Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What We Learned At This Week's Meeting

Today we heard from Rotarian John Trautman of JA Trautman Realtors who spoke on the Residential and Commercial Real Estate Markets over 2010 and 2011.

John began with a funny video of how our homes might look depending on who views it.

He then shared the following interesting statistics:
-3q of 2009 and 2010 decrease of 21%
-The median home prices have decreased from 177-169k
-Appraisals have become a real issue because now two appraisers are required which increases the cost of the loan process
-Sales during the first 10 months of 2011 reached 83,040 which is a slight 1.7 % decrease from one year previous
-Since 2007 the new home sales have continued to fall
-Completed homes peaked in 2006 and have declined ever since
-There seems to be a current trend in homes being purchased at a third of their value, rehabbed and put back on the market as rentals
-Around 4 million foreclosed homes must be removed from bank books before we will have a stable market. These homes are being sold in bundles of 10 at a time.
-Commercial leases in Clermont County were $12 per sq ft and are now $7 per sq ft
-The average days on market for a listing is 160 days

Next week we will not have a meeting in celebration of Christmas and the New Year

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What We Learned At This Week's Meeting

Today we heard from from Past District 6670 Governor Norma Berry who spoke on Rotary membership.

Norma began with a great question for us, “Ar e you a member of a Rotary Club or are you a Rotarian?”

In one of her travels, Norma met a man named Ed who was introduced to her as a “former member” of a Rotary Club. When Norma asked for more info, Ed shared with her that he “did not have time for a do nothing club”. This response haunted Norma and she began to challenger her own club to live up to its potential.

One of her current responsibilities in the district is to be the chair of the membership and extension committee. She is posing many questions to many clubs regarding membership. One question is, “If your club ceased to exist, would it be missed?” What Norma is discovering is that many clubs could be far more visible in their communities than they are.

We should consider whether our club has a membership issue or an engagement issue. Norma's challenge to us is to make our club the place to be in the community. She reminded us that active members are a magnet to new members. Also we should strive to create a strong bond which makes it hard for people to want to leave.

Next week we will hear from John Trautman who will speak on the Real Estate Market

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

What We Learned At This Week's Meeting

Today we heard from our Batavia High School Interact Club.

Rotarians Sheila Hinton and Scott Runck lead this group of students. Interact recently had elections in November 2011 and elected Caitlin Knudsen as the President and Alyssa Northrup as the Secretary. Both of these ladies are juniors at Batavia High School.

Last year's projects included plastic bags for League of Animal Welfare, Kids for Hunger,

The following projects are planned:
Kids for Hunger
Girls will donate their old prom dresses so everyone can enjoy prom
Battle of the Bands
Greater organization for the club

Next week we will hear from Past District 6670 Governor Norma Berry who will speak on Rotary membership.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What We Learned At This Week's Meeting

Today we heard from Curtis Taylor, project manager for Tata Consultancy Services.

After growing up in Cincinnati and traveling for 4 years with the United States Marine Corps, Curtis decided he loved our area and wanted to see it grow and succeed. As a side note, Curtis was responsible for creating over 3 miles of trails on the Tata property for use by the community.

The Milford location was inaugurated March 17, 2008. They have 15 client engagements, 223 acres of wooded land and 400+ associates

Their site selection process was very extensive. They chose Milford, Ohio because of:
Proximity (40 clients throughout region)
Business climate (9 fortune 500 HQ in region)
Access to talent (300 uninver within 200 miles)
Government Support (State-level grants and abatements)
Cost of Living (US = $212k, Cincinnati $138k)
Access (1 hour flight, 1 days drive from 50% of US population)
Economy (300+foreign owned firms within region)
Business (Lowest effective tax rate in Midwest – 3.6%)
Industry (Strongly diversified, robust business presence)
Quality of Life (1 of 13 cities in US with all 5 art disciplines)

TCS has been doing business in America since 1970. At first, TCS found it difficult to find highly skilled tech-savvy people in the Cincinnati area. Today, 90% of TCS employees are local, American citizens. Most of the managers are Americans due to the fact the Indian ways of business are not widely accepted in the U. S. A majority of their business and money comes from the United States.

Next week we will hear from the officers of our Batavia High School Interact Club

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What We Learned At This Week's Meeting

Today we heard from Jacob Brooks who is the Senior Program Director of the Clermont County YMCA.

The Y’s vision to improve the quality of life in Greater Cincinnati is supported by local and national networks focused on mobilizing our communities. In collaboration with schools, businesses, health care sites, and other community agencies, the Y is driven to turn the tide on the epidemic of obesity and chronic diseases.

The YMCA is the nations leading non profit committed to strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

Youth development - nurturing the potential of every child and teen through child care, education and leadership, camp, swimming and sports.

Heathly living - Improving the nations health and well being

Social Responsibility - giving back and providing support to our neighbors through volunteerism, giving, advocacy and social services

Next week we will hear from Tata Consulting

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Rotary's History in Youth Work

At our November 17 meeting, Lisa Davis presented the following "Rotary Minute" on the subject of Rotary’s involvement with youth over the years...

