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Meeting Notes for January 26, 2021
The Light for January 26, 2021
By Myra Janus
President Chris Joyce presided. 

The Thought for the Day was presented by Charlotta Koppanyi:

It was a quote from: Heart of a Buddha, The Amitabha Buddhist Society.
When things are going well, be mindful of adversity.
When prosperous, be mindful of poverty.
When loved, be mindful of mindfulness.
When respected, be mindful of humility.
Please check the e-mail sent out by Chris Joyce on January 25 for information about the Zoom account and about matching donations for the Rotary Foundation Polio Fund.
Patrick Hughes and Keith Glanz from Evanston Loves Rotary presented an update on the movie nights held at the Autobarn Service Center in Evanston. Eight movie nights were held, attended by a multitude of cars averaging three people per car. More than 20 volunteers helped. There were seven sponsors and approximately $4,000 in restaurant sales. The movie nights featured a video about Rotary in addition to a full-length movie. The gross amount collected was approximately $17,000 with $9,000 in expenses, so each Rotary club in Evanston will receive about $4,000. Jean Saunders reports that Annie Coakley, Executive Director of Downtown Evanston, has been very involved in this effort.
Ann Searles, the Sunshine Lady reports that Horton Kellogg is doing very well. After spending a considerable amount of time in the infirmary, he has moved to assisted living and has a computer, so he can communicate with the outside world and we can all contact him! She also boasted Bruce Baumberger for driving her husband, John, to the hospital when he was ill and Kathy Tate-Bradish for delivering soup.  John is out of the hospital, is recovering, and he attended the meeting today.
Gary Peterson, Rotary Foundation treasurer for the club, reported that there is now almost $15,000 in the annual fund. More donations are welcome to reach or surpass our goal.
Bruce Baumberger shared a video of a tour through the Rotary International Building and asked for suggestions on how to improve it.
Marv Edelstein gave the group quick instruction on how to raise hands on Zoom.
Roasts & Boasts
Chris Joyce boasted Mike Merdinger for his extremely generous donation to the holiday sale.
Chris Joyce roasted himself for having injured himself in an outside fall and boasted Linda Gerber for agreeing to conduct the meeting next week after his rotator cuff surgery on Monday. Joy Joyce will be on duty to help nurse Chris back to health.
Steve Goransan gave his daughter, Lecy, a boast for being nominated for a Critic’s Choice Award for Best Supporting Actress in The Conners.
Don Gwinn boasted his son, Peter, who is a writer with Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me on NPR.
Topic: Bios from Zbig Skiba and Michael Merdinger
Zbig Skiba
Zbig Skiba was born in London, England, and lived one block away from Sherlock Holmes’s address in Baker Street. His parents were refugees from Poland after WWII. He was baptized in the Brompton Oratory, a grand cathedral, and came to U.S. at 15 months of age on the Ille de France.
Zbig grew up in east Humboldt Park in Chicago, which was a pretty rough neighborhood, and learned to sail and skate on the Humboldt Park Lagoon. He spoke Polish before learning to speak English and went to Polish Saturday school. His favorite food is perogies
As a member of a Polish scout troop, he was part of an honor guard at the Copernicus statue at the planetarium. In 1991 he co-founded the U.S.-Poland Chamber of Commerce. He was one of three speakers on a cell telephone from Warsaw to Chicago when Poland became independent of communist rule in 1992.
One if the scariest things Zbig ever did was to hike up and down Long’s Peak in Colorado, wearing out the butt of his jeans sliding down the mountain! This was scarier than his experience of parachuting out of a plan. 
Zbig’s adopted son, 29, lives in Andersonville and works in sales for Home Advisor. They enjoy doing things outside and for his 16th birthday they swam with the Beluga whales at the Shedd Aquarium.  For fun and relaxation, Zbig plays racquetball and tennis. He also likes hiking, biking, and yoga as well as watching the Chicago Bulls. He is especially proud of having been involved in planting more than 200 trees in Evanston.
Zbig worked as an industrial engineer for printing and electronics firms and has been a software developer for 20 years. He holds a Kellogg MBA in entrepreneurship and ran a business peer group franchise for 12 years. He is now exploring creating business peer groups for clean tech and alternative energy firms. Introductions would be much appreciated!
Mike Merdinger (in his own words)
I realize and appreciate every day how fortunate and blessed my life has been and try to do things through my living and actions that reflect this. My family is very important to me and I want to have an impact on the world.
My wife Jenny and I have been married and lived in Evanston for 35 years. She is Director of Development at Learning Bridge Early Childhood Education Center in Evanston and a Certified Instructor of Qi Gong and a Certified Chinese Energy Healer.
We have two children (both adopted as infants in 1990 from Peru) and one granddaughter. Our son Jaime joined the USMC directly from ETHS and then served two years in the Peace Corps in Eswatini (formerly Swaziland). He just graduated from Illinois State with a degree in Geography (with honors) and will start grad school for his masters in Kinesiology and Community Development in the Fall.
Our daughter Lizz also graduated from ISU with a BA in Entrepreneurial Business Management. She moved to LA after graduation, started her fashion line, and managed a high-end boutique in Malibu.  She is now back in Evanston with her partner Clyde and their daughter Myla.
I was born and raised in Skokie by happily married parents and had two older brothers and a younger sister. Today, I would term my early years as being born of privilege. Dad owned a meat packing plant in Chicago. This allowed us to have more things and opportunities than a kid should have. 
Over the years, I’ve developed an appreciation and understanding of what that really means. I spent summers working on a horse farm In Wisconsin, building fences, bailing hay, and going to state fairs for horse shows.
I went away to college at the University of Kansas. There I was bit by a copperhead snake and was in the hospital for a week. When I came back, I was going to school at Roosevelt and thought I’d be an attorney. I found a job as a law clerk, but two of the partners did nothing but trade futures all day.
I went to work at the Mercantile Exchange, where I met my future partners and joined up with them starting the futures operations for trading operations based in London. I spent lots of time in London and travelling Europe as the youngest senior vice-president for Daiwa Securities. I met Jenny during that time at a party where she was supposed to be fixed-up with my brother!
I left the Chicago Board of Trade and joined my brother’s planning practice in 1995. I am now a Partner. Our firm, Private Vista, is an independent, planning-centric Financial Planning and Wealth Management firm with about 2 billion dollars under management. There are 35 employees, and the firm was just named one of the best places to work in our industry for the 4th year in a row. One of the things I’ve really enjoyed is the philanthropic planning (Planned Giving) we do a part of a client’s estate planning. I have been directly involved in designing charitable donations that total more than 30 million dollars on behalf of clients.
In my non-work time, I enjoy reading, traveling, doing crossword puzzles, and sports. I’ve been a PTA President at Timber Ridge Magnet School (now Bessie Rhodes); sat on the advisory board of my kid’s pre-school and president of the Dawn Schumann Institute for Jewish Education.  I founded the Chicagoland Friends and Family of Marines Group that became a model throughout the country by the USMC during the Afghanistan Conflict. I have also coached Little League, youth basketball, and girl’s softball.
Guests and Milestones
 Patrick Hughes and Keith Glanz from Evanston Loves Rotary
Alex Janus – January 30
Steve Carlson – January 31
Bill Glader – January 31