Installation of Board of Directors and Announcement of 2015 Quotarian of the Year!


Quota International of Grand Rapids announces the installation of the following Quotarians to the Board of Directors for the 2015/16 fiscal year

President                     Martha Herman, Empowered Consulting, LLC

Vice President            Pam Howland, Retired

Treasurer                     Maureen Martin, Home Repair Services

Directors –                  Sandi Aten, Retired

Kathleen Freeman, Hope Network

Rachael Owsinski, Fifth Third Bank

The Club also announces that Maureen Martin has been selected as the 2015 Grand Rapids Quotarian of the Year! This award is given annually to a local Quotarian who exemplifies the standards of Quota International and the organization’s motto, “We Share.” Maureen has been a member of Quota since 1981, currently serves as Treasurer and has also served as President, District Governor and in other leadership roles during her long tenure with the Club. Her dedication, experience and “voice of reason” continues to help guide the club as we move forward into the future.

Congratulations to Maureen and the newly installed Board of Directors.

President’s Message, January, 2015

There are so many wishes for a new year, so many resolutions, so many promises. Perhaps these wishes, wants and dreams can be realized if we take them in smaller doses. Maybe by weeks or months, but years seem too long to keep focused.

Let’s challenge each other to keep our promise to Quota by the week and month. At each of our initiations, we were asked to uphold the principles of Quota. Have you? I don’t think you need a reminder of what they are. You know in your heart. You know in your actions. You know because you make a difference.

By the week….Support each other in their personal projects. Some of you want more involvement in the community. Some of you want to support our mission in different ways. Some of you want to stay in the background. Let’s support each other in all that we do, collectively.

By the month….Support Quota by attending the meetings, giving feedback, giving positive refreshment to the Club.

This month you will be presented with options for our Club to move forward. I would like you to think seriously about what and how you would like to proceed. We need to think about our focus, our promises and our future.

Don’t dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding an answer. – Denis Waitley

Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things … and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths. – Walt Disney


Pediatric hearing loss and cochlear implants

Please join us on Thursday evening, November 20,at Sunnybrook Country Club  for our monthly membership meeting. Networking with a cash bar begins at 5:30 and our meeting with dinner begins at 6:00. Our presenter that evening will be Kirsten Kramer. She is an audiologist from Spectrum Health and Kirsten will share with us what she does at Spectrum, how they work with pediatric patients and update us on what is currently happening in the field of cochlear implants. Guests are welcome!

August 2014 Meeting minutes

All the excitement from the Duck Walk led to a delay in posting our minutes from August. Have no fear, here they are! A huge thank you to Cathy for doing such a fabulous job.

Quota International of Grand Rapids Membership Meeting

Sunnybrook Country Club, Grandville, MI

August 21, 2014


Present: Barbara Griffin, Martha Herman, Pam Howland, Cathy Kaiser, Robin Keith, Maureen Martin, Rachael Owsinski, Kim Savoie, Sue Scharf, Emily Uebbing.

10 members and 4 guests attended.

1. Call to order: 6:00 pm by President Martha Herman. Quota Collect

2. Consent Agenda: July meeting minutes were approved as sent. Robin was awarded a prize for uncovering the false line in the minutes. (Sorry – no fundraiser for the Australia Convention).

Martha announced the updated Finance & Fundraising Chairperson’s job description. It was determined that membership does not need to approve this. It will be finalized at the next Board Meeting.

Travel raffle: All agreed to follow Emily’s suggestion and designate travel raffle funds for World Service projects. This will be implemented beginning with the 2015 -16 budget year. Travel raffle netted $22 and the gift was won by Jeannette Johnson, an edible treat brought back from convention by Kim and Emily.

3. Recognition of Guests: Jeannette Johnson, the new DHHS Development Director, with her interpreter Roberta Schultz, Kenzee Daniels, guest of Rachael Owsinski, and Kathie McFarlin, guest of Martha Herman.

4. Leaders Survey: Conducted by QI before convention, the survey revealed interesting facts about Quota worldwide, including: The average number of years of membership is between 10 and 19 years; average size of the clubs is 16-25; average age 51-64. The synopsis is attached. If you would like the complete results, contact Martha or Robin.

