Friday Feb 26, 2016


SVP, HR Business Partner Lead Business Network Group & Global Head of HR Concur

“Autism@Work Program”

Laura Cosacchi started the meeting with the inspirational thought and the Pledge of Allegiance.

Megan Sweeters handled the introduction of visiting Rotarians and guests.

Larry May introduced the Student of the Month, Franklin Sheng from Bellevue Christian High School.  Franklin was accompanied by relatives and school staff.  Franklin moved to Bellevue from Beijing in 2013 with a limited command of English.  His first impression was ‘that sucked”. He has since excelled both academically and as an athlete.   His sports were football and track.  He was also Chess champion and in the drama club.  His favorite Universities are Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, and Cal Poly.

John Martinka and Wendi Fischer made a pitch for the annual fundraiser “All in for Autism” otherwise known as “the race”.  The race at this time is for volunteers.  There was a strong pitch for volunteers and as always, volunteering early prevents a lot of angst for the organizers.  The theme of Monkeys was also announced.  Wendi said the theme was based on the Chinese New Year.  It was good to know that the monkey theme and pitch for volunteers was not mutually related.  Oh! And just a note, they are looking for volunteers.

Paul Cunnington got center stage for the Vocational Minute.  Paul’s classification is Digital Executive and Cash Flow Engineer.   He blends technology expertise with business acumen that spans sales, marketing, and engineering.   Paul has a blog and publishes online.  He also looks for speaking engagements to talk on economic topics.

Susan Beals introduced Devon Hay and Sora Moon, Seattle Universities’ Rotaract’s president and incoming president.  They were here to pitch Rotary’s Young Professional Campaign.  It started with a $1 mil anonymous grant and is for people under 40.  They would like to have 10 participants from our district to attend the Rotary International Conference in Seoul.  They need to raise a minimum of $6,000 and would like to raise $15,000.  Donations would be welcome.  Contact Susan Beals.

SAA Ann Norman raised a few bucks.  Leonard Lutes was fined for a cell phone interruption and Jim Gordon volunteered money in honor of a new grandson.  Jim rounded up the birth weight of 6 lbs. 4 oz. to an even 10.  The exaggeration was considered reasonable for a financial planner.  Jim announced he got to watch his grandson being circumcised.  Maybe a little over sharing.

John Martinka introduced the program.  Baerbel Ostertag, head of human resources for SAP Business Network Group and Concur regarding Autism at Work Program.  SAP, a software company with 76000 employees worldwide wants to get 1% of its work force made up of employees of the autism spectrum.  They consider this a good business decision as well as a social responsibility.  People with autism are unique.  Not one size fits all.  They have been hired in many different positions including HR and software development.  They have an intense desire to work and good attention to detail and perseverance.

There is a lot of support to parents of autistic children.  But what happens when they grow up?  Many are unemployed or under employed.  Autism at Work wants to make sure they are properly employed.  This requires communications training for the other employees.  Communications have to be direct as they are not good with innuendos.  With proper employee communication training and placed in the right spot, they tend to blossom.  Between the effort and the results, morale goes up for the entire company.

1,000 pounds of fresh produce to Rotary First Harvest courtesy of The Commerce Bank of Washington and our member, Alan Forney.

Club Announcements

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Club Admin: Fellowship Committee

Poverty Bay Wine Festival 2016

By Paul Osborn

largeThe Des Moines Rotary Club invites you to help celebrate the 12th annual Poverty Bay Wine Festival.  The atmosphere will be lively with entertainers and strolling musicians, but this year’s event will be all about the wine, with a wine tasting competition, a wine toss and a more relaxed atmosphere for meeting and learning from some of the best winemakers around.

Wine Festival Tickets $35.00 includes ten tasting tokens (tastings range from 1 – 3 tokens). Additional tasting tokens available for $1.00.

As always, 100% of the net revenues generated by this event are used to fund the charitable activities of the Des Moines Rotary Club. 

Mar 04, 2016 @ 05:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Mar 05, 2016 @ 12:00 PM – 09:00 PM

(Announcement courtesy of the Guild of Scriveners)

New Generations: Interact

New Interact Parternership with Forest Ridge

By Joellen Monson

The New Generations Committee is proud to announce the most recent addition to our club. We have entered into an Interact partnership with Forest Ridge of the Sacred Heart School. Our thanks to Laura Cosacchi for taking on this leadership role for our club. This active group of social minded and committed young women and their school advisor will be visiting our club on Friday, March 4th to share a bit about themselves. Let’s give them a warm BBRC welcome!


You Are Never Too Old to Have An Opinion!

opinionJudge on March 4th

DECA is still looking for judges for March 4th (a Friday unfortunately).

Mentor A National Competitor

If you can’t make that but would like to improve the chances of local State Winners as they go on to National, then we will be organizing mentoring for a few of the competitors towards the end of March.

If you would like to be involved in this unique way to give back, contact me (Paul Osborn)