Speakers
Robert Nissenbaum
Aug 22, 2017
Social Media
Rhonda Wood Negard
Aug 29, 2017
Graphic Design
Joe Flach
Sep 05, 2017
Stuff Those Wag Bags! It's Harbor Hounds Prep Day!
Dr. Shirley Hansen
Sep 12, 2017
Water Poverty - Our Pending Water Crisis
No Meeting Tuesday, Sept. 19: District Govenor
Sep 22, 2017
All GH Clubs Meeting Friday, September 22, 7:00 AM at Canterwood
Attorney General Bob Ferguson
Sep 26, 2017
Update on Issues Happening Around the State
Katy Cornell
Oct 03, 2017
Walk in the Light Foundation - Port Orchard
Shari Storm
Oct 10, 2017
Building a more positive and productive culture through strategic leadership.
Brian McClean
Oct 17, 2017
Greater Gig Harbor Foundation
Delila Simon
Oct 24, 2017
Holocaust Center for Humanity
 
 
 

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Club Information

Welcome to The Rotary Club of Gig Harbor Midday

Gig Harbor Midday

Serving our neighbors at home & around the world

We meet Tuesdays at 12:00 PM
Anthony's Homeport
8827 North Harborview Dr
Gig Harbor, WA  98332
United States
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Home Page Stories
 
 Marilyn Hoppen
Welcoming Marilyn Hoppen
as Midday Club president
 
By Dave Stave
 
Involvement of all Gig Harbor Midday Rotary Club members will be a key initiative for Marilyn Hoppen as she assumes leadership of the club for 2017-18.
 
Hoppen is being installed as the club’s president Tuesday, June 27, at the Gig Harbor Yacht Club, 8209 Stinson Ave.  Previous president Joe Flach will pass the gavel to her at the dinner meeting which runs from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
 
“My focus this year is to encourage members to participate in a variety of service activities, foster club innovation and participation, and most of all have fun,” Hoppen said. “I want Gig Harbor Midday Rotary to be the ‘club of choice’ in Gig Harbor." 
 
Hoppen connects to Rotary with husband
Hoppen, a 41-year resident of Gig Harbor, has been in the Midday Club since August 2013. But she had been involved in Rotary for a number of years with her husband, Mark, who served as the Midday Club’s president in 2007-08.
 
“This is my first club,” she said.  “Mark is currently a member of the Rotary Club of Gig Harbor (which meets Friday mornings) and is also active with the Rotary Club of Des Moines/Normandy Park, so we are also involved with both of these clubs,” she said.
 
Hoppen grew up on Magnolia in Seattle, graduating from Queen Anne High School in 1972. She has one sister who is three years younger than her.
 
Hoppen’s education included obtaining a MBA from Pacific Lutheran University in 1981 and a BA in business administration in 1976 from the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business.
 
A shift toward human resources
Her early career idea was to be an accountant. But after spending a summer working in an accounting department – “most of which was spent in a vault,” she said, Hoppen decided to major in human resources.
 
Hoppen is the senior vice president and director of human resources for Kitsap Bank, headquartered in Port Orchard.  She is responsible for the bank’s HR and training strategy and practices.
 
Prior to joining Kitsap Bank in October 2006, Hoppen served as the regional manager for the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) Pacific West Region which included the nine western states of Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming.  She held that position for 15 years and has more than 30 years of experience in the human resource field.
 
“I love being an HR professional,” she said. “Every day is different and is never a dull day.”
 
No place like Gig Harbor
Hoppen said she has lived in Gig Harbor since June 19, 1976, the day after she and Mark were married. “I have had the opportunity to travel a lot,” she said, “but honestly it is difficult to find a place more beautiful than Gig Harbor. I feel very lucky to have lived here the past 41 years.”
 
Mark is the city manager of the City of Normandy Park. He served as Gig Harbor’s city administrator from 1992 to 2006.
 