5. DHHS and collaboration: We will be collaborating with DHHS and other agencies to enhance fundraising efforts. On August 23, guests had the opportunity to duck tape Jeannette Johnson to the wall. Join the DHHS Fundraiser at Logan’s Road House on Alpine, Wednesday, September 3, 5 – 9 pm. Cathy will buy drinks for any Quotarian who arrives after 6 pm. On September 25 at 7:30 “No Ordinary Hero” will be playing at Celebration Cinema at Rivertown.

More to come! See the attachments.

6. Duck Walk update: Martha sent and passed around the sign up list of duties the day of the event. Sign up! Meijer Hearing Centers want to participate. They want to provide a sponsorship for the walk. A hearing screening booth will be available at the walk. Martha is coordinating the purchase of “Quota Blue” t-shirts that all members can purchase to wear at the Duck Walk and other events. Cost is $9.00. She will send the ordering/size information. A new duck costume will be ordered for Bruce Savoie, our duck mascot. Robin provided Duck Walk brochures/pledge form for all to recruit walkers. She also e-sent the brochure with electronic donation connection ( to all Quota members, last year’s walkers, celebration attendees, Quota alumni, and shopping event vendors. Cathy will send brochures to anyone without an email address. We have received our first $250 sponsorship plus a $100 donation from Peggy Frank, Audiologist from Newaygo. Barbara Griffin has also sponsored the Walk from her team. Martha sent information about the Duck Walk to 43 hearing centers and audiologists.

7. Barnes & Noble update: Pam announced that Lisa Braendle is Co-Chair and anxious for a Quota member to step up and Co-Chair with her at this fun event. The book sale is Nov. 8 at Woodland Mall, the same day that Santa arrives there. We will have crafts for kids, guest authors and more!

8. Daytime tours of Ken-O-Sha: Sandi is coordinating a visit to the GROD school. Watch for details of this school-time event.

9. Guest Speaker: Jeannette Johnson, Director of Development, DHHS.

Jeannette delivered a very interesting overview of DHHS services and deaf culture, with the assistance of her interpreter, Roberta. DHHS was established in 1996 and has grown to provide services for 3,000 individuals, with an annual budget of $750,000. Their biggest service is providing interpreters within a 15 county area; 250 jobs per month. DHHS has an ADAPT program for senior citizens. DHHS offers ASL sign language classes. ASL is the official language of deaf in this country, originating in the 1960’s through Gallaudet. DHHS also offers a kids sign program to provide socialization and deaf role models for young people. They also held summer camp for 40 kids this year. Any organization can request cultural and sensitivity training. Anyone can stop into DHHS Monday – Friday, 9am – 4pm. Deaf see the world through their eyes – they are very visual and tend to be blunt. Look at the deaf person when you speak – not at the interpreter. For more information contact Jeannette:

Martha adjourned the meeting at 7:15pm.

Respectfully Submitted,

Cathy Kaiser, Recording Secretary



Leaders Survey 2014

Quota International sent out a survey to 242 Club Presidents and 20 Regional Directors. 52% were returned and here is a synopsis of its results.

  • There are 68 clubs in the U.S., 44 in Australia, 7 in Canada, 6 in the Philippines, 3 in New Zealand, 2 in Aruba and India, and one each in Curacao, Suriname and The Netherlands
  • In our region, there were 4 respondents.
  • The average number of years of membership is between 10 and 19 years.
  • Most members have served as Presidents for 2 years.
  • Average size of the clubs is 16-25; average age 51-64.
  • 100% of the clubs serve Disadvantaged Women and Children; 94% serve the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and 72% provide World Service
  • There are several pages depicting the primary focus of each club.

I found the statistics to be quite interesting. Lots of ideas and projects were given in the comments and goals sections.

Catching up *Update*

Check out an update at the bottom of this post!

Last week, the weather was terrible.

Wait. Last week, or all winter long?

All winter, but last week for our Quota meeting the weather was particularly bad. There were accidents on the roads, rain was freezing, and there were some pretty big puddles out there.

We still had our meeting. We stuffed bags for Sisters in Support. We stuffed thirty-three bags! We had so many donations, the bags were filled to the brim with toiletries, chocolates and even books!

Stuffing bags

We had a great time decorating the bags.

