Russell Hampton
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Bulletin Editor
Lauren Gardner
Getting to Know our Members
Getting to Know Jennifer Gonzalez
Jenny Gonzalez was born in 1970 in the small country town of Perry, Florida, where her parents grew up. They moved to Tallahassee when she was four and she grew up with her brother Jon who is seven years older.
Both of Jenny’s parents were hard workers. Her mom was in business administration first in the medical field, then thirty plus years at an environmental law firm until her retirement two years ago. Her dad was a proud Vietnam veteran who had a 32-year career with the Postal Service. He retired early and enjoyed a life of leisure until he was diagnosed with lung cancer and passed away three years ago. He was always working on cars, boats, and home improvement projects. In retirement he enjoyed spending time on my cousins’ farm in Alabama bailing hay, feeding cows, hunting, and fishing. His family misses him dearly.
Jenny met her husband in high school through friends they had in common, dated briefly during her junior year, and stayed in touch. When Larry graduated from the University of Florida out of the school of journalism, he moved back to Tallahassee to work. He looked Jenny up, and they decided to get married a month after dating. Jenny had been working at Holland and Knight Law firm as a file clerk and runner until they married a year later in December 1994. This past December they celebrated their 25th Wedding anniversary.
Jenny and Larry moved to Storrs, Connecticut once Larry was accepted to UCONN’s MBA program in 1995. Jenny worked in retail until he graduated, then spent a year matriculating into the CT college system at MCTC. She then applied and was accepted into the BFA program at UCONN. She was able to go to school full-time and completed a Specialized Concentration in Photography, Sculpture, and Ceramics. Larry and Jenny both graduated in 2000. He completed his law degree from UCONN, and she received her BFA.
She worked a few years after graduation as a Manager of the Non-Profit Women’s Exchange in West Hartford Center and went on to work for Capital Properties, first as a leasing agent for a residential property in Rocky Hill, later transferring to a West Hartford property as assistant property manager. She also began her Master’s program at CCSU. An artist at heart, she finished an MS in Art Education in 2007 with a concentration in Ceramics. She felt lucky to have studied with the best professor in her concentration and with one of the most talented students, who is still a good friend. She has had three art shows: a thesis show at Art Space in Hartford, a group show at Art Space with a painter, furniture maker, ceramicist and photographer, and another at the Farmington Library with three other ceramic artists.
Jenny started flying as a contract flight attendant for a small charter company out of Bridgeport and did sub-contracted flights for Netjets and Starflite International while she was finishing her Master’s program. In 2009 she secured a full time position with Travelers Aviation. She and her husband never thought that they would both end up working in the insurance industry, especially with Jenny in such a non-traditional role.
Larry and Jenny are very proud that their achievements have come about through their own efforts. They don’t have any children, but they are the happy to be aunt and uncle of seven nephews and one niece that they visit on trips to Florida and Atlanta, Georgia. They have two spoiled miniature dachshunds, Daisy and Oscar, who bring great joy to their home life. Their first fur-baby child was a Bassett hound named Marlee who was part of their family for the first 16 years of their marriage.
Jenny and Larry have been lifelong Thoroughbred horse racing enthusiasts and have a small stake in a NY breeding partnership and a couple of race horses with friends. Through their small interest they own perhaps a few horse hairs at most. This passion and their need to find a meaningful way to spend free time brought them to Shepard Meadows Therapeutic Riding Center. Jenny is on the fundraising committee and acting as Gala Chairperson, and Larry is VP on the Board. They still enjoy mucking stalls and feeding horses on the weekends as well as giving tours and acting as volunteer mentors.
Jenny is happy that Heather Pantano invited her to join Rotary. From the very first meeting she felt like she was home. She looks forward to getting to know all the members and working together to raise money and do good things for the community and beyond. 
May 08, 2020
Coronavirus Impacts on Animals & Veterinary Medicine
May 15, 2020
Sex Trafficking in Connecticut
May 22, 2020
Multidimensional Family Therapy Program.
May 29, 2020
Jun 05, 2020
Baghdad Country Club
Jun 12, 2020
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
A Promise to Jordan
The Annotated Guide to Ending Polio
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
May 8, 2020
Dr. Arnie Goldman
Coronavirus Impact on Animals & Veterinary Medicine
The meeting will be held on Zoom. 
Watch for an email from Heather.
Watch the presentation live on:
Sergeant-at-Arms Report
Members Present: 34 in attendance
Visiting Rotarians: Chris Heath, Marc Glass,  Devra Sisistsky, Alex Letterman, Rick Heath, Mark Steier, Holly Steier  
Guests: Brandon Robertson (Speaker)
Happy Dollars Moments: Virtual currency
Raffle Winner: None
None today.
Michelle Hagan (May 3)
Chris Heath (May 7)
Happy Dollars Moments
Editor's note: If you missed our Zoom meeting, the full meeting is posted to YouTube every week:
Alicia Canning is feeling much better, she gave thanks to the members for the flowers and card and well wishes. 
Rollie Sterrett shared his brother Cliff has fully recovered from the coronavirus and will be discharged from the nursing home on Monday! 
Devra Sisistsky is thankful to be a part of the meeting she misses the members and is grateful for the continued support from our club. 
Dale Bronson is grateful to have an opportunity to read and fully appreciate Oliver Twist. Being a literature major in college, he wasn't able to fully appreciate the book as he often had to catch up with others. Having time to read and soak it all in has been a positive experience from the pandemic.
Mark and Holly Steir are happy to be in Florida. They recently celebrated their daughter's 41st birthday with extended family on Zoom. They are grateful to be with the club via Zoom as well, and pledged to send $41 to the club in celebration of their daughter 
Jolly Lux said that over $2,000 was raised for PPE in Uganda through Rotary. 
Chuck Joseph sent a message that he is thinking of us. He hopes to attend a meeting, he has been very busy with ShopRite during the pandemic. He also shared that he will be expecting another grandchild. Chuck gave a generous donation of $1,000 to our club. 

