Business Mentors Needed | LaunchDENVER

You have probably heard about LaunchDENVER, a new program initiated by Denver Rotary to support budding entrepreneurs from the under-served communities of Metro Denver.  The program includes four components: (i) business training, offered through an eight week program conducted by the faculty of the Management Department at Metro State University of Denver; (ii) mentoring from an experienced business person; (iii) access to microloans to support the business, and (iv) networking with other graduates and community supporters of the program.

LaunchDENVER is preparing to accept its inaugural class of entrepreneurs in late September.  We are recruiting mentors for this inaugural class, and for future classes.  

Successful mentors will come with a range of profiles: entrepreneurs with current business operations, experienced business professionals and retired business persons with successful backgrounds.  All of them will share two common traits: a desire to give back to the community, and an interest in helping prospective entrepreneurs grow and develop.

Mentors will be expected to make a commitment of six months, including face-to-face meetings with their assigned mentee(s) at least monthly and connection by phone and/or email in between those meetings.  The first class of entrepreneurs will be assigned their mentors in early December, shortly after graduation from the training program, so your commitment would begin at that time.

To volunteer to serve as a LaunchDENVER mentor, or to request additional information regarding this opportunity, please contact the Rotarian Mentor Coordinator, Don Kane.

Congratulations World Community Service Team & Denver Rotarians!

Pictured: Cher Cruz, Christine Sparks, Rochelle Darling, Sue Davis-Hornby,
Club 31 Rotarians Bill Korstad & Ved Nanda, and Lakewood Foothills Rotary Club President Alan Harvey

Rotarians Bill Korstad and Ved Nanda are involved with improving water, sanitation and hygiene conditions in India.  Their recent water, sanitation and hygiene project (WASH) in India to bring toilets to a rural village where none existed, won our Denver Rotary Club the 2019 George K. Davis Water and Sanitation Award courtesy of the Lakewood Foothills Rotary Club and past Club 31 Rotarian Sue Davis-Hornby!

India, like much of the developing world, suffers a scarcity of facilities for disposal of human waste, a population unaware of safe hygiene practices or the need for them and a lack of clean water.  Insufficient water is a global issue which will eventually manifest itself in inter-state conflict.  An important aspect of these efforts is to create conditions that encourage local communities to properly maintain these facilities and develop similar solutions on their own.

The Davis award is presented to the Club who successfully completes what they judge as the best Rotary WASH project in the District 5450 that year.

Congratulations and THANK YOU to Bill, Ved and our World Community Service committee! 


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

Treasurer’s Report – 2019-20 Club Operating Budget

Dear Fellow Rotarians:

The Club 31 Budget for 2019-2020 has been approved by your Board of Directors.  Incoming President Jim Johnston undertook most of the budget preparation responsibilities, which ordinarily fall to the Club Treasurer.  Please extend your thanks to President Jim for his efforts, which were considerable and saved the rest of us a great deal of time!

After considerable analysis and discussions, the Board decided that a broad dues increase was unnecessary, but rather that it was appropriate to make an adjustment to equalize Active Exempt and Leave of Absence dues with Active Evening dues.  Both of these dues categories were recommended for an increase to $175/quarter (an increase of $25/Q), effective July 1, 2019, equal to the current dues of the Active Evening group.  The analysis simply did not support a dues differential among these three dues categories since all are basically intended to cover Club 31’s overhead expenses.  Active Ordinary dues were recommended to remain at $365/quarter.

At our regular meeting on June 27, 2019, the membership of Club 31 approved this adjustment of dues.

For any members who qualify to change their dues structure from Active Ordinary (AO) to Active Exempt (AE), it is our Club policy that such a change can only be considered annually at the beginning of each fiscal year.  To qualify, the sum of the member’s age plus years of Rotary membership must equal 75 or more.  Therefore for the 2019-2020 year, any related requests to change from AO to AE  must be received at the Club office by July 31, 2019.  As a reminder, AO dues include all meals, whereas AE dues require all meals, generally at $25 each, to be paid separately at each event attended.

