Membership Casual Gathering (Short Notice!)                                                                                                                      
This Thursday, February 5th from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM at The Club Car (University Ave.) Contact Carolin Gibson if any questions, or just show up.
Speaker for Tuesday February 3rd 2015:                                                                                
Our speaker was Dave Schwartz, President of the WDM Chamber of Commerce. Dave shared his educational and business career history leading up to his new position, along with his plans for the Chamber.
His dynamic theme was “Adapting to Change”. From his roots in Dubuque, Iowa, Dave went to St. Thomas University in Minneapolis for his Bachelor degree. After receiving his Masters at UNI, he was a managing director at Marsh (Insurance). After 17 years with Marsh, they downsized significantly, forcing a new career path. In 2004, Dave and several others started a new insurance agency, Bearance Management Group.
After open-heart surgery in August 2012, Dave was ready for a new path. Steve Gaer, Mayor of WDM, suggested he run for President of the WDM Chamber. In 2014, he became the new President.
From the Mission Statement to the look of their website, he has reviewed, with others’ input, all aspects of the Chamber’s service, and made changes. There are 2800 businesses in WDM, and only 500+ are members of the Chamber.  Dave wants to increase membership. To do this, he wants to create more interest in the Chamber services and networking. Here are some of the details:
  • Staff: Has a new marketing person, and a new salesperson that calls on businesses.
  • Retention: He has volunteers that will call existing members to discuss their upcoming membership renewal, educating them to what they can receive and why they are a valued member.
  • Ambassadors: Designated and devoted volunteers that go the extra step to help the Chamber. They have 40 ambassadors, and some are members of WDM Rotary. Ten are newer and younger.
  • New View: Wanting younger professionals in the WDM workforce and as members, the Chamber will continue to create a culture conducive for younger people.
  • Speakers-Chamber Lunch Meetings: For 2015, they have an impressive schedule of speakers for the monthly meetings.
  • Focus Groups: With more members brings in more money. More money allows more programming, including research groups to determine what people want. Education is an example.
  • Annual Chamber Dinner: 6:00 PM Thursday, March 5th / Hilton Garden Inn 205 S. 64th St. $50 per person $40 per table of 8 / Speaker: David Gallo-American Oceanographer    RSVP: or call 222-3679
Three-Minute Speaker/Sergeant at Arms: 
Al Cross was born in Mt. Ayr, Iowa. He may have been the first to break his Amish roots, but I may have that wrong. Al received his Accounting degree from AIB, and recently retired from a career as a financial advisor at Edward Jones. Al’s community service included board membership of the WDM Chamber.
Al’s daughter lives in Decorah, Iowa, with her husband and family.
Al has held almost every position as a member of the WDM Rotary Club. He has been a very active member throughout his career, and was instrumental in providing dictionaries to grade-school kids in the WDM community.
Al enjoys woodworking, Bucks Hockey games and has recently started his artistic talent now that he is retired.
Bicycle Project: 
Harold Hulleman is looking for people to help upgrade used donated bicycles.
Please contact Harold if you can schedule time. Here are the dates and time:  
Saturday 02-07-15:   9:00 AM to Noon
Thursday 02-12-15:  4:00 PM to 8:00 PM     
Saturday 02-14-15:   9:00 AM to Noon
Sgt. at Arms - Changes are Coming 
Starting at our March 17th meeting, we will have a Member be the speaker. The plan is to have a member-speaker about every three weeks, giving them a chance to talk about their passions within their personal, volunteer and or business career. More to come on this, so stay tuned!