Category Archives: Member News

New Member Introduction | Katherine Suchan

The first new member of President Rus McCracken’s year was inducted at Wednesday’s meeting. You can get to know more about Katherine Suchan by reading this introduction, written by her sponsor, Brenna Baucum.

It is my great pleasure to introduce you to my colleague and friend, Katherine Suchan. She is a Certified Financial Planner professional with the H Group. With over 25 years of experience in the industry, Katherine is passionate about the power of planning and has seen the positive difference a well-crafted plan can make in the lives of individuals, families, and businesses.

Prior to moving to Salem, Kath lived in Eugene for twenty years (go ducks). Katherine has two sons: Ben and Josh. While living in Eugene, she volunteered at their schools, taught Sunday school, mentored middle school girls, and hosted the Cub Scout den.

If that’s not enough to exhaust a working mom with two boys, she also hosted several short term exchange students from a variety of countries including China, France, and Thailand to name a few. Between her sons, their friends, and the exchange students, her Eugene home was full of sights, sounds, and smells of boys.

Katherine doesn’t have to deal with boy smells anymore. She owns a beautiful home in South Salem that she shares with her soon to be Irish Water Spaniel (she’s courting a potential new furry family member so if you know of one in need of a loving home, you come find her).

She’s been here for just over 2 years and has been busily engaging with our community. She serves on the Leave a Legacy board, sorts food at Marion Polk Food Share, and gives of her sweat equity with Habitat for Humanity. I have never met someone who is such an enthusiastic do it yourselfer. She has the heart and soul of a Rotarian, and our club is so fortunate to have her. Please help me warmly welcome Katherine Suchan.


New Member Introduction | Heather Cordon

Time to welcome another fantastic new member into our club! Get to know more about Heather from her bio here, as read by her sponsor, Kyle Dickinson.

Heather Cordon is a woman of many hats. She is honored to be the Development Director of Salem Free Clinics, a student in her third year of a Bachelor’s program at Reach Training Institute, and the new wife of Thomas Cordon whom she had the absolute joy of marrying in Sedona, Arizona last December.

Heather considers herself to be a life-long learner and enjoys every opportunity to grow and expand her worldview through service projects and volunteerism. Born and raised in the Willamette Valley, she has also had the opportunity to lead teams to Africa, Cambodia, and Mexico for months at a time to help out in orphanages, build community centers, and teach English abroad. Heather is also a leader within this community, where her passions and strengths lie in educating, motivating, and cultivating others towards self-awareness, self-development and personal growth.

As part of her role at Salem Free Clinics, Heather has the ongoing privilege of presenting Salem and surrounding areas with an opportunity to join their mission of bringing hope & health to our local community by providing free healthcare to the uninsured. Heather also has the honor of thanking amazing individual donors and organizations such as the Rotary Club of Salem who has generously awarded Salem Free Clinics with grants on two different occasions.

In her free time, Heather loves to stay active and be outdoors. She enjoys hiking with her husband, practicing yoga at Salem’s Soul Care Center, and swimming laps at Courthouse Fitness. She also loves painting landscapes of local scenery, creating new recipes in the kitchen, eating exotic foods, and venturing to places she has never been.

Heather also enjoys participating in a variety of volunteer roles and is looking forward to more ways she can invest in and support this local community as a new Rotarian.


New Member Introduction | Kristin Kuenz-Barber

This week we were happy to welcome a smiling face that has becoming familiar to many of us after attending as a guest for several weeks. Get to know more about Kristin through this introduction, read by her sponsor Marybeth Beall.

Kristin grew up with her family in a small suburb of Oklahoma City and eventually attended Oklahoma State University where she graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Family Relations and Child Development with an emphasis in Sociology/Gerontology.  She was named one of the top ten Senior Women at Oklahoma State during her last year when she graduated with a 4.2 GPA.  Kristin has a passion for service that started at OSU, when in her sophomore year, she became a Friendly Visitor Mentor (aka.. ”Big Sister”) for a child that was assigned to her through the Stillwater Department of Human Services.  She spent an hour of quality time every other week with this 9yr old little girl who was living in poverty, struggling with the death of a father, anger management, and poor school attendance.  Kristin supported her for three years and helped her with building relationships, learning, and being responsible for her actions.  After college they remained connected and still have a blessed relationship to this day.

After college Kristin began a career in social work and took her first position with a non-profit organization working with severely and persistently mentally ill clients in downtown OKC.  This transitioned eventually into working for other non-profit organizations doing case management for the underserved populations of the city.  Kristin did marry after college and thus in 2002 followed her then husband to Salem, Oregon where he took a position in the wine industry at Willamette Valley Vineyards.

Upon coming to Oregon, she settled in Keizer and is still there to this day.  Kristin began employment soon after moving to Oregon, at Salem Hospital where she initially worked as a discharge planner on the orthopedic unit.  Kristin continued growth in the Case Management Department and eventually became a Social Services Counselor on the Cardiovascular Care Unit.  After ten years at SH, an opportunity to do something a little different presented, and she took a position at Willamette Valley Hospice where she spent seven years as a Business Development/Education Liaison. In October 2017 she was contacted by a recruiter at NWHS and decided to take a leap of faith in combining her social services and business development learning experiences and accepted the position as the Strategic Partnerships Manager.  Kristin is involved with several community and organizational projects at this current time and thoroughly enjoys the meaningful relationships that have formed over the past few months.  She looks forward to many more years of service at NWHS.

Kristin is now currently remarried to her junior high sweet heart (3 years) and has a beautiful 10yr old daughter, Eliana, who is the light of her life – and is a very active soccer player and competitive swimmer. Kristin is active in church activities and spent Spring Break of 2017 on a church sponsored mission trip to the Dominican Republic where she was able see lives changed (including her own)in the work that was done there.  She is now excited to be a part of the Affirming Business leadership group that has formed through Salem Alliance and looks forward to learning and growing in the years to come.  Kristin loves sports and is such a big fan of the OKC Thunder basketball team, that 2yrs ago she and her husband even named their new puppy “Thunder”!  Kristin is also an avid runner and last year had a goal of completing 17 runs in 7 months in 2017. She did accomplish her goal and her grand finale (and greatest accomplishment by far) was completing the Inaugural Salem Rotary Sprint Triathlon/Duathlon where she had fabulous overall time and finished first in her age group.

And if you are wondering, yes, she will be back out there again this year and hopes to see some of her fellow Rotarians join in the fun!



New Member Feature: Zack Reitan

Tis the season, it seems! We had the great pleasure of adding another new member to our throng last week. Get to know more about Zack by reading his intro, as shared by his sponsor, Barry Nelson.

Zack was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest— San Juan Islands to be specific. Having grown up in a very small town, community has been a large focus for Zack since he was young.

During High School, he met a couple guys from Salem at a YoungLife camp in Eastern Oregon and stayed in contact with them. After high school, he moved to the Salem area to reconnect with the friends he made at YoungLife and absolutely fell in love with the area.

Being an adventurous person, Zack loved having so many outdoor attractions in the valley and its’ surrounding areas. He enjoys snowboarding, hiking, kayaking as well as camping. In addition, he loves the people with whom he is connected.

He started his first job ( in the Salem area ) in retail and quickly worked up to management. After fully committing to retail, Zack realized that the harsh hours and holiday rushes were not his “forever” job path. So… he followed in his mother’s footsteps and started his first role in banking as a Teller at US Bank. Over the course of the last 5 years, Zack has become well integrated in the banking industry and now manages the Willamette Valley Bank here in Downtown Salem.

During his development in Salem, he met his beautiful wife, Kayla and is now the father of his first child… his daughter, Blake. Having his friends and family in Salem, Zack and his wife plan on keeping their roots right here. In fact, they are in the process of persuading his parents to transition to the area! They are extremely excited for the growth that we’ve seen in the area and can’t wait to watch as some of the new industries, buildings and opportunities develop here in the valley.

Zack is constantly pushing himself to learn more. He has a passion for creative business and often studies marketing and advertising. He is a firm believer in the idea that you are a sum total of your five closest friends, so he is always looking to surround himself with people who are like-minded and looking to grow their own knowledge and sphere.

Zack is excited to join Rotary and hopes that he’s able to engage in some really fun, meaningful and powerful projects over the coming years. It was the amphitheater project that piqued his interest in the club!  He wants Salem to be as wonderful for his children as it is today, if not better. His goal is to simply be a part of moving the needle forward.


New Member Feature: Quinn Burke

We were pleased to welcome back an old friend into our Rotary club during today’s meeting. Get to know more about Quinn by reading this introduction, as read by his sponsor, Lauren Gutierrez.

John Shirley brought Quinn into our club in early 2013 and he left club in Fall of 2014 when a career change led him to work out of Salem.