Rotary became involved with children and young adults in 1913, when the Syracuse, New York Rotary Club learned of a young girl who needed a serious operation.  Her parents had no money to pay for her surgery or rehabilitation, so Rotary stepped in to help.  When the newspaper got wind of this service project, readers were challenged to participate.  Over the course of two weeks, they collected almost $3,000 for this young girl.  A few weeks, later, the Syracuse Rotary Club did a survey to find out if there were other children who needed assistance; they found over 200 and began a “crippled children’s committee” that went on to help children with disabilities for many years.

In 1914, the Toledo Rotary Club raised money to assist a young man who had a disability to attend a school for children with disabilities in Michigan.  Not only did he get a good education, but he also received artificial limbs to assist him to walk.  This sparked an interest in Ohio to assist children with disabilities.  (Ohio has always had very strong programs for children with disabilities…perhaps this Rotarian spirit had a part in it.)

A few months later, a streetcar accident in Elyria, Ohio claimed the life of several people including an 18-year-old boy.  The boy’s father, Edgar Allen, found out that his son’s life and those others who were killed, could have been saved if Elyria had had a hospital.  Mr. Allen sold his lumber company and began efforts to raise money for a hospital, eventually building Elyria Memorial.  Because Mr. Allen was a Rotarian, he engaged his group to raise money to build a “crippled children’s wing” at this hospital.  Once it was built, he then challenged eight other hospitals in Ohio to do the same. 

Efforts to help children didn’t stop there.  Rotary began Boys Work, which was originally created to help boys stay off the streets and engage in community activities.  This became such a popular club that it was designated a program for Rotary International during the 1916 Rotary Conference in Cincinnati.  Throughout the years surrounding WWI and WWII, Boys Work became much more important; during this time, Rotary Club members stepped in as role models for these boys while their fathers (and later, mothers) were away at war or working several shifts in war plants.

The list goes on and on…we now have Interact, a club for high school students; Rotaract, for young adults in college; and several youth exchange programs.  Today, Rotary continues the legacy of youth involvement and helps youth work toward becoming future leaders in our communities.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What We Learned At This Week's Meeting

Today we heard from Ed Nurre & Scott Runck who spoke about “Green Funerals”

What is a green funeral? Webster's online dictionary defines the word “green” (as it pertains to product and services) as “not harmful to the environment.” A green funeral is generally any end-of-life ritual that is a harmless as possible for the environment. This can include a burial in a green or “natural” cemetery.

Each year we bury:
-827,060 gallons of embalming fluid, which includes formaldehyde.
-180,544,000 pounds of steel in caskets.
-5,400,000 pounds of copper and bronze in caskets
-30 million board feet of hardwoods, including tropical woods in caskets
-3,272,000,000 pounds in reinforced concrete in vaults
-28,000,000 pounds of steel in vaults

So naturally, the issue involves the question of whether or not to embalm or cremate. There is currently a 45% cremation rate which is rising rapidly. Only 1 funeral home in the country (St Petersburg Florida) is currently doing what is called Alkaline Hydrolysis.

The trend to greener funerals has inspired a variety of new funeral products that are sustainable and eco-friendly. These options include:
-Greener caskets
-Burial shrouds
-Greener urns
-Green cemeteries using eco-friendly methods
-Water burial

For more information check out www.agreenerfuneral.org

Next week we will hear from Jacob Brooks of the YMCA

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

What We Learned At This Week's Meeting

Today we heard from Roy Offenberger of the Batavia Salvation Army who spoke on their Red Kettle Drive

The Salvation Army is first a church. It was begun by William booth, a Methodist “circuit rider” preacher began the organization in 1865. Booth was concerned about those who were hungry not being able to focus on the message of the gospel. So he and his son obtained a warehouse and began feeding, clothing and housing those in need. Roy read Matthew 25 to us to show us how serving “the least” in our society is a Scriptural mandate.

The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination. The Salvation Army is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.

Roy shared about the Red Kettle campaign known as “Bell Ringing” which raises nearly half of their annual budget. This year's fund raising goal is $160,000. In 2010 the Salvation Army in Batavia served 1159 Clermont County families (3001 individuals) with food, 213 families with utility assistance and 51 families with rent assistance. 75 families were helped with thanksgiving food and 350 families were served at Christmas. They also have an after school program and a summer day camp to serve youth in our community.

Next week we will hear from Ed Nurre & Scott Runck who will speak about “Green Funerals”

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What We Learned At This Week's Meeting

Today we heard from Brian Switzer of Clermont Northeastern Schools who spoke about school funding.

In 1851, an Ohio convention wrote & passed Article 2 section 6 which began school funding in the state without any clear explanation about how it would be carried out. They rolled out a system where funds began to be collected from property taxes and many court challenges have since followed.

In 1936 it was decided localities could vote about whether or not to fund their districts more than the state funds it through what is called Inside & Outside millage. In 1991 the method of funding schools through property taxes was ruled unconstitutional and the state was ordered to fund it differently. After several tweaks and 3 total court rulings through the years, the schools are still funded by basically the same system, just more complicated 36 pages of formulas & rules.

