Category Archives: Blog

2nd Annual Multi-Sport RiverFest

Mark your calendar for September 23, 2018!

What started as a dream to offer another open-water triathlon in Oregon has become a multi-sport festival in just one year. The Rotary Clubs of Salem and South Salem have again teamed up to foster a community experience centered in Riverfront Park, with the aim of raising funds to support charitable initiatives both locally and globally.

The event will include varied races in several distances, food, health and wellness booths, music, and plenty of volunteer opportunities. “We are thrilled for the opportunity to bring this event to our community and showcase our beautiful parks and Salem’s wonderful downtown,” says John Shirley, Chair of the Rotary Multi-sport Planning Committee. Not just for experienced athletes, the Multi-Sport RiverFest is a community event with an emphasis on promoting active lifestyle habits and an appreciation of Salem’s beautiful and easily accessible parks.

In addition to promoting active lifestyles, the event will raise funds for local non-profits and international humanitarian projects.  Since 2000, the Rotary Clubs of Salem and South Salem have awarded over 200 grants to more than 50 nonprofit organizations in the Salem area. Additionally, international projects include water wells and sanitation facilities in countries like Haiti and Indonesia, and the nearly complete elimination of the Polio virus.

The 2017 Rotary Triathlon event brought participants from five States and Canada, as well as hundreds of local runners and cyclists. Encouraged by last year’s success, the planning committee has added a Half-Marathon and the “Over the Bridge

and Around the World” Kid’s Run, presented by Salem Health. “Adding a half marathon and events for kids gives even more options for both adults and families,” says Robert Chandler, Co-Chair of the event. The planning committee has also made plans for a back-up swim route in case of rain and runoff into the slough, ensuring that triathletes will be able to complete all three legs of the race this year.

Regardless of fitness level or ability, there’s a place for everyone in the RiverFest. The 5K is open to runners and walkers of all ages, kids can dash through the Kids Run, and if tackling a triathlon on your own seems like an unattainable feat, consider signing up as a team. All told, there are now eight race options to get outside and join in the fun:

Kids Run
5k Walk/Run
Half Marathon


Olympic Sprint
1.6k Run 1.6k Run
40k Bike 20k Bike
5k Run 2.5k Run


Olympic Sprint
1500m Swim 750m Swim
40k Bike 20k Bike
10k Run 5k Run

Signing up for a race event isn’t the only way to participate in the Multi-Sport Riverfest. Over 200 volunteers of all ages helped last year’s event run smoothly, and the race coordinators are hoping to sign up even more this year. Spectators and park patrons are welcome and encouraged to visit the food booths, enjoy the music, and participate in yoga in the park. To learn more, visit


Buy a Dictionary – Add Meaning to Life!

Every year, Rotary clubs around the Salem-Keizer area gather together with the goal of distributing a dictionary to every 4th grader in the Salem-Keizer School District. To accomplish this goal, we need your help!

We have an opportunity for a one-to-one matching grant through District 5100. All you have to do is buy one! Or a whole box!

Dictionaries are 2.50/each, $30 for a 1/2 box and $60 for a full box. You can make your donation online by clicking here. Just add the details under the ‘note’ section. E.g. “$60 Box of Dictionaries.”

Click here for the order form and to learn more.


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.


“Be the Inspiration” Shirt

If you were inspired by the new board’s beautiful shirts, we hope you’ll join in the fun by ordering one of your own. $4 of each purchase goes to support the Salem Rotary Foundation. Our friends Lisa Campbell and her team at Print Specialties have made this ordering easy. Here’s your 1-2-3 on getting your very own, Be the Inspiration shirt.

Step 1: Go to and enter your personal information. You can leave the PO / Order # blank. For “In Hands” date, please allow at least one week from the date you order.

Step 2: Under “Order Details:”

  • Products:
    • Item # type “Rotary”
    • Indicate the number of each size you would like. (They run a bit small, but don’t shrink when washed.)
      • $17/each up to XL, $19/each for 2XL, $21/each for 3XL.
      • The shirts are Gildan performance tee. 100% polyester jersey knit so they won’t shrink when washed; moisture-wicking, anti-odor properties (not that you need that…)
  • Imprint Type: Screen
  • Placement: Front
  • Additional Information / Notes:
    • Indicate whether you would like a men’s or women’s cut.
    • Indicate whether you prefer design “A” or “B.”


Step 3: Hit Submit. Lisa and her team will be in touch with an invoice and any follow up questions.



Recycling Changes


A couple of weeks ago, we had the great pleasure of learning about some of the nuances behind the recent changes to our recycling system. Reed Carlson,Recycling/Marketing Coordinator from Mid-Valley Garbage and Recycling Association gave us his take, and shared some incredibly useful slides to explain what is, and isn’t recyclable now.

Many of our members requested these slides after the meeting, and we thought you might find them useful too! Click here to access his Power Point Presentation.


Small Grant Recipients Announced!

The Salem Rotary Foundation is excited to announce that nine Salem non–profit organizations will receive a total of $10,000 to help fund vital community projects. The grants range from $500 to $1,500.