Did some math…

182 members in the club

66 members have joined since Quinn departed

36% of you haven’t met Quinn, but 64% HAVE met him

So – we’re going to focus 64% of this introduction on what has happened since Quinn was last a member.

The 36%

Quinn Grew up in Salem and attended South Salem HS and has an MBA from Willamette. He was a VP at Union Gospel Mission when he was with us previously.

The 64%

Quinn spent a couple years working as an operations/project manager at a residential development and construction company in Monmouth and is now back in Salem working as a residential real estate agent with Harvey Realty Group. He and his wife Katy added to their family roster in 2016 – Maxwell Quinn Burke was born July 26th, 2016 – a future Rotarian!

Quinn and Katy traveled to Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia pre-baby but Max has racked up the frequent flier miles with them – he has been on 16 flights since arriving 18 months ago!

Quinn is a member of the Salem Leadership Foundation board and is on the board of and teaches Business Launch classes for MERIT, a non-profit that helps empower people to be self-sufficient through entrepreneurship. He enjoys cycling, photography, and everything wine – he’ll fit right in! Ask him about his wine club membership, it’s not what you may think!

I was honored to propose Quinn for ‘re-membership’ and am so looking forward to having him back in our club. He is a Rotarian through and though and knows what it takes to get things done. For the 36% of you out there who don’t know him yet, I’m sure you’ll enjoy him as much as I do!


New Member Feature | Chi Nguyen-Ventura

 It’s that time again, time to welcome yet another member into our club. Get to know more about Chi by reading over her introduction, as delivered by her sponsor, Dawn Bostwick.

Chi was born in Vietnam. She and her family immigrated to the U.S. in 1990 to seek political asylum. Her grandfather served as Colonel in the Army Rangers before taken in as a POW for fighting alongside the US.

Chi graduated Valedictorian from Madison High School in Portland. She was awarded Oregon State University’s most prestigious award, the Presidential Scholarship which afforded her the ability to attend college. Chi majored in Business, minored in Visual Arts, and completed with an Honors Bachelor of Science. In 2004, Chi studied abroad in Norway at the University of Adger for her International Business option. After working for five years in advertising and then automotive, she received her MBA with honors from Willamette University. Her successful business today is a result of her thesis. Chi serves as Contributing Assistant Professor, part-time, at Willamette University, assisting MBA students with their own thesis projects.

Chi’s business, AutoMedic, serves a niche business. Her business has quick mobile response to detailing and servicing vehicles at the customer’s site. Some of her customers are Zipcar, Port of Portland, BLM, KOIN TV and KGW fleets. A lot of her clients do not have time to take their vehicles out of use, and Chi found a need for quick response for detailing and servicing autos, and has built a successful business serving these needs.

Chi served as a city councilor in King City and was a charter member of Portland New Generations Rotary Club. Chi and her wife moved their family to Salem in July 2016. They have two children, Alexander who is 3, and Isabel who is 1 ½. Their household is completed with several family members who they rescued from the Humane Society – dachshunds Grimm & Katie.

Fun fact – Governor Kate Brown officiated their wedding on a rooftop terrace in the Pearl District in the summer of 2011.

Chi is energetic, super intelligent, and her heart is in serving others. We are adding a fabulous new member to our club!


New Member Feature | Debbie Jensen

Introducing new members into our club is one of our favorite things to do. Get to know more about our newest member, Debbie Jensen, with this introduction, which was read to the club by her sponsor Tom McGirr.

Until moving to Salem in November of last year, Debbie Jensen could was a native California, having grown up in Vallejo CA and then moving to the Bay Area.

Debbie has been in banking since 1988 and achieved her Corp Finance Certificate at UC Berkeley extension and attended Cannon Trust School in Pepperdine in 2004.  She has worked as a Senior Trust Officer the past 5 years at U.S. Trust in Walnut Creek and spent the prior 13 years as a Trust Officer with Wells Fargo Private Wealth Management in San Francisco.  She now works for Columbia Trust Company in Salem as a Senior Trust Officer and Team Leader.

Over the years, Debbie’s family moved to the Salem area.  That, and quality of life considerations, triggered her decision to move to Salem. Debbie is married to Roger, who was a contractor and has now started up his own business as a certified home inspector.  Debbie’s son Bret is currently in the Army stationed at Fort Brag NC.

She loves getting involved in her community as evidenced by her being a Rotarian since 1996.  She was president of her local Rotary Club and is a Paul Harris Fellow.  Debbie and Roger enjoy the outdoors, camping, hiking, wine tasting and looks forward to her new life experience in Oregon.

Debbie has been trying to convince Tom McGirr, her sponsor, that California makes some good Pinot Noir.  He has advised her she needs to do some extensive wine tasting in the Willamette Valley to taste REAL Pinot Noir!

Please welcome Debbie to Salem Rotary!


New Member Feature | Sara LeRoy

We love welcoming new members, and had the pleasure and honor of bringing Sara LeRoy into our club this week. Here’s her introduction, as read by her sponsor and this year’s club President, Bruce Anderson:

Sara was born and raised in Salem, Oregon, graduating from South Salem High School. GO SAXONS!

She then earned her BA in English at the University of California, Santa Barbara. After a stint working in a law office there, returned to Salem to attend Oregon State University, where she earned her Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree. The week she finished her MAT, she got married to Jason LeRoy and moved with him to San Diego, where he was in the Coast Guard!

It was in San Diego that she began her teaching career in English and social studies for students in sixth to tenth grades at the Preuss School UCSD–a charter school with the mission to help underserved and underrepresented students whose parents did not go to college, get into and graduate from college.

Following three years in San Diego, they moved back to Salem where Jason began a teaching career.  Sara continued her teaching career at North Salem High School where she taught English, led the English department as their coordinator, and worked as a literacy coach for the school.

After seven years at North, she obtained her administrative license from Willamette University and was hired at McKay High School as an assistant principal. While there, she was part of the turn-around work that has transformed that school. With three years under her belt as Assistant Principal, Sara was then hired as McKay’s principal. After serving in that capacity at McKay for four years, Sara was transferred to North this summer succeeding Cynthia Richardson as principal. She says she is thrilled to be back at North because of the wonderful students, staff, and families she will get to work with, as well as because of the amazing traditions that North has as Salem’s oldest high school.

In addition to her professional life, she loves partnering with her husband to parent their two girls (Lauren, 13 and Madeline, 11) who keep Sara and Jason busy with their activities. But on their vacation time, they all love to play at the beach, go camping, and cook.  

Sara has been a member of East Salem Rotary since 2013. As an East Salem Rotarian, Sara helped with fundraising events and youth exchange  – heads up, CHANE and FARA!

She is grateful for the friendships she built and the support East Salem provided for McKay students and the East Salem community. Sara is looking forward to building relationships with Downtown Rotarians and being part of the good work they do in the community.


New Member Introduction | Mercedez Schluckebier

Mercedez Schluckebier was born in San Diego California, but did not remain a California resident for long.  Her father’s profession led to the family to Eugene, Spokane, and Anthem, Arizona, before moving back to Oregon.

Mercedez graduated from Sheldon High School in Eugene.  She was a competitive ice skater from age 7 to 15, her days starting at the rink at 6:00 AM and ending her day at the rink at 9:00 PM, with some school in between.  Mercedez missed her friends, and decided that  a life of normalcy over a a life of competitive skating was the road she would rather travel.

Mercedez attended Lane Community College.  She married in 2013, and in 2014 her son Ayden was born.   After much soul searching,  Mercedez chose the life and health insurance industry to forge a career that allows her to help others in a business that can be challenging .  She loves researching and finding a solution to difficult cases.  Mercedez is a new addition to Huggins/Bliss Insurance Agency’s Life, Health, and Benefits department.

Mercedez’s hobbies include:

  • “Anything son Ayden wants to do”
  • She loves trying new beer
  • Seeking out the best pastrami sandwich
  • Reading insurance policies – she totally Geeks out on insurance

Mercedez is active in the Salem and Keizer Chambers; Is on the Young Leader’s Council, and is active in Salem Young Professionals.  She enjoys volunteer work, especially those events that serve good beer.

Mercedez has energy,  enthusiasm, and a desire to serve and help others and can’t wait to jump right in and get involved in our club.  She is a wonderful addition to our Rotary family.


New Member Introduction | Josh Graves

Image result for Joshua Graves oregonWe had the pleasure of welcoming another new member into our club this week. Get to know a bit more about Josh Graves by reading his bio, as read by his sponsor Steve Nass:

Josh Graves is the Deputy Executive Director for Catholic Community Services of the Mid-Willamette Valley and Central Oregon Coast.  He has been working in Social Services since 1992, and his experience has included working for private non-profit organizations, state operated Youth Correctional Facilities and Therapeutic Wilderness programs.

