Williamsville Rotary Meeting January 27, 2014

Door: Michael Sirianno

Pledge: Frank Ralabate

Anthem: Ed Stachura

Four Way Test: Bruce Lucsok

Grace: Roger Gross                   

50/50 Ticket Sales:  $322  Lee Broad (What?? Again??) drew the 8 of hearts and won $8. He donated it back to the Club.

o   Visiting Rotarians: “Stephanie”—young, single, hip, attuned to electronic communications


Club Dues:  Invoices have been sent out by the Club’s Treasurer for the 2nd half of the Club’s dues ($100.00) for the period January 1, 2014 to June 30, 2014.  If have you not already done so, please see Treasurer Matt Balling to make payment.   The Club has received its Semi-Annual Report (SAR) and dues invoice from RI.  The invoice total is over $1100 and your responsive dues payment to the Club will allow the Club to pay this invoice to RI. Over 26% of your dues payment goes to cover this RI invoice.


Club Payment Options:  The Club now has the ability to take credit or debit card payments through PayPal.  At tonight’s meeting we had this payment option available as we do a pilot to evaluate this service.  The cost for use of the credit/debit card for the dinner payment was $20.54.  The additional cost of $0.54 is the actual incurred PayPal transaction cost.  Consider this a “convenience fee.”  Our goal is have this working flawlessly for the Club’s Annual Celebration event in March.  We will also be evaluating the ability to pre-sell tickets to our events via the PayPal service. 


Youth Exchange (YE) Officer:  For the past 5-years Mike Sirianno has been the Club’s YE Officer and has provided his excellent and focused talents to achieve success with the Club’s YE program. We have had students from France, Spain, Argentina, and Denmark. And, Mike’s recent success with the Williamsville Central School District (WCSD) has enabled a YE student in the District.  Now, with Mike’s increasing employment responsibilities, it’s a Club position Mike must pass on.  Mike provided information and an overview of the YE responsibilities at the meeting.


We discussed that we have an expressed interest from a Williamsville student to be an Outbound YE.  The family is also interested in being a “Host Family” for a YE Inbound student.  Without a YE Officer, we (Club) cannot participate in the YE program. Lee Broad volunteered for the position.


Archiving Historical Data: The Board approved a Document Retention Policy at last week’s Board meeting. We need a task force to go through about six boxes of materials, catalogue them and make decisions about whether to keep the items. Looking for volunteers. Please let Ed S. know.


Amherst Youth Foundation (AYF) At the AYF’s Board Meeting of 1/23/14, Club member and Chair of the Classic Auto Show event, Richard Wojtowicz presented a $3,550 check to AYF.  This represented 60% of the proceeds from the August 2013 event.   Both the Amherst Rotary and our Club will each receive $1,075 as their share as volunteer sponsors/participants in the annual event.  Checks will be presented at the Area 11 Mix ‘N Mingle event, January 30th.  A $100 check will also be given to Youth Engaged in Service (YES) for their event participation to reimburse them for supplies.   YES has always provided youth volunteers to aid in the event’s many functions.


Valentines Dinner A Club Valentines Dinner is being planned for Monday – February 10th here at Milos.  Cost is $25 per person. Members were asked to mark their calendars for a special dinner with a special someone to celebrate the day.  Richard W. will send an email for sign-ups of members and their guests.


Area 11 Mix-n-Mingle: This Thursday, January 30th, 2014 at 6PM - 8PM at Westwood Country Club, 772 North Forest Road (at Sheridan Drive).   Dinner is $25.00.  The Rotary Club of Amherst (formerly Amherst East) is the host Club for this event.  Please mark your calendars.   More information will be coming soon and I will update you via E-mail.  If we expect other Club participation when we are the host Club, we need to make every effort to attend the other Club’s events. Reciprocity is the key word. To provide an estimate of our attendance, please let Ed S. know if you are attending.


