Service Above Self
We meet Wednesday at 12:00 PM
2918 Elm Road NE
Warren, OH 44483
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on Dec 11, 2013
Christmas for the Children
It was all smiles, laughter, fun and music at Warren Rotary on December 11th! We were delighted to welcome children from Children’s Rehabilitation Center to our meeting to see Santa and get an early Christmas gift from the great man himself.
As we arrived, we were greeted by the cheerful sounds of the Rotary Wheels, led by our own Dr. Ken LaPolla. Members of the Wheels are a few Rotarians, but mostly members of the community who join us each year to provide the music of the season.
Mayor Doug Franklin also attended and distributed candy canes to all the good boys and girls. It was a much needed break from the weighty, and sometimes worrisome, burdens of his office. We were so glad he was able to join us.
Our Interact students were also there as Santa’s elves and, as always, did a great job distributing gifts and helping prepare and clean up from the party. Their happy smiles and cheerful attitude made it a special day for everyone.
The children and families who attended this year’s event serve as a true inspiration to us all. Their bravery and strength are amazing. At the end of the party, a grandmother came over and thanked us for inviting their grandson to attend. She said he was blinded as an infant due to Shaken Baby Syndrome. The grandparents are now the legal guardians, providing him with a safe environment in which to grow.
One little boy also celebrated his birthday on December 11th and everyone took a moment to sing him Happy Birthday to the music of the Wheels. The delight on his face is something we will all remember.
The annual Children’s Christmas Party was originally established to provide gifts to handicapped children in the Warren area. It has since become much more. This year, in addition to providing gifts to the Children’s Rehab children, Warren Rotary also provided assistance to children affected by domestic violence, those in the foster care system, and the homeless. The individuals assisted are presently being supported by Someplace Safe, Warren Family Mission, Homes for Kids, and Valley Counseling Services.
Denise May, Genevieve Bauman, Dick Aurand, and Kim Straniak (Warren Rotarians) were instrumental in the planning of the event, purchasing and wrapping gifts, and orchestrating the entire day for the sole purpose of making the party a special one for some very special children and their families. Our heartfelt thanks go out to them for successfully doing so.
We thank all the Warren Rotarians who joined us for the party. It helped create a festive and fun-filled environment and reminded all of us just how joyful the season can be when there are children near.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on Dec 04, 2013
Stories from the PGA
This week’s speaker was Ed Dougherty who regaled us with stories from his time with the PGA. Ed was born in Chester, Pennsylvania, was drafted into the Army and served in Vietnam. He has had several top ten finishes on the PGA circuit. His interests include model trains, classic cars, and pinball machines.
He said that as a child he played Little League baseball on a team sponsored by the Rotary Club of Marcus Hook. He went to Ft. Lewis, Washington after leaving Vietnam and was not allowed to play baseball, so he took up golf instead. Unlike most professional golfers, he said he NEVER played golf as a child.
He was married in 1969 and took a job at the Edgemont Country Club as Assistant Golf Pro. Within a relatively short time, he qualified to play at a tournament in Akron with Jack Nicklaus and Hale Irwin. He jokingly said that he started making more money than he ever dreamed of, although not as much as his wife would have liked.
Throughout his presentation, he shared personal stories of things that happened during tournaments and some really funny stories of the times his brother caddied for him. He played on tour from 1975 to 2008 when he injured his shoulder and had to retire from the sport. In December 2011, he opened a model train store.
He fielded several questions about his background, favorite courses and most admired players. When asked who he thought was the best golfer of all time—Tiger Woods of Jack Nicklaus—his response was Jack Nicklaus, hands down. We thoroughly enjoyed Ed’s presentation today and found ourselves completely entertained as he reminisced about his time in the PGA.
Before he left the podium, he said he brought along a Ping putter, cap and picture to be actioned off to benefit Rotary. Katy Quaintance was the winner of the spontaneous auction and was absolutely delighted to have her picture taken with a golf legend.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on Nov 27, 2013
Judge Peter Kontos
This week’s speaker was the Honorable Judge Peter Kontos, Trumbull County Common Pleas Court judge. His was an unscripted presentation, but certainly informative and interesting.
He explained the various divisions within the court system, most of which were familiar—probate, domestic, juvenile, etc. His court handles a broad range of criminal cases that include drugs, thefts, rapes, capital murder and more.
Questions from Rotarians led to a presentation that was interactive and gave us insight into some of the more well-known and interesting cases covered in the news. In response to a question about what he viewed as his most interesting case, he answered that the murder trial of Danny Lee Hill topped his list. This particular case was not decided by a jury. It was a capital case, meaning the death penalty could be imposed. The community was strongly affected by the details of the crime and for this reason it was believed that the jury might be prompted to impose the death penalty without considering only the facts of the case. The Danny Lee Hill case is still under appeal.
Judge Kontos said that 95% of the cases filed do not go on to trial; they are resolved by a plea bargain. As he explained, there are approximately 1,000 cases filed in Trumbull County each year and each judge is assigned 250 of them. The statutes state that a person has a right to a speedy trial. In the course of a year, a judge may only be able to handle 50 cases. This would mean that 200 offenders would be released without penalty as the individual’s right to a speedy trial would have been violated. When a plea bargain has been reached, it is the judge’s job to ensure that the defendant’s agreement to the plea is voluntary, that it is knowingly made, and intelligently understood.
We were delighted to have Judge Kontos join us today and truly enjoyed his presentation.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on Nov 20, 2013
Mr. Darby’s Antiques and Collectibles
Bob Neopolitan (Owner) and Casey Watson (Manager) of Mr. Darby’s Antiques and Collectibles joined us today for not only a fun presentation, but an informative one as well.
Bob told us he is a former Kiwanian (and received the typical Rotary reaction in return) who had a photography business for 27 years with clients in the Pennsylvania/West Virginia area. He lost his business due to a fire and eventually used his love of collecting to establish Mr. Darby’s. When it first opened, it was called “Stuff” and served as a place where vendors could sell their antiques and treasured items. It does much more than that, however, as we learned today.
Mr. Darby’s can advise families on how to proceed when it comes to estates. He told anyone who has to clean out a family member’s home to contact someone reputable to advise them. Primatives are very desirable items to sell right now, but the average person looking at them may not realize their value, thus would throw them away or put them in a yard sale.
Mr. Darby’s holds auctions, which are open to the public; can provide appraisals on what an individual may get for an item they wish to sell; conducts classes; does complete home clean-outs; and consults with families on estates.
He reiterated that we should consult with a reliable antique professional before throwing anything away or putting it in a garage sale. Casey gave an example of a small 3” dish she thought to sell for $5. She researched it first. She found that it was worth MUCH more—it sold for $1,700!!
Bob and Casey also appraised items that Bob Hoy, Janet Schweitzer, Tom Wareham, George Thompson, Genevieve Bauman and Darlene Mink-Crouse brought in. As they did so, they continued to share insights about some of the markets that have lost their value, i.e., stamps and certain glass pieces.
