Metro North Rotary

We meet Thursdays at 11:30 AM               
Butcher Block Steakhouse
568 Boyson Rd NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404

 
 
Home Page Stories
 
MNR hosts an annual Zombie Prom Halloween Party to raise money for disadvantaged youth both locally and globally. The event has produced more than $60,000 and has provided the opportunity for MNR to renovate several spaces at Metro High School to enhance learning.
 
Dr. Carlos Grant, Metro High School Principal said, “The area in the library where the Incubator Lab now sits was an awkward and inefficient use of space.  When MNR approached us to see if there was a project they could tackle for us, we saw this as an opportunity to redesign that space to uniquely meet several learning needs for both teachers and students.” 
 
The Incubator Lab’s design facilitates a variety of functional needs for the school including: classes, meeting space and an area for seniors to relax before classes begin.
 
Jon Brightwell, MNR member, led the building effort. “The space before was really underutilized and not user friendly.  This was a fun project to work on with our own club members as well as other local businesses,” said Jon.
 
Craig Galassi, Project Manager for Septagon Construction and MNR member, volunteered his expertise and time to complete the initial demo work. Through his leadership, Galassi organized Septagon employees, as well as some of their suppliers, to tackle the construction aspect, which saved a significant amount of time and money. “We were happy to step in,” Galassi said.  “It was really an opportunity for Septagon to get a better understanding of what is going on at Metro High School and have a better appreciation for it.”
 
Tabby Janak of OPN Architects and MNR member collaborated and worked with Dr. Grant and school faculty to design the space to meet the students’ needs. As educational technology has moved away from large desktop computers to more mobile laptops and tablets, the design takes advantage of that mobility and breaks from the industrial seating paradigm to a setting better designed for comprehension and learning.  The room uses non-traditional furniture that, according to Dr. Grant, research has found to reduce anxiety of traditional classrooms.  The more relaxed setting fosters better focus on subject matter for longer periods of time. “This was a great way for us to show the students and teachers how much we value them by making it an awesome space,” said Janak.
 
Future enhancements for the room will include repainting walls with white board paint to allow for better communication when students work on group projects as well as a projector with scrolling announcements on the outside of the room.
 
Dr. Grant would eventually like to see all the classrooms in the school have the type of flexibility for non-traditional settings like the new Incubator Lab does.
 

 
 
Member pictureStan has been an active in Metro North Rotary since 2008. Stan owned his own business, Pfoff Electric for many years before selling it to Nelson Electric in 2012. where he is currently a project manager. He currently owns Apple Creek Kennel with his wife Mary.
 

The International and Fundraising Committees of Metro North Rotary are where he has spent a lot of time. Stan has helped with wine tastings, beer tasting and the well project on the International Committee and has been an integral part of the silent auction for Zombie Prom as well! He loves to do the hands on projects so has helped with each of our projects at Metro High School as well.

Other things Stan is passionate about are: Board Member for the Linn County Pistol club - a joint venture with Linn county sheriff and Marion PD. Aiming for a Cure Charter committee member - a fund raiser for children with terminal illnesses

Stan wants to be part of the Board for Metro North Rotary to further his involvement with a great organization. He enjoys the aspect of service above self that rotary stands for. He wants to put his talents and time to something that will help make Metro North Rotary a stronger and more vibrant organization.

 
 Nate is a Cedar Rapids native, graduating from Xavier High School, the University of Northern Iowa  (GO PANTHERS!) and then moved to St. Louis to attend Logan College where he earned a doctorate in chiropractic and masters degree in sports science and rehabilitation. He practiced briefly in St. Louis after graduation before moving to Fargo, North Dakota to teach at North Dakota State College of Science.

 Nate moved back to Cedar Rapids in 2011 to begin private practice at Back In Line Chiropractic and specializes in sports/soft tissue injuries, disc/sciatic pain and rehab. Nate continues to teach as adjunct faculty at NDSCS, and also teaches at Hawkeye Community College, Iowa Central Community College, and will start with Marshalltown Community College in the fall of 2016.

Nate has been a member with Metro North Rotary since 2011 and stays involved with the volunteer/service aspects of the club. He is a board member with ImpactCR and is a past graduate of the Leadership for Five Seasons program (class of 2014 - BEST CLASS EVER!) and stays involved on the planning committees with LFS. In his free time Nate plays all of the sports and can be found at Volleys, Tuma soccer complex, C street diamonds, out on the bike trails, or on the Mississippi river. 
 