Notable career highlights include:

  • Implementation of the Sanctuary Model of Trauma Informed Care, Researched the model, identified the organizational team and led them through the training process with the Sanctuary Institute prior to leading the implementation at Catholic Community Services.
  • Launched five new Community Homes for Children, as well as the Community Receiving Home and Rainbow Lodge, bringing new foster care, emergency room diversion and respite care services on-line from concept, through start-up and into operational capacity.
  • Selected by Oregon Governor Kate Brown, serving on the Child Safety in Substitute Care Independent Review, External Advisory Committee in 2016.
  • Actively provided financial leadership and direction to the CCS Community Counseling Center, moving the out-patient mental health program from a recurring annual deficit position of ($250,000) to a positive financial position of $220,000 in 2014-2015 with continued financial stability through fiscal year 2016.

In the future Josh would like to increase opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) to start their own small businesses.  He is intrigued by the concept of micro-loans and mini-grants for people who experience IDD to get started individually and in small partnerships creating community based businesses.

Josh received his Masters of Business Administration from George Fox University in 2009.   He also holds a Bachelor of Science in Social Science with a Minor in Administration of Justice as well as a professional certification in Violent Crime/Profiling from Portland State University obtained in 2002.

His affiliations include:

  • Oregon Alliance of Children’s Programs, OACP board member 2006-current
  • City of Salem, Social Services Advisory Board 2012-2015
  • Yamhill County, FEMA Board (Catholic Charities Representative) 2008-current
  • Marion County, Elected Officials Compensation Board 2015-current
  • National Eagle Scout Association 1990-current

Josh is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys hunting, fishing and boating.  Josh, his wife, Yvonne, and their fourteen year old daughter, Mackenzie recently purchased a lot at Creekside where they are building a new home.  Mackenzie is in the 8th grade at Blanchet Catholic Middle School and is looking forward to high school.


New Member Introduction | Melissa Gimby

Get to know one of our newest members, Melissa Gimby! Here’s her introduction, as read by her sponsor, Tammy McCammon:

Melissa grew up in Klamath Falls with her parents and younger sister Gretchen.  She was blessed to live there along with her grandparents and at one point in time, all 12 of her cousins. There were big family meals, BBQs, pool parties and lots of fun.  She moved in 1987 to Salem as a sophomore at Sprague High School with her family.  After trying out for the volleyball team where she made scorekeeper when she learned choir and drama were her wheelhouse and has continued to sing in church as an adult.

Fast forward a few years where she became the mother of 4 adopted children.  That’s where her love of adoption, foster families and organizations like Wake the World, Foster Parent Night Out and the Marion County Foster Parent Association grew. She was blessed to be a stay at home mom spending many of her days with her sister, niece and nephew going to bible studies, volunteering at her church, taking the kids to the park, just being with family.

After finding herself a single mother of 4 children under the age of 8 she went back to work for a local nonprofit that matched at risk youth with mentors.  Melissa loved learning about marketing, event planning, speaking to local philanthropic groups and any group that would allow her to speak.  She also learned about many of the nonprofits in our area… how they are the glue that keeps our community running… how they prevent folks from falling in the cracks and not getting the help or services that they need… and she learned how important it is to find an organization you’re passionate about whether its animals, hunger, education and reading, foster children, abused children and THEN give of your time or your monies to those groups.

After marrying her husband John in 2011, she is now a mother of 7, yes 7 children.  He had 2, she had 4 and they had a surprise.  They call the kids the bigs, the middles and the little.  The kids are now 28, 24, 18, 17, 14, 13 and 6.  Her world still revolves around family, big meals, hanging out and playing board games, watching the kids in sports and now also enjoying her 2 month old grandson.

Years ago Melissa was able to speak at several of the rotary clubs about the nonprofit she worked for, including this very group.  And that’s when she learned how much work rotary does and she wanted to be a part of it.  It took a couple of years but sometimes that is how life works.

After having an employer who was supportive of her joining Rotary she reached out to Tammy.  She saw that this group is about doing the work. And after being a visitor, she has had her original impression confirmed… that this is not a networking group, this is a group of friends invested in doing the work, making this community, this world a better place.  Melissa is so very honored to be inducted into the Rotary and is ready to jump in and do the work along side of you.


New Member Introduction | Kari Zohner

Kari Zohner We love bringing in new members. Get to know one of the newest: Kari Zohner. You can read her introduction as read by her sponsor, Alison Kelley.
What is special about this Rotary Club/is its energy, enthusiasm, skill, experience and compassion. All of you have those qualities and show them every day. I feel Kari is a great fit for the club because she also has energy, enthusiasm, skills, experience, and compassion.

Kari was born and raised in Keizer and really lived there her entire life. She graduated from McNary High School and earned a scholarship to play soccer and
softball at Pacific Lutheran University. Ultimately she transferred to OSU in 1995, where she earned a degree in Communication and Media Studies. As she says with a smile, right out of college she wasn’t quite ready to get a real job, so she worked at Timberline as a snowboard instructor and lift operator. At that time she was also coaching club soccer and living in Portland. Eventually she returned to Keizer and started working as a softball and soccer coach at McNary. In 1997 took at job at Corbin (then Western Baptist Colleg) as assistant Women’s Soccer coach and in 1998 also became an assistant women’s softball coach at Willamette.

Kari then took a job at Nike – moved to just outside of Denver; worked as a Ekin (Nike spelled backward). She had a 4 state territory and her responsibilities were to go in and educate sales associates about Nike products – all the technical aspects. She really got her marketing & training from that experience and from Phil Knight.

After enough time of working the 60 hour weeks, Kari came back to Oregon and took a job with Radio Station Rosie 105 in 2000; she was instrumental in starting the Salem First Wednesday model; worked with businesses in the downtown core to come together to create that event. After that started working as a marketing representative for Salem Keizer Volcanoes. Met husband in 2001, he got out of Marine corps 2001; from Pendleton; moved to Pendleton to help him with his career; worked for radio station.

Came back to Valley in summer 2002; he took a job with Marion County; I went to work for State Farm in auto claims; then stay at home mom for a few years; had boys Drew in March 2005 and Cade January 2007; worked in property management and most recently worked for Keller Williams.

Kari joined the Liberty House team in September 2016 and is a Community Engagement Coordinator. She works 30 hours a week and her major projects include networking, fostering relationships in the community, and reaching out to work with sponsors, donors and contributors. Her other major project is the “Changing Hurt into Hope” sustaining donor campaign.

Hobbies; coaching is my give back : I coach soccer, basketball and softball; like to snowboard and snowmobile with family; cabin in eastern Oregon; Chris with Salem PD 11 and half years; SWAT, honor guard; always had dreams of being a State Trooper and he is in the process of doing so – is currently in training and will be on the road in a couple of weeks.

Kari, we are thrilled to have you at LH and to have you become part of this club.


New Member Introduction | Valori Weber

As always, we’re excited to welcome our newest member, Valori Weber. Learn more by reading her introduction below, as read by her sponsor, Brenna Baucum.

Val Weber is the owner of Weber Reporting Corporation, a court reporting and transcription company, founded in 2012, after moving from Denver, Colorado to Oregon.

Val was born and raised in northern Colorado, growing up on a farm until junior high when her dad quit farming and they moved into the City of Greeley, where she graduated high school.  Shortly thereafter, she married and had two children, Mollie and Jeff.  Mollie is here today with her husband, Nick Beleiciks (Be-lay-chicks).  Mollie graduated from nursing school in June from Chemeketa Community College — while raising three kids — and started work at Salem Hospital in August.   Nick is an economist with the State.  Some of you may have heard Nick on the local radio reporting on the state unemployment figures.

While raising her children, Val worked at the regional office of State Farm Insurance Companies in Greeley for eleven years, which she thoroughly enjoyed.  But when both of her kids went to college out of state and her marriage ended, she made the decision to pursue a career in court reporting.  She moved to California in 2001 to attend Bryan College of Court Reporting in Los Angeles.  While attending Bryan College, she discovered “digital” court reporting when she attended an AAERT (American Association of Electronic Reporters & Transcribers) conference in Virginia and wasted no time changing her direction to that of digital reporting method over the traditional stenographic method of reporting.

She moved back to Denver and launched Western Deposition & Transcription, LLC.  Along with the reporting clients acquired, five different district courts in Colorado from the Front Range of Colorado to the Western Slope were using the company’s transcription services.   Reporting clients included several government agencies such as the Department of Justice, Social Security Administration, and Merit Systems Protection Board; all of which require digital court reporters in their contracts.

