Club & DRCF President Messages

Lisza Gulyas
President 2022-23
Rotary Club of Denver

Denver Rotary Club 31 Members,

On July 21, 2022, I shared the mission and goals for the year 2022-23 “If You Can Imagine, You Can Inspire”. Please allow me to share a brief overview.

After looking at several venues for our meetings and our last location had increased their fees to over 60%, one of the most recent ideal decisions was to move our meetings to the Denver Country Club. Thanks to our member Rob Clinton, we have a beautiful location, fabulous meals, parking is easy and included. The most important, we are in the community engaging Club 31 to what we do as the best Rotary Club to join.

Our main mission this year is engagement and community involvement.  Everything we do should involve positive engagement and fellowship with each other and within our community.

#1  Membership:
The goal this year is to increase our membership from 167 member to 200 members. It is vitally important to maintain membership of our Club at 200 + members. This will allow us to keep our “Rotary Large Club” status, plus we will have the financial means to maintain an administrative staff support that we need to keep our club proficient and professional

#2  Fundraising:
A Giving goal of $45,000.00 to The Rotary Foundation (TRF) with an additional $10,000.00 commitment to Polio Plus has been set.
Additionally, the Denver Rotary Club Foundation, annual fundraiser will take place in the autumn instead of the spring. Our club can ride the coattails on a well-known Colorado event, “The Century Ride”, branded as “Woohoomanity”, for Rotary to fundraise for their own club. By participating with a successful event, we are saving 20-30% of rental, catering and marketing fees associated with hosting a brand-new event.  The goal of raising $50,000.00 will allow us to not have a separate spring fundraiser.

#3  Staff Transition:
Due to the decline in our membership and dues our budget will no longer allow a full time Executive Directors salary or office rental expenses. Maintaining a membership of 200 members is vital. Nevertheless, our club will continue to have a professional support staff.

Since Lauren Mast will be leaving us as she transitions her duties to the Club 31 Directors this spring, our focus will be on the staff transition as well as the office space.  Please understand that the time dedicated for the staff transition will be primarily in the spring, which is another reason to ensure the fundraising for DRCF is successful this fall.

#4  Strategic Team:
Club 31 members were asked to take a short survey on what matters most to you within our Club, which was followed by a brainstorm and visioning session. We combined the data with the information that came out of the Strategic plan from 2020. A Strategic Team has been put to task to move our club into the direction from the data that has been identified. We are listening.

It has already been a momentous start to this year. I am inspired by so many of you who have engaged in the past few weeks, volunteering and creating fellowship weeks. To those of you who offer your talents to take charge in the success of our Club, thank you for being the best Rotary Club members!
You are inspiring, engaging and fun!

Please reach out to me at any time with questions or comments at or at 303-888-8516.



Mike MacPhail
President 2022-23
Denver Rotary Club Foundation

Dear Rotarians and DRCF members, donors and trustees:

Despite the current economic and transition challenges, I am pleased to report that the state of the Foundation is strong.   DRCF awarded $168,541 to our worthy grantees last year, and  it will continue to positively impact our local, national and international communities by making substantial awards this year.

I plan to continue three important initiatives that I view as crucial to the continued success of our Foundation.  First, DRCF will continue to invite a handful of grantees, focusing on new grantees, to present to Club membership during off-site fellowship meetings.  This will give our grantees greater exposure and provide members with valuable opportunities to engage in community service.   Second, I will continue supporting the terrific work of the Legacy Society, whose membership and promised donations have grown exponentially.  Third, I will support ongoing messaging to enable the Foundation to get closer to its goal of “Every Rotarian Every Year.”

We are stronger together!

I look forward to working with my outstanding executive team and trustees to have an exciting and rewarding 2022-23.

DRCF President Mid-Year Report

The Denver Rotary Club Foundation has had a busy and productive first-half of the fiscal year 2022-2023.   Some of the principal activities and results of the foundations efforts include the following.

  1. A major initiative of DRCF this year has been undertaken to better acquaint our Club 31 members with the beneficiaries of our foundation’s grants program.  The impact of our Club 31 members’ generosity to organizations throughout our community is deep and widespread and profound;  to many, the foundation’s gifts to the community are the soul and substance of Rotary’s place in the greater Denver community.

    Through check presentations and lunch programs the following grantees have explained or graphically demonstrated – showcased – to our Club 31 members what they do in the Denver community and how they do it;  how DRCF helps youth, educational programs, the homeless, the hungry and unemployed, and those otherwise underserved members in the greater Denver area…and across the world:  The St. Francis Center, We The People, Denver Kids, EarthLinks, Club 31’s World Community Service Committee (Rwanda, Agriculture Program and the Kenya, Youth Reproductive and Health Training initiative) Junior Achievement, and Education Through Music.