 

T.J. Meiners grew up in Cedar Rapids and has lived here all his life with exception to the time spent at Iowa State University where he graduated with a bachelors degree in Construction Engineering.  He met his wife, Michelle, here in Cedar Rapids at the Playstation while working there in high school, they have been together ever since.  They have two boys ages 3 and 12. 

T.J. currently works at Nelson Electric Company.  His current role is Vice President of engineering.  He provides electrical engineering services for projects here in the corridor as well 20 other states.  Some of the current local projects he is involved with include the American Building Remodel, Mercy Hiawatha Ambulatory Surgery Center and Westdale site renovation.

T.J. is an Eagle Scout, Vigil Honor member and current Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 214.  He is a volunteer on the fish crew at the Knights of Columbus Council 5677.  T.J. holds a master electrician license, professional engineering license in 20 states and is a LEED accredited professional.  He currently serves on the Iowa State Construction Engineering Advisory Council, Cedar Rapids Electrical Board of Appeals and is Chair of the Iowa Electrical Examining Board.  He has been a co chair for Leadership for Five Seasons Agricultural Day for the last two years. 

He enjoys lawn work, trying to keep up with his two boys' activities, travel and camping.

 
   Brooke Lentz is the Public Relations & Event Coordinator for the McGrath Family of Dealerships. Brooke finds her role fulfilling when she serves as liaison and corporate sponsor representative with local non-profit organizations. She also contributes to the business by producing sales tracking assessments and assists the executive management team with the legacy, succession and vision planning and implementation.
  
     Since joining Metro North Rotary in July 2014, Brooke has been active on the Communications Committee and volunteering. She loves to participate in AIM and volunteers regularly at the site. She has helped with the holiday gift wrapping for Metro High School students, coordinated two professional clothing drives to benefit Metro H.S., worked registration at Zombie Prom, and has attended many club events.
 
     Brooke is proud to be a member of MNR. She believes in “Service Above Self” and strives to be an example of that mission daily. Brooke would like to bring her energy, enthusiasm and passion to serve the MNR members on a deeper level of commitment. She will bring her previous experiences to help grow membership and engagement, continue to strengthen communications within the club and in the community, and will work to find creative solutions to financially support Boys & Girls Club and Metro High School. She is open to discussing ways to continue to enhance the existing partnerships with Boys & Girls Club and Metro H.S. Her goal is to help members identify their strengths to help build lasting relationships both in the club and in the community.
 
     Brooke was honored as the 2016 United Way of East Central Iowa Retail Company Coordinator of the Year and is the past recipient of the Metro North Rotary Spirit Award and McGrath Family of Dealerships Difference Maker.
 
     In her free time, Brooke enjoys physical fitness. She brings her high energy as an instructor to a Zumba inspired group fitness class and has recently started running races. She loves to spend time with her family, as well as time outdoors, cooking and trying new restaurants, traveling, going to concerts and sporting events.  
 

 
 
Trisha Hinke Photo
 
 
In three weeks, P.A. student Trisha Hinke will be traveling to Xicotepec, Mexico on a graduate-level medical mission. Metro North Rotary is proud to sponsor her travel with Rotary District 5970, which is comprised of 54 clubs. Once Trisha arrives in the town near Mexico City, she will collaborate with Rotary International and work with dental teams, pharmacists, and visit children in schools to deworm them.
 
 
Born and raised in Cedar Rapids, this Iowa native has extended her experience and service well beyond the state’s borders. Trisha has studied at the University of Kentucky, traveled to Tasmania, and went on a trip to Honduras that she said had the most impact on her and her future plans to practice in global health.
Trisha is currently a student at Des Moines University and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Northern Iowa. She has one full year of school that will involve 12 rotations before she completes her education.
 
She is intrigued by different cultures and says she keeps an open mind to encourage interaction. Trisha said she strives to become a P.A. that patients feel comfortable with and connected to.
 

 
 
The annual Metro North Rotary Holiday Party was held on Saturday, January 9th, 2016 at Theater Cedar Rapids downtown.  We had 21 Rotarians and 12 guests join the fun that evening which included a wonderful spread consisting of veggies, dips, hummus and pita chips, meatballs, cheese, crackers, and personal pizzas, plenty of drinks, and some great tunes.  After our time at TCR was finished a dozen or so brave individuals braved the elements and toured downtown with stops at Pub 217, Quarterbarrel, and White Star Ale House.  All in all a wonderful evening and a great way to close out the holiday season.  Thanks for those that made it and hope you will consider joining us for the next Holiday Party!   
 

