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Rotary Club of Thunder Bay - Port Arthur

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  • The 2014 Rotary Christmas Parade will be held this year on Saturday, November 15th. Our club, along with the Fort William and Lakehead Rotary clubs, enjoy bringing smiles to everyone's face. ...

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Rotary Radio Days - CKPR
Date: February 16, 2015


Consider joining Rotarians in saying Thank You! For the past 49 years our local Radio Station CKPR 91.5 FM and the Rotary Club of Port Arthur have joined forces in a fundraising effort to make our community, the country and the world a better place to live.  Our continuing theme is “Thank You Thunder Bay”. Through the support of our community, Rotarians have been able to make significant contributions to many local, regional and international organizations and projects.

NOTE:  THIS YEAR, WE WILL SEND YOU YOUR AUDIO FILE AND PUT YOUR "Rotary Radio Day" ad on our face book page!   That way, you can listen to it over again! 

How does Rotary Radio Day work?  click here

Rotary Radio Day Ad Form click here


At Our Club: February 17, 2015 

imageHis Honour Mayor Keith Hobbs (an honourable Rotarian as well), joined us today for his annual and highly anticipated City Address. Mayor Hobbs is pictured here with PA Rotary President Irene Kozlowski.

Mayor Hobbs’ theme was” SIDE BY SIDE”. This motif characterizes his quest to create a caring, inclusive, and welcoming community. His comprehensive overview clearly demonstrated his passion for the city and achieving these goals. Virtually all the bases were covered. The many highlights were balanced with frank discussion on the social ills we are all familiar with. A very lively Q & A period followed. Mr. Hobbs was introduced by an excited President and thanked by his enthusiastic relative-in-law Bob Tomlinson.


At Our Club: February 10, 2015 


Past Presidents of the Club Colin Bruce and Maria Hudolin, told the club members today why they became Rotarians. The passion and continued dedication remains unabated.



At Our Club: February 3, 2015 


Our guest today was Matt Pearson, pictured with President Irene Kozlowski. Matt is GM of Sleeping Giant Brewery Thunder Bay, very much a success story in the independent craft brewery business, and expanding daily. Matt outlined the inside story of the craft brewing business. Sleeping Giant has a big profile in Thunder Bay , and is now tied as highest rated brewery in its class in Ontario. 1500 HL (hectalitres) per year are enjoyed through various outlets, with new brews coming. Sleeping Giant has been a strong partner with Port Arthur Rotary in making Oktoberfest a premier fundraising event.
Matt was introduced by Darren Fisk and thanked by Dave Legge.


At Our Club: January 27, 2015 


Valarie Midgley returned to the club to update us on her burgeoning businesses emanating from “The Whole Nine Yards.” She is pictured with President Irene Kozlowski and Mom Barb, and as well with Irene and Rotarian Bob Tomlinson (displaying unique bibs). Valarie is now specializing in custom clothing for disabled clients with mobility concerns through “Carefree Clothing.” All manner of consultation is available. Her business diversity also includes catering (example-The Pampered Chef), classes and workshops). The smorgasbord can be viewed at Joe McEachern introduced Valarie and Barb, and they were appropriately thanked by Jim Mucklow.


At Our Club: January 13, 2015


The Staal Foundation Pro-Am Golf Tournament was featured today. Pictured are organizer/speakers Scott Smith (a Dorion lad), Mike Tallari, alongside chair, club President-Elect Darren Fisk. The Staal Foundation Open was a huge success in 2014: not just a high level development PGA Tour event (156 players), but a fine impact event for Thunder bay tourism and the economy.

See for full details including the 2015 event summary, at Whitewater GC, July 16-19, 2015. The presentation was comprehensive; statistics were impressive (examples: 1.8 million dollar boost to the TB economy; $133,000 raised for charities (cancer prominent); 12,000 guests; 500 volunteers).

Scott and Mike can be reached at staalopen%23ca|scott and staalopen%23ca|mike respectively. Kevin Holloway handled the introductions and Mike Douglas the thank- yous. Plenty of energy, fun and good promotion.


