What's New at Lansing Rotary
When: Friday, February 28, 2020
Where: The Lansing Center, Second Floor
Time: Noon
Speaker: Dianne Byrum, Chair, MSU Board of Trustees
Topic:"Why Am I Excited About the Next Decade at MSU?"
Chair of the Day: Jack Davis
Invocator: Glenn Granger
Greeter: Kurt Hanus
Chair of the Month:  Paula Cunningham
Remembrance: Diane Sanborn
Editarian: Pam Miklavcic
Dianne Byrum was elected to the Board of Trustees in 2008 and again in 2016. Byrum is a founding partner at Byrum & Fisk Advocacy Communications, a public relations firm she started in 2006, with offices in East Lansing and Grand Rapids. Before that, she was the Michigan House Democratic Leader, the first woman to lead a caucus in the state. Byrum was first elected to the Michigan House in 1991, and to the state Senate in 1995, returning to the House in 2002. She served on the Ingham County Board of Commissioners from 1983 to 1990. Byrum is the current chairperson of the Board of Trustees and was the co-chair for the presidential search committee that resulted in the hiring of President Samuel Stanley as the 21st president at MSU.
She is married to Jim Byrum and they have two adult children and four grandsons.
This matching program is to help our members reach their next Paul Harris or your first by matching the money needed to reach that level.  You make a contribution of half the amount needed to reach the next Paul Harris, make sure Cathy has your donation.  A form will be completed so the District will match your contribution with the available points.  The "Earn a Reward" Points Match Challenge will continue until May 31, 2020, or until the pool of donated points is exhausted.
IF you donate via credit card, please email your receipt to Cathy to insure your matching funds.
We normally do our Paul Harris appeal in April, but we didn't want to miss out on this opportunity.  If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask:  cathy@lansingrotary.com or Paul Harris Chair, Donna Gardner, donnag0920@gmail.com
Promptly at 12:25 pm on bitter cold Valentines Day at the Lansing Center, President, Pat Hanes brought our meeting to order with a gentle tap on the Rotary bell. The club rose to sing a patriotic song, today “God Bless America” followed by the invocation(s) first from Irv Nichols, followed by Rebecca Bahar-Cook a high school classmate with today’s speaker Attorney General Dana Nessel.
Next up was the introduction of our many guests and visiting Rotarians, including a Rotarian who shall remain nameless for his own protection, who brought his wife to Rotary for a “romantic” Valentine Day lunch and a visiting Rotarian from our states thumb area. Diane Sanborn reported to the club that Sarah Garcia is recovering from recent back surgery, the rest of the club’s health is good.
Diane Sanborn also presented the club and President Pat with a flag from the Antigua Rotary Club in Guatemala, which she visited on her recent trip on behalf of our club.
Next President Pat skipped our regular announcements to keep the program on track and turned over the program for special music to Lisa Smith to introduce herself. Lisa entertained us with two romantic songs. First with “Look of Love” which was clear to all of us in the room Lisa only had the “Look of Love” for Dave O’Leary. Appropriately, next was the song “Valentine”. Both songs were expertly accompanied by John Dale Smith as usual.
President Pat moved the program along, recognizing Paula Cunningham as chair of the month and reluctantly President Pat turned the microphone over to our chair of the day, Kelly Rossman. Many of you may recall that Kelly is a member of our club, but has been missing in action, since she took on new responsibilities of Press Secretary for Attorney General Diane Nessel. Kelly quickly reacclimated as a member of our club, reminding those in attendance that she is one of our club’s original “Ovarian Rotarians” with over 30 years of service to our club.
Kelly in her remarks described our speaker as a smart, funny and demanding boss. She remarked that Attorney General Nessel won’t allow those around her to just provide her with talking points on any subject and demands a full understanding of all the issues her office faces in representing our state.
Attorney General Nessel began by emphasizing her vision is to be a hands-on leader at the Attorney General’s office in the way long time Attorney General Frank Kelly did for 37 years as our state’s attorney general. Just as Frank Kelly pioneered the office by being the first state attorney general to establish a consumer protection agency, Attorney General Nessel is making a priority of protection for our state’s citizens from modern day criminals, who use technology to perpetrate their crimes with threatening robocalls, cybercrimes and identity theft.
