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Dudley Thompson

Call to Order – Dudley Thompson

President-elect Dudley Thompson called the 5,343rd Civic Thursday meeting of the 3rd oldest Rotary Club in the world to order at 12:30 p.m.

Mark Rosen

Thought for the Day – Mark Rosen

Mark Rosen urged everyone to celebrate National Candy Month by eating as much candy "as our hearts desire”. Is Mark a part time lobbyist for the National Confectioners Association? If so, we are looking forward to free samples.

Opening Comments and Future Meetings

President-elect Dudley served as substitute president for the day in place of President Ces. Ces will return for next week's hybrid meeting (Zoom and in-person at the California Ballroom). The demotion of President Ces will be a Zoom meeting on June 24th. There will not be a meeting on July 1st and the inauguration of President-elect Dudley will be celebrated on July 8th. 

What happened to the recitation of the vision statement? See below.

Visiting Rotarians and Guests

Past President and past District Governor Ed Jellen introduced Lois Corrin, C J Hirschfield's guest. Lois will be moving from guest to member status next week. 

High Adventure June – August – Mark Rosen

Mark Rosen returned to the electronic podium in his role as High Adventure Committee chair with news of upcoming, in-person events.

  • Tickets for Oakland A's games on July 2nd (Red Sox) and August 27th (Yankees) are available for $80. The ticket includes seats in the "Golden Road Landing" area and fireworks. There will be no tailgate parties for either game but feel free to make your own arrangements for pre-game fun. You can purchase tickets on the specific calendar date links on the Club’s website.  Only 100 tickets per game are available.
  • Hike at Point Pinole Regional Shoreline on June 19th. Sign up on the calendar date link on the Club’s website.
  • Cycling Event – usually held the 4th Saturday of the month is in the planning stages.

Gala Report and ORE Campaign Results

Gala Committee chair Kathleen Sims reported that Casino Night Gala resulted in a net profit of close to $60,000 for Oakland Rotary Endowment. She thanked the Gala sponsors, bidders, attendees, and workers for making the Gala a big success. ORE President Mike Mowery thanked Kathleen for her hard work on the Gala and Jim Caponigro for leading the 2021 ORE campaign. Total fundraising for the year approached $190,000. Congrats to all.

Vision Statement

After receiving numerous reminders that he skipped the Rotary vision, President-elect Dudley belatedly led the group in its recitation. Dudley assured the audience that all the kinks will be ironed out by his first meeting on July 8th.

June 17th In-Person Meeting Protocols

President-elect nominee Mary Geong reminded the audience of the protocols for our first in-person meeting on June 17th:

  • Bring your proof of vaccination (your card or a photo of your card) or send a copy to Executive Administrator Jesse Bowdle.
  • The California Ballroom will be set up for social distancing. Please don't move the chairs.
  • Masks will be required unless you are eating or drinking.
  • No food will be provided. You may bring your own.
  • Coffee, tea, water, and the no-host bar will be available.
  • Greet each other with elbow bumps.
  • Don't sign into the Zoom meeting or use the ballroom WiFi while in the Ballroom to avoid tech problems.

Breakout Room Fellowship

The Zoom audience was divided into breakout rooms to discuss any and all topics.

Jonathan Becher

Speaker for the Day – Jonathan Becher

Pat Williams introduced Jonathan Becher. Jonathan is president of Sharks Sports & Entertainment, the parent organization of the San Jose Sharks hockey team, the minor league San Jose Barracuda hockey team, three ice rinks, and the Sharks Foundation. He is a three-time tech CEO, an author and blogger, and a "Wahoo" from the University of Virginia. Feel free to ask Pat Williams for the definition of a "Wahoo."

Jonathan had multiple careers as a computer programmer and software developer, entrepreneur, chief digital officer at SAP. Now he is in the business of creating experiences. Two phrases guide his personal, work, and community life: 

  • Culture eats strategy - a well-designed strategy will not be effective unless people are motivated to support it.
  • Words matter - word choice and language are important in communicating.

 

Jonathan discussed business challenges and opportunities related to the pandemic:

  • Sports is rooted in the past - the pandemic provided the opportunity to reinvent the sports business.
  • There is a need to use technology to support a remote workforce.
  • Jonathan banned the use of the word "virtual." Zoom meetings are real.
  • The Sharks will provide a "reverse ATM" where the customer puts money in and receives a Sharks cash card.
  • The organization is building a new arena (4,500 capacity) for the Barracuda.
  • The Sharks can create a great experience without winning.
  • Long term financial success is based on occasional winning.
  • His business goal is to break even. He wants the Sharks to be a community asset.
  • His job is to help the world be a better place. Sounds a lot like Rotary.

Adjournment

President-elect Dudley thanked all who participated in the meeting and ended the meeting with an approximation of President Ces's "And that's the way it went" closing.

Birthday Greetings

Happy Birthday! Celebrating between June 18 and June 24 are:

19 – Bryan Morgan

19 –  Julayne Virgil

21 – Kers Clausen

22 – Robert Rayburn

23 – Ebonie Cobb

24 – Robert Fried

Membership Anniversaries through June 18 - 30

Thank you for your years of service to the Rotary Club of Oakland and the community!

  • Luise Roke – 20 years
  • Mary Geong – 19 years
  • Elizabeth Johnson – 18 years
  • Keith Giron – 14 years
  • Dan Altemus – 13 years
  • David Barron – 8 years
  • Steve Lowe – 8 years
  • Jain Williams – 8 years
  • Joseph Koroma – 6 years
  • Ethel Lee Miller – 6 years
  • Steven Jones – 4 years
  • Pat McMillan – 4 years
  • Ahmad Anderson – 3 years
  • Candice Elder – 3 years
  • Greg Knight – 2 years
  • Margee Witt – 2 years
Brad Howard

Next Meeting, Thursday, June 17 – Brad Howard – Rotary’s Peace Mural

Allison Bliss announced next week’s speaker will be Brad Howard, former Rotary International Director.  Brad will talk about the shared vision of three Rotary Clubs in Oakland to create a Beacon of Hope for Justice, Inclusion and Peace for our community through a mural being installed in Jack London Square.

Ces Butner, President of Rotary Club of Oakland

Call to Order – Ces Butner

President Ces Butner called to order the 5,342nd Civic Thursday meeting of the third oldest Club in the Rotary world from the California Ballroom with presenters both in person and via Zoom.

Gail Uilkema

Thought for the Day – Gail Uilkema

Gail Uilkema shared three quotes –

Will Rogers: “Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today”.

Dolly Parton: “The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain”.

Dr. Seuss: “Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory”.

