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 

On November 3, David Swanson, the Executive Director of World Beyond War and the Campaign Coordinator for RootsAction.org, gave us an extensive argument for the elimination of war and preparation for war.  He started by asserting that most (if not all) wars are unnecessary and that it is possible to avoid all wars.  Negotiate, don’t invade!  One of his central points is that we need to confront the health threat of militarism: that war is a health issue is agreed to by a wide range of health care providers and organizations. 

For our in-person meeting of 27 October, Rotarian Lynne Baker, with the help of Mary Ontiveros and Del Benson, reviewed for us the new Rotary International policy on DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) and then summarized the results from the recent Club survey of attitudes across our club on DEI.  She pointed out that the survey and analysis were organized by the DEI Subcommittee of the Noon Program Committee and that they are consistent with and parallel to the recent programs that have been relevant, informative, and transformative in the area of inclusion and diversity. 
Lincoln Center, Noon on October 20th, 2021.  Last week we were privileged to hear from President Joyce McConnell – the annual Colorado State Update.  When she asked, it was evident (by show of hands) that almost all present Rotary club members had  some personal connection with CSU.  We heard how the University weathered the COVID storm.  Dr McConnell gave credit to two cochairs – Mark Barber (emergency services) and Lori Lynn (head of CSU Health Network) for the University’s success in 2020 and beyond.
Our Zoom meeting on October 6 hosted Patrice M. Palmer (they/them/theirs) who works in the area of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at both Colorado State University (Director of Social & Cultural Inclusion, College of Business) and New Belgium Brewing Company (DEI specialist).  Patrice was introduced by RCFC member Juan Villasenor who met Patrice in several on-line forums and was impressed by the fact that they thought deeply about their inclusivity subject matter. 
Last week we listened to an excellent and important talk entitled Restorative Justice in Our Community.  We were fortunate to have two presenters, Perrie McMillen, Supervisor of the City’s mediation and Restorative Justice Services and Cpl Jarad Sargent, a Poudre R-1 school resource officer (SRO).
Last week, CSU professor of economics, Daniele Tavani, helped us understand How Much We Should Worry About the US Government debt?  The first slide showed a “worrisome” curve showing the rise in total debt over the past 50 years to (currently) 24 trillion dollars. A better indicator of the issue is illustrated by the curve of the Federal debt from 1940 to the present as a per cent of the GDP. The most recent number is 126% (the recent rise observed is thought to be secondary to COVID and should improve with effective management of the pandemic).

For our in-person meeting of 22 September, in the second of a series of presentations on local Fort Collins companies with world-wide impact, Dave Stewart interviewed John Carter, Vice President and Senior Principal of CPP Wind Engineering of Fort Collins.  Mr. Carter began with a history of the company which was started as a university program in the 1950s by Dr. Jack Cermak at CSU. 

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.
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).
Abby Krstulic, Volunteer manager for Habitat for Humanity, will highlight volunteer opportunities during RCFC's Evening meeting, Wednesday at 5:30 via Zoom.  New Rotarians will also be inducted.  All are invited - Zoom link below.
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.