Event Types


State of Rotary

Join President Tom Benton and Peter Booth as they recount the formation of Rotary, its start, growth and current status.  The program will highlight interesting moments in Rotary’s history.  In addition we will share the presence of Rotary locally, regionally and internationally.

Feb 28, 2018

State of the City of Grand Junction

Topic: Greg Caton and the Mayor Taggart will be providing an update on the current state of affairs at the City of Grand Junction and will be providing highlights of a number of projects or initiatives coming up this year.

Bio: Mayor J. Merrick “Rick” Taggart moved to Grand Junction in the early 80’s to lead and manage Marmot Mountain Works, a young dynamic outdoor company, as its CEO, Chairman and Co-Owner. After selling the business in the late 80’s, Rick went on to lead divisions of The Timberland Company as their Senior Vice President and then on to be the CEO of Swiss Army Brands until 2010. In recent years Rick has worked at Colorado Mesa University as a senior manager and a teacher of business strategy, management and marketing.  As an avid outdoorsman Rick fell in love with this area and while his corporate career took him away from the Valley at times, he and his wife Deanna have made Grand Junction their home for over 30 years. Deanna and Rick have four children, three of them residing in the Grand Valley.  Rick received a B.S. in Management Science at Syracuse University and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.

Bio: Greg joined the City of Grand Junction in June 2016. He came to Grand Junction from Oro Valley, Arizona, a community outside Tucson, where he had been serving as the town manager. Prior to joining the Town of Oro Valley, Mr. Caton served eight years as assistant city manager for the City of Durango, Colorado. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, and a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Colorado at Denver. Mr. Caton has received the Credentialed Manager designation from ICMA (International City/County Management Association), which is the premier municipal government leadership and management organization.

Mar 07, 2018

CMU MBA Program

Topic: Dr. Norman will provide an informative update of some of the various exciting initiatives underway within the Department of Business, including the MBA and undergraduate programs, update on our pursuit of AACSB accreditation (continuous improvement), and a discussion of future vision and direction.

Bio: Dr. Norman earned his Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln under the guidance of esteemed scholars Dr. Fred Luthans and Dr. Bruce Avolio, after a successful industry career spanning 25 years in various contexts and leadership positions.  Dr. Norman’s research interests include leadership studies, both face-to-face and virtual, positive psychological capital (PsyCap), authentic leadership, and organization-based self-esteem.

Mar 14, 2018

Mesa County Weed and Pest Management

Topic: We serve the community by managing high-priority, non-native, invasive plants, and insect pests in order to create and protect valuable agricultural commodities, natural areas and infrastructure.  We help County residents re-think their land management problems.  There are opportunities for you to join in the fun!  Here to speak about this fun is Grand Junction native, Teresa Nees of the Mesa County Noxious Weed & Pest Management program. 

Mar 21, 2018

Utah's Oldest Known Dino

Topic: Rob Gay, Director of Education for the Colorado Canyons Association (CCA), presents new findings on a fossil identified as the oldest dinosaur bone found in the State of Utah.  Specifically, it is identified as coming from the Late Triassic Period (220-200 million years ago).  This fossil is of a sacrum (part of the pelvis) that belonged to a small meat-eating dinosaur that was buried less than 100 miles away from Fruita. This dinosaur is important to the story of the Colorado Plateau because it not only shows us a little of what Utah's oldest dinosaurs looked like, it is also the furthest north anyone has ever found a dinosaur of this age.. This find may help us better understand how dinosaurs spread across North America during this time period.  This was a collaborative efforts of three paleontologists – Xavier Jenkins with Arizona State University, Dr. John Foster with the Museum of Moab, and Robert Gay with CCA.   Their findings are bring published in the Utah Geological Association’s journal Geology of the Intermountain West. The sacrum fossil is currently housed at Dinosaur Journey in Fruita.
Bio: Rob Gay digs up dead animals and tells the world about it. As a paleontologist, he has taken citizen scientists out and uncovered fossils hundreds of millions of years old. He's using that experience now at CCA as Education Director to educate the future about the scientific and historic values of our shared public lands. In his free time you can find him hiking, kayaking, or camping across the Colorado Plateau.  Previous to working at CCA, Rob worked with the Museums of Western Colorado and as an educator in Arizona. 
Mar 28, 2018

White Elephant Sale

Apr 04, 2018

Eureka!: McConnell Science Center

Topic: The former and much-beloved John McConnell Math and Science Center of Western Colorado has changed its name and moved to the Colorado Mesa University campus.  Is in now known as Eureka!: McConnell Science Museum.  The volunteer and staff from Eureka are till dedicated to bringing science though hands-on investigation.  Eureka’s Executive Director Jenn Moore believes the museum is an intersection of math, science, and art—bringing students and the community together for exhibitions, hands-on activities, and classroom learning. Jenn hopes to make Eureka a magnet for creativity, critical thinking, and lifelong learning. She hopes to redefine the way people think about, learn about, and interact with science and technology by making science fun for everyone.