While the state claims to pay roughly $5600 per student, CNE actually receives about $1000 per student after all the deductions kick in. As Ohio continues with the property tax system, Tennessee has a program where visitors pay for education and in Texas there are taxes placed on several oil ventures which funds schools.

Next week we will hear Roy Offenberger of the Salvation Army who will speak on their Red Kettle Drive.

Rotary Youth Leadership Awards

Here's a VIDEO about our Rotary Youth Leadership Awards program.

More info can be found HERE.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What We Learned At This Week's Meeting

Today we heard from Brandon Little regarding Wrapping Clermont Together who shared the following:

To care for people in our local community by extending long-term, meaningful help through a variety of purposeful, collaborative efforts.

A program was begun over 20 years ago in Milford, OH by Marlene Baker & David Hammock
Once called THE H.A.N.D.S. & later Hillcrest Community Services of Bethel, OH it eventually closed
Like many poverty relief efforts, they closed due to lack of funding & inadequate management
Landmark Ministries assumed & restructured the Christmas program in the early 90s & continues to develop it each year through partnerships.
Landmark is a separate, stable organization funded independently from Wrapping Clermont Together

WCT is designed to bring greater collaboration to Clermont County poverty & rehabilitation efforts
We work with schools, organizations, government agencies, businesses, individuals (see list)
We collaborate with other county agencies to cross-check all participants to help ensure we serve those truly in need, preserve valuable resources & redirect those who attempt to abuse the system.

We scaled the program down & began offering pre-wrapped gifts & $50 gift cards
Eventually we learned to honor parents by giving unwrapped gifts, wrapping paper, bows & tape
A partnership w/Freestore Foodbank allowed us to turn $50 gift cards into 10 separate food drops
We've also been able to give away home needs, health & beauty aids, pet food...a growing list of items
Local students are even connected with business professionals to enhance learning & life experience

We start by offering help and hope during the Holidays.
We desire to meet the physical needs of Clermont County families while providing opportunities for them to grow beyond their current situations
Above and beyond any gifts we give away, our desire is to build trust & offer relationships such as mentoring, free counseling and free professional financial education.
The end game is to create a large network of true collaboration for the good of Clermont County

The Batavia Rotary Club provides a meal for the recipients at the event which allows folks to get to know and value one another.

Next week we will hear from Brian Switzer who will speak about school funding

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What We Learned At This Week's Meeting

Today we heard from Shirley Reilman of SpectraTech, a Batavia, OH based firm which makes circuit boards.

About 17 years ago, Shirley retired from P&G. Shirley's son asked her to help him purchase an oven so he and some friends could buy an oven to produce circuit boards. The cost of the oven was around $35,000! As they considered the cost and assessed their situation, they realized their startup equipment was pretty much junk, so they sent it all back to Texas.

On the personnel side they knew their team was first class...Greg, one of the partners, could fix anything. Jason another partner, was a computer guru. Her son was an electrical engineer. So Shirley decided to take out a small business loan and help them begin the right way. They got started as a company and have been growing ever since even through the loss of business to countries such as Canada and China. There was also an unfortunate but short period where they had to conduct layoffs for a couple months. Many positive years have followed and last year business increased 25%!

As a local company, they invite the community to stop by and take a tour to discover more about what they do.

Next week we will hear from Brandon Little regarding Wrapping ClermontTogether

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

What We Learned At This Week's Meeting

Today we heard from Cindy Gramke of Clermont Senior Services.

The Clermont Senior Services levy was first passed in November 1982, and was the first countywide senior services levy in Ohio. This levy must be on the ballot every five years. It was most recently passed in May 2006. The current levy will expire in December 2011 and a ballot issue must pass on November 8 for funding to continue for the period 2012 through 2016. Otherwise, Senior Services would have to close its doors since 75% of its funding comes from this levy.

The levy is 1.3 mills and the current cost is $37.87 per $100,000 of valuation, which is only $3.16 per month. Since this is a renewal levy, it will not raise taxes. The agency also receives funds from the United Way, State and Federal funding through the Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio and other sources. The Senior Services Levy is a the local match for State and Federal funds; without the levy virtually all other funding would also end December 31, 2011.

From 2000 to 2010 the older population of Clermont County increased by over 30% from 23,000 to over 30,000. This number will increase by another 66% to over 50,000 by 2020, as the Boomer Generation reaches retirement age. Also, the over 80 age group is the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population.

Over the past several years, Senior Services has worked hard at reducing costs while not sacrificing services. The organization is in great shape financially.

Next week we will hear from Shirley Reilman of SpectraTech

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What We Learned At This Week's Meeting

Today we heard from Eric & Greg Holman of Holman Motors in Batavia, OH

In 1945 Glen Holman opened a Buick dealership in Batavia. In 1970 Glen & Mary Holman bought the first 1.5 acres and opened for business in 1971. As the years went by they acquired a total of around 33 acres. The original building was just knocked down over the past week. Fences, barbed wire and a full-time night watchman help ensure the property & inventory remain safe.

