Oakland Rotary News

Call To Order - President Dudley Thompson

President Dudley Thompson called the 5,387th Civic Thursday meeting of the Rotary Club of Oakland to order at 12:30 p.m.

Thought For The Day - Cathy Jackson-Gent 

Cathy Jackson-Gent announced the word for the day is “Reset”. She said reset is very important and it is time to refresh. Her thought: time is like a flashlight to see where you want to be.

New Member Inductions – Bill Purcell, Etan Fraser & Cynder Niemala

Past President John Protopappas introduced Bill Purcell, who has been in Oakland real estate brokerage for over 50 years. John shared two interesting facts: 1) earlier in his career, Bill financed many project—from teamsters to Las Vegas, and 2) he has spent many years around horses, as a thoroughbred owner and rider.

President Elect-Elect Tom Limon introduced Etan Fraser, whom he cited as the most interesting man in the world. He shared two interesting facts: 1) Etan has traveled in 51 countries and is interested in the work of Rotary International, and 2) he is a one-time musician and recovering lawyer.

Mark Miller introduced Cynder Niemala, an author and executive coach.  Interesting facts about Cynder are 1) she has lived all over the world – in 100 countries and has worked in Saudi Arabia, and 2) she is an avid hiker and biker and interested in the environment.

Pres. Dudley welcomed all three, described the items they will receive once we are in the ballroom again, including membership pin, badge, and copy of the membership directory, plus promised them the traditional rousing standing ovation from their fellow Rotarians once we are in person again.  Welcome Bill, Etan and Cynder!

Announcements

President Dudley announced that the May 19th and 26th Civic Thursday meetings will be zoom-only meetings. We will be back in the Ballroom starting June 5th for hybrid meetings.

Oakland A’s Games – Tom Limon asked Rotarians to come to two Oakland A’s games for which Oakland Rotary has the private Gold Road Landing section in the ballpark. Sunday, June 5 and Sunday August 28th there will be tailgate parties at 11 am in a special area at the bottom of the BART Ramp. The June 5th tailgate will feature resident mixologist, Dudley Thompson. On August 28th there will be a Paella cookoff between Oakland and the San Leandro Rotary Club. Buy tickets on the Club Calendar website.

Speakers for 2022-2023 – Incoming Committee Chair Ruth Stroup invited Rotarians to join the Speakers Committee which is starting planning now for programs beginning in July. She also invited us to suggest fabulous speakers for the coming year. Email her at ruth@stroupins.com.

The Rotary Foundation Campaign for 2022 -- Joe Goralka, Co-Chair of The Rotary Foundation Committee shared some great news. Out of the 46,000 Rotary Clubs worldwide, Oakland #3 is 11th in its donations to TRF. We donated a total of $161,218. Our member participation is just under 70%, compared to the average which is 30% of club members. He gave a shout-out to the committee members, committee co-chair Leeann Alameda, the many new Paul Harris Fellows and those members who made leadership gifts, all of which contributed to our success.

Program for the Day – Peter Gamez, in conversation with John Albrecht  

President Dudley introduced Peter Gamez, President & CEO of Visit Oakland and John Albrecht, Vice President of Marketing at Oakland International Airport.

John reported that new concessions are opening at the airport, including Oaklandish, Peets Coffee and Subway.  More are coming in the months ahead. While the public is getting back to more travel, post-Covid, some of the airlines are still dealing with pilot shortages and having to cancel some flights.

Peter reported that with university graduations, small conventions and some international travel, Oakland is beginning to see people to come to the city for activities. He commented that during the pandemic, some hotels, in Oakland and the rest of the Bay Area, took advantage of the time to do renovations. Visit Oakland is now focusing on rebuilding the current staff team and filling key positions. They are also working on marketing strategies to attract people. One such program was Restaurant Week which took place in March

Adjournment

President Dudley thanked everyone for participating and adjourned the meeting at 1:30 p.m. reminding everyone to Serve to Change Lives and don’t keep Rotary a Secret.

Next Meeting, May 26 – George Geary – Made in California

Robert Kidd announced our speaker on May 19th is food historian and chef George Geary.  He will talk about the impact California has had on the fast-food industry. Ever been to a McDonalds, A&W Root Beer, See’s Candies, Peets, Foster’s Freeze, or IHOP to name a few?  They all started in California. Be sure to join in and hear more. The meeting is a zoom-only meeting.

Weekly Cycling - Saturday mornings 9:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M.

High Adventure has weekly cycling events. The rides vary in length and difficulty. 

We cycle through out Alameda, Contral Costa and Marin. 

Current Cycle rides: Three Bears, Tunnel Road, Two Bridges, Century Ride to Sacramento

To be placed on the ride notification list email Mark Rosen at Highadventure@outlook.com 

Call To Order - President Dudley Thompson

After a ten-minute delay due to Zoom technical issues, President Dudley Thompson called the 5,386th Civic Thursday meeting of the Rotary Club of Oakland to order at 12:40 p.m. This was a special members-only meeting devoted to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Thought For The Day - Theresa Weyand 

Theresa Weyand quoted Martin Luther King Jr.: "An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity."

Announcements

President Dudley announced that the May 19th and 26th Civic Thursday meetings will be zoom-only meetings. He also reported on upcoming club events and activities. Details on the events and information for signing up are listed on the adjoining Activities column.

Program for the Day – Viva Asmelash

Diversity Equity & Inclusion Committee chair Celeste Gordon introduced committee consultant Viva Asmelash. Viva has fifteen years of experience in marketing, leadership training, and development is a first-generation Eritrean-American and an Oakland resident. 

The goals for the meeting were: 1) to hear from the DE&I consultant and committee members on DE&I at the club; 2) increase comfort, tools, and reliance in engaging one another in dialogue; and 3) gain a clearer understanding of key terms and to connect with each other.

Committee member Wil Hobbs read the Rotary International DE&I code of conduct: 

Use respectful language 

Be supportive

Foster a welcoming and inclusive environment

Celebrate diversity

Viva asked members to close their eyes and think of a place where they had the deepest sense of belonging and where they had the least sense of belonging. In discussing why belonging matters to all of us, she shared a quote from Christianne Garofalo:

"Diversity is a fact. Inclusion is a behavior. But belonging is the emotional outcome that people want in their organization."