He and Marilyn have one daughter, Whitney, who lives in Richmond Beach (located in Shoreline, just north of Seattle). Whitney and her husband Leonid have one son, Benjamin, who turns 2 in September. “We try to see them at least once a week,” the enthusiastic grandmother Marilyn said.
 
Hoppen said she’s been aware of the service and mission of Rotary for some time.
 
“Despite being a relatively new Rotarian, I have been involved with Rotary for a number of years with Mark. Together we have attended two Rotary International conventions and have hosted a Rotary exchange student,” Hoppen said.
 
When not involved with Rotary, she loves spending time with her family.  “I stay active running and Mark and I own a 40-foot wooden sailboat that was designed and built by his father,” she said. “I also love to cook and entertain.
 
“Rotary pretty much consumes my spare time,” she said. “However, both Mark and I are very active in the Gig Harbor community and participate in numerous events”
 
Serving on RI Membership Committee
Hoppen said she recently was appointed by Rotary International President Ian Riseley to the RI Membership Committee as an adviser for the 2017-18 Rotary year.
 
“In August I will be traveling to Rotary headquarters in Evanston, Ill., for a committee meeting and look forward to this opportunity to have an impact on the future of Rotary membership issues,” the new Midday Club president said.
 
What does Hoppen say she enjoys most about Rotary and the Midday Club?
 
“I love the members,” she said.  “Midday Rotarians are a very passionate group of people who truly want to make a difference in not only the Gig Harbor community, but throughout the world.
 
“It is great to be a Rotarian," she continued.  "As a service club, Rotary’s business is mankind and its product is service. Being a Rotarian is a chance do to good.”
 
Try a little kindness
The new Midday Club president said she has a quote by the Dalai Lama in her office at work which reads: “Be kind whenever possible.  It is always possible.” 
 
Hoppen added, “I have yet to find someone who doesn’t appreciate a little kindness. Being a Rotarian is an opportunity to spread a little kindness.” 
 
 
Welcoming new president Joe Flach
 
By Dave Stave
 
Joe Flach, the Gig Harbor Midday Rotary Club’s incoming president, wants all club members to know that he is open and eager to listen to what they have to say.
 
Flach, who is only a phone call or a tap-on-the-shoulder away, says, “I hope everyone feels free to talk to me, honestly and openly … provide feedback, criticism, compliments, complaints.  Let me know what I can do to make your Midday Rotary experience better. I may not always be able to satisfy you, but I would like to, at least, be given the chance.”
 
With that spirit of openness, Flach will become 2016-17 president at the club’s installation dinner on Thursday, June 30. The event will be from 5 to 9 p.m. at The Club at the Boatyard, 3117 Harborview Drive, on Gig Harbor’s waterfront. Midday Rotary members will be thanking outgoing president Howard Svigals for his year of service.
 
Flach, the owner of Safe Harbor Consulting LLC, and his wife, Cindy, moved to Gig Harbor in August 2008, from Verona, N.J., 16 miles west of New York City. He explained what brought him to Washington.
 
“Cindy and I were just at a point in our lives where we needed a change. I had reached a point where it made sense for me to end my relationship with my business partner and, after 18 years, we had had enough of the New Jersey-New York area.  We took about a year's time to research where we might like to relocate and the Seattle area worked its way to the top of our list.”
 
Clients all over the globe
Upon arriving in Gig Harbor, Flach developed Safe Harbor Consulting. As a management consultant, Flach specializes in crisis management, business continuity and disaster recovery planning.  
 
“I am currently a one-man shop, but I do hope to add others in the near future,” Flach said. “I help clients prepare for technology and business disasters and help them exercise/practice their responses to emergencies and crises.”
Flach works for clients all over the globe on projects ranging from a few weeks to a few months.
 
He and Cindy will celebrate their silver (25th) wedding anniversary on Sept. 28. Cindy works for Carnival Cruise Corp. as manager of disaster recovery planning in its technology department. The two have one son at home, Spencer, 12, a frequent visitor with his dad to Midday Rotary Club meetings. Spencer will be a seventh-grader at Goodman Middle School.
 
