Posted by Eric Garton on Feb 17, 2020
Welcome to the Elkhart Rotary Club Meeting on February 17, 2020; Today we welcomed Jeanine Gozdecki, Partner at Barnes & Thornburg, LLP. 

President Candy Yoder opened the meeting and introduced Bill Burton who shared positive words from a prayer originally written by George Washington, led the Pledge, and Four-Way Test to start the meeting.

Welcome Table greeter Bill Rieth introduced today's guests including: Visiting Rotarian Doug Grant from the Syracuse-Wawasee Rotary Club. Guests of Rotarians included Past District Governor Christina Dougherty (Paul Warning), and Jenna Ellis and Mackenzie Murphy of CAPS (Melinda Konrath-Fielding). Welcome to ALL, we hope you can all join us again some other time!

Doug Risser presented Paul Harris Fellowships to our fellow Rotarians including:

  • Bill Rieth (PHF+1)
  • Mel Jacobson (PHF+3)
  • Dave Lehman (PHF+4)
  • Kurt Janowsky (PHF+6) [not pictured]
  • Aaron Clough (PHF+8)

Past District Governor (PDG) Christina Dougherty was visiting from LaPorte Rotary in her role as Inbound Youth Exchange Coordinator, working with Paul Warning (as our Youth Exchange Chair) and reported about the need for host families in the 2020-2021 school year as our club will be receiving an inbound exchange student for the year (August through July). Stay tuned for more information or see Paul Warning if you are interested in being a host. Generally speaking, we'll need 3-4 host homes, each hosting for 3-4 months each during the school year.

Announcements and continuing club reminders for February 17:

  • Jim Rieckhoff reported that discussion with the Elkhart Morning Club are coming along very well and we expect formalization of our new relationship by the new Rotary calendar year beginning July 1. Please consider attending an Elkhart Morning Rotary Club meeting, see Eric Garton or Jim Rieckhoff for that schedule (it varies through the month, but is always held on a Thursday at either 0700 [no breakfast] at Elkhart Health & Aquatics or at 5:30 p.m. - stay tuned for more information!)
  • Grant Committee: This spring's COMMUNITY GRANT APPLICATIONS are now available on our website and will be accepted through March 13. Please share this with not-for-profit leaders you know. This is what we raise funds through weekly fines for!
    • The Marketing Committee is looking for events and volunteer opportunities among our NPO members! Are you a Rotarian who works at a not for profit who needs volunteers or help promoting your events that have volunteer opportunities? Let Erin Wagler know, the committee will help spread the word through our Rotary Facebook page.
    • The Marketing Committee is also looking for help managing the club's Facebook page (and seeks others to help out with the Marketing Committee); have some skills and interested in helping?... let Erin know! 
    • A message from Doug Risser, if you are interested in a Rotary International and Peace Corps Partnership trip that will be occurring April 18-26, please contact Doug directly.
  • Meeting Reminders: 
    • An upcoming Caring Committee Meeting on Monday, March 16 (third Monday) at 11:15 at the Matterhorn before our Club Meeting.
Today's Sergeant was Meghan Sullivan - - Nice nice job of FUNdraising, everyone! Rotary fun fines are collected weekly and are pooled into a fund throughout the year. In the spring more than $10,000 is distributed as grants to not-for-profit organizations around our county. Thanks, All, for your contributions!

Today's speaker was introduced by Eric Garton who welcomed Jeanine Gozdecki, Partner at Barnes & Thornburg, LLP. 
About Jeanine: 
Recognized by Best Lawyers in America, including as a Best Lawyers Women in the Law for her employment law work, and as "Lawyer of the Year" in 2013 and 2020, Jeanine works collaboratively with her clients to pre-empt and minimize legal risks, and improve productivity and business success.
Jeanine is a trusted advisor to her clients and partners with them to develop strategies, assess legal exposure, and solve problems. Confidentially and behind the scenes, Jeanine guides her clients through significant employment challenges, including navigating complicated issues in the C-Suite, responding to harassment complaints, positively affecting workplace culture, directing and conducting internal investigations, as well as developing 'best practices' and training for executives, supervisors and employees in professional, educational, and manufacturing work environments.
In litigation and advocacy roles, Jeanine has successfully represented clients before administrative agencies, in mediation, jury trials, bench trials, the appellate courts, and before a U.S. Congressional Committee. Her litigation experience spans multiple federal and state jurisdictions, including defending claims under Title VII, the ADA, and FMLA, Title IX, enforcement of restrictive covenants, Sarbanes-Oxley claims, and other federal laws.
She regularly serves as a panelist, author, moderator, and instructor in legal presentations to attorneys, clients, human resource personnel, and other professionals. She has been a thought leader on workplace culture and antiharassment policies. For many years, Jeanine was an adjunct professor at Notre Dame Law School, and a guest faculty member for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA), teaching deposition and trial advocacy skills.
She has served in multiple leadership roles in professional, community, and other public service organizations; she was awarded the firm's Joseph A. Maley Pro Bono Award in connection with her pro bono work with several non-profit organizations. Currently, Jeanine serves as Chair of the YWCA of North Central Indiana, and as a Board Member and officer of Downtown South Bend, Inc.
Jeanine's leadership also includes having chaired multiple professional committees, serving as chair of the Indiana Supreme Court's Commission for Continuing Legal Education, as President of the St. Joseph County Bar Association, and taking an active role on the firm's Diversity & Inclusion Committee.
Jeanine graduated from the University of Notre Dame and Notre Dame Law School, and earned a certificate in Public Policy Mediation from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Jeanine worked for several years as a broadcast journalist before graduating from law school in 1992.
She is admitted to practice in Indiana, and before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
Here are selected slides from Jeanine's presentation that focused on employment laws and how new drug laws are affecting both hiring and employment.

Thanks, Jeanine, for a very informative presentation!

About Rotary:
Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, community leaders, and problem-solvers who see a world where people unite and act to create lasting change – across the globe, in our local communities, and in ourselves. The Elkhart Rotary Club was founded in 1917 and serves its community through volunteerism, providing grants to not-for-profit organizations, sponsoring, and participating in service projects such as ringing bells for the Salvation Army, twice-yearly roadside trash collection, and are the originators and continuing supporters of Wellfield Botanic Gardens. Elkhart Rotary Club’s membership consists of approximately 150 dedicated individuals from various professional backgrounds and diverse interests. Membership in the Elkhart Rotary Club is by invitation. We welcome guests to attend any of our meetings and hear from our great lineup of weekly presenters.
For more information on the Elkhart Rotary Club, visit or email Like and follow us on Facebook at www.facebook/ElkhartRotaryClub to stay current on meetings, upcoming events or speakers, and initiatives in the community.
Upcoming Meetings and Programs:
Join us for our next meeting:
All meetings are at noon on Mondays at the Matterhorn Banquet and Conference Center, 2041 Cassopolis St. in Elkhart IN, 46514. In months that include a FIFTH Monday, the Elkhart Rotary Club holds an alternative meeting or activity.