Tag Archives: Rotary Guest Speaker

We Believe…

–submitted by Linda Baldwin; photos by Mike Engelberger

Rotary scholars start their journey by asking us to believe in their abilities and to invest in their future. The scholars who spoke with us today illustrated how that belief and investment has paid off …one hundred fold.

Seven scholars shared their dreams and hopes and their gratitude to the club and to their mentors for helping to make those dreams come true. Amazing stories of what they would do were told…all knowing that their educational dreams would not have been possible without a Rotary scholarship.

Brandon Alvarez CarreraBrandon Alvarez Carrera (Levy Scholar), the first of his family to attend college, hopes to prove to his family and the community, that his background wasn’t correlated to his academic success. On a path to a degree in Engineering Physics, he’s grateful for the support group that helps him on his journey.


Shamell HomeslyShamell Homesly (Brandenburg Scholar) shared that the excitement she felt when notified of her Rotary scholarship was breath taking. Shamell is studying to be an elementary teacher at Madison College and will transfer to a four year university after completing her associates degree. Destined to be a teacher, Schamell thanks club members…”everyone of you has helped put me on a path toward success.”

Cristian Claudio TeutliCristian Claudio Teutli (Levy Scholar) is proud to be a Badger and is grateful to Rotary for making it possible for him to attend UW. What motivates him to push through the challenges is his dream for the day when he can say, “Mama, Papa, I made it. And I don’t want to hear you say that money is an issue anymore.”


Lilly GonzalezAzucena (Lilly) Gonzalez (McBeath Scholar) is proud to say she will be part of the 2016 graduation class at UW-Whitewater with a major in Social Work and a minor in Criminology. Lilly says that she was blessed with financial help from Rotary and an amazing mentor, Mary Rouse who boosted her confidence all the way. Also, she thanked the Kay family for their scholarship to help with summer school.

Karen Bauer
Karen Bauer
(Synergy Scholar) will graduate in May with a degree in Anthropology and English and a minor in Spanish. She hopes to get her PHD. Karen is especially thankful for the support of the club and her mentor, Dick Lovell.

Patrick RoyPatrick Roy
(French Scholar) says he was one of those guys who you would never imagine working as a Chicago banker.  He credits his mentor, Moses Altsech, for providing him with guidance to stay in school and he will graduate from UWM Summa Cum Laude this year and take the Chicago banking job.

Kay PowellKay Powell (French Scholar) (via video) thanks Dr. John Bonsett-Veal for being a very important part of her live. She’s graduated from UW-Madison and is working on a graduate degree in Optometry. Kay encourages Rotarians to be mentors.

In May, a new group of students will need a mentor. Please consider jumping in to this satisfying role.

(CLICK to watch the video presentation by our Rotary Scholars)

We want to thank our donors who made these scholarships possible:  Nate Brand, Heggie Brandenburg, Harry French, Dick Goldberg, Perry & Virginia Henderson, Louie Hirsig, Tom Leonard, Irving & Dorothy Levy Family, Andy McBeath, Regina Millner, Mike & Patty Wilson, Worzala Family.  In addition, we have our Synergy Fund which is a fund available to all members who are interested in making a gift to our Scholarship Program.  We also thank Lori and Arlan Kay for the new fund they established to provide one-time grants to our Rotary scholars.

Kay Family Scholar Introduced at January 6 Luncheon

Kay Scholar Photo

Back row from left: Mary Rouse, Arlan Kay & Isaac Gonzalez (Lilly’s father); Front row from left: Lori Kay & Lilly Gonzalez

In 2015, Lori and Arlan Kay provided a $50,000 gift to our Madison Rotary Foundation to establish the Kay Family Scholarship Fund.  Lori has been a member of our Rotary Club since 1987, and Arlan has been a member of the Oregon Rotary Club for over 40 years.  This fund provides one-time grants to current Rotary scholars who need funding for educational expenses beyond the eight semesters of scholarship payments they are receiving through our scholarship program.  This year’s recipient of the Kay Family Scholarship grant was Lilly Gonzalez, and she was introduced during our January 6th Rotary luncheon.  Lilly attends the UW-Whitewater and was able to take summer courses towards her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work with an emphasis in Criminology with this grant provide by the Kay Family Scholarship Fund.  Thank you to Lori and Arlan Kay for making this grant possible for our Rotary scholar.

Have the Conversation and Do It Now…

–submitted by Linda Baldwin; photograph by Loretta Himmelsbach


Jim Jaeger and Sandra Nuernberg urged all Rotarians and guests to begin the process of planning for future medical care.  Jaeger and Nuernberg represent the Association of Spiritual Caregivers working with Meriter Foundation and the Gundersen Medical Foundation in La Crosse.