After reviewing key terms (diversity, equity, inclusion, identity groups, intersectionality), the members were sent to breakout rooms to continue the discussion.

Viva urged members to take the club survey, participate in the upcoming evening group sessions, and to sign up for one-on-one interviews.

Adjournment

President Dudley thanked everyone for participating in this important meeting and adjourned the meeting at 1:46 p.m.

Next Meeting, May 19 – Peter Gamez – Traveling The Post Covid World

Robert Kidd announced our speaker on May 19th is Peter Gamez, President and CEO of Visit Oakland. He will speak about traveling in the post-Covid world. The meeting is a zoom-only meeting.

Rotary Club of Oakland Civic Luncheon Meeting, May 5th, 2022

President Dudley Thompson called to order the 5,385th Civic Thursday meeting of the Rotary Club of Oakland. Founded in 1908, Rotary has over 36,000 clubs in 200 countries. Due to the recent surge in COVID, especially among some club members, this meeting is being held as a remote-only meeting. President Dudley encouraged the use of the chat function to all members and guests. 

Past President Robert Kidd, filling a last-minute void, provided the thought for the day. Quoting T.S. Elliott, from the Waste Land, in recognition of the preceding month shared this: “April is the cruelest month, breeding/ lilacs out of the dead land, mixing/memory & desire, stirring/ dull roots and spring rain.” Thank you, Robert, for your willingness to always help when you are needed!

Past President and Past District Governor Ed Jellen was happy to introduce Keith Uriarte’s guest, Barry Donelan as well as Lance Knobel, CEO of CitySide.

Oakland A’s Game & Tailgate—Rumor had it that President elect-elect, Tom Limon was stuck in a store and unable to reach a computer to zoom into the meeting (hmmm…interesting excuse, Tom!) so President Dudley pinch hit and shared that we have 100 tickets for the A’s v. Boston Red Sox game on Sunday, June 5th, and, although he is pretty sure that Past President Sean Marx is good for about 50 of the tickets, he encouraged people to purchase tickets through the Club Website Calendar. As an incentive, Tom provides an excellent tailgate and Dudley is going to bartend! The tailgate starts at 11 am and the game at 1:10 pm.

Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee—Chair Celeste Gordon shared that Inclusion Consultant, Viva Asmelash, will facilitate our meeting on May 12th. This is a very special opportunity for members to shape the future direction of the committee’s work. The meeting is for members only and members are asked to pre-register for the meeting on the Club Website Calendar. Look for messages next week to prompt attendance and registration. Alternative, virtual sessions will be held on May 12th at 5:30 pm and May 19th at 5:30 pm. There is also a survey in development that club members will be receiving.

Bike the Bridges—Mark Rosen shared information on the upcoming bike ride, Saturday May 14th, that will travel over both the Benicia and Carquinez bridges. Interested members can register on the Club Website Calendar and should plan to meet at 8:30 am. The ride starts at 9 am.

Epic Hike, Part Three—Saturday, June 25th, Past President Robert Kidd will lead a hike through the Oakland Hills. This is the third of the four-part hike. Register through the website.

District Leadership Training—Rotary District 5170 is sponsoring District Leadership Training from May 16th—19th.

Safety Alarms Distribution—In collaboration with The San Francisco/Chinatown Rotary Club , San Francisco Rotary Club and Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, we will distribute safety alarms on May 28th and June 18th to residents in Chinatown. More information will be coming.

Nancy Williams introduced our newest Rotarian, Davey Warner. Davey, a former Rotarian in his former home, is a music communications graduate where he focused on guitar. However, he spent his summers facilitating wilderness and outdoor experiences leading to a career in outdoor recreation. A year ago, he followed his wife to the Bay Area where they are celebrating their first anniversary on May 15th. Welcome Davey! We will give you standing ovation when we are back together again!

Isaac Kos-Reed introduced our speaker of the day, Tasneem Raja. She is the Editor-in-Chief of The Oaklandside, a new nonprofit newsroom serving Oakland, California that amplifies community voices, shares information resources, and investigates systems, not just symptoms. She was a senior editor at NPR’s Code Switch, a reporting team that investigates issues of race and identity in America. She founded and led a data journalism team at Mother Jones that built the first-ever database of mass shootings in America. She co-founded The Tyler Loop, a nationally recognized nonprofit community journalism and storytelling platform in East Texas. She lives in Oakland with her husband, her daughter, and two imperious terriers.

Tasneem discussed with us the importance of local news. Research has shown that local news strengthens democracy and builds healthier, local communities. The need is huge as 2,100 newspapers have folded in the last 15 years. Large hedge fund owners take over local newsrooms, make significant cuts and the newspapers then fail. To quantify the importance of local newsrooms, research also shows communities with local newsrooms have higher voter rates, less corruption, lower municipal bond rates, less polarization, and stronger, more engaged communities.

Their big idea is to strengthen democracy and community through a nonprofit that focuses on local news network that’s built to scale, serve and last. Currently they have an audience of over 500,000 who visit monthly and 53,000 newsletter subscribers. Built to amplify community voices, share information and resources and investigating systems, not symptoms they listen to Oakland residents.

After taking a few audience questions, President Dudley thanked Tasneem for her presentation and honored her with a contribution to the ESRAG.

Click here to watch Tasneem Raja's video segment.

Missed our meeting, but interested in checking out the next one? Click below to learn more. https://www.oakland-rotary.org/calendar

#serviceaboveself #rotaryinternational #rotaryclubofoakland #rotaryopensopportunities

Call To Order - President Dudley Thompson

President Dudley Thompson called to order the 5,385th Civic Thursday meeting of the Rotary Club of Oakland. Founded in 1908, Rotary has over 36,000 clubs in 200 countries. Due to the recent surge in COVID, especially among some club members, this meeting is being held as a remote-only meeting. President Dudley encouraged the use of the chat function to all members and guests.  

Thought For The Day - Robert Kidd

Past President Robert Kidd, filling a last-minute void, provided the thought for the day. Quoting T.S. Elliott, from the Waste Land, in recognition of the preceding month shared this: “April is the cruelest month, breeding/ lilacs out of the dead land, mixing/memory & desire, stirring/ dull roots and spring rain.” Thank you, Robert, for your willingness to always help when you are needed!

