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04.21.16 – Luncheon Notes

SPOKES Notes written by Charlie Gallmeyer

President Derek Aten called the meeting to order and Shaun Shira introduced guests and visiting Rotarians. President Derek announced that Jackie Taylor is currently being honored with the Michigan Women’s Foundation Trillium Award.

Derek thanked members for participating in the Service above Selfie contest.  The winner of the $2500 first prize, Grandville Avenue Arts and Humanities, was announced at a recent Griffins game.

Derek invited George Trowbridge to address the club on the occasion of his 45th year of perfect Rotary attendance.  George noted that his next make-up will be in Uppsala, Sweden where he will attend an awards ceremony led by a former President of Rotary International.

Paul Farr invited members to attend the Opera Grand Rapids production of Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet on April 30 or May 1.

President Derek invited members to nominate candidates for two open positions on the Board of Directors.  Self-nomination is encouraged.

Paul Keep introduced today’s speaker, William Coderre, President of Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes.  His agency serves west Michigan and the UP, and works with about 60,000 students.  It’s the 18th largest chapter of the organization in the U.S., and was established nearly 60 years ago.  It teaches entrepreneurship and financial literacy in schools and at its headquarters.  Studies show that JA students consistently outperform their peers in school.

Most of the outreach in JA is facilitated by volunteers, who teach at every grade level.  This includes programs like basic blueprint reading for 3rd graders, job shadowing in middle school, and economics and simulated enterprises in high school.  The capstone program is an opportunity for high school students to start a company and sell a product or service.

Bill announced the construction of a new 42,000 sq. ft. headquarters, located on 7 acres at the corner of Lake Eastbrook and 29th St. The new center will include a JA Biztown, which will function like a miniature city and give students a first-hand experience in how the economy functions.  The center will also house the JA Business Hall of Fame, which now is located in the Van Andel Arena.  $3.7 million of the anticipated $10 million cost has been raised so far.  Opening is scheduled for June of 2018.

President Derek closed the meeting by presenting Bill with a certificate noting that a clean water filter will be installed in a home in Nicaragua in appreciation of his time with us today.

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