Speaker Date Topic
NO GATHERING TODAY [Dinner Cancelled] Mar 30, 2020 5:30 PM
All events this day are cancelled.

No Meeting or Dinner Today

Mark O'Brien - Cardno Apr 06, 2020 12:00 PM
Native Plants and Pollinators
Native Plants and Pollinators

Mark O'Brien 
Business Unit Leader, Restoration Services Nursery
Principal - Agronomy, Plant Production

Mark is a leader within the Restoration Services business as area manager of Cardno’s Native Plant Nursery. He oversees the nursery’s daily operations, leading the development of staff and implementation of the operation’s strategy with a priority on quality and customer service. He is experienced in production management, woodland restoration, native landscape design, and native pollinator habitat. Mark is a frequent speaker at industry conferences, providing insight on a range of topics including roadside pollinator habitats, native plants and ecosystems. He is an active member of several organizations, and is currently on the Board of Directors of the Indiana Nursery and Landscape Association.

**Double-Feature**: Melissa Ramey and Mike Yoder Apr 13, 2020 12:00 PM
Elkhart Leadership Academy & The Consolidation of the Elkhart Circuit and Superior Courts Locations
Elkhart Leadership Academy & The Consolidation of the Elkhart Circuit and Superior Courts Locations
It's a Double-Header Monday at Rotary!
Presentation 1:
Melissa Ramey, Director of Business Development, is responsible for sales of new memberships and major events including Annual Meeting, Golf Outing and Biz-Ness Expo. She is the liaison to the Leadership Council and oversees the Leadership Academy.
The Elkhart Leadership Academy's Mission:
To promote servant leadership through an awareness program combining key community issues and enhanced leadership skill development to advance community stewardship.

Their Focus:
How is the Elkhart Leadership Academy different from other leadership training programs? It's our focus. The purpose of the Academy is to provide a venue for in-depth understanding of community issues and awareness. Critical leadership skills are presented and then experienced.

Many of Elkhart County's most visible leaders are graduates of the Elkhart Leadership Academy. Past graduates have excelled in their respective business and community leadership roles. Most cite their participation in this program as having had a significant impact on their ability to grow as individuals and enhance their commitment to bettering the community in which they live and work.

Program Highlights:

  • Two day (overnight) retreat
  • Study of behavioral styles
  • Quality of life issues, both personal and professional
  • Introduction to local arts and culture
  • A look at government, entrepreneurship and the local economy
  • An overview of the local educational system
  • Ethical decision making/diversity experiences
  • Conflict resolution
  • Project experiences and overview of the year
  • Graduation and alumni luncheon

Commitment Required:
The Elkhart Leadership Academy requires a full nine-month commitment, September through May. Attendance at the overnight retreat and eight subsequent sessions is mandatory in order to graduate. Sessions are from 7:45 am to 5:00 pm one day each month, generally on the second Wednesday. A complete schedule will be given to all participants at the retreat. Participants are expected to spend a minimal amount of time working on an outside group project and serve a one-year Board Internship.

Presentation 2:
Mike Yoder, Elkhart County Commissioner, will provide an update on the possibility of consolidation for the Elkhart Circuit and Superior Courts' locations.

Background from ABC 57 News article from February 15, 2019 

Officials in Elkhart County are considering combining court houses after a measure may be approved to allow it. According to our reporting partners at The Elkhart Truth, a study has been ongoing in Elkhart County regarding their two court houses. The study has monitored the pros and cons of consolidating the original Elkhart County Court House in Goshen and the newer building in Elkhart. The $45,000 study was approved in November by the Board of Commissioners but will soon end.

During the conduction of the study, judges and county employees have been surveyed about how they use the space and would like to use it in the future. The Elkhart County Council will receive recommendations that come from the study, and potentially grant the funding for the consolidation. A bill passed by the Senate on January 14 removes the requirement that certain superior court judges be located in Elkhart and Goshen.

In Goshen, the original court house hosts the circuit court and two of the six superior courts. The newest court in Elkhart holds the four remaining superior courts and the juvenile magistrate’s office. Senator Blake Doriot, who introduced the bill, said it will allow judges to hold sessions at any place in the county provided by the commissioners. Elkhart County officials are now waiting for the final approval at the Statehouse.

Steve Van Scoik - Past District Governor Apr 20, 2020 12:00 PM
Rotary Foundation Initiatives and Updates from Steve Van Scoik, PDG and Concord Rotary Club member
Rotary Foundation Initiatives and Updates from Steve Van Scoik, PDG and Concord Rotary Club member

Steven Van Scoik is a Rotary Past District Governor of District 6540, a member of the Concord Rotary Club (and past President!) and the Principal agent at Holmes Insurance Agency, one of the few remaining independent agencies in Elkhart, Indiana, established 1964. Steve has 37 years of insurance experience and is a Certified Insurance Consultant (CIC). 