Mr. Darby’s has 75 vendors in their 25K square foot facility at 11734 South Avenue in North Lima. For more information on events, hours, and more you can contact Bob Neopolitan at (234) 759-3553.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on Nov 13, 2013
Mission to Guatemala
Eric Thompson, Warren native, business owner and magician/comedian, joined us today to talk about his mission trip to Guatemala earlier this year.
Eric traveled to some remote regions of Guatemala with others from Believers Church. He was the entertainment guy and did eight magic shows over ten days. However, he said he got a lot more out of the trip than the people he was there to help did. The children and families he met live in abject poverty, but despite that, every child had a smile on their face all the time. The children in the villages he visited only had one outfit to wear. On laundry day, he said, they slept naked while their clothes dried overnight, and the next day they would put that same outfit on again.
There was one little girl that followed Eric everywhere. She took his hand when he got there and never left his side. He found children who had lost their vision due to disease and others with injuries that could not be treated because there is no one there to provide medical treatment. The only “health professional” the villagers had was a midwife who had no formal training.
While there, the mission group took up a collection among its members and purchased food in the amount of $500. That was enough to feed everyone in the entire village for a week. He said it was the most humbling moment of his life to see people picking through garbage at a burning dump in the hopes of finding something they could use to feed their families. The children who live on the edge of these dumps never go to school and will live their lives never having left that horrible place.
The only recent structures in some villages were the churches built by other U.S. missionary groups. In one community, Eric found a group of boys playing marbles in the street. They had five marbles among them and, even though Eric did not speak the language, he joined them in playing marbles for several hours. As he was getting ready to leave, one of the young boys handed him a marble. Through the interpreter, the young boy told Eric to take the marble back to the United States with him and tell his children and grandchildren about him and his friends. He did not want Eric or his family to forget him. Eric was so touched that he purchased 11 pounds of marbles after he came home and had them sent to the boys of the village.
He noticed as he travelled from village to village that there were no older men. He learned that the country experienced a civil war from 1969 to 1996 and it was estimated that 200,000 men were either killed or “forcibly disappeared” during that time. As a result, many of the children have never had providers or role models in their lives. They didn’t even know what a grandfather was.
Eric urged us to help these people through monetary gifts. He stressed that these people are literally starving to death. A $5 gift could feed a family for an entire week. He said that Believers Church will be going back to Guatemala in 2014, but he will be going on a different mission trip with a different church, this time to Africa.
Our homework: to find a way to help these people.
Our thanks go out to Eric for opening our eyes and hearts to the plight of these villagers. It makes us more appreciative of all we have and will, hopefully, prompt many to get involved.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on Nov 06, 2013
Rotarians Learn More About United Way
James Whetstone, Chairman of the United Way Campaign, and new Chief Professional Officer, Ginny Pasha, were our speakers this week. Ginny was no stranger to many of us since she has been involved in the non-profit field for a number of years. She was with the United Way in Youngstown for eight years as Director of Community Impact and was just hired at the United Way of Trumbull County five months ago.
She said she is encouraged and excited about what the United Way can accomplish to improve the lives of residents. Ginny said that the United Way often flies under the radar and the community is unaware of all that they do. They have a food pantry; they work with Lens Crafters to provide free glasses to those in need; they work to promote a state health insurance program that enables families to get their children enrolled in free health insurance; and they support the 211 service that connects those in need with agencies that can help.
Some of the United Way goals include:
- Doing a much better job of communicating to the community about what United Way does and the challenges it faces.
- Improving accountability by reporting on the results achieved through the programs funded.
- Being more involved in Trumbull County happenings. If there is a need to be addressed in our community, United Way wants to be at the table to help overcome it.
- Beginning community conversations about what the real issues are, not just what United Way might think they are.
Everyone in attendance could see how enthusiastic Ginny and Jim were about the direction of United Way and said that they would like to come back next year and report on how they have done in reaching the goals outlined above.
According to the United Way, one out of every three people in Trumbull County uses the services of an agency supported by United Way.
Those wishing to learn more about United Way, support the organization financially, or become a volunteer can contact them at 330-369-1000.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on Oct 23, 2013
THE IMPORTANCE OF ESTATE PLANNING
This week, Tom Lodge from the legal firm Roth, Blair, Roberts, Strasfeld and Lodge, shared valuable information on estate planning. Attorney Lodge is board certified as a specialist in estate planning, trust, and probate law by the State of Ohio Bar Association. He is also a former Poland Rotarian.
His goal today was to get us to look at what we have done already with regard to estate planning and to learn more about the Uniform Power of Attorney Act.
He recited a couple of examples where family members legally battled over what to do with someone’s ashes and stressed that, had the deceased’s wishes been outlined in a will, the battle would have been unnecessary.
He also told us about some changes in State and Federal laws that impact estate taxes and urged us to change certain provisions that may be included in wills now to better meet the needs of survivors in the future. He advised all of us that we should look at our wills about every five years in order to ensure that changes in the law will not negatively affect the estate.
He also urged members to become familiar with the Uniform Power of Attorney Act and how it could benefit family members later. The 13 powers covered by this Act are defined by statute and are very broad. Anyone wishing to learn more about it can find more on the internet by searching Uniform Power of Attorney Act or Durable Power of Attorney.
We thank Attorney Lodge for sharing such valuable information with us. This is a topic often overlooked until it is too late.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on Oct 16, 2013
This week, we were delighted to welcome Lt. Chuck Eggleston from the Warren City Fire Department to our meeting to talk about SALSA—Save A Life Smoke Alarm program.
Lt. Eggleston has been with the fire department for 16 years, serving as a Lieutenant for the past five. The goal of SALSA is to create awareness of fire safety and reduce the likelihood of injuries or fatalities due to fire.
The fire department has partnered with other agencies to help educate those most vulnerable to fire emergencies—those under 5 years of age and those over 60. Among their partners: Trumbull Mobile Meals, WIC, and Warren City Schools. SALSA received a FEMA grant and funding from BP to cover the cost of the smoke alarms. Those who are interested in obtaining a smoke alarm and having it installed submit an application, which is then installed by a team of three volunteers. While the program is designed to assist low income families, anyone can submit an application.
According to Lt. Eggleston, the smoke alarms come with a lithium battery, good for the life of the smoke detector—usually about 10 years. Installation day is October 26th and they are hoping to install 200 smoke alarms. Volunteer coordination is being handled by the Hands On Volunteer Network of the Mahoning Valley.
It is Lt. Eggleston’s hope that by speaking to Rotary and other organizations, he can help spread the word about the program AND recruit volunteers to help.
Any Rotarian or member of the community wishing to assist must contact the Volunteer Network in advance of October 26th. Kristin Gallagher, HOVN, can be reached at 330-782-5877.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on Oct 09, 2013
Art Dunn’s Walk Across Ohio
Warren Rotarians were honored to welcome Art Dunn to this week’s meeting to hear more about his travels across the State of Ohio.
