The Members Bulletin
Chartered 1920
January 15th, 2024
At last week's meeting, January 12th, we introduced two new members to the club, Erik Barr & Jeff Hoffman, Helmuth gave a wonderful recounting of Joe Valeriote, and our guest speaker, Mike Paquet, gave a presentation on his "Three Rules for Sustainability." 
Below you can find the stories about our new members as well as Helmuth's reflection on Joe. 
Matt Webster introduced our speaker. Mike Paquet, during his 27-year career in fund development, has helped several community-based and grassroots non-profit groups throughout Southern Ontario to implement long-term sustainable fundraising and resource development programs. Driven by the concept that “people give to people”, Mike has enabled several organizations to discover the enormous potential of individual, institutional and major gift fundraising. 
Currently, Mike is the Chief Fundraising Strategist of People First Fundraising Solutions and remains steadfastly committed to guiding non-profit groups towards long-term viability by emphasizing the importance of cultivating strong relations with individual and institutional donors in the community.
Mike began his presentation with a brief overview of his career and why that led him to create People First Fundraising Solutions. He then asked the question, "should a board give moneuy?" This led to a lively conversation. Some Rotarians felt that a board should give money because it sets the example for the organization. Others agreed, but raised the concern that some board members may not be able to afford weekly or monthly donations. 
Mike agreed with all the points and concerns that were raised. In his next slide, he explained how a board should set the tone for their organization. He called this process, "trickle down philanthropy." He went further to explain that 100% of the board giving is great, however, this is almost never achieved. Instead, a board should look to have a 2:6:2 composition: 2 board members that are 'gung-ho' about fundraising, 6 members that play a fundraising role, and 2 that play less of a role but contribute in other ways. 
A board with this composition helps to create a culture of giving, this is the first rule of Mike's three rules for sustainability. In such an organization, "from top to bottom, board to entry-level volunteers, everyone views fundraising as the lifeblood of the organization." 
The second rule is to treat supporters like stakeholders. Mike discussed how people often stop supporting an organization during hard times, because of other priorities and relocation, or due to a lack of connection and communication. The last thing you should do is take your supporters for granted. As a club, Mike recommends that we communicate with donors at least five times between requests about the impact of their gifts. It is incredibly important to show how their donations are impacting the community as well as establishing a two-way dialogue. 
Lastly, Mike explained how an organization needs to "always generate gravity in your direction." Whenever your organization interacts with the public always offer a follow-up opportunity: meetings, AGMs, volunteer opportunities, special events, etc. This is key to sustaining public engagement. 
Brian Martin thanked Mike for his insightful presentation and presented him with the certificate that recognized the 100 children inoculated against polio in his name. 
Notes taken by Aidan Harris. 
New Member: Dr. Rasa Levstein
On January 5th, we welcomed Dr. Levstein as the newest member of our club. We are so happy to have her join!
On January 5th, we welcomed Dr. Levstein as the newest member of our club. We are so happy to have her join! 
Rasa was born in Kaunas, Lithuania (then a part of Soviet Union) in 1970, to a family of a college teacher and a table tennis coach. Her childhood and youth were spent in the same town, where she graduated from the Lithuanian Veterinary Academy. While studying, she met her future husband, Oren, who she married in 1994 and moved to Berlin, Germany, where they spent the next 7 years, before immigrating to Canada in 2001. In 2003, she passed her Canadian veterinary licensing examination and started her residency at the Ontario Veterinary College to become a reproductive specialist. She worked there as a staff veterinarian until August of 2011. She now works at and owns Graham Animal Hospital in a small town of Hillsburgh. She lives in Guelph with her husband, a teen daughter and a lot of animals.
Welcome to the club Rasa!
A Recounting of Joe Valeriote
At the meeting on Friday, January 12th, Helmuth gave a wonderful recounting of Joe Valeriote. 
At the meeting on Friday, January 12th, Helmuth gave a wonderful recounting of Joe Valeriote. His reflection to the club reads: 
My dear fellow Rotarians and honoured guests, 
I don't want to repeat the official obituary that was widely circulated about Joe Valeriote. I'm sure that you've all read it by now. Rather, I would like to share with you some of my personal observations about our dearly departed longtime Rotarian, Joe. 
Joe was a brilliant man who had so much of the history of Guelph locked up in that marvellous memory of his. Especially the history of the neighbourhood that he grew up in, affectionately called "The Ward". We could honour him for that alone. 
My memory of Joe includes us kibitzing about his footwear habits. As Brian mentioned last week and had followed Joe's lead, it was, NO SOCKS. Today's weather would not have deterred Joe in that habit. In fact, while visiting in the receiving line at the funeral home on Monday, I shared that discussion with his daughter, Gayle who confided with me that Joe was in the casket at the front of the room and if we could open it, we would see that he had no socks or shoes on. 
For anyone who missed Joe's rewind of several years ago, Joe had with him the "condom" that he designed and produced that was used on NASA's Gemini space program. It saved the antenna of the capsule from being destroyed by sea water when it splashed down in the ocean. This was an epic accomplishment that helped NASA eventually land on the moon. 
We at the Senators who meet weekly at a not so secret location, have a motto that "what is discussed at a Senator's meeting, stays at a Senator's meeting", but I will divulge one small discussion item. Joe often initiated discussion on "He who shall not be named" in American politics, and his disdain for the man, and not understanding the level of support he has among the US populace. 