Bio: Jenn came to the Math and Science Center from the Timberline Field Institute at Colorado Mountain College in Leadville where she taught courses in Natural Resource Management. Having always had a passion for science and teaching, she developed new programs, wrote grants for student driven research, and managed an internship program for students to have hands-on work experience. Previous to her work at the college she was a research hydrologist for the US Geological Survey in Grand Junction. Her educational background is in Biological Systems Engineering from Virginia Tech and Environmental Engineering from Colorado State University.

Apr 11, 2018

Grand Valley Food Hub

Topic: Grand Valley Food Hub is a group of farmers, ranchers, food producers, and consumers with a strong belief that buying locally creates a community with enhanced economic, health, and social benefits.  Why a Food Hub? – Many farmers and ranchers, especially smaller and mid-sized operations, often lack the capacity to access retail, institutional, and commercial foodservice markets on their own, and consequently miss out on the fastest growing segment of the local food market.  The Grand Vision is a public market in a building connecting local food producers with the local community.

Bio: Bryan Wachs, Grand Valley Food Hub’s founder, is a serial entrepreneur with a deep history of building, consulting, and starting a variety of businesses and companies. He co-founded MySalesButler.com after building a new offering for what is now Lycos.  Bryan’s life goal is to create a value-oriented company in providing Sales and Marketing ROI to business of all types and sizes through IT services as flat fee “Tasks” delivered to businesses, large and small.

Apr 18, 2018

2018 State of the County

Topic: The year 2017 (and the first part of 2018) was an exciting and active year for Mesa County and 2018 will certainly prove just as eventful and challenging.  To let us know more about the accomplishments, opportunities and challenges over the past year, the Mesa County Commissioners are joining us the give their Annual “State of the County” presentation. 

 Bio: Scott McInnis and his wife are both members of long-time multi-generational Colorado families. They reside in Grand Junction and spend free time with their family, enjoying the outdoors and the public lands.  Scott studied Business at Mesa and Fort Lewis Colleges. He also attended the Colorado Police Academy and St. Mary's School of Law.  Prior to his current position as Mesa County Commissioner, Scott has served the community as a Colorado State Representative as well as our congressional district’s representative to the US Congress.  Scott’s term as a County commissioner started January 2015 and runs through January 2019.

 Bio: Frank Whidden has been the County’s Administrator since January 2015. Previously, he served as the County’s IT Director (2011-2014) and Deputy Administrator in charge of IT and Resource Management (2014).  During his time with Mesa County, Frank has led the implementation of numerous IT systems, has implemented numerous county-wide cost savings efforts, and continues to work with the Commissioner to achieve their vision for Mesa County’s future.  Prior to coming Mesa County government, Frank had been involved with IT management since 1991, including at numerous colleges and has owned his own IT company.  He earned his doctorate in Applied Management and Decision Science from Waldon University, a masters in Computer Information Services from the University of Phoenix, and a BBA in Management from Kennesaw State University. 

May 02, 2018

Inbound Rotary Exchange Students

One of the most successful Rotary programs is its Youth Exchange.  Thousands of students around the world have benefited from living abroad for a year as part of the program.  This year, two students are living here in Grand Junction as part of the Rotary Youth Exchange.  Let’s let them introduce themselves.

“I'm Amaya García and I'm seventeen years-old. I'm from Spain, more specifically from Vigo, Galicia.  It is located in the northwest part of Spain on the Atlantic Ocean.  My city, Vigo is an important European city because the fish, which is one of the best things. I love traveling, meeting new people, new cultures and I enjoy practices sports (like, surfing and tennis).  I'm attending Grand Junction High School. In the school, right now, I'm involved in French club, Interact club and in the tennis JV team.”

“My name is Luce Villemin and I'm fifteen years old. I come from France and more specifically from the Southeast of France on the Mediterranean coast. My city is a pretty big beach town called Toulon. I enjoy cooking, traveling and meeting new people. Here, I go to Central High School. In school, I'm involved in my Student Council, which is really fun and I'm also in my Key Club, a service club.”

May 09, 2018

2018 Trends and Updates from the Grand Junction Economic Partnership

Robin Brown is the Executive Director for the Grand Junction Economic Partnership (GJEP), which is the Economic Development agency for Mesa County. GJEP primarily recruits businesses into Colorado’s Grand Valley. Prior to that, Robin owned a PR agency and launched Spoke + Blossom, a lifestyle magazine for western Colorado. Robin served eight years in the U.S. Army as a helicopter pilot and deployed twice to Iraq.