Visiting Rotarians and Guests

Past President Ed Jellen welcomed C J Hirschfield’s guests: Princess Allen and Lois Corrin.

Barbara Beery

Reintroduction of Barbara Beery

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Co-Chair Greg Knight reintroduced Barbara Beery. Professionally she has been an attorney and certified public accountant. Before joining, Barbara wanted to be sure Rotary would be a good fit but wasn’t initially convinced. It was when she met Past President Karl Stucki that she realized Oakland Rotary fit with her passion for world community service and love of travel, which has led to the long-lasting relationship of 27 years. She has served on many Committees, and on the Club Board of Directors and Endowment Board of Trustees.  Early on she led a Group Study Exchange Program in France, participated in a Uniendo America Project Fair, and had a very life-changing trip to Ghana where she administered polio vaccine to infants. Several years ago, she resurrected the Speech Contest which she co-chairs.  Barbara cherishes the many relationships she has gained with numerous Rotarians in the Club. On a personal note, she and her late partner, Phyllis have two daughters, one living in Oakland and one in Seattle.  Barbara is a World Champion swimmer.   She competed in the 2014 and 2018 Gay Games 9 and 10 where she won gold, silver and bronze medals.  She is looking forward to the 2022 11 games in Hong Kong.

Pickleball Clinic and New Member Orientation – Pat Williams

Pat Williams announced that Pickleball, the fastest growing sport, is coming to High Adventure. On Saturday, June 12th there will be two clinic sessions, 10 a.m. – Noon and Noon to 2 p.m. at which participants will learn the basics of pickleball and be game-ready within 20-30 minutes. Space is limited. Sign up on the Club website calendar.

New Member Orientation for those who joined the Club since July 2020 is scheduled via Zoom for June 8th or June 15th.  Contact Pat Williams at patwilliams3708@gmail.com to sign up.

Saroni-Lena Scholars Introduction

Saroni-Lena Scholarship Committee Co-Chair Steve Blair introduced this year’s scholars who were in attendance via Zoom:

  • Alexa Azevedo, graduate of Skyline High, will attend California State University, Long Beach

  • Victoria Balla, graduate of Oakland Tech, will attend UC Berkeley

  • JiaJie (David) Huang, graduate of Oakland High, will attend UC Santa Barbara

  • Pablo Lomeli, Jr., graduate of Lighthouse Community Charter High, will attend UC Berkeley

  • Juana Mendoza, graduate of Fremont High School, will attend UC Berkeley

  • Thoa Nguyen, graduate of Oakland Tech, will attend UC San Diego

  • Mea Polland, graduate of Oakland High, will attend UCLA

  • Ian Prchlik, graduate of Skyline High, will attend University of Michigan

  • Elijah Weller, graduate of Skyline High, will attend UCLA

In-Person Meeting in the Ballroom June 17th

President Ces outlined the protocols Rotary will follow when members are welcomed back into California Ballroom for his final meeting of the year. Pre-registration is required. The meeting will also be broadcast on Zoom. Attendees must show proof of Covid-19 vaccination. The Ballroom will be set up with social distancing. Masks will be required in the Ballroom, except during eating or drinking. No food will be provided, but attendees can bring their own lunches. Water, coffee and tea will be available at no charge. Wine will be available at the bar.

Bernard Schlager

Speaker for the Day – Bernard Schlager

President-Elect Dudley Thompson introduced our speaker, Bernard (Bernie) Schlager. He is Associate Professor of Historical and Cultural Studies and Executive Director, The Center for LGBTQ and Gender Studies in Religion at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley.

Dr. Schlager outlined the complicated relationship between Christianity and LCBTW which goes back to the Middle Ages. The Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley is the oldest west of the Mississippi. One half of the student body identifies as queer. The Council on Religion and the Homosexual was founded in San Francisco in early 1964. It is the first group openly dedicated to creating social change for “homosexuals” in US churches and US society. Many of the movements in the United States were led by Christians and include the Abolitionist Movement, Temperance Movement, Civil Rights Movement, Catholic Worker Movement, Farmworker Movement and others. 

World War II was a national “coming out” experience when individuals met each other on a large scale and got together during the late 1940’s and 1950’s.

Another important player in the Bay Area is Glide Memorial Church, originally Methodist affiliated, now independent, which started in 1962 in San Francisco.

Bellringers

Executive Administrator Jesse Bowdle announced the following bellringers:

Greg Knight, Stephanie Casenza, Jack McAboy, Ces Butner, Sandeepa Nayak, Ruth Stroup, Elida Scola, Marie Saverimuthu, Linda & Jim Boessenecker, Wise Allen, Kristine Watson, Peter Sherris, Linda Chew, Bob Breecker, Debo Sarker, Fred Morse and Dudley Thompson rang the bell for Barbara Beery.

Adjournment

President Ces adjourned the meeting stating "that's the way it went” at the 5,342nd meeting of the third oldest Rotary Club in the world as he rang the bell.

Proposed For Membership

The following individuals have submitted applications.  If no objection is received within five days, the application will be submitted to the Board of Directors for action:

Lois Corrin

Education

Piedmont, CA  94611

Sponsor:  CJ Hirschfield

Birthday Greetings

Happy Birthday! Birthdays through June 11 - 17

13 – Rod Hughes

     – Steve Nicholls

14 – Scott Baird

      – Bruce Nye

16 – Steve Blair

      – Keith Giron

Membership Anniversaries through June 11 - 17

Thank you for your years of service to the Rotary Club of Oakland and the community!

  • Ces Butner – 29 years
  • Marlo Seligman – 29 years
  • Peter Turner – 29 years
  • David Scharff – 21 years
  • Catherine Pinkas – 17 years
  • Merlin Edwards – 10 years
  • Sean Callum – 13 years
  • Beth Hillman – 3 years
  • Jesse McKeithen – 3 years
Jonathan Becher, President of the San Jose Sharks

Next Meeting, Thursday, June 10 – Jonathan Becher, President of the San Jose Sharks

Pat Williams announced next week’s speaker will be Jonathan Becher, President of the San Jose Sharks. He is responsible for the organization’s overall strategy with a particular focus on the end-to-end customer experience.

Ces Butner, President of Rotary Club of Oakland

Call to Order – Ces Butner

Live, from the California Ballroom, President Ces Butner called the 5,339th Civic Thursday meeting of the Rotary Club of Oakland to order at 12:30 p.m. A crowd of five joined Pres. Ces in the ballroom along with the usual large crowd on Zoom for the second hybrid test meeting.

Isaac Kos-Read

Thought for the Day – Isaac Kos-Read

Issac Kos-Read, joined by his mother Diana Kos, read his original poem about mothers.