 
 
Every year our club has successfully applied and received a grant to help make Metro High School Projects a reality. These grants are made possible through Rotary Foundation Giving in our District. Our club goal is $1 per day per Member. Please consider signing up to give annually to this great cause.
 
One of the easiest and most secure ways for us to support our Foundation is through Rotary’s recurring giving program, Rotary Direct.  Select an amount, frequency (monthly, quarterly or annually), and contribution method that is convenient for you. Enrollment is integrated with the Foundation’s secure online contribution system.
 
Efficient, convenient and secure. Enroll at www.rotary.org/give  We are Club #62433. Ask me (Cheri Popp) for your Rotary Membership ID!

The Rotary Foundation will send you one annual statement of Rotary Direct contributions for tax purposes.
 
Here are some examples of what your $100 annual contribution can help provide:
  • Three backpacks filled with school supplies for primary school children in Honduras
  • Fifty malaria diagnostic tests to prevent, diagnose and treat malaria in Mali
  • One biosand filter and water hygiene training for a family in Peru
 
Here are some examples of what your annual $1000 contributions can help provide.
  • Fourteen anti-retroviral drugs to prevent the transmission of HIV from infected mothers to their babies in Liberia
  • One bicycle to play sports for youth with disabilities in France
  • Sexual assault and domestic abuse education for young women in Texas, USA
Enroll at www.rotary.org/give
 

 
 
Zombie Prom was a great success with around 220 1/2 people attending. See all the great photos in the photo album "Zombie Prom 2015"
     
     
 

 
 
Jack Hardin is planning a trip for November around Thanksgiving time to Senegal.  Jack said, “What a great time to serve others and help the kids at the school in Tivaouane, Senegal.”  We have helped educate over 800 students at the school for the children that can’t attend the regular school system due to several reasons.  One being the lack of money so they can’t pay for the school costs.  This school is ran by volunteers and still enjoys a better graduation rate than the public system.  We have been helping now for 10 years; started in November of 2005 on Jack’s second trip there.  His goal is to buy more computers and school supplies such as notepads, pencils, sharpeners and pens.  Jack can buy paper there for their copier which our Club purchased on his last trip. Jack shared that it is such a gratifying experience to see these kids get out of the “rut” that many generations have been in due to no education. The trip is very hard and demanding, but 100’s of hugs from those kids ranging in age from 6 to 26, it makes it all worthwhile.  Every hug bring tears to his eyes!!
 

 
 
Welcome to Maki who recently arrived from Japan.  Maki is here through the Rotary International Youth Exchange program and will be here through the end of the school year and attending our meetings regularly.  She will be staying at Dave Reisner’s home for the first few months and we are in need of more host families.  Maki is attending Linn Mar High School.  
If you are interested to host please contact Tiffany Chamberlain or Kimm Harris kharris@ipciowa.com.  We would also like to send an outbound student but have not done so since Kayla.  This year Tiffany and the committee are focused on recruiting good candidates for outbound, so we hope to send a student next year.  If you know of a high school student that would like to apply for next year, please let us know. Deadline for applications to our club for outbound exchange is October 17th.  Here is a link to a brochure and more information. 
http://www.district5970.org/SitePage/youth/youth-exchange  LIKE US ON FACEBOOK – Rotary District 5970 Youth Exchange. 
 
 

 
 
After last year's washout, the MNR Social Committee nailed a hole in one with this year's golf outing.  The event was held August 6th at Hunters Ridge in Marion.  We had 61 golfers participate and thanks to a much needed assist from Mother Nature, it was a gorgeous day.  
 
The MNR Social Committee helps find fun ways to get our members together to meet and mingle and get to know our fellow Rotarians better.  Thanks to everyone's participation we were able to make a small profit which we will roll into our annual holiday party budget.
 
A big thank you to Janice Novick and Amanda Hoffman for their help in planning the event.
An extra special thanks to Don Fuller, Heather Fleming, Cheri Popp, Dave Sorg, Laurie Wahlert, Kayla Phelan, and Janice Novick for securing sponsorships from the following:
        * Shelter Insurance
        * Van Meter
        * Cipco
        * OPN
        * Olives Oil
        * Phelans
        * Allsteel
 
 
The 2016 Golf Outing is already on the calendar so make sure you save Thursday, August 4th, 2016 for another great event!
 

 
 
The service committee is working on renewing our relationship with Metro High School and we are actively searching for ways that we can engage with the school as a club and provide assistance with some of their needs. This week with the help of Lindsey Flannery, who has kindly agreed to be a co-chair for the service committee, we will be conducting a ‘focus-group’ with Metro High School’s ‘Buildinig Leadership Team,’ a collaboration of teacher leaders, to discuss the biggest needs of the students and teachers at Metro and come up with ideas for our club to become more active and physically present for the students. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for some opportunities to get involved!