The Salem Rotary Foundation is a charitable arm of the Rotary Club of Salem. Since 2000, the foundation has awarded 127 grants to over 60 Salem–area organizations.

Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency:  funds will be used to purchase a locking storage shed to house bikes, helmets and locks as part of the continuation of a very successful bicycle “ownership project”.

CASA of Marion County: funds will be used to collaborate in a partnership with Marion County Juvenile Dependency Court to install “mini-libraries in each juvenile dependency courtroom.

Center for Hope and Safety: funds will provide a sensory light table for children in the confidential shelter.  The light table will create opportunities for children living in shelter to safely explore and strengthen their creativity, cognitive and social skills.

Gilbert House Children’s Museum: funds will be used to purchase supplies for The Creative Space, designed for the crafty and curious.

Northwest Human Services/HOST Youth Program: funds will be used to provide 40 wool blankets at the Overnight Emergency Shelter for homeless, runaway and at risk youth.

Union Gospel Mission of Salem: funds will be used to assist in the purchase of 22 new computers for the Learning Centers (men and women) and computers for staff working with homeless guests, as well as an organization-wide server; 8 ipads for occupational training and it will help site staff assist the guests in using computers.

Start Making a Reader Today (SMART): funds will be used to purchase 300 new bilingual, Spanish language and multi-cultural books to give to children for them to keep.

Capitol Futbol Club: funds will be used to provide scholarships to recreational soccer players ages 3-14 in the Salem area.

Community Action Agency: funds will be used to purchase small rewards and incentives to give to participants when they are meeting their treatment goals, court ordered assignments and personal health goals.


Update on the Gerry Frank Rotary Amphitheater

The Rotary Club of Salem and the City of Salem, after working in close collaboration for over 18 months to develop a structure on the site of the existing Riverfront Park Amphitheater, have agreed that a better location for the Gerry Frank | Rotary Amphitheater is in the currently undeveloped 3.8-acre park property at the southeast end of Riverfront Park.

The new location will be incorporated into the new Riverfront Park Master Plan, which is in its final stages of completion. Only a small distance from the original site, this new location provides additional opportunities to use open space when performances are not taking place.

gerry frank rotary amphitheater

“The City of Salem and the Rotary Club of Salem have formed a strong partnership with this project and we are excited about the opportunities this new location offers to residents and visitors of our city,” said Mayor Chuck Bennett.

Rotary Club of Salem President Bruce Anderson echoed the Mayor’s comments, noting that “our club members and City staff worked towards what we believe is a great solution to completing this part of the Riverfront Park. This new location offers a great site for what will be a landmark for Salem and we look forward to working together to provide a key venue that our community will enjoy well into the future.”

To learn more about the Gerry Frank | Rotary Amphitheater, click here.

Rotary Club of Salem is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2020 and committed to building a covered and enhanced performance facility at Riverfront Park in support of that milestone, continuing a track record of service to the Salem community.

In 2005, the Rotary Club of Salem donated the Salem Rotary International Centennial Pavilion, also located in Riverfront Park.


The 2018 Small Grant Window is NOW OPEN!

The 2018 Small Grant Application window is now open!

Grants from the Salem Rotary Foundation generally range between $500 to $1,500 each. The hope is to fund projects that directly or indirectly foster, develop, promote, and encourage the health, education, and the general welfare of primarily youth in the city of Salem and the surrounding area.

Applications must be completed by May 31, 2018. 

Click here to access the application and share it with any organization you know that could use some community support from our club!

Want to see who won last year’s small grants? Click here! What to learn more about what the Salem Rotary Foundation does? Click here!



Plant a Tree for Rotary!

Rotary International President Ian Risely has an outstanding challenge — to plant at least 1.2 million trees around the world! That’s one tree for every Rotary member!

Our club helped with efforts to reach that goal on Saturday, April 27, by gathering at Woodscape Park Pathway in Salem to plant some trees! There was a lot of hard work, but also fun and fellowship, to help beautify Salem.

In addition, at last week’s Rotary meeting, nearly all attending members took a tree or two to be a part of the effort. We’re the club that gets things done, after all!



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!


Gold Star Report 2016 – 2017

Steven John Ickes Rotary Club of Salem
Gold Star Report No. 25
July 1 2016 – June 30 2017
Steve Ickes – President

The Rotary Club of Salem had another stellar year.  Funds were raised to support our projects and committee activities. Our major Good Works recipient was St. Francis Shelter. Funds were used to build a new playground. St. Francis Shelter provides temporary housing for families with children with the purpose of moving them from crisis of homelessness into stable, safe and long term housing. The playground replaces an old, inadequate plastic play structure. Children now have a new, safe place to play outside. Funds raised also supported the work of several club committees and expenses related to our exchange student.

Planning for our 100th anniversary began in earnest. The board approved and the club supported the idea of building an amphitheater in Salem’s Riverfront Park. The planning committee was formed and strategies developed for the advance work necessary to assess the level of support within the community. The goal is to have it built and dedicated in the spring of 2020.

