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Rotary Club of Thunder Bay - Port Arthur

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  • As representative of the club Nominating Committee it gives me great pleasure to announce that Vonnie Cheng has accepted the nomination for club president in 2016/17. Vonnie has been a long-time ...

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  • Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014 is our day to serve at the Dew Drop Inn. This is a wonderfully satisfying club community service program. All volunteers are welcome to come and help out at either the ...

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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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Coming up: Sunday, Dec 21


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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.


At Our Club August 26th


President Irene Kozlowski stands with Tim Heney, CEO of the Thunder Bay Port Authority. Mr. Heney returns to the club with good news about the resurgence of activity (good for all of course) at the Port, at the ‘head’ of the world’s largest inland seaway. Four themes emerged from his very concise presentation:

  1. The resurgence of Canadian grain transportation on the seaway; 
  2. New major reinvestment in infrastructure and vessels (examples include “hands-free mooring” and 15 new and improved lake vessels);
  3. Marine transportation is the most fuel efficient and safest mode of transportation; and 
  4. Superior water levels have rebounded dramatically (and thus a great boon to the industry). 

The Q and A session was lively. Mr. Heney was introduced by Jaimie Mintenko, and thanked by Rob Kerr.


The club welcomed our newest Exchange Student Jitte Wigbold (from the Netherlands). Jitte, only here 2 days, bravely took to the podium and introduced herself. Bravo! Have a great year, Jitte. She was introduced by her new host parent Leslie Savitsky.


At Our Club August 12th


Logan Ollivier and his partner Nicole Konkin flank president Irene Kozlowski at today’s meeting. Logan is CEO and Nicole is “the boss” at Ollivier Strategies, a dynamic new media marketing company, headquartered just down the street. Their mission with clients is to create economic prosperity through strategic communication planning (principally by mastering the new social media dominating the world). Helping to maximize and navigate sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin et al, their clients are one step ahead.

The presentation overviewed the world of social media; it is very fluid, changing rapidly, and apparently mandatory for business success. Apart from business alone, such facts came out as “51% of northwestern Ontario Facebook users are over 50" (Take note Colin Bruce). Nicole and Logan are Saskatchewan products who have found a great home and Rotary service in Thunder Bay. The presentation, like the business they are in, was edifying, charming and rather sobering. Art Warwick introduced Nicole and Logan, and they were thanked by Jim Greenaway.


Youth gave way today to veteran Rotary stalwarts Bert Andreola, (Pensauken, Merchantville, NJ, USA), celebrating ongoing 52 years of perfect attendance, and Joe Vanderwees, happy to back after being in sick bay and looking spry and in great humour as always. Great to have you both out gentlemen.


At Our Club August 5th


Irene Kozlowski, Club President is flanked by Jaro Kotalik (L) and guest speaker, Gerry Martin. 

Mr. Martin is a well- travelled and experienced Anishinabek Elder, by training as a nurse as well as counsellor and advocate for First Nation ethics and general welfare. Mr. Martin has current positions with Confederation College, Lake head University and Matawa Tribal Council. An experienced and sought after speaker, Mr. Martin spoke of the value systems he uses for FN (and non FN) youth et al to promote connectivity with the natural world, his Creator and fellow Canadians. He was introduced by Jaro Kotalik and thanked by David Legge. Meegwitch, Mr. Martin.


At Our Club July 29th


l-r, President Irene Kozlowski, Past President Bernie Baxter, Brenda Winter, Brendan Hardick, Jim Greenaway, and Jim Mucklow
Two new Rotarians welcomed today!. Brendan Hardick who was introduced by his sponsor Brenda Winter and Jim Greenaway introduced by his sponsor Jim Mucklow. President Kozlowski and Past President Bernie Baxter took part in the ceremony. The club is delighted with our new members, both of whom are already engaged as members!  ( see below for a good example).


The guest presenter was also inducted just today: Brendan Hardick of Scrimshaw and Scott LLB law firm has been working with Brenda Winter and others on a new in-house club Youth Protection Policy, under the authority and requirements of the Ontario Child and Family Services Act. Brendan outlined the reporting requirement (Section 72) for child abuse, based on the legal test of reasonable grounds, to a Children’s Aid Society. There was discussion on the internal club reporting/ mechanism policy (once an obligatory report is to be made to CAS). Several case reports highlighted the issues. Q and A also touched on possible offences for failure to report and possible ramifications re privacy concerns. The club is doing due diligence to a high, professional degree in an area important to the club. Brendan was introduced (again) by Brenda Winter, and thanked by Jaimie Mintenko.


At Our Club July 22nd

President Irene Koslowski stands proudly with Haruka Ono (of Chiba..near Tokyo, Japan). Haruka delivered an emotional and passionate farewell to the club today having completed her term as Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, and achieving an Honours Bachelor of Social Work, at Lakehead University.

Haruka’ s unique leadership qualities were pre-eminent. She has a unique skill at connecting on a meaningful basis with many of the Anishinabek students that she worked with (in the “peer leadership program) at schools such as Dennis Franklin Cromartie and Matawa. The rewards, given patience, and listening, were inestimable. Some transformative changes took place and long-term friendships forged.

Her successes are an inspiration to Rotarians and there were numerous teary eyed members attending this meeting who could see her unique qualities in facing the challenges of cross-cultural racism, and lost opportunities.It is hoped that Haruka, who appealed greatly to all who got to know her, will return to this area given suitable employment, or at a minimum, visit us in the future. Warm thoughts were expressed by many, including Fred Baker and Bill Everitt, who introduced and thanked her respectively.


At Our Club July 15th


Dressed in green (“I’m green at this” you’re not), Club President for 2014-15, Irene Kozlowski is congratulated by a beaming out-going President Judi Turner. Irene paid tribute to all members including the Executive Board and PP J. Turner for their confidence in nominating her for the presidential position this year. Irene had a strong belief in Rotary right from her introduction in 2003. Her inaugural address was stirring and passionate, invoking the Four Way (ethical) Test of Rotary and challenging members to “Light Up Rotary” in whatever way suits them. Irene employs a “strength finder” to assist people in finding a meaningful presence within the club. Irene’s opening reflection was poignant: a moment of silence for all to contemplate the value of Rotary. All agreed that Irene is off to a fine start indeed!


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.

Speakers & Meetings


  • Dec 02 - Michael Nitz & Nathan Lawrence, Provincial YPN Initiative
  • Dec 09 - Paul Deighton, Chairman of the Board for the Dew Drop Inn
  • Dec 16 - Holiday Meeting
  • Dec 23 -  TBD
  • Dec 30 -  TBD

December 2nd

Exchange Student: Jitte Wigbold

Guest: Michael Douglas


Visiting Rotarians: 
  • Aliisa Payvalainen
  • Irene Sottile
  • Stephen Margant
  • Emma McDonald

Exchange Student: 

  • Jitte Wigbold


  • Gladys Berringer


  • Michael Douglas 
  • Kristen D'Angelo
  • Amber Zrebarth
  • Tatyana Coal

Reception Desk Roster

Arrange for a substitute if you can't attend.

  • Dec 02:  Bill Ulakovic,
    Jim Mucklow
  • Dec 09: James Madder,
    Vlad Popescu
  • Dec 16:  Mary-Anne Comuzzi,
    Vonnie Cheng
  • Dec 23:  Maria Hudolin,
    Jim Greenaway 
  • Dec 30: Art Warwick,
    Brendan Hardick

Prospective Members

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

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