Program Update: Mayor Dave Walters

Dave Walters 2017.2.6Battle Creek’s Mayor, Dave Walters – aka Battle Creek’s #1 cheerleader – was this week’s speaker. Dave has spent his life in the Battle Creek community and is serving his 3rd term as mayor. He is a graduate of Lakeview High School and has taught at Kellogg Community College. Dave retired from the Battle Creek Police Department and is a VP and Financial Consultant for Hilliard Lyons. He enjoys mountain biking, participating in martial arts and [Read more…]

Program Update: Senator Mike Nofs

Nofs 2017.1.30Today’s speaker was State Senator Mike Nofs. Mike was re-elected in 2014 by the citizens of the “new” 19th Senate district for his 2nd full term. Before his re-election, Mike served 6 years in the State House of Representatives where his ability to work across party lines earned him the respect of his colleagues and the distinction of having over a dozen bills signed into law.

“We’re coming off a pretty good couple of years, so I thought I’d start” began Mike, “by sharing some good news.” [Read more…]

Program Update: Sheriff Matt Saxton

Sheriff Matt Saxton pictured with President Chad and Rotarian John Godfrey.
Sheriff Matt Saxton pictured with President Chad and Rotarian John Godfrey.

Rotarian John Godfrey introduced Sheriff Matt Saxton. Sheriff Saxton grew up in Homer, Michigan. He graduated from Lake Superior State University. During his time there, he met his wife, Heidi. They are married with three children.

Sheriff Saxton has a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with a minor in Corrections. He also is a graduate of the Northwestern University Center for Public Safety, School of Police Staff and Command and a graduate from the FBI National Academy. [Read more…]

Program Update: Joe Sobieralski, CEO – Battle Creek Unlimited

Joe Sobieralski

John Godfrey introduced Joe Sobieralski as today’s speaker. Joe is the President and CEO of Battle Creek Unlimited, a non-profit economic development organization that oversees “Business” attraction and retention, primarily at facilities located in the Ft. Custer Industrial Park. The mission of BCU is “Generating investment and job creation in our community.” BCU came into existence 40 years ago when 3000 acres were donated for the purpose of economic development as the Ft. Custer military presence was downsized. At present there are 100 companies, 25 of which are international, working out of the Industrial Park. More land is currently being developed in the hopes that it will be “shovel ready” in order to attract more business to our community. In addition to the Ft. Custer development, BCU partners with the Chamber of Commerce and other Battle Creek non-profits to help our community grow and flourish.

Thanks Joe for your leadership and we look forward to the future as we share in the development and growth of our Battle Creek community.

Welcome to Cliff Rensberger and Gregory Bentle!

Rensberger and BentleWe proudly welcome Cliff Rensberger and Gregory Bentle to our Rotary Club! Thanks to Larry Anderson and Erik Smith for inviting them to join us. Cliff is a Benefits Specialist with Aflac Insurance and Gregory is the Director of Corporate Relations and Admissions at Spring Arbor University.

Service Update: 86th Annual Christmas Party

2016 Christmas Party Singing with RonaldSanta and Singers2016 Ronald McDonald

On Monday, December 5, the Cereal City Sunrise and Battle Creek Rotarians joined forces with their respective Interact Clubs from Galesburg and St. Philip to host the Annual Christmas Party. 125 area youth were treated to lunch, magic by Ronald McDonald, Christmas carols and a visit from Santa. When they arrived back to their classrooms, the students discovered that Santa’s elves had delivered packages full of crafts, puzzles, mittens, and books for each of them. It was a great day for Rotarians and Interactors!

Program Update: United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region

United Way 2016.11Monday’s speaker was Chris Sargent, Interim Chief Exectuive Officer for the United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region. He was introduced by Rotarian Rob Wagley who serves as its Associate Director of Resource Development

The vision and mission of the agency is based on a partnership. It is a shared effort between United Way, other organizations in the community and individual members of the region.

Chris discussed United Way’s four priorities areas.

  • Education: Improve high school graduation rates.
  • Income: Increase the number of economically stable households in our region.
  • Health: Improve family and infant health. Reduce the infant mortality rate.
  • Basic Needs: Ensure a safety net and family’s access to basic needs.

In addition to funding existing programs in Education, Income, Health and Basic Needs, UWBCKR helps lead, support, manage and/or fund a number of initiatives that help specific segments of our community. These Community Collaborations work with various nonprofit agencies, existing programs and new programs created by United Way specifically to maximize their collective impact. Having measurable outcomes is paramount to evaluate if we are being effective. Visit to learn more about specific programs and initiative.

Service Project Update: Foodbank of South Central Michigan

2016.11 FB 12016.11 FB 22016.11 FB 32016.11 FB 4Thanks to all the members who volunteered an afternoon of service at the South Central Michigan Food Bank! The Foodbank was established in 1982 and currently operates in eight counties in south central Michigan. Individuals in Barry, Branch, Calhoun, Hillsdale, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Lenawee and St. Joseph counties receive food, other grocery products, nutrition education, help with other resources and most of all hope.

Program Update: Sprout Urban Farms

Jeremy AndrewsToday, Jeremy Andrews provided a fun-loving discussion about Sprout Urban Farms and its “Sprout Box.” Founded in 2009, Sprout Urban Farms has grown substantially and nearly 50% of their budget is covered by innovative revenue streams. The Sprout Box is one such initiative.

The Sprout Box is a highly customizable box of produce and local products from local farms and producers delivered to your home, or picked up at any of our available pick-up locations. The weekly Sprout Box is available in three sizes: $15, $25 or $100. They contain organic produce harvested just days prior to delivery. You select what produce and products on a weekly basis. Recipes for the boxes are available online.

Sprout Urban Farms also works with local schools engaging students in learning about food sources and eating healthy. They have spearheaded such efforts at school gardens, school markets, fresh produce for school cafeterias and student visits to local farms.

Program Update: Northpointe Woods

Northpointe WoodsCalhoun County’s Only Full Continuum of Care

Rotarian Christine Morreale introduced Wendy Wilkey and Melissa Ferguson who spoke about senior living opportunities at Oakview Independent Living, Pine View Assisted Living and The Oaks at Northpointe Woods. The “Premier Senior Living Community” was completed in 2008 and is now home for seniors age 60 and older. There are 150 apartments (studio, one bedroom or two bedroom) at [Read more…]