January 4th Meeting

     Three of the four co-chairs (Bill Gorski, Bobbie Holzwarth, Rudy Valdez) will be presenting at the Jan 4 Rotary event.  The co-chairs of the Our Decisions; Our Solutions Committee will present information on Home Rule. The presentation will range from defining Home Rule to examples of its pros/cons.

     It has been nearly 35 years since the Rockford voters have had the opportunity to decide whether or not they want to shift decision-making from the state to the local level. It is important to make an informed decision on the March 20, 2018 referendum. 

     Bill Gorski is a co-chair of the campaign and the retired CEO of SwedishAmerican Health System.  “Since we haven’t had it, how’s it benefited us?" Gorski asked. "Is Rockford a better community today in 2017 because we haven’t had Home Rule since 1983? I have been here all of that time and I could not articulate that for you. So it is our job, and the reason why we are so together on this is to hopefully engage that trust with people through transparency and education.” 

     Bobbie Holzwarth is a partner with the Holmstrom & Kennedy Law Firm and also a co-chair for the effort.  “We, not Springfield, will be able to determine how best to live within our means and to provide the services that our citizens want," Holzwarth said. 

     Rudy Valdez, a former mayoral candidate and currently with Kaney Aerospace, says the timing is right to educate the public about the advantages of home rule status.  “We should have the community with the voice to decide if ‘Yes, we want it,’ or ‘No, we don’t.’ Right now, there is no choice and there hasn’t been a choice in 35 years.”

New Member - Brandy Lavender
     The Club welcomed a new member at the December 21st meeting.  Her name is Brandy Lavender and was sponsored by Linda Gerber with the classification of Account Executive.  Brandy is the second new member who found us through the Internet.  Brandy is an Account Executive for Gallagher Benefit Services and is a consultant for employer sponsored health and welfare plans.  Previously, Brandy was the Office Manager for the locally founded Employers' Coalition on Health, and as an Accounts Receivable clerk for Cincinnati Tool Steel, both in Rockford.
     She graduated from Belvidere High School and attended Rockford University.  She is married to Bryant Benavides and they have two children, Michael age 10 and Stephanie age 8.  She enjoys reading novels based on historical events and people.  She loves music and comedy but mostly enjoys spending time with her family and providing her children with new and exciting experiences like Medieval Times, Legoland, and Six Flags.
     Brandy is a member of the Rockford Chamber of Commerce, Rockford Network of Professional Women, the Belvidere Chamber of Commerce, and IGNITE.  She also volunteers for the Rockford Golden Apple Foundation.  She welcomes opportunities to volunteer at her children's schools, Seth Whitman Elementary, and Caledonia Elementary.  At work, she looks for and coordinates volunteer events for her office staff.  Each year, she participates in her company's annual holiday volunteer event.  Last year, her company volunteered at Resources for Community Living in Arlington Heights.  In 2015, they volunteered at Easter Seals in Villa Park. 
     Brandy has travelled to Cancun, Mexico, several destinations in Florida, San Antonia, Texas, and several destinations in Wisconsin.  Her future travel plans include Ireland, Italy, Spain, South America, California, Georgia, New York, and Alaska.  An interesting note is that Brandy is the oldest of nine children, including 7 brothers and 1 sister!
     We would encourage our members to make an effort to introduce yourself to Brandy and welcome her to Rockford Rotary.
New Member Semi-Annual Report
     Halfway through our Rotary year is a good time to express our appreciation to the new members and their sponsors who are expanding our club and its service to others.  Just a reminder that our new members are wearing red Rotary name badges until each person has completed a few requirements that are designed to acclimate everyone to Rotary as quickly as possible.  Upon completion of these requirements, each new member will receive the customary blue badge.
     We ask the sponsors to assist their new member(s) in completing the red badge program soon so that the temporary red badges can be re-issued to future new members hopefully joining us in the new calendar year. We also encourage all club members, including our new members, to invite and sponsor more people in the months ahead to enrich Rockford Rotary.
            New Member                     Sponsor
Jay Braffet                                    Linda Johnson 
Paul Von Driska                          Linda  Johnson
Corporate Members:                Nancy Kalchbrenner
   Ehren Jarrett    
   Earl Dotson Jr.    
   Heidi Dettman    
   Kelly Monson
Jennifer Stark                              Mary Ann Norwood
Rudy Valdez                                Jim Nelson
Jim Norris  (transfer)                 Linda Gerber
Daniel Sommer                         Elise Cadigan
Haddon Anderson                    Linda Gerber
Brandy Lavender                      Linda Gerber
  *Dec. Installation
Member Directory at Your Fingertips
Have you ever wanted to contact a member by phone or email but didn’t have their information?  Well, if you have a smart phone or iPad, you can get the Rockford Rotary Directory and other information right on your phone or iPad.  All you need to do is go to your Apple or Android app store and search for ClubRunner (The logo will be a white CR with the blue background). 
When you install this app you will be asked to sign in with your Rockford Rotary member log in and password. After you log in you will automatically be connected to the Rockford Rotary Directory. In addition to the member directory, you will be able to see upcoming events, speakers and board meetings, as well as, club executives, board members and committee members.  Form time to time you will need to refresh the member's area of the app to ensure you have access to information of new members.
To learn more about this app you can watch a youtube clip at:
ClubRunner Help?
Do you need help getting into 
If you are new to Rockford Rotary or just haven't been able to sign on to the Rockford Rotary website, contact Jim Coffey  at or 815-222-9168.
NOTE: You must use the primary email indicated in your profile.  If you no longer have access to that email, contact the Judy or Lyn to up-date your information.
Rotary Links
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Jan 04, 2018
Home Rule for Rockford
Home Rule for Rockford
Jan 11, 2018
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Upcoming Events
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Community Foundation of Northern Illinois
Jan 23, 2018 12:00 PM
Board Meetings
Community Foundation of Northern Illinois
Feb 20, 2018
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Bob Gough
December 2
Alan Gibby
December 7
Teri Watts
December 14
Lyn Allison
December 16
Steve Sjogren
December 16
Dick Lunde
December 17
John Kleber
December 21
Mary Ann Norwood
December 24
Darlene Furst
December 29
Dave Byrnes
December 30
Join Date
Dave Rydell
December 5, 1985
32 years
Kent Mallquist
December 7, 1967
50 years
Ross Robbins
December 8, 1966
51 years
Pete Rundquist
December 10, 2015
2 years
Denise Noe
December 16, 2004
13 years
Bill DeMarco
December 22, 2005
12 years
John Fridh
December 23, 1982
35 years
Meeting Responsibilities
2017-18 Meeting Greeters
December 21, 2017
Rundquist, Becky
January 4, 2018
Stark, Jennifer
January 11, 2018
Valdez, Rudy
January 18, 2018
VonDriska, Paul
WInter Labyrinth Clean-Up - Monthly
December 2017
Byrnes, Dave
New Member Orientation - Month of
January 2018
Canfield, Bob
February 2018
Donnelly, Mike
March 2018
Johnson, Linda
April 2018
Cadigan, Elise
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