The couple have three grown children, all living on the East Coast.  Daughter Torrie, who turns 37 in August, lives in Metuchen, N.J., and has 3-year-old twins, a boy and a girl.  The Flachs’ son Tyler lives in Tampa, Fla., and has a 3-year-old boy and baby girl due on her grandpa Joe’s birthday, July 20. Son Nolan lives in Bel Air, Md., and has a soon to be 5-year-old daughter.
 
Flach’s mother Doris Kimball Flach lives in Hiawassee, Ga. He also two brothers and three sisters who live in Ohio and Georgia.
 
His early days: from Maryland to Ohio
Flach was born in Baltimore, Md., but moved to Chicago at age 5, Charleston, W.V. at 6 and Centerville (Dayton), Ohio at 11.
He graduated from Archbishop Alter High School in Kettering, Ohio, in 1976.  He earned a degree from Ohio State University in 1980 majoring in computer and information sciences. He went on to obtain an MBA from the University of Richmond in 1985 in business management.
 
He started his career in Kettering, Ohio, in 1980, working as a programmer for NCR Corporation. In 1983 he took a job as a programmer-analyst for the Bank of Virginia in Richmond, Va., where he eventually was promoted to assistant vice-president for information security and disaster recovery. In 1990, he moved to New Jersey to take a job as an internal consultant for Union Camp and in 1991 he became a consultant working for Comdisco.  
 
Flach became an independent consultant in 1998 and then joined up with a partner in 1999 to form Eagle Rock Alliance.
He explained, “When I first moved to Washington I had a job with Alaska Airlines in charge of business continuity and emergency response planning before working again as a full-time consultant for my new company, Safe Harbor Consulting.”
 
Flach enjoys writing poetry and has a poetry blog called, “Poems, Lyrics and Stuff by an Average Joe.” He plays volleyball and loves the outdoors, including hiking and exploring.
 
Flach said he is excited about his upcoming year as the Midday Club president and does not anticipate any major changes.
 
A family atmosphere
 
“The strength of our club is in the members themselves,” he said. “I love that we are not too big and not too small.  And, I love the kinship and family atmosphere that our club wears. There should be no major changes other than to continue to improve. have fun and maybe add a little more diversity in the membership.  
 
But, he added, “this club does not need ‘fixing’ and I do not see any need to force changes that are not needed.”
 
It could not have been planned this way, but it was sobering to see Gig Harbor's peace pole unveiled during a ceremony Monday, a day after the Orlando shootings. The pole, one of 200,000 around the globe, contains the words, "May peace prevail on Earth," in eight languages including the native tongue of the Puyallup Indian Reservation. It was a gift from the Gig Harbor Midday Rotary Club and was placed at the city's civic center
.
 
Welcoming new member Luellen Lucid with Membership Chair Patricia Scott and her sponsors. Welcome to our club!
 
 
Club member Bob Anderson gave a detailed presentation on the CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) program for Pierce County. Truly effective program making a difference in the lives of children in the Foster Care system. With president Howard Svigals. 
 
 
 
 
This past Tuesday, two of our newest members shared their "Classification Talks"...as much to educate as to entertain us about them!  CIA associate to Arabian horse trainer, these two have had full careers.  Thanks to Teri White and Stephen Rainbolt for sharing.
 
 
Our guest speak, Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson, gave an entertaining and fascinating presentation of the upcoming "election year" and the workload facing her office. Thank you for educating us on the number of elections possible in any given year. Food for thought on a couple!
 

