Omaha West Rotary Readers at North Omaha's Skinner Magnet School


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Presiding Officer: Nuzhat Mahmood
Secretary: Matt McKeever
Chair of the Day: Martie Cordaro
Invocator: Shonna Dorsey
Cashiers: Bonnie Gill
Sgt. at Arms: Gail Veitzer
Greeters: Mark Ellsworth & Russ Iwan
Speaker: Diana Failla                                
Diana Failla
Executive Director, The Urban Bird & Nature Alliance
Topic: EAB and City Trees 
Join ISA Certified Arborist, Diana Failla, to learn about The Emerald Ash Borer and how it will impact the Ash tree canopy in our city.  The presentation will include seeing the beetle up-close and personal, it’s damage on trees and the benefits of trees in business districts, neighborhoods and parks.  EAB will detrimentally impact the state of Nebraska in many ways; economically, environmentally, socially, public health and more.  If you love trees, join us to learn and discuss the value of an overall sustainable tree canopy in our city and state. 
Bio: Diana Failla is the founder of The Urban Bird & Nature Alliance. The Alliance is dedicated to preserving and conserving nature in the the city.  Sustaining the tree canopy throughout the city, particularly with the current loss of the Ash trees due to EAB is a primary focus at this time.  The Alliance is also engaged in educating adults and children to enjoy, recognize, respect and protect nature in their own backyard.  The alliance is housed at the UNO Weitz Community Engagement Center. 
Diana is an accomplished journalist, poet and published author and an avid environmentalist. She is a Master Gardener and an International ISA Certified Arborist. She serves on many decison-making boards throughout the community; overseeing 17 Landmark neighborhoods in Midtown Omaha and Midtown Vision 2050.  She is also a former Landmark Heritage Preservation Commissioner.  Diana is an active advocate for many important causes. She owned and operated, The American Citizen Newspaper, an 95 year old newspaper, published in Nebraska and Iowa. 

The Walkers Don’t Walk, They Run 

Bob Walker Jr joined Rotary 44 years ago at the invitation of Dr. Crotty and has served as President and Secretary plus several terms on the Board of Directors.  He was originally an active Kiwanis member.  When his business demands took off in the early 70s, and he couldn’t convince Kiwanis to lessen his volunteer duties, he left.  A few years later when things settled down he became a Rotarian.
Bob’s grandfather started Max I. Walker cleaners in March of 1917 and Bob worked with both his father and grandfather as a child.  In his teens, he also held two other jobs.  One for Buffett’s grocery in Dundee (this was Warren’s uncle) and another at Peony Park where he was fired for not coming in on a last-minute request because his mother had other plans. 
Today, Bob still goes into the office every day, keeps a cell phone and answers emails.  His son Rob “runs the place and is doing a great job.  I try to stay out of the way.”   In 1974, they took on the industrial part of the business which has been helpful in keeping the company vital and growing as well as providing jobs for his three grandsons one runs production, another the routes and customer service and the youngest is on the retail side.  In fact, they will open a new retail cleaning plant in Elkhorn this year.  Bob said with a smile, “Dry cleaning is a mature industry.   Only the best guys will survive.”
The company is busy preparing for their 11th annual Ultra Chic Boutique in February.  They collect, mend and clean wedding and evening dresses, then host an event where they sell to the public for $30 each   In the past, proceeds have gone to Lydia House.  This year they will go the Alzheimer’s Association.  Bob’s wife of 60 years, Linda, recently moved into a care facility with the same disease.  His two children Rob and Lisa have been there to help every step of the way.
As a Paul Harris Fellow +8 and a major donor at several levels, Bob said he gives generously to the International Foundation because
“I know it will be spent properly.  Look what happened to the Goodwill here.  Rotary will do the right thing. It’s something everyone ought to think about, and you don’t have to give big bucks, just get started.  Look what we have done with polio, that’s the greatest example in the world.”

We are a service organization with projects that support education and building understanding locally, nationally and globally.

Rotary is a worldwide organization of more than 1.2 million business, professional and community leaders.  Members of Rotary clubs provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world.  There are more than 34,000 Rotary clubs located in more than  212 countries and geographical areas.  Clubs are nonpolitical, nonreligious, and open to all cultures, races, and creeds. As signified by the motto Service Above Self, Rotary's main objective is service - in the community, in the workplace and throughout the world.

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Omaha West

Service Above Self

We meet Fridays at 12:00 PM
Champions Run
13800 Eagle Run Drive
Omaha, NE  68164
United States
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