Monday, July 4, 2022

Rotary International asks us to Imagine Rotary through its Focus Areas

January is Vocational Service Month

This month Rotary International asks us to Imagine Rotary by developing and supporting new leadersExplore the possibilities with us at our meeting Wednesday at noon at Wick Park or virtually via Zoom.

The  Zoom ID is: 3567145262

Last Week's Meeting

If you thought that we, as a club, were extremely busy this last year, you would be correct. President Josh outlined all that was accomplished at his last meeting as President of Rotary Club of Youngstown. The list is impressive! Congratulations, Josh, for an outstanding year. 
  • 12 new members joined the club for a net 7 new members, with several members approved who have yet to be inducted
  • 7 new Paul Harris Fellows; 3 new Paul Harris Fellows +1; 1 new Paul Harris Fellow +3; 1 new Paul Harris Fellow +4; 1 new Paul Harris Fellow +5
  • 1 new Bequest Society Level 5 member
  • Annual giving to The Rotary International Foundation was $12,194 of which $8,485 was contributed to the annual fund
  • 2 Beerfests totaling over $50,000 in revenues and $30,000 in profit
  • Operation Warm exceeding $25,000 and several hundred coats distributed
  • Expansion of Operation Pollination with tours of gardens, Bat Week Event
  • District 6650 grant supporting United Returning Citizens
  • Youth Services: cookout for children in summer camp; filled back packs for students in city schools; packed pencil cases for CCD students at St. Angela Merici Parish; clean up event around Youngstown City Schools; provided STEAM learning kits
  • Assumed sponsorship of former WYSU International tour with first tour to Greece and Italy
  • 2 joint meetings with Lions and Kiwanis Clubs of Youngstown
  • World Polio Day Pints for Polio Event
  • Salvation Army Kettle Drive raising over $1,100
  • Stocking Little Free Libraries with books about diversity during Black History Month
  • Raising funds and making blankets for District 6650’s effort for My Very Own Blanket for All Ohio President Elect Training Seminar service project
  • Joint meeting with Rotary Club of Killarney for St. Patrick’s Day
  • Highway Clean-up
  • Safety Service Awards Day
  • Updated Youngstown Rotary Foundation By-Laws
  • Josh visited the Rotary Club of Krakow, Poland for Ukraine relief efforts
  • Distributed over $108,000 from Youngstown Rotary Foundation including annual earnings and profits from Beerfest to:
    • Camp Stambaugh to refurbish swimming pool built by our club in 1963
    • Kentucky Tornado Relief
    • YMCS
    • Real Men Wear Pink
    • Real Help Network
    • Library Summer Reading Program
    • ACTION
    • Down Syndrome Association of Mahoning Valley
    • OH WOW Children’s Center
    • Sight for All United
    • Yellow Brick Place
    • United Returning Citizens

This Week's Meeting

The Rotary Club of Youngstown will welcome Sharon Letson as Club President for 2022-2023 and swear in officers and directors for the new year.
Here are some things you may, or may not, know about our leader: 
  • She was born in Sewickley, PA.
  • She moved to Warren because it was home for Dan, her husband and college sweetheart.
  • She is executive director of Cityscape, a nonprofit community development organization devoted to revitalizing the greater downtown Youngstown area,
  • Sharon and Dan have two children and twin grandsons.
  • Why did she join Rotary? Suzanne Fleming invited her to a Rotary lunch about 10 years ago. “It felt like home. I did not intend to join; I just went because she asked. Clearly Suzanne knew something more about me than I did,” Sharon said.
  • Why did she remain a Rotarian? “Because of the people,” she said. “They are the best people anywhere. Salt of the earth. Always thinking and doing for others. Also, Rotary energizes me to be better and do more for others.” 
See you Wednesday at the Wick Park Pavilion.


Rotarians know that our Beers, Cheers & Gears social series is a great way to get to know one another while supporting local businesses. We had a great turnout on June 29 at the Foundation Lounge in the City Center One building (see photos below).
Don’t miss the club’s next BC&G gathering at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, July 21, when Rotary visits the new Penguin City Brewing Co., 460 E. Federal Street (across from Youngstown Flea). It just opened to the public on July 1.

Co-owners and Rotarians Richard Bernacki and Aspasia Lyras-Bernacki already are brewing beer in their new location, which was a steel company warehouse. Their $4 million investment also includes a tap room, 45-seat bar, a seating area for another 250 visitors, and spaces for two other businesses – DOPE Cider House, which is slated to open this week, and Cockeye Barbecue, which will park its food trucks there before moving inside this fall. 

This will be a special gathering. Bring a friend! Invite a prospective member! Let’s show off a newly-polished Youngstown gem and congratulate our fellow Rotarians on a job well done.

End Polio Now 

Chickadees Need Native Trees 

In 2013, the University of Delaware and Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC) conducted a three-year research project to investigate how nonnative trees in cities and suburbs affect the availability of food for birds during the breeding season. The research focuses on the Carolina chickadee, “a common backyard species that, like most birds, feeds insects to its young,” says Desiree Narango, a doctoral student who conducted the project with help from a team of field assistants.

Ninety-six percent of terrestrial birds rear their young on insects, and caterpillars are a particularly important food source. During the breeding season, Carolina chickadees and other birds need a lot of insects—in the case of chickadees, more than 5,000 per clutch of hatchlings.
Contrary to popular belief, “most birds do not reproduce on berries and seeds,” explains Doug Tallamy, an entomologist at the University of Delaware and one of Narango’s advisors. “Ninety-six percent of terrestrial birds rear their young on insects.”


