Posted by Dann Mead Smith

President Beth began today’s meeting at The Rainier Club with “Today kicks off Black History Month” and quoting President Obama. She said that today’s meeting is “is one of our annual Rotary favorites, Business Mentors with the University of Washington”. She reminded us that this mentor program is supported by the donations we make each year to our Seattle Rotary Service Foundation.

President Beth mentioned how we all benefit from mentors and that there are five types: master of craft, champion of your cause, co-pilot, the anchor, the reverse mentor.

She then introduced Bill Center with Linda Rough who led us in an acapella version of “God Bless America”.

Jaime Mendez then inspired us by reminding everyone to wake up with, “Today is going to be great!” and to “Please choose to be powerful on a daily basis as it benefits all of us".

President Beth updated us on our club’s Club Director search; she was pleased to announce that we received a sizable group of applicants. She thanked Jevon Powell and Virginia McKenzie, who led our search committee and “brought their time, talent and professional services”. She said we will now start to interview the candidates and how she is “incredibly grateful for everyone that has supported this search for our new Club Director".

We had numerous guests joining us today, including several UW students, who President Beth asked to stand to be recognized.

President Beth was excited that our Member Spotlights segments have returned: excited that we recognized Fedva Dikmen and that our presenter, John Steckler, has returned from back surgery. John did a great job as always introducing us to a club member and covering background information that we might not have known:

· Fedva’s life has always been filled with an international feel; she was born in Turkey and loves travel

· She has been a Rotarian for 33 years, 20 years as a member of our club (with perfect attendance)

· She opened Dikmen Travel and then became a real estate agent with Windermere

· She is a former Commodore of our Seattle Rotary Mariners

President Beth introduced our main program moderator, Wil Tutol, Director, WA State Programs, UW Consulting and Business Development Center at UW’s Foster School of Business who introduced the panel: Rotary Business Mentor Committee co-chair Terry Van Nostrand, DeChelle Henderson of City Group Solutions, and Alicia Ing, UW Foster School student.

Will and President Beth mentioned that this partnership between the UW’s Consulting and Business Development Center and Seattle Rotary has helped create more than $315 million in new revenues and 250,000 new jobs in underserved communities! This program is replicated in 13 cities around the country.

Wil also mentioned that we are celebrating the 25th anniversary this year of their Seattle Rotary partnership where hundreds of our members have served as mentors over the years! He asked everyone in attendance to stand who has served in this role. Th role of the students in this program is to serve as consultants to the predominantly women-owned, minority, and veteran-owned businesses who participate. They are working with 16 firms this year with 80 students and 60 mentors participating.

DeChelle mentioned how beneficial this program was for her City Groups Solutions business (post construction support/cleanup needs) especially as someone with no college background who during COVID was looking for ways to keep her employees working in some way. They helped “map out her business plan” and the overall experience was "life changing." Wil mentioned that this is “just the beginning, we will be with you” going forward.

Alicia is a daughter of immigrants and a first-generation college student so working with these types of businesses “meant everything to her”.

And Terry mentioned how rewarding this experience has been over the last 20 years, especially how the students work so well together and how teamwork is emphasized.

Wil concluded the program with “Let’s go for another 25 years!”

Jan Levy announced the results of our annual club leadership election as today is our official annual meeting. See the section in this club newsletter/email for the full list of who was elected as: Club board members, Rotary Service Foundation trustees, and our Club officers. She reminded everyone to let her know if you are interested in serving in a Club leadership position. President Beth thanked Jan for this outreach to our members and mentioned how excited she is for next year’s club leaders.


 Thanks to meeting reporter Dann Mead Smith for this week's report! 

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