Planning continued for our inaugural Triathlon. We agreed to co-sponsor the event with the South Salem Rotary Club. We hired the help of a sports sponsoring business to lay the initial groundwork for the October 1, 2017 event.

We inducted new members, and saw the lowest attrition in five years. Members distributed dictionaries, donated gifts for the tree of giving, rang the bell for the Salvation Army and raised funds for Marion Polk Food Share.

The Rotary Club of Salem – Who We Are

The Rotary Club of Salem first organized in September 1919 when a small group of forward-looking business and professional men met above Giles’ Wholesale Fruit Store at south High and Trade Streets. The club was officially chartered on January 1, 1920. The Rotary Club of Salem was the 306th club formed in the world and has been making contributions ever since.

The Rotary Club of Salem is the second largest club in District 5100.  Our attendance averaged 65%.  Attendance includes attending weekly meetings, participating in Rotary sponsored activities and events, meeting make-ups at other club meetings – anywhere in the world, on-line make-ups, committee meetings and other committee work. Our membership reached 193. We ended the year with 179. Of those, we have two honorary members, 16 Corporate Principals, 19 Rule of 85 and 156 active members.

Club Leadership

President | Steve Ickes

Club Leadership Committees

Office of Past President Committees | Mary Way
Nominating Committee, By-Laws, Service Day Committee; Past Presidents Council

  • Nominating Committee – a full slate of candidates was presented to the membership for consideration and ultimately, voted into office.
  • Past Presidents Council – regular meetings of past presidents continued.

Office of President Elect Committees | Bruce Anderson
Program, Strategic Planning, Presidential Citation

  • Program Committee – Our Program Committee brought an amazing array of speakers and music to our club meetings each week.
  • Presidential Citation – We received a Presidential Citation award this year for all the accomplishments of the club. This is a recognition awarded from Rotary International for meeting or exceeding expectation in several categories.

Office of the Secretary Committees | Holly Berry
Attendance, Roster, Club History Committees

  • Attendance – Paul Farrell. 36 members were recognized for perfect attendance this year.
  • Roster – Warren Bednarz. The printed roster serves as a reference for members when proposing new members, club leadership, club history and a listing of members.
  • Club History – Ron Rubel.  With our centennial just a few years away, work has begun on organizing and consolidating club records.

Office of Treasurer Committees | Chuck Swank
Cashiers Committee

  • Cashiers – Kelly White & Mike Niblock. Oversees the collection of lunch payments.

Club Service 1: Club Meetings | Larry Konick
Bell Ringers, Greeters/Traveling Mic, Invocation, Music Committees

  • Bell Ringers – Brenna Baucum. Solicit and announce the “bell ringers” at weekly club meetings with humor and enthusiasm.
  • Greeters/Traveling Mic – David Deckleman. Schedule members to greet all who attend weekly meetings and introduce guests.
  • Invocation – Richard Pine. Schedule members to give an invocation at the start of weekly meetings.
  • Music – Mary James/Chris Ray. Schedules committee members to choose and lead the song at weekly meetings.

Club Service 2: Fellowship | Chane Griggs
Fellowship Events, We Care, Firesides, Rotary Minute, Featured Rotarian Committees

  • Fellowship – Teresa Lulay. Getting to know each other is important and the committee provided several opportunities throughout the year that allowed for conversation.
  • We Care – Natalie Dunn. When life events occurred for our members, the committee stepped up and lets them know everyone was thinking of them by circulating and sending cards.
  • Fireside – Teresa Lulay. Gatherings held throughout the year giving those working on acquiring their blue badges a chance to get to know others in the club and more familiar about how the club operates.

Club Service 3: Membership | Steve Nass
Membership Development, Red Badge, New Members Orientation Committee

Membership as of July 1, 2016 – 171
Membership as of June 30, 2017 – 179

  • Membership Development – Robbin Kerner & Steven Broncheau. 26 new members were recruited, installed and oriented this year. Unfortunately, we lost 14 members.
  • Red Badge – Lauren Gutierrez.  The Membership Committee reviewed and made changes to the Red Badge process.
  • New Member Orientation – Larry Gray. Orientations are held regularly to familiarize new members with the history of Rotary Club of Salem and discuss events and activities in which they may participate. 

