Thank you to all who submitted articles and photos! 
You may view larger versions of a story by clicking on the title of the story.
We hope you enjoy our eBulletin.

The Akrotarian

Our Mission:
An inclusive, action oriented service organization, Akron Rotary improves our community
and the world while having fund and building friendships.
Our Vision:
Together, we aspire to make a lasting, positive impact in the lives of those
in our Akron community and beyond.
Weekly Club Meetings are currently being held virtually via ZOOM.
We meet at Noon each Tuesday. 
Our Next Meeting
Tuesday, July 20, 2021



Executive Director,
Akron Urban Agriculture (AUA)
Outreach Specialist,
Federation of Southern Cooperatives

Born in Bedford, Oh and then moved to Solon, OH to attend Solon High school. As a student I took interest in business, carpentry, conservation, computers, and sustainability. As a result, I decided to attend University of Akron to further my education in Construction Engineering and Fire Protection Technology. While at school a student organization was created called Urban Agriculture to focus more on agriculture, conservation, mass extinctions and sustainability. Our main goal at that time was to increase the quality of food option for all diets including vegans and vegetarians. Through our polls and surveys formulated on campus we understood a need for our voice among the voiceless.
Eventually, formed a non-profit called Akron Urban Agriculture to promote gardens and urban farms like Akron Urban Farms in Ohio. Now we have a clear and concise plan for helping cities like Akron and Cleveland through gardening and farming as stated previously. Currently, it has been an influx of food deserts, homelessness, low consciousness, mass extinctions as well as protesting, so having an urban farm like AUA will increase pollinators and unity in Akron. The current project I am working on is a congressional project called the Akron/Cleveland High Tunnel Seasonal initiative that started in 2012. Representative Marcia Fudge (District) 11 has consistently supported the vision of this initiative in district 11. Her offices in Ohio and Washington, DC have been essential for the success of this project. The best way to alleviate these injustices is through education and farming. Furthermore, the data shows minimal opportunities and food deserts which equates to high crime rate.  For that reason, I have been working with the (USDA) for the past four years on agriculture, construction, conservation, education, safety, and sustainability in Akron. During my time at school and simultaneously working with the USDA the absorption of data and information about the socially disadvantaged and the effects of eating poorly was imperative. The main things in my specialty to offer to AUF Akron Urban Farms are agriculture, conservation, construction, education, design, farming, marketing, photography, project management and safety.
Meeting ID: 989 441 809
One tap mobile
+19292056099,,989441809# US (New York)
+13017158592,,989441809# US (Germantown)
Dial by your location
        +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
        +1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)
Meeting ID: 989 441 809
Club News
Past President Party for Dr. Rob McGregor, 2020-2021 Club President
Rotary Club of Akron Past President, Pat O'Neill, organized an in-person send off for our esteemed 2020-2021 Club President Dr. Rob McGregor.  This followed a virtual send off at Rob's final club meeting.
Rob, accompanied by his wife Sharon, enjoyed a beautiful evening on the lake at The Rotary Camp for Children with Special Needs.
Surrounded by many Rotary members and guests, McGregor received accolades and a few fun jabs throughout the evening.  
During Rob's presidency, the Club was precluded from meeting in-person due to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.  This was the first time Club members were able to officially gather in-person.
This photo archive (click here) includes photos from this special evening as well as the PowerPoint slides that were presented at Rob's last virtual meeting. 

Special thanks to Julie Brandle, Pat O'Neill and Mella Castner for the photos and to Sandy Naragon for the PowerPoint slides.
The following poem was previously shared but is worthy of a second posting.  It was written and presented to Rob by Pat O'Neill at the event:
With his suit neatly pressed and a bowtie around his neck,
His head is shining without a speck.
When we’d gather at Portage, he was known for his socks
It certainly was not for his flowing locks.
At the crack of dawn he hits the gym,
To get the guns, the abs and keep his waistline slim.
The world's strongest McGregor was a title he owned.
Thanks to those push ups that keep him toned.
He’s a man who is humble, and a man who won’t gloat.
But he sure puffs out his chest when he’s in a dragon boat.
When he walked Abby and Ali down the aisle,
From the International Space Station you could see his smile.
Sharon and Rob you sure raised your girls right,
But that black and yellow is a hideous sight.
He’s a medical doctor, that’s easy to see.
So who convinced him to be the President of Rotary?
“Rob, you’ll be our leader and it will be a piece of cake.
So little of your time this job will take.”
12 months later, and it was all a blur
Zooming each week, you became a tech connoisseur.
The ice breakers were a hit, just don’t call on me.
I can’t quickly recall my favorite memory.
Oh wait, yes I can, I remember this year.
The beautiful sight as Big Ben shed a tear.
He goes by many names including dad, doc, and Rob.
During the year of Covid, we had the best man for the job.
Our club had your back, for that much is clear,
As long as we didn’t ask, “how about just one more year?”
Mr. Past-President, we can’t thank you enough
I’m sure watching Steve take the mic won’t be so tough.
So, to the man with many names, you found your favorite this year
Being called Papa Mac will bring you the most cheer.
So Dr. Rob, I hope this poem you found cute,
Cheers to not having to say, “you forgot to unmute.”
Julie Brandle Sworn in as DGE