Sarah Leathers added that Chuck donated $1,000 to Healing Meals - $500 to ShopRite and $500 in VISA cards because he wanted to make sure that Healing Meals could get what they need. Sarah is extremely grateful to Chuck for his generosity. 
Heather Pantano shared information on Ted Cowles's condition. His family has been sharing updates on this website –
Devra Sisistsky shared different models of PPE that MakerSpaceCT has been making and the impact across the state. She thanks the club for our donation to help give PPE to essential workers. Check out more info at
Induction of New Members
Mike Mezheritskiy introduced Kershwin Singh, Kerswhin has been living in Avon for 15 years. He has three daughters, a 2 year old fur baby named Maple. Kershwin is originally from South Africa and moved to the United States 20 years ago after winning the green card lottery. He enjoys biking, hiking, volleyball, and golf. He is a huge soccer fan and has traveled internationally to watch matches. He follows Liverpool. He has coached soccer, and volleyball, and has volunteered many years with Big Brother and Sister. He is an attorney by training and he is a senior corporate account manager at Pfizer and has an office in NYC but works the majority of the time from home. Prior to his job at Pfizer, he was an attorney in South Africa and then in Hartford.
Congrats Kershwin on becoming an official Avon-Canton Rotarian!

None this week.
Community and International Service Grants
None this week.
Brandon Robertson
Avon Town Manager
Brandon Robertson serves as the town manager of Avon since 2010. Prior, he worked for first the Town of Simsbury and the town of Tolland. He became credentialed by the International City/County Management Association in December of 2015 and has served on the board of Farmington Valley Health District since 2003.
Brandon spoke about the challenges of his work during the pandemic. Avon Town Hall is currently closed to the public. In person, public meetings have been suspended. They have been presented challenges as boards and commissions must move online. It has been hard to coordinate this and allow for public comment on the internet. The Town of Avon also has to respond to the community and continue to provide services safely. He is grateful to report the economic impact hasn't been as dramatic as other towns in the state. But he anticipates a greater economic impact as the virus continues. Another difference is the executive orders that the governor is giving. For example, the budget has had to be reorganized due to an executive order. He is happy to report that they are working on making sure it's a 0% tax increase for Avon residents. Another silver lining is how the pandemic has allowed the town to work together and innovate and come up with creative solutions.
Brandon shared that he became the chair of the Farmington Valley Health District in September, which oversees 100,000 resident's health services. He has remained positive despite the large responsbility during the pandemic. 
He also spoke about the commercial space on the corner of Climax road. At this time he only knows of Whole Foods signing a lease. When the leases are definitive the builders will share what will be moving in.
Bill asked about emergency services and responders in regards to regionalization. Brandon said that there is a lot of work behind the scenes between towns. For example, Avon and Canton share animal control, share staff between social services, etc. There is a lot of communication between the towns during the pandemic to slow the spread of the virus as well. Brandon also addressed the unfortunate situation about the communication tower that would have helped first responders and dispatch hear each other in areas that don't transmit due to a deficiency in the current system.
Brandon shared how he filled the open Police Chief position by hiring James Rio as a Director of Police Services.
Marc asked if town employees have been laid off or furloughed. At this time, they are in good shape with their revenue and no one has been laid off. 
Thank you Brandon!

Special Announcements
None this week.
Mail Bag
None this week.
Photo Credits
Technology Credits
Zoom platform management expertise by Mike Mezheritskiy.
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?