AT OUR CLUB  January 10, 2023

President Brian Walmark chaired today's meeting, commencing with a relevant reflection by elder Stephen Paquette on the meaning of "land ownership" by indigenous peoples in Canada. His interpretation distinguishes this phraseology from caretaking and stewardship of the land (his preferred interpretation). 
Kevin Holloway was at the helm of tech for this well attended hybrid meeting, making for an excellent experience for all.
Today's O Canada emanated from the world junior hockey tournament event.


Prominent business manager Brent Boyko has a lengthy and valued relationship with Rotary, dating back  ago (age 16) when he was an outbound Rotary Exchange student (Fort Frances Rotary) to Akita, Japan. 
The impact of this experience has enriched his life thereafter, and today he presented on "My Rotary Experience." He was accompanied by two Hammarskjöld students that he and family are currently hosting (through Home Stay), pictured with Brent today (Theresa Moik on the right from Hamburg Germany, and Sofia Villena from Mexico City on the left). Of note they were able today to meet our own inbound student from Thailand, Fern.

A (brief ) CV of Brent follows. He has a successful career in management largely in the forest sector looking at improving the environment.

Brent Boyko is a seasoned manager with over 30 years’ experience in the forestry sector. He has managed pulp and paper mills and understands the impact that these facilities have on host communities. He led a 210 MW power facility conversion from coal to wood pellets, a first in Canada. He has contributed to several industry organizations, presenting at conferences including IEA task 32, Canbio, WPAC, and NRCAN. At the director level he explored bioenergy business development opportunities in First Nation communities. He has a Chemical Engineering degree and an MBA from Athabasca University. In his spare time, he volunteers in his community, supporting children and elder charities and local service clubs. He is passionate about community, running for municipal politics in the 2022 election.

His presentation commenced with a fine testimonial letter from Heihadhiro Okamoto, who himself was a Rotary Exchange student (from Japan) staying with the Boykos in Fort Frances, almost 44 years ago, a life changer for him. 

Brent's life in Japan and now years later his giving back to international students here in Thunder Bay were highlighted and well understood by the members.

Brent was introduced and thanked by President Walmark.


Refer to Brian Walmark's communique emailed to members.

Additional news following can be expanded by contacting relevant members:

1. RYLA- a new chair and preliminary discussions for 2023 are up for discussion (Bob Tomlinson)
2. Indigenous (HIP) gathering in Winnipeg, in March offering great opportunities for dialogue amongst indigenous and non indigenous youth.
3. Easter Seals luncheon January 19th (Rotary helped establish Easter Seals). (B. Walmark).
4. WRCAT-upcoming city council deputations-optimism from our Rotary leaders (W. Philp)
5. Empower The North initiative launch upcoming: a great plan for individuals and partners to pledge good acts in the community (A. Brulé)
6. Youth Exchange update : Fern is now transitioned to the Chen family after a successful first term with John Stephenson/Marg Woods (Matthew Diegel)
7.Fellowship events upcoming: Wednesday Feb 1 at TB Art Gallery with musician Jim Hamilton (interactive workshop) (S. Crawford). Additionally, March Leadership Forum for members, students et al with prominent panelists (S. Crawford)
8. Tech assistant to Kevin Holloway required for smooth Zoom and hybrid meetings going forward (K. Holloway)
9. Rotary Radio Day: a major push for sales is needed now.