December 3, 2013: Program – Ray J. Tarasovic – Richmond Police Chief

Larry Chottiner introduced Gene Lepley, our MC for the Student of the Year Banquets, who in turn introduced Ray Tarasocic, the Richmond City Chief of Police. Chief Tarasovic has been in law enforcement for over 40 years. He began his career as a Washington, DC policeman for 25 years. He came to Richmond as the Assistant Chief of Police under Chief Rodney Monroe. He followed Rodney Monroe to Charlotte when he became Chief of Police there and eventually retired and returned to Richmond in 2010. When Mayor Dwight Jones asked to talk to him about the next Chief of Police for Richmond he was happy to go to consult unaware that in 28 days he would be the new chief of Police. Chief Tarasovic, in his career in Richmond, has been instrumental in the reduction of crime, particularly violent crimes. In the past 14 years Richmond has gone from 100 yearly murders to 32. Richmond was ranked 7th worst nationally in 2005 and now isn’t even in the top 100. Crimes have decreased 495 in the past 10 years to the national average of 22%. Ray is committed to his department being involved with the community it serves. He has 12 Sector Lieutenants who are responsible 24/7 for knowing everything about their communities. They also attend community meetings and publishing newsletters. Chief Tarasovic personally goes to every homicide and meets with the families of the victims. It is very obvious that Richmond is very fortunate to have such an individual as its Chief of Police.

It is very obvious that Richmond is very fortunate to have such an individual as its Chief of Police.

December 10, 2013:  Program – Dana Geisler – President, Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce

Dave Saunders introduced Dana Geisler, the new President of the Chesterfield County Chamber of Commerce. Dana was the former Business Council Program Manager for Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce and prior to that was the Deputy Press Secretary for United States Senators Joseph R. Biden, Jr. and Edward E. Kaufman .

She has a Bachelor of Science from Syracuse University (2006) and a Master of Science in Strategic Public Relations (2012) from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is also a graduate of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leader (UVA 2013).

Dana lives in Chesterfield County with her husband, Peter, who is a Contractor for the Department of Defense at Ft.Lee.

The Chamber is composed of approximately 600 local businesses. The “vision” for the chamber is “champion for the business community, foster growth and development, transformational relationships and a thriving environment in Chesterfield County”. Dana is enthusiastic about helping the chamber grow in diversity to build relationships, present concerns to local government, develop meaningful partnerships and help companies develop best business practices. Allen Worley made sure Dana had an application to join the Club before she left.

December 17, 2013: Program – Larry Chottiner and Mark Patterson

The Annual Family Christmas Breakfast was memorable thanks to Larry Chottiner and Mark Patterson. (Dr. Patterson is the Director of Music at Salisbury Presbyterian Church where he leads a comprehensive music program for adults, youth and children.) Mark received his PhD in Music Education with an emphasis in Choral Conducting from Texas Tech University and Masters of Music and Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin).

Larry delivered a meaningful story about the legend of a homeless boy named Jonathan, who was hiding in the stable in Bethlehem when Christ was born.

Mark played the piano while Larry led us in singing various Christmas songs, including what has become an annual favorite involving audience participation, The 12 Days of Christmas. Chandler Williams received recognition for being “ the most improved” in his solo while Jimmy Hyman was recognized as “needs the most improvement.”

We were treated to a special version of Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer by Robbin Kolbe.

A surprise visit from Santa Claus (Wayne Woodcock) brought a brought a smile to young and old.