Posted by Graham Gillette
The first day of March brought a blue-sky-sparkling-sunny day, which caused thoughts of Spring to sprout in the minds of many Rotarians. Since this weekly meeting had a growth theme, it was appropriate it began with Chuck Kuba introducing new member Craig Miller. Craig has jumped into Rotary service, so he may not seem new to many. As is Craig, our many new members are enriching the club. We welcome them and thank those who are actively recruiting new members.
Today's speaker was Joe Sweeney, the chief executive officer of Eagle's Catch U.S.A. Grown Seafood in Ellsworth, Iowa. Yes, I typed that correctly, Eagle's Catch is an Iowa-based operation that will raise and sell fish on a large scale. Ten years ago there were no fish farming operations in Iowa. Today, there are about a dozen producing barramundi sea bass, shrimp, and koi. Even after Eagle's Catch begins operating its approximately four-acre tilapia facility, aquaculture will remain a tiny segment of Iowa's farming economy. But, Sweeney is confident fish farming will become much more prevalent in the years to come.
Sweeney's interest in aquaculture began after studying Agriculture Business, Economics, and Entrepreneurial Studies at Iowa State University. After learning that 90% of the seafood consumed in the United States is imported, with 70% of those imports coming from China, Sweeney began studying the U.S. seafood market. He drove his old hail damaged Buick to Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Georgia where he worked for land-based aquaculture producers in exchange for gaining knowledge. He walked away from these back-breaking experiences convinced there was an untapped farming opportunity back home in Iowa. 
He and a few partners built and operated Buckeye Fish Company that raised barramundi sea bass on land Sweeney bought from his parents. After a couple of years, the partners sold Buckeye to raise capital for the tilapia operation that is now known as Eagle's Catch. Sweeney is convinced the process of growing tilapia will be easier than sea bass and, most important, the market is even bigger.
Tilapia is a freshwater fish that has been farmed for generations. While tilapia is widely available and has many positive qualities, it has been dubbed the fish chefs love to hate because imported tilapia can be inconsistent in quality and have a muddy flavor. For better or worse, tilapia is a hearty fish that can survive in poor quality water by consuming chicken and other animal waste. Sweeney provided the unappetizing example of a small-scale fish operation in Africa he visited that would hang rotting animals over tanks so the fish could feed on the maggots that fell from the carcasses.
Joe Sweeney, Eagle's Catch U.S.A. Grown Seafood Graham Gillette 2018-03-02 06:00:00Z 0
Posted by Rob Smith
Warren Phillips was born in Washington, DC and grew up in Camp Springs, MD which is about 4 miles away from Andrews Air Force Base, just outside of DC. He is an only child of an only child and was raised by his mother, grandmother, and grandfather, all of whom worked at the Department of Transportation throughout their careers.
Warren is married to his amazing wife, Kimberly, and has a son (age 23) and a step-daughter (age 19) and lives in Ames, Iowa.  Warren received his B.A. in Psychology from the University of MD, College Park campus in 1989, and then moved to Chicago where he received his Ph.D. in Clinical and Developmental Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1996.
Warren moved to Iowa in 1995 where he completed his Psychology internship at the Des Moines Child and Adolescent Guidance Center and then began working as a Clinical Psychologist in private practice at Central Iowa Psychological Services and teaching part-time in the Psychology department at Iowa State University.
Warren currently owns and runs Central Iowa Psychological Services, a large group Psychology practice, that employs 26 Psychologists, marriage and family therapists, social workers, and mental health counselors and runs a full substance abuse treatment facility, with locations in Ames, West Des Moines, and Ankeny.  Warren also still teaches part-time at Iowa State University in the Psychology department and also runs a business consulting group that helps businesses manage and resolve one of the most important issues in any workforce…helping our employees love coming to work! He is also the President-Elect of the Iowa Psychological Association.
In Warren’s spare time his favorite activity is to spend time with his wife, hiking through the woods near their home in Ames, and listening to jazz together at their favorite jazz club in Des Moines – Club Noce.
Welcome New Member Warren Phillips! Rob Smith 2018-03-01 06:00:00Z 0
Posted by Chuck Kuba
Craig Miller was born in Marshalltown but has lived in Des Moines most of his life. He attended Roosevelt High School and went on to Iowa State receiving a BS in Chemical Engineering and a BA in Economics, with minors in Music and Theater.
Craig has lived and worked in Iowa most of his adult life, except for a short period after college when he worked for Dow Chemical in Midland, MI.
Craig finally settled down and for 45 years has been the head of Miller Mechanical Specialties, Inc., a Manufacturer’s Rep that covers the Upper Midwest. He is presently CFO and he told me he’s desperately trying to retire.
Craig is married to Betty, who is much more talented than him. She plays viola in the Des Moines Symphony. Together they have three grown children, Courtney, Carleton and Phillip and five grandchildren. In his spare time Craig enjoys singing and has been heard in musicals, operas, choirs and a number of other musical groups and performances, including being the lead tenor in the Temple B’nai Jeshurun High Holy Days Choir which I direct.
Craig and Betty enjoy travel and are often away from Des Moines traveling to various parts of the world for pleasure.
A little-known fact about Craig is that he also provides pro-bono engineering work in underdeveloped countries and is presently working on a Rotary funded water project in Nicaragua. Soon he will be working with Ames Rotary on their new project in Tanzania. I don’t know how he manages it all but Craig is also an Executive Board member and VP of Production for the new Iowa Stage Theater Company and he has  served on the Board of a number of other arts organizations over many years.
Please help me welcome Craig Miller as a new member of the Rotary Club of Des Moines.
Welcome New Member Craig Miller! Chuck Kuba 2018-03-01 06:00:00Z 0
RCDM Impact 2017-18 2018-01-25 06:00:00Z 0