If our weekly meetings are the fuel that causes our club to do great things, then our weekly speakers might be considered the spark plugs.  The speaker is a hallmark of Rotary meetings around the world with the intention of exposing club members to a wide variety of ideas, organizations, and issues. 
Not only do we have a different speaker each week but it’s not always the same type of speaker.  One week it could be someone from a local nonprofit, another week it could be about a local business.  Occasionally, it could even be a political figure though we strive hard to keep Rotary non-partisan.  Yet other weeks it could be one of our newer members delivering their classification talk (Inder Ghai, you’re up next!).  Sometimes we even have a presentation from one of our club members on an area of expertise (e.g. coming up soon Kevin Lynch will be talking about long term care planning).
The person who pulls all this together is our Speakers Chair Cory Wingerter.  As with most things during this pandemic, arranging speakers has been a challenge.  When we started our live meetings back up in Van Horne Park in the summer, it was a struggle to reboot the speaker program but over the last few weeks, Cory has filled up almost all the slots until the end of the year.  Working like a maniac, Cory comes up with most of this by himself based on his contacts and curiosity, but he does get some help.  For example, last week’s program on the Japan Exchange Program arose through the efforts of Bill Beachell.
You too can help.  If you have an idea for someone to speak to our club, the best course of action would be to ask that potential speaker if they would indeed be interested.  If they say yes, then forward the contact info to Cory and he will handle the scheduling. 
At Cherry Valley, we have the equipment at the ready so that the potential speaker just needs to bring their presentation on a thumb drive if they are planning on doing some sort of PowerPoint.  While it’s preferable to have the speaker with us live at our meetings, we now have an online alternative.  Last week, through the efforts of Andy Mozumdar, we successfully used the big screen TV to have a speaker present to us remotely while at the same time patching in several of our members who attended via Zoom.
Despite an occasional glitch, our hybrid meetings are working.  If you can’t make it in person, please attend via Zoom.  We need good attendance to get good speakers.  And good speakers make us a better club. 
Rotarically Yours,
Zoltan Nagy
Rotary Club of Montgomery/Rocky Hill (NJ)