Visiting Rotarians and Guests

Past President and Past District Governor Ed Jellen was happy to introduce Keith Uriarte’s guest, Barry Donelan as well as Lance Knobel, CEO of CitySide.

Meeting Sponsor – Kevin Kelley, Oakland Lacrosse Club

Oakland Lacrosse Club is today’s meeting sponsor. Founder and Executive Director, Kevin Kelley, shared how important the three years he has been in Rotary have meant to the organization including having three dedicated Rotarians on the board of directors—Harold Lowe, Tom Limon, and Sean Marx. Oakland Lacrosse provides a holistic model for youth development focusing on leadership development, academic counseling, and wellness education. Currently serving 2,000 youth in 13 schools they have a goal to expand to 20 Oakland schools by 2024. Kevin shared two items in a call to action for Rotarians 1) help at their annual potluck, 4:30 pm on May 17th. Send him an email at kevin@oaklandlacrosse.org if you can help. 2) Oakland Lacrosse is in the midst of their “one town, one family” fundraising drive where they need 1,000 donors at any level by May 17th. If they reach this goal the organization will receive $100,000!

Announcements

Oakland A’s Game & Tailgate—Rumor had it that President elect-elect, Tom Limon was stuck in a store and unable to reach a computer to zoom into the meeting (hmmm…interesting excuse, Tom!) so President Dudley pinch hit and shared that we have 100 tickets for the A’s v. Boston Red Sox game on Sunday, June 5th, and, although he is pretty sure that Past President Sean Marx is good for about 50 of the tickets, he encouraged people to purchase tickets through the Club Website Calendar. As an incentive, Tom provides an excellent tailgate and Dudley is going to bartend! The tailgate starts at 11 am and the game at 1:10 pm.

Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee—Chair Celeste Gordon shared that Inclusion Consultant, Viva Asmelash, will facilitate our meeting on May 12th. This is a very special opportunity for members to shape the future direction of the committee’s work. The meeting is for members only and members are asked to pre-register for the meeting on the Club Website Calendar. Look for messages next week to prompt attendance and registration. Alternative, virtual sessions will be held on May 12th at 5:30 pm and May 19th at 5:30 pm. There is also a survey in development that club members will be receiving.

Bike the Bridges—Mark Rosen shared information on the upcoming bike ride, Saturday May 14th, that will travel over both the Benicia and Carquinez bridges. Interested members can register on the Club Website Calendar and should plan to meet at 8:30 am. The ride starts at 9 am.

Epic Hike, Part Three—Saturday, June 25th, Past President Robert Kidd will lead a hike through the Oakland Hills. This is the third of the four-part hike. Register through the website.

District Leadership Training—Rotary District 5170 is sponsoring District Leadership Training from May 16th—19th.

Safety Alarms Distribution—In collaboration with The San Francisco/Chinatown Rotary Club , San Francisco Rotary Club and Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, we will distribute safety alarms on May 28th and June 18th to residents in Chinatown. More information will be coming.

New Member Induction – Davey Warner

Nancy Williams introduced our newest Rotarian, Davey WarnerDavey, a former Rotarian in his former home, is a music communications graduate where he focused on guitar. However, he spent his summers facilitating wilderness and outdoor experiences leading to a career in outdoor recreation. A year ago, he followed his wife to the Bay Area where they are celebrating their first anniversary on May 15th. Welcome Davey! We will give you standing ovation when we are back together again!

Speaker for the Day – Tashneem Raja

Isaac Kos-Reed introduced our speaker of the day, Tasneem Raja. She is the Editor-in-Chief of The Oaklandside, a new nonprofit newsroom serving Oakland, California that amplifies community voices, shares information resources, and investigates systems, not just symptoms. She was a senior editor at NPR’s Code Switch, a reporting team that investigates issues of race and identity in America. She founded and led a data journalism team at Mother Jones that built the first-ever database of mass shootings in America. She co-founded The Tyler Loop, a nationally recognized nonprofit community journalism and storytelling platform in East Texas. She lives in Oakland with her husband, her daughter, and two imperious terriers.

Tasneem discussed with us the importance of local news. Research has shown that local news strengthens democracy and builds healthier, local communities. The need is huge as 2,100 newspapers have folded in the last 15 years. Large hedge fund owners take over local newsrooms, make significant cuts and the newspapers then fail. To quantify the importance of local newsrooms, research also shows communities with local newsrooms have higher voter rates, less corruption, lower municipal bond rates, less polarization, and stronger, more engaged communities.

Their big idea is to strengthen democracy and community through a nonprofit that focuses on local news network that’s built to scale, serve and last. Currently they have an audience of over 500,000 who visit monthly and 53,000 newsletter subscribers. Built to amplify community voices, share information and resources and investigating systems, not symptoms they listen to Oakland residents.

After taking a few audience questions, President Dudley thanked Tasneem for her presentation and honored her with a contribution to the ESRAG.

Bellringers

Jack McAboy rang the bell for Kevin Kelley.

Isaac Kos-Read rang the bell for Davey Warner and for the Cityside Oakland publication.

Harold Lowe rang the bell for his son and daughter, Oscar and Taylor Lowe, who recently received their Eagle Scout designations. They are the only African-American brother and sister team who have earned the award together. And Taylor is the only African-American girl in California and the West Coast to earn the Eagle Scout. Congratulations to Oscar and Taylor!

Adjournment

President Dudley thanked those who rang the bell, meeting participants, and our speaker. The meeting was adjourned at 1:33 pm as he reminded us to Serve to Change Lives and Don’t Keep Rotary a Secret!

Next Meeting, May 12 – Cultivating a Sense of Belonging for All

The meeting on May 12 is a members-only, in-person meeting in the Ballroom. Pre-registration is required. Go to the Club Website Calendar to sign up. Inclusion Consultant Viva Asmelash will facilitate the meeting on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. It will be an interactive engagement session with members participating in small group discussions. Members who are unable to attend the in-person meeting, can participate in a Zoom meeting at 5:30 pm.

