President: Mary Kane
President-Elect: "Les Six"
Vice President: Angela Sullivan
Treasurer: Kati Flynn
Secretary: Joanne Lamoureux 

News 2022-09-28
September 28, 2022
Reporter:  Joanne Lamoureux

Wednesday’s meeting:
Presentation of Community Grants
Kelly Buck and Bob Gravani
St. Catherine of Siena and on Zoom
Join the Zoom meeting


Mary Berens; photo Mike BrownNOTE: you can watch previous meetings by going to our YouTube channel!
Chaired by President Elect Mary Berens (one of Les Six), the meeting opened with the Four-Way Test.
Guest Lisa Roan, from Brookdale Senior Living, was introduced by Joanne Lamoureux.  Lisa is a new member applicant!
Community Grants will be awarded at next week’s meeting.


James Brown; photo Mike BrownAfter Mary Berens offered him congratulations on his retirement, James Brown delivered three thoughts for today—two from Albert Einstein and one from his sister-in-law Nancy McCauley, who is Police Finance Administrator for the Colorado Springs PD.
  • Everybody is a genius.  But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.
  • Once you accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing which is something, wearing stripes with plaid is easy.
McCauley (one of JB’s favorite humans):
  • Naps are good.


Paul Martin; photo Mike BrownPaul Martin, on behalf of Rotary Youth Exchange, needs a volunteer to help transport our two students to club meetings once a month and to connect them with specific members for lunch.  Contact Paul at or Linda Brisson at if you are interested.
JoEllen Hedlund announced that this weekend is “Feed My Starving Children” at the Armory; there are spots available to help package the food, which is distributed around the world.  Contact her at  For further information about the program, click here.
Sherrie Negrea and Frank Towner shared that the Ithaca Rotary Club will hold its inaugural Visitors Day at our meeting on November 9th (St. Catherine of Sienna Church).  We would like each club member to bring one potential member to this meeting.  Lunch will be provided for all of our guests; you need to RSVP with the name of your guest by November 1st on the event listed on our website.
To prepare for visitors day, we are compiling a list of quotes from club members on a handout that will be distributed at the meeting.  Please help us out by answering the question—Why I Like Being Part of Ithaca Rotary—in 15 words or less and emailing it to Sherrie Negrea at  Don’t forget to include your name and your affiliation in the email.
Bob Gravani once again let everyone know that Highway Cleanup is coming up fast on Saturday, October 8th (9-11 AM).  Meet at 9:00 AM at the Tops on Triphammer parking lot.  Safety equipment will be provided; wear sturdy shoes and bring a water bottle.  Please sign up by contacting Bob at or Mary-Lynn Cummings at or by going to our website.
President Mary Kane will be the guest on the award-winning “All Things Equal” radio program on Tuesday, October 4th (8:30-8:50 AM, WHCU 870 AM).  She will be interviewed by Rotarian and the show’s founder Gary Stewart.
Gertrude Noden is not at our meeting today because she is presenting our club-supported “Promoting Gender Equity and WASH” project at the Catholic Daughters of America monthly meeting in Waterloo.  The Waterloo and Seneca Falls Rotary Clubs have been invited to attend (see end of newsletter for more info).