The Rotary Club of Denver’s 2018-2019 Board of Directors sincerely appreciates your support of its decision to make this dues adjustment and for your continuing support generally.

Yours in Rotary,

Seth Patterson
Club Treasurer

“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.

World Community Service Honors Several Distinguished Members!

This year‘s most outstanding new member is John Finegan. 
John jumped in in his first year to become treasurer, as well as attend global grant training in the District.  Thanks for your early efforts John.

The hard luck project award went to Bill Img.
His Moringa leaf project in Zimbabwe ran into several hurtles.  Bill stuck with it to get the final equipment needed to make the project a success.

Greatest impact project this year went to Mac West. 
Mac comes through with projects every year and was awarded this year for his continuing efforts.

And the award for continuing service went to Mitch Benedict. 
Mitch has been on the committee for many years and is always a contributor both with projects and assisting in evaluating new projects from our Club as well as other Clubs.  Thanks for all your efforts Mitch.


Club 31 Welcomes New Member

Kristen Brooks
Senior Account Executive

Date Joined:  6/18/19
Rotary Sponsor:  Kristen’s Father Sid Brooks!

Kristen Brooks is a Colorado native, born and raised in Golden and Denver.  She attended Colorado Academy (’95) and is a graduate of Connecticut College (’99) where she played Lacrosse and received a BA in Psychology and French.  Kristen works in oncology and urology medical device sales, and has worked in medical, pharmaceutical and genomic cancer diagnostics for almost 20 years.  Kristen runs the Colorado hub for Cartagena Paws, a dog rescue organization out of Colombia, where she navigates adoptions and sponsors for homeless pups coming from Colombia to the states.  Lastly, Kristen is the Founder of Healthy Not High – a CBD movement, formally educating and consulting on the health benefits of CBD (a non-psychoactive molecule from the hemp plant).

Kristen travels with some frequency and has visited, studied or worked in various countries around the globe (such as Colombia, France, Czech Republic, Croatia, Mexico, Russia, Caribbean) and would like to add to projects here and abroad in the future.  Inspired by her father’s long time Denver Rotarian involvement, Sid Brooks, Kristen is very much looking forward to contributing to the Rotary community.

For additional information about new members, please log into our membership database at

2018-19 Rotarian and New Rotarian’s of the Year!

On Thursday evening, June 20th, Club 31 Rotarian’s and their spouses gathered over appetizers and cocktails in celebration of our 2018-2019 year with President Pam Adams and to ring in the new year with President Jim Johnston (2019-2020)!  We honored our Rotarians of the Year and enjoyed musical entertainment provided by the highly talented and accomplished Ian Campbell, our Communications Team VP. Congratulations and Thank YOU Denver Rotarian’s for your many accomplishments and hard work this past Rotary year!


(L to R: Last Year’s ROY Don Lewis, Melly Kinnard & President Pam Adams)

Melly Kinnard is this year’s recipient of the Club 31’s Rotarian of the Year Award for 2018-19.  Here is just a sampling of Melly’s strong and impressive engagement in Denver Rotary.  Her participation covers all aspects of Rotary’s five avenues of service…

  • Has been a High School Mentor for seven years;
  • Major supporter of every Club fundraiser;
  • Works in the kitchen at our annual Peach Sale breakfast;
  • Is a Major Donor of both Foundations;
  • Visits Rotary Club’s whenever traveling, both in the US and abroad;
  • Brings in popular speakers as a member of the Programs Committee;
  • Key participant with the Club and District Rotarians for Mental Health committee, and was instrumental in bringing in a high caliber speaker for the annual State of the State Luncheon;
  • Has sponsored six new members Active with the Evening Membership group;
  • Heavily involved in membership engagement and is the Chair of member retention, prospect outreach, and hosting new member dinners;
  • Received the 2018 District Governor’s Discretionary Award for support of the Disaster Relief effort for Hurricane Harvey;
  • Co-Sponsored our two New Rotarians of the Year!!

 AND, Melly has accomplished all of this since joining our Club only seven years ago!  There is nothing she can’t or hasn’t done!