Visiting Rotarians and Guests

Past President Ed Jellen introduced visiting San Leandro Rotarian Dianne Dorn and Issac Kos-Read's guests, Diana Kos and Antwan Adams. 

Erika Aristizabel - member of the Nuevo Medellin, Colombia Rotary Club

Medellin Colombia International Service Trip Report

Karen Friedman introduced Erika Aristizabel, a member of the Nuevo Medellin, Colombia Rotary Club. Erika has been visiting the U.S. and joined the meeting from San Francisco.She is an attorney and a criminal court judge. 

Michael Bruck reminded the audience about the annual Oakland Rotary international service trip to Medellin, Colombia. The trip itinerary includes hands-on service projects, meetings with local Rotarians, touring, Colombian food, and salsa dancing. The next trip is planned for spring, 2022.

Erika spoke about the special relationship between the Nuevo Medellin and Oakland Rotary Clubs, thanked Oakland members for supporting her club's projects which have had a positive impact on many lives, and invited everyone to visit Medellin.

 

Salvation Army Presentation

Major James Sullivan thanked the club for its hard work with the Oakland homeless population. Club members recently packed and helped distribute 1,000 hygiene kits. The Salvation Army continues to serve mobile meals to the homeless in Oakland. He presented a certificate of appreciation and a Salvation Army coffee mug to President Ces.

Piedmont Living Magazine Features Gail Uilkema

Piedmont Living Magazine Features Gail Uilkema

President Ces shared the cover of this month's Piedmont Living Magazine which features Oakland Rotary member Gail Uilkema on the cover. The article about Gail included a reference to her long-time membership in the Oakland Rotary Club. Gail rang the bell in honor of the Piedmont Living article. Karen Friedman, Dudley Thompson and Ruth Stroup rang the bell in Gail's honor.

High Adventure Hike Update

Past President Robert Kidd announced that the May 16th Mt. Diablo hike has been postponed. It will be rescheduled for a later date.

Debo Sarkar

Business Development Speaker on May 20th

Jesse Schmidt invited everyone to the Business Development Committee speaker series presentation on May 20th at 5:00 p.m. Member Debo Sarkar will talk about inflation. The Zoom event is free and you may sign up here at https://bit.ly/ORCspeakerseriesmay.

Casino Night Virtual Auction & Raffle

Casino Night Virtual Auction & Raffle – May 22

Kathleen Sims reminded all members to buy tickets to the annual gala on May 22nd, 6:00-9:00 p.m. The evening will include casino games, entertainment, magic, a guest chef, a guest mixologist, and live and silent auctions.  You can secure your tickets here at https://www.biddingowl.com/OaklandRotaryEndowment. Also, be sure to purchase your wine cellar raffle tickets for an opportunity to win at least 20 bottles of wine. You can purchase your raffle tickets by emailing executive administrator Jesse Bowdle at execadmin@oakland-rotary.org or calling him at 925-207-2370.

Speaker for the Day – Reshma Saujani

Julayne Virgil introduced Reshma Saujani, the founder and CEO of Girls Who Code and founder of Marshall Plan for Moms. Reshma spoke from her home in New York City.

Over 2 million women left the workforce last year. Thirty years of progress was erased in 9 months. Women of color are leaving the workforce at twice the rate of white women. The reasons included lack of affordable and reliable childcare and the permanent elimination of jobs. This fact caused her to ask "where is the Marshall Plan for Moms?" (editor's note: the Marshall Plan provided financial aid from the U.S. to help Europe rebuild after WWII). 

The Marshall Plan for Moms calls for:

  • Direct cash payments to moms who have had their paid labor replaced by unpaid labor at home
  • Passage of paid family leave, affordable childcare, and pay equity policies
  • Retraining programs for moms who lost jobs
  • Plans to reopen schools 

Reshma made these additional comments:

  • 30 years of progress for women in joining the labor force was lost last year
  • Other countries have social safety nets but the U.S. only has moms
  • Hybrid work arrangements will have a negative impact on mothers - they will perform household labor along with their employment obligations
  • Businesses should offer and encourage paid leave so that dads can be equal partners at home - showing up at home should be a corporate value
  • There is a pay gap between mothers and fathers
  • Childcare for children and the elderly should be subsidized
  •  There should be universal pre-Kindergarten.

After a round of in-person and virtual applause, President Ces thanked Reshma for her presentation.

Click here to view Reshma Saujani video segment.

Bellringers

Suzie Yokomizo announced the following bellringers:

Gail Uilkema rang the bell in honor of the Piedmont Living article. 

Karen Friedman, Dudley Thompson and Ruth Stroup rang the bell in honor of Gail Uilkema.

Joycie Mack rang the bell in honor of her mother, Eagnay Mack, and all mothers.

Adjournment

President Ces adjourned the meeting stating "that's the way it went at the 5,339th meeting on May 13, 2021 at the third oldest Rotary Club in the world."

Birthday Greetings

Happy Birthday! Celebrating between May 18 and 25 are:

18 – Pat Riley

19 – Ed McFarlan

     – Mike Taylor

20 – Bob Spencer

22 – Abel Guillen

24 – Sean Callum

25 – Wayne Goodroe

Membership Anniversaries through May 18 through 31

Thank you for your years of service to the Rotary Club of Oakland and the community!

  • Rick Draper – 21 years
  • Julie Fox  - 18 years
  • Debra Barnes – 13 years
  • John Dolby – 9 years
  • Tom Duryea – 4 years
  • Kerry Hamill – 3 years
  • Lewis Griggs – 2 years
  • Adam Sbeta – 2 years
Bruce Quan

Next Meeting, Thursday, May 20 – Bruce Quan – “Bitter Roots” Five Generations of a Chinese American Family in America.

John Claassen announced our speaker will be Bruce Quan. Bruce attended Skyline High School and then UC Berkeley where he was student body president in 1972.

His family has been rooted in Oakland since 1905 when his great great grandfather founded the Pacific Coast Cannery in west Oakland in 1905. It was the largest employer in Oakland by 1910. The family originally arrived in America in 1850 but moved to Oakland after the 1906 earthquake. He will share some history of Oakland from the perspective of his family.

Ces Butner, President of Rotary Club of Oakland

Call to Order – Ces Butner

President Ces Butner welcomed all to the 5,338th Civic Thursday meeting from the podium in the California Ballroom. This is a first in the club’s history – a hybrid meeting of in-person and virtual attendees. He noted it has been 60 weeks since we last met in person. Only nine people were in the ballroom as the very busy Audio-Visual team, co-chaired by Sandeepa Nayak and Jack Iles, and key leaders brought us together. Only Scott Bowhay and President Ces spoke from the Ballroom.  Everyone else was on Zoom.

