“I’m fighting hard to make the world a better place, and you can, too. Get involved with your community, be a leader, set an example, be passionate, be your best.” – Gabrielle Giffords


“You’ve got to be confident when you’re competing. You’ve got to be a beast.” – Gabby Douglas



(notes provided by the distinguished gentleman from Connecticut, Perry Edwards)


Michelle passed out a signup sheet for a few more readers needed at “Read Across America”, March 2 at Lincoln Square in Urbana.


Cary noted that all members are asked to double check the club listings for your email address and phone number. The current listing is available at the next few meetings. The plan is to contact each member by text when and if a meeting is canceled due to weather or other emergency. 




Charlie introduced Mark Kessler as this morning’s speaker. Mark is an instructor at Parkland College and an advisor for Parkland’s “CobraVenture.” The CobraVenture program was established to give Parkland College students with entrepreneurial business ideas the opportunity to get real-word experience. Mark has a very successful business background, and he shared his experiences with Parkland students in the classroom as well as through CobraVenture.


For the past nine years Parkland College Foundation has been honoring local “Entrepreneurs of the Year.” Now, with CobraVenture, an advisory board picked 11 students, from 32 applications, as its first CobraVenture class. These selected students will participate in 10 learning workshops this spring focusing on launching their own businesses. The workshop topics deal with defining and selling your potential business, identifying your customer and developing a marketing plan along with understanding business law and financial management. At the last workshop, the students will “pitch” their business plan in a competition to a panel of judges who will award a $3,000.00 scholarship to the winner as seed money to start the company. 


Mark’s goal is for the students to encourage, engage, equip, and execute their plan into reality. While this is the first year for CobraVenture, it will become an annual event with workshops in the spring as invitations are already out for accepting applications this coming fall.


For more information please see Parkland College’s web site: CobraVenture. 




  Feb 21st Feb 28th Mar 7th Mar 14th
Introductions Mary Kay Smithy Adam Wright Oktay Baran Michelle Barbey
Reflection Jen Shelby Charlie Smith Mary Kay Smith Adam Wright
Greeters Mary Kay Smith Adam Wright Oktay Baran Michelle Barbey
Darrell Hoemann Andrew Kerins Bob La Charite Candy Loyd
Song Leader Ata Durukan David Henry Mary Hodson Darrell Hoemann
Notetaker Penwell Hodson Conforti Perry


UPCOMING SCHEDULE (with program committee member responsible listed in parentheses)

February 21st – Dr. Bob Lawless, Max L. Rowe Professor of Law, UIUC, will discuss the elderly and bankruptcy (Tom)

February 28th – Dr. George Gross, Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, UIUC (Ondine)

March 7th – Don Wuebbles, The Harry E. Preble Professor of Atmospheric Sciences and University of Illinois Presidential Fellow, will speak about climate change (Phyllis)

March 14th – Kimberly Kendall will discuss Leisure, Aging, and Wellness (Tom)

March 21st – TBD (Bob)

March 28th – TBD (Charlie)

April 4th – TBD (David)

April 11th – TBD (Mary)

April 18th – TBD (Ondine)

April 25th – TBD (Phyllis)

May 2nd – TBD

Rescheduled – William D O’Brien, Professor Emeritus, Electrical and Computer Engineering, UIUC, will tell us about his current research in ultrasonic bioengineering (Mary)