At Our Club: January 6, 2015


Today’s speaker Scott Garner, Municipal Accessibility Specialist with the City of Thunder Bay, is pictured with Club President Irene Kozlowski.

Click here to see the Accessibility Plan on the City's website. Scott accurately described the magnitude and importance of disabilities in Ontario and Thunder Bay (1.85 million in Ontario) and legal requirements for provision of accessible aid for these residents. The Ontario Disability Act (2001) and later the updated Accessibility for Ontarians Disability Act (2005) provide the legal requirements, now really for every business. The topics covered were comprehensive, including : Thunder Bay Advisory Committee activities; Compliance requirements; Information and Communications for the Disabled; Employment; Design of Public Spaces, and Transportation options.

Scott was a most informative speaker; he was introduced by Bob Backstrom and thanked by Leslie Savitsky.


At Our Club: December 30, 2014


President Irene Kozlowski delivered a thoughtful reflection on aging and respect for seniors, on the last meeting day of the year. She then proceeded to play an interesting video by New York Times best selling author Dan Buettner on How to Live to Be 100 +.

Aging myths are dispensed with and “Blue Zones” at several world locations are used as templates for longevity (one example-Okinawa, Japan).
One salient common denominator is that successful long livers exist in tight knit groups or “ tribes”. The President alluded to our “tribal” Rotary club as a good example.

The video is available at:
Happy New Year all.


New Member Michael Douglas Inducted!
President Irene (far left) along with Dr. David Legge and Jaimie Mintenko were pleased to welcome another new member, Michael Douglas, to their club on Dec. 30th.


At Our Club: December 16, 2014


Nathan Korstanje, guest speaker today, is pictured with President Irene Kozlowski.
Nathan works front-line with L’Arche Canada (, the international organization that matches caring individuals with “core” members who have intellectual disabilities in (ideally) life-long relationships promoting mutual growth and exchange of “gifts”. Awareness was a key to the presentation. L’Arche started 50 years ago under Jean Vanier (son of Canadian Governor General George Vanier). Nathan has become involved at one of the (6) Vancouver homes and is keen on starting LArche in Thunder Bay. A video was shown (using the Beatles All You Need is Love), and a lively Q and A period followed. The website is a good starting place to follow up on this humanitarian organization. Nathan was introduced by Jaro Kotalik, and thanked by Jonathon Knapp.


Past President Judi Turner, President Irene Kozlowski and Past President Maria Hudolin display a Shelterbox Hero 2014 certificate presented to the club for a  $3000 giving achievement by our club. Shelterbox International provides shelter and supplies in areas around the world in conflict and natural disaster zones.


At Our Club: December 9, 2014


Paul Deighton is pictured with President Irene Kozlowski. Paul is Chairman and President of the Board of the Corporation of the Dew Drop Inn (at St. Andrew’s R.C. church). Mr. Deighton presented a clear picture of the state of the Dew Drop Inn kitchen along with a comprehensive summary of the history (It served its first meal, and thereafter, every day of every year to present, in February 1981), current operations and statistics. Approximately 66,000 meals are projected for 2014, over 200 meals per day. That’s a lot of dishwashing. That’s also a lot of need!

The current dishwasher is expiring and the Board has launched a $49,000 campaign to install a new state of the art dishwasher (with a 1 minute clean and sanitize cycle), along with extensive infrastructure changes to the kitchen and of course dishwasher requirements itself. A fine pamphlet was circulated to members. Our Rotary club has been a long- time supporter of this important community project (harken back to George Burns days!). Donations are gratefully accepted and charitable receipts are available. Mr. Deighton or Rotarians such as Lead Dave Silliman can be reached for follow-up.
Mr. Deighton was introduced by Dave Silliman and thanked by Jim Mucklow.


