Posted by Keith Reed
There were 30 members present, including Jeff Wahl representing the Community House. No guests attended. Thought for the Day was given by Denny Lauer about the importance of being “calm”.  Tom Nash presided at his last meeting as our President—his term officially ends July 1.  Congratulations to Tom for a very successful year of leading our Rotary Club!
ANNOUNCEMENTS: Julie Tye and ArLynn Presser are celebrating their 2nd and 19th years of Rotary membership.  Peter Skalski was awarded a Paul Harris pin for his financial support of Rotary. Tom asked for volunteers to sign up to participate in the Rotary’s July 4th parade “march”, which is in the process of being planned.  After a show of hands, it was decided to have our July 5th meeting as planned.  Mark Kotz is recovering from his recent health problems, but has indicated that he will be retiring from the Club. We will miss not only Mark’s enthusiasm and his presence at our meetings, but his list of “thoughts for the day” and “dig and grins” which he used to fill in frequently  for those who missed their meeting “assignments”.  Tom announced that due to increased rental fees from  the WCH,  our dues will be increased from $255 to $270 per quarter (includes lunch) effective July 1st.  He also mentioned that there may be a slight increase in our dues to the International Rotary.
HAPPY BUCKS: Dr. John Stone made a very nice donation in announcing that he was retiring from the dental profession. He has been a Rotarian for about 40 years and intends to come back to visit but will eventually retire from the Club.  He reported that the rehabbing of his knee is coming along fine and that the toughest thing about this decision is missing the day to day contact with his patients.  ArLynn Presser contributed because it appears that the screenplay written about her life may result in a movie within the next couple years. Wes contributed in honor of Eric Birkenstein playing piano before the start of the meeting and recalled how Kal Novak used to play piano before every meeting when he was a Rotarian. Ned Meisner contributed for having experienced an auto accident while visiting his mother in Rhode Island with no one being seriously hurt and for his safe 1000 mile motorcycle ride to visit his Mother.
SPEAKER RICHARD LAIBLE:  Richard is an alum of  the Second City improv theater and started its corporate program where companies train their managers to better communicate with their colleagues, to feel more comfortable talking “on their feet”, and to learn the technique of effective improvisation.  His talk was entitled “Self IMPROVment” which emphasis the importance of “being in the moment, paying attention and agreement” to help people  make both their work and home life happier and more productive.  Richard started at an early age performing in magic shows and then transformed into a standup comedian. He participated in Second City shows and trained most of those participants who went on to become professional comedians. He emphasized that everyone is expected to “improvise” during their daily life, even if only in casual conversations with the people they have contact with. You need to be a good listener to others in your conversations and be interested in what they have to say rather than be thinking about what you want to say when there’s a pause in the conversation. Other important things to do during conversations is to have eye contact with the others, smile, nod and ask questions about what the others are saying.  Richard paired us up for a “mirror” exercise where we had to follow the exact motions of our partner.  This required us to pay full attention to the physical movements of others—which is the same thing we should do when we are having verbal conversations with others.  At his direction, we all closed our eyes and remained silent for 60 seconds to listen to sounds and our own thoughts without the distraction of outside things in our everyday life.  Richard does this every morning to prepare for his day and is in the process of getting into mediation to help him “focus within myself”. Richard gave everyone his email address of and invited them to comment on his presentation since he is in the process of developing for other groups this presentation on “self-improvement”.  He also announced that he has arranged for a professional standup comic to appear at the Book Stall in Winnetka to help show people the art and importance of improvisation. The evening shows will start July 17th and thereafter be the first Tuesday evening of every month. The charge is $20, which includes a $5 coupon to the book store and a free cocktail.  You should call or look for the start times  so you can arrive early since the  seating area is limited and so far the turnout has been considerable.
Richard's Powerpoint Presentation "Self IMPROVment":  Can be found on our website in the left hand column 'Downloads.'