In the spirit of Valentines Day, Attorney General Nessel began her presentation warning us of “Valentines” scams (aka looking for love in all the wrong places), such as dating websites that once you sign up many find it impossible to unregister from to website designers and users trying to get personal information from others by taking advantage of their vulnerabilities. Other scams pressure people to send expensive gifts or try to set up first time meetings in private places, which can lead to violent assaults or even murder.
Next up is our seasonal tax scams, usually by stealing personal data to file phony tax refund claims. The best way to protect our selves from these scams is to file early, protect the personal data included on the returns by filing over secure internet connections only or making the trip to the post office to mail your return, rather than trusting your own mailbox to send the return. Always remember the Internal Revenue Service and Michigan Department of Treasury will not call you demanding payment of taxes or threaten to have your arrested for non-payment of taxes. Whenever you are threatened over the phone or internet with payment of taxes, if you are in doubt contact the tax authority independently to verify the claim before sending a payment. Finally, no taxing authority will demand payment with gift cards or wire transfers.
Another common security threat in our state is spoofing of legitimate government agencies, such as the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to gain your personal information. Always be cautious and suspicious of such demands and do not be afraid to hang up and call the agency back independently at the number listed at the agency’s website.
As we start to thaw out from winter, be aware Spring brings the season of home repair/improvement scams. Individuals will stop by your home, usually mentioning they are working in the area and have some leftover supplies from the jobs they are working on with offers for discounted repairs to your home.
In all the Attorney Generals office receives over 10,000 complainants annually. Attorney General Nessel assured us that these complaints do not go ignored and we can all help their office by reporting these crimes in order to allow them to follow up and investigate.
Finally, one of our states most vulnerable citizens are the elderly, who can fall prey to schemes such as the grandchild in emergency need of funds or medical device scams, to perpetrate Medicare fraud. Attorney General Nessel announced that her office has formed an elder abuse task force, by teaming with other state and federal agencies, including law enforcement to not only identify criminal schemes, but to investigate and prosecute those who perpetrate these crimes.
To date the task force has developed tools for law enforcement to track elder abuse crimes. Tool such as standardizing the forms used to document and report elder abuse claims statewide, which allows for law enforcement to gain the specific data needed by prosecutors to bring these criminals to justice. The task force is currently focused on three areas of most concern for our state’s senior citizens. First are solutions to full time guardianship assignments, the task for example is advocating legislation to require certification and continuing education of guardians in our state. Better court oversight of guardian decisions, such as approval by the court to remove a citizen from their home. Second, the task force is focusing on prevention of others selling the property of senior citizens. Finally, putting protections in place to avoid situations where others with influence over an elderly person isolating them from contact with their families.
In summary Attorney General Nessel left us with some resources we should know about to help her agency combat these crimes. If you think you may be or have become a victim of any of these crimes call her office at (877) 765-8388 to file a complaint. More importantly you can protect yourself by following some simple steps in your day, such as if you don’t recognize a number calling your phone simply do not answer the call or if you do answer do not feel threatened by these callers intimidating tactics and just hang up. Lastly live by the old adage “if is sounds too good to be true, it probably is” and pass on the offers the too good to be true propositions from others.
With that President Hanes brought the meeting to a close, with a donation in the speaker’s honor for bio sand filter water project in the Dominican Republic. We will be meeting next Friday at the Lansing Center.
Tim Adam's email is:  tadams@manercpa.com
Upcoming Speakers
Kristine Kuhnert, Director of Ele's Place
Mar 06, 2020
at the Lansing Center
Eric Elliott, Owner
Mar 13, 2020
Reputation Beverage at the Country Club
Grace French, President
Mar 20, 2020
The Army of Survivors at the Lansing Center
Amy Morris, Cindy Wagner & Dennis Laidler
Mar 27, 2020
"Potter Park Zoo" at the Country Club
Club Information

Welcome to the Rotary Club of Lansing



We meet Fridays at 12:00 PM
Lansing Center @ Noon
333 E. Michigan Avenue
Lansing, MI 48933
United States of America
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