Dave Grady (right) is congratulated by Roly Turner and President Kozlowski on being presented a Paul Harris Fellowship. This prestigious award confirms David’s commitment to both world Rotary Service and to his personal generosity. Well done Dave!


At Our Club: December 2, 2014


Club Rotarian Michael Nitz found time in his busy schedule to unveil to members the Young Professionals Network of Ontario. Pictured here with Club President Irene Kozlowski, Mike and fellow Thunder Bayite Nathan Lawrence co-founded YPNO ( as an innovative, across Ontario, umbrella organization of under 40 professionals dedicated to “ providing assistance and facilitating collaboration amongst chapters to help ensure the active engagement of Young Professionals in their communities.”

Last week to acclaim at Queen’s Park Toronto, Michael and Nathan et al met with the premier and some ministers to launch the “Meet Us and Hear Us Campaign.” A great deal of help was obtained locally, including Sencia Canada in developing the website (refer to the link above). The new logo is particularly impressive, showing interconnectedness in blue( professionalism), green (growth) and orange (energy).

YPNO is the product of many energetic local professional programs; SHIFT and local and provincial Chambers of Commerce to name a few. Outstanding work and vision Michael (introduced and thanked most appropriately by Darren Fisk and Rima Cieslik!


Rotarians Brian Thompson (of Flipper Flanagan fame ) and Rob Grady (of Second Time Around fame), “drum up” business and excitement for the December 21st, Rotary Carol Sing at St. Paul’s United Church. This annual musical potpourri supports the Christmas Cheer Fund and is a family musical must for the holidays. Be there!!!


 At Our Club: November 25, 2014


Returning Rotary Youth Leadership students from their July 13-19 camp in Crookston, Minnesota, presented at today’s meeting. Pictured (from L to R) Heather Minthorne, Club Facilitator, Tatyana Cool, President Irene Kozlowski, Amber Ziebarth and Kristen D’Angelo. 

148 students attended (12 Canadian), all from Grades 11-12. As previously they were divided into “families” of 7-9, each with 2 facilitators, and experienced a plethora of leadership activities, all comprehensively covered today by Tatyana, Amber and Kristen. There were social opportunities of course, and life-long leadership friends and development benefits. The club was honoured. Heather Minthorne introduced the girls and they were thanked by Darren Fisk.


At Our Club: November 18, 2014


President Irene Kozlowski welcomed back Gladys Berringer,Executive Director of Our Kids Count Thunder Bay, which continues to champion the innovative program Roots of Empathy (previously highlighted at this Rotary Club). The concept involves Kindergarten to Grade 8 students observing a selected 2-4 month old baby (and parent), in a range of activity situations over time, building empathy capacity. Though instructors have declined recently, the program remains extant in 22 Thunder Bay schools, though not yet universal locally. The organization sees it as part of mental health programming.  Club members are very positive and supportive. Gladys was introduced by Jaimie Mintenko and thanked by Jim Greenaway.


At Our Club: November 11, 2014


Remembering the many sacrifices of Canadians during several world conflicts, the club, under President Irene Kozlowski, put on a touching service at today’s meeting. This included a fine video as well as a number of Club Directors reading letters sent home by soldiers to loved ones. These were highly emotional and poignant reminders for all in attendance on this important day in Canada.

At Our Club: November 4, 2014


Rotarian Rob Kerr, Executive Director of the Thunder Bay Salvation Army Complex, is pictured with wife Shelley (chaplain at SA) and Club President Irene Kozlowski. Major Kerr gave a passionate and heartfelt overview of the SA in Thunder Bay, with its plethora of programming for the many deserving clients. Some (not all) of the many facets covered included: the Habitat Program (on Pearl St); the Food Bank; the Breakfast School Programme; the Soup Van; Christmas Dinner; the Anger Management Program, and many more. This winter will be challenging, the Emergency Shelter already has 42 (extra) residents sleeping on mats! Rob was introduced by Darren Fisk and thanked by SA volunteer Board member Dave Silliman.