Club Service 4: Communications | Barby Dressler
Public Relations and Internal & External Communications Committees

  • Weekly Update – Stephanie Smetana. The weekly e-blast message with members is distributed via Constant Contact. It includes standard content such as the President’s Message, meeting information, program description, bell ringers, announcements and links to Rotary resources. Periodic articles are featured and messages that support club activities and fundraising.
    • Average open rate – 52%; industry average – 27.9%
    • Click through rate average – 5%; industry average – 8.4%
    • Open by mobile – 36%
    • Open by desktop – 64%
  • Followers on Facebook:
    • Followers/likes:  441
    • 56% women, 43% men
    • Ages:
      • 25-34 – 18%
      • 35-44 – 25%
      • 45-54 – 21%
      • 55-64 – 21%
    • 31 countries

Vocational Service | Nick Williams
Youth and Adult Vocation

Community Service 1: Community Needs | Mike Ferris
Food Drive, Holiday Giving, Blood Drive, Hands On Committees

  • Food Drive – Brent Neilsen.  This was our 28th city-wide food drive. Food and funds were raised to provide 168,131 meals to hungry families and children in Marion and Polk counties, reaching an 83% participation rate for our club.
    • Funds raised by all Clubs – $77,578
    • Funds raised by RCS – $55,377
  • Salvation Army Bell Ringers – Fred Gates. Twenty club members spent an hour each ringing the bell outside Kohl’s on the skybridge.
    • $6,800 raised during club meeting
  • Holiday Giving – Dawn Bostwick. 
    • 60 Gifts for Oregon State Hospital
    • 333 Gifts for Children  (fewer than last year, but were nicer and a bit more expensive) for the Salvation
    • Army toy drive.
      • $9,000 (Approximate value) raised in cash and gifts
  • Blood Drive – Tim Nissen. Approximately 80 pints of blood were donated during four blood drives.
  • Hands On – Sue Bloom.

Community Service 2: Fundraising | Christian Bryant
Good Works Event, Golf Tournament, Good Works Selection Committees

  • Good Works Project Selection – Brenna Baucum. This year’s $30,000 large project was awarded to St. Francis Shelter for a new playground. A plastic structure was woefully inadequate for the needs of the apartment complex housing families experiencing homelessness. New plans include a structure with a slide and opportunities to climb, swing and jump. The new playground will make a major contribution to the well being of children for years to come.
    • Good Works Event: $54,431 raised
      • Director of Fundraising – Lauren Gutierrez
      • Decorations chair – Claudia Vorse
      • Marketing chair – Brenna Baucum
  • Golf Tournament – Natalie Dunn. All Salem Rotary Clubs participate and proceeds go to the dictionary project. Each club retained its green fees and sponsor dollars – See Dictionary Project for funds raised. 

Community Service 3: New Generations | Tommy Love
International Youth Exchange, Interact, Student of the Month, RYLA, Literacy, Dictionary Committees

  • International Youth Exchange – Linda Bednarz.  This year our Youth Exchange program hosted a lively young woman, Eva Doblasova from the Czech Republic. Our outbound student, Lauren Lindholm spent the year in Argentina. The committee has added new members and has continued to network with other local clubs in recruiting students for short term and long term exchanges to provide foundations of world understanding.
  • Student of the Month – Ryan Collier.  We had eighteen incredible students of the month and three Rotary Youth Leadership Award recipients. Outstanding students from North Salem High School and South Salem High School were recognized each month. Each month, students told us of their lives, school activities, and their future plans and dreams. Categories from which students were chosen include student body president, fall athletes, humanities, math/science, service above self, winter athlete, vocational, and performing arts.
  • RYLA – Ida Mae Lafky.  Recognizes young leaders and provides them with an opportunity to expand their perceptions and ideals. RYLA participants gain knowledge about themselves and learn to work with others in order to become better people and future leaders. We sent two to the training this year.
  • Literacy – Jenn Columbus. This year the Literacy Committee provided:
    • $300 for the Salem Library Bookmobile
    • $100 to provide books for our guest speakers at the club to sign (signed books go to homeless shelters and local classrooms).
    • $5,200 to provide books to local non-profits, including St. Francis Shelter, Salem Interfaith Hospitality, Center for Hope and Safety, Smoke Place, CASA of Marion County, and Marion County Court Care. 
  • Dictionary Project – Todd Irvine & Barby Dressler.  We began distributing dictionaries 19 years ago to every student in 4th grade in Salem Keizer Schools in either English or Spanish. We distributed more than 3,800 dictionaries in 68 elementary schools in Salem. Funds for this program are raised through the Annual Rotary Golf Tournament and donations
    • $2,648 raised from golf tournament and donations (club paid balance of $1,490 for cost of dictionaries)

International Service | Shalisa Beck
RI Foundation, International Service, Peace Builder

  • RI Foundation – Dawn Bostwick. $26,871 donated by club members
  • International Service – Howard Bauman. We can be proud of the 11 wells and 2 community latrines that we have completed so far in Haiti. All of these villages have shown evidence of improved economies, better school attendance, and no further cholera deaths have been reported. When our next Global Grant is completed, the total will be up to 17 wells and 4 community latrines. 
  • An important objective of our committee has been to work closely in support of our District 5100 International Service Committee, and to also help other clubs interested in international service. In that regard, committee members Howard Baumann, Cynthia Witham, and Bo Nyleen played a significant role in this year’s District Training Assembly in April 2017 at Reynolds High School in Troutdale, by presenting our club’s experience on:  “Removing the Challenges of Global Grants.” Working with our district clubs and other organizations, we financially supported:
    • Portland’s Paraguay Literacy Project
    • Beaverton’s Uganda Female Farmer’s Project
    • Tigard’s Guatemala Clean Stove Project
    • African Woman’s Peace Project in Kenya, through the Kenyatta University in Kenya
  • Rotaract. The Rotaract Club sponsored by our club has completed its seventh year.

