Speaker Date Topic
Kellie MacAloon and Russ Russell Jan 24, 2022
Lighthouse

Lighthouse, a nonprofit organization based in Oakland County, endeavors to build equitable communities and alleviate poverty in partnership with, and in service to, individuals, families, and organizations.

Russ Russell is Lighthouse's Chief Development Officer. He is responsible for managing the operations and resources for fundraising, corporate giving, and development for Lighthouse. He oversees all aspects of funding, communication and events. He has 40 years of experience working with local, national, and international organizations, to reach their funding goals successfully.

Russ came to Lighthouse in 2019, and worked to steer the merger of South Oakland Shelter with Lighthouse of Oakland County to become the new Lighthouse. Shortly thereafter, he guided Lighthouse’s pandemic response with partners Oakland University and the Pontiac Community Foundation, and increased emergency shelter capacity four times and emergency food 20 times.  Before Lighthouse, he was at Detroit PAL and Forgotten Harvest.

Russ is a graduate of Mid America Nazarene University (1982) and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive.  Russ currently serves on the Pontiac Farmers Market Board of Directors and is an active volunteer on various projects with the Mayor of Pontiac. He lives with his family in Pontiac.

Kellie MacAloon is Lighthouse's Strategic Gifts Manager. She is responsible for working with current and new Lighthouse donors, and supporting efforts for an upcoming Capital Campaign that will increase the scope of how Lighthouse will serve the growing need in Oakland County.

Kellie began at Lighthouse in 2019 as a volunteer, working on various marketing projects related to the merger with South Oakland Shelter, then came on board as a member of the Development Team in October 2021.  Prior to Lighthouse, Kellie had a 30-year career in advertising, and spent 20 years as Director of Vanity Fair/Conde Nast in Detroit.  She is a graduate of Michigan State University and lives in Bloomfield Hills with her husband and dog.

Dr. John Todd Jan 31, 2022
Disabled American veterans

Dr. John Todd grew up in Farmington. In 1967 he joined the Army and became a Chief Warrant Officer and helicopter pilot. In January, 1969, his gunship was shot in the nose, and the flak entered his eyes, leaving him blind.

He received a BA in Political Science from the University of Michigan and a Juris Doctor degree from Georgetown University. From 1979, he was a Professor of Business Law at Rochester University. Recently, he retired.

In 1977-78, he wrote and got a bill passed through Congress, giving new benefits for widows and orphans of disabled veterans who die.

In 2013, he was named the National Outstanding Disabled Veteran of the Year by the Disabled American Veterans organization.

Dr. Todd will speak about his life experiences.

Dr. Scott Kramer, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Feb 07, 2022
Protecting our food supply and our planet

Dr. Scott Kramer, a graduate of Cornell University and Michigan State University, is currently employed as a Veterinary Medical Officer with the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Previously, he worked as a Public Health Veterinarian and a Swine Veterinarian; spent time in Uganada with Veterinarians Without Borders and the International Livestock Research Institute; and consulted with the Food and Agriculture Organation in Rome, focusing on African swine fever. He contributes swine technical bulletins to the "MSU Pork Quarterly" and guest lectures at the University. 

Dr. Kramer has always had a personal passion for pigs (he has even been quoted as saying "I never met a pig I didn't like") and is extremely grateful for the many experiences and opportunities his career has afforded him. He is a volunteer speaker for the National Pork Board Speakers Bureau.

Dr. Kramer will speak about the protection of our food supply and our planet. He will review COVID-19's impact on the food supply chain, explain how farmers have been able to provide an incredible amount of protein in the midst of the biggest supply chain disruption we've ever experience, and describe how science-based advancements in agricultural technology have helped farmers reduce their carbon footprint.

 

Mike Palmer, Owner of Premier Pet Supply Feb 14, 2022
Premier Pet Supply
Premier Pet Supply is a family-owned business that was opened in July 1992 by Ray Hesano. In 1994, fresh out of high school, his nephew Mike Palmer began working full-time there while taking business courses in college. After completing an associates in business, Mike took on a bigger role in the day-to-day operations of the store.  It wasn't very long before the store became a staple in the community of Beverly Hills.
 
Now at nine locations and growing, Premier Pet Supply has become one of the highest volume independent pet supply groups in the Midwest. In 2016, Premier Pet Supply expanded its reach in metro Detroit by opening three locations. He has since added five additional locations with plans for more. The highlight of those openings will be a location in downtown Detroit. Premier Pet Supply is excited to be a part of the resurgence that the downtown area is experiencing. Premier Pet Supply has been very fortunate in earning 'Best Pet Supply Store' in all of metro Detroit in several publications over the past 15 years.
 
