Thursday, April 19, 2018
VOL. NINETY-FOUR, Issue No. 42
Join Us on the Rooftop
Alan Varsik - Metro Parks
Director of Zoological & Environmental Education

Are Zoos Still Zoos? 

People have always had an innate curiosity about animals. Perhaps one of the greatest illustrations of our curiosity has been the zoo. Over the past 30 years I have seen dramatic changes in the zoo and aquarium world- how zoos operate, and the growing roles zoos play. Modern accredited zoological facilities like our Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium and Northwest Trek Wildlife Park are outstanding examples of the continued advancement zoos are making in animal care, wildlife conservation, and community connection. 

You will be amazed at the depth of care provided to our animals as well as the conservation achievements of Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium and Northwest Trek Wildlife Park. I’m excited to share with you not only the new facilities and programs that we have in store, but our developing vision of who we will be in the future.

Alan Varsik came to Metro Parks Tacoma in February 2015 as Deputy Director at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park with 30 years of zoo, aquarium, and conservation experience. His experience includes keeper, curator, Director of Animal Programs and Conservation, and Chief Operating Officer roles at an array of organizations, including Brookfield Zoo, Lincoln Park Zoo, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Santa Barbara Zoo, and Oklahoma City Zoo. He has been a university instructor and has a long history of conservation work, including with the California condor and Channel Island Fox.

Alan holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental and systematic biology from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and a master’s degree in conservation management from DePaul University in Chicago. He is a graduate of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’, AZA,  Executive Leadership Development Program and a Certified Park and Recreation Professional through the National Park and Recreation Association. He also serves as an accreditation inspector, on the Diversity Committee, and is a professional development instructor for the AZA.

While at Northwest Trek, he oversaw activities that included the celebration of Northwest Trek’s 40th anniversary and construction of the $1.9 million nature-inspired Kids’ Trek playground. Under his direction, Northwest Trek also set two attendance records and served more than a quarter-million visitors in 2016.