Scott Bowhay

Thought for the Day – Scott Bowhay

Scott Bowhay saluted the resilience of Rotarians, who have continued to serve the community despite COVID-19 restrictions.  His thought – and challenge to us: “We Rotarians have never been more needed.  There are people here in Oakland who need our help.

Visiting Rotarians and Guests

Past President Ed Jellen welcomed Dianne Dorn, Past President of the San Leandro Club. Others attending were Clifton Barnes, guest of Jackie Forrester, and Deborah Boyer, Carole King and Christy VanSlyke, guests of C J Hirschfield.

Casino Night Virtual Auction & Raffle

Casino Night Virtual Auction & Raffle – May 22

Kathleen Sims updated us about the Rotary Casino Night on May 22nd. Reminders have gone out via US mail and email. Tickets are $100 each and the attendee gets 25 chips. Purchase tickets at https://www.biddingowl.com/OaklandRotaryEndowment.

The evening will begin at 6 p.m. when the Lobby opens. At 6:30 p.m. mixologist Nigel Jones of Kingston 11 will preside over specialty drinks in The Lounge.  A special feature of the evening is the Wine Cellar Raffle, with 25 bottles of wine donated by Board Members and Endowment Trustees. Raffle tickets cost $50 each and there are a limited number available.  Contact Executive Administrator Jesse Bowdle to order raffle tickets. Call him at 925-207-2370 or email execadmin@oakland-rotary.org.

Announcements and Breakout Room Session

President Ces announced the first in-person meeting is being planned for Thursday, June 17th.  It will be a hybrid meeting, with Rotarians able to meet in the Ballroom or attend via Zoom. Details to follow. In the meantime, the pandemic has been a test of our resiliency as a Club.  For example, we have been unable to do as many service projects as usual. Members were invited to spend a few minutes in Breakout Rooms enjoying some fellowship. 

Gary Meyer

Speaker for the Day – Gary Meyer

C J Hirshfield introduced the speaker, Gary Meyer, a co-founder of the Telluride Film Festival.

He talked about the recent Oscar Awards Ceremony as well as the future for films in local theaters. The Oscars Ceremony had a 51% drop in viewership from last year. He had high hopes for the broadcast, but noted it lacked a single host, unlike the days of Bob Hope, Whoopi Goldberg, Billy Crystal and others. There was no audio-visual entertainment, including film clips.

The Disc Jockey did a good job but in the past the orchestra not only provided music, it signaled awardees when their acceptance time was up.  Instead, awardees went on and on, often thanking everyone by name who was part of their film.  He suggests handling thank yous by run a list their names at the bottom of the screen while the oral acceptance is being delivered. 

Another important area in the past has been In Memoriam time when individuals in the industry who have passed away are acknowledged.  It was cut to a minimum and the list of individuals ran so fast on the screen that it was hard to read.

Asked which Oscar nominees he liked, he had a very long list, many of which did not get serious attention.

As to the future of going to theaters, he believes people will want to go to the movies.  It is a big night out for many people.  According to the National Association of Theater Owners, new air filtration systems are being installed in venues, which he believes will open in the fall. The plusses to going to the theater is an escape from the day’s happenings, the big screen and sound that surrounds are important, and part of the audience experience is how everyone is responding to laughter, sadness, etc.

He reminded us that movies have survived previous changes in technology: radio, television, DVD, live streaming, etc.  It is important to support independent theaters.  He also predicts that most films will open in a tiered fashion; first in the theaters for a few weeks, then on other platforms where viewers will pay a fee, and finally later for free.

Click here to view Gary Meyer segment.

 

Bellringers

David Kersten rang the bell for Nancy Williams, who published his article about what it means to be a Rotarian in her Money Pages publication this month. It can be accessed at https://money-pages.dcatalog.com/v/Money-Pages-Oakland. Thank you David and Nancy!

Adjournment

President Ces closed the meeting by ringing the bell with his closing adage “and that’s the way it went” plus the reminder that Rotary Opens Opportunity for Service Above Self.

Birthday Greetings

Happy Birthday! Celebrating between May 11 and 17 are:

11 – Emily Morgan

     – Courtney Morse

     –  Nicholas Williams

14 – David Barron

15 – Catherine Pinkas

17 – David Kersten

Membership Anniversaries through May 17

Thank you for your years of service to the Rotary Club of Oakland and the community!

  • Charlie Adams – 38 years
  • Dudley Thompson – 28 years
  • Phil Campbell – 22 years
  • Anne Bisagno – 19 years
  • Tom Freeman – 19 years
  • Courtney Ruby – 19 years
  • Brad Levesque – 13 years
  • Debo Sarkar – 7 years
  • Pat Williams – 6 years
  • Riza Hernandez – 5 years
  • Jim Caponigro – 5 years
  • Sonja Fitz – 2 years
  • Janice Brickley – 1 year
  • Vivian Maner – 1 year
Reshma Saujani

Next Meeting, Thursday, May 13 – Reshma Saujani – The Urgency of a Marshall Plan for Moms

Julayne Virgil announced our speaker will be Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code.

We need a Marshall Plan for Moms — a plan to pay our mothers for their unseen unpaid labor. Other countries have social safety nets. America has moms. It’s time to compensate moms for all they do to keep our economy, our country, running.

Ces Butner, President of Rotary Club of Oakland

Call to Order – Ces Butner

President Ces Butner welcomed all to the 5,336th Civic Thursday meeting of our club and invited us to recite our vision statement. Pres. Ces explained that our meeting format was a bit different today in order to accommodate our speaker. He asked us to join him in reciting our Vision Statement.

Jesse Schmidt

Thought for the Day – Jesse Schmidt

Jesse Schmidt set the tone for the day’s speaker when he shared a diplomatic quote by Viktor Frankl advising us to invoke a pause-for-five-second-rule before reacting negatively to something done or said to us. Wise advice indeed.

Visiting Rotarians and Guests

Past President & Past District Governor Ed Jellen introduced David Stein’s guest, John Fenoglio of the Walnut Creek Rotary Club. Other visitors were Jack McAboy’s guest, Harlan Hirschfield, Keith Uriarte’s guest Cathy Gent and Isaac Kos Read’s guest Sergio Lopez.

Oakland Rotary Endowment Campaign

ORE President Mike Mowery appealed to us to contribute to the ORE Campaign this month. We need to meet our goal of raising $50,000 this year in order to qualify for President Ces’s generous challenge gift offer to personally match the $50,000 when we succeed. Mike asked us to imagine how much we can accomplish next year with $100,000 added to our Endowment, which is used annually to fund our program committee budgets!