All of us have likely thought about end of life care; some of us have created a living will or other advance care document.  But how many of us have had the “conversation” with our family, friends and agents about end of life care?   60% of people say that making sure their family is not burdened by tough decisions is extremely important, but 56% have not communicated their end of life wishes.

Jaeger and Nuernberg showed a video about a couple who were having the conversation.   Benefits include peace of mind, putting your family at ease about what decisions to make for you when you are unable, having an agent to represent you who is willing and capable of advocating your wishes on your behalf.  And knowing what you want done at end of life will potentially save money and extend life by taking the pressure off.

Jaeger noted that Advance Care Planning is a process, beginning with you and others understanding that decisions will need to be made in the likely event you will not be able to do so.  Next you need to reflect on what you do want to happen, then have a discussion with loved ones, medical advisers and agents about your wishes.   Those choices will be written down and then this should be part of your medical record.

Also, plan to review this document over time as your situation may change and you may want to alter your plans.  There are resources and organizations to help you have “the conversation”.   For an information booklet answering commonly asked questions about advance care planning, contact Gundersen Health System,
La Crosse, WI 800-362-9567, ext. 56748.

Next in Madison: StartingBlock Madison

–submitted by Larry Larrabee; photography by Loretta Himmelsbach

Austin Reed Wolter

George Austin (center), Madison’s former Planning and Development director and President of AVA Civic Enterprises Inc., provided the introduction about what StartingBlock Madison is planning to do to encourage, develop and grow entrepreneurs by bringing them into an entrepreneur hub that will place them in contact with peers, mentors, investors and consultants.

The building will be located in the 800 block of East Washington Avenue and American Family Insurance is funding the construction of the first 50,000 sq. ft. phase of a 160,000 sq. ft. building.

Founded in 2012, StartingBlock Madison is dedicated to encouraging entrepreneurs, growing Madison’s economy and providing educational opportunities regarding entrepreneurism.  It will be able to do this because of the strong support of MG&E Energy and American Family Insurance.

Dan Reed (left), Managing Director of American Family Ventures, spoke about his company’s investments in new technology companies in areas like automobile safety through their Direct Venture Capital program.  Their support of StartingBlock Madison is an extension of this concept.

Gary Wolter (right), Chairman & CEO of MGE Energy Inc., sees StartingBlock Madison as expanding the Madison entrepreneurship environment and helping to grow the economy.  He explained the stretch goal as “how can I change the world?” and sited those Madison entrepreneurs that have done that such as Jamie Thompson’s Cellular Dynamics, Pleasant Rowland’s American Girl and Judy Faulkner’s Epic.

The positive response to the three presenters and the concept of StartingBlock Madison that represents the combined efforts of corporate, educational, and civic entities including the City of Madison suggests StartingBlock and the entrepreneurs it cultivates are sure to be successful.

We would like to thank Madison City Channel for videotaping our meeting this week.  The program will be rebroadcast on analog basic channel 98, digital channel 994 & AT&T U-verse 99 as follows: Friday, April 17 at 8 PM; Wednesday, April 22 at Noon; Friday April 24 at 5 PM; Sunday, April 26 at 5 PM.  You can also watch this program on the WEB.

Bradley vs Daley

–submitted by Mark Stover;  photo by Mike Engelberger 

Bradley AW  Daley J

On April 7, Wisconsin will do what it has been doing since 1848: hold an election where the people of the state choose who will sit on the State Supreme Court.  This election is between James Daley of Janesville and Justice Ann Walsh Bradley of Wausau.  Justice Bradley is the incumbent and has been on the Supreme Court for 20 years.  Judge Daley, the challenger, has been a judge for 26 years.  Both are natives of Wisconsin.

Through a series of opening statements, structured questions, and closing statements, Rotary Club members got a chance to understand more about the positions of each of the candidates.  When asked what qualities distinguish each candidate, Judge Daley mentioned he was a Vietnam-era veteran.  He retired as a Brigadier General from the Wisconsin National Guard.  He helped start the first veterans’ court in the state.

Justice Bradley pointed to her dedication to protecting a fair and impartial judiciary.  She noted her concern that out of state money funding media supporting one candidate over another introduces a dangerous potential for questioning impartiality of the judiciary.  Justice Bradley suggested that what is needed most in a judge these days is the courage to act independently.

The candidates agreed with each other that transparency of process in the Court’s administrative hearings should increase making those hearings more open to the public.  They also opposed the idea of appointing Supreme Court Justices, each agreeing that the election process was the better route.  Justice Bradley believes the election system should continue to be improved to be the best it can be.  Judge Daley argued that elections should extend to the election of the Chief Justice by the other Justices.