With the adoption of new bylaws of the Youngstown Rotary Foundation, Inc., the RCY Board of Directors voted on June 21 to adopt a slate of new foundation board members, based on nominations of 10 members. The new directors are: 

Past Presidents:

Samantha Turner, 1 year term
Fred Owens, 2 year term
Scott Schulick, 3 year term
Non-Past Presidents:
Gregg Rossi, 1 year term
Luke Politsky, 2 year term
Shannon Tirone, 3 year term


Beers Cheers and Gears

Highlights from our last event!



July 5, 2006: Rotary Club of Youngstown members had a field trip to the new Chevy (now Covelli) Center between the South Ave. and Market St. Bridges.
  • Fred Owens - July 6
  • Ron Faniro - 16 Years
  • Becky Davis - 7 Years
  • Kader Makanera - 1 Year
Save the Date:  
Join RCY at Beers, Cheers, & Gears 
Join us at the following locations and enjoy great fellowship while sipping on your favorite beverage:
  • July 21, Penguin City Beer
  • August 18, Mahoning Valley Scrappers at Eastwood Field
  • More details with be forthcoming.
Proposed new members

Derrick H. Anderson Sr.
Grassroots Engagement Director

Classification: Social Advocate
Sponsor: Josh Prest

Anderson is pastor of The Jerusalem Baptist Church of Youngstown. He served two tours of duty in Operation Desert Storm with the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army and Ohio National Guard and was honorably discharged from military service. He studied business administration at Seattle Pacific University. He also is Grassroots Engagement Director with Americans for Prosperity, a political advocacy group based in Arlington, VA. 
Solomon J. “Jack” Kravitz
Caterer and former restaurant owner
Classification: Catering
Sponsor: Aundrea Cika Heschmeyer

Kravitz is the recently-retired owner of Kravitz Delicatessen, Inspired Catering and the Garden Cafe by Kravitz. He is an experienced cooking instructor, both online and at in-person classes. He was named Small Business Philanthropist of the Year 2019 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
He graduated from Liberty High School, then earned a bachelor of arts degree in Political Science at The Ohio State University, and a law degree at The Case Western Reserve School of Law. He passed the State of Ohio Bar exam. He is a graduate of Leadership Mahoning Valley.
He is a past president of Second Harvest Foodbank, Akiva Academy, Grow Youngstown and Logan Swim and Tennis Club. He was the founder and past president of the Poland Business Association. He and his wife, Cynthia, have two children: Hannah Kravitz of Portland, OR; and Eli Kravitz of Indianapolis, IN.
Ashley (Arnold) Morrow
Human Resources Manager

Classification: Human Resources
Sponsor: Elayne Bozick
Morrow is the Human Resources Manager / Payroll Manager / Safety Director at Livi Steel, Inc., a structural steel fabricator in Warren, and owner of Ashley's Peer Recovery Services, LLC. She lives in a 1912 Craftsman style bungalow in Youngstown. She graduated from Lakeview High School in 2008, Trumbull Career & Technical Center in 2009, and Liberty University in 2019. 
Ashley is also actively involved with Wild Ones, a national nonprofit, serving as president of the Youngstown Area Chapter, and on the Wild Ones Chapter Advisory Committee.  
Ashley has a young son and three rescue dogs. She enjoys painting, restoring and repurposing old furniture, home renovations, and expanding her pollinator friendly gardens. 
Ra'Cole Taltoan

Business owner and community activist
Classification: Accounting
Sponsor: Dionne Dowdy

Taltoan, a lifelong resident of Youngstown, is the owner and CEO of Rockbrook Business Services, RISE Youngstown and Radiance Essentials. 
She studied accounting and business management at Wright State University. She launched Rockbrook Business Services, LLC from her home in 2011. Rockbrook has assisted small businesses with getting business credit, becoming profitable and receiving funds to further their endeavors. 
She created Responsible Initiative toward Success in Entrepreneurship (RISE) Youngstown, a nonprofit, in 2019 to help families become self-sufficient through entrepreneurship and financial literacy. She opened Radiance Essentials, a health and beauty shop, in 2020.
She was the Director of Finance and serves on the board of United Returning Citizens, a nonprofit organization she co-founded with Dionne Dowdy, the current executive director. She has served as an AmeriCorps Vista, and on the board of directors for Thrive Mahoning Valley and Northeast Homeowners and Concerned Citizens Association. She also was recognized as a community leader at the 2022 Juneteenth Sankofa Ball.
Traci Manning
Curator of Education

Historical Preservation
Sponsor: Linda Kostka
Manning holds a bachelor of arts in Religion and Civil War Era Studies from Gettysburg College, a master of arts in Applied History from Shippensburg University, and studied secondary social studies education at Wilson College.  She spent six years working for the National Park Service at several sites including Gettysburg National Military Park, Vicksburg National Military Park, and Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. In 2012, she started working as the Curator of Education at the Mahoning Valley Historical Society.  
Additionally, she volunteers as a museum education mentor with the American Alliance of Museums EdMem program, is a frequent public speaker, and contributes to WFMJ Today and The Vindicator. Outside of work, Traci serves on the Board of Directors at the Hopewell Theatre in Youngstown. 
Bulletin Editor
Steve Poullas
Advertisement for Russell Hampton
Advertisement for ClubRunner
Advertisement for ClubRunner Mobile
Bulletin Editor
Steve Poullas
Club Information

Welcome to Youngstown Rotary

Service Above Self

Wednesdays at 12:00 PM
Wick Park Pavilion
260 Park Avenue
Youngstown, OH 44504
United States of America
(330) 743-8630
Connect through Zoom:
District Site
Venue Map
Please add to your safe sender list or address book.
To view our privacy policy, click here.
102-2060 Winston Park Drive, Oakville, ON, L6H 5R7