The Wheel for March 23, 2017

by | Mar 24, 2017 | Blog, The Wheel | 0 comments

The Wheel


Brian Connett-Nevada Department of Correction

Brian Connett

Brian Connett

Brian Connett is the Deputy Director for the Nevada Department of Corrections, with primary responsibility for Prison Industries which operates businesses within the prisons called Silver State Industries. For a time, Connett also was the Department’s Public Information Officer.

Connett has over 28 years of operations and management experience in the correctional industry field and more than 10 years’ experience on the Board of Directors of the National Correctional Industries Association.

Connett is passionate about his work with correctional industries and loves changing the lives of staff and inmate workers through their training and hard work.

Prior to joining the Nevada Department of Corrections, Connett spent almost 18 years with the State of Florida’s prison industry program in increasing capacities, responsibilities and positions.

Connett served as President of an investment and construction firm specializing in the purchase, development and sale of unimproved land for housing.

Connett holds a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing with a minor in Finance from the University of South Florida.

Deputy Director Connett moved to Nevada early in 2007 and resides in Las Vegas.

Message From The President

President David Thorson

President David Thorson

Dear Rotarians,
Given the topic of today’s speaker being about the incarceration system, I thought this was a good opportunity to remind us all of the incredibly important work our club does with our partners on a daily basis through our youth literacy programs.

You may recall from my first presentation as Club President that the State of Arizona actually uses 4th grade reading scores as their most accurate predictor of future prison bed requirements.

A few other sobering statistics about literacy:

  1. Of adults with low literacy skills, 43% live in poverty.
  2. Fully 70% of all prison inmates are in the two lowes levels of literacy proficiency.
  3. Estimated annual cost to taxpayers of problems associated with illiteracy is $20 Billion – (with a “B”!).
  4. The odds of lifelong literacy problems are very high if reading skills are not developed by 3rd or 4th grade.
  5. 85% of low-income students who attend high-poverty schools fail to reach proficient level in reading by 4th grade.

To quote Apollo 13 Astronauts –
“Houston, we have a problem!” – And how.

So today as we learn about how the State of Nevada addresses the result of this catastrophe, know that you and your financial contributions are directly focused on one of the root causes of the problem.

One more reason to be a proud Rotarian!

David Thorson
President 2016 -2017
Las Vegas Rotary Club

Member Highlights

Scribe – March 9, 2017

  • President David Thorson called the meeting to order.
  • Bob Fisher gave the invocation. Jennifer Lier, aka Marilyn Monroe led the club in singing the the National Anthem. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited and the Sergeant-at-Arms was 25 Club VP Erik Astramecki.
  • There were (2) International Rotarians, (1) Visiting Rotarian and (7) Guests of Rotarians were introduced.
  • The drawing began at $5,369.00 plus this week’s donations. The winner gets half the pot and half goes to the Las Vegas Rotary Foundation. Ticket Winner: Past President Jim Hunt who won $10! Lawry Bucks Winner: Anne Nounna.
  • Janice Lencke announced that Deb Granda is sponsoring the map at the car show and Bob Fisher is donating air time on Vegas Observations for the raffle. There are still opportunities to donate items to the swag bag.
  • Jennifer Lier, aka Marilyn Monroe sang “Happy Birthday” to Matt Nelson and then auctioned off a performance for $600 which will go into the LV Rotary Foundation.
  • President David Thorson presented Paul Harris Fellowships to Larry Tomsic
    (PHF+5), Bob Fisher (PHF+1), and Past President Randy Campanale (PHF+3).
  • Mike Warrington, a Rotarian from England gave a presentation on Rotary In Britain and Ireland (RIBI).
  • Katie Decker introduced teachers from Hollingsworth, Walter Long and Bracken Elementary Schools and announced that Bracken had received a national award for Magnet School of the Year.
  • Bill Stieren announced that there will be a tour of the Atomic Test Site on May 24, 2017. The event is free. You will need to fill out security forms in advance and bring a photo ID.
  • Deb Granda announced that District Conference is May 18-23, 2017 in Palm Springs. The hospitality theme is “Latin America.” Please let Deb know if you have any suggestions on how we can win best decorated suite.
  • Sarah Brown announced that the next Highway Clean Up is on March 25, 2017 at 8am.
  • Jerry Engel gave a heartfelt introduction for the speaker, Ben Lesser, a holocaust survivor. Ben was born a Jew in Poland in 1928 along with (7) other siblings. When the Nazis invaded, he and his family were relocated to a ghetto that was soon to
    be raided by the Nazis. His family escaped to Hungary, but they couldn’t escape the Nazis who invaded and relocated them to Auschwitz Labor camp where they experience unspeakable horrors. Ben was one of (2) survivors in his family and has
    written a book to remind people of the atrocities committed by the Nazis. “Living A Life That Matters: From Nazi Nightmare to American Dream,” was nominated for a 2015 Audie Award for best inspirational non-fiction audiobook.
  • President David Thorson presented the speaker with a Sole Power Award and adjourned
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