Charles Cirtwill LLB and Policy Analyst with the Northern Policy Institute (3rd left), and Jonathon Knapp, Sales manager, Wasaya Airlanes (2nd from R), were inducted into the club today (Jonathon was re-welcomed, having been a member several years ago). They are pictured with Dave Legge, Jim Madder, Irene Kozlowski and Seppo Paivalainen, who sponsored and helped these two with the ceremony today. The club wishes them well and welcomes them indeed.


Another very successful Oktoberfest was honoured with Alexandra Jones presenting “results” along with Matt Pearson of Sleeping Giant Brewery, (our major partner), Darren Fisk, Jaimie Mintenko, and Krysta Logozzo. Great work and here’s to O-3 next October!


At Our Club October 28th


Paul Pepe, the congenial Manager of Tourism Thunder Bay returned today to update the club on the multi-faceted plan to make Thunder Bay “Canada’s Premier Outdoor City.” Pictured here with Mr. Pepe is another keen proponent of Thunder Bay, club President Irene Kozlowski.

Mr. Pepe’s presentation was high on energy and enthusiasm for the present and future and he made a good business argument for the area being on the leading edge of tourism development in Ontario. Areas covered included: accommodation and culinary, public art, the waterfront revitalization and the new event centre (to name just a few!).

The figures speak for themselves and improvements will attain and surpass the goal. “If every visitor to Thunder Bay spends even an extra $10 more, then the tourism economy would swell by $5.28 M annually and create 73 new jobs.
Art Warwick introduced and Joe McEachern thanked Mr. Pepe.


At Our Club October 21st


President –elect Darren Fisk (left) is pictured with guest Mark Smyk, a practising geoscientist with the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines. Mark is the resident geologist and program manager of the Ontario Geological Survey. He gave a superb overview today on “Mineral Exploration and Current Mining Highlights in Northwestern Ontario”. This included a primer on the mining “sequence,” the essentials of the mining economic cycle (currently in a downturn especially for the “junior” developers), and details of all the mining projects both active and exploratory in this important geologic territory. Gold remains the number 1 sought after mineral with Goldcorp’s interests in Red Lake and Musslewhite , as well as residual ore at the Williams mine (Barrick Hemlo) leading the way.

Mr. Smyk’s presentation was comprehensive and served as a great tutorial on this important northern Ontario resource. He even of course opined on the Ring of Fire project..indeed a few years off, with access infrastructure and stakeholder consensus still big issues on the table.
He was introduced by Martti Tenander and generously thanked by Mo Nelson.


At Our Club October 14th


President-elect Darren Fisk welcomed CEO Doug Murray of the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CDEC) as guest speaker today. Mr. Murray, a former Rotarian, was born and raised in Thunder Bay and has major experience in the area of community development. Accompanied by a CDEC Strategic Action Plan (2014-2017) brochure and well-crafted video, Mr Murray outlined the strengths and challenges of Thunder Bay and environs. He  highlighted the strategic plan for reaching out and promoting/coaching business into the future. Several industries are foci within the big plan:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Business Retention and Expansion (including Succession Planning)
  • Innovative Manufacturing
  • Training and Education
  • Logistics and Supply Hub
  • Social Enterprise
  • ICT
  • Regional Food and Film
  • Mining Readiness Strategy (MRS)

Mr. Murray was hopeful and enthusiastic in answering audience questions. He was introduced by Krysta Logozzo, and thanked by Alex Matiece. Check the CDEC website:


At Our Club October 7th



President Irene Kozlowski welcomed Dr. Michael Wilson, Regional Supervising Coroner- Ontario North Region, as guest speaker today. Dr. Wilson is in charge of all coroner’s cases in the region (size of France and then some). He ensures the facts are accurate, the conclusions (forensically) correct and that the families and (the public where applicable) are made aware of the results; and whether there is a public safety issue involved. His fascinating presentation included several real cases, illustrating the operation (including teamwork) of the death investigation system in Ontario, the conclusions and what the practical recommendations were. He was introduced by David Legge and thanked by Doug Shanks.


