Opening of Meeting - President Dan Coons
President Dan opened the meeting by thanking Don LaBarge for serving as greeter.  He thanked the members for the gift of being able to serve as Club President  He then reminded Rotarians and guests of the Rotary International 2021-22 theme - Serve to Change Lives - after which he recited the Rotary Vision Statement:
Together we see a world where people unite and 
take action to create lasting change - 
across the globe, in our communities and in ourselves.
Invocation and Pledge
Greg Okonowski offered the invocation.  The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Jim Erickson.
Introduction of Guests
  • Don LaBarge introduced his guest - his sister, Karen Brooks.
  • Ron Thompson introduced his guest - his office manager, Kym Roberts.
Chuck Flint invited Bob Jensen to the front of the room to recognize his giving to support the work of The Rotary Foundation.  Bob was given his Paul Harris Fellow Plus One recognition pin.  Bob took time to say how happy he was to see his Mesa West Rotary friends in person.  Now that he resides in Tucson, he frequently sees everyone on his computer screen while attending via Zoom.
Ace of Clubs Raffle
Chuck Flint explained that the person holding the ticket number drawn would automatically win $50.  They would also win the opportunity to try to draw the Ace of Clubs from the remaining cards in the deck.  Should they be so lucky as to draw the Ace of Clubs, they would win an additional $335.
Chuck asked the speaker's guest, Ximena, to draw the winning ticket which was held by Darl Andersen.  After receiving his $50, he had Chuck try to draw the Ace of Clubs for him.  Instead, the card drawn was the King of Diamonds.  Darl gave all $50 back to Chuck requesting it be used to purchase ten tickets for Darl for the May 5 Ace of Clubs Raffle.
  • Shelly Romine reported on Mesa West Rotary Club's Rotary Week of Service project - fifty bedding packs were prepared Saturday, April 23 for Sleep in Heavenly Peace (SIHP).  After preparing the bedding packages each of which which included a stuffed animal, encouraging note, pillow, comforter, pillow case and sheets, the packages were delivered to the church storage facility where they will be kept until delivered to homes by SIHP.  Also delivered to the storage facility were about ten extra pillows donated by Mesa West Rotary Club members.  Shelly also announced two additional Sleep in Heavenly Peace opportunities.  The first was for a three or four individuals to participate in bunk bed delivery and setup trips Saturday, April 30.  The second opportunity was to sign up to participate in a bed build to take place in Scottsdale Saturday, May 21 from 7:00 to 11:30 AM.  If interested, email Shelly.
  • President Dan made a few quick announcements:
    • The meeting was taking place in the middle of Polio Immunization Week April 24-30.
    • He voiced appreciation for the very nice reception Allan and Polly Cady hosted April 21 for Judge Tommy and Judy Webb.
    • He reminded members that the District Conference would be held at the Prescott Resort April 13-14, with two pre-conference events scheduled in Prescott on April 12.  A Peace Symposium scheduled during the day at the conference site and a dinner benefitting The Rotary Vocational Fund of Arizona being held at the Phippen Museum in Prescott that evening. 
  • Ed Koeneman announced that the evening of May 10, he would be scheduling a career mentoring event to provide information to Westwood High School Interact Club members.  The event will be held via Zoom with breakout rooms.
Happy Bucks - Greg Okonowski
  • Mike Whalen was happy to report the focus group he has been working with - working with the Phoenix West Rotary Club - is wrapping up its work developing an international search engine.  Working with the Rotary International pubic image team, it looks like the app will be rebranded before it is launched.  It is hoped it will be ready to launch by the District Conference.
  • Darl Andersen was happy to have won the Ace of Clubs Raffle and hopes to win again next week with one of his ten tickets purchased in advance.
  • Tom Yuzer announced he would not be at our next meeting.  They are headed back to Minnesota.  He'll see us in person again in six months.
  • Bob Jensen contributed - happy to be attending the meeting in person.
  • Ed Koeneman announced Westwood High School Interact Club had held their election of officers for the 2022-23 school term.  Three of their new officers attended Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) with scholarships from Mesa West Rotary Club.
  • John Pennypacker contributed - thankful for work Sean Green had done to help with preparations to honor young ladies who had been influential at the state legislature's hearing impacting youth exchange programs.  They will be honored at the District Conference.  Another individual who was very helpful in getting documentation John needed was a Rotary Support Center adviser who can be seen on page 8 of the most recent Rotary Magazine.  His name is Simo Ezoubeiri.  He is from Marrakech, Morocco.
  • Shelly Romine asked to be billed $200 for the sponsor campaign.  She will be absent for the May 5 meeting.  Their son will be in town and they will be spending as much time as possible enjoying some springtime Arizona fun times with him.
  • Did Myren contributed for himself and Honorary Member Rod Daniels - happy to be part of the best Rotary Club on the planet.
  • Don LaBarge was happy to report that April 28 was Rod Daniels' first day back at work following his heart attack in February.
  • Ron Thompson contributed because he was happy to have Kym Roberts - the best office manager in the world - attending as his guest.  He's really happy she works for him.
