Welcome to the Rotary Club of Pullman

Service Above Self

We meet Wednesdays at 12:00 PM
Banyans on the Ridge
1260 Palouse Ridge Drive
Pullman, WA  99163
United States
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We channel our commitment to service at home and abroad through five Avenues of Service which are the foundation of club activity.
  • Club Service
  • Vocational Service
  • Community Service
  • International Service - volunteering on international projects, seeking partners abroad and more.
  • Youth Service - Rotaract, Interact, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards and Rotary Youth Exchange.
David introduced the speaker Amy Volz from Alternatives to Violence of Palouse.
Amy apologized for her manager not being able to attend the meeting and gave a great speech.  
She shared the story of how the program was started in Pullman by Dorothy Whitely in 1980.
Alternatives to Violence helps people from any gender or background. They serve all of Latah county and Whitman county, and have 4 fulltime staff in the Moscow office and 9 in Pullman, and 2 in shelters. They are moving into a new location April 19th and have two satellite offices at the University of Idaho and Colfax courthouse.
Ed introduced this week’s guest, Ethan Adams.  He is the CEO of VMRD, where’s he’s been officially employed for roughly 22 years.  However as his dad helped found the company, he has been involved for most of his life.  Ethan told us how he even answered a phone call from a customer as a toddler, with his uncle quickly intervening. 
Ethan spoke about the history and background of VMRD, which serves veterinary laboratories, vaccine manufacturers, and pharmaceutical companies, among others.  Their mission is to provide high quality products and services to their customers and a harmonious and rewarding work environment for their employees.
His father Scott Adams and a few others founded the company.  They did so with the idea of being able to produce diagnostic products based on scientific research, where at the time research was otherwise “sitting on a shelf.” 
Brenda Barrio was this week’s guest speaker.  She spoke about the WSU Roar program, which is post secondary education program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
She began brainstorming Roar two years ago, and is hoping to kick off in 2018. K-12 education for children with disabilities is widely available, but there are few opportunities for children when they finish. This limits opportunity for employment, which puts further strain on families that support young people in the area.  Roar will be the first fully inclusive program in Northern ID and Eastern WA.
Washington is only at 54.6% graduation rate for students with disabilities. Even though they complete most classes, because they can’t or don’t get through standardized testing or other diploma related requirements, they don’t “officially” graduate.  People with disabilities have a 65% unemployment rate, while people without are at 17%. 
This week’s guest is Pete Dickinson, City of Pullman Planning Director.  He has a bachelor's degree from the University of Berkley and a master's degree from WSU.     
Pete spoke to us about what has been happening around town in Pullman. 2016 was a record-setting year, with total permit value at $170.8 million.  WSU: $71.4 million, while all other funding went elsewhere.  The multicultural center is 16,000 square ft and $2.2 million in city value for 2016.  A few other updates include:
  • Ferdinand’s addition: 6,600 square feet at a cost of $5.7 million
  • Chief Joseph Village Apts: $8.1 million
  • Courtyard by Marriot hotel: 122 guest rooms. $10.5 million
  • SEL 2454 industrial building: 165,000 sq ft. $10.9 million, with 500-550 new jobs
  • WSU Digital Classroom Building: 80,000 sq ft at $12.0 million
  • WSU Chinook student center: 70,000 sq ft at $16.5 million
  • WSU Troy hall renovation: 50,000 sq ft. at $18.2 million
  • Pullman-Moscow airport: 3.5 cubic yards of soil, at $18.9 million
This week’s guest is Kristina Umbright, who works as Senior Chore Service Coordinator with the Pullman Community Council on Aging.  Once we connect a senior with a volunteer, you can meet as frequently or infrequently as works with your schedule.  Chores can range from 30 hours to 60 hours and can change based on what is needed.  Some programs may be delivered through local churches or other organizations. 
Next major workday is coming up in April.  They work with the Center for Civic Engagement at WSU.  They also work with Real Life Community Church.  They’re always looking for other project opportunities and for community members to fill in the gap.
Their goal is to help keep seniors living in their current home, and with support with chores and work around their home, this is possible.  Everyone is welcome to volunteer! 
Ann Lewis and Elizabeth Walker were introduced by Graham.  Ann and Elizabeth are two of the three members of the executive team for the League of Women’s Voters in Pullman.  The league is a non-partisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in elections.  It was found in 1920 by Carrie Chapman Catt, right after the 19th amendment was passed to give women the right to vote.  This organization was meant to show the 70-year struggle of the voters. 
Early on, they trained volunteer teachers for citizenship schools, organized institutes to study defects in system of government, and initiation “Know Your Town” meetings.  Women had the right to vote in 1910 in Washington State specifically, becoming the 5th state in the US to allow this. The group has accomplished a great deal over its existence.  They’ve even had a role in managing presidential debates. 