    Special thanks and appreciation go to Bill Imig, Mark Donovan, John Finegan, Patrick Byrne, Les Volpe, Jay Kamlet  and, of course, Lauren Mast, among others, who have managed the showcase programs for these organizations.

  2. Colorado Gives Day, under the remarkably energetic leadership of Mark Donovan, and with the invaluable generosity of Club 31 members, the Foundation collected more than the year before, $8,200.00, and from a greater number of donors than 2020 (two) for its funding – and continuing to build its charitable trust program.
  3. The Annual DRCF/Club 31 Peach Sale, under the guidance of Kevin Shelledy, and again with the invaluable generosity of Club 31 members, was a great success garnering for the foundation a net contribution to its funding the amount of over $24,000.
  4. Our DRCF charitable trust fund managed by TIAA and our own Foundation Treasurer, Sandy Purcell, has done well during uncertain times and somewhat better than many other market averages as the stock market has gone thru challenging times and stress in the investment markets. As of yesterday close the portfolio stood at $4,002,540.71. That is down 6% (S&P500 is down 10%) from where we started the year, and includes the debit of $70K we took out at the end of January to replenish our reserves at Wells Fargo. The one-two punch of inflation, and the situation in Ukraine are taking a toll on financial assets everywhere, and our portfolio is of course, not immune. Sandy remains confident in our asset mix, and the stewardship of TIAA, and hopeful that as the year unfolds, we will improve on this.
  5. The DRCF Grants Committee, under the very able leadership and guidance of its Co-Chairs, Jack Green and Mike MacPhail, is now beginning its work to solicit, receive, evaluate and verify, and decide on grant applications from well over a dozen applicants, a process that is expected to conclude most of its work by the end of March, 2022. The Committee is seeking to identify and solicit new worthy and qualified 501(c) (3) organizations  to be beneficiaries of our granting program in addition to the regular and demonstrably successful organizations we have funded in the past.
  6. Due to tragic weather related events, like tornados in the Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas area of the country, and in our own backyard, with the Marshall Fire in the Boulder County, Superior and Louisville area, DRCF has taken extraordinary steps to grant $5,000 for tornado victims relief programs in the impacted area of the Midwest, and collected over $16,000 for distribution to some of the over 1,000 families who have lost their homes, or often lost everything, in the catastrophic fires just several weeks ago.   The process of distributing those funds is ongoing, as we speak.

    Again, appreciation  to the Executive Committees of Club 31 and the Foundation, and Lauren, are in order for this work.

  7. The DRCF leadership is working to improve the relationship and working arrangement between Club 31 and the DRCF. We wish to increase the cooperation and communication between the two organizations – to build a better and stronger partnership – and to enhance the role and stature of DRCF –  and elevate the role and benefits of Club 31’s signature outreach to this community and preeminent accomplishment in Colorado: the Denver Rotary Club Foundation.

Yours in Rotary,
Sid Brooks
DRCF President, 2021-22

Foundation Presidents Report – “A Year in Review”

Prepared by:  Carter Sales, Foundation President 2020-2021
June 24, 2021


When the Denver Rotary Club Foundation was founded in 1969 we had an annual operating budget of just $100 per year.  In the past 52 years we have come a long way. Today our operating budget is now almost $300,000.

One of the most important functions of the DRCF is the granting process and how we positively impact our local and worldwide communities.  Since our inception, we have granted over $8 Million to our local and international communities including partnerships with Rotary District 5450, Rotary International and local Rotary clubs here and throughout the world.  75 years ago our club founded what is now known as Denver Kids, Inc.  I am pleased that we continue to support DKI which is our longest standing Grantee and partner organization. During that time our grants to DKI have totaled more than $4.5 Million.


We measure the success of our mission in terms of the impact that our Grants provide, primarily supporting youth and Education.  For example during the year:

  • The High School Scholars Grant supported 13 students who were awarded $1 Million in Scholarships and Grants over their 4 year College Careers.
  • The Scholastic Art Awards Grant led to 2,200 Art Entries and $34,000 in Scholarships for those students.
  • The World Community Service Committee Grant funded 18 Humanitarian projects totaling $52,000
  • The Community Resources, Inc. Grant enables 10 DPS students to be matched with 10 career mentors.
  • The Denver Kids, Inc. Grant helps to support 1,100 kids with a HS graduation rate of 82%.
  • The Junior Achievement Grant supports 100 students in the JA Finance Park program.

