Vol. 108, No. 46, May 15, 2024
Next Meeting 
When:Friday, May 17, 2024
Where:Lansing Community College, Michigan Room
Address:600 N. Grand Ave., Park in Gannon Ramp
Speaker:Patrick Wells-O'Brien, VP, Communications & External Relations
Topic:"Saving Lives Through Organ Donation"
Chair of the Day: Chris Swope
Reflection:Bob Hoffman
Greeter:Linda Sarnelli
Editarian: Tim Adams
Microphone:Denise Donahue
Chair of the Month:Chris Swope
 
Biography for Patrick Wells-O'Brien
Patrick Wells-O'Brien is Vice President of Communications and External Relations for Gift of Life Michigan, the state’s federally designated organ procurement organization. As one of the senior leaders of Gift of Life, Wells-O’Brien is responsible for internal and external communications, community engagement, public education, governmental affairs, donor family support services, and fundraising. Wells-O’Brien recently led the legislative effort for Michigan to be the first state in the nation to add the organ donor registry question to state income tax forms. In 2022, he initiated the state’s largest marketing campaign to grow the Michigan Organ Donor Registry.
 
Prior to joining Gift of Life Michigan in January 2021, he was the founding president and CEO of FAITH Catholic, America’s largest publisher of Catholic periodicals and one of America’s largest Catholic marketing and communications services companies. FAITH Catholic serves numerous Catholic organizations with magazine publishing, communications consulting, web solutions, parish resources, and marketing services. From 2009 to 2019, O’Brien led the Diocese of Lansing communications, marketing, and technology efforts.
 
Prior to forming FAITH magazine, O’Brien worked in advertising serving clients such as Case, Caterpillar, Pfizer, Rhone Poulenc, and Lincoln-Mercury. O’Brien graduated from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit with a BFA in 1993 and completed two years of graduate work at the University of St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein Seminary.
 
Wells-O’Brien and his husband, Demetrike, live in Ann Arbor. He serves on the board of SafeHouse, Ann Arbor. Prior board service has included: Trustee, Sacred Heart College; Trustee, Catholic Televsion Network, Board Member, Holy Cross Services
Resigned Members
The following members have recently elected to resign from our club.
  • Tim Daman
  • Andi Earl
  • Jay Smith
Service Project Completed
 
 
 
 Great group worked on the Service Project this month at Greater Lansing Food Bank:  Kurt Guter, Kayla Park, Sam Tucker, President Nick Heriford, Evan Winter, Todd Gute, Jennifer Marsh (Treasurer), Chris Nugent, Craig Spencer, Kevin Schumacher and John Shaski.  
 
Thank you Rotarians!!
Editarian Report for May 10, 2024
Call to Order President Nick called the meeting to order at 12:30 p.m. and led Rotarians in the recitation of the Four-Way Test.
 
Reflection
 
Bobby Hoffman reflected that today we are surrounded by people who have achieved greatness, including our guest speaker. They remind us of what’s possible when we work diligently toward our goals. Bob invited us to take inspiration from their success as we look ahead. It is through their actions and achievements that we’re inspired to envision a future guided by principles of equality, peace, and compassion. As we navigate the path ahead, he urged us to draw strength from their example, set by those who have shown dedication to their endeavors. Their success reminds us of the importance of upholding values that transcend boundaries and unite us in a common purpose. In our pursuit of a brighter future, we should remain committed to the ideals encapsulated in the Rotary Four-Way Test. By adhering to the principles of truth, fairness, goodwill, and benefit for all, we ensure that our actions contribute positively to the world around us. As we express gratitude for the blessings, opportunities, and responsibilities that come our way, be mindful of the impact we can make through our service as Rotarians. With renowned optimism and shared commitment to service, continue forward, guided by the belief that together, we can make a difference.
 
Patriotic Song
 
Rotarians sang “America the Beautiful,” accompanied by Hari Kern on piano.
 
Introduction of Guests & Visiting Rotarians
 
Michelle Reynaert introduced her friend, Patrick Sustrich, who has a long history of involvement with all things health and wellness. He helped create Alive in Charlotte.
 
