Welcome new member Dr. Luke Van Kirk

Welcome new member Dr. Luke Van Kirk

Michael Wehrenberg introduced him on Dec. 1. His cosponsor is Gary Whitaker.

Luke was born in St. Paul, Minn., and lived in New Orleans, La., and Olathe, Kan., when he was growing up, He attended Evangel University in Springfield, where friends and professors helped convince him that he should go to medical school. He also met his future wife, Denae, there.

Luke got his medical degree at Western University, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific in Pomona, Cal. He only applied to osteopathic schools because he wanted to learn how to manipulate spines and bodies. He initially wanted to go into emergency medicine but soon found he loved continuity of care and getting to know his patients. That made family medicine the most obvious choice for him.

Luke and Denae started dating just prior to medical school. The relationship became long distance since she was in nursing school in Springfield. He opted to do a rotation at Cox Family Medicine residency so he could be close to her.
Luke's residency at CoxHealth started in July 2012 and ended in June 2015. He planned at first to do a mix of ER work and outpatient family medicine. Soon, though, he found he really liked direct primary care (DPC) so he changed his focus. Luke opened his own DPC practice, Command Family Medicine, in Springfield on Dec. 1, 2015.

Luke and Denae have been married for six years and have two boys, Max, 3, and Jet, 11 months. Luke loves spending time with his family, working out, playing golf, and daydreaming about buying a Tesla.

Welcome new (former) member Jim Barber

Welcome new (former) member Jim Barber

Bob Hammerschmidt introduced him on Nov. 17.

Jim is chief operating officer for all three regions of the Mercy Health Foundation as well as vice president of Philanthropy for the Mercy Central Region.

Jim and his wife, Teresa (Trudy), moved to Springfield from Wichita in January 2014 as Jim became vice president of Philanthropy for Mercy’s Central Region.  Jim became a member of Southeast Rotary in February 2015.

Diagnosed with cancer in 2009, Trudy was well into her battle with cancer when the family moved to Springfield.  Although Mercy offered treatment options that originally yielded positive results, Trudy unfortunately lost her battle with cancer in February 2016, twenty-nine years after she and Jim were married.  Jim and Trudy have two sons, Blake and Brady.

After Trudy’s death, Jim received a serendipitous call from the Kansas City Medical Center recruiting him to head its philanthropic efforts.  Since their youngest son, Brady, was in the Kansas City area, Jim felt right about accepting the job.

Three months later, Mercy lost its head of philanthropy in St. Louis, so its management asked Jim if he liked his new job and inquired if he would like to come home in an expanded role.

Missing Springfield, Southeast Rotary and the wonderful mission of Mercy Health System, Jim jumped at the opportunity to return “home.”  Brady also lives in Springfield now and is considering a career in missions.

On the boards of Mercy Research Institute, the Berean Academy and the Catholic Care Center, Jim is also a member of the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy. 

Welcome new member Candice Reed

Welcome new member Candice Reed

Brandon Dake introduced her on Nov. 10. Her cosponsor is Mike Pruett.

Candice is a Springfield native and Kickapoo High School graduate. In elementary school, she aspired to be a meteorologist but her aspirations changed to fashion in junior high. She graduated from Missouri State University with a degree in Fashion Design and Merchandising.

She moved to Kansas City after college and was discovered by fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger. He offered her an internship in New York City but she declined. She then spent four years selling drugs as a vaccine sales rep for GlaxoSmithKline.

Candice returned to Springfield in 2006 and obtained her real estate license. She took her love for design and her experience in sales and became a matchmaker, introducing families to their new homes for Murney Associates. She began a career in finance in 2007 and is now a vice president and wealth management advisor at Central Trust Company.

Candice has two sons: Tate, 13, and Landon, 11.

On Feb. 6, 2015, her life changed forever when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, which turned her world upside down. Candice didn't stay down for long, however. She has taken her bright smile, her engaging personality, and her love for people, and is making a difference for others. She is a mentor for other breast cancer patients, sharing what she's learned and giving them hope and guidance.

Candice is a member of the American Cancer Society, Go Red for Women, and the Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks. She is also a member of the Greene County Estate Planning Council, and is a Community Foundation of the Ozarks Professional Advisors Council member.

