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The Rotary Club of Ithaca is pleased to introduce four new members who have joined the service club during the last quarter. These community members bring professional experience from the business sector and volunteer in Tompkins County. Ithaca Rotary’s motto is “Service Above Self.” Membership is open to all community members who share in this belief; new members are accepted year-round.

 “The Ithaca Rotary Club is delighted to welcome these individuals,” said Rotary Membership Chair Ron Provus. “Our members come from all walks of life and have a wide variety of interests to match those of Rotary. As members of Ithaca Rotary, individuals give of their time and skills to positively impact the needs of our community.”


Ithaca Rotary welcomes:


ImageMatt Mullen was raised on a gentleman’s farm near Waverly, NY, where he gained an appreciation of animal husbandry. A graduate of TC-3 in Dryden, Matt worked for Rynone Manufacturing, then secured a job as an environmental technician with HADCO Corp. in Owego. In 2004, he joined his father in the family real estate business, and became a broker in 2006. They opened their second United Country Real Estate office in Ithaca this July. As managing broker, Matt hopes to extend United Country Real Estate’s reach beyond the Finger Lakes. Matt has completed nine marathons and seven triathlons. He and his family live in Spencer. They have hosted three Rotary exchange students, and their son was an exchange student to Brazil in 2009.


ImageA native of Spencer, NY, Emily Russell-Smalls graduated from Penn State University with a degree in hotel management, and spent four years working for the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Philadelphia. She returned to Ithaca in 1997 to pursue a career in development/fundraising; she has worked at Cornell, the SPCA, and Ithaca College. In 2005, she joined her mother's business, The Frame Shop on Buffalo Street, which has operated in Ithaca for 55 years. Emily is vice chair of the SPCA board, is involved with the Tompkins Chamber’s Small Business Committee, and has volunteered with the Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania, Hospicare, the Tompkins Sports Council, and the Community Arts Partnership. She is married to State Theatre concert promoter Dan Smalls.


ImageJoan Schnaper was born in The Bronx and raised in Bergen County, New Jersey. She is a retired RN with a background on coronary care and medical surgical nursing. She managed a geriatric practice, and is a certified care manager. Joan and her husband Murray moved to Ithaca 12 years ago to be near their daughter. In 1995, she started her own business – Nightingale, Inc. – an in-home assisted living service for seniors. Ten years later, she launched a second business, LifeSpan magazine, publishing information and resources for people over 50. Joan is a peer-leader of the chronic disease self-management course, and volunteers at a women’s health clinic.



ImageLisa Whitaker is the new CEO/President of CFCU Community Credit Union. Prior to joining CFCU, Lisa was COMSTAR Federal Credit Union’s president and chief executive officer for eight years, located in Maryland. Lisa has accumulated broad financial experience over a 30-year career. She is a graduate of Hood College and earned her MBA from Mount Saint Mary’s University. Lisa is a member of the Tompkins and Cortland Chambers of Commerce, and recently was appointed to the United Way of Tompkins County Board of Directors. Lisa and her family are in the process of moving to Ithaca from the greater Washington D.C. area.


New Rotary members are invited to serve on projects and committees that are beneficial to Ithaca and the global community. Activities range from a few hours to longer time commitments. New members meet fellow Rotarians at weekly luncheon meetings held at the Holiday Inn downtown beginning at Noon every Wednesday. The public is welcome to attend a lunch meeting to learn more about Rotary.