John Burgess brought our Gig Harbor HS January Student of the Month Joe Hayes to the meeting yesterday. What an impressive young man and future Rotarian!! Here is information about Joe:

Joe is a senior at Gig Harbor HS with a 3.8 GPA. He has been an Interact Club Member for four (4) years, and is an active volunteer in the community. He is a member of the school's award winning Meistersingers, and is very involved in school leadership. Joe is recognized throughout the school as the key "go to" person for IT needs. He is also involved in his church, and an avid skier/snow boarder. Joe will be joining a team this Mid-winter Break to build houses for those in need in Mexico. He has consistently modeled "service above Self". Congratulations Joe! 

 

 

This Tuesday, January 12th,  is Food or Five.  The food and money this week goes to the Fish Food Bank in Gig Harbor.

Our own Cathryn Cummings gave a riveting presentation on the life of Sojourner Truth, an amazing black woman in history.  Thank you Cathryn for bringing her story to life with such passion.
 
Thank you Ralph Flick (and family!!) for the delicious home-made cupcakes that we get every month celebrating birthdays & anniversaries.  What a great treat!  Tuesday was chocolate with raspberry frosting - yumm!!!
 
 
Ally Brown of the Henderson Bay HS Interact Club visited today to update us on her plans to travel to Brazil after graduating this spring and teach English for a year. She is interested in travel opportunities to learn from different cultures and was fascinated by Denny's presentation on Ethiopia. Ally works with developmentally challenged children  while attending Henderson Bay. 
Denny Wilford shared photos of his recent trip to Ethiopia where the Polio Hydrotherapy Treatment center was officially dedicated. "Cheshire House" is the project name and Denny was awarded another funding check of $2,000 from the Club. Amazing facility, only one in East Africa and already very, very active. His visitors/coworkers on this project were Dave Weaver and Omara Abe (University District Rotary), Ezra Teshome (Team Leader), Bob Cairns (Port Orchard Rotary) and Rhonda Long. 
 
George Moergeli shared this update on recent Club donations to the Foodbank program:
I will be taking a total of $139.00 to the Bischoff Food Bank tomorrow-receiving two checks for $25 and $89 in cash. Thanks everyone.
Dave Cathers was at our meeting today seeking volunteers and donations for the Turkey Basket Brigade. David was presented a check of $1,000 from the Midday Rotary. He is anticipating a 1,000 boxes full of a Turkey and all the fixings for Thanksgiving to be assembled and giving away to families in need this year.
 
Bill McCarthy, District 5020 Foundation Chair addressed us yesterday with personal and moving stories of how Rotarians make a difference through Foundation gifts and grants.  Highly motivating to learn that District Matching Gifts turn modest donations into serious Gifts to the receiving community.  Our monthly Foundation Gift donations make a difference!
 
Today was Club Assembly where members met in committees, Youth, International and Community.
 
Welcome new Club member Paul Raschke, Head of Gig Harbor Academy, with Patricia Scott Membership Chair and Vicki Stasch Sponsor.
 
October's Student of Month, Emily Davis, is shown with her parents, Club President Howard Svigals, and Fire Chief John Burgess. Emily Davis is a senior at Gig Harbor High School has a 3.9 GPA. She is involved in basketball, Students Against Cancer (STAC), the Environmental Club (GHECO), the honor society and she enjoys volunteering with Harbor WildWatch.
 
Today's speaker was Major Don Sheppard, Pierce County Salvation Army, a very good talk about how the Salvation Army help him many years ago and the give back to the communities he and his wife gave as officers of the Salvation Army.
 
Dr Tim Holmes presented a check to Andy Ritting for the Rotary Club of Gig Harbor Midday Foundation on behalf of the Midday Rotarians who volunteer at last years Holmes Chiropractic GIG HARBOR TURKEY TROT. This years event is Thursday, November 26, 2015 in Gig Harbor, WA at Gig Harbor Post Office Parking Lot- Judson St See https://secure.getmeregistered.com/register.php… to register.
 
Hey everyone....THIS is a Peace Pole that Mary came across while traveling in Brussels a few weeks ago. Start looking....you'll find them here, there and everywhere.
 