May 16, 2018


May 23, 2018

Tourism on the Western Slope: Three Decade Retrospective

May 30, 2018

Colorado Canyons Accociation River Program

Jun 06, 2018

STRIVE, Framing the Future

Topic: STRIVE is in the process of a capital campaign to improve their delivery of service by redesigning an existing building,  we will move from a 72 year old building with several issues located at 950 Grand Avenue to a more updated facility located at 790 Wellington.

Bio: Doug Sorter is a retired UPS executive who has been with STRIVE for five years and lived in Grand Junction 45 years.  He received a BBA is psychology and a MA in social science.  Doug is married with four children and five grandchildren with one on the way. 

Jun 13, 2018

Grand Junction as a Visitor Destination

Elizabeth Fogarty recently accepted the Director position at Visit Grand Junction and began on March 2018. Elizabeth will oversee the department to continue the focus of destination management in partnership with the region while keeping the City’s strategic direction a priority. A commitment to preserve and protect while also being mindful of enhancing the quality of life for residents will  be a priority while marketing the area globally. 

 Elizabeth has over 29 years of experience in the hospitality and marketing industries at such organizations as Delaware North Companies (largest privately held hospitality company in the world), The Broadmoor Hotel, Interstate Hotels and Resorts, Sheraton Hotels, Yosemite National Park, and past Vice President of the Southern Colorado Business Travel Association.  Most recently, Elizabeth was President & CEO of Visit Estes Park May 2014 – December 2017.  The award for the Best Marketing campaign at the 2016 Governor’s Tourism Conference was a significant accomplishment. Her other interests include skiing, motorcycles, hiking, camping, rafting, cooking and community outreach. 

Jun 20, 2018

Outgoing Presidential Address

Tom Benton, our honored Rotary Club President for 2017-2018, will be speaking today on the year’s accomplishments.  The motto of “Make a Difference” has been a guiding goal for the year.  And under Tom’s leadership, the Club has truly “made a difference” in our community this year.   

Jun 27, 2018

Incoming Presidential Address

Michael McCormick, our honored Rotary Club President for 2018-2019, will be speaking today on this year’s goals and objectives for our Club.  The Rotary International motto for the year is “Be the Inspiration.”  Locally, Rotary has been an lead inspiration for our community for nearly 100 years.

Michael with his wife Paula own and operate Columbine Caregivers here is Mesa County.  Michael started his career in health care in 1980, with his assignment to Ft. Carson Army Hospital in Colorado Springs. After completing his military commitment, Michael became an administrator of senior retirement communities and nursing centers which brought him to Grand Junction.

Jul 11, 2018

Miss Colorado USA 2018

Topic: Chloe will be speaking today about her story, path and how she was able to get to where she wanted to be in her career and with her year-long fulfillment as Miss Colorado USA.

Bio: Chloe Brown grew up in Grand Junction, Colorado. In 2017, Chloe graduated from Arizona State University, as a member of Pi Beta Phi, with a bachelor-of-science in health policy. She is currently working as an orthopedic sales consultant for DePuy Synthes Joint Reconstruction as well as being Miss Colorado USA 2018.  Chloe will compete on May 21st for the title of Miss USA live on FOX Television this spring.  If she wins, she will advance to compete for the coveted title of Miss Universe.  Some of the most rewarding projects of Chloe's include working with dental charities such as Give Kids a Smile and Special Smiles through the Special Olympics.



Jul 18, 2018

Teso Safe Motherhood

Emergency Van Arrives in Rural Uganda!  Beverly Lyne, Teso Safe Motherhood

Grand Junction Rotary recently invested in the Teso Safe Motherhood program which had suffered a devastating loss when their van. The van transported laboring mothers to the hospital for emergencies. With collaboration between Grand Junction and Soroti Rotary Clubs, a new van was purchased.

Beverly Lyne, RN, MSN began nursing in 1986, knowing that her heart’s work lay in the resource-challenged areas of the world. Taking her knowledge of community health nursing, HIV/AIDS management, and infectious diseases, she has worked in the most remote regions of Nicaragua, Haiti, and Uganda. She co-founded the Teso Safe Motherhood Project in 2005, which now serves vulnerable families in rural Uganda. She recently retired as Director of the Nursing Education Program at Colorado Northern Community College.

Jul 18, 2018

The Magic Flute

Erica Miller and Hal Wilson are part of the Grand Junction Symphony’s presentation of The Magic Flute.   A dazzling celebration of true love conquering all.  Mozart’s treasured fantasy, The Magic Flute, transports audiences into an unconventional fantasy world. To open our meeting, Erica and Hal will bring a couple of these songs from this masterpiece.