This year The Grants Committee was chaired by Jack Green and awarded $149,000 in grant awards. Committee member Jim Johnston suggested innovative ways to revise the application format and granting guidelines to attract more Grant Applications, and the committee agreed.  The net result is that we added   four new grantees. They are EarthLinks, Music Through Education, Colorado Center for Civic Learning & Engagement and the St. Francis Center.  These new grantees will broaden our reach in our community while enabling Club 31 members to expand our active participation in these deserving organizations. These grants will be funded beginning in July when we begin the new fiscal year.  Special thanks to the Grants Committee!

During the year the COVID-19 virus continued to challenge everyone. We, as Rotarians, stepped up to meet the challenges and I am pleased to report that the DRCF had another successful fundraising year.

  • Our first club fundraiser, the peach sale, was on the verge of being cancelled due to a spring freeze devastating the peach crop. The resourceful peach committee co-chaired by Bryan Guice and Kevin Shelledy found a grower in Paonia, CO and our peach sale was saved.
  • Harriet Downer organized our annual drive to support Colorado Gives Day. 37 members donated over $7,500 making it the highest level of support in 5 years.
  • We approved a disaster relief fund of $5,000 that went 50% to COVID Disaster Relief and 50% to the District 5450 Colorado Wild Fire Relief fund.
  • Our first spring fundraiser, The April Fools unTalent show was a huge success thanks to our energetic and spirited un-organizers Jill Santuccio, President Debbie and Lauren.  We raised an impressive $38,000 along with two donors who provided matching funds of $5,000 and $10,000.
  • The First Annual Rotary Woohoomanity Bike Challenge was also successful as we were the second highest fundraising club in the district and raised a total of $4,562. The DRCF sent 1/3 of the funds in the amount of $1,519 to Polio Plus. Thanks to Jim Goddard, Brian Sweet, Colleen Cozad and her husband, Brad, for joining the Club 31 Woohoo team. Thanks also to the donors who supported the Club 31 Team!
  • I also want to give a special shout out to Todd Bacon who publishes our Celebrate our Service series that highlights many of the works and positive impact that the DRCF achieves throughout the year.
  • Our members continue to step up and support the DRCF. This year seven Gold Fellows, three Silver Fellows and two Fellows were recognized for their contributions.  Thank you to those members and the other members for your continued support of the foundation.
  • Finally I am pleased to report that our investment portfolio reached $4 million in value for the first time since 2007.

Before I hand the leadership baton to Sid Brooks, I want to sincerely thank Lauren Mast who not only is the Executive Director of the club but she is also the Chief Operating Officer of the Foundation.  This was her first year taking over for Darlene and going solo.  Her untiring work and knowledge of the club and the foundation made my term as president easy and I could not have done it without her.

It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as your Foundation president. I have also been fortunate to have the support of our board of Trustees, Debbie and the DRC Board of Directors, Jill and of course Lauren. Thank you Club 31 members and friends who have supported the DRCF to make this a rewarding and productive year!

Club Presidents Report – “A Year in Review”

Prepared by:  Debbie Beasley, Club President 2020-2021
June 24, 2021

It has been a year for the record books!  There are phrases used throughout the year that feel overused but are also accurate in their description of our experience.  Words such as pandemic, resilience, social distancing, pivoting, and more.  Here is a quote that sums it up from Brian Tracy: “Flexibility in a time of great change is a vital quality of leadership.”

When I attended President Elect Training in February of 2020, we were asked to write ourselves a letter which would be mailed to us at the halfway point of our presidency to provide reflection on how the year has gone.  At that time, there were murmurs of a virus going around and soon COVID-19 would be a familiar term.  Who knew then what challenges we would face and how resilience would come into play?   At the president training, my goals were threefold:  1) Promote “the power of One” to further our engagement with each other and the district; 2) Identify who we want to be as a club through strategic planning; and 3) Pursue communications and transparency around dues structure among other potential improvements.

We have been successful in all three areas – even in the midst of coronavirus. We grew our district (and Rotary International) involvement through record participation in a virtual lunch with RI President Holger Knaack.  Jim Johnston was nominated for and selected as upcoming District Governor for District 5450.  I accepted the role of Assistant Governor to lend support to the FIVE downtown Denver clubs.  Our club participated in the District Day of Service on May 8 including Project Cure, 9News COVID Vaccination Clinic, Cherry Creek Trail Clean up and Project Worthmore. And multiple club members participated in the Virtual Rotary International convention.

In the strategic planning arena, we made progress through important and incremental changes based on club member feedback and strategic planning goals.  There were town halls, Board of Director reviews and strategic planning working sessions with the action teams and our Executive team.  We approved a new mission statement which is:  To create a dynamic network of diverse leaders who serve ethically and take action to impact Denver and the world.  