Help us meet this challenge.  No contribution is too small. You can make your pledge at https://www.oakland-rotary.org/donations.

Donald Frazier, BOSS

Grant Recipient Story – Donald Frazier, BOSS

Mike introduced us to one community grant recipient to share the impact that Oakland Rotary has had on his nonprofit’s mission. Donald Frazier, Executive Director of BOSS (Building Opportunities for Self Sufficiency), told us that an earlier grant to help purchase a van has been life-changing for the nonprofit and its clients. Our Community Service Committee's most recent grant to BOSS is going to be used to launch a new entrepreneur project for clients looking to start their own business as a career choice.

Annual Gala – Save The Date

The ORE Campaign will conclude at our Annual Gala and Virtual Casino Night April 22. President-elect Dudley Thompson gave further details about the event, and asked us to consider becoming sponsors in one of three categories of event sponsorship, each offering fine benefits. Kathleen Sims and Kristine Watson are reaching out to past and prospective sponsors and are also seeking donations of goods or services for our auction. contact Kathleen at 510-470-0932 if you have items. Event tickets can be purchased on the Club website. 

SF Giants cap and shirt

Cocktails with the President-Elect – April 22

Jim Boessenecker announced our virtual April 22 Cocktails with the President-elect event beginning at 5:30 p.m. will have a baseball theme. Come decked out in your favorite team’s colors or fan merchandise, as was demonstrated by Jim wearing a SF Giants cap and shirt while Linda Boessenecker stood beside him in her Oakland A’s regalia.  Ballpark drinks, hot dogs and peanuts are encouraged. No word on which team President-Elect Dudley will be supporting. 

General H. R. McMaster

Speaker for the Day – H. R. McMaster

Past President David Stein introduced our speaker General H. R. McMaster and thanked him and all our Rotarian military veterans for their service. General McMaster served President Trump as National Security Advisor from 2017 to 2018. He held a distinguished 34-year military career in the Army as a commissioned officer who saw multiple tours of duty to battlegrounds overseas, including the Gulf War, the Iraq War and the War in Afghanistan. General McMaster retired in 2018 with 22 military awards to his name including three Army Distinguished Service Awards, a Silver Star, a Defense Meritorious Service, Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. He has been called the “Iconoclast General.” General McMaster now serves as a fellow at the Hoover Institute, holds an academic appointment at Stanford University and is the author of three books. 

His latest book, “Battlegrounds,” was published just before the 2020 Presidential Election and focuses on multiple post-Cold War presidential administrations and foreign policy decisions. He described them as having a common theme of “complacency, arrogance and hubris” that has led to America’s “strategic narcissism” in its foreign policy approach, much to its detriment.  McMaster believes we would have been better served if America’s foreign policy strived for “strategic empathy” where we viewed complex problems from the viewpoint of others and not our own. Examples he gave included our not taking al-Qaeda seriously before 9/11, our withdrawal from Iraq too soon leading to the rise of ISIS, and even our response to COVID-19 when it was first viewed as some other nation’s problem. During the extensive Q & A session McMaster was asked about President Biden’s decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan after 20 years. He promptly termed the move “disastrous” for the Afghan people who are likely to see a fate similar to those in Iraq and Syria. He is a firm believer in the need for America to deal with challenges like 9/11, COVID-19, terrorists and cyberterrorism before they reach our shores. He believes the military has an important role to play.  When asked about the threat the Bay Area faces by a North Korea Missile, McMasters admitted it was a threat and we were prepared to intercept, but that we also had our work cut out for us in convincing Kim Jong-un that he is safer without nuclear weapons than with them.

After many questions were answered and yet more were incoming, McMaster agreed to stay overtime. President Ces thanked him for being the most knowledgeable speaker in his area of expertise and America’s foreign policy threats.

Click here to watch General H. R. McMaster video segment.

Adjournment

President Ces closed the meeting by ringing the bell with his closing adage “and that’s the way it went” plus the reminder that Rotary Opens Opportunity for Service Above Self.

Birthday Greetings

Happy Birthday! Celebrating between April 24 and May 1 are:

25 – Winter Williams

27 – Kathy Dwyer

28 – Brad Gill

     – Cap Lyons

29 – Yong Bai

      – Mary Rudser

      – Wendy Willrich

01 – Stephanie Casenza

Membership Anniversaries in April

Thank you for your years of service to the Rotary Club of Oakland and the community!

  • Jack McAboy – 46 years
  • Kers Clausen  -- 38 years
  • Alex Poulsen – 32 years
  • David Stein – 32 years
  • Garrett Riegg – 27 years
  • Susan Smith –  24 years
  • David Rabb –  22 years
  • Dhruv Patel – 9 years
  • Ken Benson – 6 years
  • David Kittner – 5 years
  • Linda Bradford – 4 years
  • Leeann Alameda – 3 years
  • Tori Howard – 3 years
  • Justin Stewart – 3 years
  • Deborah Morgan – 2 years
  • Mia Bonta – 1 year
  • David Kersten – 1 year

Oakland Rotary Endowment Annual Meeting Notice

By Resolution, the Board of Trustees of the Oakland Rotary Endowment (ORE) has called for the annual meeting of the members of the ORE to take place on Thursday, April 29, between 12:30 – 1:30 pm during the Civic Thursday meeting of the Rotary Club or Oakland (RCO).  During this annual meeting, all members of the RCO in attendance will serve at members of the ORE.

The sole business scheduled for this annual meeting is the election of four nominees to serve as Trustees of ORE for the three-year term commencing July 1, 2021.  The ORE Board is hereby presenting this slate of nominees for election as ORE Trustees:

  • Ruth Stroup
  • Ken Benson
  • Kym Johnson
  • CJ Hirschfield
Rotary International President-elect Shekhar Mehta

Next Meeting, Thursday, April 22 at 9 a.m. – Shekhar Menta, Incoming Rotary International President

President-Elect Dudley Thompson announced our meeting on Thursday, April 22, will be at 9 a.m. This will be a joint meeting of The First Five Clubs - Chicago, San Francisco, Oakland, Seattle and Los Angeles. Attendees must register in advance for this meeting. Joining the five clubs as guest speaker will be Rotary International President-elect Shekhar Mehta of India’s Rotary Club of Calcutta-Mahanagar. The meeting will feature Rotary International’s New Area of Focus: Protecting the Environment. We will hear also about a proposed new First Five Collaborative Project.

Ces Butner, President of Rotary Club of Oakland

Call to Order – Ces Butner

President Ces Butner called the 5,335th Civic Thursday meeting of the Oakland Rotary Club to order at 12:31 p.m. As the 3rd oldest club with over 300 men and women members, we have been meeting for over 111 years.

