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Rotary Happenings: ‘Classification Talks’ highlight of Rotary meeting

By Staff | Nov 8, 2017

About a month ago, Sanibel-Captiva Rotary Club President Holli Martin introduced a new featured part of our monthly club assemblies, classification talks.

RI Classification Talks “A great way to share information about your vocation is to give a classification talk or presentation at a club meeting. When a lawyer named Paul Harris, a coal dealer, a mining engineer, and a merchant tailor first met in 1905 in Chicago, they gave birth to Rotary and, by the nature of their diverse occupations, to the association’s most distinctive feature the classification principle. Today, the classification principle, though modified, remains a cornerstone of Rotary. Upon joining Rotary, you are lent a classification by the Board of Directors to reflect your occupation or primary source of income. By limiting active membership by classifications, each club becomes a cross-section of the business and professional life of the community it serves. Also, the classification principle makes sure that no one profession or business becomes the dominant force within the club. Another benefit of the classification system is that representatives of many fields are brought together, providing the opportunity for Rotarians to broaden their knowledge of the contemporary workplace. This, in turn, enables Rotarians to fulfill one of the basic obligations of vocational service recognizing the worthiness to society of all useful occupations.”

So here are some notes from our classification speakers this month:

John Schwandke classification – radio broadcaster/ former owner of radio station KWPC, Muscatine, Iowa and radio station KWCC.

John told us that he didn’t choose radio broadcasting as a career, but that radio broadcasting chose him. He was having lunch at the local lunch counter in Muscatine and the manager of the local radio station KWPC sat next to him. They started talking and the fellow asked him what kind of work did he do. John told him he was unemployed. The guy asked if he wanted a job as the afternoon DJ for his radio station, no experience necessary. John took the job. He expanded his position at the station over the years to news reporting, news writing, and writing radio commercials for advertisers of the station.

John said, “I was having fun.”

He went on to sales and moved on up to station sales manager. John built up the revenue of the station. So much so, I guess that the station was sold to an out-of-state owner. They were going to change things up, cut staff. John could see the writing on the wall. His income was going to drop. He left the station and went on to become a sales manager in St. Cloud, Minn.

After about 10 years, KWPC was having financial difficulties and in dire straits. They called John up and asked, “Do you want to buy KWPC? If so, you have 72 hours to do it or the station will lose its license.” He really didn’t have the money to buy the station, but with a few phone calls and a lot of faith; he took on the challenge and bought the station. To make it a success again, he knew he would have to have a great sales staff. While going through the radio licensing procedures, he hires five radio sales people and trained them for five weeks before taking over the station. He told them they had 90 days to make the station profitable again. They did. Two years later John bought another radio station and in 2000 sold both stations when presented an unsolicited offer. Same thing happened again, new owner, changing up things, cutting staff. They called up John and his advice hire great sales people, do some live programming your audience likes local stuff.

Carlton Anderson classification futures management/retired Cargill Inc. Carlton told us that, “Trading in the Futures market is an exciting career.”

When Carlton first started in his position as a futures trader on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange/ Chicago Broad of Trade a commodity market place, business was primarily conducted on trading floors in sectioned off areas called trading pits. Traders shouted and waved their arms around for attention activating commodity orders. The pits were an exciting place to do business, the pace was fast and furious. Today those pits are primarily closed, and trading is done digitally.

Anderson traded in grain, cash grain, grain futures and peanuts futures. No day was the same when trading commodities. Keeping mentally nibble on what was going on in the market place, variables in pricing and cost, weather conditions, and a plethora of other factors that were predictors of commodity futures. That was some job.

Sanibel-Captiva Rotary meets at 7 a.m., Friday mornings at the Dunes Golf & Tennis Club. Guests welcomed.