Posted by Jeff Benson on Jul 17, 2018
John Marg-Patton opened the meeting with the Pledge and Margaret Johnson provided the Invocation.
Our guest today was Arden Hills/Shoreview Rotarian Frank Mably.  Frank invited us to attend their annual Taste of the Hops beer tasting fundraiser on Friday, August 17th from 5:30 to 8:30PM at Snail Lake Park.  Click here for more information or to purchase tickets.
Co-President John said that the Board will meet on the Marg-Patton pontoon boat on Monday, July 23rd at 6PM.  Light snacks will be provided but you should eat before you come.  John’s address is 1152 Rose Lane, New Brighton.  Parking is very limited so park on Beach Rd (the road leading to the boat launch).
Co-President Cindy Carlson presented a GIANT card from MaryAnn Bawden thanking the club for her send-off last week. 
Cindy also thanked John and Marla Ordway for opening their home to host the Rotary Picnic last weekend.  What a perfect day to gather with great friends.
John Ordway presented Cindy Carlson and Jeff Benson with the bocce ball championship trophy (a bottle of wine).  Cindy and Jeff edged out John Ordway and Cindy’s husband Kevin in a hotly contested match.  John suggested that Cindy was extra competitive because she was playing against Kevin.  Jeff’s contribution was just picking the right partner.  Cindy and Jeff are shown with the trophy, below.
Cindy also made us aware that Rochester Rotary’s $95,000 Global Grant Proposal to benefit Mayan communities in Guatemala has been approved by the Rotary Foundation.  Our club pledged $500 toward the project.
Geoff Hollimon has tickets available for the CPY golf ball drop.  See Geoff for your chance to win big!
Geoff also reminded us that we will be helping again this year to supervise the bouncy houses and other inflatables at Stockyard Days.  This was great fun last year and now that we’ve got the system down it should be even better this year.  Watch your email for an online sign-up link.
Geoff also circulated a list of supplies needed by our deployed troops.  Citizens Supporting Our Armed Forces (CSOAF), a 501(c)3 non-profit, is gathering these needed supplies and Geoff will collect your donations and see that they get to CSOAF.  The supplies list and more information about CSOAF can be found by clicking here.
The Flex Group meets at US Bank at 7AM this Thursday.  All are welcome to come and see what all the excitement is about.
Ed James noted that our Norwegian Exchange Student, Maria, will be arriving sometime in the afternoon on Friday, August 24th.  We’re hoping to have a sizable contingent at the airport to welcome her, if possible.  We have two host families lined up but a third host family would be nice.  If you or someone you know would be a good host family, please let us know.
Ed James will also be offering the ‘Two Truths and a Lie” fundraiser next week.
Happy buck were plentiful today.  Many gave a dollar in recognition of the Ordway’s generosity in hosting the picnic. 
Please change your newly printed 2018-19 directory to indicate that Jason Slama, not Dana Rebelein, is the Community Service Director for the coming year.
I don’t know how many Taste of the Hops tickets Frank Mably sold today, but at least he was able to take home $5 as the raffle winner today.
Margaret Johnson introduced today’s speaker, Ed James, to give his new member classification talk.  Ed’s amazing story began in Iregba, Nigeria. Iregba is a village too small to appear on a map, but it lies near the southwest border of Nigeria.  Ed was born in 1965 and is the youngest of 6 kids.  His dad died of food poisoning when Ed was 11, but Ed’s mother was determined that her kids would get an education.  Ed put that determination to the test when he barely completed the 2nd grade.  Instead of sending him to 3rd grade, his mom had him repeat 2nd grade and it completely transformed Ed academically.  From that point forward, Ed was always at the very top of all his classes and was consistently elected or appointed to student leadership positions.  After High School there was no money for college, but after 2 years of working and saving, Ed was able to enroll at Polytechnic Ibadan where he studied Business Administration and Management.  While at Polytechnic, he led multiple student organizations while maintaining an academic performance level that is, as yet, unsurpassed.  He went on to earn his Master’s in Finance and Accounting  at Ambrose Alli University through online study after coming to the U.S. on a work visa.  His schooling in Nigeria, while rigorous, was completed without ever using a computer.  Ed’s wife encouraged him to learn about computers so, instead of taking a few lessons; Ed earned an associate’s Degree in Computer Science instead.
Ed’s first job in the U.S. was at ACI/Honeywell in 1996.  When Chinese competition forced his division to close in 2004, Ed became Director of International Operations at CareMate, travelling the world in search of products to supply developing African markets.  Ed left CareMate to start his own import/export business, Right Choice International Shipping, in 2007.  In 2008, Ed started working part-time as a Mental Health Counselor with ResCare, working to keep clients with mental illness employed and involved in their communities, a job he still enjoys today.  In 2012, the ever-changing international shipping market made it impossible for his international shipping business to remain profitable so he quit that business and started Right Choice Delivery Services, delivering paychecks for ADP, PayChex, Averta and CBIZ to 15 cities in the metro area.  
Ed has always loved singing and has sung in choirs since age 8, but he has also written nearly 80 songs and even has a CD of original songs.  He has led choruses for the International Christian Fellowship and leads a group that has performed over 100 times at his home church, Grace Evangelical Free Church in New Brighton.
Anyone who’s paying attention will also have noticed that Ed is totally committed to community involvement and charity work.  His Rotary membership is just one of the many ways he has a positive impact on his community.  Margaret and Ed are pictured below.