Jul 18, 2018

Lodging Tax Increase Presentation

The Tax You Don’t Pay Committee has been formed to advocate for a City of Grand Junction ballot measure that was referred by City Council on July 18th raising the current lodging tax to 6%.  By comparison, the City of Denver lodging tax is 10.75%.  The tax will be roughly an additional $2.55 per room night based on our average rate of $85.00 per night.  Funding will be allocated to support three major activities related to travel and tourism marketing, including minimum air service guarantees and additional funding to market the area as a tourism destination and sporting event venue.

Representatives of the committee including Diane Schwenke, head of the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce, will present additional information on the measure and why local voters should consider voting yes.

Jul 25, 2018

Young Chautauqua: Bringing History Alive

Topic: In the mid-1920s, Winston Churchill had already had a full career was now serving as Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer.  He would go on from here to become one of the most influential men in the 20th Century.  However, the man he would become would be shaped tremendously by private events in his early life such as Boer War and World War I. 

Bio:  A junior at Grand Junction High School, Anthony Booth is part of the 13th Annual Two Rivers Chautauqua which brings a unique performance art tradition to the Grand Valley.  Chautauqua is where historians give us the chance to interact with characters from the past.  As part of this program, students from elementary school through high school have immersed themselves into the historical past and personalized history.  This year’s event is at the Avalon on August 17th and 18th.   

Jul 25, 2018

Culture & Values in the Workplace

Topic: What does it take to create a strong company culture? How can that culture lead to industry changes while positively impacting standards? Through his own experiences as the CEO of GeoStabilization International, Colby Barrett, J.D., P.E., shares a story of innovation with insights that can be incorporated into personal and business journeys.

Bio: Colby Barrett is a passionate leader within the geohazard mitigation industry. He has worked on stabilization projects for over 15 years, managing projects throughout North America and New Zealand. After studying Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at the University of California at Berkeley and Oxford University on an NROTC scholarship, Colby served as a Captain in the United States Marine Corps where he led both infantry and scout/sniper platoons and earned the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for outstanding performance. Colby holds a Juris Doctor from Yale Law School and is a Registered Professional Engineer. Colby has led GeoStabilization International since 2008. He has authored numerous papers on landslide and erosion control as well as Geosynthetically Confined Soil® technology. A recent recipient of the prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Colby has just been named as one of Engineering News-Record’s National Top 20 Under 40. Under his tenure, GeoStabilization International has been recognized as one of The Best Companies to Work For by ColoradoBiz magazine. 

Aug 01, 2018

Young Entrepreneurs Academy

Topic: The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is a year-long program that teaches middle and high school students how to start and run their own REAL businesses. YEA! was developed at the University of Rochester in 2004 with the support of a grant from the Kauffman Foundation. The Grand Junction Area Chamber is excited to bring YEA! to Grand Junction and Mesa County! 

Bio: Running YEA! In Grand Junction is Darcy Weir, the newest member of the Chamber team.  She serves as both the Workforce Development Coordinator and the YEA! manager. As such, Darcy works to cultivate relationships with businesses, industry groups, nonprofit and community-based organizations to be actively involved in meaningful relationships that benefit students, teachers and schools, and in doing so providing for a stronger workforce for the Valley.

Bio: Participating in YEA! And presenting today is Madison Hawkins, a 12 year entering the seventh Grade at Fruita Middle School.  Her idea  of Euphoria is a product to help adults and kids calm down.  Madison has struggled with anxiety and emotional regulation her whole life.  It has cost her family a lot of time and money trying to find something to help.  Madison learned a lot about how the brain works and calming strategies.  She developed a ready-to-use kit for kids to address this challenge.

Aug 08, 2018

The Little Lead Soldier

Topic: What does a little lead soldier know about World War I?  Everything, when he travels in the dispatch bag of a colonel who fought in the trenches of Vosges and in the major American battles of St. Mihiel and Meuse-Argonne.  That colonel was the grandfather of today’s speaker—Hugh D. Wise, III.  The book is a collection of the Colonel’s letters to his son though the voice of the Little Lead Soldier.

Bio: Hugh D. Wise III graduated from Princeton University in 1964 with honors in History.  In the Peace Corps, Hugh lectured in Brazilian universities.  After graduation from law school, Hugh practiced law in Grand Junction from 1969 to 1987.  After retirement, he moved to Aspen with his wife Mary and has lived there ever since. . 

Aug 15, 2018

Meet Grand Junction’s K9 Police Dogs

Topic: Trevor Hawkins is currently employed with Grand Junction Police Department and has worked in law enforcement for almost 15 years. For the past 3 years, Trevor has been assigned to work with K9 police dogs.  His canine partner, Nero, a 4 year old German Shepherd who came from Israel. Currently Nero is certified in narcotics detection, tracking and patrol. Today, Trevor and Nero will be talk about how they select the dogs, how the dogs are trained and how the dogs serve a dual purpose.

Aug 22, 2018