Welcome and Opening of Meeting - President Pam Cohen
President Pam opened the meeting by asking Jim Schmidt to offer the invocation.  Jim McGown led the pledge of allegiance.  She then welcomed those in the room as well as Rotarians attending the meeting via Zoom - Melodie Jackson, Bob Jensen, John Pennypacker and Jack Rosenberg.  She thanked Steve Ross for serving as greeter.
Introduction of Guests
  • Jay Stuckey briefly introduced the speaker, Tracy Barnes with the STEP Program
  • Colleen Coons introduced Angela Lopez, a visiting Rotarian from Phoenix 100.  She was a Rotary Youth Exchange student.
  • AG Dan Coons introduced and welcomed seasonal visitor and visiting Rotarian Tom Yuzer.  He also was glad to see Erwin and Joan Reimann had returned from their summer travels.
  • President Pam then introduced our Immediate Past President and current Assistant Governor Dan Coons as a visiting Rotarian from the Queen Creek Satellite Club.
Guaymas Hearing Project Update
Bob Jensen shared a brief summary of the recent mission to Guaymas, Mexico.  He said this mission marked the 30th anniversary of the project, but this trip was the first since 2019.  COVID precautions made the mission impossible until this year.
The 2022 left the morning of November 9.  Participating Mesa West Rotary Club members participating were Chuck Flint, Polo Santiago, Jim Schmidt, Ray Smith, and Erica Williams.  Bob said Polo's command of the language was a huge help and made getting the job done much easier.  Bob also wanted to acknowledge help received from Darl Andersen whose coordination efforts probably saved $5,000 in costs.  Also acknowledged was the free storage of equipment and materials provided by Tim Troy.  In addition to Mesa West Members, Guaymas Rotarians helped, five doctors from Alamos, and Rudolfo Fernandez, our program coordinator in the area.  Guaymas Rotaractors also helped.  The current President of the Guaymas club is their first woman President.  She contacted a fellow Club President from near the border who went to the checkpoint and helped streamline the team's entry into Mexico.  It was the smoothest entry in all 30 years.
Three years ago, they saw 470 patients with a team of about 50.  This year, with a smaller team, they say 67 children and 136 adults in the two days.  The team this year was half the size of the 2019 team.  This year's budget was set at $12,000, and Bob believes they will come in under budget.  The value of what was provided was closer to $60,900 in professional services, $137,500 in equipment, $9,760 in ear molds, and $11,000 in batteries - a total of about $210,370 in goods and services.
Following two long days of work, the team enjoyed a banquet at a restaurant on the beach.  Each team member received a plaque.  Larry Hagen was made an honorary member of the Guaymas Rotary Club for his many years of service on this project.
Bob said he needs a 10' x 15' in storage space on this side of the border going forward, and asked members to consider making that possible.  He said the participating Alamos doctors were very excited about the project and would like to be able to provide services throughout the year.
In answer to a question, Bob said he began the project about sixteen years before he became a Rotarian when he joined the Mesa Baseline Rotary Club.  The Guaymas Hearing Project remained that club's project until they merged into Mesa West in 2015.
The photo on the right is still displayed at the school where the clinic has been held each year.  It was taken of members of the team in the early days.  Left to right are:  Bob Jensen, Steve Teodoro, Larry Hagen, and Gordon Bye (who no longer participates).  
Happy Bucks - Ron Thompson
  • Ed Koeneman contributed for a number of reasons.  Three of his best friends in the world were going to be inducted as Mesa West Members at the meeting.  He was cleaning out his mom's garage and Jim McGown helped.  Bob Zarling spent time at Keeper's Workshop.  They made a lot of sawdust as they created 50 wooden spoons to be given to individuals in Bob's community who provide a lot of help.  Ed was sad to announce the studio has pushed the release of the next Star Wars movie further into the future.  saying it was now 1,138 days until the movie would be released.
  • Pam Cohen fined herself for having a guest (Dan Coons) introduce guests at his table.
  • Ray Smith was happy to have survived 24 hours of riding while Jim Schmidt was driving in Mexico.  Apparently some of the roads were in very poor condition.
  • Joan Reimann was very happy to have recovered from COVID and was able to attend meetings again.
  • Don LaBarge contributed asking members to sign up to ring the Salvation Army bell at Bass Pro.  He especially needs help the first two weeks.  He encouraged members who want to donate to Salvation Army to give it to Don or put it in the kettle.  That way the donation will stay in Mesa.  Online donations go into a larger pool of donations.  Some of that will come back to Mesa.  Also, doing as Don suggests makes the revenue from our kettle location look really good.
  • Allan Cady contributed $5.  He was happy to see such a large group of Mesa West Rotarians at the meeting.  He was happy to see everyone.
  • Polly Cady was proud to be a member of Mesa West.  She was also happy that she would see Colleen Coons and Judge Tommy Webb at RLI on November 19 in Laughlin, Nevada.  Judge Tommy was going to speak to everyone at breakfast, then he and Colleen would meet with Interact members while RLI was in session.  She was also happy that Donna Goetzenberger was going to be an RLI facilitator for the first time.  Polly also pointed out that visitor Angela Lopez is an Assistant Governor for the district.  Polly first met Angela at RLI.
  • Dan Coons was happy to have attended the Rotary Zone Institute in Salt Lake City where he said he learned a lot.
  • Jim McGown was glad to have been able to help Ed.  He had recently heard from a long-lost cousin who needed a place to stay in Mesa.  He ended up staying four days and they had a good time catching up with each other.
  • Angela Lopez was happy to have just landed a job with Rotary International as a membership coordinator for our zone.  She had heard about our amazing club and wanted to see for herself.
  • Colleen Coons was happy to be a part of Rotary youth programs.
