Russell Hampton
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Arnie Goldman
Getting to Know our Members
Getting to Know Mike Sherber

Michael Sherber has lived in Avon since 1992. He was born in New York City and has two younger sisters. Michael grew up in Edison, NJ a few miles from where Joanne Santiago grew up. He attended the same college, Princeton University, as those two famous Rotarians Paul Harris and Tom Voorhees. While in college he was a walk-on to their Division I track and field team. In his senior year he led his team in dual meet scoring and was the Ivy League champion in the 400 meter dash. He graduated from Princeton with a civil engineering degree.

During his senior year Michael became interested in energy conservation and solar energy. This led him to work for an engineering firm in NYC that specialized in energy conservation engineering studies. He later was accepted into Georgia Tech where he received an MS in mechanical engineering. Following Georgia Tech he attended Columbia University Business School and graduated with an MBA. While at Columbia he met his first wife, Stephanie on the New York City subway. Upon graduating from Columbia he was hired by United Technologies into their management rotation program which brought him up to the Hartford area.

Following seven years of employment with UTC he started his own energy services company that performed complete energy retrofits for two school districts in New Jersey. This was followed by a senior position with an engineering firm that specializes in high performance building design.

He has two children, Thomas and Emily who both graduated from Avon High School. Thomas would later graduate from Virginia Tech with a degree in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. Following six months working as an engineer Thomas enlisted in the US Army, got his paratrooper wings, earned entry into the Army Ranger program, and is currently an Army Ranger medic. Michael’s daughter Emily graduated from Northwestern University and plans to apply to medical school.

Michael’s professional interests include indoor air quality, energy conservation and sustainability.

In 2000 he was asked by the Connecticut Academy of Sciences and Engineering to co-author a report to the Connecticut General Assembly on school indoor air quality. This led to the passage in 2003 of the Connecticut School Indoor Air Quality Act.

Michael first joined the Avon-Canton Rotary in 1998 and has been a member since then with two brief breaks for out of town jobs. He enjoys Rotary and was club president in 2011-12. That followed two years of chairing the winter wine and food tasting event that later became Tastes-of-the-Valley. That same year he was president of this Rotary he was also president of the Connecticut Chapter of the American Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). He is very active in ASHRAE at the national level and has chaired three national technical committees as well as being a member of three more national standing committees. He has received the ASHRAE Distinguished Service Award and numerous regional ASHRAE awards. He is a licensed mechanical engineer in 15 states and LEED Accredited Professional.

Following the passing of his first wife he met Angelica who would become his second wife. Together they later started the Dominican Republic Green Building Council which has taught sustainable building practices to about 100 building professionals (architects, engineers, contractors and building owners) in the D.R.

He currently works for Plasma Air in Stamford, CT as their Vice President of Engineering. Plasma Air manufactures electronic air cleaners for commercial and residential applications.