Geoff Dunn introduced our speaker Roxan Noble, Director of the Ithaca Tompkins International Airport (KITH).
Roxan Noble; photo Mike BrownRoxan began working for the county in 1989, and then airport manager Bob Nicholas hired her as the Administrative Assistant in 1995.  During Mike Hall’s tenure as airport manager, Roxan was named Deputy Director.  And when he retired, she applied for the Director position, where she has been now for one year.
In 2019, the airport was growing, including a big renovation of the terminal (new HVAC with geothermal installation, new jet bridges, and an international terminal).  Business saw a 30% increase.  Even in January-February 2020, the number of passengers was up 10% in their typically slow time.  KITH had twelve flights a day!
Then March 2020 arrived with COVID that stopped all growth.  Sometimes American Airlines took off with ONE passenger; United Airlines still paid their fees but suspended service.  And then American Airlines left.
Now there are only three planes a day:  United Airlines has two flights to/from Newark, and Delta Airlines has one flight to/from Detroit.  The industry has struggled to return to full functioning in the wake of COVID shutdowns, and there are too few pilots, which is the reason that American Airlines left.
Local, affordable air service is ESSENTIAL to our area.  Why don’t some of the local airports close?  If an airport accepts a federal grant, that airport has to stay open for 20 years, and all airports are accepting the essential funding from the federal government yearly!
The airport has to remain open, even when there are fewer airlines—and this year there is a budget shortfall.  Roxan just presented her budget to the county legislature that includes an increase to help the airport financially as business returns to more normal levels.  She hopes that Delta will add its second flight back to the schedule, and has been contacting American Airlines regularly, seeking its return to KITH; she believes that it will happen in two to three years.
General aviation is also essential!  We have Taughannock Aviation Corporation with its FBO (fixed base operator) services, jet charter (with 13 jets), and maintenance; East Hill Flying Club (non-profit flying club), and many T-hangars housing private planes (which are ALL occupied).  The number of operations (landings and takeoffs) affects how much funding the airport receives from the federal government each year, so all of the planes and jets from EHFC, TAC, and private pilots help greatly.  You can rent a car at the airport, too!  The Ithaca Tompkins International Airport has not closed for weather or any other reason in seven years!


  • Larry Robinson: $50, his son is turning 30, and he has bought a “starter house” in Seattle.
  • Jack Roscoe: shameless plug for the Savage Club; this Saturday and Sunday they will be performing at their new facility in Lansing.
  • James Brown: $10, his son was named coach of the year for his division in Albuquerque, and he celebrates St. Louis baseball!
  • Frank Towner: shared bittersweet news that his daughter Cassidy is no longer engaged to Sam Currie (Bill Currie’s son).  He credits them with making a mature decision, and cites their exposure to leadership lessons through their parents.
  • Dale Flinn: his daughter Lizzie is the District Governor Nominee, and will be the first DG for the new Pan District of Central NY in 2024.  She spent last week in Toronto in DG training. 
  • Mary Berens: grateful that Bez Thomas got all the technology working today!
  • Bez Thomas:  $1, he’s happy for the DART asteroid crash!
  • Linda Brisson: gave thanks for Roxan’s presentation.  She and Ray have been away for four weeks, and it’s great to be back.  And thanks to Paul for being such a great Youth Exchange Program partner.

Name:  Sarah Segal
Business:  The Plantsmen Nursery
Position:  Co-Owner/Admin
Sponsor:  Linda Pasto
Name:  Lisa Roan
Business:  Brookdale Senior Living
Position:  Director of Sales and Marketing
Sponsor:  Ron Provus
Name:  Christie Thornton
Business:  YMCA of Ithaca & Tompkins County
Position:  CEO
Sponsor:  Frank Towner


Newsletter Reporter:  Joanne Lamoureux
Photographer:  Mike Brown
Greeter:  Jessica Verfuss
Newsletter Editor:  Loralyn Light
Set-up/Tear-down:  Harlin McEwen, Dave Martin, Steve Johnson, Gary Reinbolt, Ron Provus
Set-up Zoom:  Bez Thomas
Recording Archive:  Paul Martin; click here
Club Service Facilitator:  June Losurdo

Supporting International Youth Scholarships

Ithaca Rotarian Gertrude Noden recently presented a summary of her international Gender Equity and WASH (Water Sanitation and Hygiene) program to over 40 women at the monthly meeting of the Seneca Falls–Waterloo Catholic Daughters of America group.
This national organization was founded over a century ago, recognizing that at that time the other Catholic service organizations were exclusively for men.  The organization’s mission is “to embrace the principle of faith working through love in the promotion of justice, equality, and the advancement of human rights and dignity for all.”
During the meeting Gertrude sold beaded jewelry made by students at the UNIFAT Primary School in Gulu, Uganda.  This activity teaches youth a traditional Ugandan craft skill, and they learn how to run a small business, including keeping computer ledgers.  All profits from sales of the jewelry go into the school scholarship fund.
$500 dollars was raised during the meeting, which is enough to fully support three children at the school.  This student project is one of Gertrude’s Words Into Deeds, Inc. outreach programs and is partially supported by a grant from the Ithaca Rotary Club.