10/24/13 meeting: Induction, mutual fund

Picture 3Meeting at Quigley’s Restaurant
593 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush

Attending (15): Bill Dowd, Murray Forth, Terry Brewer, Pat Bailey, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, Jim Leyhane, Patrick Ciraulo, Stewart Wagner, Dean Calamaras, Debbie Rodriguez, Len Leonidas, A.J. Amato, Carol Orvis, Rommel Tolentino.

Guests (3): Steve Gonick, Maggie Forth, Jeremy Forth.


Jim Leyhane, on behalf of the club’s board of directors, welcomed and formally inducted our two newest members — A.J. Amato and Patrick Ciraulo.


He explained the responsibilities and benefits of Rotary membership, then presented Rotary lapel pins and window decals to each man. We warmly welcome A.J. and Pat, who have immediately become active members of our organization.

These new members bring something a bit different to the club as far as their occupations are concerned. A.J. is a wealth management specialist. Patrick oversees the operations of four YMCA locations, including those in East Greenbush and Troy.

Program: Steve Gonick of Adirondack Small Cap Mutual Fund

Steve Gonick
Steve Gonick

A.J. Amato, a wealth management specialist who is a client of Adirondack Funds, introduced Steve Gonic, one of the fund’s owners.

Steve, who has spent most of his business career in pharmaceutical sales,  spoke about becoming a part-owner of a small business.

He said the Adirondack Small Cap Mutual Fund (ASCMF) was founded  in 2005 with $6 million in assets. It began with two partners — Gregory A. Roeder and Matthew P. Reiner, good money managers with local firms who attended SUNY Plattsburgh at the same time in a small department of 35 people but had never known each other  — which, Steve notes, shows how intensely focused they are on their projects.

Picture 15Although both Morning Star and Lipper rate the fund highly, business was slow for the first four uears of its existence. So, in 2009 Roeder and Reiner approached Steve for his sales and marketing  expertise with such firms as  Johnson & Johnson. Initially, they wanted him to head up their sales efforts, but he held out for an ownership stake. Since taking that step, a successful marketing plan has helped pump up the fund’s assets to $195 million. Most of the clients are located within 200 miles of the firm.

Adirondack also has started an internship program for college students interested in finance.


• President-elect Bill Dowd, presiding in President April Dowd’s absence, reported that he attended the first of four President-Elect Training Sessions (PETS) being held by District 7190 for Rotarians who will be club presidents for the 2014-15 Rotary Year. He mentioned that a substantial number of the current club presidents-elect have served in that office before. Some clubs allow members to serve consecutive terms, something Jim Leyhane mentioned earlier this year and asked our club to consider. Also, the current presidents-elect have decided to create a private Facebook page that would be available to current club presidents, immediate past presidents and current presidents-elect. The idea of a three-year “subscription” to such a page would improve inter-club communications and club and district continuity.

• Bill also mentioned “Anchors Aweigh,” the Rotary Foundation event scheduled for Wednesday, November 20. He expressed the desire to have a good SRC turnout, particularly from among board members. He has posted details and a registration form on the club website.

• Debbie Brown brought up the recent devastating fire at Peter’s Dairy on Brookview Road, in which 20 heifers and calves were killed. As part of recovery efforts for the business, there is an opportunity to purchase,  and name, a calf for a fee of $250. Bill said her suggestion would be taken up at the next board meeting.

• Murray Forth reported that the interest the club has expressed in networking with parents of Scout Troop 41, which we help financially support, has resulted in being invited by Scoutmaster Dennis Chicinno to attend a meeting next Tuesday. Murray, Terry Brewer and Jim Leyhane volunteered to be our contingent at the meeting to distribute copies of our club brochure and speak to parents about Rotary. This is part of our stated goal of expanding our scope of influence and activities for 2013-14.

NEXT MEETING: 6:15 p.m. Thursday, October 31, at Quigley’s. Debbie Rodriguez will be presenting Dan Welch, owner of The Sweater Venture shop in East Greenbush.


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