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P.O. Box 48358, Bentall Centre
Vancouver, BC V7X 1A1
admin@rotaryvancouver.org 
www.rotaryvancouver.org
Vol. 103 No. 8
Gerry Glazier, President
Gabby Dickert, Secretary

NEXT MEETING SEPTEMBER 1, 2020
District Governor, Dave Hamilton
2020-21 District News 

Dave Hamilton, District 5040 Governor for 2020-21 will be providing us with information about the Districts priorities and goals for this very challenging year.

Dave is a 30-year member of the Rotary Club of Tsawwassen and a long-time leader within the district. His role as district governor brings the responsibility of leading 50 clubs and approximately 1,400 Rotarians. 

This year will be particularly challenging in the face of COVID-19. Dave will help lead District 5040 clubs in ensuring the safety of all of our members while continuing to offer connection and engagement with other like-minded individuals who want to make a difference in their community and beyond. 

Hamilton’s involvement in Rotary is a way of living up to one of his favourite quotes from Martin Luther King, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”

source: Delta Optimist, July 14, 2020

 

UPCOMING MEETING SEPTEMBER 8, 2020
speaker tba 

 

Meeting attendance

In-person attendance:
We are able to safely accommodate up to 20 people in-person at the Open Outcry Restaurant, 811 W Pender St. If you would like to attend in-person please register with Carolyn, admin@rotaryvancouver.org.
 
The technology is set up there for the combined in-person and ZOOM attendees. You do not need to bring your own laptop but of course are welcome to. You are asked to order lunch off of the restaurant menu and take care of the charges before you leave.
 
ZOOM meeting guests:
If you know of guests, or would like to invite guests to our ZOOM meetings, please let Carolyn know in advance, admin@rotaryvancouver.org.
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Virtual Whale Watching?
Keith Phillips has made this a possibility!

 

"Watching whales all day everyday is what we do but sometimes we forget that for most people, seeing these majestic animals in their natural habitat is a dream. Given the travel limitations currently in place and considering that there are many people who live with varying physical, intellectual, sensory and learning disabilities, going whale watching can be farther out of reach.

Yesterday [July 22, 2020] we shared a virtual whale watch with over 40 camp participants through Easter Seals BC/Yukon - the honest interest and elation on the participants’ faces was a warm reminder for us that sharing the wonder of the West Coast with guests (whether in person or virtually) is a special job to have.

This event was made possible by @media1inc @moysutherland and @PowerToBeAdventureTherapy. Thank you Easter Seals BC/Yukon for the work you do and for including us in your virtual camps. We can’t wait to do more of these very soon!"

Check out these links to read more:

  • CBC News, Virtual whale watching serves as pandemic stand-in for the real thing
    Aug 15, 2020, CLICK HERE TO READ and access the full audio interview
     
  • Vancouver Island Free Daily article, West Coast company brings virtual whale watching experience to youth with disabilities, Nora O'Malley, Aug. 9, 2020,
    CLICK HERE TO READ

Thank you Keith for bringing Easter Seals to the attention of our Club and for your tremendous support!

________________________________________________________________________

Join us in rappelling down a skyscraper in Easter Seals Drop Zone Event!

You can make a difference in the lives of children, youth and adults living with diverse abilities.

 
Let’s Take the Leap Together!
 
The Rotary Club of Vancouver is forming a team to participate in Easter Seals Drop Zone event on September 10th and we would like YOU to join us! Let’s take the challenge together and rappel down the outside of Guinness Tower in downtown Vancouver - all in support of persons with diverse abilities, one of the most vulnerable groups of COVID-19. If ever there was a time to do it, this is it! 2020 could be the year that we lived through a global pandemic and rappelled down a skyscraper!
 
Contact Parisa Adrangi for information, who is going to be participating and would love to have a team of Rotarians join her.
 
No-Contact Event
 
This is a great no-contact Easter Seals event you can still participate in during the COVID-19 pandemic. Challenge yourself in this high energy event by stepping outside your comfort zone, exploring your potential and rappelling down the outside of a skyscraper. 
 
Who You Help
 
By participating in Drop Zone 2020, you're helping raise funds to support Easter Seals programs and services that children and adults with disabilities from the Surrey community are able to experience, such as with Easter Seals summer camps. “Caitlin attended Easter Seals camp every summer and the pandemic shut down has been hard on her” explained her mother Anita.  “But this virtual version, has reconnected her to camp, renewed friendships and changed her life in a great way again” says Anita.
 
Register as an Individual or a Team
 
For more event information and to register yourself or a team, visit www.dropzonebc.ca
________________________________________________________________________
B.C.’s Human Rights Commissioner Kasari Govender is embarking on a virtual tour of the province and the Metro Vancouver Region is coming up next month!
 
Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020 2:30-4:30pm
via Zoom
 
For info and registration please CLICK HERE
The Memory Project is looking for speakers who have service experience with the Canadian Armed Forces to chat with classrooms and Canadians across the country via video call.
 
Join them today and connect with Canadians across the country, CLICK HERE for info.
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LAST CHANCE TO GET THE EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT
REGISTER BY AUGUST 31ST

 
The 2021 District Conference is shaping up to be a great and unique program for our members. Check out the conference site for the latest information.
 