Jul 26, 2019
Lions' Addiction Task Force
Aug 02, 2019
Dog Star Rescue
Aug 09, 2019
Aug 16, 2019
Oil Drum Art-an NFP to Benefit Haiti
Aug 23, 2019
Aug 30, 2019
Haitian Water Project
View entire list
Executives & Directors
President Elect
Immediate Past President
Foundation Chair
Board Member-at-Large
Board Member-at-Large
Asst Treasurer
Interact Chair
EarlyRiser Presentations
Promoting the Golf Tournament
The Annotated Guide to Ending Polio
GLO Fall 2017 Mission Trip
Club Information
Rotary of Avon-Canton - Founded 1973
Service above Self
We meet Fridays at 7:30 AM
Avon Old Farms Hotel
279 Avon Mountain Rd.
Avon, CT  06001
United States of America
DistrictSiteIcon District Site
VenueMap Venue Map
Upcoming Meetings & Presentations
              July 5th:  No Meeting, "Lonely Rotarian's Society" 7 AM@ LaSalle Market
July 12th: Regular Meeting, "The Hope Foundation" with Kathy DiCocco
Welcome, Pledge & Invocation
As is our tradition, following recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, Rotarians and guests stirringly sang "Oh Beautiful", before Salin Low offered an Invocation. In thanking God for the joy of our fellowship and friendship, Salin also thanked Mike Mezheritskiy for his service during his year as president, and offered blessings to all as we transition to Heather Pantano's upcoming presidential year, finally concluding with a reminder to "always remember service above self." Thereafter, breakfast was served!
Members Present: 32
Make-Ups: None  
Guests: Jim Gordon introduced guest and prospective member Deb Korner. Craig Buhrendorf introduced Elaine Chagnon, Father Tom Furrer & Mow Lavallee. Eleni Degraw introduced Jason Jakubowski of Foodshare, our speaker.
Happy Dollars: $76
Raffle Winner: None
Linda Pendergast noted she was having a major birthday, that she was just the 4th woman member of the club and that she likes to be part of the club, so as to give back to the community. She'll be leaving for her beach redoubt until September and wished us and the Club a fond farewell. See you in Fall, Linda!
Bill Barnes noted the absence of his July 4th birthday twin Gary Roman today. As such, Bill took ample opportunity to use both his, and Gary's, speaking time to regale us with stories of Rotary past, present and future. Bill observed that at his age all birthdays are biggies. Avoiding open disclosure of his age, Bill noted he was born on the 160th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. He reminded Rotarians that his late Mom was a Canadian, and never sought American citizenship, reasoning that, with his siblings, she had already given the country three citizens. Bill has been in Rotary since 1973 and after a move joined the Avon-Canton club back when Bob Cave was president. [Ed Note: Mr. Cave and Mr. Barnes are no relation to each other, or to the many well-known public personalities also named after various structures or land features, including but not limited to Dennis House, the late Senators Frank Church, Henry Cabot Lodge, Trent Lott and John Tower or baseball player-broadcaster Joe Garage-iola (sic).From their skill as raconteurs, however, one could surmise they both may be related to the late journalist Ernie Pile, as in.........well you can figure it out!] Bill noted that having a sense of humor has helped him a lot in life [and this Editor hopes he still retains that sense now.]. On another note Bill advised us that the phrase "Kicking babies is good for your health" was once a newspaper headline he approved. [I can imagine that sort of humor would be frowned upon today !].
Happy Dollars
Natasha Haims was pleased to be, at least on paper, younger than she believes she is, noting "some immigrants including me, came to the US in 1976, with incorrect dates on our papers."
Bob Cave was pleased that outgoing President Mike did such a great job!
Paul Vignati was happy about the progress and potential for the national women's soccer team and has a trip to Iceland in the offing.
Salin Low visited Tanglewood with her sister and a friend where they saw the group 'Queen', and also congratulated Mike on his presidency, and Craig for the quality of his member biographies. She noted also we are fully subscribed for the upcoming senior picnic.
Gary Miller will host his oldest grandchild, and then go to the beach with his extended family in Sanford Virginia for 10 days. The families will share 2 houses that together host 70 people. Gary's wife Debbie's late Uncle bought these houses so that extended family reunions would continue in perpetuity.
Gary noted that it's fun for all when "all the generations get together."
Bill Barnes'  grandson became an Eagle Scout and also thanked Mike for his presidential year.
Rollie Sterrett thanked Mike for a great year and congratulated both Heather and Mike for their service, past and future.
Paul Mikkelson gave thanks to Linda Pendergast for all she does and noted "we'll miss you", congratulated Bill Barnes on his grandson's achievement, and also noted this Editors participation in a recent biking event he had organized. Also present that day was Simsbury Club member and professional pilot Lee Burrus.
Heather Pantano thanked Mike for his leadership and gave thanks for "all the new ladies on the incoming  board."
Lisa Barrall-Matt was glad to be back after a long hiatus and will visit her daughter and son-in-law soon.
Calendar of Upcoming Events & Announcements
July 5th: No regular meeting.
July 5th: Lonely Rotarian Society at Lasalle Market & Deli, 7 AM.
July 18: Seniors' Luncheon for both Canton and Avon at Canton Senior Center, work begins about 9:30.
July 19th: Regular meeting at the new Rotary Building at Favarh.
August 14th: Pencil box assembly at Nancy Nation's house.
September 9th: Annual Rotary Charity Golf Tournament at the Golf Club of Avon. Contact Gary Miller or Larry Sullivan if interested in working on one of the golf committees.
Induction of New Members
None this week.