The Holmans recently built a min-mountain outside their facility and it grew larger than expected because several local businesses needed a place to dump their dirt. An antique canon was placed upon the top of the mountain and they even fired it recently which rattled the glass in both showrooms. On Veteran's day they plan to fire it again. There are also plans to place an antique truck

Holman Motors employs slightly less than 100 people and they are planning to add additional space toward Elick Lane. Their parents established a culture of customer and employee care. It is important to them that every new employee they hire is promotable. Many employees have been with then for over 20 years.

The internet has been an amazing tool for their sales. It is not unusual for Holman's to sell 8-10 campers per day to 6 or 7 different states. They have even shipped campers to New Zealand and Australia. Even though there are rumors they may begin selling Buicks, they intend, for now, to continue selling GMC and campers. 

Next week we will hear from George Brown who will speak about the Senior Services Levy 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

What We Learned At This Week's Meeting

Today we heard from our Rotary exchange students

Radka Famalova is our foreign exchange student from the Czech Republic.
The capital is Prague and the population of the country is about the same as the state of Ohio. Typical cuisine consists of some type of meat and a side of dumplings. Beer has a long tradition in the Czech Republic dating back to the 1100s. They have the highest beer consumption per capita in the world.

Raphaelle Schmitz is our foreign exchange student from Belgium.
Belgium originally became an independent country in 1830 and eventually they joined the European Union. Its capital is Brussels which is the capital of Europe. The European Parliament is located in Brussels. Their overall land area is 315 times smaller than the USA and the population is 28 times smaller than the USA. French, German and Dutch are spoken in the 10 provinces. Their cuisine includes the famous Belgium waffles, chocolates, french fries with mayonnaise, mussels, mushrooms, meat, beer, etc.

Next week we will hear from Eric & Greg Holman of Holman Motors

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

What We Learned At This Week's Meeting

Today we heard from Chris Adams who is the Executive Director of SteppingStones & Camp Allyn .

Chris shared about the work of Stepping Stones. The mission of Stepping Stones is to increase independence, improve lives and promote inclusion for children and adults with disabilities. There are currently 2 camping sites (Allyn & Given) and hopefully one more on the way. Camp Allyn is owned by the Cincinnati Rotary Club. Stepping Stones began when Thomas & Mary Emery donated their property on Given Rd in 1898 to be used for charitable purposes. Stepping Stones became responsible for operating the Resident Camping Program at Camp Allyn in 1967.

Camp Allyn is the pride of the Rotary Club of Cincinnati. The club founded the camp in 1921 by leasing property at Lake Allyn to provide a camping experience for “crippled children”. In the 1960's the club entered into an agreement with Stepping Stones Center and the client population was expanded to serve children and adults with man types of disabilities. In the 1970's and 80's, as the demand for services grew, the facilities were winterized and others were added to make the camp useable year round.

They operate under the “Three E's” (3 pillars):
Educate – pre-school, autism, education programs for school age children
Equip – developmental programs for adults
Enrich – camping and outing activities, clubs, adventures, arts, crafts, etc. for both children and adults

The agency is funded in the following manner:
57% Program fees
39% Public Support (School district, State, united way, etc)
3% Other Income (Fund raising)
1% Investment

Attendance for the past 3 years:
In 2009, 654 clients served
In 2010, 727 clients were served
In 2011, 1012 clients have been served so far
Throughout the years, 5060 clients have been served!

In 2010, over 4000 people have volunteered to hep. They are always looking for volunteers.

Next week we will hear from our Rotary exchange students.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What We Learned At This Week's Meeting

Today we we heard from Mac Hickman who spoke on youth exchange . Mac is our district 6670 Youth Exchange Chairman.

The primary goal of youth exchange is to foster world understanding by way of intercultural exchange. Students are encouraged to be flexible to the culture in which they are being immersed.

There are 2 principle types of exchanges:
1 Long Term: Usually last an academic year = students live with 2-3 families & attends school

2 Short Term: Usually 3-4 weeks = our student goes abroad for 3-4 weeks to stay with a host family with a same-age, same-gender student, then their student comes here for 3-4 weeks to experience our culture.

Who is eligible for the long-term program?
-Ranks in upper third of his or her class
-Possesses good character
-Has an outgoing and pleasant personality
-Is able to accept discipline
-Is capable of adjusting to new and sometimes challenging conditions
-A desire to learn about other countries and cultures and to appreciate and accept these differences is essential
-Children of non-Rotarians as well as those of Rotarians are equally eligible
-Student must be at least 15 1/2 years old and cannot be older than 18 1/2 at the time school begins overseas

The rules are summarized by the 5 “D's”:
No Driving
No Drinking
No Dating
No Drugs
No Dumb things

Next week we will hear from Ben Capelle of Clermont Transportation Connection.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What We Learned At This Week's Meeting

Today we we heard from Dick Burdick who owns Byrd Brothers Trucking. Today he came to share about his work in jail and prison ministry.

Dick began by stating, “About 20 years ago I had a religious experience which made a huge difference in my life. I gave up alcohol, smoking and Graeters Ice Cream and lost 50 pounds. At that point I wrote a business plan, became a Catholic and focused on Matthew 25”. After all this, Dick felt lead to begin a prison ministry.