Rotary Club of Oakland Civic Luncheon Meeting, April 21, 2022

President Dudley Thompson called to order the 5,384th Civic Thursday meeting to order – highlighting the fact that Oakland Rotary is the 3rd Rotary Club established and we are proudly a diverse group of over 270 members. Our membership includes business owners, professionals and community leaders. 

Pres. Dudley then asked all to join him in reciting our Rotary Vision Statement which, in part, states that together we see a world united to take action.

Davey Warner, soon-to-be-inducted new member and avid outdoorsman shared a lovely and inspiring quote by Harold V. Melchert inviting us to “live your life each day as you would climb a mountain. An occasional glance toward the summit keeps the goal in mind, but many beautiful scenes are to be observed from each new vantage point.” 

Past President & Past District Governor Ed Jellen introduced Dianne Dorn,  Past President of the San Leandro Club and Assistant District Governor, Area 4A. Ruth Stroup was pleased to welcome her “GlenFriends” to the meeting. Keri Butkevich introduced guest and husband Nickolai, and David Stein introduced Dan Walters, president of the Bay Area Council of Boy Scouts of America.

Rotary Ukraine Disaster Relief Fund: In keeping with the meeting’s focus on Ukraine, President Dudley reminded us of our own fundraising efforts ignited by a generous club donor’s $10,000 challenge grant that with an additional $5,000 became a $15,000 total challenge. We have matched this gift successfully and the Club is donating $30,000 to the Rotary Foundation Disaster Response Fund assisting those affected by the war in Ukraine. So far, according to the Rotary International website, 53 disaster response grants, totaling nearly $1.5 million have been awarded.  Many thanks to all club members who joined in this generous response.

John C. Weaver Jr., M.D. Memorial – April 30th: Rotarians are invited to attend the Memorial honoring the life of our esteemed colleague, John C. Weaver, Jr. M.D., whose passion was appreciated and loved by many in our club, and especially those in the World Community Services Committee who accompanied him on his travels for humanitarian projects.

The Memorial will take place Saturday, April 30, 3:30 pm at Piedmont Community Church, 400 Highland Avenue, Piedmont.

National Volunteer Week: This week being National Volunteer Week, Pres. Dudley asked us to celebrate by volunteering for some of the upcoming events listed on our website’s Event Calendar. Dudley also thanked the volunteers who made the virtual Civic Thursday meeting possible.

Golf Tournament at Poppy Ridge Golf Course: The Golf Tournament on April 29th at Poppy Ridge Golf Course is sold out.

Sarah Chavez-Yoell introduced new club member Robert Kenney who is an attorney and serves as PG & E’s Senior Vice President of Regulatory and External Affairs. He is an East Bay resident and proud father of two sons. In his spare time Robert enjoys spending time with family, playing tennis, riding his bike and going to the movies. Welcome Robert!

David Stein introduced our guest speaker with an impressive list of achievements. Thomas E. Graham is a Distinguished Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He was the Senior Director for Russia on the National Security Council Staff during the George W. Bush administration and a special assistant to the president while managing a White House-Kremlin strategic dialogue. He is a co-founder of the Russian, East European and Eurasian studies program at Yale University, and has been a sought-after lecturer in global affairs and political science since 2011. 

Thomas’s excellent commentary gave us a behind-the-headlines look at what is happening in Ukraine, why it happened, Putin’s motives and what likely lies ahead for better or worse. He stressed that the nature of the conflict from the Russian standpoint is larger than the war in Ukraine.  He said that Moscow sees as a threat the expansion of NATO’s euro-atlantic region in the years following the cold war when Russia was weakened. Even if the war in Ukraine is resolved, we will likely still see an attempt to destabilize the NATO bond among nations. Moscow’s fear of encroachment is so strong that the present war in Ukraine is seen by some experts as part of Russia’s larger goal to take control of the seaports and the entire territorial region along the Black Sea, for security and economic reasons. 

Putin so far has underestimated Ukraine’s resistance. The timing of the invasion was likely influenced by the fact that Zelensky was a new president who scored low in the polls in his inaugural time before the invasion, easily replaceable in Putin’s mind.  Zelensky also had made a concerted approach to NATO to make good on its 2008 promise to work toward adding Ukraine. This made Moscow nervous, as did the observation that NATO countries had begun to help train other countries on defensive exercises. Putin had little active resistance from NATO in other invasions, and he did not expect the united front it displayed this time.

Ultimately, Putin underestimated both Zelensky and the Ukraine Resistance, while overestimating the readiness and capability of his military. Thomas opined that whatever comes next in the Ukrainian-Russian war, there is likely no negotiated future for the conflict simply because Moscow wants Ukraine to surrender, and they will not do so. Putin sees victory as his only solution to Russia’s security and his personal future. He declared a goal to win the war by May 9, an important Russian Victory Day Holiday celebrating its triumph over Nazi Germany. Whether he will resort to maniacal weaponry to get there, or instead focus on seizing the Donbas region to declare victory, remains to be seen in the days ahead. He is already a war criminal for the organized atrocities committed by Russian soldiers on civilians. Thomas feels it will take a decade or more for Ukraine to recover from all that has happened so far. And the impact on its people much longer, if ever.

Click here to watch Thomas E. Graham's video segment.

Missed our meeting, but interested in checking out the next one? Click below to learn more. https://www.oakland-rotary.org/calendar

#serviceaboveself #rotaryinternational #rotaryclubofoakland #rotaryopensopportunities

Call To Order - President Dudley Thompson

President Dudley Thompson called to order the 5,384th Civic Thursday meeting to order – highlighting the fact that Oakland Rotary is the 3rd Rotary Club established and we are proudly a diverse group of over 270 members. Our membership includes business owners, professionals and community leaders. 

Pres. Dudley then asked all to join him in reciting our Rotary Vision Statement which, in part, states that together we see a world united to take action.

Thought For The Day - Davey Warner

Davey Warner, soon-to-be-inducted new member and avid outdoorsman shared a lovely and inspiring quote by Harold V. Melchert inviting us to “live your life each day as you would climb a mountain. An occasional glance toward the summit keeps the goal in mind, but many beautiful scenes are to be observed from each new vantage point.” 