Eric introduced our own members Ed and Jeff.  They both were there to discuss our club’s Palouse Tarakea Future Visions Project (PTFVP), including what’s been done thus far, and they’re working on now along with Chandi and other stakeholders.
Ed first went through the accomplishments of the first project, which started in 2013.  This included implementation of rain-water harvesting tanks, regular and emergency electricity to the region, education on water safety and electricity, and funding for construction of a
pregnancy ward.  Ed and Jeff both went to Tarakea on two separate occasions, with Ed going with member Barry Johnson mainly to deliver water safety education and associated materials, while Jeff and his son Santos mainly went to deliver education and associated materials about electricity.
After Jeff completed his trip, he was interested in trying to continue helping the people of Tarakea, along with the support of our club, stakeholders such as the Rotary Club of Mkuu Rombo (who we had worked with on the initial project) WSU partnerships, and others.  Jeff was especially motivated by a few areas for improvement he saw while there, including the pervasive darkness in classrooms, inability to utilize cellular devices as power is hard to come by, and lack of mobility for water.
Eric introduced our very own Ed Felt, who some members also know as the winner of the Traditional Sauce Competition at the 2014 National Buffalo Wing Festival.  Ed presented on his “sauce journey,” chronicling his very early interests in chicken wings and buffalo sauce, to his institution of an annual “Wingsgiving’ event and why he even went to Buffalo, NY in the first place.
Ed started enjoying chicken wings upon starting school at Washington State University, even implementing a Facebook group for fellow members of his hall community to go to such locations as Wingers every week.  He says what most interested him were all the options of sauces at various locations, though (of course) they had to taste good for his interest to flourish.  “Once I turned 21 and could go to previously prohibitive locations, my love affair with wings grew exponentially due to newfound access to so many options,” he said. With the interest of his mom on visits back to his home in the Walla Walla area, they developed a sauce that combined sweet tang with spice, taking inspiration from traditional Buffalo sauce as well as those from Wingers.  Ed continually tinkered with the sauce cause through college and after, eventually being inspired to create a wings-centered event with family and friends: Wingsgiving.  “The notion was I would make the wings, and my guests would bring the “things”,” he said.  “It started fairly disorganized as no guidance was given as to what “things” should be in relation to food and beverage, but we’ve improved.”
Graham introduced our speaker Jerry L Robinson.  Jerry was born in Moscow, Idaho. After graduating from Moscow High School Jerry worked for a local farmer and his father at Stubbs Seed Services. From 1981 to 1993 Jerry managed the warehouse, along with oversight and management of the company’s seed production. In 1993 Jerry became the General Manager and Owner of Stubbs Seed Services. With the retirement of the general manager of WSCIA in 2007 Jerry was hired to manage the organization and to oversee its move from Yakima to Pullman and currently manages the organization from its new office at Port of Whitman Research Park in Pullman.
The Washington State Crop Improvement Association (WSCIA) was started in 1946 and incorporated in 1951. Purpose of the organization has grown and expanded since then. They currently have 7 fulltime employees in Pullman, and they have 16+ summer time employees. Most of them are teachers who work from July-September inspecting fields. Annual payroll is ~$612K and annual revenue is ~$2.1 million. WSCIA’s structure has 4 components. It involved a business office, a breeder seed production focus, a seed certification program and foundation seed program, promotion and an education program. 
Harmon introduced today's guest speaker, Kristin Kontogianis.  She is a student at the WSU’s School of Veterinary Medicine, and has worked with Harmon on occasion.  She also works with the Humane Society as well.  Kristin completed her undergrad work at the University of Washington.  She has been interested in animal behavior since she was very young.
The #1 behavior of concern for humans is aggression, of which the main symptom is dog bites.  4.5 million dog bites occur each year.  If you have children and have a dog that has been in your family for its whole life, and then suddenly biting someone, it is important to think about next actions.  Aggression is not a “dirty word” but actually a natural activity for dogs, especially with regard to territorial aggression, protective aggression, etc.  There are ways we can mitigate behavior.  Especially with older dogs, there are many hyper sensitivities that surface from previous experiences or discomforts.  When Kristin has worked on such dogs, they can attempt to train them to not respond so negatively to such experiences. 
14-39% of dogs suffer separation anxiety.  Common signs are vocalization, especially when owners leave them for longer periods of time.  This could quickly lead to an eviction in a crowded place such as an apartment complex, as the dog may be too loud for neighbors.  One dog she’s previously worked with was Mara, who she learned was very mouthy and uses her teeth when taking treats.  Within 20 minutes of working with Mara on the first day she was surrendered to the Humane Society, the dog would now use its tongue when given food. 