When grandchild number three was due to arrive in September of 2011 in Salem, Val wanted to be closer to her family.  She sold Western Deposition & Transcription to a large reporting firm located in downtown Denver and moved to Portland where she founded Weber Reporting Corporation.  She made it to Oregon just six days before little Opal was born.

Since many of her previous clients were federal government agencies, she was fortunate to continue to work for those agencies when she relocated to Oregon and has added the United States Federal Tax Court and National Labor Relations Board to her client base.   By covering these government hearings, Val has been fortunate to travel eleven states and report in many beautiful — and not so beautiful — courtrooms.  One of the finest courtrooms she has reported in is right here in Oregon:  courtroom 71 at the Gus J. Solomon United States Courthouse in downtown Portland.  This is the courtroom where the Men of Honor courtroom movie scene was filmed.

Last summer, Val moved to Salem and became roommates with her niece, Taylor Meyers, who is here.  Taylor is a law student at Willamette.  Taylor just finished a real estate law class, so they enjoy talking about all the different cases that come up in Taylor’s classes and Val’s reporting.

Val and the Beleiciks family just returned from Homer, Alaska last week where Val’s son, Jeff, was married.  The wedding ceremony was outdoors at a venue that is right on the water of the Kenai Peninsula.  As soon as the ceremony was over, all went inside for the party, but it was a beautiful day and the view was fantastic.  Jeff is a history professor at Kenai Peninsula College in Homer.  He and his bride are the parents of grandchild number four, who was born in August.  The three cousins from Oregon could not wait to get to Alaska to meet their new baby cousin, Lev.

Another big event in 2016 was purchasing and flipping a house in Salem.  It was a great experience for the whole family, who all were great about pitching in.  In fact, Val enjoys real estate so much that she started real estate class at Chemeketa Community College last week, along with her son-in-law.  Val is set to work with a real estate agency here in Salem when she obtains her real estate license and is excited for the future.

She is especially excited to be joining the Rotary Club of Salem where she has already met some great people who have given her a warm welcome since her first visit a few weeks ago and is looking forward to getting involved in service projects and meeting all of you.


New Member Introduction | Kim Lemman

Get to know one of our newest Rotarians, Kim Lemman, by reading this introduction, written by her sponsor Jayne Downing:

Have you ever met someone and pretty quickly you think, this person would make a good Rotarian? That is how it was with Kim Lemman. Her enthusiasm, energy, and caring nature make her perfect for our club. Kim lives our clubs informal motto – this is a woman that gets things done!! It took 5-1/2 years for the time to be right in her life to make joining us a reality, but I am happy to be introducing Kim as one of our newest members today.

Kim grew up in a large Italian family in Portland, Oregon. She graduated from Montana State University with a degree in Community Health Education. Kim worked for 20 years as a Health Educator, assisting people with desired behavioral changes and developing healthy life styles.

Kim is married to Phil Lemman, who works in the Oregon Court Administration Office, and has two sons. Spencer is a senior at Oregon State University majoring in Chemical Engineering and Jack is a senior at South Salem High School. Kim is a great mother, always helping with homework (although Chemical Engineering may be stretching her limits these days).

Kim loves running and has participated in 9 marathons and 25 half-marathons. For the last 5-1/2 years, Kim has been focusing on a different type of running. As the executive director of the St. Francis Shelter, Kim has worked tirelessly to meet the needs of homeless families in our community. She has taken St. Francis from an all-volunteer operation to one offering professional case management and well-rounded services.

Kim has overseen transforming the facility, as well. Each apartment the families live in has been updated and provides a welcoming environment for all that live there. The addition of the playground is just the latest example and I am excited our club will be a part of helping the children laugh and play while residing at the St. Francis shelter.

I have been privileged to work closely with Kim, as St. Francis and the Center for Hope & Safety have worked to build a strong collaborative partnership for many years. The Center for Hope & Safety provides emergency shelter and stabilization for victims of domestic violence and St. Frances provides survivors an apartment of their own and intensive case management. The collaboration has led to long-term stability for the families we have served through the partnership. When you hear people talk about non-profits competing with one another, I want you to know there are some of us that help one another, share resources, and work to build a safety net of support for vulnerable families in our community.

Kim is always thinking about how everyone can work together to improve our community. When I asked her what she looked forward to about becoming a member, Kim stated it was the ability to have one more way to serve this community. See why I knew she was meant to be a Rotarian? For all these reasons, and many more, I am excited to introduce Kim Lemman to our club.


New Member Introduction | Beth Rhoades

cr_beth-2Once again, we’re happy to introduce one of our newest members. Get to know her better by reading this introduction as read by her sponsor, Roger Kirschner.

Beth Rhoades is the President of C&R Design/Remodel, following in the footsteps of her father and grandfather. As third generation C&R, Beth learned remodeling from the ground up when she began working part time and summers during high school. However, after earning a college degree in Hospitality Management, Beth opted to accept a position managing a high-end Spa Resort in Napa, California. Eventually, Beth returned to Salem in 2007 and started working once again for the business she loves.

Beth worked her way up through the ranks while learning remodeling processes, production coordination, scheduling, sales, estimating, and marketing. She now oversees and manages all aspects of C&R operations.

In addition, Beth is chief estimator and planner for C&R projects. Although working in the construction industry is not every woman’s dream, Beth recognizes that “remodeling is obviously in my blood. I had thought I wanted to go in a different direction, but in the end I knew this was what I was meant to do.”

Beth enjoys hosting family dinners, decorating for friends and non profit events.  What she loves the most spend time with her husband, son and two dogs.


New Member Introduction | Larry Hanslits

med-low-reslarry-dsc_4318We’re excited to welcome one of our newest members: Larry Hanslits. Learn more about him by reading over the following introduction, as read by his sponsor Chane Griggs:

“It has been rumored, but now found to be fact. There is something in the water at The H Group; something that takes already great, smart individuals and promotes their charitable intent. It’s not enough that Mary, Ron and Brenna are our Rotarian colleagues.

We now get to welcome into our club – Larry Hanslits who is also a Certified Financial Planner at the H Group.

You might very well ask…..How did YOU get to sponsor Larry? I have to tell you…. I went through quite a few additional hoops.

• For Ron – I had to promise roadside assistance to repair any bike flats
• I had to leg wrestle Mary
• And I promised Brenna a baby sweater

Larry already has a rich history with Rotary having been a member of the Rotary Club of Florence. He also was the past president of Peach Harbor Hospital Foundation and co-chaired the Florence Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament.

When he’s not working at his day job, Larry is also an adjunct professor of graduate level financial planning classes at THE Oregon State University. My favorite line from Larry’s bio was ‘Larry loves to teach and explain difficult concepts simply’. With that tidbit, I plan on attending the board meeting with Larry so he can explain Chuck’s reports.

Larry and Laurie have been married 30 years and have two adult children. He enjoys drinking beer (ok – actually said ‘making beer’), cooking, playing golf and is a rock hound. Yes – he collects rocks and fossils.

Please join me in welcoming Larry to our club.”


New Member Introduction: Von Glitschka

von_glitschkaGet to know one of our newest Rotarians: Von Glitschka. Learn more about him by reading this introduction, as read by his sponsor Mary Way:

It’s my honor to introduce Von Glitschka to you as a new member. Von initially reached out to us by using the “contact us” button on our Club’s website. His message was relayed to me as Club President. I responded promptly, and opened the conversation about Rotary.  Von attended several meetings with me and decided to join us.

Von is a small business owner of a creative studio called Glitschka Studios. He runs it out of his home along with his wife Becky and daughter Savannah. He also has a young adult daughter Alyssa, who is studying to become an esthetician.

Von’s resume describes him as a strategic thinker, providing creative services in the areas of brand identity, design, illustration, marketing and art direction. His client list includes such names as Adobe, City of New Orleans, Disney and Gallo Wine. One of the first questions he had about Rotary was where did our wheel logo come from.

He attended Seattle Art Institute for his formal training, but says he’s learned a lot on the job working for various companies in marketing and design. He loves being self-employed, because it allows him to take on the type of work he loves to do, while contracting out the rest. And one of the things he loves to do is teach. He teaches an ongoing internet-based course called “Drawing Vector Graphics” that is viewed all over the world. He’s also written 7 books for other artists. To take a look at some of his work go to his website

Von and Becky work hard in their business, but they take time to feed the homeless in Salem as part of an informal group called “Under the Bridge.” He wants to be a part of Rotary in order to find other ways to help in our local community. I know he will be an active Club member in all our charitable work, both local and international.