At Our Club September 16th

imagePeter Marchl, CFP at Normaxx Financial Services, presented, as a new member, on “ a little glimpse of Peter Marchl.”
Peter dispensed with macroeconomics and talked more about his personal and volunteering life. He emigrated here from Uxbridge Ontario with wife Ashley and immediately embraced life in Thunder Bay. Apart from his business life, Peter is current president of SHIFT, and toils endlessly at home renovations, sailing, curling, even hunting and fishing. The club is delighted with Peter. Chris Bailey, his sailing patriarch, introduced Peter, and he was thanked by Logan Ollivier.


Look it's Past District Governor
Roly Turner from our Club!

Congratulations to Past District Governors Roly Turner (Port Arthur Rotary Club) and Dave Smette (Jamestown, ND Rotary Club) on your District Awards!


At Our Club September 9th


In the centre is Jitte Wigbold, our club’s (shy?) 17 year old Exchange Student from Hengelo, the Netherlands. Jitte, in Canada but a week or two, hams it up with her host parent Leslie Savitsky (wielding the gavel to call for order), and flabbergasted President Irene Kozlowski (trying to restore dignity to the proceedings). Jitte did her initial presentation to the club on her family (Dad a business owner, Mom a health professional, an older sis and younger bro); Holland, her home town (80,000 population situated near the German border), her local school set-up, and Dutch life in general. In Thunder Bay she is attending Hammerskjold High School and living with the Savitskys. She was thanked for the presentation by Peter Marchl.



President Irene Kozlowski is delighted to present Joe McEachern and Vonnie Cheng with prestigious Paul Harris Fellowships, verifying their commitment and generosity in Rotary. Congratulations to both.


At Our Club September 2nd


On short notice Justin Frape, Senior Manager at BDO Canada, addressed the club. He is pictured with business colleague, friend, and (our) Club President Irene Kozlowski. Mr. Frape has an extensive business entrepreneurial CV as well as a volunteering background (example former Rotarian of the Year with the Lakehead Rotary Club), and is a family man to boot. 

Today, he focussed on the SR & ED program (that he has utilized through BDO and Telos Business Solutions) to connect business that accepts the challenge of (Scientific) Research and(Experimental) Development to forge ahead, especially with the help of the (little known to this point) tax credit program offered through CRA. His clients on average are receiving $60,000 in credits yearly.

Justin, despite a family crisis was relaxed and professional in his presentation. He was introduced and thanked by President Irene and President Elect Darren Fisk, respectively. Good luck on this going forward, Justin.


Club Info


Irene Kozlowski, 2014- 2015
Message from the President Click Here 

Past President Reflections Click Here 

Complete this form to join us for a Tuesday lunch meeting.

Mayor Keith Hobbs

Margaret Jurcic, Christa Novasat, Tina Bennett

Matt Pearson

Bonnie Craig

Herb Schmidtt, Irene Sottile

Exchange Student
Jitte Wigbold 

Barb Miogley, Vararie Miogley

Stephanie St Jacque 

Speakers & Meetings

  • Feb 24: Nicole Strong, TBRHSC Dietician
  • Mar 10:  Canadian Forces Employer Recognition
  • Mar 17: Dr. Stevenson, President Lakehead University
  • Mar 25: Dr. Robert F. Foster, the Positive Effect Exchange
  • Apr 07:  Michael Gravelle, MPP Thunder Bay – Superior North
  • Jul 28:  Ryan Correy, A Purpose Ridden

Reception Desk Roster

Arrange for a substitute if you can't attend.
  • 3rd: Bert Ventrudo, Martti Tenander 
  • 10th: Paula Timmins, Kevin Holloway
  • 17th: Johnathan Knapp, Colin Bruce
  • 24th: Charles Cirtwill, Brian Thompson
  • 31st: Michael Douglas, Seppo Paivalinen

Prospective Members

Members are asked to sign into the secure website to check out the new Prospective Members page. 

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