By CHARLEE GLOCK-JACKSON

FOR GIG HARBOR LIFE

 

When Denny Wilford was just 8 months old, he suddenly couldn’t walk any more and he had a high fever.

Diagnosis: polio.

It was August 1946 and polio was a common disease in Superior, Nebraska where his family lived — and nearly everywhere else in the world, for that matter.

As he re-learned how to walk, he walked on the side of his ankle because one leg was shorter than the other. 

But he was lucky. He lived in the United States where help was available. After surgery to allow his ankle to move, he was fitted for a brace to hold it straight.

Then, when the Wilford family moved to Olympia, Washington in 1955, the 11-year-old Denny had several more surgeries at Children’s Orthopedic Hospital to install pins and plates in his ankle to hold it rigid. Today, he can flex his foot, but he walks with what he calls a “drag” gate.

Wilford, who now lives in Port Orchard, has dedicated his life to helping eradicate polio in Africa and helping polio victims in Ethiopia.

Through his Wilford Family Foundation he created a program called Just 2 Drops — because it takes just two drops of oral polio vaccine to protect a child from the disease.

Since 2005 he has traveled to Ethiopia every year, going from house to house, village to village vaccinating children.

This year’s trip will also include a celebration.

“It’s the one year anniversary of the very last case of polio in the entire continent of Africa,” Wilford said in a recent phone interview.

For a decade, his main destination has been Cheshire, Ethiopia, where he recently opened a rehabilitation facility that provides therapy and orthotics to children and adult polio victims who’ve had corrective surgery.

“So many people missed out on the vaccine and have very severely limited mobility. They survive by begging. Many of them make their own crutches but their access to rehabilitation programs is very, very limited,” he said.

With the help of the Gig Harbor Midday Rotary Club (of which Wilford is a member), World Vision, the World Health Organization and other groups and individuals, he raised $100 million to build a state-of-the-art hydrotherapy facility in Cheshire.

On Sept. 22, Wilford flew to Ethiopia for the dedication of the facility. The U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia and the head of the Ethiopia Health organization and other dignitaries also will attend the dedication.

“It’s a beautiful building that fits in with the local architecture,” he said. “There’s a great deal of interest in it because there’s nothing else like it in Ethiopia — except perhaps in a luxury hotel. But that’s not where the people are who need the help.”

Children between the ages of 6-16 are already using the facility and, in addition to polio victims, there also are youngsters who have been maimed of crippled by land mines or automobile accidents because they, too, can benefit from therapy.

Wilford is quick to acknowledge a collaboration with Cure International, an organization located in Addis Ababa that does surgeries for free. “They have told me that everything their patients need is in our Cheshire facility,” he said.

It’s not unusual to see 50 or 60 kids in the facility at any given time. “And the kids are always happy because before they came to our facility they were outcasts. But at Cheshire, everyone is the same. Nobody’s different.”

Several dozen people often accompany Wilford on his yearly trips to Africa. This year, 30 people went on the trip, including 25 doctors.

They’ll be there for two-weeks (frequently Wilford stays in Ethiopia for several months). In addition to the visit to Cheshire, the group also will spend a few days in the city of Harar giving more vaccinations.

He always takes boxes of shoes, underwear, feminine hygiene products and other personal items with him to distribute to the villagers. “And I always take lots and lots of scarves. Whenever we vaccinate a child, we give the mother a scarf. They wrap it around their head and wear it as sort of a badge of honor,” he said.

When the Ethiopians hear WIlford’s story about his own struggle with polio, it creates a deeply personal link. “It’s very inspiring to them to know that they can get better, too,” he said. “But even if I didn’t inspire anybody to help with this, I’d still do it. It’ s my life’s mission.”

Wilford enjoys sharing his story with service clubs, high schools, church groups and others.

And, as with any humanitarian organization, the Wilford Foundation can always use donations.

“Any amount is appreciated, even small contributions,” he said. “And 100 percent of every donation goes to the project. I pay all my own expenses out of my own pocket.”