Harmon introduced Lyle Drader as the guest speaker.  Harmon has had a lot of fascination regarding aviation on the Palouse.  After making a trip out to Inter-State Aviation, he got their chief pilot Lyle out to make a presentation. 
Lyle first asked if there are any pilots currently present, of which there were none.  He’s been flying for 25 years, and has all the obtainable ratings except for one.  He is a certified flight instructor, and can teach flying lessons as well as how to be an instructor.  Lyle grew up in Colton, and has been in the area most of his life where he worked on a farm for 31 years until got tired of it and took up flying. 
Among other things, Inter-State Aviation plan charters throughout the Pacific Northwest.  Most recently they went to Sun Valley.  They also teach and sells fuel to companies in the area such as SEL.  They have roughly 13 different aircraft now, including 3 Cessna 172s. 
He’s had many interesting experiences throughout his career.  At one time, he couldn’t stop after landing on a runway, and ended up in a nearby field.  Luckily, he got the aircraft back on the runway, and flew out.  He was also able to convince the owner Doug that the plane, which as he didn’t crash or damage it, he was ok with.  One time he had an engine blow up! He had to crash land it with low visibility, but made it with only minor scratches.
Wende introduced Jake, who she hired roughly 11 years to work at SEL.  Jake and his wife Kendra have been adopting several children from Haiti, and will soon have a family of 11.  Some of his soon-to-be adopted children are still in Haiti, but they hope to have them here soon. 
Jake and Kendra started a non-profit called Good Neighbor Missions Internationally about 5 years ago, to help with children in need in Haiti.  They had a few friends with an orphanage originally, which gave them the idea.  Eventually they had enough funding to support an orphanage that they’re fully supporting every month, which is providing for the day-to-day life for kids in the area, from ages as young as 4 to 13.  They currently employ 12 staff to care for the ~23 children present. 
One of Jake’s main goals is also being able to fund a school there, and giving a meal a day to all the students present.  This would require $100/year for one person to sponsor a student for an entire year.  The recent hurricane that devastated Haiti has built up their school with more students as impacted residents have pushed their kids into the city so that they may attend school there, whereas no infrastructure is currently in place in some other areas of the country due to extreme weather. 
Jacie was inspired by the presentation of funds to Kim with Pullman Child Welfare, and spoke of the need to help here and internationally in generally.
She and her husband Wayne have been farming for 34 years as business partners.  They have family members who are also helping.  They farm “Gum Junction” which is 7 miles from Union Town, Moscow, and Genesee.  They started doing farm tours in the 1990s, and did so for about 11 years.  For so many generations, many people have been moved further and further away from farming and have lacked the understanding of what farming can do.
Instead of giving a PowerPoint presentation, Jacie proceeded to give us materials for a fun learning activity.  This gave us the opportunity to understand how much of agriculture is luck based on weather, among other things.  She believes that this year agriculture would be impacted by “Falling Numbers.”  Whenever they take a load of seed into an elevator, they take count and look for any evidence of sprout.  Recently the “Falling Numbers” test evaluates it differently.  Because of cold evenings and warm days when plants were flowering, shortages occurred.  If you look at the cash price of crops, it has dropped. 
President Schulz had already been in Pullman for 6 months. They have been enjoying the area very much, and it has been a very busy six months.
He was very impressed regarding the article in the paper about the Rotary club and our participation in the Tarakea international project. He encouraged our continuous engagement in the projects of this nature. President Schulz’s wife is also very interested in helping people in need in Ethiopia.
He wanted everyone to know that he and his wife are living at the President’s house and enjoy being in there and living closer to the students.  They had been married for almost 29 years and had the opportunity to live in small college towns during his career. They absolutely love Pullman.  They have a dog Cayenne who has 1000 social media followers. They have 2 cats and a 25 feet airstream camper.
President Schulz went on to mention his plans for WSU. WSU is dispersed in 5 different campuses around the state of Washington that make his job very interesting.  Our Vancouver campus just surpassed 3,500 students in this semester.
We had a “warm and fuzzy” presentation by Eric, which consisted of a video recap from a presentation by our current RI president, President John Germ, at the 2016 Convention.  He said that small opportunities can lead to great results, such as inviting guests to Rotary.  “I think that every one of us recognizes the opportunity to serve through Rotary,” he said.  “The only difference between a small opportunity and a great one, is what you do with it.”  He gave an example of toilets being installed in India, and the continued campaign to end Polio around the world.  These are examples of what can happen when we recognize the opportunity to join Rotary was the Opportunity of a lifetime.
