Rotary Club of Kitchener


January 18, 2021

Meeting Recording

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

President's Comments

President Louise reminded all members of the short survey that was recently sent out and encouraged everyone to complete it.  It will assist the board in making plans for the balance of the Rotary year.
Ray of Hope normally holds its annual walk – Coldest Night of The Year, on the evening of February 20th - this year it is an individual walk event that allows us to walk any time up to that date.  We will be entering a team this year and all those interested in being on it can register in ClubRunner.  More details will be coming out soon.  This is yet another great opportunity to take the savings from our non-lunch zoom meetings and turn them into a fundraiser and support for another great local organization that needs our help during these pandemic times.
President Louise received this thank you from House of Friendship with a video link to share with our members
This year, you helped individuals like Liz, Colin, Dulce and Doug find hope and new beginnings. Please enjoy this video of our thanks to you!


As we start a new year, let’s continue to changes lives – together. From our family at House of Friendship to yours, we wish you and your loved ones health and happiness in 2021.

With gratitude,

John Neufeld, Executive Director, House of Friendship


Ian Thomas, Kindred Credit Union, guest of Carl Zehr

Visiting Rotarians

Elena Shpinel, Rotary Club of Moscow International

Happy Jar

President Louise was happy that she and Graham got the opportunity to check on a cottage of friend and former member Carol Wiebe, whose husband cannot travel right now due to health concerns.  While up north Louise tried out snow shoeing and has become a fan of the activity.
Cam Yule was happy to be able to join us online today.

Club Announcements

Paul Rostrup reported that the progressive pot for our Catch The Ace has almost reached $10,000 and sales are starting to pick up extensively.  The fundraiser is being promoted on our club’s Facebook page and all members active in social media are asked to like the posting and share it with others. 
Facebook - @KitchenerRotary
Twitter - @KitchenerRotary
Neil Swayze let the members know that we have been offered a doll collection from an estate left to a community member.  Most of the dolls are antiques and/or collectables and could have a value of $25 to over $250 each.  This could be a significant financial gain for our club but we need assistance to examining the collection and determining the authenticity and true value of the dolls as well as how best to sell them, which could be through our own auction site or existing sites dedicated to the collection of dolls.  Any member, or friend/relative of a member with an interest in this area and willing to help us out is asked to contact Louise.