We also got to enjoy some delicious chocolates.

I also want to point out that five Quotarians have commented on the last few blog posts! This makes me very happy to see interaction. Please keep it up. We try to keep up with what’s going on in the club. If you have something to share, email me (Emily). If you miss a meeting or an event, come here to see what happened. Thank you for your support and thank you to all of those who helped us last Thursday give something to women who have very little. We make a difference!


Stephanie, from Sisters in Support, came to pick up the Valentine gift bags (Feb. 28th) we put together for them. She was so excited.  She thought they were lovely.  What a special treat, too!  The women don’t often get something special just for them.

Also, she wanted us to know that they have been chosen as a charity to benefit from the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon.  She was excited to spread the word.  Check it out here.

October 2013 President’s Message

In August, we had a Special Guest at our Membership Meeting–District 20 Yvonne Babe. In 2014, District 20 will become Region 4, and Yvonne will be the first Region 4 Director.

Quota International is a dynamic group with years of history behind us, and also a great future in front of us. Barbara Schreiber is the new Executive Director of Quota International and is a forward thinking leader.

Quota International President Laura Layman and President Elect/Treasurer Karen Murphy will both be at the Central Area Meeting in Kenosha WI on October 11-13 to expand on the impactful service projects of Quota. Karen Murphy will visit Grand Rapids on Thursday, October 10. Call Kim at 616-443-6138 for information.

Mark Your Calendars for these fun times: International Convention from July 18-21, 2014 in Cincinnati, OH, and the District 20 Conference from May 16-18, 2014, in Port Huron at the Hilton Double Tree Inn.

Yvonne, and Lisa Kent, the President Elect of the Region, put together The Leap Pad, District 20’s newsletter , sent every two months, sharing what is happening in our District. Recent items include: Quota Cares Walk to End Silence: Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo on Sept. 15; Trivia Night in Flint Sept 21 and Iosco County Sept 28; Festival of Cakes in November in Traverse City visit; Younkers Community Days in Traverse City on Nov 15-16; and Port Huron sponsored a Fishing Tournament that netted $10,000.
These are Quota Stats: worldwide members: 5,514, District 20: 179 members, Flint: 35, Grand Rapids: 30, Kalamazoo: 15, Iosco County: 51, Port Huron: 37, & Traverse City: 11.

Yvonne encouraged us to “rev up” our club with these actions:

  • Spice up our service or fund raising projects. Here are some examples from other clubs:
  • Change projects every five years. (Netherlands)
  • Each year have a one-time project (Make comfort blankets for stroke patients)
  • Build a hearing exhibit at the Children’s Museum
  • Sponsor a Tennis Tournament
  • Create a more flexible and simplified club structure. Look at our mission statement and see if it can be simplified. Some examples of simplification include:
    • Simplify operations, such as one meeting a month, as Grand Rapids has done.
    • Reduce the size of the Board to make meetings easier.
  • Make better use of technology. There are some cyber clubs that communicate over the internet and only meet for service or fundraisers.


March 2013 President’s Message

I’m excited about some upcoming events at Quota.

First, I’m looking forward to this month’s membership meeting. It’s Quota Cares Month and the Grand Rapids club has decided to provide gift bags to the clients of Sisters In Support through DA Blodgett Homes. Last year we had a fun time creating bags for Kids Food Basket and I think the Program/Hospitality Team has chosen well to continue our hands-on service at the regular membership meeting and they’ve identified a project that we can relate to and have fun with.

Even if you can’t contribute to the items we’re collecting, be sure to come to the meeting to help put together the gift bags. It’ll be a great time for a great cause!

I’m also looking forward to the District 20 Conference. For all we know, this will be the last District 20 Conference in history. Does that have significance? I think it does. The District Conferences help us to know that we are not isolated. That there are others outside of our community who feel the same way we do; who see the same needs in their community that we do, and who know that although they are just one, they can come together with others and make a difference.

The District Conference is in Traverse City this year. It’s a great way to meet new people and re-visit with those you haven’t seen in a while. And it’s a good way to recharge your batteries. The last time we were in Traverse City, they were great hosts, we had a good time and learned helpful tips to bring back to GR.

Sharing and Caring. That’s what Quota is all about. I’ll see you at these two events!