Nate Weber has kindly agreed to continue the AIM efforts with the Boys & Girls Club. With school starting please try to take a look at your schedule and see if you are able to free up a Tuesday afternoon. We are looking to build an AIM Committee, if you think you are able to participate one Tuesday from 4-5pm every 1-2 months please contact Kayla Phelan (kphelan@phelansinteriors.com) to be part of the committee. It would be great to provide the kids with some consistency and familiar faces each month, if you have participated in the past, you know that sometime you get more out of it than the kids!Naturally, the service committee is always looking for help and participation so please do not hesitate to contact Kayla to get more information about getting involved.
 
 

 
 
The Year of YOU has begun and we are excited to not only get more acquainted with members but learn more about what we all do on a daily basis.  We have some great, new ideas coming up to do just that.  For instance:
 
NEWS, MEMBER, SPORTS:  
Hopefully you've been to a meeting where you have learned more about your fellow Rotarians.  We've had 7 people take the time to stand in front of our group and tell us all about themselves both personally and professionally during News, Member Sports.  We are looking forward to hearing more about EVERYONE over the next year.
 
GET TO KNOW YOUR FELLOW ROTARIANS | SPEED-DATING:ROTARY STYLE:
On September 17, we will have our first Get-to-Know-You Progressive meal.  That day we will have a three course meal where every 15 minutes we will switch tables and get to know more about each other.  If you haven't been in awhile, plan to attend that day!  
 
MEMBER COMPANY VISITS
Visiting member companies is something more than one person suggested during our "strategic planning" in January. On November 5, our meeting will be at a member business.  If you are interested in having your business spotlighted, contact Sam Hammes.  He will be coordinating that process. 
 

 
 
The Rotary Foundation helps fund our humanitarian activities, from local service projects to global initiatives. Our club applies for grants from the Foundation to invest in projects at Metro High School and our international projects. Grants received from the Foundation have to be matched with club funds, which come from our Zombie Prom fundraising efforts. These grants are vital to funding our club’s projects! 
 
The Foundation also leads the charge on worldwide Rotary campaigns such as eradicating polio and promoting peace. Rotarians and friends of Rotary support the Foundation’s work through voluntary contributions.
 
Rotary Direct makes giving easy! Complete the Rotary Direct enrollment form or enroll by phone at +1-866-976-8279. You can give monthly, quarterly or annually and as little as $10. Last tax season I reviewed my charitable giving and decided to become a Paul Harris Society Member by giving $85 per month. There are lots of asks out there of us all. The multiplier effect of my donation was a huge factor in my decision to give to this great cause. 
 
Please feel free to ask me any questions you might have! cheri.popp@cipco.net or 319-213-5915
 
 

 
 
Sandi and Cristiane pictured in front of 2015 Metro High School book donation. This past month at our annual Metro High School Teacher Appreciation Luncheon, the Speakers Committee was pleased to donate a book in honor of each guest speaker to the Metro High School Library for the 2014-15 Rotary calendar year. The Speakers Committee is in charge of obtaining a list of books, purchasing, and labelling the books for donation. We were able to donate 33 books this year. Upon donation to the Metro High School Library, Kirstin Miller from Metro mentioned that “It’s through community groups that we receive new books each year so thank you again for your support of Metro!”
 
With the change in our Club President comes the change in Speaker’s Committee Chairs. Introducing Sam Hammes as your new Committee Chair for 2015-16. Sam is actively working on lining up speakers. We value your input and want to offer the most intriguing speaker line-up to date to continue to engage and entertain our membership. Our challenge to you, the member: Think of past speakers and topics you’ve enjoyed (or maybe haven’t enjoyed as much) and send your speaker suggestions to Sam (SHammes@truenorthcompanies.com). A big round of applause to Sandi Lafferty and Cristiane AbouAssaly for being the speaker scheduling wizards for the 2014-2015 calendar year! Your work is much appreciated.
 

 
 
 
 
Speakers
Jun 30, 2016
No Speaker
Passing of the Gavel
Jul 07, 2016
Laura Bragg
PATHS Program Coordinator
Jul 14, 2016
Norah Hammond
Gems of Hope
Jul 21, 2016
Renee Nelson
Grant Wood Area Education Agency
Jul 28, 2016
Steve Shriver
Eco Lips
 
 
Club Executives & Directors
President
Pres-Elect
Secretary
Treasurer
Past Pres.
 
 
RSS
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