Visiting Rotarians and Guests

Past President & Past District Governor Ed Jellen introduced Dianne Dorn,  Past President of the San Leandro Club and Assistant District Governor, Area 4A. Ruth Stroup was pleased to welcome her “GlenFriends” to the meeting. Keri Butkevich introduced guest and husband Nickolai, and David Stein introduced Dan Walters, president of the Bay Area Council of Boy Scouts of America.

Announcements

Rotary Ukraine Disaster Relief Fund

In keeping with the meeting’s focus on Ukraine, President Dudley reminded us of our own fundraising efforts ignited by a generous club donor’s $10,000 challenge grant that with an additional $5,000 became a $15,000 total challenge. We have matched this gift successfully and the Club is donating $30,000 to the Rotary Foundation Disaster Response Fund assisting those affected by the war in Ukraine. So far, according to the Rotary International website, 53 disaster response grants, totaling nearly $1.5 million have been awarded.  Many thanks to all club members who joined in this generous response.

John C. Weaver Jr., M.D. Memorial – April 30th:

Rotarians are invited to attend the Memorial honoring the life of our esteemed colleague, John C. Weaver, Jr. M.D., whose passion was appreciated and loved by many in our club, and especially those in the World Community Services Committee who accompanied him on his travels for humanitarian projects.

The Memorial will take place Saturday, April 30, 3:30 pm at Piedmont Community Church, 400 Highland Avenue, Piedmont.

National Volunteer Week:

This week being National Volunteer Week, Pres. Dudley asked us to celebrate by volunteering for some of the upcoming events listed on our website’s Event Calendar. Dudley also thanked the volunteers who made the virtual Civic Thursday meeting possible.

Golf Tournament at Poppy Ridge Golf Course:

The Golf Tournament on April 29th at Poppy Ridge Golf Course is sold out.

New Member Induction – Robert Kenney

Sarah Chavez-Yoell introduced new club member Robert Kenney who is an attorney and serves as PG & E’s Senior Vice President of Regulatory and External Affairs. He is an East Bay resident and proud father of two sons. In his spare time Robert enjoys spending time with family, playing tennis, riding his bike and going to the movies. Welcome Robert!

Speaker for the Day – Thomas E. Graham

David Stein introduced our guest speaker with an impressive list of achievements. Thomas E. Graham is a Distinguished Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He was the Senior Director for Russia on the National Security Council Staff during the George W. Bush administration and a special assistant to the president while managing a White House-Kremlin strategic dialogue. He is a co-founder of the Russian, East European and Eurasian studies program at Yale University, and has been a sought-after lecturer in global affairs and political science since 2011. 

Thomas’s excellent commentary gave us a behind-the-headlines look at what is happening in Ukraine, why it happened, Putin’s motives and what likely lies ahead for better or worse. He stressed that the nature of the conflict from the Russian standpoint is larger than the war in Ukraine.  He said that Moscow sees as a threat the expansion of NATO’s euro-atlantic region in the years following the cold war when Russia was weakened. Even if the war in Ukraine is resolved, we will likely still see an attempt to destabilize the NATO bond among nations. Moscow’s fear of encroachment is so strong that the present war in Ukraine is seen by some experts as part of Russia’s larger goal to take control of the seaports and the entire territorial region along the Black Sea, for security and economic reasons. 

Putin so far has underestimated Ukraine’s resistance. The timing of the invasion was likely influenced by the fact that Zelensky was a new president who scored low in the polls in his inaugural time before the invasion, easily replaceable in Putin’s mind.  Zelensky also had made a concerted approach to NATO to make good on its 2008 promise to work toward adding Ukraine. This made Moscow nervous, as did the observation that NATO countries had begun to help train other countries on defensive exercises. Putin had little active resistance from NATO in other invasions, and he did not expect the united front it displayed this time.

Ultimately, Putin underestimated both Zelensky and the Ukraine Resistance, while overestimating the readiness and capability of his military. Thomas opined that whatever comes next in the Ukrainian-Russian war, there is likely no negotiated future for the conflict simply because Moscow wants Ukraine to surrender, and they will not do so. Putin sees victory as his only solution to Russia’s security and his personal future. He declared a goal to win the war by May 9, an important Russian Victory Day Holiday celebrating its triumph over Nazi Germany. Whether he will resort to maniacal weaponry to get there, or instead focus on seizing the Donbas region to declare victory, remains to be seen in the days ahead. He is already a war criminal for the organized atrocities committed by Russian soldiers on civilians. Thomas feels it will take a decade or more for Ukraine to recover from all that has happened so far. And the impact on its people much longer, if ever.

Adjournment

After encouraging everyone to participate in supporting our upcoming Gala, President Dudley adjourned the meeting at 1:31 pm as he reminded us to Serve to Change Lives and Don’t Keep Rotary a Secret!

Next Meeting, May 5 – Tasneem Raja – Future Role of Digital Local News

There is no noon meeting on April 28th. Instead, members will spend their Rotary-designated time dressed in their best” Grateful Glam” outfits to attend that evening’s In the Mood for Gratitude Gala at the Sequoyah Country Club.

Isaac Kos-Read announced our next speaker on May 5th will be Tasneem Raja, editor-in-chief of The Oaklandside, the innovative non-profit digital news site that covers Oakland and the East Bay.  She will share her insights into the state of the free press, and the niche that The Oaklandside and similar news sites may fill in its future.  

Call To Order - President Dudley Thompson

President Dudley Thompson called to order the 5,383rd Civic Thursday meeting to order – highlighting the fact that Oakland Rotary is the 3rd Rotary Club established and we are proudly a diverse group of over 270 members. Our membership includes business owners, professionals and community leaders.

Thought For The Day - Mieko Hatano

Mieko Hatano gave the Thought for the Day. “When we listen to music we are not listening to the past or listening to the future.  We are listening to expand the present.”

Visiting Rotarians and Guests

Past President & Past District Governor Ed Jellen announced there were no visiting Rotarians. One guest was introduced in the Ballroom.

Meeting Sponsor – Kymberly Miller – Children’s Fairyland

Our meeting sponsor was Kymberly Miller, Executive Director of Oakland’s Children’s Fairyland. Kymberly brought us up to date on all the new things happening at Fairyland including their two upcoming fundraisers. The 75th anniversary will be in 2025 so there are tons of infrastructure projects going on to enhance the already great Fairyland experience. Isaac Kos-Read is a big fan of Fairyland and encouraged us all to support the many programs it offers by attending the Annual Gala in the Park on May 25th. Proceeds of this event will fund the infrastructure enhancements as well as the many programs offered. 