Art was born in Pittsburgh and later moved to Lake Milton where he then attended Newton Falls High School. After high school, he joined the Marines. Upon his return home from service to his country, he married his high school sweetheart and they built a very happy life together. Six years ago, he and his wife were looking forward to celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary, but a short time later she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died a few months after that.
Art said he was devastated, but after a time was determined to find a healthy way to live his life without her. So, he decided to take up walking.
Over the past five years, Art has undertaken three long walks. The first involved walking the perimeter of Ohio. The second one, in 2009, he walked from Cincinnati to Youngstown. After this particular walk, he began talking about his journeys with various community groups. A friend suggested that he write a book on his travels and the people he has met and places he has visited. He took his friend up on his suggestion and wrote a book entitled Footprints from Cincinnati Home.
He thought for a time that these two walks would be sufficient, but he then decided to walk to Shanksville, PA, the sight of the Flight 93 crash, and then on to the Pentagon to honor those who died in the September 11 terrorist attacks. He said that he used this walk as a learning tool for a fourth grade class in Newton Falls. He talked with the students every day so they could track his progress on maps and look up information on some of the towns he visited.
Art said that his overall goal is to inspire and motivate others. He shared information and photos about some of the sites he visited and stories about people he met. He said it took him 55 days to walk 1,150 miles and the most striking thing about his trips was how wonderful and helpful people were.
Art truly was an inspiration and it was our honor to have him join us this week. We wish him all the best and thank him for making our day a little more special.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on Oct 02, 2013
Rotarians Learn More About
Mahoning County Economic
Development CorporationThis week, Rotarians welcomed Mario Nero, Loan Officer with MVEDC, as our speaker. Mario said that MVEDC was established in 1978 and serves as the primary private, non-profit economic development corporation in Mahoning, Trumbull, Ashtabula,
Columbiana, Geauga and Portage Counties. MVEDC works with commercial lenders and government agencies and provides a wide range of financing and loan programs that encourage location, retention and expansion of businesses in our area.
Mario said that MVEDC also owns two industrial parks—Warren Commerce Park in Warren and the Youngstown Commerce Park in North Jackson. These parks offer fully developed lots of various sizes and have the infrastructure needed for businesses to easily move in and begin operation.
Designated by the U. S. Small Business Administration as a Certified Development Company, MVEDC operates a variety of revolving loan funds for business development and expansion. These include funds from the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Loan funds are also provided by the State of Ohio and a number of local units of governments.
MVEDC can also provide new and current businesses with information on available buildings and sites throughout the Valley, as well as information on zoning, utilities, demographics and more as it affects a business’s site selection. Mario encouraged anyone with questions about their programs to contact him at 330-759-3668, extension 22, or via email at Mario@mvedc.com.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on Sep 25, 2013
Queen for a Day
While this week’s speaker may have filled in for us at the last moment, she did not disappoint. Jennifer Campbell is no stranger to Rotarians, but what we did not know about was her newly formed non-profit organization, Queen for a Day. Its goal is to make a difference in the lives of women, one day at a time. Queen for a Day recognizes two women each year who have overcome adversity and used their experiences to assist other women. She believes that each woman has a divine purpose on this earth and she hopes through her organization’s efforts that the dreams of each woman are restored. Each woman selected for this honor receive a new wardrobe, attend a girlfriend luncheon, have a complete makeover, are the honoree at a huge reception, receive a Mayoral Proclamation, and are provided with donations valued at over $10,000 to further the work of their volunteer efforts to improve the lives of other women.
Everyone in attendance could see how passionate Jennifer was about her organization. She distributed nomination forms for Rotarians to use should anyone want to nominate someone for this honor. If anyone has additional questions, would like to volunteer, or donate to Queen for a Day, they can contact Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 330-219-9819.
We thank Jennifer for sharing this information with us and for so graciously filling in at the last minute. We look forward to hearing more as the next Queen is crowned.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on Sep 11, 2013
Nick Ambeliotis “Breaks Bread” At Warren Rotary
Rotarians welcomed Nick Ambeliotis, owner of Mediterra Bake House, to their September 11th meeting. While Mediterra is located in Pittsburg and Phoenix, Nick is no stranger to Warren. He was born and raised here, attended Warren G. Harding High School, and worked with his family in their store, the Woodland Market.
After the family closed their Market, he worked for an import company out of Cleveland, where he was able to visit Europe to source foods that were brought back to the United States and shipped to stores across the country. During his travels, he had the opportunity to meet bread makers in Spain, Greece, France, etc. which inspired him to research various breads and methods of bread baking. After a time, he quit his job, sold his home and used the proceeds to finance the first Mediterra Bake House in Pittsburgh, PA.
The style of bread making by Mediterra is not seen any longer. They use only the best ingredients—pesticide-free rye flour, non-hybrid/non-GMO wheat flour, etc. The bread is baked in hearth ovens that have a capacity of producing 10-12,000 loaves of bread per night.
His products are currently sold at Trader Joes (Private Label), Giant Eagle (Market District), and Whole Foods. Nick has four children and they all work in the bakery. He and his wife purchased a home in the Phoenix area thinking they would spend more time relaxing. After four months of that, he decided to open another bake house. It opened approximately 1½ years ago and he expects it to outsell the Pittsburgh location very soon.
Nick has always tried to buy his ingredients locally in order to support local economies. His operation in Phoenix is no different. He works with local Indian tribes that grow grain for his breads and he purchases their entire crop when it is ready.
He offered anyone who visits Pittsburgh or Phoenix to stop in and he would give them a tour. Nick also generously provided bread for everyone in attendance at the meeting.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger
Bob Abruzzi Talks About Hot Peppers and More
Bob Abruzzi is no stranger to anyone in Warren Rotary. At one time or another, we have all had a meal at Café 422 and enjoyed his trumpet playing for special guests. So, it was like seeing a member of our own family when he joined us on Wednesday to talk about what he’s doing now and some of the memorable moments at the restaurant.
Bob’s father, Greenie, and partner, Orazio Rossi, started Café 422 in 1939. Its first location was further east on Youngstown-Warren Road in the building that now houses a pawn shop. His father and partner built the current building in 1949 and moved the business there upon completion.
As a young boy, Bob worked at the restaurant, starting out as a busboy and dishwasher. He attended Howland High School, went on to Ohio State, and then obtained his Masters degree from Michigan State University in restaurant management. At age 24, he came back to the restaurant as manager.
Bob talked about the rise and fall of the Strip in Niles and why he felt the restaurant business was impacted. He felt the rise was caused when more women joined the workforce, causing families to go out to eat more. The decline in the 1970’s was tied to the economy, Boardman issuing liquor licenses to restaurants there, and the influx of chain restaurants.
