Club News

Iris Hammel

Elkhart Rotary

At its May 20 meeting, Elkhart Rotary Club welcomed Iris Hammel, executive director of Regional Innovation and Startup Education, as the speaker.

Hammel is a creative problem-solver and lifelong learner with a passion for helping others to unleash their potential by connecting people, resources and ideas. Her unique background consists of over 10 years of both business and education. This experience includes being a co-founder of Connected Classrooms and as well as starting an entrepreneurial middle school. Hammel said she wants to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs to make a lasting impact on our community.

Hammel also introduced Startup Moxie program coordinator Lizzie Sheets, who talked about the program that encourages new approaches and angles to everyday challenges and experiences.

President Peter Norton opened the meeting and introduced Terri Rickel, who shared a moving video, and led the Pledge of Allegiance and Four Way Test.

Guests were introduced and included visiting Rotarians: Doug Grant (Wawasee) and Aaron Bradford (South Bend). Guests of Rotarians included: Claudia Stohler and Chris Risse (Don Stohler), Pamela McGregor (James Davis), David DeMarow (Tom Shoff), Janet Evanega (Jim Rieckhoff), Austin and Skyler Canniff (Brad Canniff), Steve Thalheimer (Jim Story), and Adam Trisler (Nick Corpe). We also welcomed high school students Abigail Tyler, Jaycee Rossi and Nevaeh Prater.

Steve Thalheimer, superintendent of Elkhart Community Schools, was inducted into the club by Aileac Deegan.

This week’s Elkhart Rotary Grant recipient is Lacasa Elkhart, represented by Pam McGregor, who thanked the club for its grant support. Elkhart Rotary Club’s grant will fund more than 100 students ages 10 to 18 for a six-week Summer Academy.

Today’s sergeant was Stan Cohen, who provided an entertaining session of FUNdraising as Rotary fines are collected weekly and are pooled into a fund. In the spring more than $10,000 is distributed as grants to not-for-profit organizations around the county.

– Submitted by Tom Shoff

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