Mike has been involved in numerous community events, and speaks at schools on a regular basis. Mike has also been a guest on several radio, podcast, and television shows. He has been featured on both WDIV and Fox 2 News Detroit on several occasions to discuss helpful tips on pet health and nutrition. His business model and expert customer service has been mentioned in the book "Startup Nation: America's Leading Entrepreneurial Experts Reveal the Secrets to Building a Blockbuster Business." In 2012 Mike was honored to have been named by Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson as one of the county's 40 Elite Executives under 40.
Josh Hauxhurst, Assistant Special Agent in Charge Feb 21, 2022
Overview of the Federal Bureau of Investigation

Josh Hauxhurst began his career with the FBI as a Special Agent in April 2006. After completing Special Agent training, he was assigned to the Detroit Field Office, working with violent incident crime. In July 2013, Josh was promoted to the Flint Resident Agency, supervising criminal and national security programs.  In June 2016, he was once again promoted, this time to Assistant Inspector/Team Leader within the Office of Inspection. In July 2017, he assumed the role of a Supervisory Special Agent.

Josh came to the attention of the public when he spoke to the press about the alleged plot to kidnap Governor Whitmer in 2020: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWTLk47XDBY 

Prior to joining the FBI, Josh earned Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Criminal Justice from Tiffin University in Tiffin, Ohio.  After graduating from Tiffin University and before joining the FBI, Josh worked as a police officer and detective with the Geauga County (Ohio) Sheriff's Office and the Mentor (Ohio) Police Department from 1996 to 2006. Josh lives in Royal Oak with his wife and four daughters.

Jan Hrydziuszko Feb 28, 2022
Better Angels

Better Angels is a nonprofit organization based in New York City.

Better Angels Alliances are local groups of people who have attended a Braver Angels workshop, have become dues-paying members, and want to help unify America and promote better public policy. Alliances have red/blue co-chairs and prioritize having no more than a 60/40 split in red and blue membership. Here are some typical activities:

  • Sponsor workshops, skills training, and debates in their local community
  • Have in-depth discussions about public policy issues
  • Socialize with each other through potluck dinners, book clubs, etc.

Ms. Hrydziuszko will deliver a presentation specifically developed for Rotary Clubs, showing how Braver Angels' work is aligned with the Rotary Four-Way Test. An article about Braver Angels was featured in The Rotarian in May 2019: https://www.rotary.org/en/putting-civility-back-civil-discourse 

 

Danielle Todd Mar 07, 2022
How to Feed Bellies, Not Landfills

Danielle Todd is the founder and Executive Director of Make Food Not Waste. Founded in 2017, Make Food Not Waste operates a commercial kitchen in Detroit where it prepares 1000 meals each week from food that would otherwise be wasted, offers technical training to restaurants on how to prevent food from going to waste, and teaches home cooks how to make the most of their food. Danielle received an MBA from Wayne State University and a BA from University of Michigan. She lives in Birmingham with her husband and two children.

Col. Clifford Worthy Mar 14, 2022
The Black Knight: An African American's Journey from West Point - A Life of Duty, Honor, and Country

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Retired Col. Clifford Worthy, the great-grandson of slaves, was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and raised in Hamtramck, Michigan. He graduated from high school at 16 and enrolled at Wayne University. There he became interested in attending West Point. Congressman John Dingell, Sr., supported Worthy's nomination, and Worthy became one of the first African Americans to be accepted at West Point. He and fellow African American plebes received the nickname of "Black Knights."

Worthy graduated in 1953 and went on to serve as an officer in the U.S. Army from 1953 through 1975. He served as an Artillery officer in American posts, both in Germany during the Cold War and in Vietnam just after the Tet Offensive. He also served as Battalion Commander and Military Assistant to the Under Secretary of the Army. After his Army service, he worked for General Motors.

Worthy married his first wife Lillian in 1953. They had three children: Mark, who grew up with special needs; Kym, who is now Wayne County Prosecutor; and Jennifer, an artist. After Lillian's death, he requested duty in the Detroit area, so that his exteded family could help with Mark's care. Four years later, he met and married Mildred, a Maryland teacher. Currently, he lives in Bloomfield Hills.

In 2019, Worthy published his autobiography, called "The Black Knight." It recounts the story of his military career, his experience as an African American in the American military and American society during the 20th century, and the challenges he faced in raising a special needs child. 

 

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