didn’t I see you on the Internet?”) for the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art store.

Oh, and Melanie Ramey spoke about things she has learned during the pandemic . . . NOW will you connect to the link above?

Well done, Andrea and Jorge!

Our thanks to past president Ellsworth Brown for preparing this review article and if you missed our meeting this week, you can watch the video here:  https://youtu.be/MoH8PYLW__E.

Memorial Day Remembrances

–submitted by Stan Inhorn; photo by John Bonsett-Veal

From left: Jason Beren, Jorge Hidalgo, Andrea Hidalgo and Moses Altsech

From left: Jason Beren, Jorge Hidalgo, Andrea Hidalgo and Moses Altsech

New Rotary member Jorge Hidalgo recounted the history and significance of Memorial Day in very personal terms. After the Civil War, in which there was a tremendous loss of lives, Decoration Day was established as a time to decorate the graves. In 1902, the name was changed to Memorial Day, a day to recognize soldiers who died in all wars. Memorial Day became a Federal holiday in 1967, and in 1968, the date was established as the last Monday in May. A special flag ceremony is prescribed in which the flag is raised to the top, then lowered to half-mast. In the afternoon, it is raised again. Starting with World War I and to the present, 617,448 American lives have been lost. Since 3/11/2001 in the global War on Terrorism, 6,845 lives have been lost.

Jorge is a graduate of West Point, and his three sons also pursued military careers. He described in personal terms the heartache sustained by those who lose a son in war. First he told of Richard Warner, a close friend of his son Jared from the Milwaukee area. Rich was in a Marine regiment serving in the so-called Triangle of Death in Iraq. He wrote to Daren about the wonderful children he met in Iraq. At age 22, he was killed by an Improvised Explosive Device. A video of his life from childhood to adulthood and then to his memorial service ended with a statement that it is an honor to have lived for others, not for one’s self.

Daren, born on 3/4/86, was an honor student and a wrestler in high school in Waukesha. After graduating from West Point, he took an additional year of training in Ranger school. He also went to Airborne school, and was trained to be a combat lifesaver and a hand-to-hand combat instructor. In 2010 his platoon went to Afghanistan. Before he went, his father asked him what his legacy should be if he were killed. His answer was to support soldiers who return as well as their families. Daren was injured when another soldier tripped a wire to an IED. His injury required antibiotics and treatment in Germany. He returned to Afghanistan, and during passage through a choke point, another IED took his life.

To honor Daren, the Hidalgo family has established a scholarship for a needy wrestler to attend college. Furthermore, the family has promoted the hiring of veterans and their families. They support various charities such as the Fisher House of Wisconsin that will provide housing for families of veterans in the Milwaukee Veterans Hospital. Rotary members were deeply moved by this personal tribute to two of our military who made the supreme sacrifice.