Membership Proposal
Unless written objections are submitted to the Board within 10 days of this posting, the following individual will be invited to membership: 
Sabrina Ahrens
GOVERNMENT SERVICES - Court Commissioner
Pierce County Superior Court
Sponsor: Kathryn Nelson
DeAnne Hamilton
EDUCATION - Television
Executive Director & General Manager
Sponsor: Jan Brazzell
 Thanks to our wonderful Expo Sponsors
So sorry if you missed the Expo, we heard some great information from our Expo Sponsors!  Special thanks to Missy Zenczak for her organization and leadership. 
American Red Cross  - The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.
Ben Bridge - The most valuable jewelry marks noteworthy moments and sparks special memories.  Ever since its founding more than a century ago, family-run Ben Bridge Jeweler has embraced the concept of servicing customers for life.
Brooks Dental  - At Brooks Dental Studio we're dedicated to helping you achieve a sense of well-being and increased confidence that a healthy smile brings.
Cascade Park Communities  - We are in the business of producing smiles!    
CatchAll Environmental  - We are innovators.  We see the issues around stormwater and stormwater compliance differently than our competitors.  While other companies and organizations are providing a reactive solution, CatchAll Environmental is looking deeper into the issues to try to answer the questions that are at the heart of the challenge of clean stormwater runoff.
Community Healthcare  - Our mission is to provide the highest quality health care with compassionate and accessible service for all.
Evergreen Home Loans  - We change the world one relationship at a time. What can be more life changing than returning to the place you call home each day? The family of associates at Evergreen is inspired by fulfilling the desires of customers throughout the year. Whether you plant your first garden, host your child’s wedding in the backyard, or gather the family at your house for the holidays, your world becomes forever changed.
Financial Insights  -  Growing your future, together. We specialize in comprehensive financial planning and investment management. Our team works closely with you to help you realize your goals in all phases in life. We realize that you are a unique individual with your own path, ideas, experiences and concerns about investing. That’s why we strive to be the only financial advisory team you will need.
Grit City Baking Company  - We're obsessed with bringing perfect bread products to Tacoma. We've devoted hours to honing our production methods, perfecting our recipes, studying antique cookbooks and ancient baking wisdom. Watch for our opening this summer!
Habitat for Humanity  - With God’s grace and the cooperation of people from all walks of life, Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity partners with families in need to build and own simple, decent, affordable homes in safe communities. Habitat envisions a world where everyone has a decent place to live.
Hjalseth & Benson - Windermere  - We have been enthusiastically sharing the magic of living in Tacoma and the "253" with exceptional care for a combined 39+ years! Two T-Town fans with deep local roots, committed to community, service and your kind referrals. It is our honor to serve you. 
Moss Adams  - At Moss Adams, we bring more West to business! West is where dawn breaks on world-changing ideas. More than a location, it’s a way of doing business -- an ethos in which innovation thrives and optimism abounds. With a rare blend of inspiration and technical excellence, we empower our clients to discover and claim the future. Our keen understanding of industry trends and challenges permits us to anticipate and respond to opportunities for our clients that might otherwise go untapped. Delivering a full spectrum of accounting, tax, consulting and wealth management services, we dive deep into each industry to bring greater contextual understanding to every engagement.
Narrows Glen - Senior Resource Group  - Narrows Glen, an SRG Senior Living Community, offers an environment that addresses your physical, social, mental and spiritual well-being.  It’s comforting to know that even if your needs change, your address doesn’t have to.
Rotary USO  - Supporting the work of our club to benefit local and global service projects, grants to local community organizations and scholarships to Tacoma high school seniors. Proceeds from the auction support the work of every committee and all of the good works of the club.  This year the special Raise the Paddle beneficiary will be Habitat for Humanity. 
Salvation Army  - Enriching mind, body, and spirit, The Salvation Army helps people of all faiths or no faith, who are in need
Superior Linen  - We are a 92 year old,  5th Generation Family owned & operated linen and uniform rental company serving Western Washington
Timberland Bank  - At Timberland Bank, we strive to be your best connection to local advice, credit and service. Throughout our 100 year history, we’ve grown to understand the unique needs of businesses located in the Pacific Northwest—and are ready to help your business grow with handcrafted business banking solutions.
Trusteed Plans Service Corporation  - TPSC is more than a traditional third party administrator of self-funded benefits. Founded in 1963, TPSC has over 55 years of experience being a local, trusted partner to help protect your bottom line. TPSC is the choice for affordable benefit services for employers, associations, Taft-Hartley Trusts and Chamber of Commerce plans throughout the Western United States.
United Way  - By 2028, United Way of Pierce County will lift 15,000 families out of poverty.  We will achieve this goal by strategically investing in and developing programs that address the root causes of poverty. Our key initiatives include: Moving individuals and families into stability by accessing critical resources through 2-1. Improving economic self-sufficiency by expanding our Center for Strong Families mode. Ensuring kids and their families have access to nutritious food through the Hunger-Free Pierce County collaborative.
