Speaker Date Topic
Steven J. McGarrity, Esq., Executive Director Jan 31, 2023 12:00 PM
Community Legal Aid
Community Legal Aid

Steven McGarrity has served as the Executive Director of Community Legal Aid since 2017.

Mr. McGarrity has over 25 years of legal experience with Legal Aid. He began with the organization as a staff attorney in Canton, Ohio in 1997, focusing his practice on family law and consumer debt. In his time with Legal Aid, he has held various management positions, including nine years’ as Associate Director, where he oversaw all client services, outreach, and technology.

Mr. McGarrity has presented nationally on innovative approaches to delivering legal services using technology, and on measuring the long-term impact of legal aid in the lives of individuals served. He currently serves on the advisory committee of OhioLegalHelp.org, an online legal resource tool for Ohioans.

Mr. McGarrity serves on the Board of Managers for the Ohio Poverty Law Center and the Akron Summit Community Action Board of Directors and is a member of Class 37 of Leadership Akron.

A California native, Mr. McGarrity received his B.A degree from California State University, Northridge in 1992. He went on to earn a J.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Law in 1996. In 2015, he was named a Where Health Meets Justice fellow through the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership.

Tony Troppe at BLU-Tique Hotel Feb 07, 2023 12:00 PM


Tony Troppe is an experienced Urban PlaceMaker focused on creating synergistic mixed-use environments.    Commencing with the  first  Federally designated Historic District redevelopment of in 1996, Troppe has renovated/owns/manages 20 historic building (over 335k sf of office, residential, mercantile space) that have received National attention and accreditation.  The Dept. of the Interior and State Preservation Office (Ohio) have recognized the preservation and rehabilitation of these properties by creating the Main/Market Historic District.   

Taking vacant, blighted space Troppe and his team have developed and opened numerous restaurants/entertainment venues (BLU Plate,, Mocha Maiden,  Musica, Uncorked Winebar, High Street HopHouse, and el Patron Tequileria).   Musica opened in 2006 and annually averages over 225 shows featuring national, regional and local Indie-Alternative performances.   BLU Jazz opened in 2014 and has celebrated 1600+ performances.  Initiating a residential renaissance (LoftsAkron.com),   Cascade Lofts (opening in 2015)  is a restored Tire Factory that has been repurposed as  24 residential units,  a 150 person Trailhead Event Center Facility and a MicroBrew Restaurant as Lock 15.

In 2022, the BLU-Tique Hotel re-opened as 71 room Marriott Tribute as recognized regional hospitality leader with a most popular restaurant known as 1: Food/Spirits.  BLU Social has emerged as a banquet center for community receptions catering to  corporate, private and  hotel functions.  

Continued interests in special event planning  EventsAkron.com has led to redevelopment of the Temple Israel as the Highland Universal Gatheringspot   a creative arts community collaborate center with 250 seat banquet hall—and  300 seat auditorium.    Artists in residence housing will accommodate 14 studio/lofts for extended stay suites for artistic endeavors and continuing education.  

Adjacent to the Summa Healthcare campus,  Historic District Management continues the process and pattern of saving distressed buildings and re-building with a Mission-based purpose and has recently completed the new home for Akron Pregnancy Services in the 1904 Robinson Mansion

Plans continue for the redevelopment of the distressed St. Paul’s Chapel as aLewis Miller Horticultural Innovation  and Conference Center bringing flexible tech space and sharing new light in the Bio Medical Corridor.

Cyndi Kane, Jeff Sheeks, James Redmond Feb 14, 2023 12:00 PM
Chili Open Wrap Up
Nathanael Billow, Executive V.P. & Treasurer Feb 21, 2023 12:00 PM
Billow's Funeral Homes & Crematory

Nathanael is a Funeral Director and also serves as the Executive Vice President & Treasurer of The Billow Co. Prior to working in the funeral profession, Nathanael worked for Ford Motor Company as a Senior Financial Analyst at Ford's Global Product Development Center in Dearborn, MI. He, along with his sister Stacy, are sixth-generation members of the family to serve at Billow's and Bissler's. Growing up in the family business helped shape his personal belief that working as a funeral director is not only a career but a life-dedicating vocation.

In 2018, Nathanael successfully led the merger of his family's 148 year-old business, The Billow Co. of Akron, with Bissler & Sons Funeral Home and Crematory. With the retirement of Mr. Rick Bissler, the move ensured that the community of Kent would continue to receive local family-owned care when faced with the loss of a loved one.