His next project is to provide equipment to the surgery center.

For information visit just2drops.com or call 360-895-1910.

 
Collins Plimo Nakedi holds International Business Administration Degree with Concentration in Finance and Management from United States International University. He is the Co-Founder and Director of Hifadhi Africa Organization, a Kenyan based NGO that promote access to education, health care and water in Pastoralists communities and slum areas with the aim of helping the underprivileged rebuild their lives.
Collins Nakedi grow up in Natan village in the forgotten semi-arid East Pokot where there was no school. He was raised to believe that his destiny was to become a herder. It’s a lifestyle that he earlier accepted and dedicated into, believing that his destiny was sealed the hour he was born into pastoral parents. His earlier life resonated around love for cows and the community. As there was no school, none of his fourteen siblings, parents-and their parents went to school.
Leap of Hope recounts his extraordinary sacrifice and perseverance to where he’s now. School going child from Northern Kenya region literary go through thick and thin to access education and pursue their dream careers and Collins was not an exception. Many of his classmate dropout. His family’s economic instability and community reception meant the line between him remaining in school and dropping was thinner than a thread.
 
Thank you Midday Rotarians for all of your help stuffing Wag Bags for Saturday's Harbor Hounds Charity Dog Walk.
 
Gig Harbor is a great town! A small portion of the items collect to be transported to the Firefighters. Thanks to all that contributed
This past Tuesday Mr Ben Kodama told us his experiences as a Japanese American citizen from 1943-1945. Ben and his family were in the held in the American concentration camp during part of the war. Let us always remember and never repeat.
Midday Rotary and families assembling 100 backpacks for Middle School students of families with need in the Gig Harbor area. Good job, gang.
 
Thanks to Ralph and his family team for the great doggy cupcakes to celerbratate September Birthdays and anniversaries. Also a gently reminder that next Tuesday is stuff the wag bag.
 
 
Everyone helps.

Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/local/community/gateway/g-living/article31742523.html#storylink=cpy
Bob Anderson with Howard as a side-kick educated the public on CASA and Harbor Hounds
The Rotary Club of Gig Harbor Midday was happy Monday morning to serve our banana's in chocolate and snacks to the bike riders at the Courage Classic which supports a great cause.
Howard presents to Mike Williams his PHF+1 pin for contributing $2,000 to The Rotary Foundation. Thank you Mike for your support of this important part of Rotary
Two new Gig harbor Midday Rotarians, Brady Howard and Kim Laramee, gave their Classification Talk this week. Both are very interesting and have already fit into the club.
Parking at Anthony’s remains limited while they complete the construction.  When the Anthony’s parking is full please use street parking as an alternative. It is a relative short walk from Donkey Creek Park.
 
We received a letter from EF Recovery who owns the complex that houses the Morso wine bar.  They indicate that they have witness numerous cars parking in their lot and then heading across the street to Anthony’s for our meeting.  They are asking that we ask our members to not park in their parking lot for our Tuesday meetings.
 
Please do not park in the lots associated with the Morso complex.
President Mary passed the gavel to incoming President Howard at the Installation Dinner at the Gig Harbor Yacht Club.
 
Thank you, Mary, for your leadership and guidance.  What a great year we have had thanks to you.  We are looking forward to another great year working with another tremendous leader, Howard Svigalis.  
 
We were pleased to hear from Annika Abbott, Miss Pierce County, this week.  Her story is very inspiring and she is an amazing young woman.  But, of course she is .. she comes from amazing parents!  Great job Al and Virginia Abbott.  Thank you, Annika, for all you are doing in your community!  Good luck at the Miss Washington Pageant.  We are rooting for you.
 
President Mary presides over her last meeting.  You have done such a wonderful job, Mary.  Guess what!  We are ALL, one and all, grateful for you Mary!
 
Howard Svigals put on his "Happy the Clown" bow tie at a recent Gig Harbor Midday Rotary Club meeting.
 
