October 6th Program
What I Did at the RI Convention
     President Eric will discuss the Rotary International Convention which was held in Houston, Texas on June 4 - 8 of 2022.  The convention usually draws around 20,000 people and features many sessions to learn about various Rotary programs.
     Highlights include:
  • Admission to the convention’s opening and closing ceremonies and general sessions, where you’ll hear from inspiring and entertaining speakers, including top leaders in our organization;
  • Information breakout sessions to help you build your communication, leadership, and project management skills;
  • Opportunities to network and exchange ideas while browsing the project and fellowship booths in the House of Friendship;
  • Entertainment provided by local artists and musicians in the House of Friendship and at the general sessions;     
      President Eric has been married to Christy for 35+ years.  They have a son Philip who is married to Michelle.  They have two grandsons, Callen (6) and Beckett (1).  Philip is an Elementary School Principal and Michelle is a Physical Therapist.
     Eric was a charter member of the Macomb Centennial Morning Club from 2005 to 2021 and served as President during the 2006-07 Rotary year.
     He grew up as a PK (pastor's Kid).  His dad was a Lutheran Pastor, and his mother was an RN.  He was born in England, lived in Las Vegas, Watseka, Ottawa, Macomb, and now Winnebago, IL
     Eric attended Valparaiso University where is earned a BS in Civil Engineering.  He is a Senior Principal/Client Executive for IMEG.  His engineering experience is mainly transportation, water, and wastewater engineering.
     In his free time, he likes to travel, sing, sail, hunt, fish, x-country ski, ride his bike and of course, service to others (Rotary).
     Eric joined Rockford Rotary on June 30, 2021, and has been active on several committees during that time.  He did not hesitate to accept when asked to be President-Elect.
     While Eric will be the featured presenter, we can also expect to hear some comments from PDG Elise Cadigan and PDG Kathy Kwiat-Hess who also attend the convention.  This will be an excellent opportunity to bring a guest or prospective member to join us in person or via Zoom.
October 13th Program
Anderson Garden Road Trip
     Our October 13th Rotary Meeting will be held at Anderson Japanese Gardens at 318 Spring Creek Rd.
     A group of us will be meeting for lunch at 11:00 AM at Fresco's, which is the restaurant at The Gardens.  If you would like to join the group for lunch, please call 815-316-2256 and make a reservation.  Mention that you will be with the Rockford Rotary.  We will be seated as a group, and we will order off of the menu. 
     Our Rotary meeting will begin at 12 noon, and we will be meeting in the conference room in the lower level at the visitor's center.
     Catherine Marsh will be our speaker and her topic will be "Patterns and Rhythms in Nature That Inspire Gardens and Architecture".  Catherine started her horticulture career as a greenhouse manager for Village Green on N Main in the late 90s, but then married, had children, and stayed home with her 3 girls for a decade.
     During that time, she volunteered throughout Rockford: as a Master Gardener, on the City of Gardens committee, and with our neighborhood group.
     When my youngest went to Kindergarten, I went back to school and graduated from Kishwaukee Community College in 2014 with a Greenhouse Management Degree, Construction and Design Degree and a certificate in Sustainability.
     My position with Anderson Japanese Gardens started in 2012 as part of an internship program through Kish. I currently work as a horticulturist and development assistant for AJG, specializing in horticulture therapy and social media content. In December 2017, I won a Confluence Award for my collaboration work with Rosecrance, a drug addiction facility for youth. I’ve presented at a National NAJGA conference, sharing my passion for connecting youth to nature.
     In 2018, I became an Associate Adjunct Professor at Kishwaukee Community College teaching Identification classes, Design classes and Sustainability. I truly love being involved with today’s youth. Their enthusiasm and passion is contagious.
     After the presentation, Rotary members will be encouraged to walk through the garden as guests of Anderson Gardens to enjoy the beauty of the gardens.  If you have any questions, contact JoAn Todd - or 815-218-5042.
Social Events
 Friday, October 21, 10 am we will have a Rotary Tour of Tinker Cottage. There is a charge of $7 for the tour. The house will be decorated for Halloween, and the tour will last about 90 minutes. We plan to follow with a lunch at Ernie’s Midtown Pub. A signup sheet will be available at the meetings or email
Sunday, December 11, 3:30 pm we will have a tour of the Laurent House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for a Rockford family who had a wheelchair-bound father! The tour will cost $20 and will be followed up with drinks and appetizers. More info to follow.
Upcoming Service Projects
Upcoming Service Projects
     Rockford Rotary has several opportunities to serve our local area and people around the world!
     Please join us as our motto is SERVICE ABOVE SELF.
     Rotary Environmental Committee will help repurpose an old playground near Welsh School into a flower garden. More information to follow.
     Northern Illinois Food Bank: Watch the announcements for more opportunities to help our neighbors in need. We plan to schedule at least one time per month.
     RPS 205 Academy Expo is Wednesday, October 19 at the Indoor Sports Center. RPS 205 freshmen participate in the expo each year to learn from industry experts and see where each College and Career pathway can lead. Volunteers are needed to guide students through the areas. Signups will be available as the event approaches.
     THANK YOU!!!
Ukraine Benefit Concert
Ukraine Benefit Concert
     Miles Neilsen performed a benefit concert for the Children of Brovary, Ukraine, Rockford's Sister City.  The concert was sponsored by Rockford Rotary and held at Memorial Hall.  Attendees enjoyed food from two Food Trucks and the Vee Dubs cocktail truck.  The fundraising committee did a terrific job putting this together on short notice.
Four New Members
Jennifer, Caitlyn, Eric, Courtney and Suzanne.
     At our September 15th meeting, President Eric welcomed 4 new members to Rockford.  They are all employees of Furst Staffing and come in with a Corporate Membership.  The new members are Jennifer Furst, Caitlyn Steiner, Courtney Joy, and Suzanne Shelain.
     They hold various leadership positions within Furst Staffing and were all sponsored by Darlene Furst who is CEO of Furst Staffing and a Past President of Rockford Rotary.
     We would encourage our members to make an effort to meet our new members and welcome them to Rockford Rotary.  We will be publishing more information about our new members in future issues of the COG. 
Rotary Links
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Oct 06, 2022
Overview of 2022 RI Convention
Oct 13, 2022
Field Trip and Lecture at Anderson Gardens
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Upcoming Events
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Oct 18, 2022
Board Meetings
Nov 15, 2022
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Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Brian De Benedetto
September 4
Earl Dotson
September 17
Denise Noe
September 19
Terry Anderson
September 21
Phil Dierstein
September 27
Brian Kobischka
September 28
Join Date
John Anderson
September 6, 2001
21 years
Dick Leighton
September 7, 1967
55 years
Taylor Carlin
September 9, 2004
18 years
Elise Cadigan
September 15, 1988
34 years
Hannah Warren
September 15, 2016
6 years
Frank Buchmann
September 19, 2019
3 years
Nellie Miller
September 19, 2019
3 years
Jennifer Stark
September 28, 2017
5 years
Rudy Valdez
September 28, 2017
5 years
Roger Maggio
September 30, 1982
40 years
Meeting Responsibilities
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