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February 20, 2024 Meeting Preview
Irene Kelly/ Tim Connors
Lake Street Project Initiative
Join us to hear our fellow club members, Irene and Tim, give us an update on the project they and members of other local Rotarians have been working on with the businesses on Lake Street. 
Notes from January 30, 2024

Club Assembly

Janna Berkholtz, our membership chair this year, gave us an overview and brainstorming session of how to improve the club’s strategies for recruiting members. We currently have 49 members, but only about 29 people attending every week. 4 years after the pandemic, we have stopped losing members and are ready to grow–but how?
The 2 new members that have joined us since August, Andy and Mark, both found our club by googling ‘Rotary’. While we’re pleased they found our club attractive, we need to keep offering our position and showing how involved we are with our community as the focus of our message, as that is one of our main draws. We also need to keep our social media up to date, and spread the word–make connections, make a difference, join Rotary!
Currently, we have been starting conversations at gatherings and expos, inviting people to events, and giving free breakfast at bingo. We’ve had great conversations but gained no new members. What are other clubs using? Largely the same tactics, but in a slightly more effective way. Minnetonka holds a brewery event that engages over 60 potential members by ensuring five touches to each person and increasing face-to-face combat, not just having conversations during events or meetings. This more personal approach is something we could take on to reverse the commoditization of inspirational speakers–people will come to make connections, not just hear a speaker. Reminding others of the nonreligious and nonpolitical nature of our club is also a great incentive.
Another strategy we could implement is circling back to former or inactive members, reminding them that we only meet once every two weeks now and meetings don’t have to be made up if missed. Checking in on these members, having reunions, and reaching out to offer connections could help us learn why they left and how we can incentivize them to return. Additionally, holding entrance interviews, exit interviews, and interviews with current members could help show off the club and focus on what we need to change through conversations rather than impersonal surveys. If we focus on turning people from fans to raging fans, our current members will become more dedicated and interested, and are more likely to invite their friends to Rotary events. After all, Rotary is now more open than ever–you don’t need to be retired, have worked in business, own your own company, or be a professional to join

Vocational: Tim Connors

Tim Conners, an extremely active member of our club, is from Rosemount, Minnesota. After getting his undergraduate and graduate degree in engineering from the University of Minnesota, he worked at Emerson from 1990 to 2019, also completing his MBA at MIT. He and his wife Donna have been married 28 years, and he has 3 children and 7 grandkids. He enjoys spending time with his grandkids as well as music, games, cars, cycling, handyman tasks, and driving around town in his Porsche 9/11s. Conners has been a board member of the Louis August Jonas Foundation for 9 years, in various positions including treasurer and president, working to help children from around the world experience diversity, service, and leadership at Camp Rising Sun. Through Rotary, Tim has been involved in ESRAG (Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group), the website team, the renewable energy team, the Million Solar Panel Challenge, the Citizens Climate Lobby for Carbon Pricing, the MIT Alumni Climate Education and Advocacy Team, and EnROADs training.


  • Shelly from the Excelsior/Lake Minnetonka Rotary club will be coming in February to tell us about an upcoming Alan Page event.
  • Bill will be attending the NCPET (North Central President Elect Training Seminar) on February 23, 2024 in Eagan.
  • February 29—Swallowship at 5:00pm at Hackamore Brewery in Chanhassen
  • March 28—our next Bingo fundraiser will be at 7:00pm at Fat Pants.
  • April 20—Eco Expo!

Happy Fives

  • Bill Gaddis is happy to be President of our Club! He thanks Dan O’Brien for helping him with the transition to the Presidency. Bill also congratulates our intern Kate on her perfect ACT score!
Notes from February 6, 2024

Rob Thompson - Performing Institute of Minnesota Arts High School

Rob Thompson's journey with Performing Institute of Minnesota Arts High School (PiM) was one of dedication and growth. From his beginnings as a Theatre teacher in 2006 to his current role as Director of Communications and Development, Rob had witnessed the school evolve into a hub of artistic exploration and academic excellence. Rob has been with PiM for over 15 years and has demonstrated his appreciation and love for the arts.
PiM Arts High School has gained national recognition, serving as a testament to its mission as a “community dedicated to the artistic and academic growth of every learner.” With a statement centered on the holistic growth of its students, PiM stands as an inclusive community, supporting each individual and recognizing differences amongst all its students and staff. Beyond the arts, PiM produces talents in various industries and boasts wide academic offerings. While students might not pursue a career in the arts, they will always remain “lifelong supporters of the arts.”
Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Rob and his team persevered, adapting their approach to ensure that the spirit of artistic expression continued. From innovative virtual productions to expanded offerings in visual and media arts, PiM remains at the forefront of guiding the next generation of creative leaders.

Vocational - John Crudele

John Crudele, coming from a tight-knit Italian family on the East Coast, found himself in Iowa during his formative years. Despite being from Massachusetts, Iowa quickly became his home, and it was here that he pursued a degree in business finance at Iowa State University. Although initially grappling with public speaking, John eventually found his voice, captivating audiences with over 500 speeches annually. Now, he focuses on individual mentorship, having recently secured a job at LifeWave as a Brand Partner. John exemplifies his deep commitment to faith and personal growth through his life experiences as he continues on his journey. 

Future Meetings

  • February 20: Tim Conners/Irene Kelly--Lake Street Initiative
  • March 2: Tammy Ryder-Harms—Kaleidoscope Teens
  • March 20: Brice Johnson—American Red Cross
  • April 2: Kristin Hoplin--Reach & Read MN—early literacy via doctors and nurses
  • Please contact Lyndon Moquist or Jan Eian with program ideas


  • February 23-24: Bill will be attending NCPETS (North Central President Elect Training Seminar) in Eagan
  • March 29: Bingo Night fundraiser at 7:00 pm at Fat Pants!
  • April 20: Eden Prairie Eco Expo at Eden Prairie Mall! Tim and Janna gave an update. We have 23 exhibitors so far. The Eco Expo website is up and running. Check it out! Tim and Janna appreciate all who are working on this important fundraiser.
  • In 2029: Rotary International Assembly will be coming to Minneapolis/St Paul! More details to come.
  • Sherry Kist, Lake Minnetonka-Excelsior Rotary, provided information on an upcoming District 5950 & 5960 event.
  • Honorable Justice Alan Page will be speaking on “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Education & The Law” on February 22, 2024 at the Lafayette Club in Minnetonka Beach, MN. Proceeds will go to the Page Educational Foundation. Flyers with event and registration
  • information were provided and will also be available at the next meeting

Duty Roster for the next meeting, February 20, 2024

  • Greeter: Tim Conners
  • Inspiration: Adam Sienkowski
  • Check-In: Patrick Donohue
  • Door Prize: Lyndon Moquist
  • Vocational: Patrick Donohue

Happy Fives

  • Tim Conners said that Irene and he have met with Frederick Brathwaite who has a vision as to what to do with the site of the former 3 rd Precinct Building. Tim is happy to report that 125 people showed up to a recent meeting regarding what to do with the site.
  • Dennis Kim is happy to be back at an EPAM Rotary meeting after an absence of several months.
Please Support These Eden Prairie AM Rotary Sponsors
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