 According to several of her nominators,

“As a Rotarian for more than 22 years and in three previous Clubs, seldom have I come across a Rotarian who is more passionate about our organization than this person. A self-directed ambassador for Denver Club 31, she was diligent in getting to know me and my profession so she could connect me with other Club members of similar professions/backgrounds.” 

“Passionate about growing our membership, she makes it a point to collect business cards from nearly every visitor to our Club and follow up with them to ensure they stay engaged enough to join the Club.”

“She is most certainly Rotarians for Mental Health’s favorite Rotarian!”

“She is incredibly generous with her time and dollars. She embodies Rotary in everything she does. She jumped right up and was one of the first to give to the Hurricane Relief Fund.”

“She is also extremely active in the community as Chair of Denver Health Newborns in Need 2013-present; Second Chance Center Board; Nathan Yip Foundation Gala Chair 2018-19…just to name a few. She was also just awarded Junior League of Denver’s Sustainer Star Award for her years of dedicated service and financial support since 1972.”

“This Rotarian is passionate about people.  It reflects in everyone and everything she touches. I have heard so many members say, “we need more of her in our Club”!  Think of all we could accomplish and what a joy it would be!”

“Rotary’s mission is to do good in the world…a group of ordinary people doing extraordinary things.  She exemplifies what it truly means to be a Rotarian…but she is no ordinary woman!”

Need we say more?  Melly enjoys being a Rotarian…engaging and selflessly giving with both her time and money, in both Rotary and numerous other non-profit organizations!  In fact, she will introduce herself as a “full time volunteer”, and the community couldn’t be luckier to have her.   Nor could our Club.

Congratulations Melly!
You make us proud and we too are blessed to have you as a member of Denver Rotary!


(L to R: President Pam Adams, Sarah Kleinschmidt, Jeff Kleinschmidt,
Brian Sweet & Last Year’s NROY Colleen Cozad)

This year was a little different than most…we had so many strong and worthy candidates, that we have a tie!  Additionally, many of our nominators expressed the desire to award both of these “new outstanding members” with a joint award.  Our New Rotarians of the Year for 2018-19 are Brian Sweet and Jeff Kleinschmidt!  As business co-founders and friends, Brian and Jeff joined the Club together eight months ago and have already jumped in feet first, with no hesitation.

 According to several of their nominators,

 “I am Jeff Kleinschmidt’s sponsor, so I have watched him jump in and join the programs committee.  He is working hard to expand ideas and bring in good speakers.  Jeff also works on Project Cure.  He wants his sons to be community minded, so he brings them to every work opportunity like the Cherry Creek clean ups.”

“Brian has jumped in with Membership and worked very hard to be involved.  He has jumped at all opportunities to help in any way and has been great.   He is very kind, and I always see him sitting with different people and getting to know his fellow Rotarians.”

 “Brian and Jeff didn’t waste any time getting involved!  They were introduced to Rotary by a friend who is a mentor and adviser, and a member of the Rotary Club of Kansas City.  They represent the future of Denver Rotary….and are really nice guys!”

In just the past year, Jeff…

  • Became a sustaining contributor of both our Foundations;
  • Became actively involved in our Programs Committee;
  • Has directly contributed his time to volunteer with his sons, at our Cherry Creek Trail Clean Ups and Project CURE Sort Nights;
  • Between our lunches, volunteer projects and committee meetings, have 100% attendance;
  • And will be our Service Team Co-Vice President in 2019-2020!

In just the past year, Brian…

  • Became a Denver Rotary Club Foundation New Member Fellow;
  • Became actively involved in our Membership Team and prospective member outreach;
  • Between our lunches and many committee meetings, have 100% attendance;
  • And have made your commitment to be our incoming Board Secretary in 2019-2020!

After joining Rotary in October of 2018, both have already shown a major commitment to their Club and to Rotary’s mission.  We are so fortunate to have two of the warmest, hardworking and dedicated new Rotarians as members of Club 31!