Community and International Service Grants
Father Tom Furrer, representing Kateri Medical Cinic, and Elaine Chagnon representing African Education Partnership returned from their joint mission trip to Nigeria. Our previous $2000.00 gift paid for a well to serve residents who had previously used a muddy stream. The new well has 2 spigots and is very deep at 150 meters which enhances its flow and cleanliness. It serves several thousand people. Two short videos were then shown. The first video demonstrated the well and its running water. The second video showed a refugee camp located at an elementary school. Due to religious and tribal strife and farmer/rancher conflict has led to violence in Nigeria, which has driven many from their homes, with many dead.
Father Tom said that refugee camp is the most harrowing, heart wrenching situation he's ever witnessed in his many years of medical missions. Mostly housing women and children, every resident has intestinal worms which our donation allowed treatment for. In total 858 people received medicine thanks to our clubs donation.
Following their brief presentations, Craig Buhrendorf presented a $2000.00 check to Father Tom on behalf of Katari Medical Clinic and another $2000.00 check to Elaine Chagnon on behalf of African Education Partnership.

Jason Jakubowski
Jason Jakubowski of Foodshare was introduced by Eleni DeGraw, and is a former New Britain Rotarian. Foodshare's service area includes Hartford and Tolland Counties, where they serve 118,000 food insecure people.  Mr. Jakubowski noted the great diversity of people in their service area, which includes rural and urban, as well as great economic disparity in both. A misconception about what they do is that they primarily serve inner city areas, but the reality is they serve people in every community. There may be seniors or others on fixed incomes who must choose between medication or heating fuel and their food. They serve many local food pantry organizations as well as providing 70 mobile food share sites every other week. Their first experience in Avon was with Gifts of Love which has a backpack food program. Notably, TSA agents at Bradley Airport were affected adversely during the government shutdown had to keep working without pay, and Foodshare brought mobile food trucks there to help them. After the shutdown ended the TSA workers held a collection and donated food back. Foodshare helps people bridge a gap during difficult times in their lives. People are often surprised that there is hunger in CT, despite being the "richest state in the country." Food share has existed for 40 years and 75% of their donated food is derived from the food industry. Remarkably, 65% of their cash donations are from individuals, despite their substantial corporate and foundational support. There is a lot of generosity in our area, though 75% of their annual revenue is generated in the last two months of each year, the traditional giving season. Donations go way down in summer, despite a great need, especially for children, then out of school where meals were provided. In response, they have a "Summer Foodshare for Kids" program.
Currently Foodshare is conducting a "Million Meal Challenge" as a way to remember their late director Gloria McAdam. Their goal to raise $400,000.00 by the end of the year and they are more than half way there already. Their goal is to be able to supply 1 million meals to the needy in Ms. McAdams honor. One dollar donated can purchase 2.5 meals. Ms. McAdam was a fellow Rotarian and past president of the Bloomfield Club. Another fundraiser "Eat, Drink, Give" is to be held in September at Milwrights. For a donation there will be a multi-course meal with a wine pairing hosted by local celebrity chefs. In closing, Mr. Jakubowski said: "Hunger doesn't care what town you live in, what day of the week it is, about any demographic. Everybody is susceptible to it. Most who go hungry come to us and say 'I never thought I'd be in this situation.' That's why we are there."
Queried about donations, Mr. Jakubowsjki said: "If conducting a food drive give to your local food pantry. If conducting a monetary drive, then give those dollars to Foodshare as they are able to buy at a scale and with leverage that magnifies that cash much better than a smaller organization can do."

Mail Bag
None today
Concluding Formalities
Outgoing president Mike Mezheritskiy said "This is it for me"  and received a standing ovation. He thanked everyone for their support all year, offering a special thank you to members of the Board, including Don Bonner and Robin DiNicola, who are both leaving the board. Concluded Mike: "The president is just a face, as nothing happens without all of you" and offered his applause to the membership. Thereafter we recited The Four Way Test and Father Tom graciously drew the raffle ticket. In jest Mike noted, while looking at Rollie, "the Father was the one honest man I can be sure of." ;-)
Photo Credits 
Photographs courtesy of Phil Worley unless otherwise noted.
Editor's Notes
Submission Deadline: Members are kindly encouraged to submit all materials for each week's Early Riser as early as possible. Please note that some editions may be published and distributed as early as the Saturday following our meetings, and during those weeks further contributions to the Early Riser will be included in the subsequent week's edition.
“The FOUR-WAY TEST of the things we think, say or do”:

1. Is it the TRUTH?
2. Is it FAIR to all Concerned?
4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?