Svigals happy to be in Gig Harbor,
 
steps up as club president Tuesday
 
During his career in telecommunications with GTE/Verizon, Howard Svigals, traveled a great deal throughout the world.
 
But now that he has settled with his wife in Gig Harbor and will be installed as the Midday Rotary Club of Gig Harbor’s new president on Tuesday (June 30), he is content to stay at home, attending to Rotary work and other volunteer opportunities.
 
Members and guests will gather at 6 p.m. at the Gig Harbor Yacht Club for the installation-fun dinner.
 
Svigals, who occasionally goes by the name of “Happy the Clown,” said he has lived in Gig Harbor for three years. “We ‘camped out’ in our house here while our home in Virginia was up for sale,” he said. “It wasn’t until after Labor Day (2012) that our home sold and we totally moved in here.  Meanwhile we enjoyed living here through that gorgeous summer.”
 
How did Svigals, and his wife, Liz, end up in Gig Harbor?
 
 “Our daughter, Sarah, moved to Tacoma and we were ready to downsize our home in Virginia,” Svigals explained. “I always wanted to move back to the Northwest. While visiting our daughter we fell in love with Gig Harbor.”
 
Student at UW
 
Svigals’ earlier experience in Washington goes back nearly 40 years to when he was a student at the University of Washington. He earned his master’s in business administration from the university in 1976. From there, he launched into his first job for GTE in Everett.
 
“I continued my career with GTE, which eventually became Verizon, working in California, Illinois, Connecticut, Virginia, Georgia, Texas and back to Virginia, where I retired in 2003,” Svigals said. “Initially I failed retirement and went back to work for a non-profit consortium in Virginia for a couple of years.”
 
Svigals, who has two sisters -- one older and the other younger -- was asked where he grew up.
 
“My typical answer is I haven’t grown up,” the new Rotary president said with a coy smile. “But as a child my father worked for IBM and we moved multiple times, living in New Jersey, New York, Northern California, Southern California, New York, Japan, and California again.
 
“I graduated from high school in Saratoga, Calif., where I was active in Boy Scouts, earning the rank of Eagle, and lettered in wrestling,” he said. From there Svigals attended the University of Oregon in Eugene, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in finance in 1975. He then enrolled at the UW in the master’s program.
 
He and Liz have been married for 32 years. “We met while I was working in Connecticut,” he explained. Sarah, their only child, is a social worker.
 
Work in telecommunications
 
During his career, Svigals was involved in finance, planning and operations for  GTE/Verizon.
 
“I worked in the telephone, wireless, government systems, corporate, and satellite divisions,” he said. “My positions included president of GTE Spacenet, and when I retired I was the group vice president for Verizon International-Americas as the CFO responsible for Verizon’s investments in companies throughout the Western Hemisphere.”
 
Svigals discussed the extensive travel he did for the company. 
 
“During the five years as an International CFO, I averaged over 150,000 air miles a year traveling often to Mexico, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Argentina, Canada and occasionally to Europe. Over my telecommunications career I also traveled to the U.S.S.R./Russia, China, Hong Kong, Israel, Taiwan, and Japan.”
 
“Happy” to be a clown
 
 So all that extensive air travel explains why he is content to be hanging around the harbor and occasionally making appearances in Pierce County as “Happy the Clown.”  But how did he get started in that fun activity?
 
“When I first retired I became a Freemason which qualified me to become a Shriner Clown,” Svigals said. “Shriners is an appendant body of Freemasons with a slogan of ‘Fun with a Purpose.’ It has become known as ‘The World's Greatest Philanthropy’ in its support of a network of 22 medical facilities across North America.”
 
He became a member of the local Tacoma Shrine group and occasionally dresses out as “Happy” the clown. “Annually the group clowns around with the Daffodil Festival Princesses which has been fun,” he said. “A new Shrine clown gets to pick their own clown name and I chose ‘Happy’ because it is a fitting name for a clown.”
 