Ruth Stroup

Thought for the Day – Ruth Stroup

Ruth Stroup gave the thought for the day with quotes from Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Oprah Winfrey.  All of the quotes were about children to coincide with our speaker today.

Visiting Rotarians and Guests

Past President & Past District Governor Ed Jellen welcomed visiting Rotarian Dianne Dorn, past president of the San Leandro Club; former club member Dagmar Serota; Steve Heike, guest of Sandeepa Nayak; and McKinney-Vento program interns who are students at Cal State East Bay.

Debo Sarkar

Business Development Speaker Series – May 20th

Debo Sarkar will be featured speaker at the next Business Development Committee Speaker Series on May 20th from 5 - 6:30 p.m. The topic is “What is Inflation”. Debo is a Managing Director at Charles Schwab and will be speaking about inflation and its impact on many aspects of our lives.

John Holmgren

John Holmgren – Friends of the Oakland Public Schools Library

Kinder Prep Chair John Holmgren introduced Dagmar Serota who thanked us for the grant we recently gave to Friends of the Oakland Public Schools Library to be used for the Oakland Public Schools Digital Library and primarily focused on Trans Kindergarten students. This Digital Library was a response to the pandemic and has greatly increased students’ access to books online.  This is a great example of how Rotary is making a difference with Oakland school children.

Oakland Rotary Endowment Campaign

This is ORE month!  David Kittner, Chair of the Community Service Committee, listed over ten organizations ORE has recently supported.  Some of these include: City Slicker Farms, BOSS, Legal Assistance for Seniors, Feather River Camp, St. Vincent Day School, Allendale Elementary Library, Ace Kids Golf, Gritty City Repertory Theater and more!

Pres. Ces has challenged us to have 100% of our members contribute to ORE. And he has generously pledged to match contributions up to $50,000.

Help us meet this challenge.  No contribution is too small. You can make your pledge at https://www.oakland-rotary.org/donations.

Annual Gala – Save The Date

Our Gala is around the corner.  Kathleen Sims and her committee are planning a fantastic Casino Night.  Hosted by the team of Heather and Valentina we’ll have Casino Games, Auction Items and Entertainment.  Tickets will be available soon. The Committee is looking for fun and interesting items to include in the auction.  If you have something you’d like to donate contact Kathleen at 510-470-0932.

Breakout Room Sessions

Rotarians and guests were divided into small groups and digitally moved to breakout rooms for fellowship.  President Ces asked groups to discuss how comfortable we are to return to in-person meetings when it becomes feasible. In order to gauge the response, he asked for information to be posted in the Zoom chat box, or members can contact him directly with thoughts and suggestions.

Trish Anderson

Speaker for the Day – Trish Anderson

Kathy Dwyer introduced our Civic Thursday speaker, Trish Anderson.  Trish is the McKinney-Vento Liaison for Oakland Unified School District.  In her role she assists students that are housing insecure. Through her program she works to make sure these children are enrolled in school so they can continue their education. Some of the services she provides include tutoring, transportation, clothing and parental support workshops. The graduation rate for the children she assists is up to 73%.

Bellringers

Executive Administrator Jesse Bowdle announced the following bellringers:

Dudley Thompson rang the bell for Ces Butner.

David Stein and Ces Butner rang the bell for the Community Service Committee.

Lorna Padia Markus rang the bell for the Leadership Team.

Adjournment

President Ces closed the meeting by ringing the bell with his closing adage “and that’s the way it went” plus the reminder that Rotary Opens Opportunity for Service Above Self.

Birthday Greetings

Happy Birthday! Celebrating between April 16 and 23 are:

18 – Susan Schroeder

      – Sed Tydus

19 – Phil Campbell

22 – David Rabb

Membership Anniversaries in April

Thank you for your years of service to the Rotary Club of Oakland and the community!

  • Jack McAboy – 46 years
  • Kers Clausen  -- 38 years
  • Alex Poulsen – 32 years
  • David Stein – 32 years
  • Garrett Riegg – 27 years
  • Susan Smith –  24 years
  • David Rabb –  22 years
  • Dhruv Patel – 9 years
  • Ken Benson – 6 years
  • David Kittner – 5 years
  • Linda Bradford – 4 years
  • Leeann Alameda – 3 years
  • Tori Howard – 3 years
  • Justin Stewart – 3 years
  • Deborah Morgan – 2 years
  • Mia Bonta – 1 year
  • David Kersten – 1 year
H.R. McMaster

Next Meeting, Wednesday, April 14 at 12:30 p.m. – H. R. McMaster, Former National Security Advisor, Following Week, Thursday, April 22 at 9 a.m. – Shekhar Menta, Incoming Rotary International President

Speakers Committee Chair David Stein announced next week’s meeting will be on Wednesday, April 14 at 12:30 p.m. instead of Thursday.  Our speaker will be Former National Security Advisor, H.R. McMaster. His topic is “American Foreign Policy & The Key Threats facing America”.

The following week on Thursday, April 22, our meeting will be at 9 a.m.  Our speaker will be Incoming Rotary International President, Shekhar Menta. The meeting will feature Rotary International’s New Area of Focus: Protecting the Environment. This will be a joint meeting with The First Five Clubs - Chicago, San Francisco, Oakland, Seattle and Los Angeles. Attendees must register in advance for this meeting.

Ces Butner, President of Rotary Club of Oakland

Call to Order – Ces Butner

President Ces Butner called the 5,334th Civic Thursday meeting of the Oakland Rotary Club to order at 12:30 p.m.  Established in 1909, our Club is the 3rd oldest club of over 35,000 clubs worldwide. Reminding us that Rotary provides opportunity for “Service Above Self”, President Ces recited our shared vision of “Together, we see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change, across the globe, in our communities and ourselves.” He announced that today’s meeting will feature the Rotaract Club.

Diana Garcia

Thought for the Day – Diana Garcia

Diana Garcia, former H.O.P.E. (Helping Oakland Pupils Excel) mentee and current Rotaract Vice-President, shared this thought for the day from Selena Quintanilla-Perez, the singer whose death anniversary was 26 years ago yesterday. “I want to be remembered not only as an entertainer but as a person who cared a lot, and I gave the best that I could, and I tried to be the best role model that I possibly could.”

Visiting Rotarians and Guests

Past President & Past District Governor Ed Jellen welcomed Rotaractors Ivy Chen, DeVante Brooks and Diana Garcia.

