Kitchener Rotary


October 4, 2021

Meeting Recording

A recording of Today’s Meeting can be found here.

President's Comments

President Adrian welcomed everyone to the meeting and introduced long-serving member Robert Bullas to everyone as Robert has not been able to attend meetings regularly.  Adrian also extended congratulations to Mike Morrice, on his election as the MP for Kitchener Centre.

Visiting Rotarians

Lesley Barmania, PDG, Mississauga Meadowvale
Laura Power, Kitchener-Westmount
Andrew Williams, Kitchener-Westmount


Erminia Nigro, General Manager of Air Canada Vacations
Boyd Pendleton, guest of Adrian DeCoo

Happy Jar

Tom Mennill was delighted to announce his official retirement after 40 years with KPMG.
Louise Gardiner is very pleased that the inside of her house is getting a new coat of paint in several rooms.
Linda Bennett was happy to announce the celebration of her 16th Wedding Anniversary on October 1 and that they were able to share their event with children and enjoyed an Oktoberfest Platter!
Lumi Mironescui is very happy that plans for the renovations of the office she and Mike Ellis share are finalized.  Lumi is also looking forward to her daughter’s dance completion on October 6.
PDG Lesley Barmania was happy to be able to join us today along with her husband Aziz.

Club Announcements

Membership Proposal:
The board has approved the membership proposal, sponsored by Louise Gardiner, for Josh Graham at 27 Onward Avenue, Kitchener, in the classification of Transportation Engineering.  Any member wishing to challenge his induction into the club must indicate so in writing, including the reasons for the challenge to club Secretary, Bill Proctor no later than Thursday, October 14.
We received the following thank you letter from Sheila Ager, Dean of Arts at the University of Waterloo:
Dear Mr. DeCoo,
It gives me great pleasure to thank you and your fellow Rotarians for your continued commitment to building peace.  Thank you for your recent gift of $1,000 to the Rotary Peace Scholarship.  This scholarship rewards and supports students in the Master of Global Governance and Peace and Conflict Studies programs - students who are determined to play a role in increasing capacity for peace building, joining with Rotarians in this critical endeavour.
During these strange and challenging times, it’s never been more clear to me that building a sense of community is important for all of us to feel connected and to thrive.  Thank you for partnering with us in our mission to educate tomorrow’s leaders.  You are absolutely vital to our community, and your support makes a positive difference for our students.  As the coronavirus pandemic continues to run its course, please stay safe, and keep your loved ones safe, by observing all the protocols. Wishing you a better year and continued prosperity.
Howard Pell reminded members that our Online Auction Fundraiser is well underway for this year and that NOW is the time for members to be soliciting items and sponsors.  To reach our potential we need ALL members to bring in AT LEAST $500 in product and/or sponsorships.
We also received the following message from the Food Bank in recognition of our support for their Full Bellies. Happy Hearts campaign.
Thank you very much for running a Food & Fund Drive.  Food & Fund Drives are an important part of meeting the need in our community.
I wanted to let you know the total meal count that the Rotary Club of Kitchener was able to raise:
Funds Donated: $2,127.26
For a total of 6,382 meals that will help feed our hungry neighbours!  This helped push us over the 1.5 million meal mark for our summer campaign!
Please share our appreciation with everyone who participated and thank you again for all the work you have done, and continue to do on our behalf.  It is because of the strong community leadership that we are able to help the 1 in 20 families in our community in need of food assistance!
Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you and I hope to work with you on a Food & Fund Drive again.
With our sincere appreciation,
Peter Gray let members know that our next Dom Cardillo Trail Cleanup is scheduled for Monday October 25.  An invitation to sign up for the activity has been sent and all members are asked to respond by accepting or declining the invitation.
ZOOM Update: Everyone should have received a notice from ZOOM re their new policy of requiring customers to update their ZOOM software on a regular basis.  The basic information is as follows:
Beginning November 1, 2021, customers will be required to update their Zoom software to ensure it is no more than nine months behind the current version, at any given time.  From that point on, users will be prompted to update their software when using the platform should their version fall behind this nine-month window.
This change is in line with industry practices and designed to help ensure that Zoom users receive the latest Zoom features, as well as any privacy and security enhancements we make to the platform.  To prepare for the new schedule, we recommend customers update to the latest release supported by their organization or at minimum software version 5.5.0, prior to November 1st.  Starting in September, we will introduce a prompted update to help customers update to the latest version of the Zoom client.
As always, we recommend you regularly download and update to the latest version of the Zoom software by checking for updates within the Zoom client or by navigating to to take advantage of all our latest security and functionality features
Paul Rostrup announced that the final net proceeds from the first Five-Club Catch The Ace were $73,818.89!  This will be split among our three beneficiaries – Grand River Hospital Foundation, St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation and KidsAbility Foundation.
President Adrian reminded members that our Online Car Lottery is also in full operation and members are asked to promote it among friends, colleagues and relatives through social media and personal contacts.


