President, Allan Cady, opened the meeting by asking Immanuel Beeson to offer the invocation and Warren Williamson to lead the Pledge of Allegiance.
There were several guests present at the meeting:  Jim Erickson, District Governor Elect, Wendell Jones' wife, Carolyn; John Lane, a visiting Rotarian from Troy, Ohio; and Mike Polley, a Rotarian who has recently moved to our area from Hawaii.
Frank Rosenberg was the lucky $5 attendance drawing winner on the third try - winning after badge numbers 19 and 14 were called with their owners not present to win.
As Foundation Chair, Chuck Flint reminded members that for the club to qualify for the District's Five Avenues of Service for Club Achievement Award, every member must donate, during this Rotary year, a minimum of $25.00 to The Rotary Foundation.  Chuck has personally contacted all the members who had not yet done so, and while many responded, there are still 14 members remaining who have not donated.  He will contact them again, but is hopeful the reminder at the meeting and in this Messenger article will prompt them to take action. 
At the May 3 meeting, President Allan had promised to give members the opportunity to contribute to "walking money" for Colton Cagle to take on his upcoming trip to Africa.  Colton was selected to be on the team to travel to deliver the mobility devices collected by the district-wide Interact project this past year.  Colton served as the President of the Westwood High School Interact club this school year and was recently elected to be the Interact District Governor for 2018-19.  Allan had an opportunity to talk to Andrea Murphy, our member who is the sponsor at Westwood High for the Interact Club when she attended the Mesa West Rotary Club's annual Spring Olympics.  She spoke very highly of Colton  who is a very impressive young man.
John Pennypacker paid happy dollars to celebrate the birth of his father 102 years ago.  Polly Cady paid happy dollars to be sitting at a prestigious table with two Past District Governors and one District Governor Elect.  Wendell Jones contributed happy dollars for Carolyn's birthday.  Pam Cohen contributed for the privilege of being seating with four handsome men, and Daryl Bethea contributed for the privilege of sitting at the same table with Pam.  Greg Okonowsky contributed $20 to Colton's fund as the happy winner of the Spring Olympics competition.  Ed Koeneman was happy that school is out for the summer.  He announced that the Interact Club had elected officers Wednesday evening, May 9.  All three newly elected officers are girls who have attended RYLA.  Their President will be a senior next year and immigrated to the US with her family from the British Virgin Islands.
  • District Conference will be held at the Wigwam Resort June 1-2
  • Mesa West Rotary will NOT meet June 14
  • Saturday, June 16, the annual Changing of the Guard will take place at the home of Don and Chris LaBarge
  • John Pennypacker suggested members consider attending the Pursuing Peace Conference, which will be held at the Wigwam Resort May 31, in addition to attending the District Conference.  One of several speakers, will be Paul Chappell, a West Point graduate, Iraq War Veteran and whose current profession is Peace Leadership Director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.  He is the author of several books about waging peace, ending war, the art of living, and what it means to be human.
President Allen introduced the program, which was the third in the series of business networking programs presented by club members this Rotary Year.  Greg Okonowski was introduced as the first speaker.
Greg told of being born in Warren, Michigan.  His family later moved to Traverse City, Michigan and a few years later relocated to Arizona.  Greg attended high school and college in Arizona.  Greg's older brother, Jeff, is a police officer in Chandler.  His sister, who is younger than Greg, works in obtaining funding for universities.  Her husband is also a policeman.  Greg said it would absolutely not be beneficial to use his name if Rotarians were ever stopped by either his brother or brother-in-law.
Greg and his wife, Laura, have a daughter, Kiana, who is a student at the University of Arizona in Tucson.  He feels like she grew up in Rotary and the love of volunteer service is part of who she is.  She participates in a Moment of Magic project where she dresses up like Mary Poppins and visits children who are hospitalized.  She also has been part of Best Buddies, a program where volunteers are paired with a special needs buddy.  
A couple of years ago, Greg and Laura tried to adopt kids.  That didn't happen.   They decided to spend lots of money going a different direction, but when they learned the viability prospect of the fertility options they were pursuing, they went yet a different direction.  After having waited a very long time with no calls when they were trying to adopt, when they looked into other options, they learned that in Arizona, it is advantageous to be a foster parent first, since the goal in Arizona is to reunite parents with their own children whenever possible.  After getting recertified to become foster parents, the phone rang almost immediately.  Two little boys were placed in their home, and the path was cleared for them to be adopted last year.  They provide Greg and Laura with lots of fun and joy.