As well as being highly involved with Rotary International and his home club, Steven is highly involved in his community, serving on numerous boards including Faith Mission (NFP food kitchen), Boy Scouts of America, National Association of Insurance and Financial Planners, National Association of Health Insurance, First Baptist Church of Elkhart, and Twin Lakes Camp and Conference Center. The agency also sponsors soccer leagues, baseball leagues and the band program thru Concord High School, as well as sports programs with other area schools.

Rob Staley and Sara Ryman Apr 27, 2020 12:00 PM
Crossing School of Business & Entrepreneurship
Crossing School of Business & Entrepreneurship

Rob Staley - Chief Executive Officer
Sara Ryman - Human Resources Coordinator

The Crossing provides state-accredited academic education by maintaining a balance of certified teachers and professionals from a variety of backgrounds. We meet students where they are, build relationships with them, and equip them for the future through Job Training and Faith-Based Character Education.

Carl Risk and Susan King May 04, 2020 12:00 PM
Beacon Health System and Beacon Health Foundation
Beacon Health System and Beacon Health Foundation

Carl Risk, II, President, Elkhart General Hospital
Carl previously served as Lead Administrator from St. Vincent Jennings Hospital in North Vernon, Indiana. He was instrumental in leading overall operations, implementing the hospital strategic plan and budget, developing effective working relationships with the board, managers, physicians, associates and community and improving patient care services and satisfaction. He served as Vice President of Planning from 2004–2007 and then as Vice President of Clinical Services from 2007–2011 at King’s Daughters’ Hospital and Health Services in Madison, Indiana. Carl earned an associate’s degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Evansville and a master’s degree in Health Administration from Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis. He is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and an Indiana Hospital Association board member.

Susan King, President, Beacon Health Foundation
In January 2017, Susan joined Beacon Health System as the first President of the newly formed Beacon Health Foundation. She worked previously at Midwest Health Foundation, the parent foundation of four Chicago-area hospitals of Adventist Health System, where she served as President since 2015 while also serving as the Executive director of Adventist Hinsdale Hospital Foundation since 2004. Susan earned her master’s degree in Museum Studies from San Francisco State University and her bachelor of arts degree from Tulane University.

Rotary Grant Recipients May 11, 2020 12:00 PM
Rotary Grant Recipients share their grant-award-winning projects with the club!
Rotary Grant Recipients share their grant-award-winning projects with the club!

Today, spring Rotary Grant Recipients share their grant-award-winning projects with the club!
Each representative will have a few minutes to share how Rotary's grant monies will be used in making our community a better place to live, work, and play through the good work being done by their organization.

Inovateus Solar May 18, 2020 12:00 PM
Solar power right now
Solar power right now

About Inovateus

Every vision needs a visionary, and for Inovateus Solar, that visionary was the company’s founder, the late Tom Kanczuzewski. Tom had a passion for environmental sustainability and renewable energy blended with Midwestern values and an indomitable entrepreneurial spirit. He saw a way to build a profitable, competitive company that would allow its employees to flourish while making the world a better place. As the solar and clean energy revolution gathers momentum, in the U.S. and elsewhere, that original Inovateus vision has become a reality.

Now led by Tom’s son, TJ., Inovateus Solar has become one of the leading solar development, design, engineering, procurement, construction and supply companies in the United States’ Midwest. Headquartered in South Bend, Indiana, the company has developed and built over 400 megawatts of utility, rural electric cooperative, commercial, industrial, governmental, educational and microgrid solar power systems in the U.S., the Caribbean and Latin America. Inovateus’ customers range from Fortune 500 companies to utilities, municipalities, universities and governments.

Although the company began its solar mission in the Midwest, Inovateus is passionately committed to Building a Brilliant TomorrowTM through the deployment of solar and clean energy technologies throughout the world. As of 2018, Inovateus has installed solar or supplied quality solar products to the U.S., Australia, Chile, China, Fiji, Iceland, Italy, Liberia, Panama, and island nations in the Caribbean.

Tell us how can we help you to build a brilliant tomorrow by investing in your energy future.


Memorial Day - NO MEETING TODAY May 25, 2020
Thanks for making our community a great place to live, work, and play!
Thanks for making our community a great place to live, work, and play!
This U.S. federal holiday is observed on the last Monday of May to honor the men and women who have died while serving in the military.
In 2020, it will be observed on Monday, May 25. 
On both Memorial Day and Veterans Day, it’s customary to spend time remembering and honoring the countless veterans who have served the United States throughout the country’s history. However, there is a distinction between the two holidays:
Memorial Day commemorates the men and women who died while in the military service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. In other words, the purpose of Memorial Day is to memorialize the veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.  We spend time remembering those who lost their lives and could not come home, reflecting on their service and why we have the luxury and freedom that we enjoy today. We might consider how we can support and safeguard their grieving families and loved ones who are left behind.
Veterans Day is the day set aside to thank and honor ALL who served—in wartime or peacetime—regardless of whether they died or survived. Veterans Day is always observed officially on November 11, regardless of the day of the week on which it falls. Read more about Veterans Day.
Eric Garton Jun 01, 2020 12:00 PM
"OrigamiintheGarden2" at Wellfield Botanic Gardens through October
"OrigamiintheGarden2" at Wellfield Botanic Gardens through October

Origami means “folding paper” in Japanese. Origami in the Garden is an outdoor sculpture exhibition, created by Santa Fe artists Jennifer and Kevin Box, that captures the delicate nature of this paper art form in museum quality metals. Displayed within beautiful garden settings are examples of what can be folded from a single piece of paper such as soaring birds, gliding airplanes, galloping ponies, floating boats, and emerging butterflies. The exhibition features Box’s own compositions as well as collaborations with world-renowned origami artists Tim Armijo, Te Jui Fu, Beth Johnson, Michael G. LaFosse and Robert J. Lang. A personalized audio tour is available on your cell phone so that you may call in and listen to the artists speak about the work.