YWCA  - The YWCA has a mission to transform lives through safety, healing and empowerment. We provide free comprehensive services for domestic violence victims and their families including shelter, housing, legal representation, support groups, and therapeutic children’s programming
Reflections from Abby
One of the best parts of living in the Southern Hemisphere is the flipped seasons. While my mom and dad were barely surviving the bone-chilling rain of the Pacific North West, I was on summer vacation from December to March. 85+ degrees every day! Here are some of the things I learned during my second summer 2017!
1. How to Penguin
In December, Rotary took myself 30 other exchange students and I to the marvelous Patagonia Chilena. We hiked through gigantic caverns, sailed past a 1000-foot-tall glacier, and took a day trip to an island inhabited entirely by... PENGUINS! Coolest day ever.
2. How to Move
Two days after Christmas I moved to my second host family here in San Fernando. I surprised myself by tearing up when my little host sisters had to say goodbye. Between these two homes I have had the opportunity to peer into the lives of a middle working class family as well as a very comfortable one. Both have taught me much about how money does (and as often doesn't) change one's quality of life.
3. How to Beach
This new family brought me along with them on their two-week beach vacation. We laid out on the sand, watching the waves, for at least two hours everyday. Memories of this trip are tinted by ice cream cones and hours upon hours of pleasure reading.
4. How to Reconnect
My first host family was presented with the chance to spend a weekend in the southern city of Valdivia. Confirming my belief that we will remain close for a while to come, they graciously invited me along. All six of us squeezed into their car, (made for five- yes I made sure to wear a seat belt!), and made the nine hour trek. Our weekend was a whirlwind of fireworks, historic battle sites, fish, and the happiness only time with family can bring.
5. How to German
I can now officially count to ten. On a good day, I add "I am Abby" for a flourish. Seriously though, what a tricky language! Thankfully my two best German friends speak English gooder than I do ;) We spent an afternoon baking cookies to share with our host families. My chocolate chip ones were definitely the best, yet for the sake of diplomacy we'll say they tied.
6. How to Grow
This one is still a work in progress, though I see its fruit more clearly now upon reflection. I recently saw two movies entirely in Spanish and understood enough to laugh at the jokes. My first host parents explained the history surrounding the birth of their country in a language foreign to me a short six months ago. What in the heck would I do without exchange! 
Abby says "Thanks Rotary#8" 
Ali's Exchange in Photo's
Two New Opportunities Supported by Your Projects Committee
Sound the Alarms – Save a Life
Support the Red Cross by helping to provide in-home education and install free smoke alarms.  Saturday, April 21 from 9AM to 1PM. Location is Central Tacoma, but details will be emailed in advance.  Volunteers must be 18 and older.  If interested email Becky Fontaine at
District Wide Opportunity on May 3
We are not having a meeting in anticipation that we can contribute time to this project at the Hotel Murano Pavilion. Shifts are from 8AM to 4PM.  Local Rotarians are being asked to sign up for the earlier shifts, saving the later ones for our friends from farther away.
Three options for Tacoma #8 members and our friends:
  1. Sign up with Jim Whitacre from Projects Committee.  He is working on 1-2 tables of 12 people from 8-10AM.  Jim will need your email as well as those of  your family and friends you might be bringing.
  2. Grab a couple of friends from Rotary, work or your neighborhood and show them the power of Rotary. One person can sign you up as a team or you can sign up individually just make sure you pick the same time.
  3. Not worried about who you are teamed with, but want to help, sign up!
Options 2/3 should use the link below.  If you go with Option 1, Jim will sign you up. Don’t wait, slots are filling up quickly.
Click on this link to sign up yourself.
Featured items this week
Who Loves Wine?
Submarine Tour and Lunch
Procurement Update
We have had promises from many, but need the procurement forms in now!  You can email forms to the office. Help us keep our sanity, we really need everything in no later than April 20!  If you have forgotten if you really turned something in just send a quick email to
Time to make those reservations!
A number of you have said you will be joining us, but we haven't received your RSVP card, or payment. We have to turn in our guest count at the end of the week., so even if you are still recruiting guests just let us know how many spots to hold.   Our goal is to have a room full of generous Rotarians and their friends who will join together to enjoy good company and purchase amazing items.  The party will be great and a bonus is that we will end the night with our favorite group Daryl and the Diptones!! You can call or email the office to reserve your spot, or drop off your RSVP card at the meeting this week!
You can still register for District 5020 Training Assembly & Conference. We are hoping for great representation from Tacoma #8 members.  This is a wonderful opportunity for fellowship and education! 
Invocation - Diane Tilstra
National Anthem and 4 Way Test -  Carlyn Roy
Board Greeter- Roving Mic - Marsha Burns
Greeter - Roving Mic -   
Fine Counter - Cynthia Darland
Meeting Reporter for Gearshift -  Libby Catalinich
Meeting Sponsor -  Carlyn Roy
AV Assistance -  Chris Serface and Mik
There are clipboards at every meeting for you to sign up to help out!
--Leading the National Anthem & Four Way Test
--Giving the Moment of Reflection
--Playing piano
--Assisting with Audio/Visual
--Greeter and Roving Mic
--Sponsoring a meeting