Café 422 experienced its greatest growth in the business when the Kenley Players were at Packard Music Hall. Six nights a week he saw the crowds come to the restaurant after the shows and was fortunate enough that the crowds remain constant even after the Kenley Players closed. He spoke of some of the celebrities who fell in love with the food at Café 422, particularly the steaks and his famous hot peppers.
He has now been retired for 8 years but that has not slowed him down. He is now making Abruzzi Hot Peppers at his home and selling them through the Howland Farm Market. He shared information on all he had to do to be able to obtain FDA approval and a license and, while we may have found it rather humorous, we know it was a frustrating process for him.
We were delighted to have Bob join us today. For those wishing to know more about his new venture, they can check him out at Abruzzi’s Hot Peppers on Facebook.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on Aug 28, 2013
Mike McClain Talks Sports with Rotarians
This week we were delighted to welcome Mike McClain from Tribune Chronicle to talk sports. Mike has been covering sports since 1977 and has covered everything from boxing to high school football to the Cleveland Browns.
He said that he spent much of his earlier years covering high school sports and then in 1987 began covering the Browns extensively. Mike went on to tell everyone about some of the coaches he had a chance to interview through some of the best and worst times in Browns history. He said the move to Baltimore was tough on the team and it has been a struggle to gain back the support of their fan base.
He said that the Browns have made many changes, some of them dismal when it came to their draft history, but they now seem to be making some strides toward improvement. He feels, however, that it will still be a long time before the Browns see a championship.
He told us about some of the owners and coaches he has interviewed, such as Art Modell, Sam Rutigliano, and Bill Belichick and their varying personalities and levels of cooperation with the press.
Mike said that the new owner of the Browns, Jimmy Haslam, has been a breath of fresh air and has taken steps to make the fan’s experience at the stadium a good one. He said that creating a positive atmosphere for the fans has an impact on how the players do on the field.
We thank Mike for joining us today and for sharing his insights about the Browns and their chances for a winning season.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on Aug 21, 2013
2013 Peace Celebration
Jean Bollinger attended today’s meeting to let all of us know about the upcoming Peace Celebration. The event will be held on September 21st at 2:00 p.m. at Courthouse Square. The event marks the International Day of Peace established in the 1980’s as a day for all to set aside their differences in the interest of peace. The theme of the event is Peace, Diversity, and Justice. Flyers will be distributed soon. Cortland Rotary has participated in the International Day of Peace activities for the past 4 years and Jean is asking Warren Rotary to consider doing the same. The Harding Drum Line and Boy Scouts of America will lead the walk from Courthouse Square to the Amphitheater for family-centered activities.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on Aug 21, 2013
Drugs and Alcohol in the Workplace
This week’s speaker was Murphy Lewis, who talked to us about drugs and alcohol in the workplace. Murphy is a life-long resident of Trumbull County, living in Niles with his wife, Cheryl, and daughter. Cheryl, as many will recall, is a former Warren Rotarian. Murphy has a Masters degree in Education with licenses in the drug and alcohol abuse field. He has educated approximately 300 companies on the affects of alcohol and drugs in the workplace and worked with them to create effective drug-free policies.
Murphy said that many company executives believe they personally know their employees and whether or not they are using drugs. They are shocked when they learn that these trusted employees are, indeed, using drugs. Murphy said the positive drug tests conducted through July of this year exceed the number of positive drug tests conducted over an entire year in the past.
He strongly advised employers to become familiar with Federal and State drug laws. He said the laws have changed as recently as 1½ months ago. He also said that if employers are going to demand that expanded blood panels be done they need to specify that in any drug policy they have.
When companies institute a drug-free policy, they need to make sure that certain steps are followed. The policies need to be specific about what they will test for, include statements about random drug tests being done, proof that each employee has read and understands the policy, proof that education has been provided, and that the policies meet the standards required by law. Employers must also be consistent across the board in how they respond if an employee tests positive for alcohol or drugs. Not doing so opens the employer up for legal action. He also said that Federal guidelines must be met when it comes to drug policies or they may not be defensible in court.
Murphy shared statistics about how prevalent drug and alcohol use is in companies. He said he worked with one company that had 36 employees. When tested for drugs, 31 failed the test. He also said he works at Belmont Pines with young drug users. One child (12-years old) said he got his drugs from his mother. His youngest client was 9 years old when he began using drugs. He also said that while the unemployment rate in Trumbull County is approximately 7.2%, the vast majority of those individuals are unemployable as they would never pass a pre-employment drug test.
The information Murphy shared was invaluable to the employers in attendance. For those wishing more information on how to establish an effective drug policy for their companies or organizations, they can contact Murphy at 330-544-9091.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on Aug 14, 2013
We were delighted to welcome Gerry Bean to our meeting this week to talk about Ving! Gerry, as many will recall, is a former Warren Rotarian. When he was in our Club, he worked for Lifeskills and its management company White Hat Management. He moved on to Turning Technologies in 2006 and after a short time ended up at via680, a new business currently housed at the Youngstown Incubator.
Ving is a product offered by via680 and is used to change the way people and organizations communicate. Ving is considered an engagement tool that business professionals and educators use to create, share and track multimedia messages with videos, document and audio files, pictures, and surveys.
Gerry gave an example of how Ving can be used by teachers to communicate with parents about their children’s learning assignments, goals, and much more. By creating their email message in Ving, the teachers can track who has read the message and who has not. It eliminates the need for the teacher to call every parent because they know exactly which parent has not opened the message.
Creating the Ving message is very similar to creating a normal email and gives the teacher the option of adding video, documents and more to keep parents informed.
According to Gerry, if schools are receiving federal funding, it is a requirement that they have a plan in place for better communicating with families. Most schools have a Parent Portal where parents can go to view communications. Ving takes the communication directly to the parent. They can receive the information on any device and there is no limit on the file size.
The estimated annual cost for a school building would be $1,000-$2,000 annually; it would then be available to every teacher. Anyone wishing additional information about Ving or via680 can log on to their website at www.via680.com.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on Aug 07, 2013
This week, we were blessed to have two guest speakers address our Club.
Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport
Daniel Dickten, Director of Aviation at the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport joined us today to talk about the ongoing efforts to expand services at the airport.
The Regional Airport is considered a non-Hub facility. In 1999, there were two daily flights to Chicago, four to Detroit, and five to Pittsburgh. Over time, the number of flights declined. Due to federal regulations in recent years, a number of non-Hub airports lost service if they were 70 miles or closer to a Hub airport. This definitely affected our Regional Airport.
In 2006, Allegiant Air began transporting passengers to Orlando, St. Petersburg, and Myrtle Beach. In October, flights to Punta Gorda/Ft. Myers will be added. Within the next 12-18 months, passengers will be able to travel to Las Vegas.
The airport is often the departure point for YSU sports team charters, corporate flight departures, and general aviation use. As time goes on, the oil and gas industry is expected to make regular use of the airport.