Salem Rotary Foundation
Annual Report 2016-2017
Dawn Bostwick – President 

The Salem Rotary Foundation is an IRS-recognized not-for-profit organization, “the charitable heart of Salem Rotary.” Its members are members of the Rotary Club of Salem. Foundation funds support the Good Works Committee’s Small Grants and also help to support the Club’s annual Major Good Works project.

September is Salem Rotary Foundation month with one club meeting devoted entirely to hearing from grant recipients, as well as a report on the previous year’s results, Foundation history, and goals for the current year.  We ended the month with a party at the Rotary Pavilion.  Grants included $30,000 (partially funded this year) to St Francis Shelter, our Major Good works project, $2,000 in Duval Scholarship funds to Chemeketa Community College, and some $13,000 in small grants to ten different organizations.

Salem Rotary Foundation donations received:

  • Bell Ringers: $10,420
  • Major Gifts: $5,000
  • Club Support: $11,000
  • Donations: $32,414
  • Permanent Fund Increase $86,837
  • Interest: $136
    • Total $ 155,807

Salem Rotary Foundation total assets: The Foundation finished the year at $832,696. The increase resulted from donations as well as growth in the Permanent Fund via investment earnings and appreciation.

Rotary Club of Salem Grants awarded:

  • St Francis Playground $30,000 (partially funded this year)
  • Club Good Works Small Grants
    • United Way – $1,427
    • Northwest Human Services – $1,375
    • Helping Hands Resouces – $1,000
    • Salem Fre Clinics – $1,500
    • Salem Pubic Library Foundation – $2,000
    • Community Action Agency – $1,006
    • Boys and Girls Club – $1,500
    • CASA – $1,500
    • Center for Hope and Safety – $600
  • Chemeketa Community College Foundation Duval Scholarship – $ 2,000

Funds Raised – All Categories

  • Food Drive: $55,377
  • Tree of Joy: $9,000
  • Salvation Army: $6,800
  • Major Fund Raiser: $54,431
  • Dictionary Project: $2,648
  • Rotary International Foundation: $26,871
  • Salem Rotary Foundation: $32,414
    • Total: $187,541

Respectfully submitted,

Holly Berry, Secretary
Rotary Club of Salem
December 2017


Statesman Journal Article: Literacy Grant Window

Our club made the papers once again today. Rotarians Todd Allen and Irene Trent-Valencia attending Holding Court this week to help spread the word about the literacy grants that our club is offering. Grants range from $500 – $2,500 and support literacy related projects in and around our community. The deadline is January 15, 2018. For more information on how to apply, click here.

Check out the entire Statesman Journal article by clicking here!


Literacy Grant Window – Now Open!

Do you know of a great nonprofit partner that could benefit from grant dollars to support literacy-related projects? Our club’s Literacy Committee has opened their grant window. From now until January 15, we are accepting applications. Grants range from $500 – $2,500 and support literacy related projects in and around our community.

To apply, click here to review the requirements for the application. Please see Literacy Committee Chair Jenn Columbus if you have additional questions.


Inaugural Rotary Triathlon

Hundreds of volunteers and participants took over over Salem on Sunday for the Rotary Triathlon! This partnership between our club and the South Salem club is the first of its kind, and one we hope to repeat in the years to come. Thanks to everyone who volunteered and participated. Read more about the event in yesterday’s Statesman Journal article!

Thanks to Ron Cooper for this beautiful recap. It reminds us all how fortunate we are to live, work and play in Salem.


Rotary Amphitheater Design

Following several months of presenting design concepts to thousands of people in our community and hearing their feedback, our architects submitted their final concepts in early September. Today, the Design Committee selected the Basket Weave design by CB|Two Architects as the Preferred Design for the Rotary Amphitheater. The committee’s recommendation will go to the Salem Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, and to City Council for final approval.

This is an exciting milestone in the effort to bring an enhanced amphitheater Riverfront Park, and the Design Committee expresses its sincere appreciation to those at AC & Co. Community Architecture, Anderson Shirley Architects, and CB|Two Architects who devoted many hours to develop the initial design concepts that have been shared with our club and community over the past several months.

Additional renderings and information is available at


2015-2016, Mary Way

 Mary med low resDSC_5305

Theme: Be a Gift to the World

Rotary International’s President, Ravi Ravindran, set the theme “Be a Gift to the World” for this Rotary year. Our Club had a great year making meaningful contributions in our local community and in the world.

Our Food Drive, holiday giving to the Tree of Joy and the Salvation Army, and blood drives were as strong as ever. Again this year we sent two aspiring young leaders to Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) camp. We lined up host families to welcome pairs of teenagers from the divided nation of Cyprus. We sponsored a Rotaract Club, and maintained ties with an Interact Club at South Salem High School. We welcomed exchange student Nishka Ajmera from India, and followed the progress of Emani Price in Slovakia.  Leah Borden was our short term student in Japan during June.