That mission statement is part of one-page, eye-catching recap of our club.  We have more work to do and the desire, commitment, and energy to make it happen.

The last goal I had jotted down was to have transparency and communication around our budget and other potential improvements.  Like the year itself, our budget was also like no others we had seen before.  We moved to a Zoom meeting setting that was delivered in a professional and quality manner.  Yet that also allowed for reduced expense in terms of our venue costs.  During my monthly presidential updates, there was (in my opinion) full sharing of our financial position and also other accomplishments and changes.  A full recap of all those accomplishments will be included in my final monthly update which will share a recap of this year.

I now want to recognize those who made it possible.  And it starts with a thank you to Lauren Mast, our Executive Director.  Among navigating a pandemic year, this year marked the first time our club moved to one Executive Director.  Lauren made it look flawless – as if she had done this role alone for a hundred years.  I consider her to be my friend, my partner, my confidante.  Lauren makes this club look good.  Wait, let me rephrase that.  She makes this club look professional and downright outstanding.  Her desire for deadlines and checklists were a perfect match to my style.  I could not have done this without her.  I could usually tell when I was getting a “nudge” to get something done!

Next, I want to thank my husband, Chris.  He has been my studio engineer, my advisor and my coach through all this.  He was always willing to read a draft of this or hear an idea and discuss options.   He never commented on the number of Zoom calls I attended or the amount of time reading emails.  He also made sure I found balance through many camping trips and ski outings.

The Executive Committee this year has been a second family to me.  Each person delivered in a year that presented challenges and threw us curve balls.  The accomplishments we can boast of this year are a result of the team effort from this group.  It is a team that has laughed together and cried together.  OK, so truth be told it is just me that has done the crying.  So, a big shoutout to Ian, Jim, Troy, Chris, Rick, Lisza, Mark, Jill and Chad.

  • Ian Campbell, Communications AND incoming president
  • Jim Johnston, Immediate Past President and Strategic Planning leader
  • Troy Szymanski, Secretary
  • Chris Peters, Treasurer
  • Rick Leuthold, Meetings & Events
  • Lisza Gulyas and Mark Wipper, Service Team
  • Jill Santuccio, Fundraising
  • Chad Tyler, Membership

In addition, thank you to the Board of Directors.  They have helped guide our club through this year and have served in an important leadership role for our club.  Thank you to Lucius Ashby, Nancy Austin, Colleen Cozad, Harry Ellison, Matt Isola, Bob Kapelke, Hassan Latif, Alison Oyler-Mitsch, Brian Sweet, Andrew Walker and Louise Westfall.  An always-welcome guest to our Board Meetings was Carter Sales who served alongside me as the President of the Denver Rotary Club Foundation.  Carter has been a trusted partner throughout the year, and we have both put priority on that partnership and in moving the club forward.

Last, and certainly not least, thank you to each and every one of you.  During my very first meeting of my presidency, I said that I “stand on the shoulder of giants”.  That is so true and a tribute to the club presidents that have come before me.  It is also true for the special club and club members that we have here.  As you have heard me say many times in the past, I LOVE ROTARY.  Thanks again to all of you.  I am excited for our journey ahead and am confident in the leadership that Ian Campbell will provide.  Let’s make this next year another one for the record books….minus a pandemic, of course.


Rotary Club of Denver 2020-2021 Detailed Year-in-Review:

District and Rotary International (RI) Involvement:

  • In October 2020, a record number 60 club members signed up for the virtual lunch with RI President Holger Knaack.
  • Jim Johnston was nominated for and selected as upcoming District Governor for District 5450.
  • Debbie Beasley was selected as Assistant Governor for Area 1 clubs in District 5450.
  • Our club participated in the District Day of Service on May 8th including Project Cure, 9News COVID Vaccination Clinic, Cherry Creek Trail Clean up and Project Worthmore. (See Service Projects section for details.)
  • Multiple club members participated in the Virtual RI convention.

Strategic Planning:

  • During 2020-2021 fiscal year, this effort was led by Immediate Past President Jim Johnston with additional leadership support provided by Incoming President Ian Campbell. Multiple core teams were established to lead the key areas identified through our planning process.
  • Jim Johnston hosted two Town Halls on Quest 31 and a report to the Board of Directors was also shared in November 2020. Important and incremental changes made to the club in response to member feedback and strategic planning goals.
  • A strategic planning session was held in January with coordination between the Quest 31 team and our executive committee.
  • Two written updates were provided to the club found in Appendix 1 of this update.
  • A one-pager for our club was created based on the foundational work provided at the initiation of our strategic planning also found in Appendix 1.