In order to broaden services, the airport must be able to demonstrate to airlines that offering services would be profitable. The airlines look for a commitment from local businesses to use the airport, access to population centers, low airport costs, easy access to the airport, and a functional and appealing terminal. Mr. Dickten believes we have all that at the Regional Airport and he continues to work with airlines to expand services.
WEAR – Fitness for LIfe
Jeff Rebraca, personal trainer, also joined us to talk about very simple steps we can take to improve our quality of life. What Jeff does is different than what other personal trainers do in that he goes to his clients’ homes to work with them instead of them having to travel to a facility for services. His clients range in age from 12 years old to 95 years old.
WEAR is the acronym he uses to work with his clients. It stands for:
W – Water: Drinking a glass of water before and during meals will make you feel fuller faster and, as a result, you could lose up to 5 lbs. per month. Other steps we can take to manage our weight: use smaller dishes for your food, put utensils down between bites so you eat slower, and eat the majority of your meals earlier in the day.
E – Exercise: This includes stretching, cardiovascular exercises, swimming, etc. Get 20-30 minutes of continuous movement in 3-6 days a week.
A – Attitude: Develop a support plan, set goals about what you want to accomplish, educate yourself about injuries that could happen and how to treat them.
R – The Six R’s: Rest, Recreate, Read, Relax, Replenish, and Reward.
Our thanks to both Daniel and Jeff for joining us today and sharing information on two vastly different, but equally important, topics.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on Jul 31, 2013
The Rotary Club of Warren inducted two new members on July 31st with the ceremony being performed by District Governor Deb Esbenshade. DG Deb was in Warren for her official visit and graciously agreed to do the induction.
The first member inducted was Julia Wetstein, formerly of the Carbondale, IL Rotary Club. Her sponsor, Dallas Woodall, shared information on her involvement with Rotary over the years which included—joining Rotary in 2003, hosting several GSE Teams, serving as President of the Carbondale Club in 2009, being a multiple Paul Harris Fellow, serving as her District’s GSE Coordinator, being selected as Rotarian of the Year by her District, serving as Foundation Chair, and being instrumental in the efforts to bring Rotary to Cuba. Julia also has an extensive history of community involvement. She transferred to this area due to her husband, Mark’s, job transfer. She is currently employed with the Community Foundation of Eastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania. She and her husband live in Vienna with their dog, Halle Beary, a Great Pyrenees.
The second new Rotarian to be inducted was Katy Quaintance, Site Coordinator at Beatitude House, an organization that assists homeless women and children. As her sponsor, Chris Shape, explained Katy was born in South Dakota and moved to Ohio in 1992. She attended YSU where she studied social work. In 2007, she began working with Beatitude House in its Potter’s Wheel program and in 2012 was promoted to her present position. Katy has made a personal commitment to overcoming her fears and focuses on one each year to conquer. This year, she’s taking on her fear of heights. So far, she has taken one roller coaster ride and done cliff diving. She currently lives in New Middletown in Mahoning County.
Warren Rotary was delighted to welcome both women to the Rotary family and know they will make lasting contributions to the organization through their service.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on Jul 31, 2013
Warren Rotary was delighted to welcome District Governor Deb Esbenshade to this week’s meeting for her official visit. Dr. Tom Montgomery, Assistant District Governor, introduced her by saying that in her professional life she is the Vice President and Controller of Modern Builders Supply. She joined Youngstown Rotary in 1994, is a Paul Harris Fellow +1, is a benefactor to the Rotary International Foundation, was the first female President of the Youngstown Rotary Club, has received countless awards, and has been deeply involved at the District level for a number of years.
As DG Deb took the podium, she reminded us that her association with Warren Rotary began many years ago. She went on to tell us that as she went through her orientation for her current role, she was asked to describe Rotary in one word. Upon reflection, that one word was catalyst…to bring about or cause change. This is what Rotary does every day in local communities and around the world.
The Rotary theme for this year is Engage Rotary, Change Lives. DG Deb said that if we want to take Rotary service forward then every Rotarian must have the same feeling about Rotary.
Her goals for Rotary Clubs in our District are simple, yet powerful, if we all work together to accomplish them. They are:
Focus on membership development AND member engagement.
Strive for a net gain of at least one member by the end of this Rotary year.
Consider supporting the District’s international project in Dominica where hearing exams and aids are provided, literacy is addressed, and school supplies are donated to children.
Support the District-wide community service project—Operation Warm-- where funds are raised to purchase coats for children in need. So far, enough money has been raised to provide 600 children with coats.
Consider additional support for Polio Plus.
Keep the lines of communication open between our Club and the District.
Stay informed about Rotary through the District Newsletter and the Rotarian Magazine.
And, continue doing what we do so well and have fun while we are doing it.
DG Deb concluded her presentation by saying that when she joined in 1994, Dallas Woodall was District Governor. At the time, she never thought she would someday serve in the same role. She said that Rotary has something for everyone and that by everyone being engaged, lives will be changed for the better, including our own.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on Jul 24, 2013
This week, Katy Quaintance, Site Coordinator from Beatitude House joined us to tell us more about her organization.
As she began her talk, she took us back to the origins of Beatitude House. The inspiration for the organization began with Sister Margaret Scheetz who saw a film written by a Youngstown man entitled God Bless the Child. It is the story of a mother and daughter caught in the cycle of poverty and homelessness. The mother must make a painful decision to give up her daughter in order for her to lead a better life, giving her daughter a chance at a life she felt she couldn’t give her.
The film prompted Sister Margaret to take steps to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness here in the Mahoning Valley. In 1988, Beatitude House was formed with a firm belief that education is the best way out of poverty.
In 1990, an anonymous donor gave the Ursuline Sisters a Tudor home on the city’s north side that was transformed into an apartment complex for Transitional Housing services, providing shelter for women and children. The first families moved into the facility in 1991 and soon two additional buildings were added to the program. Those buildings can house up to 12 families.
Over the years, Beatitude House expanded its services to continue to address the growing needs of the community. It now operates transitional housing, permanent supportive housing, and services for English language learners.
In 1996, an education and career preparation program called Potter’s Wheel was established offering job placement services, computer classes, math tutoring, child advocacy, GED preparation, and counseling services.
The permanent supportive housing program assists homeless women with disabilities that keep them from maintaining stability.
In 2009, Beatitude House launches their Beatitude House Green Clean program, a worker-owned cleaning service.
In 2010, Beatitude House received a $500,000 federal grant to expand services into Ashtabula County.
And, in 2011, the organization received a grant to double the size of its permanent supportive housing program, enabling it to serve 24 families.
Katy talked about some of the obstacles that homeless women face in finding and keeping jobs that can support themselves and their families. The challenges are wide-ranging from having disabilities, to having a history of domestic abuse, to having chronic physical illnesses, to not having a GED, to not having a car to get to work. Beatitude House provides services, or collaborates with other organizations for services, in order to assist these women get back on their feet.
