Debbie Baker Cwalina
Roswell Rotarian of the Year, 2016
Debbie Baker Cwalina is the owner and founder of Creative Corporate Ideas Inc., a certified Woman Owned Business (WBE). She started her company in 1993 and has received recognition as a Top Woman Owned Small Business every year since 2005 (by DiversityBusiness.com).
In the Fall of 2014, looking for a place to make a difference, Debbie joined the Roswell Rotary Club. Inspired by the many programs that Roswell Rotary supports throughout the community, Debbie created and launched, along with co-founder Mike Schoppenhorst, the Be THE Voice that Stops Bullying Campaign. Just a year after the idea was born from their own personal childhood experiences, Debbie and Mike launched the program in 8 area schools.
The results … have exceeded expectations! The reviews the program has received from Principals, Teachers and Students have been overwhelmingly positive and now, with the help of Roswell Rotary, Be THE Voice that Stops Bullying will be available to other Rotary Clubs and Schools across the state. With the success of the program and her strong desire to get involved in the community, Debbie was honored to be awarded Roswell Rotary’s prestigious “Rookie of the Year” award in 2015.
Debbie and her husband Pete, have two daughters, Nikki and Kasey. The whole family has participated and helped with the Be THE Voice campaign.
Roswell Rotarian of the Year, 2016
Michael Schoppenhorst is the President of SEMCO Productions, owners and producers of the Atlanta Home Shows among other trade and consumer events they produce annually. He started with the company 20 years ago and worked his way up through the ranks serving as a Show Director and Director of Operations before being promoted to President.
Michael serves on the Board of Directors of Variety of Georgia (the motion picture industry’s children’s charity) and Hope Atlanta also known as Travelers Aid of Metropolitan Atlanta (a homeless prevention agency founded in 1900 which also serves Veterans, HIV patients, women and children escaping abusive environments among others seeking refuge from the streets). He is a former Board Member of the Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation (Give Burns the Boot – serving those suffering from burns while teaching fire safety and burn prevention) and still actively serves as an advisor to the Foundation’s Executive Director.
His son Andrew chose his school’s Interact Club as his “activity” of choice four years ago when Interact Clubs were introduced into Middle Schools in the Roswell, GA area. After two years of attending Roswell Rotary meetings with his son, Michael decided that he too needed to become a Rotarian and surround himself with likeminded people desiring to serve others in his community. His son inspired him to do more…Service Above Self is their daily motto and will be their legacy and bond passed along to future generations. The Be THE Voice (BTV) campaign has given them yet another method of serving others, together. Andrew currently serves as the Team Leader of the Be THE Voice campaign at Roswell High School.
From the first day that Debbie Cwalina mentioned the idea to Roswell Rotary, Michael knew this was his opportunity to help make a difference in the lives of others on a more personal level. While Debbie Cwalina gave Be THE Voice life and is the heart and soul of the campaign, Michael likes to consider himself her wingman. It is a passion they share together knowing that it is making a difference in the lives of children, parents and ultimately entire families. With each heartfelt testimonial that is shared, their dreams of ending bullying become more clear, focused and obtainable. If Rotary can nearly eradicate Polio worldwide, it can certainly end something as senseless as bullying.