He said there are 3 prerequisites for this type of work:
1 You can't be afraid
2 Realize you are not walking alone
3 You cannot have a value judgment of people

At first Dick was assigned to the Queensgate facility which is now shut down. There are roughly 14 chaplains for Hamilton County. Typically men work with men and women work with women unless the women are really strong in “motherly” gifts. A chaplain is on call 24 hours and often must deliver bad news to inmates such as a death of a loved one. There are also inmates who have diseases and many other needs. The goal is to simply provide care and comfort to the inmates through the Scriptures.

Eventually, Dick went on to work in the prison system. He began in Lebanon which has 2 prisons and interestingly is the last prison in the US which makes license plates. There are 5 security check points to get into the prison (there is only 1 in the jail). The Catholics are not well received in these prisons due to religious friction. The Muslims overran the previous chaplain. After some time, Dick was able to create 45 minute segments of teaching liturgy, Bible, current events, adoration (all denominations pray to God together) and praying the rosary. Things began to catch on and Dick started a program called RCIA which is the Right of Christian Initiation for Adults so adults can become Catholic. Over time things grew and we had to create more space for our meetings. 22 guys converted to Catholicism on our first Easter together. There is now even a Christian cell block where inmates are allowed to move from cell to cell.

Dick began “Transforming Jail Ministry” out of Blue Ash. They have a contract with the Hamilton County Sheriff and monitor all chaplains and worship teams who work in the jails. They also pass out cookies at Christmas time. Presently, Dick deals with inmates who have been released by assisting them in finding jobs and getting their families on track.

The business plan for Byrd Brothers Trucking involves food, paper and manufactured goods. Dick runs the company on a “1/3 plan” which he developed based on his understanding of the Trinity. He owns a third of his equipment, rents a third and leases a third. They do business in 3 states. All drivers & employees must be hazmat endorsed so they can know how to handle chemicals.
Next week we will hear from Mac Hickman who will speak on youth exchange.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What We Learned At This Week's Meeting

Today we we heard from Phil Boyer who spoke on the subject of General Aviation.

Phil gave us a simple way to understand general aviation. He stated, “if it is not commercial airline or military airline then it is general aviation”. 166 million passengers per year travel general aviation where the airlines won't go. This is more than American Airlines, United Airlines & Northwest Airlines combined. Just as we have a system of roadways, general aviation has a similar system. This system and its airports bring jobs and business to cities as well as millions of dollars (directly & indirectly) to the local economies where airports are located. There is around $150 Billion derived annually by the U.S. because of general aviation

Other interesting facts include:
For every airline flight there are 5 general aviation flights
5288 general aviation airports in the US
Many general aviation planes have access to 19, 815 public & private airports and heliports
70% of all airline passengers use only 30 airports
70% of business & industry use general aviation
Many of the deliveries we receive daily use general aviation
Farmers and Ranchers use general aviation to produce twice the crops they would without it
Environmental management uses general aviation
Public Safety & Disaster Relief
News & Entertainment
67% of all airline travelers generally travel for personal reasons
The average age of student pilots is 35-65 years old

Security is definitely a concern at general aviation airports and many precautions are taken. However, pilots generally know their passengers and also know what cargo is on board. General aviation airports even began a program called “Airport Watch” with 650,000 pilots on watch and they offer literature, videotapes and training.

Next week we will hear from Dick Burdick who will share about Prison Ministry

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What We Learned At This Week's Meeting

Today we we heard from Greg Sojka who is the Dean of UC Clermont College

Greg began by sharing that in the fall of 2012 the college will be 40 years old. The college is setup in a very simple way and offers what Greg calls the “3 A's”...Academics, Accessibility & Affordability. Their mission statement is, “The University of Cincinnati Clermont College embraces life-long learning in a dynamic and supportive open-access educational community that fosters intellectual, cultural and social development”.

In just a very short time since they took occupancy, the new UC East building space has reached capacity. UC has requested to be allowed to use more space in order to move additional classes to the facility. At UC East they offer nursing, criminal justice, paralegal studies, early childhood education, Allied health, TRIO Grants & Outreach programs. The faculty has also grown from under 100 in 1996 to over 205 in 2011.

From 2000-2011 the enrollment has nearly doubled from 2185 to 4626! A majority of the “feeder” high schools are local including Glen Este, Amelia, Milford, Western Brown, Batavia and Clermont North Eastern which are the top “feeders”. In 2004 the number of degrees given out were 310 and in 2011 it was 359. All of their efforts are focused on helping students get to the finish line.

At one time regional campuses were places to begin your advanced education and then you would finish at a main campus. Today, the trend is push bachelor degrees out to regional campuses. Typically students who graduate from this regional campus stay in the area which is why UC wants to remain committed to this region.

The college has goals of:
Growing bachelors options close to home
Developing as the college of first choice
Creating Ohio's premier teaching and learning campus
Serving as the regions primary source of trained employees

Next week we will hear from Phil Boyer

Radka of Czech Republic is our 2011-2012 exchange student

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

What We Learned At This Week's Meeting

Today we we heard from Tara McFadden, a nurse at The Christ Hospital.