Katy was obviously very passionate about the work of Beatitude House and the difference it makes in the lives of women and children. She encouraged anyone who would like to tour the facility to contact her. She can be reached at KQuaintance@beatitudehouse.com.
We thank Katy for joining us this week and look forward to seeing her again next week when she will be inducted as a member of Warren Rotary.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on Jul 17, 2013
Dr Louis Zona attended our meeting this week to talk about what’s new at the Butler Art Museum.
Dr. Zona has an impressive background. He serves as Executive Director and Chief Curator and has doubled the physical size of the Museum. He earned his doctorate from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh and lives in New Castle with his family.
He began with a power point presentation and showed a painting entitled The Ugly Duchess by Quentin Matsys, prompting everyone to recall the saying about beauty being skin deep, but ugly goes clear to the bone.
The current exhibit at the Howland Branch is on Hyperrealism. He told us about one artist, Peter Maier, who used to be a designer for Cadillac and Buick. He uses automobile lacquers on aluminum panels to create his art pieces. One piece is on loan at the Youngstown location entitled Horse Power, which is a life-size, 1,000 pound rendering of a Budweiser Clydsdale. Peter Maier’s art will be on display until September.
The last time Dr. Zona joined us he talked about the ceramic mural in the Oliver Building in Pittsburgh and the Museum’s efforts to have it moved here. The mural was commissioned in 1968 at a cost of around $300K. Today, the mural is valued between $2-3m. The tiles are 14”x14” and weigh 12 pounds each. It took two week of working only at night to remove the mural. It is now permanently installed in Howland and is visible through the windows as you pass in front of the facility.
Then, Rotarians were blessed with seeing a painting of the Mona Lisa, carefully packaged, transported, and escorted to our meeting. Needless to say, everyone was in awe. Ryan Brundage, who is an artist himself, took a closer look and could see the actual brush strokes and pronounced it a true artwork. Cameras were flashing all over the room as members gazed upon this amazing work of art.
We then learned that Rob Berk convinced Dr. Zona to join him in fooling the Club into thinking the painting was real. Anyone who knows Rob could understand how that could happen. As it turns out, Rob purchased three paintings while he was in China on business, this being one of them. The artists make a living reproducing famous masterpieces. Rob has these paintings in his home and said they serve as great conversation pieces for anyone visiting his home.
Dr. Zona wrapped up his presentation by talking a bit about Winslow Homer and his Snap the Whip painting on display in Youngstown. He said he was once offered $100m for the painting by an art gallery in Florida. It is estimated that the Museum’s entire collection is valued at $600m.
Admission to the Museum is free and it is open every day except Mondays. More than 100,000 people visit the Butler each year. To learn more about the Museum, its collection, and special exhibits, log on to www.butlerart.com or www.butlerartcollection.com.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on Jul 10, 2013
GeoVolt Clean Power Solutions
Bob Jadloski joined us this week to talk about geovolt technology and how it could help reduce energy costs.
Geovolt generates electricity by using natural gas without burning it. It works much like a hydro power plant on a dam does, only in this case, energy is harvested from the flow of gas instead of water. GeoVolt technology can turn a gas well into a personal power plant. With adequate well pressure and volume, a GeoVolt can produce up to 18 times more electricity than is needed in the average home.
The latest developments in the natural gas industry in and around our area would provide the gas pressure that a GeoVolt needs without harming the environment. We currently have 139,000 gas wells and the number is expected to grow considerably.
Bob went on to tell us that one GeoVolt costs $30,000 and the cost is recovered within a short time. One windmill costs more than $100,000. It would take 20 acres of solar panels to generate the same amount of power as a GeoVolt at a cost in the millions of dollars.
According to the U. S. Energy Information Administration expects natural gas to account for 60% of the projected growth in the U.S. power generation capacity through 2035. Compressed natural gas-powered (CNG) vehicles are expected to increase in numbers over the coming years, which is vital to America’s move toward energy independence. GeoVolt could help address the largest single expense in associated with CNG production—the electricity needed to produce it.
Members had a number of questions about GeoVolt and its practical applications. Bob told members to log in to You Tube to watch a video on GeoVolt to learn more. The link is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ij7tyGOLABI or you can google GeoVolt for the link.
Anyone wishing to reach Bob can do so at email@example.com.
Posted by Nicholas Verina on Jul 03, 2013
Powers Great American Midways (PGAM) is the largest east coast carnival company. Its owners are Les “Corky” and Debbie Powers and they are with their carnival on a daily basis overseeing everything.
PGAM has been in the family for five generations. Les Powers started the company 33 years ago and it has remained a family business ever since. Through their personal and company values, reasonable prices and family-oriented games, PGAM wants to ensure a fun, safe, fair, and family-friendly experience every time. This, they say, keeps customers coming back for more.
Mr. Powers’ love affair with the carnival began at a young age. His parents both worked different jobs during the week, but on the weekends they ran a duck pond game. His grandparents owned a sausage stand. In 1974, when Mr. Powers was old enough, he purchased a slide, his very own first ride. That was the beginning of a lifelong, committed relationship with the carnival.
In 1980, Mr. Powers formed his own amusement company, Amusements of Rochester, Inc., based out of Rochester, NY, which travelled around the New York and Pennsylvania areas. His success led the company to grow, and with a committed group of core individuals, Mr. Powers was able to expand the company to what it is today.
Thirty-three years later, PGAM is considered one the largest carnivals on the east coast. The company has grown from the ten-to-twelve ride carnival ride it was in the early eighties to a fleet of 58 rides today. There are two units, the light blue unit and the dark blue unit that start the season together, then split up and come back together throughtout the season. For the smaller venues, the two units split up, but for bigger fairs and festivals, they bring the forces together.
The PGAM carnival season begins in North Carolina in March and ends back in North Carolina in November. The carnival varies somewhat from one location to another, based on the venue’s size. The largest midway they set up is the North Carolina State Fair October through November.
The Powers’ worry that people might have the perception that the carnival just comes into their community, makes its money and then leaves with its pockets full. Mr. Powers assured us that this is not the case. From purchasing local diesel fuel, to feeding their employees at local grocery stores and restaurants, to getting equipment serviced at local machine shops, the folks at PGAM strive to keep local communities happy in an effort to maintain and better a positive image. A lot of the carnivals money goes right back into the local economy.
Keeping their employees happy is important to PGAM. And, with an unfortunately high turnover rate for the employees who run the stands, games, rides and food stands, happiness is key to maintaining their workforce.
By securing a job, a home, clothes to wear and food to eat, PGAM does what it can to ensure stability in their employees lives. For some of the employees, the carnival is they only home they have.
PGAM provides all of their employees with a trailer home that travels the entire route with the company. Workers get their own room, bathroom and shower. Employees get paid on a weekly basis and are given housing. Compensating their employees appropriately is very important to PGAM.
