Speakers / Programs
The Wednesday Noon meeting features a speaker, special presentation or event.  The Evening Group meets at alternative times with changing meeting formats.  The Rotary Club of Fort Collins strives to have the best speakers ranging from community leaders in politics, business, government, education to community service. We cover a diverse range of topics, both highly educational and highly entertaining. We use the RITE formula while selecting speakers. (Relevant, Informative, Timely, and Entertaining) Here are a few of our past programs to give you an idea of the exciting range of presentations.

If you or your group are interested in presenting, please contact us at programs@rotarycluboffortcollins.org 

For our hybrid meeting on July 28, CSU System Chancellor Tony Frank gave us a detailed introduction to the philosophy, goals and design of the CSU Spur campus currently under development in downtown Denver.  He started by focusing on the physical plant which will consist of three buildings: Vida (focused on human and animal health), Terra (food and agriculture) and Hydro (water).  Then he launched into a detailed summary of the educational and physical background in the state of Colorado that led to the Spur concept. 
Last week on August 11th, we heard the State of the City Address from Fort Collins Mayor Jeni Arndt and Fort Collins City Manager, Darin Atteberry.  Jeni introduced the program with her bio - she was born in Boulder but raised in Fort Collins. She taught in high school and college.  After working internationally she returned to the city and served 3 terms as a representative in the Colorado State Legislature. She was elected mayor in April.
It was great to have one of our own members, Kevin Davie, speaking to us last Wednesday evening. Kevin  discussed trends in responsible investing; the investment community meets the boardroom.  Environmental, social, and governance data and decisions have never been as prevalent in the business and investment landscape as they are today.  
On September 1, Phil Smith, the National Field Director of The Concord Coalition, gave us a Zoom presentation that he subtitled “Federal Deficits & Debt: An Unsustainable Future”.  He started by emphasizing that the Concord Coalition is a non-partisan, mostly volunteer, organization with established groups all across the country that focus on educating and empowering citizens as to both the drivers and the ultimate results of the U.S. government’s fiscal policies.  In his presentation, he tried to show the projected medium- to long-term debt results of the government’s taxing, spending, and borrowing. 
Last week coach Sonny Lubick addressed the anticipated changes in collegiate sports following the US Supreme Court's ruling on June 21st allowing collegiate athletes to monetize their success by the use of their name, image and likeness (NIL).
Last week we saw an inspiring example of Rotary's "return on investment" in education. Luciana (Luci) Storelli Castro's presentation was entitled "What Rotary Taught Me:Celebrating 20 Years of Rotary". In 2001 the Rotary International Exchange Program sent Luci to Germany for 1 year. At this time, Luci was a junior at Ft Collins HS. She stayed with 3 different hosts in that country, learning the language and the culture. Viewing the "relics" of Soviet rule in east Germany was particularly interesting. She saw the "German historical burden" of WW2 through her German student/friends as they reacted during a visit to the concentration camp at Buchenwald. This experience would serve as a lifelong reminder of "what not to do".


Last week Bill Cobb, retired AT&T/US West Vice President and President shared the story of the telecommunications industry - where it began and where it’s headed.  Cobb's story began with Alexander Graham Bell, who invented and patented the first practical telephone (1876).  Bell also founded the original Bell Telephone Company later evolving into American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T).  While the future of technology is constantly evolving, the exponential growth of data traffic is a given.

"Rotary is a Membership Organization that does Service."  With those words, our June 23 speaker, Brad Howard (aide to RI President-Elect Jennifer E. Jones), turned our traditional model on its head, asking us to consider whether we are just another service organization among all the many service organization, or to consider whether we are an organization that enables members to grow and become the leaders our world needs.   "Rotary is the gateway to live better lives for better businesses, family and community", said Howard in his inspirational address.  To view Brad Howard's full presentation CLICK HERE.  Photo: Brad Howard and RCFC Member Rajiv Mehta on a polio vaccination trip to Africa.