Program Highlights

Our guest speaker today was Erminia Nigro, General Manager of Air Canada Vacations.  As part of our Post COVID-19 Trends Speaker Series she brought us up to date on what is happing at  Air Canada and the travel industry in general.  She was introduced by Louise Gardiner.
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Erminia, and I absolutely love the business of service and travel. First and foremost, I am a mother to two beautiful children, my 18 year old daughter, Teresa, my 14 year old son Julian, as well as our 6 year old pug Dolce.
I love life, hasn’t always been easy but the best way to describe me is loyal, determined and strong is what I am always told.. so will use that word as well!
My past stemmed from me wanting to be a flight attendant and at the time I had a choice to work for Skyservice Airlines or Sunquest Vacations. It wasn’t until my grandmother was adamant I do not fly all the time to stay close to her and I decided to embark in the world of Sunquest Vacations. I started from the bottom and kept rising. A reservation agent taking calls and booking trips for travel agents to destinations like Acapulco, Cancun and Jamaica but I couldn’t sit still, I wanted to experience it all. From there I climbed to various departments until I landed in Sales and there is where I stayed and my passion is.
As Sunquest Vacations changed ownership throughout the years, it felt as if I changed companies and work but all the while being at one place for almost 20 years. Most of my years was spent on the road, being a sales representative for Travel Agent Partners and grew some strong bonds and friendships throughout the years. From Canada Leisure Group to ThomasCook to TravelBrands, I became and was promoted to Director of Sales. It was there where I learned the ropes of a manager position and managed a great team!
I had the opportunity a few years later to join Air Canada Vacations and have been so happy with the choice I made as I am now General Manager of Sales. I manage a fantastic team of Sales Representatives that are truly motivated and work with a team that feels like family.
The pandemic changed how we looked at things, do business and service our clients. It’s a new world for travel and we are always thinking of ways to give confidence to our consumers and support to our travel agent partners. There is a great light of the tunnel and sometimes things need to happen in order to put everything aligned and into perspective. That is what these past few years have done to me and for us!
For now my lesson is life it short, take it as it comes and never quit because as the saying goes you’re allowed to be tired but you’re never allowed to Give up or Quit!
Erminia began by reiterating the significant impact the pandemic has had on the travel industry but indicated that a sudden and significant increase in demand for travel began about last May which caught the industry off guard.  They had to scramble to bring back and rehire staff that had been laid off, many of whom had found alternate employment as hire new staff.
One positive aspect that has come out of the pandemic, from the point of view of the customer is the increase in flexibility and options available now.  Erminia spoke extensively on the steps Air Canada has taken to ensure passenger safety and confidence.  Most of these are now being taken by other major airlines and Vacation companies.
Their CleanCare+ program includes elements such as the following:
During Check-In
  • Passenger temperatures are taken without contact
  • Passenger check-in kiosks and gate counters are cleaner on a regular basis
  • All passengers are required to wear face coverings
  • Hand sanitizer is available throughout the airport
On Board
  • All buckles and seat belts are sanitized inside and out
  • All armrests are wiped down
  • All widows and widow shades are sanitized
  • All light switches and air controls are sanitized
  • When an aircraft overnights all of the overhead bins are sanitized
Erminia pointed out that rules and regulations around the world are still changing almost daily and to keep clients well informed they have launched a new website called Travel Ready.  It is kept up to date with the latest information in areas such as:
  • Entry Requirements for different countries
  • Testing Locations
  • Travel Journey considerations
  • Changes and Cancellation polices
With the upgrades to the air filtration systems on their planes the air circulation systems are now twice as effective as classrooms and 12 times more effective than the average office building.
By purchasing a low cost Flexibility package ($59 or $99) travels now have the option of making changes to travel plans or even cancelling flights with full refund up to 25 days prior to a booked trip.  COVID-19 travel insurance is also available.  For full details check out the Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations websites.
Also check the Government of Canada Travel site
Erminia was thanked by fellow travel industry member Robert Bullas.

Closing Remarks & Reminders

President Adrian reminded everyone that there will be no meeting on October 11th and wished everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. Next meeting will be on Monday
Oct 18th. 
Oct 04, 2021 12:00 PM
Speaker Series - Post Covid Trends - International Travel
Oct 11, 2021
Thanksgiving Day
Oct 18, 2021 12:00 PM
Who Am I's Betty Bax, Paul McIntyre Royston and Angela Olano / New member induction Boyd Pendleton
Oct 19, 2021
Oct 23, 2021 9:00 AM
PSI - Hubert Singh's office/warehouse
Oct 25, 2021 4:00 PM
Stanley Park, Kitchener
View entire list
Birthdays & Membership Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Al Way
October 19
Lumi Mironescu
October 19
Mike Pollard
October 24
Join Date
Paul Rostrup
October 1, 2012
9 years
Richard Bruckeder
October 21, 2013
8 years
Mike Ellis
October 24, 2020
1 year
Mike Morrice
October 24, 2020
1 year