In closing, Judge Daley said he was running because he was unhappy with the decisions made by Justice Bradley over the last 20 years.  He cited cases that he said put roadblocks in the way of law enforcement and made it harder to do business in the State of Wisconsin.  Justice Bradley argued that Chiefs of Police, Sheriffs, and District Attorneys support her because of her work in support of law enforcement.  She again raised her concerns about the apparently increasing partisanship on the Supreme Court and the effect it has on the perception of fairness and independence of the state’s highest court.

In the end, you and your friends, family and professional colleagues will have the final say – as Wisconsinites have been voicing since the state’s founding.  Please vote on April 7.

CALS Dean Tells Club of Today’s Impact and Tomorrow’s Challenges for Wisconsin Agriculture

–submitted by Jerry Thain; photo by Jeff Smith

Pictured from left: Club President Tim Stadelman, Dean Kate VandenBosch and Rotarian Mary Kaminski

Pictured from left: Club President Tim Stadelman, Dean Kate VandenBosch and Rotarian Mary Kaminski

Kate VandenBosch, Dean of UW-Madison’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, presented a brief but far-ranging summary of Wisconsin agriculture to Club members on January 28.  She noted the efforts of Governor William Hoard to promote the dairy industry in the 1800s and the contributions of Professor Stephen Babcock who developed the butterfat test for milk in the early 20th Century.  The economic impact of agriculture in Wisconsin is huge; it composes 11% of the state’s economy, with 78,000 farms producing $88 billion in total sales. Beyond dairy products, Wisconsin agriculture is a leader in production of cranberries, potatoes, corn, snap beans and other fruits and vegetables.  Our largest agricultural export is ginseng root. Most farms in the state are family owned and operated.

As to the future, Dean VandenBosch noted the “modest goals” were to achieve greater productivity, increased nutrition, and greater variety of foods to help feed an expected world population of about 10 billion people by mid-century, while maintaining environmental stability and animal welfare.  She noted the likelihood of an increased emphasis on genetically modified crops in future years and gave examples of CALS staff and programs working toward better agriculture such as developing meats “beyond brats” to go with Wisconsin’s special artisanal cheeses and the “field to food-bank’ program that delivers surplus food to the needy.  She concluded with examples of efforts by CALS faculty and staff to improve food production and security around the globe.

The talk surely left Club members impressed with the current state of Wisconsin agriculture and the ongoing efforts to maintain and possibly improve the industry’s vitality and contributions to the state’s well-being.


Imagining to Remember

–submitted by Donna Hurd; photo by Jeff Smith

President Tim Stadelman and Jennifer Uphoff Gray

President Tim Stadelman and Jennifer Uphoff Gray

An enthusiastic, Jennifer Uphoff Gray, Artistic Director of Forward Theater Company presented a side of the artistic community that few know existed…its commitment to the community by educating, entertaining and connecting the community.  In its 5th season, the Company strives to connect the work they do as artists to the community.  Its latest endeavor tackles the subject of dementia, in general, and Alzheimer’s (the most common form of dementia) in particular.  Through its partnership with the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Alzheimer’s & Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin, the theater is taking on an integral part in the understanding, communication and ultimately addressing alternative treatments for this debilitating disease.

Example after example was presented to highlight the profound role the Arts play in Alzheimer’s treatment.  Clinicians and researchers alike are touting the benefits realized through music, art and story-telling therapy for patients and caregivers.

The Theater’s mission of connecting the work they do as artists to the community will begin on stage January 15 – February 2 with the presentation of “The Other Place,” an off-Broadway show about a research scientist on the cusp of the development of a new dementia drug as she struggles with personal hardships. Extending social conversations beyond the stage, the company offers talk backs (post-show discussions), pre-show lectures and the “Play Club” (in-depth discussions with the theater professionals) providing theater goers an opportunity to engage in thoughtful discussion about the subject matter at hand.

The culmination of this collaboration, will take place on Sunday, February 15, 2015, at Promega Corporation, 5445 E. Cheryl Parkway in Fitchburg from 1:00pm – 4:00pm.  “Imagining to Remember”  will be an interactive program for the general public, as well as caregivers, professionals, and others who work with people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia. This interactive event features Professor Anne Basting, Director of the UW-Milwaukee Center on Age & Community and Founder of TimeSlips Creative Storytelling. TimeSlips is a method of engaging with those with memory loss using imagination and storytelling. Attendees will have the opportunity to experience specific creative engagement practices including Poetry, Visual Art, Movement and Music. A moderated Q&A panel will follow, featuring Anne Basting and other leaders of this innovative approach to connecting to those with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

We applaud the efforts of Forward Theater Company in addressing the social concerns of our community through the arts!