President-Elect John Bernaden Visits Romanian Club

President-elect John Bernaden recently visited and spoke to the Bistrita Nosa Club in District 2241 Romania.


Assistant district governor and past president, Viorica Cira, chaired the meeting, introducing Bernaden after the ceremonial flag exchange and a brief overview of the Bistrita Nosa Club.  Although their club was formed just five years ago, she proudly noted that 17 of the 35 members are Paul Harris Fellows and that their club already has three Rotary International matching grant projects.  Their most significant collaboration is with a Romanian Children’s Relief Fund called Inocenti Foundation. Its headquarters are located in the city of Bistrita and Mic Marin, executive director of the Inocenti Foundation, is also one of the club’s past-presidents.


John talked about our club’s 100-year history and our Centennial project creating the 16-hectare Arboretum along the Milwaukee River.  He also explained how our 370 club members have contributed more than $2.2 million to local and international service projects during the past decade.  Bistrita Nosa club members greatly enjoyed looking at our centennial brochure and annual report.


Describing some of the Milwaukee area business and economic features, John highlighted the city’s focus on water technologies, the new Water Council, and UWM’s new college of freshwater studies.  He mentioned our club’s support for water projects in Guatemala too because a couple of their club members are leaders in the water industry like Dr. Florin Iliescu, vice chairman of the Romanian Water Association.


John then spoke about Milwaukee’s heritage as a center for manufacturing and how Rockwell Automation is leading the trend toward a new era of IT-driven smart, safe and sustainable manufacturing.  The company’s 22,000 employees work in more than 80 countries including Romania.  John described a new organization located in Washington D.C. called the Smart Manufacturing Leadership Coalition that he vice chairs which is developing the equivalent of an iPad “App Store” for factories that could some day be of benefit to businesses in Romania.


“You might be surprised to know that many factories in developing countries are already using automation, robotics, intelligent machines and other advanced technologies,” John said.


Emil Dreptate, vice president of the Professional Journalists Association of Romania, also attended the meeting.  Messenger, a local Bistrita newspaper published an article about Bernaden’s visit and the speech - you can see the full article here.