There is even a traveling RV school for the children of PGAM employees. PGAM makes the choice for a whole family to travel with the company as easy as possible by providing easy access to an education. Currently, there are seven students ages six through sixteen who attend the school and they are taught by their very own teacher who travels with them all season long. This traveling school provides the students with more varied cultural and educational opportunities than students at “normal” schools.The children are able to see different lifestyles and cultures, meet different people, and see many new places. They go on ten to twelve field trips along the carnival route each season.
Mr. and Mrs. Power said that the carnival carefully screens potential employees, requiring background checks and drug testing. The carnival itself is inspected constantly for safety and cleanliness.
At the conclusion if their presentation, Mr. Powers conducted a brief quiz and gave away gifts to the Rotarians who correctly answered his questions.
Anyone wishing to learn more about PGAM can go to www.powersgreatamericanmidways.com and click on Fast Entry.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on Jun 26, 2013
On Wednesday, June 26th, Warren Rotarians gathered to celebrate the conclusion and accomplishments of one Rotary year and welcome and usher in a new one. The evening was filled with the warmth of friendship, laughter, and truly touching moments as our honorees were surprised with well-deserved recognition.
As we gathered, I was reminded just how special our organization is and how much we are able to do to make our community and world a better place when we work together.
As Incoming District Governor, Deborah Esbenshade, said during the installation ceremony, there are 34,000 Rotary Clubs around the world who will be holding similar events to ours over the next couple of weeks to thank its current leaders and induct new ones, making Rotary truly unique...our entire leadership, from Rotary International to the smallest club, will be changed completely.
As each new President takes office he or she has goals they would like to meet over the coming twelve months, but even though the steps taken to reach their goals may differ from person to person, the underlying mission, motto and purpose of Rotary remains constant worldwide.
As President Danette took the podium , she reminded all of us of Rotary’s accomplishments in combating polio around the world; completing local projects such as our Blood Analysis clinic, raising the second year’s funding commitment to the YWCA, expanding our reach to children in need through the Christmas gift program, and much, much more. She challenged every Rotarian to find something within Rotary that they feel passionate about and channel that passion next year to making our community an even better place.
She then thanked the current board for their support over the past year and introduced the new board to the membership. The 2012-13 Club Board Members who were retiring were: Rick Peduzzi, Jody Klase, Gary Machin and Nick Odille. The new 2013-14 Club Board Members are: John Campolito (President), Rob Berk (President Elect), Mike Bollas (Vice President), Cheryl Oblinger (Secretary-Treasurer), Danette Palmer (Past President), Tony Iannucci, Jim Ditch, Paul Pal, Dave Smith, Ryan Brundage, Lynn Miller, and Denise May.
The Foundation Board member who retired this year: Bob Hoy. The Foundation Board members for the 2013-14 year are: John Campolito, Mike Bollas, Cheryl Oblinger, Chris Stephenson, Chris Shape, Diane Sauer, and George Thompson.
As has become tradition, the Distinguished Rotarian Award was presented this year to Mike Bollas, for his service to not only the club, but the District, and Rotary Foundation as well. To say that he was surprised was an understatement. For those who may not know, Mike had served as Assistant District Governor twice, has served on the Board of Directors in the past, was responsible for the Memorial Wall at Harding High School, has donated to the RI Foundation and designated his son as a Paul Harris Fellow, created and organized our Veterans Day recognitions, served on various club committees with diligence, and has made Rotary a priority, thus attaining nine years of perfect attendance. He was truly deserving of this recognition and we thank him for his dedication to the ideals of Rotary.
Then, President Danette again pulled off a BIG surprise by designating John Campolito and Cheryl Oblinger Rotarians of the Year. This award is selected by the Club President and awarded to the individual(s) who were the greatest help to him or her during their year as President.
We were also delighted to welcome Pete Biltz and his wife, Joanne, to Presidents Night. As you will recall, Pete took a new job with the Boy Scouts in the Cleveland area a few months ago. Before he left, he made a commitment to Every Rotarian Every Year and, with this year’s contribution, was able to fulfill his commitment to obtaining a Paul Harris Fellow for his wife. Joanne had no idea that Pete had planned this and was totally surprised when Danette called the two of them forward for the presentation.
Pete touchingly explained that he has been a Rotarian for 20 years and loves the organization and what it does throughout the world. He went on to say he also loves his wife and felt that this event was the perfect place to present her with her Paul Harris Fellow.
The last major award of the evening was the Les Stauffer Community Service Award. This award was created several years ago in honor of Warren Rotarian, Les Stauffer, and is designed to recognize a non-Rotarian for his or her services to the community. Lillie Johnson was this year’s recipient of the award. Nearly everyone knew Lillie, but we were all still surprised at how many organizations she has served with over the years. The list is simply too long to list here, but take our word for it, it is a LONG one. As Lillie took the podium to accept the award she referenced something Martin Luther King said about how he would want to be remembered. He said he would not want to be remembered for the awards and accolades he received, but instead would want to be remembered for trying to make the world a better place. Lillie said that she too hopes she will be remembered for trying to make the community a better place and humbly thanked all of us for the award.
After the installation of officers, the pins of the office were exchanged, and John Campolito took the podium and said how excited he was to get started as our President. He also quoted something that our new RI President Ron Burton said during a recent speech. He said that “when we realized what we can achieve in Rotary—when we really engage Rotary—that’s when lives change. We change the lives of the people who need us. …And along the way, our lives are changed as well.” That’s what the 2013-2014 theme is all about: Engage Rotary, Change Lives. John wants to work to increase our membership, raise more money through our various events, and complete projects that make Warren and even better place to live. He thanked everyone for their support and said he was honored to be elected as our President.
As our evening concluded, John and Danette thanked our Event Sponsors: Berk Enterprises; North Coast Fire Protection; Warren Steel Specialties; Gibson Construction; Routh-Hurlbert Real Estate; and Hill, Barth and King.
All in all, it was a lovely evening that was enjoyed by all. Our thanks to all of this year’s board for their service and for the incoming board members who have agreed to serve as a member of our Club’s leadership. Together, we can indeed change lives.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on Jun 19, 2013
This week’s speaker was Matthew Slater, Director of Veterans Services, with Family and Community Services headquartered in Ravenna, Ohio.
As Matthew began his presentation he told Rotarians a little of the history of the organization. Family and Community Services is the largest private non-profit organization in northeast Ohio with a staff of more than 500 working at 32 sites in ten counties. More than 90,000 children and adults were assisted last year and the annual budget is approximately $18 million. The agency was formed in 1941 with a staff of two who offered family and child welfare services. If members were to go to the agency’s website, they could see the timeline on how the agency has grown and expanded it range of services over the past seventy years.
Family and Community expanded into Trumbull County when Valley Counseling Services was merged under their umbrella.
