President: Catrina VanAtta
President-Elect: Mary Kane
Vice President: Joe Giordano
Treasurer: Kati Flynn • Secretary: Joanne Lamoureux 

News 2022-02-23
February 23, 2022
Newsletter Reporter:  Kelly Buck


President Catrina opened the hybrid meeting with the Four-Way Test read in unison by all.
Visiting Rotarian Kathryn Mapes from the former Lansing Ithaca Club introduced herself.


Aly Evans made two:
  • the Meals on Wheels Mac ‘N Cheese Bowl is coming back on Wednesday, May 4!  It will be held at the Ithaca Farmer’s Market from 4:30 to 7:00 pm.
  • She asked for Rotary volunteers to do “Notes for Neighbors” for the month of April.  These handwritten notes will be delivered along with meals to elderly clients.
Frank Towner advised the group that he and Ron Provus are busy “doing membership stuff” and have set a new club goal of 200.  We currently have 144 members of record; please help us get our numbers back up to 200 by introducing likely candidates to the club.  Get a business card from Frank or Ron that invites potential members to come to a Rotary meeting; lunch is on us!
As an aside, Frank is now at the Cayuga Medical Center Foundation as a Foundation Specialist.
Dale Flinn gave an update on the Rotary Foundation.  Of our 144 members, 127 are donors to the Foundation, and that’s remarkable.  Bravo!  We must keep up the momentum.  Last year’s goals were: $13,000 for the annual fund, and we surpassed that with $17,779.  Our PolioPlus goal was $2,000 and we far exceeded that with $5,540.  Our club is on a roll!  Please continue the generous giving.


Gertrude Noden is trying to stay optimistic and hopeful.  She shared these two quotes:
  • “The Sustainable Development Goals are more important now than ever.  Now is the time to secure the well-being of people, economies, societies, and our planet.” —António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations
  •  “This is not the time to neglect human rights; it is a time when, more than ever, human rights are needed to navigate this crisis in a way that will allow us, as soon as possible, to focus again on achieving equitable sustainable development and sustaining peace.” —Collen Vixen Kelapile, President, ECOSOC


Serenna McCloud introduced herself!  A lawyer, herbalist, and soap maker, she is currently the featured Member of the Week through the Chamber of Commerce.  Serenna was also recently featured in Tompkins Weekly’s section of People of Color in Business.  She is the mother of two sons.


Serenna then introduced today’s speaker, Michelle Courtney Berry.  A former chief of marketing at Alternatives Credit Union and a past Tompkins County poet laureate, Michelle earned her BA from Binghamton University and an MPS from Cornell.  She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta.
Michelle works with C-suite level executives on health and wellness in the workplace, tackling “Challenges and Opportunities in the New Era at Work:  Why Employee Wellness and Cooperative Coaching are Your Keys to Success During ‘The Great Resignation’.”
Michelle stated that 5+ million people left their jobs in late 2021.  How do leaders become better managers during Covid?  The more they can lower stress levels and build up workplace wellness, the better we all will be.  A conference she attended underscored how much employee wellness and mindfulness are connected to the bottom line.  It really looked at stress-related illness and absenteeism.  We need to fortify employee resiliency and reduce conflict and tension, not always easy when some are in the office and others are working remotely.  This creates “proximity bias,” wherein staff working in person appear to receive preferential treatment while those working from home may miss out on benefits and opportunities.  Managing different workstyles remotely and in person is difficult.
When trying to determine how high stress-related problems run, Michelle looks at two things: how absenteeism affects productivity and health insurance rates, and interestingly, the incidence of office supply theft.  Employees who do not feel valued tend to steal from the office.

President Catrina closed out the meeting with a reminder that Coltivare is now offering to-go lunch options.  She also asked that all Rotarians complete the quick survey she’ll send out soon, asking how they expect to attend March meetings so that Coltivare can plan accordingly.


Newsletter Reporter:  Kelly Buck
Newsletter Facilitator:  Loralyn Light
Zoom Team:  Rich Sholtys and Brett Bossard
Set-Up Crew:  Joe Giordano, Steve Johnson, Dave Martin
Club Service Facilitators:  Beverly Baker and June Losurdo