Julie Brandle was selected in the Fall of 2020 to serve as our District 6630 Governor for the July 2023- June 2024 Rotary year. 

At a ceremony on July 14, 2021, Brandle was officially sworn in as the District Governor Nominee (DGN) along with District Governor Elect (DGE), David Jones who will serve as Governor in 2022-2023.

(Photo L-R) Past DG Beverly Ghent-Skrzynski administered the oath of Governor Elect and Nominee, DG Larry Lohman then pinned DGE Jones and Jones in turn pinned DGN Brandle.


(Photo L-R) Larry Lohman,  2021-2022 District Governor,  Julie Brandle, David Jones

About Julie:

She is a past president of the Rotary Club of Akron and served as an Assistant Governor for Summit S - Medina County Cluster. She has chaired the District Conference Committee, and was a member of the Foundation Gala committee. She has also served the District as a facilitator for the Tri-District Membership Seminar and was chair of the District public image committee.

Brandle is a committed community advocate and currently serves on the boards of  The Rotary Club of Akron, Kent State University's Construction Management program, the Portage Development Board (economic development), Akron Civic Theatre, Akron Urban League, Greater Akron Chamber, ABC (Associated Builders and Contractors) Northeast Ohio, Coleman Foundation and the Hattie Larlham Foundation. Julie volunteers for Habitat for Humanity, Rebuilding Together, and the Girl Scouts of Northeast Ohio. Julie is a Lifetime Gold Award Girl Scout and holds the adult honors of Women of Distinction and the Thanks Badge.

She is a graduate of Cuyahoga Falls High School, as well as Bowling Green State University where she earned a double major in Interpersonal and Public Communication and Soviet Studies and a travel grant scholarship to study in Kiev, Ukraine. She is a graduate of Goldman Sachs 10k Small Businesses, ScaleratorNEO, Leadership Portage County and Leadership Akron's Class 37.

Brandle is the president and a founder of Metis Construction Services, a female-owned commercial general contractor located in Kent. Metis completes ground-up, renovation, and facilities maintenance projects throughout Ohio, along with projects currently in PA, IL, KY, MI, DE, MO, and NY.  With over 25 years of experience in sales, marketing, and public relations, Julie oversees these areas of expertise for Metis along with being an integral part of the management team that designs and manages the overall business strategy for Metis Construction.

Brandle is the daughter of Rich (deceased) and Leann Soika and has a brother Rich (Sharon) and sister Kristen (Orlando) and 5 nieces and nephews (Orlando, RJ, Lydia, Ardynn and Reid). She and her husband Steven reside in Brimfield Twp. Their daughter Kimberly is a 2021 Bowling Green State University graduate and is excited to begin her first year this fall as a third and fourth grade Intervention Specialist at Monclova Elementary in the Anthony Wayne Local School District.

What is a Rotary District Governor?

District Governors (DG) are elected by the district clubs two to three years before taking office.
This time is dedicated for them to plan and attend development/training and leadership sessions.

There are approximately 526 District Governors worldwide.
Once their one-year term as Governor is complete, they retain the title of Past District Governor (PDG).

What does a District Governor do?

As a District Governor you have proven strong leadership skills and decision making. During your year in office, clubs look to you for leadership, support, and motivation as they carry out service projects and participate in Rotary programs.