The Salem Area Trail Alliance (SATA) was selected as our major Good Works project. With the $30,000 awarded, they proposed to build a pump track for bicycles in Geer Park within city limits.  We loved the idea of kids being able to get outdoors and play in their own neighborhood, testing their skills on a hilly bike track. Near the end of the year, we had a ceremonial presentation of the big check to SATA that was enthusiastically attended and featured on our Facebook page and website.

The Board of Salem Rotary Foundation made available $28,000 for the Club’s charitable projects around Salem. The Good Works Committee, led by Bruce Anderson, awarded $12,000 to nine worthy recipients for small grants and scholarships. These projects included an industrial-grade kitchen appliance at a homeless shelter; scholarships for would-be soccer athletes; and prescription medicine for low income patients. We continued to fund the Duval scholarship for a student at Chemeketa Community College.

As the year closed, the Board dedicated a second $15,000 seed funding for a major project in celebration of our Club’s 100th year in 2020.



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.


July 21 @ 12pm – 23rd Annual Rotary Golf Benefit at Cross Creek Golf Club

Fellow Rotarians,

On Friday, July 21 at 12pm, we are hosting the 23rd Annual Rotary Golf Benefit at Cross Creek Golf Club.

This four-person scramble is open to everyone and will create a truly spectacular golf experience. The cost is $150 per person and includes: 18 Holes of golf with
cart, raffle ticket, and a buffet dinner following the event.

If you are unable to attend, you can still participate by purchasing a box of dictionary’s at $60 a box!  We also have half-boxes for $30!

Here is the schedule for the event:
12:00 pm Registration/check-in
1:00 pm Tee off
6:00 pm Awards/Dinner
Prizes will be awarded following the event.
Golfers will play a “Scramble” and can sign up individually or to a specific threesome.

Please contact Natalie Dunn at 503-584-1665 or for more information about the tournament.


Weekly Newsletter | July 11, 2017

Happy Summer, Rotarians! I hope you all had a great time last week celebrating our nation’s independence! And best wishes if you are celebrating the 228th Bastille Day this Friday – Vive la France!

Getting plugged into our club’s events and projects is something I hope you all will consider. First up: the Rotary Golf Tourney – Friday, July 21, at Cross Creek Golf Course near Dallas. Registration/check-in: 12 Noon; Shotgun start at 1:00pm. Just go to DACdb to register you and/or a team or use this handy registration form.

Why participate? This is a wonderful way for us to raise money to buy dictionaries for each fourth grader in Salem-Keizer schools. And by doing so, we can make a difference in the education and lives of these young people. Understanding proper spelling and word usage is a foundational element for children so Rotary providing this critical tool for these kids will make a difference for years to come. Can’t make it or don’t golf? No problem – you can buy a box ($60) or half-box ($30) of dictionaries (either at a club meeting or at the golf tournament). Whatever you can do helps us make a difference for kids right here in the Salem-Keizer area. Thanks to Natalie Dunn for her awesome leadership on this year’s tourney!

Best wishes for a great week. We have a great meeting in store as we start-up our new Rotary year. I hope to see y’all on Wednesday, July 12!


Tomorrow’s Meeting
July 12 – Salem Convention Center 
Program – Homelessness Part 2

Our program this week features Part Two of a three-part series on homelessness : “Who Are the Homeless in Our Community, Why Should We Care and What Can We Do About It?”

In Part One of the series, we learned who the homeless are in our community  from Jimmy Jones of The Community Action Agency as he shared data and demographic information gathered to date about this population through Community Action’s coordinated entry efforts.

This week’s speaker is Stephen Goins of Northwest Human Services whose extensive experience in working with the chronically homeless, especially those who are mentally ill, will help us to see why we should care. His presentation will focus on the psychological and societal impacts of homelessness and, specifically, how the root causes of homelessness impair an individuals ability to function normally is society and the challenges this presents in addressing the issue.

Program Chair: Marybeth Beall


Rotary Club of Salem Supports Local Non-Profits

The Rotary Club of Salem recently awarded close to $11,000 to eight local non-profits as a result of their 2017 Spring Small Grant Applications. Requests totaling more than $30,000 were received from 25 applicants. After much deliberation, the following projects were selected.

  • United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley – The Smile Drive Dental Kits: funds will be used to complete 1,152 dental kits for young children
  • Northwest Human Services – HOST Youth Program: driver’s education training for 5 homeless youth working towards stability and independence.
  • Salem Free Clinics – Medications for low-income patients
  • Salem Public Library Foundation – Purchase up to 18 titles of Playaway Launchpads that contain educational games
  • Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency – for Marion County Mental Health Court participants: appropriate medications for young, childless adults without insurance, as well as incentive reward gift cards to reward treatment plan compliance and sobriety
  • Boys & Girls Club of Salem – 180 backpacks with school supplies to be given at their annual health fair
  • CASA of Marion County – purchase of specialized case management software for training and monitoring of CASA volunteers
  • Center for Hope and Safety – Purchase of five Fire Kids Edition Tablets with over-ear headphones to wear during parent interviews

In announcing the grants, Rotary Club President Steve Ickes said, “The Rotary Club of Salem is known as the club that gets things done, and we are thrilled to be able to present these organizations with funds to get more things done.”