Svigals said he has become an active volunteer since his retirement.
 
“In addition to my involvement with Rotary, I am on the board of directors and also treasurer of Harbor WIldWatch, the Gig Harbor-based environmental education group.” He also works with SCORE, a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow, and achieve their goals through education and mentorship.    
 
Caring group of Rotarians
 
Svigals is looking forward to his year as Midday Club president, but does not anticipate any sweeping changes.  
 
“I have been in Rotary about a dozen years, beginning in a club in Vienna, Va., where I was newsletter chair, vocation chair, treasurer, and fundraiser chair,” he said. “When I first arrived in Gig Harbor I visited the morning (Rotary) club and our midday club about six times each, before deciding the midday club was the right one to join.”
 
Svigals, 61, describes the Midday Rotary Club as a “young but very good club with an excellent group of caring Rotarians. As president, there is nothing in the club that needs to be fixed,” he said. “My plans are to continue the club growth and evolution in membership and service.  
 
“I also want to enhance our communication within and outside the club so that we all know what it is we have accomplished and what is scheduled in the future.
 
“I am also personally a big supporter of the Rotary Foundation and want to increase the understanding of the work the Foundation does,” he said. “The Rotary Foundation is one part of what makes Rotary so special.  Without it, Rotary would never be able to tackle the goal of ending polio or support other worthwhile causes.”
 
As for going outside the community, Svigals said, “I am happy not to travel and to just enjoy life in my favorite place, Gig Harbor.” He added, however, that he sometimes slips across the Washington border into Oregon and beyond.
 
“I do enjoy watching college football and go to about three Oregon football games each fall in Eugene. Once a year I travel to the San Francisco area to see my family and watch the Washington Nationals, the baseball team I have followed since they were formed, play the Giants in baseball.”
                                                                == Dave Stave
Midday Rotarians could be seen in service at the U.S. Open.  Great job to everyone!
We are so proud to give our Henderson Bay Scholarship to Kristia Lloyd.  She is a remarkable young woman who will do great things in the world.  Congratulations, Kristia!  Go forth and make a difference.
Congratulations to the graduating class of Henderson Bay High School who presented their senior projects.  Well done!  Thank you for letting our Club be a part of your celebration by providing gift bags for all of you.  Thank you to our Club members, Bob Anderson & Carol Virek, for putting the bags together.  We look forward to seeing what these tremendous young people will accomplish in their next endeavors.
We are thrilled to have Kim Laramee transfer into our Club.  She's a seasoned Rotarian who loves contributing to the community and to Rotary.  We're so pleased to have you join us, Kim!
 
We are thrilled to have Teri White join our Rotary Club.  Teri's Dad was a Rotarian for 55 years with perfect attendance!  Wow!  That's going to be a record worth striving for, Teri.  We're so happy you've joined our Club to carry on your family's tradition.  Welcome!
 
 
Club Executives & Directors
President
President Elect
Secretary
Treasurer
Assistant Treasurer
Past President
Foundation Chair
Community Service Chair
Community Service Co-Chair
Membership Chair
Membership Co-Chair
International Service Co-Chair
International Service Chair
Youth Services Chair
Youth Exchange Chair
Youth Services Co-Chair
Interact Club - Henderson Bay
Interact Club - Henderson Bay
Interact Club - Gig Habor
Exchange Counselor
Youth Protection Officer
Scholarships
Scholarships
Club Service Co-Chair
Club Service Chair
Public Relations Chair
Program Chair
Harbor Hounds Chair
Greeter
Golferitaville Chair
Sunshine Chair
Midday Charity Foundation President
Midday Club Foundation President
 
Contact Information
Send Mail To:
 
    Rotary Club of
    Gig Harbor Midday
    PO Box 611
    Gig Harbor, WA 98335
 
For more information about our club, please feel free to contact:
 
    Joe Flach
    (201) 247-8857
    jflach@safeharborconsulting.biz