In addition to our guest speaker, Catherine Matthews, her husband, Dr. Terry Matthews of Skin Boss Med Spa and Lansing Urgent Care was in attendance, along with her father, Gus Peponis; Amy Treat, Great Lakes Engineering Group; Hillary Myers, Senior Executive Director of Operations for Skin Boss Med Spa and Lansing Urgent Care; and Michael Nauss, Vice President of Cognia International, Bob Hoffman’s husband.
 
Health of the Club
 
For the Health of the Club, President Nick reported that he had no news, which typically means that everyone is healthy and happy. Hooray!
 
Announcements
 
Cam Gnass was in New York City the last couple of days. He’d seen on Instagram a post about a new restaurant there called Hamburger America. Cam loves good burgers. He walked into this hamburger place and waited in line so he could sit at the burger bar and watch the cooks prepare the burger of the month for April, which was extended into May. It was the Butter Burger. Then Cam opened the menu, and read, “Burger of the month for May: Weston’s Kewpee Hamburger, Lansing, Michigan.” He reread it a couple of times, thinking “This doesn’t even make sense. It’s their Olive Burger.” He then sees people carrying Yeti coolers into the restaurant. The server approaches him and asks, “What are you going to have?” Cam tells her, “Well, I see the Olive Burger’s on here.” She said, “Yeah, I know, we’re so excited, and they’re actually unloading it right now.” Cam asked, “Who’s they?” She replied, "The Weston family. They’re actually sisters.” Cam turned around, and saw Autumn Weston standing there. She walked by, and the server said, “Wait, Autumn. Do you know this guy from Lansing?” Autumn said, “Oh yeah, you’re the design guy.” Cam knew Autumn from different events that they both attended. As they’re talking, out comes George Motz, the guy who opened this restaurant. Cam and George were holding court, and everyone else was leaning in going, “No way, Lansing Olive Burger?” George, who opened the restaurant at the end of 2023 is nationally famous. He has YouTube channels and he’s on all late-night TV shows. He’s a world-famous guy and is all about burgers. The second burger that he was featuring in New York City in the West Village/SoHo area is from Lansing, Michigan. “Right down the street from here is a very, very popular, 100-year-old-ish business being featured in New York City at a very hot restaurant,” Cam gushed. He then encouraged everyone to grab a burger on 517 day!
 
Cam was then prompted to share that while he was in New York, he picked up an international design award for a new brand his company, Traction, just completed for a 40-year-old mustard company, Mucky Duck. Traction did a redesign of their packaging and received a silver medal in the dieline category.
 
Speaking of other world-famous things from Lansing, President Nick announced that Jeff Crippen held Crippen’s 50-year anniversary celebration and donated one $5,000 and 10 $200 gifts. The Foundation was one of 10 recipients of a $200 gift. Thank you, Jeff!
 
New member orientations will be Thursday, May 23, from 3:30 – 4:30, prior to the social gathering at Lansing Shuffle.
 
After today’s meeting, the DEI Committee will meet in the Presidential Dining Room. See Bilky afterward for that meeting.
 
President Nick gave an update on the Paul Harris campaign last month, which goes to Rotary International’s foundation. Thus far, we have given $11,042 with 60 participants, which is great, however, that’s only 38% of the club, so there’s still work to do. Checks are still coming in. If you haven’t done that, there’s still time. The district has a matching program, so if you have donated, they’ve extended the matching-point program. If you’re interested in the match, that incentive goes through June 15. See Cathy to get credit for that.
 
The Planned Giving Meeting is May 15 at the University Club at 11:45 a.m. Cathy needs to put in an RSVP for that, so see her if you plan to attend. Currently, there are 15 or 16 interested members.
 
Chair of the Month/Chair of the Day
 
President Nick thanked Chris Swope for being Chair of the Day and Month, and invited him to the podium to introduce today’s speaker. Chris reminded Rotarians that Catherine Matthews’ impressive bio is in the Rotogram.
 