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.


Making A Difference in Haiti

We’ve written before to share with you the details on the wonderful partnership between our club, others in our district and Rotary International – and the amazing work that’s be being done in Haiti. We’re happy to give you an update on our latest efforts.

Last year, we raised funds to initiate a third well-drilling project in Haiti. The total cost was $60,000 which came from matching grants from Rotary International as well as several clubs in our district. Three of the five wells included in the project have been completed and a community latrine has been started. This project should wrap up entirely by late March.

We recently began raising funds to being our fourth project in Haiti that will provide 6 wells and 2 latrines. We’re aiming to raise $80,000 this time around. We are so grateful to the following clubs for their participation and commitment:

  • Our Own Salem Downtown: $4,500
  • Keizer: $4,000
  • Portland: $1,000
  • Milwaukie: $1,000
  • Newberg Early Bird: $1,000
  • Dallas: $1,000
  • South Portland: $1,000
  • Lake Oswego: $2,000
  • And a VERY generous donation from Wilsonville of $5,000

This totals $20,500 so far. Our goal for fundraising at the club level is $24,000, with the remaining funds to be provided by a matching grant from Rotary International. That means we’re just $3,500 away! If you and your club are interesting in getting involved, let us know! We’d love to have you be a part of this amazing partnership that is changing and saving lives.


March = Marion Polk Food Share Month

Every spring, we partner with the Marion Polk Food Share in order to help raise awareness, food and funds to support the great work they do in our community. Recently, they partnered with Meals on Wheels to help provide for seniors in our community. Learn more about the great work they’re doing by watching Joyce’s story.


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.


Small Grant Window – NOW OPEN!

Do you know of a deserving organization who could use some extra cash to support their good deeds? Encourage them to apply for one of our small grants! These grants generally range from $500 – $1,500 and are granted to Salem area non-profit organizations who support youth in our community.

For further detail and access to the application, click here.


Grant Awarded – Family Building Blocks

The Rotary Club of Salem has awarded a grant to Family Buildings Blocks (FBB) to assist in the development of two therapeutic playgrounds for infants/toddlers enrolled in therapeutic education at Helen’s Place, FBB’s newest satellite location in central Salem.

FBB is a non-profit that serves children ages birth to six years and their families with home visits, therapeutic classrooms, parent-child playgroups, and other important services. They are considered to be a “relief nursery” that strengthens children and families who are struggling in our community, and helps them gain important skills and access resources in order to prevent child abuse and neglect.

Children’s natural curiosity and imagination will be stimulated by an environment where they can explore and experiment. Rotary funds will specifically be used to purchase colored rubber surface tiles to cover the existing concrete floor surrounding the playgrounds. These tiles will provide a safe place for children to crawl, walk and play.

The playgrounds will directly benefit the approximately 25 children who are enrolled in the therapeutic classrooms at Helen’s Place. The children enrolled in this program are some of the highest-risk in the Salem area. They are born into families who are living in chaotic home environments, experiencing the stress and strain of living in poverty, and are being raised by parents who are struggling with anxiety and depression, often due to their own history of abuse. The playgrounds will provide a safe and engaging outdoor experience where children can run, bike, explore, create and practice important social skills such as sharing and cooperation.

FBB will work closely with Rotary Club of Salem members to identify hands-on service projects appropriate for Rotarian groups and individuals interested in helping with the playground installation. FBB will schedule a work day this spring to install components in the playground, and Rotary will invite all Club members to participate in the project as they are able.

You can find out more at FBB’s website by Clicking Here!



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.


Small Grant Awarded: Willamette Heritage Center

Amazing things happen when Rotarians are involved. A few weeks ago, President Steve discovered there was a matching grant available from Rotary International. If our club could come up with $2,000, they would match that. The snag – the deadline to apply was only 20 days away!

The GoodWorks committee sprang into action and started by discussing the finalists who had who had just been through the major grant process last fall. We reached out to one of those finalists – picture1Willamette Heritage Center. They are working on a huge project – renovating and bringing an original Oregon & California caboose built in 1909 to their site as a tourist exhibit. We asked if they could find a use for $4,000 within the larger project. They quickly pulled together a proposal and we’re happy to report that because of the fast action on everyone’s part – we were able to apply for and get the monies required to meet the match and help this jewel of Salem.

The Willamette Heritage Center will use a portion of the funds to prepare the site before the caboose is relocated – removing a tree and cleaning up the area. The other portion of funds will go toward interpretive signage of the caboose project. They are aiming to have the project completed by July 2017. Keep your eyes peeled on the property as it all comes together!

A big thank you to everyone involved in this process and an even bigger congratulations to the Willamette Heritage Center!


