Posted by Kevin V. B. Schumacher
John Dale Smith set the mood with some of the best pre-meeting elevator music since the Blues Brothers’ elevator scene (who knew paying property taxes could be so adventurous). You really do need to pay attention to the music he plays each week, frequently themed to the season, the speaker, history, or just plain pleasant to listen to. Newly minted President Courtney brought us to order and Cam Gnass gave the weekly Rotary Reflection about good memories and good company and in a pleasant twist, he lead us in the 4 way test. Our patriotic song this week was God Bless America, once again with John Dale Smith on the piano.
Lolo Robison handled the introduction of guests and visiting Rotarians and yours truly reported on the Health of the Club. While we all appeared in fine fettle, our membership numbers are pandemically anemic. We were at 180 members last July and we’re standing on 166 today. We have an annual attrition rate of 13% and an annual attraction rate of 8%, which means on the whole, we’re losing 5% per year. The Club Board set a goal to maintain the Club at 175 members. We will employ a number of strategies to hold the line (think Hodor from Game of Thrones, best reveal ever): 1) mentoring new members to help retain new members longer by helping them see the benefits of long term membership, 2) reaching out to existing members to re-engage with the Club; 3) Actively recruiting leaders in our Community who have already demonstrated that they live by the 4 Way Test and to help shape future membership to be representative of the Lansing Community we serve. This is an all hands on deck call so if you’ve been wondering about how you can serve the Club, this is it! Reach out to me,, Chris Swope at and we’ll make sure your talents aren’t wasted on your day job.
Lansing Rotary Foundation President Sandy Dragoo gave an update on our Foundation’s giving history (more than $3 million) and a recent decision to have grant recipients report back to the Club so that we can see our Foundation dollars at work in the community. Sue Mills then took to the dais and reported on the PPPA: the Patriarche Park Pickleball Association. Sue Mills’ Pickleball perspicuity was unsurpassed as she proceeded to pepper us with more perspectives on Pickleball than I thought possible. I think she set a record for properly pronouncing Pickleball in a speech. Our Foundation, the East Lansing Rotary Club the City of East Lansing, the MEDC and 191 individual donors contributed funds to improve East Lansing’s Patriarche Park with new Pickleball Courts. Construction should start yet this fall and be ready for Pickleball play next spring.
Ken Beachler introduced our special music, Lindsey Campbell and Christine Glassman who performed renditions of Till There was You and Being in Love from Evolve Theatrics presentation of The Music Man in Lake Odessa this past weekend. Evolve Theatrics is a Delta Township-based theater group: . As always, special music in and of itself makes the Friday trip to Rotary worthwhile.
Courtney then turned the podium over to chair of the day Chris Holman with his used car dealer smooth pitch and Hollywood worthy smile. Chris lined up transportation related speakers for the month and this week’s speaker was Glenn Stevens, Executive Director of Michauto, a “mobility cluster association” and part of the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce’s economic prosperity strategy. Glenn presented a dizzying array of stats on the automotive industry and Michigan. The goal for all in Michigan is to make Michigan the Global Center of Mobility. Mr. Stevens warned that those who “miss the inflection point fall harder” pointing out that the future of mobility is tech based and those who count on the automotive industry as part of their base need to keep that front and center. Michigan is home to $304 Billion in annual automotive related economics. That’s 1.1 million employees, 26 OEMs in Michigan. Little known fact, Hyundai has more than 1,000 employees in Michigan. It is expected that by 2030, 25% of vehicles will be fully electric, that 1 million vehicles in Michigan. By comparison, 5% of car cost in 1970 was attributed to electronics vs 2030 it is expected to be 50%. It is estimated that in the coming years, 85 million jobs will be displaced by tech, but that 97 new jobs will be created by tech. All in all, a very interesting presentation.
President Courtney thanked our speaker, gave him the Rotary 4 way test and sent us on our happy its summer way.  We will meet next week at the Lansing Center and our speaker will be Dr. Henry Liu, Professor and Director of University of Michigan's Mcity.
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