He is a graduate of Tallmadge High School, Grove City College (B.S. Business Administration, Summa Cum Laude, '11) and the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University (Master of Business Administration, '13). Nathanael is a parishioner at Saint Patrick Catholic Church in Kent and his Catholic faith taught him to embrace the philosophy of service above self. He generously gives of his time, talent, and treasure in service to Akron and since returning home in 2017, has been appointed to serve on the Board of Directors for many notable organizations, including the Akron Better Business Bureau, where he serves as Treasurer, the Rotary Club of Akron, where he serves as Vice-President and Chair of the Rotary International Foundation, Bluecoats Inc., of Summit County, where he serves as Treasurer, the Akron Roundtable, where he serves as Chair of the Development Committee, and the Pediatric Palliative Care Center at Akron Children's Hospital, where he holds the office of Vice-Chair and Treasurer. He is also a member of the Ancient Order of the Hibernians. In 2019, he was recognized by the Greater Akron Chamber and awarded their prestigious 30 For The Future Award, given to individuals who are trendsetters in their industry and who make an impact on the region through dynamic leadership and community service.

When time permits, he can be spotted on local golf courses with his brother Chris or out running the trails of Akron's Metro Parks.

Welby Broaddus, Owner Broaddus Business Solutions Feb 28, 2023 12:00 PM
Leading the Blind without Vision Mission
Leading the Blind without Vision Mission

Welby Broaddus is the chief owner and operator of the business consulting firm, Broaddus Business Solutions. As a visually impaired businessman, he hopes to use his influence to help the disabled community and those without a voice. It's been often said that Welby is able to hold a conversation with anyone, and he likes to say that he “never meets a stranger.”

Welby wrote Leading Blind without Vision to educate business owners, executives, and HR professionals on the benefits of hiring individuals who are blind and visually impaired. He hopes to use this book to help educate the business community about the qualities and skill sets that the blind and visually impaired community can bring into the workplace.


Suzie Graham Mar 07, 2023 12:00 PM
Downtown Akron Partnership
Holly Klein, President Mar 14, 2023 12:00 PM
Grace House
Ilene Shapiro (Andrew Barry) Mar 21, 2023 12:00 AM
Summit County Executive
Kay Lukac, President Mar 28, 2023 12:00 PM
Portage Lakes Purple Martin Association
Susan Colville-Hall and RYE Students Apr 04, 2023 12:00 PM
Rotary Youth Exchange
Bridget Ambrisco, Executive Director Apr 11, 2023 12:00 PM
Akron Parks Collaborative
Ken Fanger Apr 18, 2023 12:00 PM
On Technology Partners
Jenn Kidd, Executive Director May 09, 2023 12:00 PM
Nightlife Cinema
Lisa King May 16, 2023 12:00 PM
Summit Metro Parks
Tom Knauer, President, Artists Inc. May 23, 2023 12:00 PM
Incoming Club President 2022-2023
Club Assembly May 30, 2023 12:00 PM
John Fiume, Director and CEO Jun 06, 2023 12:00 PM
Johns S. Knight and Akron Art Museum
Connor Jarvis Jun 13, 2023
Lynda Farkas Jun 27, 2023 12:00 PM
Outgoing Club President
Tom Knauer, Club President Jul 11, 2023 12:00 PM
Akron Rotary Club President & Officers Induction
Julie Brandle, District 6630 Governor 2023-2024 Jul 18, 2023 12:00 PM
Official District Governor Club Visit
Official District Governor Club Visit

Julie Brandle is a past president of the Rotary Club of Akron and currently serves as the District 6630 District Governor. 

She has also served the District as a facilitator for the Tri-District Membership Event, chair of the public image committee, Assistant Governor for Summit S-Medina County Cluster, chair of the District Conference Committee, and member of the Foundation Gala committee

Julie is a committed community advocate and currently serves on the boards of Kent State University's Construction Management program, the Portage Development Board (economic development), Akron Civic Theatre, Akron Urban League, Greater Akron Chamber, ABC (Associated Builders and Contractors) Northeast Ohio, and the Coleman and Hattie Larlham Foundations. Julie volunteers for Habitat for Humanity, Rebuilding Together, Rotary Club of Akron, and the Girl Scouts of Northeast Ohio. Julie is a Lifetime Gold Award Girl Scout and holds the adult honors of Women of Distinction and the Thanks Badge.

Julie is a graduate of Cuyahoga Falls High School, as well as Bowling Green State University where she earned a double major in Interpersonal and Public Communication and Soviet Studies and a travel grant scholarship to study in Kiev, Ukraine. She is a graduate of Goldman Sachs 10k Small Businesses, ScaleratorNEO, Leadership Portage County and Leadership Akron's Class 37.

Construction Services, a female-owned commercial general contractor located in Kent. Metis completes ground-up, renovation, and facilities maintenance projects throughout Ohio, along with projects currently in PA, IL, KY, MI, and NY. With over 25 years of experience in sales, marketing, and public relations, Julie oversees these areas of expertise for Metis along with being an integral part of the management team that designs and manages the overall business strategy for Metis Construction.

Julie is the daughter of Rich(deceased) and Leann Soika and has a brother Rich (Sharon) and sister Kristen (Orlando) and 5 nieces and nephews (Orlando, RJ, Lydia, Ardynn and Reid). Julie and her husband Steven reside in Brimfield Twp. Their daughter Kimberly is a May 2021 graduate of Bowling Green State University. She is employed as an Intervention Specialist for 3rd and 4th graders in Northwest Ohio.