Kitchener Rotary


May 9, 2022

Meeting Recording

A recording of Today’s Meeting can be found here.

President's Comments

President Adrian welcomes everyone to the meeting in this, the  44th week of our 100th year!


Berry Vrbanovic, Mayor of Kitchener, our guest speaker
Vic Folliott, prospective member and guest of Adrian DeCoo

Happy Jar

Shawky Fahel is delighted to have been able to assist our recent Ukrainian immigrant, Oksana, securing a job and finding accommodation.
Louise Gardiner was also happy to be able to assist Oksana and finding a good home for many of her business suits that, as a retiree, she no longer is in need of.
Howard Pell is happy enjoying the nicer spring weather and being able to be outside more.

Club Announcements

100th Anniversary Gift to the City
President Adrian gave an update on our 100th Anniversary gift to the city – the refurbishment of the Victoria Park Band Stand.  Our pledge to the city for this project is $100,000 of which over 90% has been donated though our Capital Campaign which focused on the founders of our club.  These business, and individuals were asked to consider a donation of between $1,000 and $5,000 and to date, over 20 donations have been made with an average value of $4,000.
An invitation to all club members to become a part of this project is now being made.  Adrian stressed that no one should feel any obligation to contribute but we also did not want members to feel that they did not have the opportunity to be a part of the project if they wanted to.  Any one wishing to make a contribution of between $1,000 and $5,000, or with any questions on the campaign, is asked to contact Arian directly.
Catch the Ace
Our weekly winner of Catch the Ace was Sherry K. of Fullarton. Sherry picked card #48, revealing the 5 of Spades and won the weekly prize of $404.
When you buy tickets you have a chance to win the weekly prize and if your card is the Ace of Spades you will also win the Progressive Prize of over $10,500.  The next weekly draw is on Thursday May 12th.
The deadline to get your tickets as always is Wednesday at Midnight.  Don't forget that you have to purchase a ticket the week of the draw to qualify for both the weekly and progressive jackpot!
When you play Catch the Ace not only do you have a chance to win great prizes but you also win by knowing that the net proceeds will all be going to KidsAbility.  When you drive by KidsAbility this month, check out the Catch the Ace sign.

Program Highlights

Our guest speaker today was Kitchener mayor Berry Vrbanovic, introduced by Josh Graham.
imageMayor Berry Vrbanovic was born in Zagreb, Croatia, and moved to Canada as a young child. Coming from an immigrant family himself, Berry understands the challenges and issues facing the thousands of Canadians who have made Kitchener their new home.
Berry attended St. Jerome's high school, and graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University with a BA in political science and a diploma in business administration. Prior to entering municipal politics, he worked in our city clerk's office and the information technology division.
Berry's outgoing and personable style contributed to his ability to successfully serve as a city councillor for six consecutive terms of council, from 1994-2014. During that time, he helped bring important community initiatives to life, such as the fire station at Ottawa Street and River Road, the Grand River-Stanley Park branch of the Kitchener Public Library and the Stanley Park Community Centre. He also co-founded the Chicopee Outreach Program (COP), a unique mentoring program linking at-risk youth with police, fire and community mentors.
Berry Vrbanovic was first elected as Mayor of the City of Kitchener in 2014, and was re-elected in 2018, with an outpouring of community support, for a second term. He remains committed to improving the quality of life for residents in Kitchener and throughout the Region of Waterloo.
In addition to serving on all of our regular standing committees, Berry is also an appointee and active participant on many boards and committees, including the Mayor's Advisory Council for Kitchener Seniors (MACKS), Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro Inc. board of directors, University of Waterloo board of governors, Wilfrid Laurier University board of governors, Kitchener Housing Inc. board of directors, Centre in the Square board of management, and the Downtown Kitchener BIA board of directors.
As a member of Waterloo regional council, Berry sits on all three regional standing committees, as well as the economic development committee, and the King Victoria Transit Hub steering committee.
Berry is also Treasurer of United Cities & Local Governments, President Emeritus (2011-12) of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and a member of FCM's Green Municipal Fund Council.
Berry began by thanking us and acknowledging all of the good work we have done over the past 100 years.  He has direct experience with Rotary as he was part of a Group Study exchange to India, early in his career.
Berry, provided an interesting and informative overview of the impact COVID has had on our city and how it is working to recover from its effects.
COVID actually had a positive impact in some areas such as home improvements, residential development, recreational retail, development at work from home opportunities, establishment of e-commerce businesses, and manufacturing/distribution of on demand goods.  However, there were, of course, many areas that suffered as a result of the pandemic.  Including tourism and hospitality; clothing retail, the service industry; sit down restaurants and dining establishments; in person services and experiences; arts, culture and live performances; urban offices; musicians; and shopping malls.
The city is developing ways to help businesses recover such as:
  • Minimize and eliminate barriers when businesses are able to return to full operations,
  • Continue to provide training and resources which support pivoting and adaptation,
  • Support businesses in re-engaging customers, and,
  • Support commercial landlords in attracting new businesses to vacant spaces.
The city sees longer-term investment priorities as:
  • Health innovation
  • Creative Industries
  • A City-wide start up network – focused on sustainable development goals
  • Affordable and attainable housing
  • A vibrant, Active City

Closing Remarks & Reminders

President Adrian reminded members about the 100th Anniversary gift to the city and the once in a lifetime opportunity to provide your support. He also noted that the next meeting is on May 16th with Tracey Hare Connell and Tara Bedard from Immigration Partnership Waterloo Region. 
May 09, 2022 12:00 PM
NOON ZOOM - Post Covid Affects on the City of Kitchener
May 16, 2022 12:00 PM
NOON ZOOM - Immigration Partnership Waterloo Region
Jun 06, 2022 12:00 PM
IN PERSON - Registered Event - Family Friendly
View entire list
Birthdays & Membership Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Laura Mae Lindo
May 6
Tom Mennill
May 14
Pete Gray
May 16
Mehreen Shahid
May 17
Martin Jones
May 19
Hubert Singh
May 21
David Chatson
May 31
Join Date
Ailton DIas Santana
May 17, 2021
1 year
Betty Bax
May 17, 2021
1 year
Bill Krohn
May 17, 2010
12 years
Linda Bennett
May 17, 2021
1 year
Paul McIntyre Royston
May 17, 2021
1 year