In what was likely the best attended meeting of the year, we had 37 in members attendance plus eight guests, one visiting Rotarian and our speaker for a total of 47.  An extra table had to be added!  The visiting Rotarian was Penny Fields from the Highland Park club.  Sam Badger invited his wife Nancy, Denis and Sondra Healy from Turtle Wax, Inc., as well as Phil Hoza and his daughter Carrie Hoza, both retired military and from Bratschi Plumbing.  Jake Ieuter brought his dad and boss, Bill Ieuter, an ex-marine, while Keith Reed brought prospective member Jeff Fosselman who works in Northfield in accounting and financial planning, and finally, John Thomas brought along John Shea, Jr., the Recreation Supervisor from the Winnetka Park District.
President Bob Baker asked the club if they would like to continue the tradition of having tri-club meetings this year with the two clubs in Wilmette.  He received an overwhelming positive response to continue the tradition.
In an effort to keep our club growing, Peter Skalski of the Membership Committee asked for members who would be willing to make a commitment to bring at least one guest to our meetings in the first three months of 2015.  Remember that you can bring a guest and potential member to three lunches, on the Club.  Even when guests do not become members they know a little more about Rotary and our club, and that is a positive result.
John Thomas, President-Elect, announced that the nominating committee is looking for candidates for the officers and board for the 2015-16 Rotary year.  He also said that our next speaker (on Dec. 11) would be our own member Bob Smith, Director of the Winnetka Park District who will reveal the major renovation plans for the Hubbard Woods Park.  It will be a great meeting to bring guests as will the meeting on the 18th where the New Trier Swing Choir will regale us with songs of the holidays.
We celebrated Chuck Norton’s birthday and Rodger Morris’ 42nd membership anniversary this week.
This week’s Happy Buck$ came from Barb Tubekis for the successful food drive our club conducted.  We provided 40 bags of food for the Just Harvest food bank.  Dave Birkenstein was happy for the new members who have joined the club, Keith Reed and Sam Badger.  Mark Kotz was happy to announce that his Bank First Bank & Trust at the corner of Green Bay and Winnetka Avenue will be hosting the Chamber of Commerce’s ‘After Hours’ event from 5 – 7 p.m. on December 11th.
Sam Badger introduced the speaker, Jim Homan.  Jim is 31-year veteran who served in the Marines after graduating from Creighton University.  He was a navigator on the A6 Intruder Bomber in the Viet Nam war.  He flew over 250 missions and dropped over three million pounds of bombs flying mostly night missions.  He was fortunate to not have suffered any physical injuries but he knows he has PTSD.  After the Viet Nam war he returned to visit some of the places that his plane bombed in 1969.  He has held numerous jobs, often in the security arena.  Jim always had the advantage of being able to return to the Marine Corps as a reservist.  He took advantage of that opportunity several times over the years, and spent time in both the private sector, usually in some aspect of security, as well as in the Marine reserves.  He was involved in both Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm in the first Gulf War in the early 90s, which is when he was promoted to Colonel.  He told of his many military experiences such as when he was the personal courier for $5 million between Pakistan and Afghanistan.  Twice Jim has worked for Motorola, once as Director of Global Crisis Management Operations and also as Director of Loss Prevention Security in the Asia Pacific region.  He also spoke of the complex interplay between religion and politics and how the strong tribal culture of the region plays a role in governing in that area of the world.