  • Jim Schmidt said he missed Wendell Jones' participation in this year's hearing mission.  He admitted hitting at least one unmarked speed bump.  He said Chuck Flint also drove.  He said the experience is very rewarding.  Even after waiting for hours, those they helped would thank them profusely.
  • Bob Zarling was happy with the gifts Ed helped him create at Keeper's Workshop.  He said Ed was a good teacher.
Zone Institute Highlights - John Pennypacker
John had the opportunity to meet and visit with Rotary International President Elect Gordon McInally, who is a dentist.
A highlight was the magnificent music John heard at the concert provided by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and the West Point Glee Club. One of the young men in the glee club was from Farmington, Utah.  He sang a solo, and John could only imagine the tear-filled eyes of his proud parents.
Rotary International General Secretary John Hewko wrote the Ukraine Constitution.  He was on stage with a lady from the LDS church.  After listening to their exchange for a while, John held up one finger believing it likely she would announce a $1,000,000 donation from the church to support Rotary's Polio Eradication efforts.  John underestimated.  She announced a $5,000,000 donation.  After being matched $2 for $1 by the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, the value of that donation will total $15,000,000.
John said you don't have to be a PDG or an officer.  Any Rotarian is welcome to attend the Zone Institutes when they are held. 
  • Dave Brauchler announced that they had plenty of volunteers for the Saturday November 19 hands on service project at Midwest Food Bank.  The volunteers will likely be repackaging storable dry food.  The food which has been being gathered at recent Mesa West Rotary Club meetings for the food bank will be delivered to them on that same date.
  • Polly Cady said it was too late to register for the November 19 RLI to be held in Laughlin.  The next RLI will be held in January at the Thunderbird School of Global Management.
  • President Pam thanked Don LaBarge for his work organizing our bell ringing schedule again this year.
Induction of New Members
President Pam said her favorite thing to do as Club President is to induct new members.  Ed Koeneman is the proud sponsor of Debbie Koeneman, Gina Schroeder and Mike Schroeder who were formally inducted into the club at this meeting. 
Mike Schroeder introduced himself as a financial advisor, saying he has been practicing for 28 years.  They have an office in Tempe, Arizona.  The business has recently added a generation.  Their son recently graduated from ASU with his finance degree and he will now be learning everything he needs to do.  Gina does everything that makes the office nice, makes everything run and handles all their social media.  He said about three years ago they moved their broker/dealer relationship and Gina handled that change magnificently. 
Gina was asked to tell about their hobbies and interests.  She said Mike is an avid cyclist - mountain and gravel biking.  She gravel bikes with him.  They travel the state together enjoying that hobby.  They both enjoy the outdoors.  They enjoy spending time with their family.  They have dogs they enjoy as family.  A gravel bike is like a road bike with bigger wheels.  
Debbie's professional background is very interesting. She has a Bachelors and Masters degrees in Biomedical Engineering from ASU.  After graduating fro ASU, she worked at FDA as a scientific reviewer and as a Compliance Officer at Center for Devices and Radiological Health.  After leaving FDA to move back to Arizona and marry Ed, she worked for OrthoLogic Corporation (later Capstone Therapeutics).  After ten ears there, she became an independent consultant for medical device, pharmaceutical and combination biologic/device/drug companies.  In late 2018 she became a partner with NDA Partners LLC.  She helps companies figure out how to g4t their products through the FDA.  
Pam handed out the packets to each the new members and they received a standing ovation from those present at the meeting.
Program - Tracy Baynes, Ph.D. - STEP - Student Expedition Program
Dr. Baynes was introduced by Melissa Stuckey.  She received her doctorate in oceanography from Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 1993.  After several years as a coral reef researcher at the University of Miami and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Dr. Baynes turned her full focus to teaching in 1996.  She joined Columbia University's Biosphere 2 Center to teach in their undergraduate program.  She later taught and developed college-level field courses for Sea Education Association, University of Pittsburgh, Long Island University, University of Montana, and Prescott College.  
From 2001-2004, Dr. Baynes developed and ran a tall-ship-based ocean semester on the west coast for Long Island University.  SEAmester West sailed from California to the Sea of Cortez, Mexico and across the Pacific to Hawaii.  Students participated as active crew members as well as taking on a full load of college courses.
In 2003, Dr. Baynes founded STEP's College-Prep and Leadership Program with the focused mission of educating and empowering low-income Arizona high-school students to enroll in and graduate from college.  To date, 96% of STEP's College Prep Program alumni are in college or have attained a college degree.  STEP's graduates are attending the three Airzona state universities as well as top-ranked schools nationwide, including Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Stanford, MIT, Columbia, and Duke to name a few.
The STEP program works with students from their sophomore year through high school graduation.  They learn how to advocate for themselves, improve their skills and seek the best college path and financial aid opportunities for their personal goals.  The students are supported step-by-step through the financial aid process.  During her presentation, Dr. Baynes shared some slides showing the STEPS Alaska Leadership Expedition students participate in as well as some of their alumni, where they've gone one to study, etc.  CLICK HERE to see the slide show.  The students are given a chore and the responsibility for leading the process of getting it accomplished.  The first week, they are miserable.  The second week they enjoy some confidence.  By the third week, they have become very self-confident.  
The deadline for students applying for the program is December 5 of their sophomore year in high school.  Financial need is a requirement to be accepted into the program.
The program qualifies for Arizona Tax Credit as a QCO.  
Announcement - Bob Zarling
Bob shared information about Erica - the young lady from Colorado whose Rotary Peace Scholar application was sponsored by Mesa West.  The competition was very tough, and Erica did not receive one of the scholarship granted this year.  Those who did receive scholarships had the advantage of more experience.  Erica will reapply in the future.  She hopes to get to Arizona to visit Mesa West.