Watch the trailer, CLICK HERE
 
It's not too early to register for next year's 2021 District conference.
Until August 31, 2020 there is a special early bird rate of $325 + GST. 
Register now to lock in your reduced rate.
 
Prizes will be awarded to Early Bird registrants.
Register now to qualify and lock in your reduced rate!
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Upcoming Events
CONTACT COMMITTEE CHAIRS FOR UPCOMING DATES
please click on the titles for more info for specific events
RCoV Speakers Committee meeting
virtual ZOOM meeting
Sep 08, 2020
6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
 
Youth Service Committee meeting (email youth@rotaryvancouver.org for meeting invite)
virtual ZOOM meeting
Sep 15, 2020
 
Youth Service Committee meeting (contact youth@rotaryvancouver.org)
Sep 15, 2020
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
 
International Service Committee meeting (email international@rotaryvancouver.org for meeting invite)
virtual ZOOM meeting
Sep 17, 2020 7:30 PM
 
Food on the Corner
Sep 19, 2020 11:00 AM
 
RCoV Speakers Committee meeting
virtual ZOOM meeting
Sep 22, 2020
6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
 
Investment Club (contact Chair for updates on meeting dates)
Sep 24, 2020 6:00 PM
 
Membership Committee Meeting (email membership@rotaryvancouver.org for meeting invite)
virtual ZOOM meeting
Sep 29, 2020 8:30 AM
 
RCoV Speakers Committee meeting
virtual ZOOM meeting
Oct 06, 2020
6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
 
View entire list

MEMBERSHIP MATTERS

Welcome to the following newest RCoV members
 
Due notice having been given; the following individual member has been declared elected as a member of the Club.
 
Mekdes Gete
Early Childhood Education

 
Proposer & Sponsor:
Parisa Adrangi
 
 
Transferring Rotarian from Toronto, Eglinton:
 
Juliette Wong
 
Juliette has been a regular visitor at our club for a number of years. Now she joins us for good!
 
To both Mekdes & Juliette, welcome to our family!
 
 
 
Sandra Lowe Aug 27th
 
Bill Dauphinee Aug 29th
 
Carolyn Dueck Aug 29th
 
at our Club
 
none this week
wedding
 
Ryan Crean & Jennifer Kauppila
11 years Aug 29th
 
Adrian Mastracci & Candace Hartman
23 years Aug 31st

Last Meeting August 25, 2020

Gerry Glazier, President, chaired the meeting and gave the invocation.
Thomas Reppchen hosted the meeting via ZOOM.
Miya Otake played O Canada on the harp.
 
President’s Announcements:
  • Welcome to our guests, new and returning
  • Thanks to Franz and Nadja for organizing today’s in-person meeting location at the Open Outcry restaurant. Accommodates up to 20 people. If you are interested in attending in-person register with Carolyn.
Gabby Dickert, Secretary, provided the Secretary's announcements:
  • reminders of upcoming events/meetings (see above)
  • birthdays: Angela Pan Aug 19th, Charlene McDonald Aug 23rd, Tremayne Perry Aug 24th      
  • member club anniversaries:  Kendall Jessiman 9 years 
  • wedding anniversaries: Wilf & Barbara Wassersleben 50 years Aug 22nd 
 
Special announcements & members' moments:
  • Parisa Adrangi invited other Rotarians to join her in supporting Easter Seals by rappelling down a building in September. See above for details. Easter Seals is an organization that our Club has supported on a number of levels recently and are very proud of the association.
     
Program:
Gerry Glazier introduced today’s speaker, Amrit Sandhu, General Manager of the Marriott Pinnacle Hotel in Downtown Vancouver.
 
Question: How has the last 6 months or so transformed the hospitality, in particular the hotel industry?
 
Looking back a bit, 2019 was a banner year for hospitality and hotels in Vancouver. The best year in recent memory! Following that 2020 was off to a great start. Amrit remembers that it was Friday March 13th in the evening, as he was preparing to leave work for the day when the phone started ringing off the hook. An associate that had worked at his hotel had tested positive for COVID-19. As they dealt with the onslaught of interest, it became very apparent that they needed to be decisive and move immediately to implement precautionary steps.
 
They closed the restaurant immediately, even though the person in question had not worked there for some time. The health and safety of their current staff was paramount. During the next day and next few weeks they received a tsunami of booking cancellations. Given their priority of ensuring everyone’s safety, there was no question… they needed to honour every request to cancel.
 
When the borders shut down, an occupancy rate of 80-85% dropped to barely a handful of rooms booked. It begged the question: should we stay open? Most hotels in downtown Vancouver, closed. Marriott stayed open primarily at the time to accommodate the airline crew that routinely used them. These working individuals needed accommodation. They kept on very minimal staffing to cover them.
 
In April there was barely 3% occupancy. It was the most impacted month, when no one really knew what was happening or how to deal with it. To put the trend in perspective – last weekend close to 350 rooms booked (out of a total of 432 rooms and 6 suites).
 