Welcome new (former) member Mark Walker

Welcome new (former) member Mark Walker

Rick Van Pelt introduced him on Nov. 10. His cosponsor is John Twitty.

Mark has been chairman and chief executive officer of TransLand since April 2013. That's a Springfield-based trucking company founded by his parents in 1982. Since then, he's split his time between Springfield and California.

Transland's fleet of 170 trucks and 230 employees serve customers throughout the United States with dry van, flatbed, and brokerage transportation services.

His work includes five years of international leadership of corporate social responsibility, corporate philanthropy, and employee engagement as managing director of Global Community Affairs at Applied Materials and executive director of the Applied Materials Foundation in Santa Clara, Calif. Before that, he was president and CEO of United Way Silicon Valley in San Jose for six years.

Mark worked in corporate, government, and community affairs management during a 23-year career with SBC Communications (later AT&T again) in Missouri and California. He worked for SBC when he was a previous member of Springfield Southeast Rotary in the 1990s.

He graduated from Drury University in 1979 with degrees in Business Administration and Economics.

Mark's passion for community service is evident. He is or has served on Drury University's Board of Trustees, the board of Partners in School Innovation in San Francisco, Rotary Club of San Jose, the Center for Excellence in Nonprofits, Missouri Trucking Association and a private family foundation in San Jose.

Mark now lives in Springfield with his wife, Mary, after spending 19 years in the San Francisco Bay area. They have three grown children: Andrew in St. Louis, Patrick in Phoenix, and Catherine in San Jose.

Club establishes local endowment fund

Club establishes local endowment fund

The Rotary Club of Springfield Southeast Endowment, Inc. is the entity that complements the Rotary Club of Springfield Southeast's philanthropic activities. It is established to receive and disburse funds in support of the issues of Springfield and the surrounding community, including poverty,· children, child abuse, housing, hunger, health, hygiene, education, and safety and, in addition, Rotary's six (6) areas of focus, including peace and conflict prevention/ resolution, disease prevention and treatment, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, basic education and literacy, and economic and community development.

The Endowment Fund, in providing funding and implementation of these philanthropic activities, will directly serve young people, aged and disadvantaged persons and other groups.

Donations may be .sent to the office of the Rotary Club of Springfield Southeast, 1717 E. Republic Rd., Suite A, Springfield, MO 65804. To contact us: Email: info@springfieldsoutheastrotary.org Phone: 417-886-8606 Cash Gifts:

Donations may be made to the Endowment to grow the funds from which the interest earned will be used for charitable giving. Planned Giving: Make a donation of cash or stock from your estate or ask loved ones to designate the Rotary Club of Springfield Southeast Endowment, Inc. as the recipient of memorials. Designated Funds: Donations may be made to particular authorized projects, and the funds will be used as specified.

There are many ways to give to the Endowment

  • Cash pledges or contributions
  • Gifts by bequest
  • Gifts through life insurance
  • Gifts through charitable remainder trusts
  • Gifts through charitable gift annuities
  • Gifts through charitable lead trusts
  • Stock donations
  • Tax-free rollover of qualified plans
  • Memorial and commemorative gifts

Club attendance policy remains unchanged

The Board of Directors recently decided not to change the club's long standing attendance policy.  Club members discussed whether it needs to be revised at the Shrimp Feed (club assembly) in July.

In order to maintain good standing, members must maintain at least 50% attendance and cannot miss four or more meetings in a row. Members must attend at least 30% of their home Rotary club’s meetings in each six month period. Membership in the club may be terminated by a majority vote of the board if a member’s percentage of attendance is less than 50% during the first and second six months of the club’s fiscal year. Failure to comply with any of the above requirements may result in termination upon review by and approval by the board.

What Rotary means to members of the club

What Rotary means to members of the club

Club member Jacob Neimeyer, owner of Baseline Media in Ozark, made this video with the thoughts of some members of Springfield Southeast Rotary Club.

Sailing the Great Loop

Past President Jim Conley (2013-2014) and his wife, Mandy, are on an adventure. Starting in early October, they are cruising continuously on their boat, following the Great Loop, the nautical circumnavigation of the eastern United States. They expect to be away from Springfield for approximately one year. You can follow their journey by going to their website which will include a blog.