  • Warren Williamson contributed so he could tell a "dad joke" meaning it would be normal to groan when the joke was finished.  It seems like an elderly gentlemen went to see his doctor because he had a leg that was making strange noises.  The doctor had him sit on the exam table.  He put his stethoscope on his thigh and heard a weak voice say, "I am really hard up - could you loan me $20?"  The doctor moved the stethoscope to the patient's knee.  There he heard, "I am really having a tough time.  Could you at least loan me $10?"  The doctor then moved the stethoscope to the patient's shin where he heard, "C'mon - can't you at least give me $5?"  The doctor looked at the patient and said, "I've never seen anything like it.  You got here on your own power, but your leg is broke in three places."
  • Pam Cohen contributed.  She was happy Bob Jensen was at the meeting in person.  He was happy to hear about Mike Whalen's launch of product.  She was sad that Chris Krueger could not attend the meeting.  She will soon be leaving for Nebraska.  She was appreciative of work Sean Green did recording a visioning exercise the prior weekend, which he did on very short notice.
  • Robin Harris contributed for the best dad joke he'd heard in ten years!
  • Dan Coons contributed $5.  With his wife out of town, he was probably still $10 ahead.
  • Jim Erickson contributed sad bucks.  After fifteen months with no new cases of Polio in Pakistan, a new case had been diagnosed.  Those monitoring the situation knew the risk was high because evidence of the live wild polio virus is still being found in environmental samples.
  • Jeanie Morgan announced that anyone who pledges to the sponsor campaign during happy bucks this quarter will be billed for their pledge through the club foundation within a week of making that pledge.  Anyone who would like to can email Jeanie if they want to be invoiced for a pledge, know whose team they are on, or have other questions about the sponsorship drive.  If she doesn't know the answer, she will refer it to someone who does - likely Allan Cady.
Program - Honorable Jorge Mendoza Yescas, Consular of Mexico
During Jay Stuckey's introduction of the speaker, members and guests learned that Jorge Mendoza Yescas was appointed by the President of Mexico as Consul General of Mexico in Phoenix, Arizona in March 2019, and ratified by the Mexican Senate in April of the same year.  He has served in various Mexican representations in North America.
Prior to his assignment in Phoenix, Consul Mendoza served as Consul of legal affairs and documentation at the Consulate General of Mexico in Vancouver, British Columbia from 2015 to 2019.  Before that, he was Vice-Consul in Administration at the Consulate of Mexico in Presidio, Texas from 2013-2015.  He served as Consular Officer to the protection department at the Consulate of Mexico in Tucson from 2004-203.
Consul Mendoza has contributed to several printed and digital media sources in Mexico and the United States in matters of migration, binational affairs and US politics.  He earned a Master's Degree in Public Administration from Sul Ross State University in Texas and a Law degree from the Universidad de Sonora.
Individuals like Consul Mendoza administer through offices set up to be small embassies serving a region or city.  The United States government has nine similar offices in Mexico - two of them in Senora.  One duty of such an office is to promote tourism.  Other duties include fostering relationships and representing the Government of Mexico.  Public safety is one of their areas of concern.  They serve Mexican nationals who are present in the area they serve.  Near to us, are service facilities - Tucson, Douglas, Nogales, Yuma, Los Vegas, Salt Lake City and New Mexico.  Phoenix is the largest of these.  Other large cities where similar offices to the Phoenix consulate exist are New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas and others.
Communication is a large portion of what they do.  They provide help with passports and issuing Power of Attorney documents that will be legal in Mexico.  They serve Mexican nationals residing in our area.  They serve US Citizens who need to get Visas for their business.
One department serves Mexican nationals living in the district who may need legal assistance.  The US Consulate in Hermosillo has a similar office. department.
For Mexican nationals residing in the area, they provide information about financial health - how to navigate in our economy.  They promote Mexican culture in the whole community.  Promoting and improving relations between Arizona and Mexico includes knowing and communicating with political leaders in the house and senate as well as public safety.  They promote economic and commercial relationships.  Tourism can help open doors.  They have programs teaching women and young students entrepreneurial skills enabling them to establish and grow businesses.
Consul Mendoza spoke about a golf tournament on the GCU Golf Course which benefitted Chicanos por La Causa.  He expects it to get bigger and better each year.
There were questions relating to help at the border related to our Guaymas hearing mission.  He said to contact his office and had other suggestions as well.  They can provide assistance and guidance about customs.
When asked how he became Consular, he answered that he was nominated by the President of Mexico and that nomination had to be ratified by the Mexican Senate.  He has had a long career.  The President of Mexico is not a friend, but he does know him.  He was not nominated for his position because he was a contributor.
He enjoys being in contact with people and being able to help them.  Priorities for him are helping women succeed in family and larger community.  Many women who are Mexican nationals in the US need help learning English and learning how to connect.  They need mentoring.  That is why they help them learn how to start and grow a business.
With Rotary's focus on helping others, he hopes they can help Rotary Clubs achieve their goals of diversity, equity and inclusion.  He introduced Ximena from his staff.  Ximena was a Rotary Youth Exchange student when she was fifteen.  She said the experience helped her become the person she is today.  Consular Mendoza was also accompanied by Gerardo from his office.  
The Consulate has a newsletter which can be viewed on their website:  He asked to be added as a subscriber to our Mesa West Rotary Messenger.