New Member Introduction: Thomas Nabhan

20161012_132318We’re very happy to welcome our newest member: Thomas Nabhan. Learn more about him by reading over this introduction, as read by his sponsor, Barby Dressler:

Tom was born in El Paso, Texas, and grew up loving music! His mother was an accomplished pianist and the only class he remembers from elementary school is Band Class. However, he had to switch from playing violin to the bass because he sat on the school violin! He later gave up the bass because kids teased him about carrying an instrument bigger than he was! Tom went to high school in San Diego and became interested in acting in his early 20s, and has done so ever since.

Tom earned a BA at CSU Northridge majoring in Geography and minoring in History. He got his teaching credentials at CSU LA. He moved to the Pacific Northwest and taught science at a junior high school in Seattle. That wasn’t a great fit, so to save his sanity, Tom moved back to Los Angeles, working in high tech sales for a few years.

Tom moved back to the Northwest to begin a Master’s program in Geography at PSU. He took a job at Legacy Health in education, working with MDs to organize physician continuing medical education. He worked there for 15 years.

Tom met his wife, Susan, later in life, married, and moved to Salem because she had the better job, a professor at Willamette University. After commuting to Portland for 9 years, he retired from Legacy and started Theatre 33. For the past 4 years, he has been running the theatre and working part-time as a substitute high school teacher for the Salem-Keizer School District. Tom wants to take advantage of his semi-retirement to become more involved in the community.

Tom’s interests include: music, playing guitar, cycling (has done the last 5 Cycle Oregon events), sea kayaking, stage/TV/film acting, and making the props for Theatre 33’s productions in his woodworking shop beneath the garage. Tom also enjoys writing and is still trying to pedal the two screen plays he has written.

You may have seen Tom in such shows as the movie, The Thin Horizon, and television shows, Portlandia and Leverage, as well as local commercials. He has also performed in many stage shows from To Kill A Mockingbird to Godspell, and many in between.

Tom and Susan have been married for ten years and attend St. Timothy Episcopal Church.


New Member Introduction: Neal Henning

We’re pleased to welcome one of our newest members, Neal Henning. Learn more about him by reading over this short biography:

I come from a large family of 10 children born and raised in Los Angeles.  In 1970 my parents moved us all to Prospect. Oregon, population 350.  What a culture shock!  I fell in love with Oregon though and decided to pursue a degree in Business from Southern Oregon State College.

Upon completing college I began a career in the collections industry which kept me in Southern Oregon for a time where I was active in the Medford Rogue Rotary Club.  Later I was a partner in an agency in Sacramento, California where I was active in the Rancho Cordova Rotary club and eventually served as club President. 

In 1995 I moved to Newport Oregon, married my wife Wanda and formed a blended family of four children, Katy, Brittany, Will and Shaun.  Our youngest son Shaun and his wife Kiki are expecting our first grandchild Beau at any time now.   Our daughter Brittany was just married this past weekend in San Francisco while our daughter Katy is currently engaged and planning her wedding for June 2017.  Our son Will remains blissfully single, living the life in Bend Oregon. 

While living in Newport I shifted gears to the hospitality industry spending 17 years as General Manager of Mariner Enterprises which consisted of Ripley’s Believe it or Not, the Wax Works, the Oregon Undersea Gardens as well as gifts shops, a restaurant etc.  During my time in Newport I was an active member of the Newport Rotary Club where eventually I served as President.  I also served as President of the Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce, two-time Chair of the Newport Seafood and Wine Festival and was an elected city councilor for the City of Newport.

During this time my wife was running her family business, Creditors Collection Service.   In 2007 we became the sole owners of the family business and made the decision to purchase another agency In Washington eventually merging both agencies and forming what is now known as Industrial Credit Service.  

As a result of my experience in the hospitality field and with the flexibility that owning our own business afforded, we were given the opportunity to move to Long Island, Bahamas and manage Cape Santa Maria, a 40 unit resort on one of the best beaches in the world. Prior to taking the position we read Herman Wouk’s book “Don’t Stop the Carnival” which is a fictional novel of what can and most certainly will go wrong while running a resort on a small Caribbean island. After 2 years in the Bahamas we could have written our own book!

Wanda and I returned to Oregon and chose to live in Salem in order to be close to our family.  We purchased a home in Illahe, located on the 7th hole and are currently immersed in a major remodel.   We are both actively running our business, Industrial Credit Service, a debt collection agency that specializes in commercial collection.   We have offices in Salem and Redmond, Washington and we handle collections for both large and small businesses locally, nationally and internationally.   

I enjoy just about any type of outdoor activity and hopefully when our remodel is complete I will once again have time to get on the golf course. 

Rotary has been an important and integral part of my adult life.  I strongly believe in the core values of Rotary and have been proud to say that I am a two-time Paul Harris Fellow.   I look forward to being an active member of the Rotary Club of Salem.


New Member Introduction: Elayna Zammarelli

Elayna T Zammarelli We’re happy to welcome one of our newest Rotarians: Elayna Zammarelli. Get to know her by reading this introduction, written by her sponsor Chane Griggs:

Elayna Zammarelli is a lawyer with Saalfeld, Griggs and her area of expertise is Creditors’ Rights & Bankruptcy  and  Litigation. For a layman’s interpretation that means that Elayna  focuses on representing lenders, financial institutions and creditors in all aspects of banking, creditors’ rights, and bankruptcy. She represents institutions and individuals on a variety of financial and collection matters, from loan document preparation and review, to negotiation and loan workouts, to asset recovery actions, including foreclosure and bankruptcy.

Elayna graduated Order of the Coif (which means among other things that I found on the internet – that Elayna was in the top 10% of her class) from the University of Oregon School of Law, where she competed in the American Bankruptcy Institute’s Annual Duberstein Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition. Elayna served as Managing Editor on the Oregon Law Review and was a Judicial Extern to the Honorable John V. Acosta, a federal magistrate judge for the District of Oregon.

So Elayna is very smart, but…….I think what will make Elayna a fabulous Rotarian is that she is kind, she is engaging and she’s fun!

For example, Elayna enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband Sam golfing, hiking, or exploring Oregon’s wine country. When not outside, she also enjoys reading, cooking, and knitting. So now I have someone to share the joys of knitting at Rotary!

Please help me welcome Elayna to our club.


New Member Introduction: Chuck Wells

We’re happy to welcome our newest member: Chuck Wells. Here’s his introduction, as read by friend and sponsor, Tim Nissen.

“I am pleased to introduce Chuck Wells to the Rotary Club of Salem today.  Chuck was born in the Exeter, California hospital that is now part a farm equipment dealership. Farming was always in Chuck’s blood.  He grew up on a farm, studied plant physiology at UC Davis and also has a degree in agricultural economics from Fresno State University.  Chuck married his home-town sweetheart, Kathy, and together they raised four kids in California’s Central Valley.   While living in Modesto, he started and built three businesses and was first introduced to Rotary. Modesto Sunrise Rotary became a passionate pursuit where he served in various roles including two board positions, eight years as the Davis High School Interact advisor, and was club president in 1998.  Kathy and Chuck are both Paul Harris fellows.

Chuck‘s favorite Rotary moment was leading the Interact Club to        Tecate, Mexico for various service projects including the construction of a school for the disabled. He was known as “chef Chuck” around Rotary, for large group cooking projects including the Club’s annual Lobster Dinner and Bacchus & Brew. The Club hosted 500-1,000 attendees at these fundraisers.  For seven years, he also cooked for 500 people every Monday in a nutrition ministry at CrossPoint Community Church of Modesto.  Chuck likes hands-on projects of all sorts, and he enjoys working directly with young people.  I have already signed him up for our October Blood Drive and enlisted his support for the Salem Rotary Foundation, but he needs more to do.

When Kathy was diagnosed with cancer in 2005, with a not-so-good prognosis, they decided to sell the businesses.  With two daughters still in school, a son in college and another son entering the United States Marine Corps, the demands of two careers and running a business was more than they wanted to deal with.  Salem was the first choice of three possible career moves.  Salem was a great move for them as their daughters thrived at West Salem High School and Kathy received wonderful treatment at Hematology-Oncology of Salem and Salem Hospital, until her passing in 2009.

Chuck was blessed a second time with a partner in life, and married Tracy Preston in 2012.  Of note, Tracy and I were high school classmates about fifty years ago in San Rafael, California, and we renewed our friendship a couple years ago via the Class of 69 web site and Facebook.  It’s the modern world, one thing led to another, and here we are.

Chuck and Tracy have a beautiful blended family of five children ranging from 21 to 35 years old.   Chuck noted that he and Tracy are “amateur wine makers and professional wine drinkers.”   Chuck likes to fish, play a little golf (poorly, he notes), travel and ride his motorcycle.

Professionally, Chuck is the chief appraiser at the Oregon Department of Transportation where he manages the appraisal program for ODOT.