Reintroduction of Susan Smith

Jesse Schmidt reintroduced us to Rotarian Susan SmithSusan is a lifelong athlete who played soccer in college at St. Mary’s and now she runs marathons. She has been married for 23 years to her college sweetheart and says that it is her family that she is most proud of. Susan is now running her family business, East Bay Blue Print & Supply Company. A Rotarian for 23 years, Susan is grateful to Wayne Goodroe who convinced her to join.

Oakland Rotary Endowment Annual Meeting

ORE Board President Leann Alameda conducted the annual ORE meeting. After establishing a quorum of members attendung in the Ballroom and on Zoom, she announced the one item of business – election of Board members who will serve a three-year term beginning July 2022. Nominees Ces Butner, Merlin Edwards, Danny Mai and Pamela Claassen were duly elected. Congratulations to the new ORE Board members.

Announcements

KinderPrep Volunteer Opportunities

KinderPrep Chairman John Holmgren is gearing up for the annual KinderPrep distribution of books and is looking for volunteers. This is a great service opportunity for Rotarians. You can participate in the book bag set-up on April 22nd or book packing event on the April 23rd. There is also an opportunity to be a chaperone at the KinderPrep visit to the Oakland Zoo on April 26th or Children’s Fairyland visit on May 6th. Those interested can sign up on the Club Website calendar.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Survey

Celeste Gordon, DEI Committee Co-Chair, announced the committee will be doing an Inclusion Survey of members along with individual and group interviews to learn about our members’ experiences. The DEI Committee will be looking to see: Do we reflect the diverse community of Oakland? Does everyone in our club feel welcomed? Does everyone feel they have access to leadership opportunities and decision making? The DEI committee is looking for new members, everyone is welcomed to join. “We can’t serve the community unless we are the community”.

In The Mood for Gratitude Gala

Are you In the Mood for Gratitude? Gala Co-Chair Tricia Connors invited us all to attend our April 28th fundraiser at the Sequoyah Country Club from 6 -10 pm. Deadline for purchasing tickets is April 22nd. If you’re in the mood to win a great raffle prize, get your raffle tickets now. $100 will get you one out of 100 tickets, giving you a pretty good chance to win something. If you’re in the mood for wine we also have a $50 raffle ticket that gives you a chance to win 24 bottles of wine! Each bottle is worth over $50! This could set you up for gifts for the holidays. If you’re in the mood for a trip to Italy, Ana Chretien has graciously donated two rooms at a villa in Italy that can accommodate four people. Rick Baskin and Layin’ Down the Law will be performing and joining them will be the legendary Jules Broussard. If you’re in the mood for a great evening with good food and fun Rotarians, the Gala is the place to be. 

Epic Hike, Second Stage

Robert Kidd reminded members to join the Second Stage of the Epic Hike Series (Richmond to San Leandro) on Sunday, April 24th.  This portion will take place in Tilden Park. For detailed information and to register, go to the Club Website calendar.

Golf Tournament at Poppy Ridge Course

Golfers can enjoy a tournament on Friday, April 29 at Poppy Ridge Golf Course in Livermore. Tee times start at 10:40 am.  Deadline for signing up is April 22. Contact Jesse Bowdle at execadmin@oakland-rotary.org to sign up.

Rotary District 5170 Conference

The Annual Conference will take place on April 22 – 24 at Blackhawk Museum and the San Ramon Marriott. Attendees must sign up on advance for the activities they would like to attend.  Register at the Rotary 5170 District website.

Enterprise Institute Leadership Academy

This one-day event will be April 23 from 8 am – 4 pm. Attend to hear this program for high school juniors. Contact Harold Lowe at holowe@aol.com, Gary Flaxman at GaryFlaxman@gmail.com or Dudley Thompson at ItsMeDudleyT@gmail.com for details.

Speaker for the Day – Corinna Gould

Robert Kidd introduced our speaker, Corinna Gould, the Confederated Chair and Spokesperson for the Ohlone community.

Corinna traced the history of Native Americans in California and shared with us many facts about the terrible treatment Native Americans received here.  She emphasized this is the history that is never taught in schools.  Her presentation included information about the enslavement of Native Americans at the Missions, laws that made it legal to hunt Native Americans, and how Native Americans were stripped of their language and religion. Many cities, including, Oakland, Emeryville, Albany, Alameda and Richmond are now recognizing that our cities are built on Ohlone Territory and are publicly displaying a tribute to this heritage.

Bellringers

Susan Smith rang the bell in honor of her sponsor, Wayne Goodroe.

Jack McAboy, John Holmgren, Fred Morse, Steve Blair, Robert Kidd and Dudley Thompson rang the bell for Susan Smith.

Shanna O’Hare rang the bell five times for Ed Jellen.

Ed Jellen rang the bell three times: for Robert Kidd, for Michael Bruck and for those Rotarians who rang the bell recently for him.

Lois Corrin rang the bell for Senator Cory Booker.

Tom Limon rang the bell for Georgia Richardson and Karen Friedman.

Adjournment

President Dudley adjourned the meeting at 1:35 pm as he reminded us to Serve to Change Lives and Don’t Keep Rotary a Secret!

Next Meeting, April 14 – Corinna Gould

David Stein announced next week’s speaker is Thomas E. Graham. From 2004-2007, he was special assistant to the president and senior director for Russia on the National Security Council where he managed a White House-Kremlin dialogue and formerly Director of Russian Affairs. His past experiences provide him with a wealth of knowledge that will keep you on the edge of your seat. This meeting is a Zoom-only meeting.

Rotary Club of Oakland Civic Luncheon Meeting, April 7, 2022

President Dudley Thompson called to order the 5,382nd Civic Thursday meeting of the third oldest Rotary Club in the world. We are a diverse group of some 270 business, professional and community leaders dedicated to Service Above Self.

Gary Flaxman recalled that at Camp Enterprise Past President Eddie Snow would tell students to “step out of your comfort zone.” Gary’s thought for us as we exit the pandemic is to step out, explore the world with family and friends and be prepared to come out of your comfort zone.