Diversity & Inclusion:

  • An important communication was also shared with the club in September 2020.  The core message was around the importance of building and sustaining a diverse and inclusive culture for our Club members and guests – one where each person feels valued and respected for who they are as well as for the skills and experience they bring to our Club.  Every member and guest should feel comfortable and welcomed.  Our goal is for the diversity of our Club to reflect the diversity of the communities and, in fact, the world we serve.
  • In February, I had the opportunity to attend “Exploring the Black Experience in Rotary”.  Current Rotary International President Holger Knaack was quoted within this webinar saying: “There is no place within Rotary for racism, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, classism, or ageism.  We do not believe that this is a political stance and we do believe we should openly discuss these issues within our organization.”  We are on a journey here and in the spirit of the “Power of One” I invite you to spend One hour watching the recording from this session.  It was phenomenal.  The recording is still available and may be found here:


  • The Vice President for Fundraising for 2020-2021 was Jill Santuccio who was in her 3rd year in this role.
  • Rotary International (RI) Annual Fund Goal of $50,000 and Polio Plus Goal of $10,000 exceeded with big thanks to Peg Johnston as The Rotary Foundation chairperson for this year. In addition, there is a pending $35,000 estate gift to the Endowed SHARE fund of Rotary International.
  • Other Club 31 Contribution Statistics related to Rotary International:
    • Paul Harris Society Members: 24
    • Annual Fund Per Capita Giving for our club $293 compared to the District at $155 and also compared to our 2019-2020 club per capita giving at $256.
    • Every Rotarian Every Year at 94 this year compared to 90 last year
    • Major donors / Arch Klumph Society: 34
    • Bequest Society / Legacy Society: 16
  • Our club held a successful Peach Sale on September 12th after the peach crop was impacted by an early frost. Net proceeds were $19,331 with 50% going to the Denver Rotary Club Foundation, 25% to The Rotary Foundation Annual Fund and 25% going to Rotary International Polio Plus.
  • unTalent Show on April 1st raised over $37,714 for our Denver Rotary Club Foundation (DRCF)
  • Highlighting of award-winning Bosnia project shared with the club including a review of how projects benefit from “the multiplying impact” when DRCF provides a grant to World Community Services which is joined with funds from other clubs and District Designated Funds (from RI Foundation) and matching RI funding resulting in 10-20 times impact. See Celebrate our Service recap that was shared with the club in June 2021.

Meetings & Events:

  • The Vice President for Meetings & Events for 2020-2021 was Rick Leuthold who was in his 1st year in this role.
  • Rick lined up Mike Dineen and Thomas Longino to lead our newly formed Audio Visual (AV) team.  This will allow us to build on our technology usage for our meetings and improve the overall experience.
  • We held our first hybrid meeting in 2020 on April 15th at the Warwick Hotel.  We were at our maximum participants allowed in a safe room set-up. The planning, technology and logistics helped make that meeting a success as well.

Service Projects:

  • The Co-Vice Presidents for Service for 2020-2021 were Lisza Gulyas and Mark Wipper who were in their 2nd year in this role.
  • Cherry Creek Trail Clean-up was organized three times during this fiscal year beginning in August 2020 and continuing through 2021. The May 8th District Day of Service included this as one of the options and our partners at the Denver Five Points RiNo club joined our RCD club members in this event.
  • 9News COVID Vaccination Clinic was established due to the pandemic and multiple RCD club members have participated throughout the year including the District Day of Service.
  • Project Cure where our Rotarians help sort and pack medical supplies that were distributed locally during the COVID-19 pandemic (such as Personal Protective Equipment for front-line workers) as well as internationally to communities in need.  This was another offering in the May 8th District Day of Service where new volunteers from our club and from the Peace Corp Satellite club joined in.
  • The Denver Cherry Creek club has partnered with Metro Caring to deliver food to those in need. Demand grew from 20,000 pounds of food per week, to 80,000 pounds during the pandemic. Volunteers repackaged bulk dry goods, considered nutritionally dense, into 1-2 lb. packages to be distributed. Our club participated in this effort multiple times as well.
  • Project Worthmore in partnership with Denver Mile High and Denver LoDo clubs was another offering for the May 8th District Day of Service and RCD had club members in attendance there.


  • The Vice President for Fundraising for 2020-2021 was Chad Tyler who was in his second year in this role.
  • Our membership number at the beginning of the year was 176 and we concluded the year at 166. There was an overall loss of 16 and 6 new members joined the club for a net attrition of 10. Membership loss was due to multiple factors.
  • The strategic planning effort included a focus area around membership which is highlighted in the Strategic Planning section.