Following a recent grant from our club to Homeward Alliance, we were joined this past week by the Executive Director of Homeward Alliance, David Rout and his Development Director, Pam Brewer. Together they shared the history of the organization, its accomplishments and intended future direction.
In a bang-up Zoom presentation on May 19, Larry and Ginger Darringrton of Angel Light Pyrotechnics, LLC, introduced us to the intricacies and joys of the pyrotechnic (read fireworks) business.  By way of introduction, Larry assured us that they are pyrotechnicians, not pyromaniacs. 
On June 2nd, during our evening meeting, Waleska Crowe will share her life’s journey as it interweaves with Rotary and community development in Guatemala. There are deep inequalities in Guatemala, with a long history of structural issues, racism, and social problems. Many indigenous people live in poverty or extreme poverty.  Waleska’s mother was indigenous Quiche Mayan and father was of European descent.  This unique background allows Waleska to bring tremendous wisdom and heart into her work with rural Guatemalan communities.
For the first installment of the new “Cornerstone Stories” series of programs (focusing on local individuals who are “cornerstones” of our community), RCFC member Bill West interviewed local businessman and RCFC member Carl Maxey, Vice President and Western Region General Manager of MGS, the “parent company” of the local Maxey companies.  Bill started by pointing out that Carl is a leader, not only in the Maxey companies, but also in a number of local, state, and national business organizations as well as in his church. 
April 7th, at 5:30, the Evening Fellowship welcomes Julie Phillips.  Julie is going to speak about all that they do at CASA of Larimer County, including the rates of child abuse and neglect in our community, and ways to help.  CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to advocating for children who have experienced abuse and neglect. CASA recruits, trains, and screens community volunteers to be the voice for children in the courtroom.
Last week, water attorney James Eklund (please see his extensive resume and experience in last week’s Rotogear) interrupted his vacation to Crested Butte (the wonder of Zoom!) to share with us the current status of Water in the West, especially the Colorado River.  He began with an adaptation of Rotary’s 4 Way Test, from the “truth” about water in the West to making water policy “beneficial to all concerned”.
Max Moss, the Colorado president of HF2M, Inc., introduced us, via Zoom, to the concept and plans behind Montava, a “walkable community” currently in the early stages of development in northeast Fort Collins.  Starting with the overarching vision that real estate is about people and the vision for developing community (rather than simply housing), Max is the local face of a team that provides vision and expertise in affordable housing, the New Urbanist Movement, walkable communities, small-town commercial, and environmentally efficient homes.   View the full presentation by Clicking Here.
For our March 3rd Zoom meeting, local author, illustrator, and speaker Mark Ludy shared with us his insights into unleashing our own creative and social capabilities, breaking through years, if not decades, of hesitancy based on fear of what others will think and fear of not being good enough.  Through the course of his presentation, he made several generalizations (each supported by more specific illustrations). 
On Wednesday, March 3rd, at our evening meeting at 5:30, we are excited to welcome Michele Capots, owner of Dragonfly Path LLC. She is a mental wellness speaker, a mindset, along with a motivation and metal wellness coach. She has served as a peer support specialist and mentor for various organizations dedicated to extreme mental illness and addiction. Michele has published articles about her own mental health struggles in the Washington Post magazine, Marie Claire, and the Tribune Review newspapers in an effort to decrease the stigma associated with mental illness. Michele currently lives in Arlington, Virginia and has presented to a number of Rotary groups in the US. Please email info@rotarycluboffortcollins.org for Zoom link. 

Last week, Dr Melba Beals, one of the “Little Rock Nine”, shared her story with RCFC and many others - more than 327 were connected by Zoom for this special presentation.  Some of us are old enough to remember the TV images of the USA 101st Airborne escorting black students into Little Rock Central High School.  Now we know what it was like to be one of those students.  Dr. Beals provided a relaxed, conversational presentation reminding this writer of a family gathering where your most experienced family member was sharing her history.