Tara's presentation was on “Raising Awareness about Organ Donation”. Many people face serious health issues who go through numerous tests and end up in need of an organ donation. Sadly, patients often experience the joy of being told an organ is available but after several tests find it is not a match.

Every year more than 6500 people die awaiting a transplant. Organs which can be donated include the heart, lung, pancreas, kidneys, lungs, liver and the small bowel. The living can donate kidneys, a portion of the liver or pancreas as well as living tissue. Most donors live normal, healthy lives after donating and their life expectation usually does not change.

Here are some interesting statistics:
111, 778 patients are on the transplant waiting list as of 7/22/11
60, 758 of those waiting are multicultural
550 of those waiting are in the Tri-state area
Over 3000 of those waiting are in Ohio
There is a 113 day wait for heart transplants
The wait for a kidney transplant is almost 4 years
70% of organ needs are for kidneys
44% of organ donors are living
56% of organ donors are deceased

Who can donate?
Anyone can register and there is NO COST to the donor or their family. You can sign up at the Ohio driver license bureau or by signing an organ donor card at www.organdonor.gov .

Some might be concerned that becoming an organ donor might impact their medical treatment in the event they are in some kind of need. However, organ donation does not impact the treatment you receive. Surgical teams are focused solely on saving your life. A separate team from the surgical team is involved in the organ transplant.

Next week we will hear from Greg Sojka of UC Clermont College

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What We Learned At This Week's Meeting

Today we we heard from George Brown who is the Executive Director of Clermont Senior Services

Clermont Senior Services opened its first housing project in 1998. Facilities were built in the following locations and in this order...New Richmond, Williamsburg, Felicity, Amelia and Union Township. The total investment for all of these projects is $30 million.

To date they have opened 6 housing projects for a total of 224 units. Currently there are 164 people on the waiting list and there are no vacancies. To ensure fairness in selection, the applications are time stamped when they come in. Applicants must currently live in the area of the project, be 62 or older and meet the income guidelines. There are 50 people interested in moving to the new 40 unit facility on 8 acres in Batavia on College Drive called Dimmitt Woods (Named after Ezekiel Dimmitt) when it is finished. Hopefully, they will break ground around the first of October.

This equal housing opportunity in Batavia includes:
-40 One bedroom residential units
-Rent includes utilities, refrigerator, range, carpet and air
-Common area for social, recreational, crafts and outdoor porch area
-Laundry facility, coin operated
-Attractive grounds and landscaping
-Individual heating and air conditioning for each apartment
-Rental limited to age 62 years and income eligible
-Emergency medical pull cord, sprinkler system, smoke detector and a lighted parking area
-On-site resident manager

HUD sets the rent amount at around $400 per month. Residents must pay around $300 per month and HUD subsidizes the difference. Basically, 2/3 of the cost is covered by tenant rents and the other 1/3 is covered by federal subsidies. Senior Services is also hoping to renew a tax levy this fall which will not increase taxes.

Next week we will hear from Bill Hopple of the Cincinnati Nature Center

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What We Learned At This Week's Meeting

Today we we heard from Terry Fluharty who is a Long Term Care Insurance specialist.

Long term care insurance is a type of insurance which gives you choices about where you receive your care, from whom you receive your care and protects your assets. It is staggering to hear the average cost of care in an assisted living situation is about $65,000! People should plan for this just like our parents planned for us when we were born so we do not have to panic when life takes a sudden turn. Sadly it is typical for 30% of people to die when a drastic health change occurs. That leaves basically 70% of folks who will need care.

It might help you to realize there are many physical reasons you can be placed under claim as well as Dementia and Alzheimers. There are typically four options for receiving care: Family (relatives and someone you trust can be paid by insurance to care for you in your home), Personal Assets, Government/Medicaid (causing state budget issues) and Long Term Care Insurance (transfers the risk to an insurance company). Some of our risks include such things as home, auto, short term healthcare and long term healthcare. Many fail to plan for long term healthcare and ironically our chances of needing it are greater than any other risk category mentioned above. Without insurance we run the risk of losing our nest egg assets.

Terry shared some tips of things to look for in a long term care policy.
  1. 0 day home care elimination period
  2. Monthly benefit
  3. Independent caregiver
  4. Company that has been in business at least 20 years
  5. Waiver of premium – if you go “under claim” the premium is waived for you and your spouse
An average policy is around $2k-$3k per year which yields around $4500 per month. It is important we not wait until we are older to prepare for this need in life.

Next week we will hear from George Brown who is the Executive Director of Clermont Senior Services

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What We Learned At This Week's Meeting

Today we heard from our 2011-2012 District Governor, Ute Papke

She began by sharing our success in Polio eradication. One year ago there were 456 cases in the world and now we are down to about half! Click this link to view Rotary's future vision now that Polio is just about eradicated.