Greg Knight

Self Introduction – Greg Knight

Greg Knight joined Oakland Rotary in June, 2019 along with his husband, Randy. Greg and Randy have been involved in Rotary for several years; they have friends and family who are Rotarians and they have contributed to Rotary fundraisers. Greg is Co-chair of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee and has helped Karen Friedman and her committee at Laney College. When we were meeting live in the ballroom, Greg was frequently seen pouring Barefoot wines at the bar. He started his career in fast food restaurants, working the Taco Bell night shift and later at a pizza parlor. He was also a lifeguard at a pool for a special needs facility.  He spent ten years in Japan as a teacher and later working as a paralegal for a global law firm. He moved to the Bay Area in 2001 as a paralegal in the San Francisco office of the same law firm. During that time, he became interested in personal financial matters. He sat for and passed his CFP financial planning designation test. He works as a financial planning advisor with his own company, Engage Advising and noted that April is National Financial Literacy month. When the Club returns to in-person meetings Greg will receive his blue badge.

KinderPrep Uses ORE Donations

Chairman John Holmgren reminded us that the KinderPrep Program provides materials, supplies, fieldtrips, classroom volunteers, enriching experiences, and other program support to the transitional kindergarten program of the Oakland Unified School District.  Rotarian volunteers have taken T-K students to the Oakland Zoo, Children’s Fairyland and the Chabot Science Center. Rotarians volunteer in packing books for summer reading, have recently provided some Oakland Schools with virtual libraries and have partnered with BANANAS for virtual playgroups. John gave a shout out to Scott Bowhay, Mike Mowery, Bill Hogan and David Stein and all Rotarians who help make KinderPrep a success.

Oakland Rotary Endowment Campaign Kick-off

Jim Caponigro launched the 2021 Oakland Rotary Endowment Campaign. The Oakland Rotary Endowment (ORE) provides funding to improve the quality of life of people in Oakland and beyond. In the past five years, Oakland Rotary Endowment has given $1.07 million+ including 50 grants to local nonprofits through the Community Services Committee. Donations from Oakland Rotary Endowment also fund these important Rotary Community Programs: Enterprise Institute, Interact, Speech Contest, KinderPrep, Rotaract, Housing Insecurity Task Force, Rotary Youth Leadership Academy, Karl Stucki World Community Service and Saroni-Lena Scholarships.

In the last year, the Oakland Rotary Endowment has provided: 3,500 new books to school children for a summer reading program; $12,000 to local teachers to purchase school supplies; $80,000 in Saroni-Lena scholarships to first-generation college students and $40,000 on emergency COVID relief and homelessness funding.  Rotarians can pledge at https://www.oakland-rotary.org/donations. President Ces Butner has generously pledged to match contributions up to $50,000.

Annual Gala – Save The Date

Gala Chair Kathleen Sims announced our Gala Fundraiser will be virtual this year and will take place on Saturday, May 22 at 6:30 p.m. We will enjoy a Casino Night with Blackjack, Roulette and Craps featured. The committee is looking for auction items, including vacation home stays, golf lessons for kids, airplane miles, etc. Please contact her at kathleen@kathleensims.agency if you can provide an auction item.  Kathleen said more details will follow, so hold those cards for the next deal at next week’s meeting.

Rotaract Activities

We were joined by Oakland Community Rotaract officers, President DeVante Brooks, Vice-President Diana Garcia and Treasurer Ivy Chen who each spoke about how Service Above Self is reflected in the projects in which Rotaract is involved. A recent project involved feeding the unhoused.

Tim Hon

Speaker for the Day – Tim Hon

Oakland Community Rotaract President DeVante Brooks introduced artist, Tim Hon. Tim shared his journey from nighttime graffiti tagger to daylight muralist. He described tagging as a teenager as being an outlet for self-expression and giving him a sense of power. After the police visited his home to discuss his nocturnal activities, he channeled his energy into learning graphic design and computer programming. He began to see that his artistic abilities could be put to use enhancing the community instead of defacing it.

He and other graffiti artists began looking for eyesores in Oakland that they could improve with art. He quickly discovered the positive impact and joy art could bring to the community and produce a feeling of civic pride. His murals can be seen around Oakland including the Oakland elephant which took three weeks to paint on the side of a 10,000 square foot building. Tim has also partnered with Warrior Steph Curry to paint murals in Oakland high school gyms, murals to promote Under Armour and several other projects. 

His work may also be seen on the Marriott Building in Oakland. He noted with pride that the police now commend, instead of condemn, him for his artistic endeavors. He continues to give back to the community by teaching kids to paint.  His work may be seen at Illuminaries.net. President Ces thanked him and announced we are making a contribution to the unhoused in Oakland in his name.

Click here to watch Tim Hon segment.

Bellringers

Executive Administrator Jesse Bowdle announced the following bellringers:

Jim Caponigro rang the bell for Kathleen Sims.

Fred Morse and Tom Limon rang the bell for Tim Hon. Thank you!

Adjournment

President Ces closed the meeting at 1:30 p.m. by ringing the bell with his closing adage “and that’s the way it went” plus the reminder that Rotary Opens Opportunity for Service Above Self.

Birthday Greetings

Happy Birthday! Celebrating between April 8 and 15 are:

10 – Barbara Beery

11 – Ethel Lee Miller

     – Siddhi Saraiya

12 – Lloyd MacDonald

13 – Jessica Hubley

      – Courtney Ruby

14 – Tom Freeman

      – Maude Pervere

15 – Bob Breecker

Membership Anniversaries in April

Thank you for your years of service to the Rotary Club of Oakland and the community!

  • Jack McAboy – 46 years
  • Kers Clausen  -- 38 years
  • Alex Poulsen – 32 years
  • David Stein – 32 years
  • Garrett Riegg – 27 years
  • Susan Smith –  24 years
  • David Rabb –  22 years
  • Dhruv Patel – 9 years
  • Ken Benson – 6 years
  • David Kittner – 5 years
  • Linda Bradford – 4 years
  • Leeann Alameda – 3 years
  • Tori Howard – 3 years
  • Justin Stewart – 3 years
  • Deborah Morgan – 2 years
  • Mia Bonta – 1 year
  • David Kersten – 1 year
Trish Anderson

Next Meeting, April 8 – Trish Anderson – School is Security When You Don’t Have A Permanent Home

Kathy Dwyer announced our next speaker will be Trish Anderson. The McKinney-Vento program is a federal program designed to address the problems that homeless children and youth have faced in enrolling, attending, and succeeding in school. 

Trish Anderson is currently the Specialist, for Oakland Unified School District’s McKinney-Vento Program housed within the Community Schools, Behavioral Health Unit.  She will share how many OUSD students are included in the program, how Covid-19 has made a tough situation even harder, and how Rotary may be able to help these students.

Ces Butner, President of Rotary Club of Oakland

Call to Order – Ces Butner

President Ces Butner called our Civic Thursday Zoom meeting to order at 12:30 p.m. noting this is the 5,333rd meeting of our 111-year-old Club.

