Posted by Phil Murphy

The opening festivities were brought to order by President Mack Beers after welcoming all of our guests for the important grantee announcement for Rotary Charities. Miriam Owsley reminded us of the story of Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody for reflection and gratitude:

“This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody. There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it. Everybody was sure Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.”

This tied in nicely with Ramona Pleva’s pitch for the next day’s Blood Drive, asking “Everybody” to turn out rather than “Nobody” doing it figuring “Somebody” will do when “Anybody” can and should.

Steve Wade announced that the Program Committee would meet and consider programs for August through January. His second note was encouraging all to take advantage of the Rotary Matching as of June 1. MATCH FORM The second opportunity is December 1.


Jeff Hickman made the announcement that more than $425,000 was granted to these organizations whose representatives joined the ZOOM meeting Tuesday. Each of these were made in the Assets for Thriving Communities category:

  • Civil Air Patrol $50,000

  • Cognition $50,000

  • The Garden Theatre $50,000

  • Grow Benzie $50,000

  • Habitat for Humanity $50,000

  • Newton’s Road $20,750

  • Arts-Northport Arts Association $25,000

  • Rock Youth and Senior Center $50,000

  • Traverse Area District Library $50,000

  • Traverse City Dance Project $30,000

Congratulations to each of the Grantees! There was a “Gratitude for Grantees event held at noon on Wednesday to further celebrate the acknowledgments – all were invited.

Jeff also introduced us to the new CEO of Rotary Charities, our own Sakura Takano, who secured the position from a nationwide field of 20 candidates. Allison Beers interviewed Sakura in a lighthearted fashion but gave us the inside scoop on her background, education and what originally brought her to Traverse City.

Sakura has been in the area for nearly a decade now and a club member for six years. She joined the staff of Rotary Charities since 2019 following her work with Goodwill of Northern Michigan. When Sakura first came to TC , she had been coming out of a three-year stint as a stay-at-home Mother after having received an MBA from Columbia University. Though now an established member of the non-profit and social enterprise world, Sakura began her career in investment banking, which didn’t satisfy her longer-term goals. Working extensively with Cecil Macnally at Goodwill gave her a solid grounding where she grow and expand her interests while serving the Traverse City sector.

Her favorite aspect of Rotary is seeing her colleagues out in the community in service to that community. She apparently has a soft spot for Kid’s Free Fishing Day too, where she is off the hook (pun intended) from the realities of fishing with her kids.

Sakura is a second-generation Rotarian. Her father was active back in Honolulu, Hawaii, where she hails from originally. According to Sakura, though she loves joining her family when she can, she couldn’t leave there quickly enough when jetting off to college. She was looking for a change…and got it.

A most intriguing story was her rendition of her time working in Istanbul, Turkey as a graduate student working with the business development of a high-end butcher, and helping them develop a strategy and including her suggestion to consider burgers in their strategic plan increasing their margins and establishing a new service.

Despite her background in banking, she always had a great interest in social enterprise. It was that strong desire that led to an internship with the Rockefeller Foundation and she was of and running. All of her past experiences have proven to be formative and she brings an exciting vision for the future of our organization. Her commitment to the success of Rotary and Rotary Charities is clear and fresh and welcome. Congratulations Sakura! Good luck and a long career with us. 

Oh, and her dog is an Aussie-Doodle named Lafayette (thanks to Hamilton) and no, she does not speak Mandarin….