Past President & Past District Governor Ed Jellen introduced Dr. Dilip Sarkar of the Rotary Club of Chesapeake, Virginia and Richard Schwart, president of San Francisco/Chinatown Rotary Club. Also signing in via Zoom was President Dudley’s wife, Concha Delgado Gaitan.

Ruth Stroup, also known as “The Insurance Lady”, revealed that owning an insurance business for the last 16 years started by accident (maybe an intended pun). Her goal was always to be a business owner, just like her dad, but it took two previous career ventures before she arrived at insurance as her focus. She believes in serving the community by hiring local people, paying local taxes and giving at least 5% back to the community. She announced a Community Shred Day at her office on Saturday, April 16 from 10 am to 2 pm.  All types of documents are welcome and the shred is free. 

Past President Ken Richardson introduced our newest member, Peter Pervere. Peter retired from a career in accounting and finance. He has served on various local boards, including Berkeley Repertory Theatre and the Oakland Museum. When he is not golfing, Peter finds time to chauffeur his grandchildren to and from school. He also joins two other members of his family as Oakland Rotarians, his sister Maude Pervere and brother-in-law Sam Miller. Welcome Peter!

Debo Sarkar introduced our speaker, and his brother, Dr. Dilip Sarkar.  Dr. Sarkar is a retired vascular surgeon who holds certificates as a Yoga Therapist and Ayurvedic Yoga Therapist. He is recognized as an expert in the integration of western medicine with Ayurveda and yoga therapy.

Dr. Sarkar began by describing yoga as the union of body, mind and spirit.  His analogy is to think of the body as hardware, mind as software and spirit as the programmer.  He dispelled the myth that yoga is “sitting down and putting one’s body in the shape of a pretzel.”

Yoga is a philosophy – mind over body. Breathing is the most important component. Time of day is not an issue, but yoga is often done in the morning and should be scheduled daily.

It is the most important activity we can do as it contributes to adjusting our heart rate, reducing stress, and allowing our minds to experience stillness, resulting in happiness among other things.

Dr. Sarkar walked us through a daily routine to keep our bodies functioning with good posture, and how, over time, we can improve our body functions. (Editor’s note: of the 30+ viewers on Zoom, most had their screens closed—perhaps they were practicing the exercises as Dr. Sarker demonstrated.)

Introspection is important – “find a time for yoga, and yoga will find a time for you.” 

Dr. Sarkar is the author of Yoga Therapy, Ayurveda, and Western Medicine. He can also be viewed on his YouTube Channel.

KinderPrep – Four Dates: KinderPrep Chair John Holmgren announced four service projects taking place in the next two months.

April 22 – 9am – 12 noon, Set-up for Book Packing Day, 5 volunteers needed

April 23 – Book Bag Packing Day at Johnstone Supply, 9 am – 12 noon, 10 volunteers needed

April 26 –10 am – 1 pm, Field Trip to Oakland Zoo – 10 volunteers needed to welcome students and set up lunches

May 6 – 10 am – 1 pm, Field Trip to Children’s Fairyland for 4 classes – 5 volunteers needed to escort children and help with lunches

Sign up on the Club Website Calendar. 

Email John Holmgren at holmgren.johnk@gmail.com if you have questions.

Enterprise Institute Leadership Academy – April 23: Gary Flaxman saluted the 40th anniversary of Enterprise Institute (formerly called Camp Enterprise) which began in 1982. This year it is a one-day event on April 23, 8 am – 4 pm, at the Police Athletic League site. Come and watch the students go through the learning modules. For information, contact Gary Flaxman, Harold Lowe or Dudley Thompson.

Lake Merritt Gardens Service Day – April 16: C J Hirshfield announced on April 16 from 9 am to 1 pm, volunteers will clean up Lake Merritt Gardens. Volunteers are asked to bring masks, water and work gloves. Also bring shears and work or rain boots if available. Additional information available on website. Sign up on the Club Website Calendar in advance and fill out the Covid Waiver.

In The Mood for Gratitude Gala – April 28: Co-chair Kerry Hamill announced tickets are for sale on the Website Calendar for the Gala, which will take place at Sequoyah Country Club on April 28 from 6 pm – 10 pm. There will be a Live Auction as well as a Silent Auction.  One hundred Raffle Tickets are also being sold. Holder of the winning ticket will have first choice pick among the Live Auction items.

Club Meeting Schedule Adjustments for April: Pres. Dudley announced some changes in the April meeting schedule.

April 14th meeting will take place in the Ballroom and on Zoom.

April 21st meeting will be Zoom only.

There may be a noon Zoom meeting on April 28th, to be determined.

Golf Tournament – April 29: Golfers can enjoy a tournament on Friday, April 29 at Poppy Ridge Golf Course in Livermore. Tee times start at 10:40 am. Deadline for signing up is April 22. Contact Jesse Bowdle at execadmin@oakland-rotary.org to sign up.

Aid to Ukraine: Pres. Dudley updated members on the matching fund for Aid to Ukraine. An anonymous donor made a $10,000 challenge which has been met to-date with $6,200 in gifts from club members.  The donor will add an additional $5,000 in matching funds if donations continue.  Contact Jesse Bowdle on how to make a donation for this match. Funds will be managed and disbursed by Rotary International through their Disaster Response Fund.

Lois Corrin, Ruth Stroup, Keith Uriarte, Ces Butner, Robert Kidd, Joycie Mack and Merlin Edwards rang the bell for newly-confirmed U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson.

Click here to watch Dr. Dilip Sarkar's video segment.

Missed our meeting, but interested in checking out the next one? Click below to learn more. https://www.oakland-rotary.org/calendar

#serviceaboveself #rotaryinternational #rotaryclubofoakland #rotaryopensopportunities

Call To Order - President Dudley Thompson

President Dudley Thompson called to order the 5,382nd Civic Thursday meeting of the third oldest Rotary Club in the world. We are a diverse group of some 270 business, professional and community leaders dedicated to Service Above Self.

Thought For The Day - Gary Flaxman

Gary Flaxman recalled that at Camp Enterprise Past President Eddie Snow would tell students to “step out of your comfort zone.” Gary’s thought for us as we exit the pandemic is to step out, explore the world with family and friends and be prepared to come out of your comfort zone.

