Posted by Ramona Pleva on Feb 23, 2021

It was a great day for a Rotary Meeting on Tuesday, February 23, 2021, as President Mack Beers called our meeting to order. 

Visiting Rotarians included our District Governor Jon Catlin. After the Pledge of Allegiance, Tom Petzold offered up our Gratitude and Reflection. 

Club announcements included:

Art Burkowski has a call out for member volunteers who could help do a short write-up/recap (every 6-7 weeks) of the weekly meeting for the Bulletin Committee.

Requirements include:

  • colorfully recap the weekly Rotary Meeting

  • embellish details and makeup stuff when necessary and appropriate

  • highlight our brilliant speaker presentations 

Those who have a knack for this type of creativity, please submit writing samples or standup comedy monologues or just say yes to this opportunity please reach out to Art at or get in touch with Kathy Bussell A Nobel Prize for literature is not necessary, we need you :).

President Mack recapped our wine tasting event that was held via Zoom! It was a huge hit and the President is hinting that perhaps a Beers tasting event is in the works! Stay tuned folks and get your beer steins ready!

Our program was introduced by Ken Weaver. Leila Hilal from the International Affairs Forum (IAF) at NMC along with interim director Jim Bensley spoke about the longevity and impact of the IAF has locally and globally.

The IAF brings us an advanced understanding of the world, international affairs and the role the US plays.  Expert speakers present public talks on global issues with a non-political agenda.

The IAF began as a volunteer organization and has grown into a strong community asset that is now in its 27th year. 

With the now online format, speakers are available from across the globe and have ranged from a former Peace Corps director, a National Geographic editor and a five-star general. Global issues are discussed with a wide range of views. 

The IAF now has a YouTube channel that allows the speakers and events to be archived. The organization is self-funded and rely on donors and members for resources and engagement.

The IAF has developed partnerships in the area such as with Traverse Connect and promote global citizenship and local economics. This allows for our immediate community to stay current on issues of national security, the Middle East and China.

There is also an educational component to IAF. Seven years ago, NMC began to ask the questions “where do we want our students to be?” and “how can we help our students be successful in the global economy, business and culture?” From there a short-term study abroad program was birthed that has allowed over 400 students to visit 20 countries. An academic class can now be paired with experimental activity with a global aspect and an event. 

A Student Leadership Team has been formed. These students follow up with IAF speakers which increases their comfort with international topics and helps to promote the continual study of global issues. 

Upcoming speakers include:

March 18     J. Carl Ganter, Director of Circle of Blue, Climate Change, Water and Food

April 15    Dr. Courtney Radsch, Advocacy Director, For the Committee to Protect    Journalists, Protecting Press Freedom Globally and Locally

May 20    LingLing Wei, Senior Correspondent, The Wall Street Journal, China Shutdown, the Future of the US and China Relations

June 17    Bill Clifford, CEO and President, World Affairs Councils of America, Foreign Policy Mashup

The IAF speaker presentations are on the third Thursday of the month and begin at 5 pm. 

For more information, you can check out

Ken Weaver awarded our speakers the Wheel of Hope certificate. 

And with that President Mack bid us adieu.