Communications / Social Media Presence / Media Stories:

  • Thanks to the strong Communications team, led by Ian Campbell during 2020-2021 with Kristen Brooks assuming leadership in 2021-2022, our social media presence has matured and been recognized as outstanding. Ian served in this role for 4 years.
  • The Rotary Club of Denver was awarded the Ed Bemis Award for Communications by the Rotary Club of Littleton and District 5450. The award is named for Ed Bemis, the late publisher of the Littleton Independent newspaper, Past President of the Littleton Club, and Past District Governor (way back in 1943-44). This award is a great tribute to Ian Campbell, our Communications Team Vice-President and President-Elect, and to Lauren Mast, our Executive Director, who has served the Communications Committee so ably over the past couple of years. It is largely due to the collaboration of these two that our Club has been recognized for the “Best Club Communications” in the District this year. The award consideration is equally weighted between newsletters, social media, and other blogs and projected-related outreach. The criteria for the award include the handling of Club news, education about Rotary activities, originality in content, and format and appearance
  • Our RCD has presence on Facebook and through our club website in addition to having a YouTube channel where meeting recordings and other key videos are held. Updates to our Facebook page and our website are performed as needed and responses to inquiries are monitored daily.
  • The October 2020 Rotary Magazine in the article “Fast Track to the Future” featured our RCD broadband project which continues to be recognized today.
  • “Ground Game” was an article in the April 2019 Rotary Magazine regarding our club Bosnia human trafficking and Roma girl’s education project. While that article was prior to this fiscal year, the project continues to receive accolades.  On February 24, 2021, a press release showcased this effort while announcing it as one of the winners of the prestigious Child 10 Award by Sweden.  In addition, a 4-minute video of the effort was created by Matt Isola and presented to our club on June 3, 2021 to demonstrate the power of one project.

Social and Networking Opportunities:

  • In August, our club celebrated the retirement of Darlene Mast’s after serving as our Executive Director for 16 years. AND it was our very first foray into an in-person gathering.
  • Our club sponsored a weekly informal Happy Hour throughout the year which proved to be a fun way to socialize via Zoom.

Financial Update / Club Budget:

  • As our club treasurer for 2020-2021, Chris Peters was key to navigating a very challenging and often unpredictable budget landscape. This year was like no other with Zoom meetings being the norm which created a unique, one-time (we hope!) situation where the club was not able to meet in person and therefore realized savings as a result of not meeting (and eating at) the Warwick Hotel.
  • This was also a year when we realized expense reduction as we moved to a one-person Executive Director staff.
  • The club budget came in with a surplus based on this unique scenario. The May 2021 financial results reported a surplus of $17,300.


Appendix 1:  Strategic Planning Update #1 to the Rotary Club of Denver

June 2, 2021

Background:   In mid-2020, the Rotary Club of Denver (RCD) with support from the Board of Directors (BOD) agreed to initiate a strategic planning effort.  The following highlight accomplishments include: 1) Observation and review of meetings, surveys of club members and select interviews were performed, 2) An Action Group was formed of 17 club members plus consultant Kate Kalstein and work groups were identified, 3) Findings and recommendations were drafted, presented to the Action Group and then to the Executive Committee and Club Board with periodic review of updates and recommendations provided.  Most importantly, club leadership adopted an attitude that meaningful change to club activities and operations was urgently needed.

The key areas of review included:  Mission, Vision & Strategic Priorities, Meetings & Events / Programs, Service Team, Membership, Fundraising and Refinement of Roles & Responsibilities.  Actions and accomplishments will be shared for the items in bold.  The same will be shared on the other items in another update later in June.

Meetings & Events Summary: 

  • Reviewed primary program offerings and analyzed feedback on programs was completed January 2021.
  • Program feedback received included continuation of our strong speaker program and complement those with service opportunities, social events, and professional networking. Our incoming Club President, Ian Campbell, will share exciting news on this front in July!
  • As a result of the pandemic, an additional area of innovation was implemented to our weekly programs by utilizing Zoom throughout the majority of 2020-2021. Hybrid meetings, featuring both Zoom and in-person capabilities have been held three times.   Ongoing review of hybrid offerings is underway.

Service Team Summary:

  • Discussions held with each Service Project Chair and Co-Chair began in late 2020 and was reviewed in a team meeting in February 2021. Service Projects categories have been identified as follows.
    • Club 31 Sustaining Projects: World Community Services, High School Mentors / College Counseling, and DCIS: Interact & Adopt a School.
    • Volunteer Opportunities (chair needed): Cherry Creek Trail Cleanup, Denver Kids, Community Resources, Scholastic Arts Awards, Project Cure, Metro Caring, Junior Achievement and 9Health Fair.
    • Additional Review/Consideration: Rotarians for Mental Health, Rotary Youth Exchange (on hiatus), and RYLA. Shining Stars and Launch Denver will be removed.
    • Club Financial Support is currently provided to Denver Kids and other grantees identified through Denver Rotary Club Foundation which align to DRCF rather than the Service Team.