Visiting Rotarians and Guests

Past President & Past District Governor Ed Jellen introduced Dr. Dilip Sarkar of the Rotary Club of Chesapeake, Virginia and Richard Schwart, president of San Francisco/Chinatown Rotary Club. Also signing in via Zoom was President Dudley’s wife, Concha Delgado Gaitan.

Meeting Sponsor – Ruth Stroup, Farmers Insurance

Ruth Stroup, also known as “The Insurance Lady”, revealed that owning an insurance business for the last 16 years started by accident (maybe an intended pun). Her goal was always to be a business owner, just like her dad, but it took two previous career ventures before she arrived at insurance as her focus. She believes in serving the community by hiring local people, paying local taxes and giving at least 5% back to the community. She announced a Community Shred Day at her office on Saturday, April 16 from 10 am to 2 pm. All types of documents are welcome and the shred is free. 

New Member Induction – Peter Pervere

Past President Ken Richardson introduced our newest member, Peter Pervere. Peter retired from a career in accounting and finance. He has served on various local boards, including Berkeley Repertory Theatre and the Oakland Museum. When he is not golfing, Peter finds time to chauffeur his grandchildren to and from school. He also joins two other members of his family as Oakland Rotarians, his sister Maude Pervere and brother-in-law Sam Miller. Welcome Peter!

Announcements

KinderPrep – Four Dates

KinderPrep Chair John Holmgren announced four service projects taking place in the next two months.

April 22 – 9am – 12 noon, Set-up for Book Packing Day, 5 volunteers needed

April 23 – Book Bag Packing Day at Johnstone Supply, 9 am – 12 noon, 10 volunteers needed

April 26 –10 am – 1 pm, Field Trip to Oakland Zoo – 10 volunteers needed to welcome students and set up lunches

May 6 – 10 am – 1 pm, Field Trip to Children’s Fairyland for 4 classes – 5 volunteers needed to escort children and help with lunches

Sign up on the Club Website Calendar. 

Email John Holmgren at holmgren.johnk@gmail.com if you have questions.

Enterprise Institute Leadership Academy – April 23: Gary Flaxman saluted the 40th anniversary of Enterprise Institute (formerly called Camp Enterprise) which began in 1982. This year it is a one-day event on April 23, 8 am – 4 pm, at the Police Athletic League site. Come and watch the students go through the learning modules. For information, contact Gary Flaxman, Harold Lowe or Dudley Thompson.

Lake Merritt Gardens Service Day – April 16: C J Hirshfield announced on April 16 from 9 am to 1 pm, volunteers will clean up Lake Merritt Gardens. Volunteers are asked to bring masks, water and work gloves. Also bring shears and work or rain boots if available. Additional information available on website. Sign up on the Club Website Calendar in advance and fill out the Covid Waiver.

In The Mood for Gratitude Gala – April 28Co-chair Kerry Hamill announced tickets are for sale on the Website Calendar for the Gala, which will take place at Sequoyah Country Club on April 28 from 6 pm – 10 pm. There will be a Live Auction as well as a Silent Auction. One hundred Raffle Tickets are also being sold. Holder of the winning ticket will have first choice pick among the Live Auction items.

Club Meeting Schedule Adjustments for April: Pres. Dudley announced some changes in the April meeting schedule.

April 14th meeting will take place in the Ballroom and on Zoom.

April 21st meeting will be Zoom only.

There may be a noon Zoom meeting on April 28th, to be determined.

Golf Tournament – April 29: Golfers can enjoy a tournament on Friday, April 29 at Poppy Ridge Golf Course in Livermore. Tee times start at 10:40 am. Deadline for signing up is April 22. Contact Jesse Bowdle at execadmin@oakland-rotary.org to sign up.

Aid to Ukraine: Pres. Dudley updated members on the matching fund for Aid to Ukraine. An anonymous donor made a $10,000 challenge which has been met to-date with $6,200 in gifts from club members. The donor will add an additional $5,000 in matching funds if donations continue. Contact Jesse Bowdle on how to make a donation for this match. Funds will be managed and disbursed by Rotary International through their Disaster Response Fund.

Speaker for the Day – Dilip Sarkar, MD

Debo Sarkar introduced our speaker, and his brother, Dr. Dilip Sarkar. Dr. Sarkar is a retired vascular surgeon who holds certificates as a Yoga Therapist and Ayurvedic Yoga Therapist. He is recognized as an expert in the integration of western medicine with Ayurveda and yoga therapy.

Dr. Sarkar began by describing yoga as the union of body, mind and spirit. His analogy is to think of the body as hardware, mind as software and spirit as the programmer.  He dispelled the myth that yoga is “sitting down and putting one’s body in the shape of a pretzel.”

Yoga is a philosophy – mind over body. Breathing is the most important component. Time of day is not an issue, but yoga is often done in the morning and should be scheduled daily.

It is the most important activity we can do as it contributes to adjusting our heart rate, reducing stress, and allowing our minds to experience stillness, resulting in happiness among other things.

Dr. Sarkar walked us through a daily routine to keep our bodies functioning with good posture, and how, over time, we can improve our body functions. (Editor’s note: of the 30+ viewers on Zoom, most had their screens closed—perhaps they were practicing the exercises as Dr. Sarker demonstrated.)

Introspection is important – “find a time for yoga, and yoga will find a time for you.” 

Dr. Sarkar is the author of Yoga Therapy, Ayurveda, and Western Medicine. He can also be viewed on his YouTube Channel.

Bellringers

Lois Corrin, Ruth Stroup, Keith Uriarte, Ces Butner, Robert Kidd, Joycie Mack and Merlin Edwards rang the bell for newly-confirmed U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson.

Adjournment

President Dudley adjourned the meeting at 1:30 pm as he reminded us to Serve to Change Lives and Don’t Keep Rotary a Secret

Next Meeting, April 14 – Corinna Gould

Robert Kidd announced next week’s speaker is Corinna Gould, Spokeswoman and Tribal Chair of the Confederated Villages of Lisjan/Ohlone. The Ohlone people live in the area now occupied by the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Ms. Gould's tribe, specifically, is located in the East Bay regions now occupied by Oakland, Berkeley, and beyond.