“Origami presents a simple metaphor: When we begin with a blank page, what we do with it is up to us, and the possibilities are endless.” —Kevin Box

OrigamiintheGarden2 consists of 21 unique sculptures that comprise 17 different displays sited strategically around Wellfield’s acreage. All pieces feature interpretive signage, as well as a complimentary cell phone audio tour, in which guests can gain additional insight about the pieces from the artists themselves.

OrigamiintheGarden2 has traveled the country! Previous exhibits have been hosted at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in Los Angeles, CA in 2018, the Tucson Botanical Gardens, Lewis-Ginter Botanical Garden, and the Memphis Botanic Garden.

Dan Boecher - Hotel Elkhart Project Manager Jun 08, 2020 12:00 PM
Hotel Elkhart's Past, Present, and Future
Hotel Elkhart's Past, Present, and Future

Did you know?… On April 10, 1919, Elkhart Rotarians agreed to support the effort to build a new hotel – Hotel Elkhart. Completed in 1923, the Hotel Elkhart was “Home” to the Elkhart Rotary Club until 1974! The renovation of the Hotel Elkhart is being led by Project Manager Dan Boecher, Cressy Commercial Real Estate’s Community Development Director. Dan will share the hotel’s past, present, and future plans in this exciting presentation that will include updated images and renderings of the hotel including the bar, café, rooftop, and ballroom. The re-imagined Hotel Elkhart will be unlike any other and has a great story to tell!

To Be Announced Jun 15, 2020 12:00 PM
To Be Announced Jun 22, 2020 12:00 PM
To Be Announced - It's a FIFTH MONDAY! Jun 29, 2020 12:00 PM
Stay tuned for more details
Stay tuned for more details
Gary Sosniecki Jul 13, 2020 12:00 PM
The Potato Masher Murder: Death at the Hands of a Jealous Husband
The Potato Masher Murder: Death at the Hands of a Jealous Husband

The Potato Masher Murder: A forgotten death that stunned northern Indiana

Lebanon, Missouri Rotarian and Author Gary Sosniecki shares the details of a horrific but forgotten murder that occurred in Mishawaka in 1906. Gary authored "The Potato Masher Murder: Death at the Hands of a Jealous Husband", published by Kent State University Press. The husband/killer was from Elkhart, and the couple lived in Elkhart as newlyweds. The victim was Gary's great-grandmother, Cecilia.

Discord and domestic violence end in murder... a little about the book

Albin Ludwig was furious. He had caught his wife, Cecilia, with other men before; now, after secretly following Cecilia one evening in 1906, Albin was overcome with suspicion. Albin and Cecilia quarreled that night and again the next day. Prosecutors later claimed that the final quarrel ended when Albin knocked Cecilia unconscious with a wooden potato masher, doused her with a flammable liquid, lit her on fire, and left her to burn to death. Albin claimed self-defense, but he was convicted of second-degree murder.

Newspaper coverage of the dramatic crime and trial was jarringly explicit and detailed, shocking readers in Indiana, where the crime occurred. Peter Young of the South Bend Times wrote that the murder’s “horrors and its shocking features . . . have never before been witnessed in Mishawaka.” The story was front-page news throughout northern Indiana for much of a year.

For several generations, the families of both Cecilia and Albin would be silent about the crime—until Cecilia’s great-grandson, award-winning journalist Gary Sosniecki, uncovered the family’s dark secret. As he discovered, wife beating was commonplace in the early 20th century (before the gender-neutral term of “domestic violence” was adopted), and “wife murder” was so common that newspapers described virtually every case by that term. At long last, The Potato Masher Murder: Death at the Hands of a Jealous Husband unearths the full story of two immigrant families united by love and torn apart by domestic violence.

Gary Sosniecki Bio

Retired journalist Gary Sosniecki, the great-grandson of the victim, worked at newspapers in four states during a 43-year career that included owning three community newspapers with his journalist wife Helen. He has received dozens of awards for journalism excellence from state, national, and international newspaper organizations including, with Helen, the Eugene Cervi lifetime-achievement award from the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors. Gary and his wife were inducted into the Missouri Press Association Hall of Fame in 2014. Gary is a Rotarian in Lebanon, Missouri. His book, The Potato Masher Murder: Death at the Hands of a Jealous Husband, is published by The Kent State University Press.