Fundraising Summary: 

  • Spring fundraising was piloted (unTalent Show) for improved fundraising calendar.
  • Ian will also be sharing an update on Fundraising as he kicks off the year and shares his vision based on these findings and innovative ideas.

Appendix 1:  Strategic Planning Update #2 to the Rotary Club of Denver

June 21, 2021

Earlier this month, an update was provided on our strategic planning process and included: Meetings & Events / Programs, Service Team, and Fundraising.  This update will cover the other key areas as promised including

Mission, Vision & Strategic Priorities, Membership, and Refinement of Roles & Responsibilities.

Mission, Vision & Strategic Priorities Summary:  The focus of the team working on this area was twofold:

  • Hone our club message around vision and values, and repeat the messaging at every chance
  • Align with Rotary International messaging
  • Accomplishments in 2020-2021:
    • A one-page document has been prepared based on the work done by this core team and is available in this appendix.
    • The new Mission Statement for our Club has been voted on and approved. It is:
      • Mission of the Rotary Club of Denver: To create a dynamic network of diverse leaders who serve ethically and take action to impact Denver and the world.

Membership Summary: 

  • The goals in reviewing our membership strategy included:
    • Enhance membership application including prospective member transmittal letter
    • Simplify membership categories
    • Focus on Membership Recruitment
  • Accomplishments in 2020-2021:
    • The core team aligned to this effort has met extensively in 2020-2021. Recommendations for changes to membership types, dues structure and other membership processes will be introduced in detail to the Club Board of Directors in the 2021-2022 fiscal year.

Refinement of Roles & Responsibilities Summary:

  • The objective of this area was to streamline and refine roles and responsibilities as our club moved to one full-time Executive Director.
  • Accomplishments in 2020-2021:
    • Executive Director Lauren Mast provided leadership and collaboration by meeting with the six team Vice presidents, the current Club President Debbie Beasley and others as needed to restructure team organization, reinforce, and streamline communications between leadership and to implement a leadership succession plan
    • Vice Presidents included:
      • Ian Campbell – Communications and Incoming President
      • Jill Santuccio – Fundraising
      • Chad Tyler – Membership
      • Rick Leuthold – Meetings & Events
      • Lisza Gulyas and Mark Wipper – Service Team
    • Full details were provided in the Executive Director Report to ExCom & Board report presented to the Board on November 17, 2020.

Additional review was provided to the Board of Directors with approval vote received on April 20, 2021.

President’s Message, 2019-20


Dear Rotarians,

It was a privilege to speak to you all on July 11th as President of Club 31!  Thank you for the honor, and thank you to those who were able to be there in attendance.

From the podium I answered the question, “Why am I a Rotarian?”  The first reason I joined is because…I was asked!  Thanks, Mom!  This is a reminder to all of us that we need to invite people to join us!  But then the real question is why have I stayed a Rotarian for 11 years?  Well, I see our group as good people endeavoring to do great things for others.  It is so easy to get involved.  It’s safe (though sometimes maybe too shielded and hands off), but I have mentored kids, taught in classrooms, cleaned up a crisis relief center and the Cherry Creek Trail, sorted medical supplies bound for Africa, and served meals to homeless people.  For me, Rotary has developed a basic awareness of humanitarian and community issues.  I want to look back and feel that I helped the world, that I was empathetic and chose to get involved in order to make a positive difference.

Being a Rotarian is a commitment.  I sacrifice other opportunities so that I can be a Rotarian: my time, money, energy…Yet, it feels good to be involved on the good side; the side whose intentions are truth, fairness, goodwill and benefit for all.  It relieves a feeling of guilt – that I can and should be doing more – and then I feel even better.  Pretty much the rest of my life is about my family and me.  Rotary, however, is about other people.

When I prompted from the podium, sixty-three people at their tables also answered in writing why they are Rotarians.  Well done!!  I look forward to incorporating members’ answers into some upcoming club programs.

Let me detail some important things about the year ahead. Darlene Mast, our marvelous and loved Executive Director, will retire on June 30th.  Her fifteen years of service to the Club will be remarkable in uncountable ways, including a lasting gift of her (and Steve’s!) daughter Lauren, being on track to take over the role on July 1st.  Related, over the next year our office will prepare to be a one-person operation supporting the Club with some tasks taken up by members and others done with more efficient technology.

