Speaker Date Topic
Anna Cerf Jun 22, 2021
Rotary Global Grant Scholarship - AY2021-2022
Joe Varaska, Founder, Hope Is Everything Jul 13, 2021
Backpacks filled with HOPE: Local support for displaced children and families

NOTE: this special meeting of the Rotary Club of Charlottesville will be held at The Center at Belvedere: 540 Belvedere Boulevard, Charlottesville, VA 22901 - at the same time, 5:30pm cocktail half-hour, 6:00pm dinner meeting begins, catered by Mission Barbecue.

Chaplain Varaska will talk about his experience as a Jail Chaplain and some of the things he encounters on a daily basis. The need he saw for inmates needing backpacks when released which led him to start thinking about the needs of the children of those incarcerated parents whose kids were put into protective custody/foster care, which in turn led to the formation of Hope Is Everything, Inc. (https://hopecville.com/) This organization has begun to distribute filled backpacks for kids in their intake with the Departments of Social Services in Albemarle, Charlottesville and Nelson County. These duffels, filled with teddy bears, blankets, stress gadgets, for example, can be extremely beneficial - especially when a child otherwise keeps their few personal items in a garbage bag if they were displaced without much notice. Joe will also discuss exciting new partnerships with the Georgia’s Healing House - a rehab facility for women.

Chaplain Joseph Varaksa began his ministry as a volunteer serving the homeless community of Virginia Beach while he was stationed at the Norfolk Naval Base.  After serving 6 years in the Navy, Joseph turned his attention to full-time ministry and secured his undergraduate degree from Eastern Mennonite University with a BA in Youth Ministry and minoring in Biblical Studies and Theology followed by a Masters of Divinity degree from Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida.  During this time he served as Youth Director for several churches and poured his passion into developing and growing those programs through discipleship and relationship building.  In 2000, Joseph and his family were called to Charlottesville where he served at Grace Community Church as Youth Director and Assistant Pastor.

Prior to becoming the ACRJ Chaplain, Joseph worked for more than 15 years in sales for various manufacturing companies.  Throughout his 30 year career, he has served in church and community ministry in a variety of roles, including work with at risk youth, indigent services, church youth ministry and adult and youth discipleship programs.  Chaplain Varaksa and his wife Bruns, have two grown sons, a daughter-in-law, a 15 year old daughter, and two beautiful grandchildren.

Ron Huber and Annette Cox, Office of US Attorney Aug 24, 2021
Human Trafficking - A Community Response

Human trafficking is a crime that is perpetrated all over the United States and the world. Over 10,000 children between ages 13 and 17 are being trafficked around the world each year, though this is not even the largest group of victims. Charlottesville and Central Virginia are not immune to this heinous criminal industry. Our featured speakers this week will discuss: 1) what is human trafficking, 2) what does it look like in our community, 3) who are the victims, and 4) what can our citizenry do to help.

Annette Cox manages the victim and witness assistance program for the Department of Justice, Office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Virginia.  Annette is assigned as part of the federal trial team in prosecutions where there is a victim, and intentionally assigned on cases of human trafficking, vulnerable victims and the exploitation of minors.  She teaches and consults on the local, state and national level on human trafficking and victim recovery.  She supports nationally prosecutors and peers as a member of the Project Safe Childhood peer support team, and is the victim witness representative on the executive committee of the Western District of Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force.  She has worked in both the state and federal criminal justice system with a combined total of 29 years of experience.  She speaks extensively on the issue of human trafficking to prosecutors, victim witness, law enforcement and service providers.  She teaches a boots on the ground approach to victim prevention and victim recovery, and has the national designation of advanced advocate for crime victims. 

Ron Huber is the Managing Assistant US Attorney for the Western District of Virginia which covers Charlottesville and surrounding area, and the entirely of the Shenandoah Valley. He has served as an Assistant United States Attorney since 2008. Ron is responsible for the investigation and prosecution of violent crimes, narcotics and white collar offenses, and oversite of other prosecutors in his division. Prior to 2008, Ron served as an assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney for both the City of Charlottesville (1995-2007) and Albemarle County (2007-2008).  Ron served as the Director of the Prosecution Clinic at the University of Virginia School of Law where he was an adjunct professor from 2006 to 2019.  He graduated from the George Mason University School of Law in 1989 and Michigan State University with a bachelor’s in economics in 1984.

Peter Tuz, President, Chase Investment Counsel Oct 12, 2021
Post-Pandemic Market Trends & Investing Strategies
Post-Pandemic Market Trends & Investing Strategies

Mr. Tuz earned his BA from Ripon College, an MA from the University of Missouri, and an MBA from Tulane University. Peter is a CFA charter holder and a CFP® professional. Before joining us in 1997 he had 10 years’ experience as a senior analyst and officer with two NYSE member firms. He is a trustee of Ripon College and chairman of its investment committee and is a member of the Board of Governors of the Investment Adviser’s Association. Peter is a member of CFA Virginia, CFA Society of Washington, D.C., the Washington Association of Money Managers and serves on the Investment Company Institute’s small funds committee. He has been an occasional guest on CNBC and The Street and served on the board of the CFA Virginia. He has been quoted in Barron’s, The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and other publications.

Mr. Tuz will provide a post post-pandemic view of the markets and a brief stock market outlook while allowing plenty of time for questions.