What you do

  • Strengthen clubs, organize new clubs, and grow membership
  • Encourage contributions and other support for The Rotary Foundation
  • Promote positive public image and serve as spokesperson for district
  • Develop a safe environment for youth participants
  • Conduct district conference and other meetings
  • Supervise district nominations and elections
  • Prepare budget, provide annual report, and help administer District Designated Funds
  • Complete online district qualification
  • Work with governor-elect and other district leaders

The Rotary Club of Akron has a long history of its members being selected as District Governor.

These members of the Akron Rotary Club have honorably served as Rotary International District 6630 Governors (DG).
District 6630 has been renamed over the years as noted.

Formerly 21st District (renamed in 1922)
1922-23            Theodore E. Smith*          
Formerly 158th District (renamed in 1937)
1944-45            Harry E. Votaw*        
Formerly 229th District (renamed in 1949)
1956-57            William D. Zahrt*              
Formerly District 663 (renamed in 1957)
1968-69            Leslie P. Hardy*       
Renamed District 6630 (renamed in 1991)
2003-04            Jack A. Harig            
2010-11            Stew Buchanan        
2015-16            Cheryl A. Warren      
2019-20            John L. Reyes              
*Deceased / We also wish to recognize Richard Farkas who was scheduled to serve as a DG for the 2016-17 Rotary year. We were saddened when Dick passed away prior to the commencement of his term as DG. 
Speaker Recap: Dr. Michele Campbell, Executive Director, LeBron James Family Foundation
Dr. Michele Campbell was our featured speaker at the Tuesday, July 13th weekly Rotary Club of Akron meeting. 
Click here o watch the presentation or copy and paste this link into your browser
Dr. Campbell has spent many years pursuing her passion in the education sector. The Akron native attained her education from Ohio institutions including a Bachelor’s in Business Management from Ashland University, a Master’s from Kent State University’s Higher Education Administration, and a Doctorate from the University of Akron as a Doctor of Education. 
As the executive director of the LeBron James Family Foundation, she is able to positively affect the lives of children and young adults through educational initiatives, Dr. Campbell brings LeBron’s vision to create positive and lasting change in his hometown to life through daily and long-term interventions rooted in research and driven by passion.
Under Campbell’s direction, in 2011 the LeBron James Family Foundation began working on the high school dropout crisis facing the Akron community and launched its core I PROMISE program in partnership with Akron Public Schools. This deep-rooted initiative targets the district’s lowest performing students and provides them with the programs, support and mentors they need for success in school, following them all the way through graduation. In partnership with the Akron Public Schools, the Foundation targets students at the end of their second grade that are struggling the most.  Research has shown that 25% of this identified group will likely drop out of school.  It is this segment of students that the Foundation and the I PROMISE School chooses to work with.  These students would then begin at the I PROMISE School beginning with the Third grade.
Dr. Campbell briefly touched on the challenges LeBron faced as a young student.  She reported that LeBron missed 82 days of school in the fourth grade.  It was this life experience that drove LeBron to create the LeBron James Family Foundation and all of the different programs that have evolved to create the opportunities for these students and their families to be successful.
In addition to sharing with us about the students and families they serve Dr. Campbell also shared about the LeBron James Family Foundation’s impact on the community – from opening the I PROMISE School, to expanding into transitional housing the I PROMISE Village by Graduate Hotels and long term housing with I PROMISE Housing, and culminating in the innovative House Three Thirty, which will see the historic Tangier turned into a community space providing job training, financial health, and gathering space for our I PROMISE families.
The growth into these other areas were the results of listening to the families of the students to see what barriers they were confronting that limited the students, but also themselves.  The families tend to have jobs, but not careers.  The I PROMISE Family concept is to help the family have more than just jobs, but a career path.
With a commitment to redefining community and building stronger families, The LeBron James Family Foundation invests its time, resources, and passion into creating generational change for the kids and families of Akron through a focus on education and co-curricular educational initiatives.
When asked if the LeBron James Family Foundation had plans to expand the program into other cities and States, Dr. Campbell stated the Foundation realizes their own limitations.  They have conducted workshops for other school districts and communities who are interested and will share their successes and challenges, but will remain Akron based.
With its foundational I PROMISE program, the Foundation serves more than 1500 students and their entire families by providing them with the fundamental resources, wrap-around supports and family programming they need for success in school and beyond.  As stated earlier, the Foundation has layered in additional supports including higher education and family supports at the I PROMISE Institute, transitional housing at the I PROMISE Village, longer-term housing at the upcoming I PROMISE Housing, and several hand-on supports in between.  According to Dr. Campbell, these life-changing resources, combined with the Foundation’s “We Are Family” philosophy are re-defining what a family and community looks like.
When asked why the program has been so successful so far, Dr. Campbell credited her staff for their efforts in creating trust with the families.  Trust in so critical for the families participating in the program. Trust is something that many of the families had not been able to find with many of their previous interactions with other “systems.”
For more information on the LeBron James Family Foundation and the I PROMISE School, I encourage you to visit their website at
What's Up Akron!!