SLAPSHOT EventFor youths ages 15-18.   Do you have an interested candidate?  Since the SLAPSHOT event (April 25-27, 2014) is in Canada, the candidate must have either a current U.S. Passport or a NYS Enhanced Driver’s license for entry into Canada (Ancaster, Ontario) and back into the U.S.  SLAPSHOT = Student Leadership Award Program for Students High On Training.


RYLA Event: Rotary Youth Leadership Award for youths ages 19-25.  Do you have an interested candidate?  This annual event (June 8-14, 2014) is held at SUNY – Fredonia.


Annual Meeting:  The Club’s annual meeting is March 3, 2014.  Election to the Club’s Board of Directors is held at this meeting.  It’s time to start considering if you would like to be a Board member of your Club and be more active in the Club’s direction.   President-Elect Kathy reports that she has the Nominating Committee in place (Ed S., Mike S., Ron P. and Matt B.) to identify potential candidates for the Board.  Express to Kathy and/or the NC your interest in the Board. The positions of Treasurer and Secretary are positions of the Executive Board, which are “open.”



Every Rotarian – Every Year (EREY) Wow!!!!   Did you know that for $0.27 per day, less than $2.00 per week, and $8.33 per month you can be an active participant and be recognized in Rotary International’s (RI) EREY Program?  And you can do this with a simple authorization to RI to charge a credit card account for the recurring period (month / quarter / annual ) amount you designate.  This is simple and straightforward. 


Your commitment provides grant funds for RI and our District 7090 for projects that are used to fund local and international service projects, scholarships, and vocational training teams.


Would you please seriously consider an annual commitment to the EREY program?   There is an aspirational goal of $100 per year per member. Please see the attached EREY form whereby you can make this commitment for a tax-deductible contribution (501.c.3 charity) as a recurring monthly, quarterly or annual donation using a credit card ( www.rotary.org/contribute).  You know the good that Rotary and its members accomplish; please seriously consider your participation in EREY. Our Club number is 4756, District #7090, and your individual member number can be found on the mailing label of the Rotarian magazine, an 8-digit number preceded by “#” just above your name.  Ed S. will have each member’s membership number at the Club meetings for information and ease of reference.       Thank You! 


Program Schedule: The January 16th issue of the Speakers’ Schedule was distributed at the January 20 meeting and sent by email to all members. We have openings for speakers.  Doug Littlewood can provide you with the current schedule and available openings.  We have quite a few openings for a speaker after January and into the New Year.  If you have a potential speaker, it is suggested that three (3) open dates, in order of speaker preferred priority, be confirmed with Doug Littlewood or Vern Anderson, who will confirm the specific date, and “lock” that date for your speaker.  This will eliminate any conflict with other confirmed speakers. It will also keep the Program Schedule accurate for dates where speaker dates have been reserved.  Please keep Doug and Vern updated if changes need to be made.  In our social and business lives we may know of individuals who have an interesting background, career, or story.  Ask them: “Would you share this with my Rotary Club?


Future speakers: The speaker for February 3 is John Murphy, the “Voice of the Bills”. Discussions are taking place for speaking engagements with the following: Mark Thomas (Western Regional Director – NYS Parks); Maria Lehman (Peace Bridge); Brian Kulpa, Mayor-Village of Williamsville; and Dr. Barry Weinstein, Supervisor, Town of Amherst.


Annual Celebration:  The date is Saturday – March 29, 2014 at the Park Country Club.  Event Chairman Tim Henderson will provide continuing updates as he and his Committee plan the Club’s annual and major event.  Mark your calendars for this major Club event date. Tim H. distributed tickets (10 per member), corporate sponsor forms and signs. Signs are available in e-form, too, for emailing to friends.


Meeting Attendance Ed S. encouraged members to start 2014 with a resolution to be in attendance at the Club’s scheduled weekly meetings on Monday evenings.


Ed S. noted that the Club, as a whole through the 6-month period ending December 2013, has an average meeting attendance rate of approximately 48%.   Nine (9) Club members have a meeting attendance rate of less than 50%.  That is 26% of the Club’s membership who are not participating in a Club they wanted to join.