Then Ute shared some of our 2011-2012 Goals:
  1. Family, business, Rotary – in this order
  2. Get more people interested in our district conference by giving away a $4000 trip
  3. Each club should list their projects on the district website
  4. 100% participation for the annual fund between July 1, 2011 and March 31, 2012
  5. Net increase of on member and 85% retention rate
  6. Increase membership diversity (e.g. classification, gender, age)
  7. 2% increase in qualified women and 2% in qualified young professionals
  8. Continue the video contest with case prizes for club projects
  9. Have someone from each club attend the district trilogy on August 24. The subjects will be Foundation, Grants & How to improve membership.
  10. Every club needs to have a strategic plan
Today we heard from our 2011-2012 District Governor, Ute Papke
Next week we will hear from Terry Fluharty on Long Term Care

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

What We Learned At This Week's Meeting

Today we heard from our 2011-2012 President, Dave Phaneuf.
Dave shared an updated list of our district leadership, club leadership, committee chairs and projects. There are a few vacant positions and a list of these will appear on our website.

Next, Dave shared our club's 2011-2012 goals:
Rotary Foundation – Our goal is for our members to give $40 towards polio eradication.
Membership – Our goal is 10% growth after attrition.
Attendance – Our goal is 75% of the membership per week.

We plan to continue the following service projects:
Wrapping Clermont Together
Dictionaries to all 3rd graders at Batavia and CNE Elementary schools
Scholarships for local students
Student Exchange
Students of the month

We hope to add the following service projects:
Romania Mission Team
2nd grade reading program
Thesaurus to all 3rd graders at Batavia and CNE Elementary schools
More participation of Interact and Club in each others' events
Establish Rotaract at UC Clermont College

Next week we will hear from our new 2011-2012 Rotary District 6670 Governor, Ute Papke

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

What We Learned At This Week's Meeting

Today we heard from Chris Smith who shared about Joint Economic Development Districts (JEDDs).

JEDDs provide a mechanism by which municipalities and townships can cooperate to foster development activities without modifications to jurisdiction boundaries. A JEDD was instrumental in the acquisition of the Ivy Point property development. More can be found here on JEDDs and more can be found here on Ivy Point.

Today we heard from Chris Smith who shared about Joint Economic Development Districts (JEDDs)
Next week we will not have a meeting due to our pass the gavel dinner.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

What We Learned At This Week's Meeting

Today we heard from HarrySnider of Great Oaks.

Due to a desire to build a better workforce in Ohio, vocational programing was developed in Northern Hamilton County. There are 4 campuses, 36 affiliated school systems in 12 counties in Southwest Ohio, a partnership with Cincinnati State and many other business partners in the community. Greats Oaks is funded by local property taxes (70%), a state foundation (24%) and other miscellaneous revenue (6%).

3202 juniors and seniors are enrolled in full-time workforce development programs. The biggest growth has been in the satellite programs which currently has 11,485 students enrolled. In addition, 42,000 adults receive services from Great Oaks. There are 14 adult career programs including ABLE and ESOL programs, Nursing programs, Motorcycle safety programs, etc. Through the association with Cincinnati State, Great Oaks offers licensed practical nursing programs on their campus which often motivates students who would never consider college to actually pursue that track. In fact, their partnerships with local colleges offer adults to who did not graduate from High School the opportunity to complete their degrees in a college environment.

The goal is to create programs and community partnerships which create career pathways. Great oaks also does much recruiting on behalf of smaller companies. For example, manufacturing is thought to be a dead industry but yet, 21% of jobs in our area are manufacturing based. So Great Oaks often helps smaller companies which, don't have large HR departments or training programs, connect with quality, trained employees.

Today we heard from Harry Snider of Great Oaks.
Next week we will not have a meeting due to our golf outing.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What We Learned At This Week's Meeting

Today we heard from Chuck Tilbury who is the Clermont County Deputy Auditor.

He spoke to us today about the state of our county. Clermont is a mid-size county compared to all the other Ohio counties. We are very diverse and not considered an urban county but rather agricultural. There are 13 municipalities, 2 cities (Milford & Loveland), 14 townships (Union & Miami are the largest). Over 94,000 parcels, valued at over $4.4 billion, are maintained by the auditor's office which includes how they are drawn, valued and transferred. Our county has just under 1500 employers and a government which includes executive, legislative, judicial, public safety and human services branches. There are also departments which deal with community development, transportation, economic development, water & sewage.

On average, Clermont County receives $155-165 million per year; and in 2010, $155 million went out. 90% of the county revenue comes from 3 sources: taxes ($66 million - real estate & sales taxes), inter-governmental ($42 million - commonly in the form of grants & local government funds given by the state) and charge for services ($47 million). There is also a small amount of money which comes from investments earnings which varies throughout the year.

Looking at the total budget, Legislative spends 11%, Judicial spends 7%, Public works spends 6%, Public Safety spends 17%, Human services spends 20%, Community Development spends 1%, Water & Sewer spends 20%. Personal services (people costs) are around $67 million which is 41% of the budget. The county government general fund represents about $50 million. Of this general fund, the commissioners spend $15.8 million and the auditor spends $1.4 million.

Next week we will hear from Harry Snider of Great Oaks!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What We Learned At This Week's Meeting

Today we heard from Dan Rolfus of Potter Hill Homes.