Greg explained that he feels like he is an attorney without a license.  He became an insurance agent in his father's agency.  Eventually the agency was sold to the Arizona Group and he is with them, now.  He has been in the business since 1994.  When asked to make the business networking presentation, Greg was a little concerned, because for the average person, talking about insurance is not exciting, especially since his focus is on business insurance.  
He decided to talk about a couple of aspects of insurance that he thought members would have an interest.
In the State of Arizona, glass coverage is mandated with personal automobile policies.  That didn't used to be a big deal, but now that there are electronic sensors in some windshields, the cost of replacement can be as high as $2,000.  For some, this is more than they pay for their policy in a year.  This is something that will likely affect the cost of insurance in the future.  Some companies are already doing inspections to see if repair is possible rather than total replacement.  If someone offers you something back if they replace your windshield, there is probably some kind of scam of insurance companies going on.  Rather than authorize work to be done by anyone approaching you, contact your insurance agent directly if you have damage to your windshield.  
The other subject Greg thought Rotarians should be aware of is that insurance companies can use credit reporting information as part of their risk analysis when determining your policy premiums.  It doesn't have to be slow payments, legal filings, etc.  Having too much available credit is one of the areas they look at which can negatively impact the cost of insurance even if the balances on all revolving credit are paid in full every month.
CLICK HERE to see a copy of the advertisement for Greg's business, which was on the tables.
Brian Goetzenberger was then introduced.  Brian is an Arizona native, except for four years surveying in Washington state.  He has been in the surveying business all his adult life.  
All through high school, Bryan wanted to go into the Navy.  He had worked with a recruiter at his high school.  When he graduated, he felt completely let down.  The program he had been preparing himself for had been put on hold for at least 6-8 months.  The door opened to start his current career when a close family friend called inviting him to go to work on a survey crew.
Bryan was fascinated with being able to use blueprints to take measurements, place stakes, making the property ready for dirt work to begin.  He felt like surveying was the "brains behind the braun."  
Bryan stayed with the same firm, climbing the ranks for thirteen years.  After being out in the field, he learned the office side of the business.  The company was sold to new owners.  Combined with the fact that he felt like the new owners were headed a wrong direction and the slowing of business because of a recession, Bryan decided to take advantage of an opportunity to relocate to the Seattle/Pugent Sound area to work for an engineering company.  They did a lot of work with the Army Corps of Engineers.  While there, he studied at the Green River Community College.
Bryan never did get used to the weather in the Seattle area.  It didn't help that his co-workers would heckle him, saying things like "Man, I hope summer lands on a weekend this year."
Bryan's old boss and family friend invited him to come back to Arizona to work.  After a short time, he felt he really wanted to go out on his own.  When he found out he would have Donna's support if he made that decision, he then had to wrestle with talking to his boss, friend, and long-time mentor about leaving his company.  Instead, his boss made him a very generous offer.  He has been in business for himself since 2005.
In going out on his own, Bryan decided to serve a niche market within the surveying industry.  He has specialized in title surveys, which facilitate commercial real estate transactions.  They do a special map which is a boundary map, and they provide a property "health checkup"  noting whether there are setbacks or encroachments.  He likes and enjoys this specialty.  He has stayed busy enough to survive.  After the 2008 collapse of real estate mortgage industry, they did a lot of surveys of properties in foreclosure.
Bryan has twelve employees.  He is proud of being able to support his own family and contribute to or support of twelve other households, but also takes his responsibility to make sound business decisions that will ensure continued employment for his staff.  He recently has undertaken a new venture - underground utility investigation.  
Bryan can remember hearing about drones and robots and thinking that was science fiction that would never actually take place.  He recently had a drone duplicate the work done by his crew on a parcel.  It had taken the crew sixteen hours to do the survey work.  The drone flew back and forth over the property for 14 minutes.  After only five hours altogether of using the information gathered by the drone, a report was generated that was practically identical to the report prepared using the survey crew information.   
CLICK HERE to see a copy of the advertisement for Bryan's business, which was on the tables.