What's Up AKRON

@whatsupakron  · Entertainment Website
Thursday July 15th Elevate Akron Outdoor Yoga Festival at Lock 3, 5pm, $20-$30 
Thursday July 15th Akron Art Museum – Downtown at Dusk- Free Curtis Taylor Quartet. In the Bud and Susie Rodgers garden.
Saturday July 17th Kent Blues Festival-Free 1:00pm – Midnight  23 venues in Kent
Sunday August 22nd  We have 20 tickets to “Romantic Brahms” at Blossom Music Center, 7pm-10pm. Please contact Steve Buie directly if interested in tickets.
Colleen M. Iacianci
(330) 618-7276

If you or someone you know wants to share news with us
<Click to Email us>

Akrotarian Supporters
Interested in being a sponsor?
Download the website sponsorship guide
Upcoming Events
2021 Greeter/Moderator & Invocation Speaker signup
Virtual Currently
Jan 05, 2021 – Dec 28, 2021
Rotary Club of Akron Weekly Meeting
Virtual currently
Jul 20, 2021 12:00 PM
Risk Management Committee
Virtual currently
Jul 27, 2021 11:00 AM
Rotary Club of Akron Weekly Meeting
Virtual currently
Jul 27, 2021 12:00 PM
Council of Chairs
Virtual currently
Aug 03, 2021 11:00 AM
Rotary Club of Akron Weekly Meeting
Virtual currently
Aug 03, 2021 12:00 PM
Club Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Jacinto Nunez
July 1
Morgan Goldthwaite
July 10
Jim Durr
July 11
David Koly
July 15
Nichole Major
July 15
Thomas Gedelian
July 30
Tamara Mora
July 31
Mella Castner
August 3
Ed Wagner
August 4
George Romanoski
August 4
Laura Smiley
August 5
Hilary DeSaussure
August 6
Katerina Papas
August 8
Nicholas George
August 8
Douglas Hausknecht
August 10
Doug Kohl
August 11
Roger Read
August 11
Julie Ann Sweet-Buntin
August 13
Kathryn Michael
August 13
Brian Kosarko
August 16
Mike Shearer
August 20
Marcia Holcomb
August 21
Rick Rogers
August 22
Robert McGregor
August 22
Fred Swartz
August 23
Lance Chima
August 25
Join Date
Bill Manby
July 1, 1995
26 years
Brad Jeffries
July 3, 2007
14 years
Carol Marturano-Becker
July 7, 2020
1 year
Lynne Hastings
July 8, 2009
12 years
George Romanoski
July 12, 2011
10 years
Colleen Iacianci
July 18, 2017
4 years
Elizabeth Campbell
July 21, 2015
6 years
Johnna Economou
July 21, 2015
6 years
Rich Fry
July 21, 2020
1 year
Ann Marie O'Brien
July 23, 2019
2 years
Mark Krohn
July 25, 2000
21 years
Jay Rutter
July 30, 2019
2 years
Cheryl Warren
August 1, 1995
26 years
Hugh Alpeter
August 1, 1983
38 years
Nathanael Billow
August 1, 2017
4 years
Nick Browning
August 1, 1992
29 years
Rick Rogers
August 1, 2005
16 years
Laura Horovitz
August 2, 2016
5 years
Daniel Riemenschneider
August 8, 2000
21 years
Tamara Mora
August 8, 2017
4 years
Kevin Smith
August 15, 2017
4 years
Robert McGregor
August 19, 2014
7 years
Vivian Harig
August 22, 2017
4 years
Brian Kosarko
August 26, 2014
7 years
John Margida
August 26, 2014
7 years
Mella Castner
August 26, 2014
7 years
Rotary International
4-8 June 2022
Russell Hampton
ClubRunner Mobile
Learn More About Akron Rotary!
<Email Us>
Join Leaders Exchange Ideas Take Action
Please add to your safe sender list or address book.
To view our privacy policy, click here.

© 1914-2021 Rotary Club of Akron, Ohio