Program Highlights

Our program today was a “Who Am I” from two of our newer members – Mike Morrice and Mike Ellis.  First up was Mike Morrice, he augmented his presentation with many photos and here his is bio:
Mike is the son of immigrant parents from Italy and Poland and grew up in Montreal.  Mike came to Waterloo Region in 2003 to study at Wilfrid Laurier, completing a double degree in business and computer electronics. While at WLU, he founded Sustainable Waterloo Region and piloted Canada’s first Green Economy Hub. Within five years, the Hub had engaged companies employing 14% of the region’s workforce, all committed to setting and achieving voluntary climate goals.  Mike also spearheaded the creation of ClimateActionWR, a collaborative effort that secured unanimous support from Regional and City Councils for our community’s first-ever climate target (a 6% reduction by 2020, since raised to 80% by 2050), and initiated what is now evolv1, Canada’s first net-positive energy multi-tenant building.
In response to global interest in replicating Green Economy Hubs, Mike founded Green Economy Canada in 2013 and led the award-winning organization until late 2018. Today there are 7 Green Economy Hubs across Canada supporting over 250 organizations lowering their impact and increasing their profitability.
In the 2019 federal election, Mike was Kitchener Centre's Green Party candidate for Member of Parliament.  Over the course of a 10 month campaign, Mike and his team made history: they knocked on every door in the riding (most of them twice) and increased the Green vote from 3% to 26%, the highest of any Green candidate in Ontario, Quebec and the Prairies.
He’s currently serving as Wilfrid Laurier University’s inaugural Social Entrepreneur in Residence.
He has been named Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the KW Chamber of Commerce, Young Alumni of the Year by Laurier, won a Special Citation for Social Entrepreneurship from EY Canada, and has been an Ashoka Fellow since 2012.  Mike is hopeful about what we can accomplish when we genuinely listen to one another, look to find common ground, and prioritize future generations.
These days Mike is also focused on profiling priorities across our community. Today for example he is sharing about mental health, and profiling KW Counselling’s Couch to 5k fundraiser – including a FB Live at 7pm with their Executive Director. Folks can find details on my blog:, or those on Facebook can follow here if interested:
Mike expressed thanks to Paul Rostrup as his sponsor. Like Ernie Ginsler, Paul was another Rotarian he first met in his days leading Sustainable Waterloo Region. He thanked all members for welcoming him to the club.
Mike Ellis has also had a most interesting life.  Here are some of the highlights:
  • Mike grew up in Walkerton, one of 16 children in his family.
  • Until recently he thought he was one of only 15 children but one of his older sisters has been doing some family history research and found a death certificate for another sibling who died at the age of just 19 days.
  • There are now over 200 in the extended family, so family gatherings tend to be on the large size with 60 to 70 coming together for Thanksgiving and 100 to 150 for a summer family reunion.
  • Sports was a major interest while growing up which included basketball, soccer, football and rugby.
  • After high school Mike spent 3 months exploring Europe which has remained a highlight of his life to this day.
  • When he returned to Canada he began working at the Bruce Nuclear plant but lost interest in that fairly quickly and joined the armed services.
  • He rose to the rank of commander, overseeing 100 or more service men and women and was awarded the Commanders Shield.
  • For part of his career in the Navy he was stationed in British Columbia and at one point was serving at a camp in the very northern end of Vancouver Island.  It was that he met his wife and they now have two grown boys, one in Elmira and one in Edmonton.
  • One of his highlights from the time out west was working with a helicopter crew and doing naval exercises with other service men and women from 20 to 30 other countries.
  • From BC he moved to Nova Scotia but when offered a higher rank in Portage la Prairie he declined and resigned from the navy.
  • He took a job as an assistant hotel manager at the airport in Nova Scotia and soon became the manager.
  • He became interested in the world of finance and became a certified Financial Planner working for The Investors Group which posted him in Oakville, Ontario.
  • In 1992 he moved to Waterloo and after the company he was working for was bought and sold several times he ended up working for Investors Alliance.
  • He is now starting to slow down in his business taking more time again for his interest in sports which now include pickleball and golf.
  • He is also looking to support and give back to his community more now and is finding Rotary a perfect fit for this.

Closing Remarks & Reminders

Jan. 25 - Evening Robbie Burns Day Celebration & Online Auction Report.  Should be great fun and family members are invited to join in.
Feb. 1 - Sharon Gilroy-Dreher - Toastytoes
Feb. 8 - Ross Newkirk - Kitchener Rotary Club Charitable Foundation
Feb. 15 - Who am I - meet 2 new members
Feb. 22 – Evening Club Workshop/Strategic Planning led by Adrian DeCoo - members only, please
Mar. 3 - Peter Gray - Joint meeting with Kitchener Westmount - Wednesday noon Zoom - Not for profit work around water
Mar. 8 - Tara Bedard - Immigration Partnership
Jan 18, 2021 12:00 PM
Our chance to meet some new members
Jan 25, 2021 7:00 PM
Family & Friends welcomed
Feb 01, 2021 12:00 PM
Feb 08, 2021 12:00 PM
Kitchener Rotary Charitable Foundation Update
Feb 15, 2021
Committee Meetings to be Scheduled by Committee Chairs
View entire list
Birthdays & Membership Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Robert Bullas
January 2
Karen Redman
January 8
Paul Rostrup
January 8
Bill Proctor
January 9
Erin Way
January 20
John English
January 26
Kelly Miller
January 26
Join Date
Al Way
January 1, 1991
30 years
Cameron Yule
January 1, 1992
29 years
Carl Zehr
January 1, 1975
46 years
Carol Wiebe
January 1, 1995
26 years
Dave Smith
January 1, 1977
44 years
Ed Fowler
January 1, 1996
25 years
Jack Ball
January 1, 1962
59 years
John O'Brien
January 1, 1971
50 years
Karen Redman
January 1, 1999
22 years
Pete Gray
January 1, 1997
24 years
Ross Newkirk
January 1, 1990
31 years
Shawky Fahel
January 1, 1987
34 years
Wayne Boehler
January 1, 1993
28 years
John English
January 31, 2002
19 years