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.


2015-2016 Gold Star Report

Every year, the outgoing Club President writes what we call a Gold Star Report. This report recaps all of the accomplishments, changes and updates to our club during their year as president. Check our Past President Mary Way’s coverage of the 2015-2016 year.

Mary med low resDSC_5305Rotary Club of Salem
Gold Star Report No. 24
July 1 2015-June 30 2016
Mary Way – President

Rotary International’s President, Ravi Ravindran, set the theme “Be a Gift to the World” for this Rotary year. Our Club had a great year making meaningful contributions in our local community and in the world.

Our Food Drive, holiday giving to the Tree of Joy and the Salvation Army, and blood drives were as strong as ever. Again this year we sent two aspiring young leaders to Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) camp. We lined up host families to welcome pairs of teenagers from the divided nation of Cyprus. We sponsored a Rotaract Club, and maintained ties with an Interact Club at South Salem High School. We welcomed exchange student Nishka Ajmera from India, and followed the progress of Emani Price in Slovakia.  Leah Borden was our short term student in Japan during June.

The Salem Area Trail Alliance (SATA) was selected as our major Good Works project. With the $30,000 awarded, they proposed to build a pump track for bicycles in Geer Park within city limits.  We loved the idea of kids being able to get outdoors and play in their own neighborhood, testing their skills on a hilly bike track. Near the end of the year, we had a ceremonial presentation of the big check to SATA that was enthusiastically attended and featured on our Facebook page and website.

The Board of Salem Rotary Foundation made available $28,000 for the Club’s charitable projects around Salem. The Good Works Committee, led by Bruce Anderson, awarded $12,000 to nine worthy recipients for small grants and scholarships. These projects included an industrial-grade kitchen appliance at a homeless shelter; scholarships for would-be soccer athletes; and prescription medicine for low income patients. We continued to fund the Duval scholarship for a student at Chemeketa Community College.

As the year closed, the Board dedicated a second $15,000 seed funding for a major project in celebration of our Club’s 100th year in 2020.

Read more here: 2015-2016 Gold Star Report


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.




Announcing the 2016-2017 Major GoodWorks Grant Recipient: St. Francis Shelter!

We are excited to share with you that this year, our club has decided to support St. Francis Shelter. This deserving organization has been quietly serving the Salem community for years, and we think it’s time to recognize that and provide some support. Learn a bit more about the St. Francis Shelter and the playground project we’re helping to support by reading this short summary from their Executive Director, Kim Lemman.

“Since 1987, St. Francis Shelter has provided transitional housing and life skills support to help homeless families in Marion and Polk counties return to self-sufficiency.   Although our program was named for the well-known saint who worked tirelessly for the poor, we are not affiliated with any religion or religious organization. 

St. Francis is located in a quiet neighborhood in southeast Salem. The 20-unit apartment complex provides 15 family shelter units and 5 low-income rental units for families who have “graduated” from our program. Each family lives in a fully-furnished, self-contained, one or two-bedroom apartment. 

Families work closely with our on-site case manager, as well as attend on-site classes on topics such budgeting, financial literacy, how to be a good renter, parenting and cooking.  Each family participates in a mandatory monthly savings program, which they receive back, in total, when they move into their new homes.  And our model works!  Last fiscal year, 34 of the 33 families who lived at SFS moved into and remain in permanent housing!

The award of the Rotary of Salem Good Works Grant to build a playground at our southeast Salem facility is an amazing gift to the families who call St. Francis home.  Families who come to us from domestic violence, in recovery from addiction, or from economic downturn, have been in chronic crisis.  This affects children deeply.  The building of a safe, developmentally appropriate, playground for our young residents, will bring much needed fresh air, fun and laughter into their young lives.  We are beyond grateful to Rotary Club of Salem for giving these children the best gift they could ever get….JOY!!”


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.


Connecting for Good Tour – Portland Stop!

cfgRotary’s Connecting for Good Tour is a 14 city goodwill road trip starting October 29, 2016 in Honolulu and ending November 11, 2016 in Santa Barbara! With each stop, the tour acts as a catalyst to unite local Rotarians around a common service project benefiting our community.

The tour’s team will be hitting the road driving a Rotary RV, and their third stop will be in Portland on November 1st. That evening, from 6:00 – 8:30, a group of Rotary Club members, local Rotaractors and members of the Global Shapers Portland Hub will volunteer together at the Oregon Food Bank. This respected non-profit works with a statewide network of partner agencies to distribute emergency food to hungry families.

We’ll get down to business repacking and labeling bulk dry food in a lively, active environment! We’ll be repacking foods like rice, pasta, apples or potatoes into family-sized packages, either working at tables or around bins. (You must wear closed-toe shoes for this project.)

Afterwards, the Portland crew will head 4 minutes down the road to an after party at the Kennedy School, 5736 NE 33rd. We’ll meet in the Courtyard Restaurant for food and bevs.

To find out the details and to sign up, please go to this link on the Portland New Generations Rotary Club Facebook page:


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.

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