As you can tell, Chuck Wells is already a great Rotarian; he just needed to find a new club to join, and I am pleased he found ours.”


New Member Introduction: Sharalyn Bechtel

SharalynB (002)We are happy to introduce you to one of our newest members: Sharalyn Bechtel.

Sharalyn is a Northwest native who came to Oregon just over four years ago.

Through her first job in Salem at Select Impressions with Renee Campbell, she quickly discovered the uniqueness of the Willamette Valley community, set apart by its can-do, service mentality.

Her work at Union Gospel Mission, which began in 2012, only increased her impression of Salem’s position as one of the most giving communities she’s been a part of. As the volunteer coordinator and now as the development director, she has greatly enjoyed seeing our community’s care and generosity toward its most vulnerable members – the homeless men, women and children at UGM.

In her spare time, Sharalyn enjoys singing opera and hiking the beautiful trails all around. She’s delighted to join Rotary today as another avenue of further engagement in and service to our community.


New Member Introduction: Cheryl Nester Wolfe

We are pleased to welcome one of our newest members: Cheryl Nester Wolfe.

Nester Wolfe came to Salem Health in 2007 as the Sr. Vice President Operations/Chief Nursing Officer. Salem Health includes Salem Hospital, West Valley Hospital, and Willamette Health Partners.

A key accomplishment at Salem Health was achieving Magnet status for Salem Hospital during 2010. Nester Wolfe worked with clinical leaders and specialty practice teams (SPTs) to revive a dormant Magnet-preparation process, enlisting all members of the healthcare team in the journey. Nester Wolfe became chief operating officer in 2010, taking charge of the day-to-day operations of the two-county hospital system licensed for 454 beds and with more than 4,000 employees. Nester Wolfe was named President and CEO of Salem Health in November 2015.

Prior to her arrival in Salem, Nester Wolfe was Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at O’Conner Hospital in San Jose, California and Chief Nurse Executive and VP for nursing and patient care at St. Mary’s Medical Center in San Francisco. Cheryl’s early nursing career consists of nursing positions in hospitals in Virginia in psychiatry, pediatrics, and neonatal intensive care. A move to Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula in Monterey, Calif. in 1977 led her from a staff nurse in the telemetry unit, into oncology management, and then into nursing administration.

Cheryl has served on numerous boards, including the United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley, North West Organization for Nurse Executives, Nurse Week Advisory Board and Willamette Valley Community Health. She currently serves on the board for the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems.


New Member Feature | Steve Powers

Last week, we were able to welcome one of our newest member: Steve Powers. Get to know him better by reading his introduction, as read by Mayor Anna Peterson:

“We at the City of Salem are fortunate to welcome Steve Powers as our new City Manager.  Steve comes to us with excellent credentials including four years as City Administrator with Ann Arbor, Michigan, fifteen years as County Administrator with Marquette, Michigan, two years as County Coordinator with Martin County, Minnesota, and seven years as Assistant County Administrator/Assistant to the Administrator with Jackson County, Oregon.

Steve has a successful and proven background in economic and community development, finance management and intergovernmental and regional cooperation among other significant accomplishments.  Those who have worked with Steve hold him in high regard as a City Administrator and Manager.

In addition to his vast experience Steve also comes to the City of Salem with an outstanding education including a Master in Public Administration from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas and a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration and Political Science from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois.

Along with his experience and education, Steve has a strong commitment to his family and community.  He was born in San Diego, California and raised in Chicago.  He and his wife Jayne have three grown children, two of which plan to join him here in Oregon!  Steve joined the Rotary in 1995 and is a Paul Harris Fellow.  He has been and continues to be active in community and club service.

As you can see from his education to his experience Steve charted a path to becoming an exceptional City Manager and we are fortunate that path led him and his family to the City of Salem!

I am very pleased to introduce, Steve Powers, the new City Manager for the City of Salem.


New Member Feature | Jon Reeves

We were excited to welcome one of our newest members into our club today. Get to know him better by reading over the kind introduction, as read by member Cyndi Astley:

“So, who is Jon Reeves? If you really knew Jon, you would know that he is not too excited about being in the spotlight.  So you might wonder how he is even standing up here right now.  —-In his word—–He can do this, because he has the power of telepathy and he is channeling his thoughts through me.  He is able to benefit from having me as my stand-in, his stunt double, and a human buffer from all that is public speaking.  I am acting as Jon and am highly capable of conveying his message charismatically, with enthusiasm, and conviction.  Jon likes this way of communication and may adopt puppetry or ventriloquism for all future public speaking engagements.

Just a side note, I’m adding stunt double to my resume!!

Jon is actually quite outgoing, on his own terms.  He enjoys a well-timed comedic interruption, and appreciates the qualities of respectful, yet ongoing sarcasm.    He grew up in Silverton, Oregon as a transplant from California in the 5th Grade.  He graduated from Western Oregon University when it was a college, and started working at the Community Action Agency when he had brown hair.  He grew up in the organization and arguably still have some development to do.  (his words not mine)   He went back to school for a Graduate Certificate in Infant Toddler Mental Health and spent the majority of my career advocating for children and their families and increasing quality in early learning environments.  During Jon’s 17 years with the Community Action Agency he started a family with my wife Amber and have three boys ages 15, 12, and 4. They are thriving in West Salem.

Everything that Jon has learned about life, he learned from music.  Here are a few snippets of knowledge Jon has learned, feel free to sing along as he knows singing is a requirement here:

Cyndi Lauper stated that “Money Changes Everything,” and arguably it does, one way or another. Chumbawamba “Tubthumping” taught Jon resilience and tenacity through a repetitive rhythm… “when I get knocked down, I get up again, you’re never going to keep me down!”  Kenny Rogers taught Jon that, “You got to know when to hold them, know when to fold them, know when to walk away, and know when to run.” Think deep, this isn’t about a card game.  Lynyrd Skynyrd sat next to Jon and told him to, “be a simple kind of man,… be something you love and understand.” But Jon’s personal favorite is a little known song by Shawn Mullins, called “Shimmer”.  Mullins restores faith and reminds us that “We’re born to shimmer, we’re born to shine, we’re born to radiate, we’re born to live, we’re born to love, we’re born to never hate.”

Over getting to know the club, Jon believes learned what Rotary members really have in common and what makes him want to walk alongside us.  He believes that this community has great advocates in all Rotarians, and the people Rotary serves through our passion, our resources, our human capital, and our shared commitment are in good hands with Rotary.

As you can see Jon is quite a guy.  I have enjoyed working with him for more than 15 years and you are going to love getting to know him.  I subscribe to a listserve that sends me a quote of the day, today this was the quote and I think it sums up my colleague, friend, boss, newest Rotarian perfectly:

The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly. by Jim Rohn

I present Jon Reeves, Executive Director of Community Action Agency.”


New Member Feature: Lisa Campbell


Lisa and her sponsor Natalie.

We were thrilled to welcome Lisa Fanceschi-Campbell into our club this week. She’s not a fan of boasting about herself, but she managed to put together this short list to help her sponsor – Natalie Dunn – introduce Lisa to the club.

“Lisa wanted to share her favorite bible verse, which just happened to pop up today for her daily reading which is timely because it encompasses why she is excited to join Rotary.
Ephesians 2:8-9. ‘For it is grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.’

Lisa does not like writing about herself!

She believes that past achievements and lessons learned are just foundation steps to the next obstacle or mountain to overcome, but provided a few bullet points and life highlights that give an idea into who she is and what she does:

  • Oregon Native
  • Moved to Salem in 1979
  • Have traveled the world, but Salem is HOME
  • Band Geek/Drum Corp @ 12 – discipline and good posture learned!
  • Military@ 19. Air Force Vet
  • Honor Guard Bugler and computer nerd
  • Business Owner @ 22 – Bree’z Restaurant – Best sandwich in town at the time!
  • Mom @ 28 and 32 to Robert and Alex – Full time job, at times frustrating, but most rewarding
  • Car Salesman @ 32 – Won Police Dodge Charger bid with the state
    in 2006. Withnell still has contract keeping our tax dollars in the community.
  • Aneurysm Survivor @ 39 – Self proclaimed poster child for “Every Second Matters”
  • Wife to Devin Campbell @ 40 – Full time job, at times frustrating, but most rewarding
  • Stepmom @ 40. Jessi, Darby, Trystan and Michael – Full time job, at times frustrating, but most rewarding
  • Special Events Manager Salem Chamber @ 41 – picked by Mike McLaran to be on his team which she is proud and humbled by
  • Business Owner @ 46 – Print Specialties where we sell promotional items and logo apparel. Tagline – ‘It’s your name so wear it out’ – Full time job, at times frustrating, but almost as rewarding as wife and mom
  • Spare time – volunteers at Simonka Place and UGM. Creative assistance to Love Reins Ranch
  • Loves bowling and yoga, but not at the same time
  • Enjoys local theater where son Alex can often be found behind the scenes
  • Believes that ‘the best in life is our relationships with others!'”