Mark shared the major changes he has seen in Pullman since he started in 1985. Pullman has grown in respect to streets, subdivisions, industrial parks, research parks, sidewalks, and many other things. The city has worked hard to beautify Pullman.
He mentioned many people who were important to his career. John Sherman was really impactful in helping him get things into perspective. He also mentioned the impact Glenn has had on his life.
As he leaves, Mark believes that Pullman is in good shape. Budgets are stable. There is even a program to replace vehicles when needed including fire trucks.
He is proud that ‘the Pullman factor” was eliminated. It used to be that contractors added 10-15% into their prices because Pullman was considered difficult to work with. It took several years to change this factor, but now contractors really like working with us.
 Eric introduced our speaker, Dr. Cornell Clayton.  He is the Thomas Foley distinguished professor of politics at WSU, and among other things a frequent commentator and contributor to politics in local and national news. 
He originally didn’t think he’d have much dramatic material to discuss the day after the election, but now, “everything is changed,” he said.  Dr. Clayton believed that this result all came from the desire for change.  However, some things haven’t changed overall including a deeply divided country and electorate.  Also, looking at what a successful campaign strategy is hasn’t changed.  “You can’t be something with nothing,” he said.  Donald Trump had messaging, but Hilary Clinton didn’t have anything specific.  For Clinton, it was more of a response to Trump. 
As far as other changes, for the first time in a while, the Republican Party will control both the legislative branch and the executive branch.  Also, symbolic change is occurring, including having the first female presidential candidate.  Arguments between both parties have changed for the first time since 1980, and yet it’s also within parties via a populous message. 
John introduced our speaker.  John has been the “Foundation Shepard” for our club, and he asked our District Governor who would be the best to give a speech on the Rotary Foundation during Foundation Month.  That man is Don Hart.
Don is familiar with our region, especially participating in several sporting events over time.  As District Rotary Foundation Chair, he makes sure every member of the Columbia Center Club a Paul Harris Fellow.  The Tarakea Project was completed with the assistance of the Rotary Foundation.
Don informed us that this year was the 100th anniversary of the foundation.  His aim was to teach the group on what the foundation is and what it can do for us.  He introduced his chair members, including Chandi who is the Grant Chair.  The team also includes quite a few other members who focus on various aspects of the foundation.
In its 100th year, they’re trying to raise $300 million dollars.  So far they’ve obtained $37.5 million.  Don also showed us an analysis of our own fundraising, in which the prior year we did exceed our goal by almost ~$2000. 
Eric introduced Taylor Persello with the American Cancer Society (ACS).  She graduated from Whitworth and recently was married to a firefighter from Spokane.  She joined the ACS a few years ago, especially after a current member of her family went through a bout with cancer.
Taylor thanked everyone for being able to present.  She first spoke about the ACS, which is a non-governmental, non-profit organization that helps people access the closest care and resources available to them for cancer treatment and preventions.  They also provide transportation when needed to the hospital. 
They have several different programs, including Relay for Life, and Look Better Feel Better, among others.  There are cancer resource centers in the area for anyone to utilize when needed. 
The organization tries its best to help people stay well.  They’re prepping for their tobacco control initiative event “The Great American Smokeout” which will take place November 17.  They also promote Cancer screenings.  She is our ACS representative for Whitman County. 
Taylor went into the group's work as an advocate to keep federal and state funding for medical screenings and follow-ups, and they also work with the ACS Cancer Action Network, a lobbying group of sorts to push through certain initiatives.  They have a 24/7 resource at cancer.org, which provides local service information, questions to ask your doctor, and information about all their expenditures.
Jeff Guyett, Executive Director of the Community Action Center was this week’s guest. He shared a video. The participants talked about how they are benefited from the food bank, their energy assistance and weatherization programs.
Jeff talked about the broad programs available through CAC.
Every 3 years they do a community needs assessment to identify the areas that are with most needs in the Whitman County. 
Kiall Swift introduced Curtis Fackler. Curtis joined Better Health Together in July 2013. With a Master of Business Administration in Finance from Golden Gate University, he has over 25 years working with individuals and small business in the insurance and employee benefit arena. In 2007, he was named National Federation of Independent Business Washington State Small Business Champion for his work on health care issues for small business. He enjoys the great outdoors.
Curtis shared that his first career was as a B52 navigator. Now he helps Spokane-area residents navigate through insurance. Better Health Together helps train uninsured on how to get insurance.
