Betty Steege

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First in a series of 6 articles

    Only 22 years ago Betty Steege a young female professional employed as a financial advisor, got an invite to a Rotary meeting from a colleague, Rotarian David Sparks. Betty had entered the brokerage industry as a registered representative in 1978 and at that time was one of only 3 women advisors employed in her entire company of almost 700 advisors. Betty was no stranger to a male dominated setting and welcomed the opportunity to get involved with Rotary and on October 5th, 1987 became a member of the Waterloo Rotary Downtown club.

    Rotary was a male only organization and in May of 1987, only a few months prior to Betty becoming a Rotarian the supreme court had ruled that as a service organization Rotary must admit women into the club. David Sparks, was a strong Rotary supporter told Betty he thought she should join. He explained the club and the Rotary mission very thoroughly. Betty liked the idea of service without a profit motive. "To people in business there is a selfless attraction to Rotary", said Betty.

   During her time with Rotary she has helped bring in new members David Lederman, Robert Smith, Mary Kettwig, Audrey Adams Sorge. She has been involved on different committees including the new Rotary Reserve building when it was built. She helps with the shoebox project annually and was instrumental in getting the Rotary to honor the local High School volleyball standouts and teams each year as done with football.

   I asked Betty what keeps her coming back? "The people, service and the programs, they are very broadening," she said. What is your wish for the club? "We do such great work internationally. If we didn't Bill Gates would not continue supporting us. I would very much like to see us as a club do more locally."

   Betty is a financial advisor for Stifel Nicolaus. Her and husband Ron have a daughter Mindy (in Waterloo) and a son Andrew (in Iowa City). Her birthday is Oct 16th. Happy Anniversary as a Rotarian and Happy Birthday Betty! Thank you for continuing your support of Rotary. This is the first story of "Women in Rotary" in a series of 6 stories. We now have 43 active women Rotarians in our club alone and would certainly like to have more. Please share Betty's story with women that you feel should be a part of our club.