New Member Feature: Bruce Bailey

A warm welcome to our newest member, Bruce Bailey (left) and his sponsor – Mark Wulf.

Today, we welcomed a relatively new Salemite to our club: Bruce Bailey. Below is the kind introduction as read by Bruce’s sponsor, Mark Wulf.

On July 1, 2015, Bruce arrived in Salem as the new Executive Director of the Union Gospel Mission.

A ‘fun fact’ is that he and his wife Linda drove here along with Linda’s Mom, Josephine (Jo), a dog named Cutie, and two cats, Kingsley and Gracie. A fun filled (tongue-in-cheek) four days of travel from the Midwest in the hottest summer on record! 

His career spans more than a couple decades with an international Christian organization, The Salvation Army, in which he has held positions as varied as corps officer (pastor and community center director) in three places, as well as Divisional Commander for Wisconsin, and most recently as the Director of Property for more than 200 facilities throughout the Midwest.

He plays guitar and sings, enjoys reading historical novels and exercise. He and Linda like taking long walks and being outdoors, as well as and participating in various sport activities like basketball and hiking.

Rotary members might be jealous when he says that he lives with two women who are both excellent cooks (his wife and mother-in-law). That’s especially good news, because Bruce isn’t a cook! He and his wife Linda are happy to be in Salem to serve the hurting and homeless in the Salem/Keizer community.


New Member Feature: Lindsey Vorse


We had the great pleasure of inducting our newest member: Lindsey Vorse. She’s been visiting and a part of our club for quite some time now, so she already feels like family. Here’s a kind introduction as read by her sponsor, Tammy McCammon at today’s meeting:

“Lindsey likes to say she grew up in the same one square mile of Salem, while her mother was pregnant with her they lived on Judson. St., she was born at the Salem hospital then they moved to their new home on high street, and eventually attended south Salem high school.

Growing up in Salem Lindsey loved getting to see her father involved in volunteering of all sorts, mainly with the Red Cross. Throughout her childhood, she followed her dad to many donation appointments. Through her own perseverance and passion for their mission, Lindsey eventually became the youth representative on the local Red Cross Board of Directors. Lindsay became involved with Rotary a few years ago when her father (Clayton Vorse) joined in 2008. Lindsay would help with clean up and take down at the elephant ear both at the Salem Art fair. She has many fond memories of this time with her community.

Rotary became an even bigger part of Lindsey’s life, when she felt the rush for love and support after her father passed away in 2013. She knew then that she would want to one day join the group of Rotarians, who loved her father so much. After his death, her mother Claudia Vorse joined our club for the same reasons; to be connected to the service-above-self philosophy, which Clayton lived by. After returning home from Southwestern Michigan College, Lindsey became more involved with our club by helping out at last year’s good works celebration. She had a fantastic time!

I got to know Lindsey at Rotary Day at the Volcanoes. Her laugh is infectious. I encourage you to ask her more about her love of cats, which often adorn her clothes and jewelry.  As an emerging leader in our community, Lindsey embodies all that we as Rotarians cherish. We have an opportunity to empower the young adults of Salem, like Lindsey, to become action orientated, service minded leaders. At 18 years old, Lindsey is cultivating a career at Willamette Vineyards and joins us as Rotary Club of Salem’s youngest Rotarian.”


New Member Feature: Dale Penn II

Penn, Dale_bw_0006
Our members have a broad range of personal and professional experiences; that’s what makes Rotary and our club so terrific. We were happy to welcome this week Dale Penn II as one of our newest members. Learn more about this newlywed via his introduction, which was read by his sponsor Allan Pollock at Wednesday’s meeting:

“Dale Penn II is a senior public affairs associate at CFM, Strategic Communications.  He has been deeply involved in government relations and regulatory affairs in Oregon for 10 years.

As a lobbyist, Dale represents a diverse range of different clients, including Salem-Keizer Transit, Providence Health & Services, the City of Salem, Catholic Community Services and Oregon Public Broadcasting.

A native Oregonian who grew up in Salem, Dale has strong ties to the community through leadership positions on several local boards and committees. As a weekend rider, he enjoys taking rides on his Harley Davidson in the fields surrounding Keizer.

A lifelong Oregon fisherman, Dale lives for the fall opportunities to chase prize steelhead on the Rogue River. He continues to develop his skill in amateur photography and lives in Keizer with his wife, Samantha, and their two dogs, Nova and Molly.”



New Member Feature: Nekole Baurer

We know how fortunate we are to welcome new members into our club; it’s an honor we never take for granted. Get to know one of our newest members, Nekole. The following is her introduction, as read by Sam Carroll:

“I would like to introduce Nekole Baurer, our Community Health Director at the YMCA.

If you would have asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up, it would have been an animal doctor. From the time she was little, she cleaned and bandaged scrapes on the horses, bottle fed the calves that needed extra milk, and tried to patch up every broken wing that she found on her parent’s small farm in Southern Oregon. But that only tells a small part of who she would become as an adult. As a teenager, twice a week she helped her mother deliver food boxes to needy families that lived out in remote areas of the Rogue Valley. Then as a young adult, rather than going off to college straight out of high school, she stayed close to home working odd jobs from merchandise stocking and medical reception, to waitressing and bartending, so that she could continue to help her mom run the farm while her father and brother experienced ailing health.

A new chapter of her life began when she decided to pursue education at Oregon State University to study veterinary sciences (GO BEAVS!). Moving to the Willamette Valley was the best decision she could have made as that was where she met her husband of now 11 years and went on to have two lovely daughters. She also shares her home with two Boston Terriers and a very large Savannah Cat named Ed.

Now, a little over 6 years ago, Nekole found her way into the Salem Family YMCA, seeking socialization and health after recovering from a bout of cancer. During this time, she volunteered in our drop in child care center for members, and met some amazing folks down at the Y. This is where she found a piece of her that had been missing for a while, community and friendships. She went on to earn her Master’s degree in Business Administration, knowing that all career choices in her future would require an understanding of business principles, and moved up in the organization. We are very lucky to have Nekole as part of our team, and I know that she is excited to become involved with Salem Rotary.

Please join me in offering a warm welcome to Nekole!”


New Member Feature: Chris Fischer



We’re happy to welcome Chris Fischer as the newest member of our club. Below, enjoy his introduction as read by Ryan Collier:

“It is my honor to introduce Salem Rotary to my Right Honorable Friend Chris Fischer, husband, son, world traveler, wildlife conservationist, photographer, artist, and hippopotamus whisperer.

Chris was born thirty-three years ago to parents Tonk and Debbie Fischer.  He excelled in football at a small country school in South Salem – Sprague High School.  Chris then graduated with a degree in accounting from University of Oregon, where he developed a love for wetlands creatures such as Ducks, crocodiles, and hippopotamus.  Does hippopotamus have a plural form?

After seven years as a commercial real estate broker, Chris joined the team at Merrill Lynch as a Financial Advisor.

Chris met and married his true love Adrienne two years ago through eHarmony.  He travelled twice to her hometown of New Orleans.  On Adrienne’s visit to Salem, she stayed.  Adrienne still has her return ticket.

Chris loves to travel to photograph wildlife in remote locations such as Alaska, Belize, Guatemala, South Africa, Zambia, and the most beautiful place in the world – Botswana.  What is the most dangerous animal in Africa?  Hippopotamus.  Did you know more people are killed by hippopotamus than any other African animal – lions, poisonous snakes, and crocodiles included.  While “glamping” in a river delta in northwest Botswana, Chris took a late night bathroom break with a hippopotamus.  Chris woke to relieve himself.  He found a two ton hippo leaning into and crushing the side of his luxurious tent eating the surrounding vegetation.  Chris tried to creep out of the tent.  With each creaking step, the hippo stopped eating and snorted.  Chris eventually made it out of the tent.  The hippo moved on.  Adrienne never woke.

Chirs is not just a fair or warm weather wildlife photographer.  He also took his wife and Keizer Rotarian A.J. Nash to Canada to photograph the grey wolf – in twenty below weather.  While Chris and AJ were jumping up and down high fiving with excitement over seeing these amazing wolves, Adrienne and Sheena were suffering from frostbite.  Adrienne and Sheena did not complain.  And they are still married.

Chris’ will serve Rotary well.  He is passionate about international wildlife conservation and looks forward to working with local Rotary clubs in Africa to champion wildlife conservation. Please welcome my good friend, Chris Fischer to Rotary.”