The first time Chris met her, he said, set an example of who she is. Bob Hoffman and Michael Nauss were friends of Catherine and Terry Matthews, and invited Chris and Bradly Rakowski to join them for a weekend at their place on the west side of the state. Chris and Bradly drove separately. When they arrived, “Of course, Bobby and Michael were late, because they’re always late,” Chris laughed. So Chris and Bradly knocked on the door. “Catherine and Terry were both so warm, welcoming and generous with their home and with their caring personalities, which exemplified who they are.” As chair of the month, Chris felt compelled to invite Catherine to speak today.
 
Catherine introduced herself and started her PowerPoint presentation with photos of her childhood and her dad, who used to say he’s a Michigan fan, because all of his money went to the University of Michigan, where Catherine attended college. When Catherine became good friends with Lupe Izzo, her dad became a Spartan fan.
 
Catherine graduated summa cum laude from UofM College of Engineering with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. She got a job with General Electric in the days of Jack Welch – a great training ground for everything business. She was in one of their leadership programs. She learned about leadership, did a lot of different jobs and learned about the business she was in.
 
When she graduated, her friends went to really cool places in Chicago, New York City and California. She, on the other hand, went to Schenectady, New York.
 
“It was actually pretty cool,” she said. The campus she worked on was where Thomas Edison’s first lab was, which is a museum. She got her first-ever business cards, and the ZIP code for Schenectady is 12345. She worked for GE as an engineer for 12 years until she left to work on Lansing Urgent Care full time. For about three years she worked both jobs, working from her Lansing Urgent Care desktop and her GE laptop simultaneously. Her dad did the talking for her while she was on conference calls.
 
Catherine received her Six Sigma Blackbelt certification from GE. Six Sigma takes a statistical approach to quality. She was a Blackbelt for six months and then became a Master Blackbelt. She worked on a lot of cool projects to improve processes in her business unit and saved the business a lot of money. Being an engineer, she’s a math person, and she really loves Six Sigma.
 
She has dual citizenship with the United States and the United Kingdom, where her mom is from. Her mom moved to the United States in the ’70s to travel the world. She went to Australia, then New York City, and then went to Detroit, where she met Catherine’s dad and decided to stay. She’s the only one in her family who left England, so Catherine has a lot of family there and decided to get her citizenship. She travels between the two countries frequently.
 
Catherine loves to cook and eat great food. She’s fortunate to have friends who love to cook. Her brother was a fine-dining chef for 20 years, working for the Ritz-Carlton. He now works for Catherine and Terry. She credits her brother for bringing up her cooking game.
 
Her hobbies include reading. She’s been taking ballroom dancing lessons – on and off again – in the summer for about 25 years. She said this surprises those who’ve played sports with her in the past. “I’m bad at sports. I don’t have good hand-eye coordination, but for some reason, I can dance.
 
” A lot of people ask why she decided to open an urgent care business. “It started with a love story,” she said.
 
She and Terry got married in 2004. He has a huge entrepreneurial spirit. She remembered being on a business trip in China with GE. She was on her way home when he told her he had a great surprise for her. She thought he got her a Karmann Ghia or new doors for the bedroom in their new house. But when she pulled up to the house, she realized the surprise was “not the Karmann Ghia. It’s probably the doors.” She went upstairs to the bedroom and announced that she was home. Terry said, “I found this surprise for you.” It was a website that he built to pitch a business idea. At the time, she oversaw IT for GE and managed a team of 20 people who built web-based applications for 30,000 users across the world.
 
“It was kind of ugly,” she said of the site, laughing, but Terry was excited about it. She described Terry is a risk taker. He told her he wanted to be in control of his own destiny and thought this new business venture was something they could do together. They started planning it on their first anniversary, and opened their doors on Aug. 15, 2006. She tells her friends, “If he would have come to me after 20 years of marriage and said, ‘Hey, let’s quit our great jobs and open a business, I’d be like, are you crazy?’”
 
They were aware of the need in the community for an urgent care. There were just a couple of places that the community could access for that type of care. They decided to fill the need. “How hard could it be?” they thought.
 
“Ignorance is bliss,” Terry chimed in from the head table.
 