Birthdays to Celebrate  
Michael Thompson - Apr 17
Bill Baarsma - Apr 18
Evelyn Ryberg - Apr 18
Carol Webster - Apr 18
John Dimmer - Apr 19
Peter Darling - Apr 20
Anniversaries to Celebrate
Whitney Grisaffi - 3 years
Miriam Barnett - 10 years
The Fellowship/Relationship Building Committee invites all members of Tacoma #8 to join them on Thursdays at 5 pm. These socials are a great way to meet some new Rotarians or catch up with old friends. Pandakas, these meetings will fulfill your "social" requirement prior to graduation and, for all members, it’s fun!
April 19
The Camp Bar
1310 Tacoma Avenue
Tacoma, WA
Table side S’mores with all the fixing!!
April 26
Dirty Oscars
2309 6th Avenue
Tacoma, WA

Reflections from the meeting of April 12 from Debbie Regala
 President Mark called the meeting to order at about 12:05 in order to give members the opportunity to visit the wonderful displays from our Business Expo Sponsors. This meeting of Rotary 8 was focused on twenty great businesses and organizations in our community.
Members enjoyed the opportunity to visit with the folks at the ‘sponsor’ tables.  
Sponsors included the American Red Cross, Ben Bridge Jewelers, Brooks Dental, Cascade Park Communities, CatchAll Environmental, Community Health Care, Evergreen Home Loans, Financial Insights, Grit City Baking, Habitat for Humanity, Moss Adams, Narrows Glen, Rotary USO, Salvation Army, Superior Linen, Timberland Bank, Trusteed Plans Service Corporation, United Way of Pierce County, Windermere Real Estate and the YWCA.  During the meeting each sponsor was given 2 minutes to talk about their business/organization.  Each provided valuable information about what they do.  President Mark observed that the sponsors represented a wide diversity and time span in our community - from an organization that has been around since before Washington became a state (the Salvation Army) to a brand new business getting ready to open ( Grit City Baking).  All those staffing the informational tables were eager to engage in sharing.  Rotarians learned more about what they have to offer our community.  Thank you to Missy Zenczak and the Vocational Services Committee for organizing this event. Congratulations to Sharon Jaffee, who won the advertising in the Gearshift. 
 Including the people staffing the various tables, there were 20 guests at this meeting - a good source of new members, maybe.  Also visiting was Howard Svigals, the Assistant Governor of District 5020 and a member of the Gig Harbor Midday club.  He enjoyed visiting with Rotary 8 members and the various ‘sponsor’ tables.
If you missed this meeting, you missed a good time - and a great opportunity to network.


Sound Advice for Service Above Self Living, by Past President  Jim Henderson

If you can dream it you can do it.  Walt Disney


Club Links
Finding a Club (In District 5020)
Find a Club (worldwide)
Rotary International - YouTube Video Clips
The Gearshift is a weekly publication to inform you about current happenings in the Rotary Club of Tacoma #8. We meet on Thursday at the Landmark Temple Theatre 47 St. Helens Avenue, Tacoma 
Noon - 1:00 pm
The Rotary Office is located at:
47 St. Helens Avenue, Ste. 200
Tacoma, Washington 98402

PO Box 1777
Tacoma, Washington 98401-1777

Phone:  253.473.7723
Fax:  253.473.7838
Office Hours
Monday - Friday
8:30 - 5:00
Apr 26, 2018
Current Events in Washington State and Pierce County Elections
May 03, 2018
Volunteer for the District Food Repack
May 10, 2018
View entire list
Upcoming Events
World Community Service Committee Meeting
Cole Graphic Solutions
Apr 26, 2018 7:00 AM
Rotary USO - United Serving Others
Hotel Murano - Bicentennial Pavilion
Apr 28, 2018
5:30 PM – 11:00 PM
Foundations Committee (PGG)
Landmark Temple Theatre (following lunch)
May 03, 2018 1:15 PM
Classification Committee Meeting
Rotary office
May 08, 2018 11:45 AM
Fellowship & Relationship Building Committee
Hanks Bar and Grill
May 15, 2018 5:00 PM
Executives & Directors
Immediate Past President
President Elect
Secretary 2016-2018
Treasurer 2017-2019
Board Member 2015-2018
Board Member 2015-2018
Board Member 2015-2018
Board Member 2015-2018
Board Member 2016-2019
Board Member 2016-2019
Board Member 2016-2019
Board Member 2016-2019
Board Member 2017-2020
Board member 2017-2020
Board member 2017-2020
Board Member 2017-2020
The Rotary Foundation
Tacoma Rotary 8 Foundation Board President
Foundations Chair (TRF and RIF)
Auction Team
Auction Team
Auction Team
Auction Team
Auction Team
Classification Co-Chair
Classification Co-Chair
Communications Co-Chair
Communications Co-Chair
Engagement Chair
Fellowship Chair
Finance Committee Co -Chair
Finance Committee Co-Chair
Grants Chair
Interact Co-Chair
Interact Co-Chair
Literacy Co-Chair
Literacy Co-Chair
Membership Recruitment Chair
Military Affairs Chair
Pandaka Chair
Program Chair
Projects Co-Chair
Projects Chair
Rotaract Co-Chair
Rotary Youth Exchange Co-Chair
Rotary Youth Exchange Co-Chair
Scholarships Co-Chair
Scholarship Co-Chair
Vocational Services Co-Chair
Vocational Services Co-Chair
World Community Service Chair
Club Administrator
Youth Protection Officer
Fellowship, Leadership and Service Above Self since 1910