West Coast Young Professional Summit


Brenna and Tom bridge generations…and share a snack.

Club member Brenna Baucum spent the weekend traveling for Rotary and is back with a brief summary of her experience:

“Berkeley is warm in August. Muggy, in fact. It was on the university campus that I joined 52 other young professionals to experience the inaugural West Coast Young Professional Summit. This idea was started and funded on a national level by two Rotarians who wanted to find out how Rotary can better meet the needs of young professionals. Last year, an initial Young Professional (YP) summit was held in Chicago and of that, a few motivated YP’s started the ball rolling to launch one on the west coast.

In Chicago, only YP’s attended this conference. They found that as they took ideas back to their respective clubs, they were met with resistance. So, for the west coast summit, the organizers insisted that members of leadership join their YP representatives.

We spent the first day apart, YP’s in one areas of campus and district leadership in another. We independently brainstormed, taking the orthodoxies (aka, the “sacred cows” of Rotary) and discussing the why behind each. Day two brought the two groups together; we spent time collaborating, then broke out into our individual districts to talk about action items and baby steps we can take to implement change on a local level.

I recognize my bias, but I am particularly proud of our district’s ability to come up with innovative and creative ideas to help make Rotary and even better organization than it is today. We are fortunate to have such open-minded, ‘outside the box’ thinkers on our leadership team. I look forward to sharing some of those ideas at the District Membership Training on September 12, and more of my takeaways at an upcoming program with our members.”


District Governor Elect Tom Markos, Raven Brown (Seaside RC), District Membership Chair Diane Noriega, Brenna Baucum (Salem RC), Becky Rude (Greater Clark County RC) and District Vocational Chair Carlos Noriega.


New Member Feature: David White

We’re happy to welcome our newest member David White. Learn a little more about David by reading this introduction, read at last week’s meeting by his sponsor, Dawn Bostwick:

“It is very much my pleasure to invite David White to become a member of our club.

David was born and raised in Lawrence Kansas and graduated from Lawrence High School.  In his youth, David participated in 4-H, Boys Scouts,   Coached Soccer, and took first place in State Competitions in Gymnastics for three straight years.  David was involved in several bike clubs, and rode across Kansas, Colorado, and Missouri.  He attended Kansas University (Go Jay Hawks!) with his sight set on engineering.

Somewhere along the trail however, David took a road less traveled, and has had a very interesting and eclectic list of vocations:

David has been a Chef, a Baker, Construction Worker, Manufacturer of T-Shirts, Wine Educator in various wineries in Napa and Sonoma Valleys, where he perfected his wine tasting.  He worked in a liquor store in Kansas City where he was robbed every Friday and Saturday night.   David was also a Banker, a Pool Cleaner, and a Limo Driver.  David is now becoming a successful insurance agent, specializing in business insurance.  We are pretty sure he has found his niche.

David is an active member of our community and is involved in Chamber events, Habitat for Humanity, is a member of the Homebuilders Association, and belongs to the Salem Young Professionals organization.

David knows his BBQ sauce and wines.  When our office has BBQs, David is our head cook and makes the best Tri-Tip and BBQ chicken you will ever taste.  Feel free to invite him over to your place if you need someone to ‘man the grill’.

David is married to his wife Sarah, who is an Account Executive for the Doctor’s Company.  They were blessed with a baby boy in May, who they named Ryder. David’s family is complete with two Jack Russel Terrier dogs. David still has family back in Kansas and goes back to visit when he can – as there’s no place like home.

David’s energy and appreciation of our community will make him a great addition to our club.  He is already on one committee!”


New Member Feature: Jenn Columbus

We’re thrilled to welcome Jenn Columbus into our club. The following is the introduction as read by her sponsor, Chane Griggs:

Jenn Columbus is a proud lifelong Salem resident. She grew up in West Salem, attending Myers, Walker, and then South Salem High School, graduating in 2002. She moved to Eugene to attend the University of Oregon (Go Ducks!) and completed a degree in Family and Human Services with a minor in Special Education.

She was a member of Kappa Delta sorority. After graduation, Jenn moved back to Salem and began a seven year career at Family Building Blocks. In 2009, Jenn married her high-school sweetheart, Alex Paraskevas, in a real big, fat, Greek wedding in Athens, Greece. Jenn also sang in an indie-folk band called Your Friendly Beast for two years, and is a long-time member of Festival Chorale Oregon community choir and the Festival Carolers.

She is the Northwest Area Manager for SMART, Start Making A Reader Today, where she oversees the reading program in five counties, and also serves as a Board Member of Mid-Valley Development Professionals, Festival Chorale Oregon, Oregon College Access Network, and North Salem Business Association. Jenn lives in South Salem with her husband, Alex and their bird, Petrie.



New Member Feature: Tammy Dennee

Welcome to our newest member Tammy Dennee. The following is the gracious introduction read by her sponsor – member John McCulley:

It is our good fortune that Tammy Dennee will be a member of the Rotary Club of Salem. Tammy is a SNOB (Society of Native Oregon Born) calling Hood River her birthplace. She graduated from The Dalles High School and earned a degree in business administration from Kennedy Western University. Tammy also holds the coveted title of Certified Association Executive awarded by the American Society of Association Executives and is a Certified Meeting Professional as designated by Meeting Professionals International.

Tammy has a long and distinguished career serving farmers, starting in 1993 when she became Associate Administrator of the Oregon Wheat Commission. She was a leader in the Oregon wheat and grains industries for years including almost a decade as head of the Oregon Wheat Growers League, headquartered in Pendleton. After some forays into human services advocacy as Communications Director with Greater Oregon Behavioral Health and Executive Director of Building Health Families, she joined the Oregon Dairy Farmers Association as Assistant Director this spring.

With her involvement in the wheat industry, Tammy lived for 17 years in Pendleton where she was an ex officio board member of the Pendleton Round–Up Association. And this isn’t her first Rotary rodeo. Tammy is a past member of the Pendleton Rotary board and served on the Pendleton Rotary Foundation Board. She is a three time Paul Harris fellow.

Tammy boasts a long list of community service beyond Rotary. She is a past president of the Pendleton Chamber of Commerce and was appointed by the Umatilla County Commissioners to the Umatilla County Fairboard where she served for five years until her move to the west side of the state late last year. She currently is chair of the Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation. Tammy’s husband Michael works for the Oregon Department of Transportation and we have Michael to thank for bringing Tammy to our club. His promotion within ODOT prompted the move from Pendleton that eventually resulted in Tammy being here today.

She and Michael have two grown children, recently married son Brandon who lives in Seattle and daughter Mallory a student at Oregon State. Tammy enjoys reading and taking long walks. She is a five–time finisher of the Portland Marathon. She used to enjoy camping, but when she and Michael moved across the state, they ended up living in a camp trailer for seven months before finally finding a house in Dallas. It may take a while for that camping experience to work its way through her system.


New Member Feature: Julie Huckestein



We are pleased to welcome Julie Huckestein into our club. The following is the warm introduction as read by her sponsor, Ron Hays.

Julie Huckestein was appointed President of Chemeketa Community College in Salem Oregon in February 2015 after serving as Interim President since July 2014.  Chemeketa Community College is the second largest community college in Oregon with two campuses and five community centers serving 36,000 students per year (12,500 FTE).  Julie has over 28 years of experience in community colleges and held the position of Vice President/Chief Financial Officer prior to her appointment. She joined Chemeketa in 2001.

Prior to Chemeketa, Julie worked at Linn-Benton Community College in Albany, Oregon for 14 years in various roles including Director of Budget and Finance.  She is a proud community college graduate and earned an AS degree in Business Administration from Linn-Benton Community College, a BA degree in Management and Organizational Leadership from George Fox University and a Master’s degree in Education: Policy, Foundations and Administration from Portland State University; all while pursuing her community college career.  She is a native Oregonian and a first generation college graduate.  Prior to joining community colleges, Julie worked for seven years at an accounting firm that specialized in small business, non-profit and tax accounting.  She also spent two years working for a non-profit agency related to job training.

Julie is on the board of the National American Association for Women in Community Colleges (AAWCC) and has been active in the local and state AAWCC organization for over 20 years.  She currently co-directs the Oregon Institute for Leadership Development.  She has presented at various conferences on the topics of budget and finance, computer software conversions and leadership and is a peer evaluator for the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.  She attended the National Institute for Leadership Development in 2007 and the Oregon Institute for Leadership Development in 1993.

She and her husband Jim have three adult daughters, Rachel, Kelly and Erika and two small grandchildren Hannah 5 1/2 and Holden 2 1/2 and another one on the way.  Luckily they live within two miles of her home!!  In her spare time she enjoys being with her family and friends, reading, traveling and camping and is learning to kayak.