Dan spoke to us about energy and stated, “If we cared less about energy we would win”. In other words, our nation would “win” if we were willing to consume less energy. He then shared with us about how our nation uses 100 Quadrillian (12 zeros) units of energy per year. According to Dan, the U.S. also imports 30 Quadrillian units of energy which is more than all but 2 nations in the world use. America uses about 25% of the energy used in the entire world.

Dan proposed some questions: What if we could produce 10% of our energy needs by alternative energy? What if we could produce 10% more by a safe form of nuclear energy? What if we could preserve 10% of what we use? What if we could drill for 5% more of our energy needs? 
After all these questions, Dan shared with us how his daughter runs a company called “Potter Hill Homes” which typically builds homes at least 30% more efficient than the code. They put geothermal systems in these homes which are basically heat pumps having 3 wells which are 150 feet deep where they draw cooler air in the summer and warmer air in the winter. They measure every home with a HERS rating which is typically “130” for homes in our area (code is “100”). Geothermal takes the rating down to around “50”. They then added solar which drew the rating down to “34”. In the end, they basically drive the energy use down to what is called “net zero”. Of course these houses cost slightly more to build but with the energy savings, a typical family would still save much money.

Dan stated, “We don't realize the trillions of dollars we are spending on energy consumption today”. He believes we need to have the courage to deal with our energy consumption issues in America.

Next week we will hear from Chuck Tillberry.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

What We Learned At This Week's Meeting

Today we heard from Jack Kreautler, CEO - Meridian Bioscience, Inc.

Meridian is a publicly traded company founded in 1977 and was originally operated out of the basement of a house. They are a fully integrated life science company that develops, manufactures, markets and distributes a broad range of innovative diagnostic testes, purified reagents and biopharmaceutical enabling technologies. This $165 million company has zero debt and is very fiscally responsible. They are an international company which is based here in Cincinnati.

Meridian invented the first 10 minute strep throat test and help detect other diseases such as hospital acquired infection, peptic ulcer disease and toxic producing ecoli. Jack explained to us that 80% of “routine” testing use “clean samples” and is highly automated whereas Meridian operates in the lower volume, high value area using manual and semi-automated testing. This focus helps testing become more accurate and ends up saving money by avoiding such issues as misdiagnosis. Most often Meridian uses what they call “dirty samples” and look for “test and treat” opportunities which lead to better patient care, lower health care costs and treatable infections. The company focuses on acute care hospitals, reference laboratories and outpatient clinics while not targeting doctor offices or the over-the-counter market.

Meridian is committed to supporting science education through evens such as the Science Olympiad's Cincinnati Regional Tournament for middle and high school students, and by providing scholarships for the Biotechnology path in Greater Cincinnati College Tech Prep Consortium. Meridian also sponsors and participates in several community programs such as the Newtown 5k, Inter Parish Ministries (food/clothing drives), and the Wish Tree Program in Cincinnati. It collects used cell phones for soldiers serving overseas and proudly participates in the United Way Campaign. 

Next week we will hear fromDan Rolfus - Potter Hill Homes

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Rotary for High School Students at Batavia

Ben McDonough who is the President of our Batavia High School Interact Club visited us on May 10 to give us an update. Interact is the high school version of Rotary. Their club began with six members and is now up to 30 members. They have done or plan to do several projects including helping Kids Against Hunger, an Easter Bunny photo opportunity, helping with the Rotary Egg Hunt, a pop can top drive, a plastic bag drive for the animal shelters, a crayon drive to help kids at the homeless shelter, helping with kindergarten open house, and serving at the alumni dinner. Much more is planned for next year. Batavia Interact is very grateful for the support our Rotary club has given them. They feel it would have been impossible to do everything they do without our help. Rotary is very proud of this outstanding group of high school students and hopes this is only the beginning of them making a difference in our community.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What We Learned At This Week's Meeting

Today we heard from Dr. JeffreyBauer of UC Clermont College. He has a special connection to Rotary in that he used to serve at a hotel where a Rotary club met and he sat in on many meetings.

We learned about the new Bachelor of Technical and Applied Studies which begins this Fall 2011. It is for those who already have an Associate's Degree in a technical field and includes 2 years of technical education and 2 years of applied studies and general education. The curriculum emphasizes application, offering advanced leadership, communication, technology, and business administration skills for studies who seek to further their careers. They worked much with local for-profit and non-profit businesses to ensure this would be a valuable degree. This will work great for evening and part-time students but classes will be offered in the day, evening, weekends, online, time-compressed and hybrid formats (partially face-to-face and partially online). The program will be competitively priced.

How can Rotary help?
-Helps us get the word out
-Refer students/employees
-Provide tuition reimbursement plans to employees
-Provided internship/co-op service learning opportunities
-Serve on the BTAS Advisory Committee (program will change based on community needs)
-Tell us what you think of the curriculum and what skills you think our graduate will need to be successful
-Sponsor scholarships or provide in-kind gifts
-Teach a class

For more information contact Monica Vesprani at 558-6197
Next week we will hear from Jack Kreautler, CEO - Meridian Bioscience, Inc