The secure website is www.theshellbelle.com, which requires you to request access. After being granted access you will be able to visit at anytime and automatically receive blog updates. Feel free to contact PP Jim during his absence by either cell phone or e-mail as they should have cell service for about 95 percent of the trip.

Southeast Rotary Local Service

Southeast Rotary Local Service

Since our club's founding in June 1967, we have been heavily involved in service to others through many types of projects. (Video produced by ADsmith Marketing and Advertising)

Rotary International Service

Rotary International Service

Rotary International, through the Rotary Foundation, works with clubs and districts around the world to help people in need. (Video produced by ADsmith Marketing and Advertising)

Welcome new (former) member Stephen Benton

Welcome new (former) member Stephen Benton

Barbara Lucks introduced Steve on Oct. 27.

Steve was introduced to Rotary when he participated in a Rotary six-week Group Study Exchange in England and Wales in 1974.  He later joined the Group Study Exchange's sponsor, the Lafayette (La.) Rotary Club.

Steve moved to Springfield in 1982 from Santa Barbara, Calif. to be administrator of Smith-Glynn-Callaway Clinic. He soon joined Springfield Southeast Rotary Club, where he became club president in 1990. Steve is a Paul Harris Fellow and Benefactor.

He moved in 1995 to Boca Raton, Fla., to be vice president of MedPartners. He later returned to Springfield and continued his career performing consulting activities, primarily as a medical practice interim CEO for large physician groups.

In 1998, The University of Texas, Galveston Medical Branch, asked Steve to help design a physician healthcare system for Dubai, one of the seven Emirates (States) in the United Arab Emirates. He designed the financial and clinical aspects with the next operational phase executed by the Mayo Clinic Foundation.

Steve is a tenor saxophone player and was a charter member of Caduceus, The Doctors Band, in 1989. He also plays in his church orchestra.

He completed the Civilian On Patrol Academy (COPS) with the Greene County Sheriff's Department, and volunteers in the patrol, traffic control and prisoner transfer divisions. Steve is a Certified Pistol Instructor by the NRA and is happy to assist anyone in the proper use of a handgun. He was the 2011 and 2012 Missouri State Senior Bullseye Champion and continues to compete. He is a rated expert in Bullseye shooting.

Steve earned Bachelor, MBA, and PhD degrees in business administration with concentrated studies in medical practice management. He is a Fellow of the American College of Medical Practice Executives. He also is fluent in French and made two trips to Belgium as a photographer for three documentaries regarding the price of freedom. Steve served as a captain in the Medical Service Corps of the U.S. Air Force for 6 1/2 years.

He is married to Loralynn Benton and they have nine grown children. They now enjoy visiting and assisting their children and using their RV to travel throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Welcome new member Scott Gallentine

Welcome new member Scott Gallentine

David Caffey introduced him on Sept. 29.
Scott graduated in 1983 from Nixa High School, where he was on its first varsity football team. He graduated from Southwest Missouri State University in 1989 with a degree in Accounting.

Scott started working for the Federal Bureau of Prisons in 1990 with a goal of working his way back to Springfield in 10 years. He worked in five prisons as he moved up through the system.

His first prison was in Greenville, Ill., where he started as an accountant and worked up to controller in five years. He was there for a big riot in 1995 that was called the "crack cocaine riot." All prisoners were in lockdown for 30 days and the staff worked 12-hour shifts every day.

Scott then worked in prisons in Oklahoma, Colorado, Kentucky, and Marion, Ill. He returned to Springfield in 2000 at the U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners. He retired from the Bureau of Prisons this year and immediately found another job.

Scott is now shadowing David at Community Blood Center of the Ozarks and will become senior director of operations when David retires on Dec. 31.

Scott is a member of Riverdale Baptist Church. His wife, Kerry, who is from Lamar, is a supervisor in the Radiology Department at Mercy Hospital. Their son, Ethan, was a manager for the Missouri State University men's basketball team and graduated in 2013. Ethan is a teacher and head varsity boy's basketball coach at East Newton High School in Granby after stints at Springfield Catholic and Logan-Rogersville high schools.

Scott is already working with Rex Johnson and David Caffey on promoting the Rotary Clubs of Springfield blood drive from Dec. 19 - 31.