Over the years, member have requested longer speaker programs, more emphasis on what we are doing as Rotarians, and more time to talk to each other.  Consequently, the structure of our regular meetings this year will aim to accommodate these requests by having dedicated speaker programs twice monthly.  We will also have dedicated Rotary engagement days once a month, and our customary special meetings once a month, including offsites and fellowships.  When we have five Thursdays in a month, there will be a service and/or social opportunity outside the normal meeting time.  My major objectives for Rotary-themed days are to build awareness, enthusiasm and participation: in other words, meaningful fun for our members.  Please let us know what you think: each Thursday at 1PM a survey link will be emailed to you asking for feedback on the week’s program.

We have an awesome group of members who agreed to lead the Club for the 2019-2020 year, including three new members and three people with Rotary experience beyond Club 31.  Please seek any one of us out with your comments and questions.  The executive team, meeting once each month, includes these folks:

Secretary, Brian Sweet                                                            VP of Communications, Ian Campbell
Treasurer, Chris Peters w/Seth Patterson                          VP of Fundraising, Jill Santuccio
President-Elect, Debbie Beasley                                           VP of Membership, Chad Tyler
Past President, Pam Adams                                                   VP of Programs and Events, Doug McLemore
Executive Director, Darlene Mast                                        VPs of Service, Lisza Gulyas & Jeff Kleinschmidt
Assist. Exec. Director, Lauren Mast

In addition, here is our Board of Directors, which meets every two months:

Ben Allen                                 Lucius Ashby                            Harry Ellison
Chad Tyler                               Nancy Austin                           Louise Westfall
Susan Brushaber                    Bob Kapelke                             Andrew Walker
Melissa Bowen                        Will Snider                               Debby Kaufman

Lastly, I shared a short video clip of a talk given by Mark Maloney, President of Rotary International for 2019-2020.  He is a good man from Decatur, Georgia, and has been a Rotarian since 1980. I encourage you all to give it a listen to gain insight to what our global organization’s leadership is thinking about and prioritizing in order to improve Rotary’s impact and member experience.  The full 20-minute video can be found here.  (During our lunch meeting, I showed from minute 18:22 through to the end.)

In closing, let me modify some great words spoken by U.S. President John F Kennedy:
And so, my fellow members of Club 31, ask not what Club 31 can do for you.  Ask what you can do for Club 31.  My fellow Rotarians of the world, ask not what Rotary will do for you, but what together we can do to create lasting change across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.

What you can you do for Club 31?

  • keep coming to meetings!
  • volunteer as a mentor
  • organize a new opportunity
  • go to District 5450 events
  • occupy yourself on the website
  • donate to End Polio Now and our local Denver Rotary Club Foundation
  • ask people you know to join the Club 31

Thank you for being a Rotarian!

Jim Johnston
President, 2019-20
Rotary Club of Denver

“A Year in Review”

President Pam Adams

Wow! How time flies!

It’s hard to believe that a year has passed since I was writing an article for the Keyway talking about what’s to come for the 2018-2019 Rotary year, and the Presidential theme: “Be the Inspiration”.  As I look back on the year, there are so many things to be inspired by!  Many of those come in relation to “firsts” for our Club.

On the Communications front, the first…

  • Live Facebook streaming of our meetings occurred
  • Committee videos were produced
  • Keyway was distributed completely online
  • YouTube Channel creation occurred
  • Facebook advertising of our Peach Sale took place
  • Soon to be DACdb tutorials distributed

In the Fundraising arena, the first…

  • UnGala was successfully “attended”
  • March Madness contest was a “win” for DRCF
  • Turn Up the B*Heat Summer Auction benefiting DRCF & Denver Kids!

Soon to come is the DRCF 50th Anniversary Celebration!

We were fortunate to celebrate and recognize 15 new members, many of whom got involved from their very first day of membership to start to make an impact in our Club and the community.

Our Meetings and Events Team kept our programs relevant and informative, including a marijuana/cannabis focused meeting series with a dispensary tour.  Our Service Team worked to encourage collaboration among committees, along with the Membership and Communications teams.

I can’t express enough my sincere thanks to each and every member of Club 31, for the privilege to serve as your president, and to work with many of you in a leadership capacity. 

When anyone asks me, “Why Rotary?”  I answer, “The People”.   It’s the diversity of the people serving the organization and the community.  The different interests and backgrounds we bring together.  The ability to respect our various contributions.  The chance to share our talents to complement and collaborate with each other!

Thank you, Club 31!


Pam Adams
President 2018-19
Rotary Club of Denver

P.S.  If anyone wants the “not so statistically significant” results that I shared on the “What’s the scoop?” favorite ice cream flavor survey that I shared at the Change of Leadership Celebration on June 20th, just let me know.