“You can perceive real beauty in a person as they get older.” – Anouk Aimee


“Good judgement comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgement.” – Will Rogers


“You’ve been criticizing yourself for years and it hasn’t worked. Try approving of yourself and see what happens.” – Louise Hay


“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” – George Bernard Shaw


(Notes provided by Allan Penwell)

At our March 7th meeting the nominating committee will present its slate of officers and directors for the next Rotary year. If you have someone to nominate that is not on the list, nominations may be made from the floor. In accordance with our bylaws the club will vote on the recommendations at our April 4th meeting.


Central Interact is co-sponsoring a trivia event Saturday, March 30th with proceeds benefiting Austin’s Place. Please see the announcement sent by Michelle on February 28th to our members.


Mary Kay is going to Rotary Leadership Institute on March 30th at Richland Community College in Decatur. Join Mary Kay for a great six hours in learning about Rotary.


Allan was presented with his pin for his PHF+3. When asked by President Cary he commented that he became a Rotarian because Rotary has standards of personal conduct similar to when he was a Boy Scout, and he enjoys being part of a group. He joins Mary, Lou, and Maarten as Paul Harris Fellows at that giving level to The Rotary Foundation.



Our speaker at last week’s meeting was Dr. George Gross who is a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UIUC. George is also married to CUSR member Ondine Gross. George has consulted on electricity issues with utilities, government organizations and research institutions worldwide. George and Ondine moved to Champaign in 1993 and have twin daughters. The theme of the presentation was modernization of the electrical grid.

Electricity is the lifeblood of modern society and our key to global competitiveness. Retail sales of electricity in the U.S. are $400 billion annually which punctuates the need for affordable, reliable and especially clean electricity. It was noted that in countries where the standard of living increases, the demand for clean energy and lower pollution sources increases.

A transmission grid includes not only the transmission lines from differing sources but also the electricity generating stations. While electricity is abundant in the U.S., the grid is in need of upgrades. Our grids are owned by a mixture of federal, state, and municipal entities (even not for profits and cooperatives). This diverse ownership is an issue which contributes to the difficulty for all participants to focus equally on grid improvement.  Improvements include renewable energy sources, better demand response, and increasing capacity.

In Illinois, our transmission grid is #2 in the country in terms of modernization. On the flip side the Illinois energy source for electricity is 50% from coal whereas in the U.S. it has decreased to 30%. Very little of Illinois energy is hydroelectric, 9% is from wind, natural gas is 20%, and nuclear is 16%. Solar sources are still modest.

Renewable energy sources are increasing and total over 15% in the U.S. according to some statistics. Data from 2017 show the breakdown of renewables is 37.5% from wind, 44.1% from hydroelectric, and solar is 7.7% but increasing. The issue with wind and solar is storage because production is inconsistent. As of now, conventional power plants will still be needed unless energy storage advances well beyond the capability of today.

Commercial and personal transportation use the most fossil fuels with the exception of the one million electric cars in the U.S. Until there become more charging stations and more efficient electric cars, trucks and trains, there will not be a leap to renewable sources for transportation power. George told the story that when Tesla announced their Model 3 in 2016, there were 325,000 reservations for the car in the first seven days.  He was one of them, but availability was such that he recently had a notification that he could have one delivered but only if it had a black interior. He did not mention if he took them up on their offer.


  Mar 7th Mar 14th Mar 21st Mar 28th
Introductions Oktay Baran Keith Brandau Michelle Barbey Ethan Chew
Reflection Mary Kay Smith Adam Wright Ondine Gross David Henry
Greeters Oktay Baran Keith Brandau Michelle Barbey Ethan Chew
Bob La Charite Candy Loyd Ben Mast John McDaniel
Song Leader Mary Hodson Darrell Hoemann Larry Johnson Bob La Charite
Notetaker Conforti Perry Penwell Hodson



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

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 –  Kathy Sweedler, University of Illinois Extension, will speak about the Money Mentor program (David)

April 11th – TBD (Mary)

April 18th – TBD (Ondine)

April 25th – TBD (Phyllis)

May 2nd – TBD (Tom)

May 9th – TBD (Bob)

May 16th – TBD (Charlie)

May 23rd – TBD (


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