North Notes
Spokane North Rotary Club Bulletin
January 31, 2022
            Feb. 7: Rotary lunch, noon at The Bark: Club governance discussion (see below).
            Feb. 14: (No lunch.)  Valentine holiday potluck, starting at 5:30 p.m. at Michelle Fossum’s house.
            Feb. 21: No lunch – Presidents Day federal holiday.
            Feb. 28: Rotary lunch, noon at The Bark.  Classification talks: Colin Prestesater and Melinda Keberle.
Happy Buck$:
            Sandy Fink, $2 in honor of Scott McQuilken named Whitworth University President.  Scott, previously named Interim President at Whitworth, was club president in 2002-03.
            Bill Simer, $2 to celebrate former EWU players Cooper Kupp, slot receiver of the LA Rams, and Nnamka Samson Ebukam, linebacker of the 49ers, who competed in the NFL National Conference championship game. Kupp scored two touchdowns in the Ram’s win.
            Colin Prestesater in honor of his wife, Kelsey, joining the Cooney Law Firm, an associate of Steve Bergman, our club’s immediate past president.
            Melinda Keberle to celebrate that she and son Landen are finally healthy after a bout of Covid.
            Responses needed from all club members
        Club President Lenore Romney will lead a “club governance” session at the Feb. 7 luncheon to discuss ideas on organization and duties.  “It’s time to get creative,” Lenore said.  “We still need a new president for the next Rotary Year (which starts July 1).”
            “We want to hear from every member,” she said, adding that those who cannot attend next Monday will receive an e-mail or phone call.  “It’s too important not to deal now with these club issues,” she said.
Holiday potluck scheduled
            A wine tasting and potluck supper is planned Monday, Feb. 14 at the home of Michelle and Terry Fossum.  Members and spouses are invited and the dinner is in place of the usual Monday lunch.  The club’s holiday dinner Dec. 6 was postponed by several inches of snow and next month’s Valentine gathering provided a timely alternative.  Please contact Michelle if you would like to attend.
John and Bill show class in talks
            Club members John Mailliard and Bill Simer shared their travels and varied career paths in their classification talks Jan. 31.
            Mailliard was born in Long Beach, Calif., and grew up in the Burbank area.
            John, using a bagful of props, talked about his U.S. Marine Corps life as “a back seater” in a sleek Marine Phantom F-2 jet, including 373 combat missions in Vietnam.
            He said the Phantom soars up to “22 miles a minute,” often flying 450 knots just 100 feet above the landscape.  He said some back-seat assignments also meant sitting in the injection seat for up to 5 hours.  He noted the cramped quarters did not include a lavatory.
            Mailliard showed small anchor pins and other decorations on his Marine ball cap.
            After his service time, John briefly worked at a savings and loan bank in Beverly Hills, noting that Jack Benny often walked by passed a nearby haberdashery.
            Another career beckoned as John joined the FBI in 1972, working in several assignments in Oregon, Virginia and California bureaus until he was moved to Pocatello, Idaho, to help organize computerizing the agency.
            John has been in Spokane 7 years with family here.  His dad had been a Rotarian and John went to a few club luncheons until another member asked if he wanted to join.  “Sure,” John said, “sometimes you just have to ask.”  
            Bill Simer, our club treasurer, said he was born and grew up in “a working class neighborhood” of northeast Spokane.  His sister, 7 years older, helped Bill read and write, he said.
            “My neighborhood was a cool place.  We often played baseball in the street,” he recalled.
            Bill said his father and mother met in the service in England.  Bill’s dad ran the Ace Auto shop downtown, which led him to a life-long passion for cars and motorcycles, especially auto racing. 
            When his dad was killed in an automotive accident, Bill said, his mom “didn’t even drive.  But she was a good seamstress and the Bon Marche department store hired her.”
            Then the Bon (later Macy’s) hired Bill.  He also worked as a driver for the Spokane Daily Chronicle.
            At Rogers High School, Bill said he did not want to go to college, but he later changed his mind and focused on Evergreen in Olympia or WSU in Pullman.
            After a year and a half, Bill said, “his choices were to buy beer or books,” and his grades suffered.  But Bill came back to WSU and asked each classroom teacher if he could try again.  Only one teacher said no, Bill said.  
            When someone suggested an accounting class, Bill said “it was simple” and his path went to jobs at Coopers and Lybrand, then to American Sign and Indicator, a national developer of electronic time and temperature signs.
            One of the proprietors, Luke Williams, “took me under his wing.  He was a great mentor,” Bill said. 
            When AS&I was sold to a San Francisco firm, and a long 2-year commute ensued.  But Luke Williams organized another firm in Spokane and named Bill as chief financial officer.
            Bill then moved to the McDirmid , Mikkelsen & Secrest CPAs which merged with Eide Bailly, where Bill stayed until retirement last year.
            He has been active in a number of organizations, including leadership roles in the Fox Theater, Spokane Symphony, Centennial Trail, Animal Sanctuary and Innovia Foundation.
            Former Rotary North member Mark Lang asked Bill to join our club in 1996 and Bill has served as treasurer three times.
Bulletin editors: Chuck Rehberg and Sandy Fink