October marks Rotary’s polio campaign with a highlight on October 24th which is World Polio Day. Eric shared the following video on polio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwokCauP4N0[youtube.com] (Pictures and notes are taken from the video.)  
I think that you can argue that no vaccine captured the emotions of the American public, as much as the polio vaccine did. It was a very, very emotional disease for this country.  In the 1930s and 40s, parents dreaded summer because it was the start of the polio season.  Polio could target any age, but most were under the age of five. No one knew why it impacted some kids and not others. The only thing that people knew was that it would infect and kill many kids every summer.
In the 30s, we started with 9700 victims and it increased to 52,000 victims in 1952.
Debi introduced District Governor Kees van der Pol.  He has been retired for 7 years, and been in British Columbia and teaching for his entire career.  He received a BA in Geography and German.  In 1974, he spent 1 year at the Kyoto University in Tokyo, Japan, where his wife Mayumi immigrated to Canada from.  Both are very involved in Rotary taking on multiple leadership positions, and have been married for 38 years. Their passion is travel, having frequently been in Japan and Europe, going on multiple tours.   
Kees thanked us for the warm reception, and to Eric for the meeting and dinner the previous night.  He and Mayumi had enjoyed the travel here.  He started by mentioning an e-mail that he had received.  It told the story about a girl who takes a bite out of an apple, chews, swallows it, and does the same thing with another apple.  Her mother tried not to show disappointment in her daughter as she took both apples, but then her daughter said “I think you’ll like this, it’s the sweeter one."  The lesson here: No matter how knowledgeable you think you are, never conclude your judgment of others before understanding them first.  This e-mail came from a young lady in Pakistan, who had previously interviewed them on television regarding the Rotary Friendship Exchange they had undertaken there.  One reason he brought this up is as it is from Pakistan, which is a location we hear so many negative things about including the lack of education for women. 
Gary introduced Hal Klein.  Some of the examples of uses for Amateur radio are:
  • During Hurricane Sandy where the telephone towers were out of operation
  • In 2001 when 911 calls were made, and during some other major hurricanes we had in the past.
Some of the service agencies are Red Cross, FEMA, and the  National Weather Service. These have also been used on other occasions like Thunder in the Snake sporting event along the Snake River and other similar sporting events.
This technology involves different pieces of equipment we can use in emergency situations because of their different modes of transmission methods and power sources. He discussed about the various aspects of this technology. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) governs all the frequencies and Amateur radio uses those frequencies that are not allocated for commercial use. He spoke about the different frequencies they use, the modes like CW and voice phone (MARS - military auxiliary radio system) and non-traditional uses of Amateur radio (earth-moon-earth communications, satellite communications, meteor scatter, QRP, and SOTA-summit on the air). He also talked about different technological pieces like antennas, repeaters etc. that we have around the area that can be used in an emergency situation. They have field days with emergency preparedness steps for individuals, and they do some exercises every 5th Saturday at the local fairgrounds.
Gary introduced Anthony Alvarez.  He lives on some farmland outside of Pullman, and has a great deal of experience managing restaurants.  He was in the navy, is a member of the VFW, and also manages an online farmer’s market.  Veterans on the Farm is an organization meant to help military personnel transition to work with farming. 
Dealing with PTSD and other associated conditions make it difficult for veterans to find a job after military service.  The unemployment rate is actually 2% higher among veterans than the rest of the country.  This group’s vision is to help provide them with opportunities for education, partnership, and employment in conservation-based agricultural industries. 
Anthony said this is not an age specific group, as they even have Vietnam veterans working with them.  If nothing else, giving them the opportunity to feed themselves with the ability to grow and utilize various crops is one of their main goals.


From the earliest days of the organization, Rotarians were concerned with promoting high ethical standards in their professional lives. One of the world's most widely printed and quoted statements of business ethics is The Four-Way Test, which was created in 1932 by Rotarian Herbert J. Taylor (who later served as RI president) when he was asked to take charge of a company that was facing bankruptcy.

This 24-word test for employees to follow in their business and professional lives became the guide for sales, production, advertising, and all relations with dealers and customers, and the survival of the company is credited to this simple philosophy. Adopted by Rotary in 1943, The Four-Way Test has been translated into more than a hundred languages and published in thousands of ways. It asks the following four questions:

"Of the things we think, say or do:

  1. Is it the TRUTH?

  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?


  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?"



Pullman Rotary Club Leadership
President Elect
Past President
Rotary Foundation
PR - Public Image