Congratulations Brian and Jeff!
Thank you for making Club 31 your new Rotary home!  We look forward to serving alongside
you for many years to come!

Thank You Rotarians and the Denver Rotary Club Foundation

Dear Denver Rotarians…

Junior Achievement is supported by a $3,000 grant from our Denver Rotary Club Foundation for 2019-2020

We are extremely grateful for the support of Denver Rotary Club Foundation as we prepare and inspire young people to own their future economic success.  Together we can empower students to break through self-imposed boundaries, discover their enterprising spirit and learn the knowledge and skills they will need to compete for jobs.

Specifically, Denver Rotary Club Foundation is making a real difference in the lives of young people like Carole Smith.  As a student with a dream to be an artist, Carole did not initially think that business was for her.  However, she challenged that thought and participated in JA for multiple years, determined to learn the business side of being an artist.  Today, Carole owns her own online art business and credits JA with giving her the skills, tools and confidence she needed to become an entrepreneur.  Carole is now a JA volunteer as well!

Thanks again for your generous support and for helping make our children’s dreams a reality!

With gratitude,
Robin Wise, President & CEO

Community Resources, Inc. is supported by a $4,000 grant from our Denver Rotary Club Foundation for 2019-20

On behalf of Community Resources and the children and families we serve, I want to thank you and the Foundation for your continued support of our work with students and mentors.  I wish you had the chance to get to know some of the students whose lives you have changed.  It would bring both smiles and tears.

All the best,
Sue Edwards, Executive Director

Since 1946, Denver Kids, Inc. has been supported by more than $4.4 Million in grants from our Denver Rotary Club Foundation.

You made our day!  I can’t tell you how much we appreciate your support of our work to combat the dropout crisis and end the cycle of generational poverty in our Denver Public Schools community.  We are constantly humbled by the contributions and opportunities our volunteer mentors, community partners and donors have made to encourage the successful development of the whole child.

Here at Denver Kids, our goal is to make sure that every student counts, every student graduates.  While we served approximately 1,000 Denver Public Schools students last year with our educational counseling program, the fact is that 20 students are added to the wait list per month.  There is an overwhelming need and we could not do this important work without you.

Thank you for your generous donation of $559.14  from Trivia Night, to support our summer programs.  It will go a long way to help us empower our young people to become contributing members of the community, and end the cycle of generational poverty one family at a time.

With gratitude,
Michelle Maldonado, Director of Development

On behalf of PROJECT C.U.R.E., thank you for your generous gift.  Your commitment to Delivering Health and Hope to the World is truly appreciated.  Each year, we deliver more than $60 million worth of medical supplies and equipment to under served hospitals and clinics around the world.  These resources provide health and healing to tens of thousands of people who need it desperately.

It is because of supporters like you that we have been able to strengthen health care facilities, transform communities and save lives for 27 years.  Your donation of $1,000 to help pay for costs associated with vandalism to our trucks is greatly appreciated.  Thanks to the World Community Services committee of Denver Rotary, we are now able to put locks on the catalytic converters in our trucks to prevent this from happening again.  We are honored by the confidence you have placed in us and hope you will continue to support our ongoing worldwide efforts to bring quality health care to those who need it most.

With sincere thanks,
W. Douglas Jackson, PhD, JD, President & CEO

Doug McLemore Concert: Classical Meets Jazz

You are invited for an unforgettable evening of elegant, classical music and swingin’ jazz at the University Club.  “Classical Meets Jazz” led by Rotarian Doug McLemore.  The quartet will be performing “Suite for flute and Jazz Piano Trio #1” a legendary crossover composition by composer Claude Bolling which was on the Billboard Top 40 for 10 years.  Added guest soloist as a preview of the another Bolling Suite.


Part 1: Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio #2 NEW CONCERT
(A Suite in 8 Movements)

Part 2: Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio, originally performed
by Claude Bolling (Piano) and Jean Pierre Rampal (Flute)

Cocktails will be served at 6:30 PM, three course dinner at 7:00 PM followed by the performance 8:00 PM!  Reserve your tickets with the UClub’s front desk today. 303-861-4267.