The important aspect to this whole situations is how to manage the people. They went from a team of 256 to just under 50 actively working. A lot of them with more than 10-20 years working with Marriott.
 
They made sure to stay in contact with all of their employees to keep all of them informed of changes. As things progressed, the subsidies that government put in place and really made a difference to help employees. Marriott as a corporation also made sure that all health benefits were kept whole for the duration. For those who stayed working, they worked on a shared basis to get as many people as possible working, e.g., a reduced 3 day work week.
 
As they went through May and June, occupancy increased. Marriott put a lot of resources to ensure sanitization protocols have been met. They closed what they could so they could ensure that the on the whole it was, and is, the safest place possible, e.g., gym, restaurant, etc.
 
Some safety protocol examples: employees will not go into the room while the client is there to ensure minimal contact, they installed plexiglass shields, use PPE where they can, take temp checks for all staff at the start of every shift, they staggered the schedule, social distancing is being maintained in all areas, and masks are worn in all common areas by everyone.
 
The hotel’s Showcase Restaurant and Bar is open now with distancing, mask wearing, etc. Its business is picking up as more people are returning to their office locations downtown.
 
Traditionally a lot of their clients are international, this can’t be the case now. The question now is:  how do we drive the business? The focus is primarily local drive traffic. Staycations, staying a weekend away from home, etc. Occupancy is a little north of 20% now, is better than it was and is steadily improving.
 
All conventions have been cancelled. Cruise ships are not operating. Until some of those long-term events are able to start up again, they have to focus on small meetings, local travellers, etc.
Any groups who have used the Marriott have been very complimentary of the level of safety and precautions in place. Only true way for businesses to come back to build the trust that it’s safe to frequent the locations. It is being shown that they are starting to gain the confidence back from travellers.
 
The next few months are crucial. Everyone is looking for some good news regarding vaccines, etc. A lot of the government programs will be trailing off, so there is a risk. It’s possible that the economic recovery will be delayed even further; as the regular seasonal flu comes around it will get confused with COVID and cause more unrest and distrust.
 
Travel is an innate human need. Next year will most likely be better.  Though cautious in the short term to be sure that they continue to inspire trust.
 
 
Q&A:
  • Gordon Esau, took a 3-week holiday in BC this summer. Stayed at Marriotts, was impressed. In an aggregate for Canada this could be a plus – Canada has a significant deficit, more money spent outside Canada. If we use this as an opportunity to encourage travel within Canada may be a boon for our own tourism industry.
  • : Canadians are known to be travellers the world over. Economically we’ll see how this plays out. Currently primarily Canadians within Canada. At the hotel level, watch the currency fluctuations. US & Asian travellers spend more per night vs locals. A lot of the smaller towns are already seeing the uptake. E.g., Kelowna will see occupancy of over 90% this month. In bigger cities, American travellers make the big difference to the bottom line. Time will tell if there is enough travel to sustain the businesses. This is true for all surrounding businesses too as they are all linked.
     
  • Milton Kiang, presuming Canadians have disposable income to travel. People are still relying on government handouts, so travel is a challenge financially.
    Amrit: Business is not going to go back to where it was for a long time. Are trying to promote to other markets. Absolutely the next few months will be crucial.
     
  • Stu Bird, in Hawaii the business is down 90%. No tourism allowed there. Everyone who is looking for a staycation works for the tourism industry. Anyone coming in is usually Friday, Saturday stays only. Anyone coming into the islands must isolate for 14 days. Is your hotel used for isolation?
    Amrit: Not usually, staying in the hotel for 14 days is cost prohibitive. Less expensive options are used. Looking to only break even for now. Other part to stay alive is a zealous control of cost management. A lot of vendors have been flexible to help manage these costs through this difficult time.
     
  • Jim Evans, it has been noted that in southern countries that are already facing seasonal flu, that there has been a significant reduction in the spread. Perhaps because of the training received via COVID, masks, gloves, sanitization. Some good news perhaps.
     
  • Verona Edelstein, congrats on the care given to staff. Looking forward 6-9 months, do you think most employees will be back to work?
    Amrit: What has helped is the federal government’s wage subsidy program. The program runs to the end of the year but trails off moving towards the end of the year. As soon as a greater recovery moves into play, more people will be brought back. No way to predict the time line though.
     
  • Michael Woolnough, how much freedom did hotel managers have in setting up the program to deal with COVID?
    Amrit: There are a few Marriotts in Vancouver, they have a weekly general manager call to discuss issues and solutions. Marriott headquarters brought in the best of the best to help direct actions. Learning from each other every day.
     
  • William Brunke, did company execs have specific directives or is it left to the managers?
    Amrit: Anything that is essential to have in place across all locations, e.g., all the guests are expected to wear masks, sanitization standards, temperature checks of staff, etc. were directives from head office. The application of these standards is up to the hotel manager based on their individual business volumes. In the U.S., particularly in hotspots, services remain closed. Not so much here.
 
 
Meeting adjourned with a toast to Food on the Corner.
 

August 28, 2020

ROTARY OPENS OPPORTUNITIES

Gerry Glazier, President
admin@rotaryvancouver.org   Gabby Dickert, Secretary