What's New at Lansing Rotary
When: Friday, November 17th, 2017
Where: Lansing Center, First Floor
Speakers: Gabrielle Haskins,  Julie Thomasma, Gabrielle Lawrence and Ron Horowitz
Topic: New Member Presentation 
Chair of the Day: Darwin Brewster
Invocator: Laurie Baumer
Chair of the Month: Sam Tucker
Remembrance: Sandy Draggoo
Greeter: Tim Daman & Justin Sheehan
Editarian: Kevin Schumacher
Kenneth BeachlerArmy/Navy
Darwin BrewsterAir Force
Michael CavanaughArmy
Frank CherfArmy WW II
Michael ClarkNavy
Kent CoenenArmy
Donald ColizziMarines
Jefferey ConnellArmy
Robert CorwinArmy
Edward CrouseAir Force
William DansbyArmy
Jack DavisArmy
Jeffrey DettloffNavy
James DixonNavy
Jack DraperMarines
Lars Egede-NissenNavy
Ronald FlinnArmy
John Grettenberger, Sr.Navy
Rick GuilfordAir Force
Kurt GuterArmy
Donald HinesNavy
Joel HoffmanNavy
Paul LinnellNavy
James McGillicuddyAir Force & Army
Edward McReeArmy
Irv NicholsNavy
F. Karl NeumannAir Force
George NugentArmy
David O'LearyArmy
Ronald SeelyAir Force
Ronald SchuonArmy
Dean SienkoArmy
Curt SonnenbergArmy
J. Clyde SpencerArmy
Craig SpencerNavy
John StephensonMarines
Craig StilesArmy
Frank Tegge25th infantry Div.
Duane VernonArmy
If anyone has been missed, please email:   cathy@lansingrotary.com
Lansing Rotary was called to order a few minutes early to allow enough time for our special guests. President Darwin rang the bell and we sang the National Anthem (in especially good voice thanks to one of our special guests.) Mike Abel delivered a thoughtful invocation.
Julie Durham carried the microphone for the introduction of the many guests who joined us. Some of the guests were prospective Rotarians. Some were already in the process of becoming new members. Sandy Draggoo reported that Susie Carter is recovering from foot surgery. Otherwise, the health of the Club is good. President Darwin reminded everyone to be sure to “Fall back” this weekend for Daylight Saving Time.
For Lansing Rotary’s Special Music we got to hear from Bob Baldori (a music legend in his own right) that our Special Music guest was the now-famous Lucas Holliday. Lucas performed with Lansing-area bands while being a cashier at the Dollar Store in South Lansing. We could see why, when a customer at the Dollar Store in Lansing put a video of Lucas singing on YouTube, it got 14 million views. The video resulted in many different offers and a contact from The Voice television show. Bob said that they could not reveal anything that happens in the future of the show but we should keep watching The Voice. After singing a beautiful rendition of “Autumn Leaves” Lucas sang an amazing arrangement of “Superstar” that displayed the stunning range of his voice. Finally, Lucas delivered a heartfelt version of his iconic, blind audition-clinching “This Woman’s Work” which you can see here: https://www.nbc.com/the-voice/video/lucas-holiday-blind-audition-this-womans-work/3591125 Rotarians thanked Lucas and wished him well with a standing ovation.
Chair of the Day, Jack Davis introduced our speaker, Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero.  Having led Lansing through a recession, the General Motors bankruptcy, and other major challenges, Mayor Bernero accomplished a lot in his twelve years in office. An emphasis was economic development, erasing $80 million in city deficits, and listening to business leaders in the then-newly-formed Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP). Mayor Bernero has fostered bold changes, like “regionalizing” the Potter Park Zoo so that it’s funded countywide, not just by the City of Lansing. He also led the locally unprecedented sharing of the fire chief between the City of Lansing and East Lansing.
Mayor Bernero was “fired up.” “Only people over 50 say ‘Greater Lansing.’ Millennials say ‘Metro Lansing.’ Get with it. Lansing’s been through hell but now it’s thriving. Don’t compare us with Grand Rapids or Kalamazoo until you give us a few billionaires [like those cities have.]”
“The natural order of things in Michigan (and other Northwest Territory states) is decline. City success is like pushing a boulder uphill. Michigan doubled down on stupidity with the ‘Charter Township Act’ which made it impossible for cities to grow and [made] for growth to be only outside of the cities.”
Mayor Bernero knows the people of the region to be “people of excellence.” However, he’s frustrated by the reluctance of the townships to stand behind the concept of the success of metro Lansing. “You fly into LAN, not into the ‘Capitol Region.’ When you travel you don’t say you’re from X - Township, you say you’re from Lansing.” With a few exceptions like the Accident Fund Group, companies build headquarters “out in the fields.” That puts people out in the fields too. “Transportation, land use, economic development, etc. are all structured against cities. Perceptions are hard to change. We need an ethic of ‘We’re going to make it happen. Like the millionaires and billionaires did in Detroit. Now Detroit is coming back.”
“There will be tough decisions for the new mayor- legacy costs, etc. Meanwhile the state and federal governments are imposing more unfunded mandates. Regional cooperation is necessary and smart for leveraging our assets and our people. Our institutions like Michigan State University, Cooley Law School, Lansing Community College, etc. don't accept mediocrity.  Our people shouldn't accept it from their governments either."
In response to questions, Mayor Bernero said, “Great progress has been made in the past eight years.” And, while there is talk of the City Council and the mayor not getting along, “Democracy is messy.” He said the next mayor definitely needs a stronger business community that will step up its influence. “While LEAP gets things done, it is apolitical.”
Lansing Rotarians gave the mayor a standing ovation. President Darwin thanked the mayor and reminded us again to turn our clocks back for Daylight Saving Time, and adjourned the meeting.
Helen Micken's email is:  hpmickens@gmail.com
Club Information

Welcome to the Rotary Club of Lansing


District 6360
Club ID 2939

We meet Fridays at 12:00 PM
The Lansing Center
333 E. Michigan Avenue
Lansing, MI  48923
United States
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