Ed S. reminded us that the Club’s and RI’s requirements are attendance at a minimum level of 50% of the scheduled meetings, which can also be met by make-ups at any of the District’s 69 clubs throughout the southern Ontario-western New York area. Attendance at Club and/or event committee meetings, Board meetings, and Foundation meetings also count to your attendance requirement.  If you do this, ensure that you receive a Make-Up post card from the Club that you visited which you will turn in to either Matt Balling or Vern Anderson.   Missing four (4) unexcused meetings in a row are the basis for RI membership termination.  A map of District 7090 (sent by Ed S. by email to all members) indicates the relative location of the various District 7090 Rotary Clubs.  If you have a Smartphone, there is a Rotary app that provides detailed information on each of the worldwide Rotary clubs, contacts, meeting location data, etc.


Ed S. also noted that members can make-up a meeting via the District’s new eClub (www.rotaryeclub7090.org), Rotary E-Club of SOWNY. Be sure to let Vern Anderson know of your “attendance.”


2014 Calendar Marks:

Club: January 30th – Amherst Mix ‘N Mingle; February 10th – Valentines Dinner; March 3rd – Club Annual Meeting & Elections;  March 29th -- Club’s Annual Celebration;  June 18th – Strawberry Festival; August 10th – Classic Car Show; September 22nd – Annual Golf Outing.


District: February 1st – Council Meeting; February 20th and March 21st – PETS Training; March 31st – Registration Closes for SLAPSHOT; April 25-27th – SLAPSHOT; June 8-14th – RYLA; October 25-26 – The Buffalo Bash Event - Conference /// (See District 7090 web page for details.)

Fines: Joe Fiorella, Fine Master.

·         $1 for each member who did not shovel snow today

·         $1 – Bill Thuman—late; another $1 for his recent vacation

·         $1—Bruce Lucsok—stumbled in the Four-Way Test

Happy Dollars:

·         $5—Mike Sirianno—the snow plow guy showed up

·         $1—Gary Skalyo—great speaker! Another $1 because he had to leave for the restroom, but did not want it to look like he was trying to avoid being fined.

·         $1—Somebody (so sue me!)—great speaker!

We missed you this evening: 

Vern Anderson, Ron Axelrod, Matt Balling, Paul Banas, Mary Biddle-Widman, Tony Cangialosi, Shirley Carnall, Bob Chur, John Crawford, Vicki D’Angelo, Rashmikumar Desai, Kevin Flint, Elizabeth Ingold, Carrie Leed, Norm Mattar, Ron Prazmark, Mike Prinzback, Larry Read, Jim Rumsey, Mark Storch


Guests: None



This week’s speaker was Carol Horton, VP Marketing & Public Relations – The Buffalo News.   Carol is a Board member of the Buffalo Better Business Bureau, and the Buffalo Zoo – Cotillion Committee.  Her prior employment included various responsibilities with Gannett’s The Desert Sun (Palm Springs, CA).  She has also had responsibilities as TV, including cable, News and Weather Anchor, TV Weekend Producer, Assistant Editor for a magazine, and as a Radio News Director.  She spoke about the changing nature of providing news content and the need to speak to different audiences in ways they want.


Highlights of Ms. Horton’s presentation included:

·         A number of handouts that demonstrated publication targeting, e.g., Buffalo magazine

·         Buffalo News (“BN”) Paywall launched in October 2012

·         A key business issue is how to get paid for creating news content in e-form (internet)

·         BN has identified three groups in which it needs to establish and sustain a strong position:

o   “Stephanie”—young, single, hip, attuned to electronic communications

o   “Janet”—middle aged, both print and electronic media users, wanted by advertisers

o   “Bill”—loves print media (where BN and all papers make the most money)

·         BN penetration (i.e., at least one access to a BN publication during the last 30 days) in the WNY market is 78%. This compares to 20% for other papers in other markets.

·         The consumer is still confused about print/ digital options, especially vs. websites

·         Warren Buffet (Berkshire Hathaway owns Gannett Publications which owns BN) loves newspapers: he grew in a newspaper family, met his wife working at a newspaper, and believes they contribute to a strong community.