Joe embraced new technologies. As you all know, he drove a Tesla, which was a leading electric vehicle when he first bought it. Yet, he often expounded on the fact that it was not the propulsion mode of the future. He believed that we would soon be driving hydrogen powered vehicles. According to Joe, that was the fuel of the future. Joe wore an Apple Watch that was fully synched with his IPhone. He embraced the Wallet app on his IPhone to pay for lunch and other things. One of his pet peeves was the sounds system at the ICC. He was so very happy when Rick and Marty came up with the solution of a stand alone speaker. He could finally hear everything that was spoken from the podium at our weekly lunches. 
His list of Rotary accomplishments included being Club President, Founding chair of Prima Festa (forerunner of LobsterFest), our club's leader in two Polio Eradication Campaign Fundraisers, and one of the founding members of The Rotary Club of Guelph Charitable Foundation. 
Joe WAS the ultimate example of Service Above Self that we can only hope to achieve. Joe we will truly miss you! 
New Members: Erik Barr & Jeff Hoffman
At last week's meeting, January 12th, Erik Barr (far-left) and Jeff Hoffman (second from-the-left) became the newest members of the Rotary Club of Guelph. We are so happy to welcome both of you to our club!
At last week's meeting, January 12th, Erik Barr (far-left) and Jeff Hoffman (second from-the-left) became the newest members of the Rotary Club of Guelph. We are so happy to welcome both of you to our club!
Erik was born and raised in Guelph before leaving to attend Carleton University in Ottawa where he completed both an undergraduate degree in Commerce and a Masters in Accounting. After graduating from Carleton, he obtained his CPA professional accounting designation which required 3 years of work experience and the completion of a 3-day examination. He has worked in the public accounting industry since 2018 working for EY and Deloitte in Ottawa, and currently is an audit manager for BDO in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. Outside of his professional experience, Erik is an avid fan of American football attending a Green Bay Packers game each year. He is also committed to his physical health; he is a member of Crossfit 1827 and participates in multiple rec league sports to stay active. Erik is excited to join the Rotary team and use his accounting skill set to support the community and organization.
An alumnus from the University of Guelph, Jeff has spent his career working in the charitable sector. Jeff's professional life began at the Tim Horton's Children's Foundation, through a job advertisement he found on the board at the University of Guelph. Jeff started in a part time capacity, working in a data entry role. Jeff's career at the Tim Horton Children's Foundation expanded over his 15 years with the charity. Prior to leaving the foundation, Jeff was responsible for all of the revenue generating initiatives, including the incredibly successful Camp Day. In 2015, Jeff moved from a large national charity to a grassroots organizations supporting families across Canada that are impacted by Huntington Disease (HD). Jeff was with the team for three years and then spent two years with the Georgetown Hospital Foundation. At both of these organizations, Jeff led the fundraising and marketing efforts and helped both charities consistently punch above their weight. Jeff was recruited by the Grove to head the successful corporate fundraising initiative. He is currently the acting CEO of the Grove that is now getting close to opening the doors of the 8,000 square feet space on Woolwich St. 
Jeff is actively involved with the local minor sports organizations. Jeff is the President of the Guelph Minor Baseball Association, a member of Baseball Ontario's Select Council, and Field Manager with the Midwestern Ontario Bearcats, a baseball program providing elite baseball opportunities for youth across the Intercounty Baseball Association. If you are looking for Jeff, You will often find him on a baseball diamond with his Fungo bat. 
Jeff lives in the east end of Guelph with his wife Deborah and their two sons Rohan (15) and Cooper (13). Debb is the Human Resources Manager at a local automotive parts supplier to Honda and Toyota. Rohan attends John F. Ross and Cooper attends Ken Danby Public School. The boys have a busy life, playing both hockey and baseball. Jeff and Debb spend much of their free time as poorly compensated Uber drivers. Rotary has had a significant impact on our
community and internationally. Jeff is excited about the opportunity to support this work as the club moves forward. 
Welcome to the club, Erik and Jeff! 
Bulletin Editor
Aidan Harris
Jan 19, 2024
Up Close and Personal
Jan 26, 2024 12:15 PM
Creating Safe Places for 2SLGBTQ+ Children and Young People
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Upcoming Events
Indigenous Awareness Committee Meeting 10AM
Feb. 02, 2024
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Children & Youth Committee Meeting 9AM
On Zoom
Feb. 09, 2024
9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
View entire list
Birthdays & Rotary Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
David Van Veen
January 11
Lucy Mutharia
January 13
Dave Latreille
January 19
Tim Mau
January 19
Domingo Bernal
January 23
Crista Renner
January 30
Ian Smith
February 9
Ray Funnell
February 9
Dianne Dance
February 10
Terrie Jarvis
February 22
Rick Le Feuvre
February 23
Paul Demarco
February 25
Join Date
Jaya James
January 6, 2017
7 years
Roger Garriock
January 6, 2017
7 years
Chris Willard
January 8, 2016
8 years
Peter McSherry
January 9, 2015
9 years
Bob Richardson
January 10, 1983
41 years
Justin Funk
January 13, 2012
12 years
Marty Fairbairn
January 13, 2012
12 years
Andreanne Simard
January 19, 2018
6 years
Michele Richardson
January 21, 2011
13 years
Marguerite Campbell
January 24, 2020
4 years
Matt Webster
February 2, 2018
6 years
Cam Guthrie
February 6, 2015
9 years
Bob Ireland
February 13, 1981
43 years
Lloyd Longfield
February 16, 2016
8 years
Dennis Weiler
February 22, 1982
42 years
Ray Funnell
February 28, 1975
49 years
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