Matthew then shared some of the statistics about the number of homeless veterans and they were staggering. Of all homeless males, veterans account for approximately 23%. Approximately 6-8% of the homeless veteran population are women.
In 1995, the agency opened an 8-bed homeless shelter supported entirely by local funds. The drawback to doing so was that many of the services available to veterans through a VA-supported program were not available to those who stayed there. Dental care, in particular, was one such program.
The good news is that in 2006, Family and Community received a grant from the VA for a 14-bed facility in Portage County, making additional services available to the veterans who reside there. Additional facilities in Akron, Loraine, and Trumbull County are expected to open as well over time.
ndividuals wishing to learn more about Family and Community Services can log on to www.fcsohio.org. If anyone has questions about services for veterans, they can contact Matthew at 330-297-7027, extension 347.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on Jun 12, 2013
On Wednesday, June 12th, President Danette Palmer presented a check in the amount of $250 to the Butler Art Institute for its Summer Arts Day Camp. The theme of this year’s camp is Butler Celebrates Broadway. The Camp’s participants will be involved in art, dance, music and drama-related activities during the two week event. Rotary’s donation will be used to provide scholarships to Warren City or Trumbull County students. Marilyn Barcikowski accepted the check on behalf of the Butler and invited anyone who would like to see what they do to stop in between July 16 and July 26th.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on Jun 12, 2013
Our speaker this week was Mark Clendenin, Regional Business Development Manager, for the Bureau of Workers Compensation. Mark is also a Rotarian from the Jackson Township Rotary Club. He has been actively involved in his club, served as its New Generations Chair, and just hosted his 12th foreign exchange student. As he began his presentation, he said that he actively uses the 4-Way Test in his business.
Mark is one of four Regional representatives for BWC whose role is to help employers create safer work environments. They do so by providing education to employers and employees. He is responsible for 16 counties in the northeastern part of Ohio and has four offices (Youngstown, Canton, Cleveland and Garfield Heights).
Mark’s primary job is to reach out to businesses, safety councils, chambers of commerce and others with a goal to make workers safer. He said that all of the Regional Managers are former business owners, giving them a greater understanding of the challenges facing business owners today.
The overall mission of the BWC is: To protect Ohio’s workers and employers through the prevention, care and management of workplace injuries and illnesses at fair rates. This mission speaks of its commitment to keeping Ohio workers safer on the job, helping injured workers quickly return to their lives at work and home, and keeping costs down for Ohio businesses. It’s Values: Service, Simplicity, and Savings.
Some of BWCs accomplishments in 2012 were:
--Holding private employer rates steady, repeating the $65 million estimated savings from the 4-percent average rate reduction announced in FY11;
--Saving public employers an estimated $22 million through a 5-percent average rate reduction;
--Creating the Grow Ohio program to promote business development in Ohio by giving money-saving options to new businesses. Nearly 19,500 new businesses saved 25 percent on their premiums and another 1,400 chose to save by joining the Group-Retrospective-Rating Program early;
--Helping all Ohio businesses through Destination: Excellence, a newly created customizable plan that lets employers choose from seven program options to help protect the health and well-being of workers while saving money on workers’ compensation costs;
--Achieving positive outcomes for injured workers by better managing their prescription medicines, and more effectively managing their claims and treatment process.
Mark went on to tell members about some new or expanded programs coming from BWC soon under the Billion Back program. Some elements of the program have already been approved by the legislature, others are pending legislature approval. The proposals presented were:
--Requests that the BWC Board of directors authorize a one-time dividend of $1 billion for private employers and public-taxing districts (this has been approved and checks should go out in July);
--Expands the agency’s successful Safety Grant Program from $5 million to $15 million to support expanded statewide efforts to promote workplace safety and encourage further investment in protecting Ohio’s workers;
--Asks the Legislature to modernize the premium collection model by authorizing BWC to move toward a prospective-payment system and subsequently requesting that the board issue an additional $900 million to mitigate transition costs. This switch would also result in rate reductions of 2 percent for private employers and 4 percent for public employers (this still needs legislative approval).
Mark concluded by saying that BWC wants to make sure that when someone goes to work they come home safely. He encouraged anyone who might have questions about BWC or work place safety at their business to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 330-312-4713.
It was great having Mark join us today and sharing such valuable information with us.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on Jun 05, 2013
President Danette Palmer presented a $1,000 donation to Stephanie Shaw of Eastern Ohio P-16 at this week’s meeting. The check will be used to support the ACT Explore program in Warren City Schools. For those who do not know about ACT Explore, it is a program designed to help 8th and 9th graders explore a broad range of options for their future. It prepares students not only for their high school coursework but their post-high school choices as well.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger on Jun 05, 2013
We were delighted to welcome a familiar face to this week’s meeting. Marty Cohen of Mickey’s Army-Navy Store joined us to talk about what’s coming up at the Amphitheater this summer.
Marty took a few minutes to explain how he and Ken Hadaris got involved with the summer concert series. He reminded us of the early days of the Amphitheater when the Shell had not yet been added to the facility. Mayors Angelo and O’Brien approached Marty to assist with the sound system for the bands that put on free concerts. At that time, they had approximately 12 free concerts each summer. Even though the Amphitheater added to the quality of life in Warren, it was still under-utilized.
Mayor O’Brien later brought in a consultant from outside our area to help with sponsorships and the development of the concert series. It did increase the use of the facility, but still did not maximize its full potential. The consultant passed away sometime later and that was when Marty and Ken got together and took on the development of the concert series themselves.
Over the last four years, Marty and Ken have been able to increase sponsorships and draw in some excellent tribute bands. He thanked Diane Sauer Chevrolet, Generations Insurance, First Place Bank, Seven Seventeen Credit Union, and Home Savings for their generous support (all of whom are represented in Warren Rotary).
The upcoming schedule includes the following:
June 15 – 7 Bridges – The Ultimate Eagles Experience
June 22 – Gun 4 Roses – The Ultimate Guns ‘N’ Roses Experience
June 29 – Almost Queen – A Tribute to Queen
July 13 – Draw the Line – The Endorsed Aerosmith Tribute Show
July 20 – Time Traveler – A Moody Blues Tribute with Chagrin Fall Orchestra
July 27 – Wish You Were Here – Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Dark Side of the Moon
August 3 – Full Moon Fever – America’s Premier Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Tribute
August 17 – Mr. Speed – The World’s Best KISS Tribute
August 24 – Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes
In addition to the Saturday concert series, the Amphitheater is host to Summer Night Specials, Friday Night Flicks, and Harley Davidson Bike Night. Tickets to events are available at the gate, at the Sunrise Inn, or at Mickey’s Army-Navy.
To learn more about upcoming events, members can log on to www.RiverRockattheAmp.com.
We thank Marty for joining us today and for all the time he and Ken devote to making Warren such a great community through Amphitheater programming.
Posted by Cheryl Oblinger
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