She said it wasn’t easy, but it was worth it. They wanted a welcoming environment for patients; a place where patients felt heard and valued. Kindness and compassion are important factors for them – with their patients, staff and everyone. They also wanted to establish a great place for people to go to work, where they felt valued. They wanted their employees to feel like part of the family. They’ve never laid anyone off, even during the pandemic. They knew they could do urgent care better, and provide the community with a unique and quality experience.
 
They took the plunge and bought a building. Terry called her when she was on yet another business trip and announced that he’d found the perfect building in Frandor. They put in a lot of sweat equity – they didn’t have a ton of money – and they did all the painting themselves. They had a lot of help from parents, family and friends to open the business.
 
Their first day of business, they had six patients, but it took off from there.
 
Lansing Urgent Care had a unique staffing model at the time: Four employees, all of them unpaid. Catherine, her dad, her mom (she’d retired from Chrysler as an industrial nurse to work for them and had a stroke in 2014) and Terry. When they got a new EMR, Catherine’s mom decided to retire for good. For eight months, she was the nurse and Terry was the doctor. Her parents lived in Warren at the time but weren’t sure the business would take off, so instead of selling their home, they lived with the Matthews’. Eventually, they moved to Lansing. Catherine and Terry hired their first and second employees: Melissa worked the front desk, and Pearl was the medical assistant. Both are still with Lansing Urgent Care, and Pearl is now a manager.
 
Catherine and Terry used Six Sigma concepts. They and their entire management team are Lean Health Care certified. They knew their patients wanted to get in, get out, get better.
 
They promoted from within – a concept Catherine learned from GE. They believed, if you’re smart, you can figure it out. They strive for a culture of kindness and compassion by hiring people with kindness in their hearts and a desire to help people. They have a lot of fun. They participate in and support local events. When Catherine had breast cancer last year, her staff rallied around and supported her. “We don’t take ourselves too seriously,” she said, showing off some of Lansing Urgent Care’s humorous advertising campaigns.
 
LUC’s Growth Timeline
 
2006 – Opened first location on Clippert Street in Frandor
2010 – Second location in Okemos – just celebrated 10-year anniversary
2012 – Westside location opened
2014 – Southside location opened
2015 – DeWitt location opened (bought building from the old Downtown Medical Center Group and flipped it in three weeks) and launched occupational medicine program as well, where they work with employers to do things like DOT physicals, new-hire physicals, drug-screening, work comp, etc.
2016 – Opened Bath location near Monticello’s – built from ground up. Added 24-7 at Frandor location to respond to need in community, especially with ERs being so crowded; bridge gap for less-acute issues.
2018 – Mason location opened
2020 – COVID hit. Lots of places didn’t want to do COVID testing or care. LUC was one of the locations that did both. “We were busy,” Catherine said. They doubled their patient load; it was all hands on deck. Management team were trained to vaccinate.
2021 – Grand Ledge location opened.
 
Additional Businesses
 
2020 – Opened Skin Boss Med Spa opened – they have a great team of super-talented women who do wonderful things for the community (anti-aging, teenage acne) that help people feel good about themselves.
2022 – Opened the Speed Collection – Terry and Catherine’s son work on this business together to provide modern, exotic sports cars and make clients’ automotive dreams a reality.
 
Charities Catherine Supports
 
Izzo Legacy Family Fund
Greater Lansing Food Bank
Capital Area Humane Society
Child and Family Charities
St. Jude’s for Children
 
My favorite of Catherine’s quotes was “Surround yourself with people who will lift you higher,” by Oprah Winfrey. What was your favorite?
 
The meeting adjourned at 1:30 p.m.  
 
Email for Lolo Robison:  LRobison@cata.org
Speakers
May 23, 2024
4:30 to 6:00 p.m. Appetizers and Cash Bar
May 31, 2024
Jun 07, 2024
Tantay
Jun 14, 2024
Pickleball Courts
View entire list
Rotary Club of Lansing
P. O. Box 13156
Lansing, MI   48901-3156
Meeting Responsibilities
May Birthday Chair
Millbrook, Courtney
 
Chair of the Month
Swope, Chris
 
Editarian
Adams, Timothy
 
Chair of the Day
Swope, Chris
 
Reflection
Hoffman, Robert
 
Microphone
Donahue, Denise
 
Greeter
Sarnelli, Linda