Welcome to the Elkhart Rotary Club Meeting on February 25, 2019; Today we welcomed newly appointed Elkhart Chief of Police, Chris Snyder.

President Peter Norton opened the meeting and introduced Phil Penn, who shared a moment of reverence, led the Pledge, and our Four Way Test.

Howard Edwards introduced our Guests for today including Honorary Rotarian Art Decio and visiting Rotarian Doug Grant from the Wawasee Club.

Important announcements from February 25:

  • Howard Edwards announced that Paul Harris Fellowships are being calculated at this time; expect announcements of new recipients soon!
  • On behalf of the Marketing Committee, Jason Bryant introduced the club to FOMO - -the Fear Of Missing Out - - by bringing attention to the tabletop displays showing our speaker schedule through March. Snap a photo of the schedule, add it to your Facebook page as a post and share our great speaker lineup with your friends. 
  • Shannon Hirstein, who as instrumental in getting the American Loop Services hearing assist service installed at the Matterhorn reminded everyone about the system. She mentioned that Patricia Welty, an audiologist, will be leaving the Elkhart Clinic soon  - - so if you'd like a consult re: the Loop system, see her soon or consult your doctor on how to get 'connected' to this system through your own hearing aid. 
    • DID YOU KNOW?...American Loop Services is was founded by, owned and managed by a service connected disabled veteran? Scott Peyton is a 15 year veteran in the Army Corps of Engineers. During this time he built, advised, and facilitated major construction projects and techniques throughout Europe and the United States. He now applies this knowledge towards the design and installation of commercial loop systems. He holds a Masters degree in Business from Webster University and several undergraduate degrees from Drury College. Scott has worked as the Executive Director of a local deaf and hard of hearing non-profit service organization. Scott Peyton is also the parent of a disabled child. He has been advocating and assisting others for all of his adult life. To learn more visit their website, http://www.americanloops.com/
  • Shannon White provided remembrances for several community members with significant ties to our Club. They will be missed.
    • Margaret Marshall, wife of Dale Marshall (Club President 1965-66), recently passed at the age of 99.
    • Betty Ann Hoff, wife of Bob Hoff (club president from 1971-72).
    • Club Member Wayne Barker passed away on February 14 of this year.
Our Club inducted three new members today! Aileac Deegan presided over the brief induction ceremony for NEW MEMBERS
  • Rob LaRoy - - executive director at the Humane Society of Elkhart County
  • Ashlie Collier - - attorney and counselor at law, specializing in trusts, estates, elder law, business organizations, and intellectual property. 
  • Patsy Boehler - - founding director at ETHOS Innovation Center
Each member took a few minutes to introduce themselves, we're excited to have all three as members of our club!
Today's Sergeant was Don Rodda, who provided an entertaining session of FUNdraising. From paid advertisements to boating infractions and the rule of law Don spread the fines throughout the club! Rotary fines are collected weekly and are pooled into a fund. In the spring approximately $10,000 is distributed as grants to not for profit organizations around our county.

Today's speaker was Elkhart Police Chief Chris Snyder. With over 20 years of law enforcement experience, he was appointed as Chief on January 7, 2019. Chris began in Cass County Corrections before moving to a position with the Elkhart City Jail. He then became a patrol officer and a patrol lieutenant, Chris then worked in the K9 Division for 5 years, was Public Information Officer for 4 years, and spent a brief stint with the homicide unit before being appointed Chief. Chris pointed to the favorite part of his career and primary experience, being a Supervisor of Community Policing, as a critical component to his role as Police Chief. 

In these first two months, Chief Snyder has focused on his observations within the department, reviewing current conditions and policies, in order to make advised decisions moving forward. A focus, he says, will be on meeting the needs of the Department, the City, and Community - - and a good decision will serve all three at the same time.

Chris pointed to both accountability and transparency as keys to moving forward within the City of Elkhart, where the Elkhart Police have faced challenges in the recent months and years leading up to Chris' appointment as Chief.

Following a brief presentation, Chris opened up the floor to Q&A with club members.

Chief Snyder mentioned that the Citizens Police Academy will be starting again soon; applications are available at the Police Department's main office.

For more about the Elkhart Police Department, visit their website and follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ElkhartPoliceDepartment/

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, roadside trash collection, and are the originators and sustainers 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 elkhartrotary.org or email elkhartnoonrotary@gmail.com. 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:
  • March 4: Dr. Steve Thalheimer, Superintendent of Elkhart Community Schools
  • March 11: Tami Silverman, President and CEO Indiana Youth Institute
  • March 18: Oaklawn Services and Community of Oaklawn Presentation
  • March 25: Jann Joseph, Chancellor, Indiana University South Bend
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 a dinner meeting (no presenter) at the same location.