Tag Archives: Networking

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.


New Member Coffee Event Held December 11

–submitted by Mary Borland; photos by Jason Beren

IMG_8775Several new members along with established members, gathered the morning of December 11 for networking and education.  Jason Beren led the meeting.

Guest speaker Victoria Gammino, an epidemiologist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control,  presented information about Rotary International Polio Plus and the impressive work that has been done to try to eradicate polio. There is still work to be done internationally, especially in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria, so our continued contributions to the Rotary International fund are very much appreciated.

Cheryl Rosen Weston presented information about the Madison Rotary Foundation and how our club is unique in having a Foundation. Many clubs are much smaller than ours and only contribute to the Rotary International Fund. Our dollars, donated to the Madison Rotary Foundation, go right into our local community to fund important causes.  Roth Judd followed up Cheryl’s presentation with a wonderful visual chart that helps us all better understand where our monies flow, whether local or international.

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Doug Dittmann provided information on the Community Grants Committee.  Committee members make personal visits to prospective grant recipients and then share their findings with the rest of the committee to decide on specific funding to be provided. New members are encouraged to consider serving on this committee – you’ll learn a lot!

The next new member meeting is January 28 at 11:15am, prior to Rotary, and a plan will be started to roast President Tim!  Don’t miss this one!

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.


Madison Hosts 2014 Rotary Can-Am International Curling Event January 16 – 18

–submitted by Rich Lepping, Organizer of International Curling Event in Madison

Curling Group

Nineteen teams from Canada and the United States competed at the 60th Jubilee of the Rotary Can-Am Bonspiel on January 16 – 18.  The international curling event concluded on Saturday with Rogers Ark, a team from Arkansas, taking first place for the United States and the Peterbough team winning for the Canadian side.  These teams will go on to compete in the Rotary World competition in Aberdeen Scotland, March 27 – April 5.

Lepping MoeOur Rotary Club of Madison President Renee Moe (pictured at left with Rich Lepping) welcomed the 125 guests Friday evening at Maple Bluff Country Club.  She told of the number of members our Rotary club has and the events leading up to our 100th  Birthday celebration.  Also helping over the weekend were Rob Stroud, Dave Johnson, Gary Peterson, James Tye III and Tony Arneson.  Tony’s daughter Olivia also volunteered her time to the project.

Madison Curling Club member Rich Lepping will be installed as the next President of the International Fellowship in Aberdeen, Scotland.

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One of the many highlights of the banquet was a raffle held to support the Goodman Community Center.  John Hayes of Goodman’s Jewelers donated a pair of stunning diamond earrings for this raffle with over $1,400.00 raised for the center.

Thanks to all for your time and support!

Holiday Kick-Off Party December 3, 2013

–submitted by Kathleen Woit; photos by Nancy Young


Pictured above back row from left: Gail Selk, Joan Collins, Carol Koby, Petie Rudy & Valerie Kazamias; front row from left: Nancy Young, Joy Rice & Kathleen Woit

Rotary members and guests gathered to ring in the Holiday Season at a festive party in Petie Rudy’s new condo.  A buffet dinner and wine created a relaxed setting for conversation and candid photos.  A delightful evening was had by all!

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Photo 1:  Joy Rice, Petie Rudy and Nancy Young gather near the Holiday tree.
Photo 2: Kip Frautschi, Petie Rudy and Kathleen Woit at the buffet table.


Buon Appetito! A Tour of Italy at The Madison Club

–submitted by Kay Schwichtenberg; photos by Kris Ashe

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Buon Appetito!  That is how Chef Andrew Wilson greeted 38 Rotarians and their guests on Tuesday evening, November 5 at the Madison Club.    A tour of Italy through its cuisine was on tap for the evening.


Part of our tour allowed us some time in the kitchen with Chef Wilson.  He demonstrated making pasta from scratch as well as some delicious fillings.  The pasta was prepared with local eggs from a farm in McFarland, many with double yolks resulting in wonderfully rich tortellini.

From there we gathered in the dining room to begin the ‘official tour’ starting with a Sicilian first course of octopus, fennel and olives.   The Emilia-Romagna region was next with a wonderful tortellini en brodo.   The third course was a specialty from the Lombardy region, Osso bucco and polenta.  And if we had not had quite enough with the wine flights and food, we finished the evening with a Piedmont specialty, Gianduja chocolate tart, sea salt caramel gelato and candied hazelnuts.

When we left for the evening everyone was saying– complimenti alla cuoca!  Thank you to Culinary Arts Fellowship Group Chair Valerie Kazamias (pictured at left) for organizing this event for our group.

Recent Rotary Fellowship Group Events

Second Century Networking Event October 22

–submitted by Mike Kosolcharoen; photos by Michell McGrath

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Photo 1: From left: Mike Kosolcharoen, Jason Beren & Erin Luken
Photo 2: From left: Paul Ranola, Michelle McGrath & Tim Conroy
Photo 3: From left: Victor Rodriguez, Michelle McGrath, Matt Goetzke & Sam Adams

The Second Century Committee hosted a networking Happy Hour at Sardines on October 22. There was a great turnout of members and prospective members as well as guests from other Madison Rotary Clubs. The event was open to the entire Downtown Rotary membership, and we had a diverse turnout across all demographics! Members had a chance to get to know each other– socializing at Sardine, one of the coolest settings in Madison. Stay tuned for similar Second Century events coming!

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Photo 1: From Left: Rob Stroud, Scott Campbell & Tripp Stroud
Photo 2: From Left: Mike May, Victor Rodriguez, Trey Sprinkman, Matt Goetzke & Sam Adams

Kurdish Culture and Music Night October 24

–submitted by Rich Leffler; photos by Rich Leffler & Jenny Sereno


Back row from left: Nate Brand, Fred Marshall, Phil Levy, Mark Moody, Candace Moody, Dave Sereno and Jenny Sereno. Front row from left: Majid Sarmadi, Regina Millner, Joan Leffler, Sharyl Kato and Ann Cardinale

About a dozen Rotarians and guests enjoyed a splendid evening at Kurdish Culture and Music Night sponsored by our Rotary Cultural Awareness Fellowship Group at the home of Majid Sarmadi.


Adel Ardalan and Chiya Saeedi

The first part of the evening’s events consisted of a short talk about the Kurds of Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Syria, who would like nothing more than to establish their own homeland, Kurdistan. Adel Ardalan and Chiya Saeedi–who are Iranian Kurds and UW Ph.D. students in computer science and electrical engineering, respectively–presented a power point explanation of the complexities of Kurdish languages, music, art, dress, customs, and cuisine, which differ greatly from the Arab, Turkish, and Persian majorities of their countries. In a brief, informative, and entertaining presentation Adel and Chiya did a remarkable job of explaining a complicated subject with knowledge and wit.

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We next had an opportunity to taste some of the delicious specialties of Iran provided by Majid, including pastries, nuts, and a wide variety of dried fruits. Majid also provided superb fruit from his own garden. Cherries from Majid’s tree made a wonderful warm beverage. One other component: a surprise birthday cake to celebrate Nate Brand’s birthday.

After the repast, we were treated to a concert of Kurdish music played by Adel and Chiya on several Kurdish stringed instruments and a unique, resonating, hand-held drum. Music–and dancing–are important elements of Kurdish celebrations and festivities. The musicians were really skilled and the music was not only interesting but enjoyable. At the conclusion, Adel and Chiya played and sang the Kurdish equivalent of Happy Birthday to Nate.

It would take a writer far more able than I to capture the hospitality of the evening provided by Majid and the enjoyment we shared as we learned about Kurdish culture from our tutors Adel and Chiya.

Sharyl Kato attended the October 24 Kurdish Culture and Music Night, and here is what she had to say about the event: “The Cultural Awareness event was amazing, and I wanted to share with other Rotarians how incredible the content, presenters, food, music and rich dialogue were among Rotary members and guests last night.  I so appreciated Majid opening his beautiful home to us and the wise, courageous and talented Kurdish students Adel and Chia who were exceptional.  As was the Kurdish music, food, drinks.  Especially meaningful were the personal stories shared of the trauma experienced by Adel and Chia before coming to the United States.  The deep dialogue amongst attendees regarding the historic, political, cultural and social issues in the middle  east, were very profound on a personal, social/political and global level.  I am grateful to everyone who participated as the evening was the epitome of  the purpose of the Madison Downtown Rotary Cultural Awareness Fellowship Group of which I am a proud co-chair, to gain greater knowledge and create deeper understanding of others and know how we are the same and how we are different, as human beings. “