Zeydi Gutierrez

Thought for the Day – Zeydi Gutierrez

Zeydi Gutierrez gave us the thought of the day on National Women’s Month.  She described a time when women didn’t own businesses, but her mother succeeded and is an important role model. Her mother exemplified perseverance, hard work, integrity and opening the doors for those who follow.  Looking back on the beginnings of Oakland Rotary, she reminded us of the time when our club was an early and vocal proponent for including women as members.

Visiting Rotarians and Guests

Past President Ed Jellen welcomed Martha Goralka, Past President of the Delta/Antioch Rotary Club.

Past President Sean Marx

Member Re-introduction – John Holmgren

Past President Sean Marx reintroduced John Holmgren complete with a photo that showed an uncanny likeness between John and U.S. 48th President Bill Clinton, John was born at Kaiser Hospital Oakland and grew up in Orinda where he enjoyed playing soccer and tennis.  He aspired to work for the US State Department. A graduate of UC Berkeley with a major in political science, he earned a Master’s Degree at Johns Hopkins. He passed the Foreign Service Exam and returned to California. While waiting for an assignment, he pursued an MBA at CAL It was there he met his future wife, Elise. He passed up the State Department opportunity and instead became an expert in mortgage banking and the owner of Holmgren & Associates.  Elise and John have three children and two grandchildren.  In 1993, he joined Oakland Rotary where he served on the Club Board of Directors as well as the Oakland Rotary Endowment Board where he was President. He has served on the Community Youth and Seniors Committee and has been active in KinderPrep which he currently chairs.

Oakland Rotary Endowment Campaign Kick-off

To kick off the Annual Fundraising Campaign for Oakland Rotary Endowment, President Ces described the difference between The Rotary Foundation (TRF), which is Rotary International’s non-profit charitable arm funding projects through the Rotary World, and Oakland Rotary Endowment (ORE), which is the club’s non-profit charitable arm funding projects in the Oakland community.  Both are important organizations, each with a unique focus on the people and projects it serves.

Each year, ORE holds a donor appreciation event.  Pre-pandemic, the event was a reception that took place in the California Ballroom just prior to a Thursday Civic meeting.  This year, the roster of donors whose cumulative giving has reached $1,000 and above was shown via Zoom, and a list of those whose cumulative giving has taken them to a new level of recognition was highlighted.  Three donors were asked to tell why Oakland Rotary Endowment is important to them:

Joe Goralka noted that years ago he started giving a little bit of money annually and how over time it has added up and makes a difference.

John Holmgren observed that it is the best way to support Oakland and our community.  It provides the most impact because we can put lots of trust in how our donations are used.

Fred Morse agreed with the others, and added that we are a voluntary organization, so all of our money goes to important programs, such as Saroni-Lena Scholarships for Oakland youth.

President’s Announcements

President Ces announced that plans are being made to start broadcasting the Civic Thursday meetings from the California Ballroom in May. Hopefully, the first meeting in June will be live from the Ballroom with some Rotarians in attendance while others will participate via Zoom.

Breakout Room Fellowship

President Ces announced a few minutes of fellowship as members and guests transitioned to Breakout Rooms.  He suggested groups gather ideas on how the club can get ready for in-person meetings.

Abby Ginzberg

Speaker for the Day – Abby Ginzberg

Maude Pervere introduced today’s speaker, documentary film maker Abby Ginzberg. Ms. Ginzberg spoke about her recent film “Waging Change” which addresses wage and tip issues in the restaurant industry. California and six other states are role models for what other states should do, namely pay full minimum wage, with tips added on top.

Instead, much of the rest of the country adheres to the Federal Minimum Wage of $7.25 per hour with the minimum tip of $2.13 per hour.  The tip is not an add-on, so should the worker not make the minimum during their shift, the tip is included in the basic wage. She pointed out that while the employer is supposed to make up the difference, in fact often they don’t which is considered “wage theft”. In researching for the documentary, she found that wage theft is rampant.  She noted that pre-pandemic, the restaurant industry was the fastest growing industry with 13 million workers.  Now 6 million workers have lost their jobs.  Another aspect is sexual harassment of female workers.  She noted that for many women, working in a restaurant is their first job.  They are at a disadvantage if they report harassment, whether it is from a customer or co-worker, because they are likely to lose their job.

Click here to watch Abby Ginzberg segment.

Bellringers

Executive Administrator Jesse Bowdle announced the following bellringers:

Ringing the bell for John Holmgren were Jim and Linda Boessenecker, Jack McAboy, Zeydi Gutierrez (twice), Sean Marx, Fred Morse, Mary Rudser, Joycie Mack, John Claassen and Ces Butner.

John Holmgren rang the bell 10 times for Sean Marx.

Ringing the bell for Abby Ginzberg were Keith Uriarte, Zeydi Gutierrez, Kerry Hamill, Lou Rigali, Elida Scola, Janice Brickley and Maude Pervere.

Adjournment

President Ces closed the meeting at 1:30 p.m. by ringing the bell with his closing adage “and that’s the way it went” plus the reminder that Rotary Opens Opportunity for Service Above Self.

Birthday Greetings

Happy Birthday! Celebrating between April 1 and 7 are:

2 – Scott Bowhay

4 – Pam Claassen

5 – Jim Boessenecker

6 – Marti Burchell

      George Konstantopouos

7 – Dana Sack

Membership Anniversaries in March

Thank you for your years of service to the Rotary Club of Oakland and the community!

  • Jack McAboy – 46 years
  • Kers Clausen  -- 38 years
  • Alex Poulsen – 32 years
  • David Stein – 32 years
  • Garrett Riegg – 27 years
  • Susan Smith –  24 years
  • David Rabb –  22 years
  • Dhruv Patel – 9 years
  • Ken Benson – 6 years
  • David Kittner – 5 years
  • Linda Bradford – 4 years
  • Leeann Alameda – 3 years
  • Tori Howard – 3 years
  • Justin Stewart – 3 years
  • Deborah Morgan – 2 years
  • Mia Bonta – 1 year
  • David Kersten – 1 year
Tim Hon

Next Meeting, April 1 – Tim Hon – Creating Joy Through Street Art

Oakland Community Rotaract President DeVante Brooks announced our next speaker will be Tim Hon. He will share his journey from graffiti vandal to building community and inspiring youth through street art. He will discuss the evolution of the genre and positive effects on Bay Area neighborhoods. 

Ces Butner, President of Rotary Club of Oakland

Call to Order – Ces Butner

President Ces Butner called our Civic Thursday Zoom meeting to order at 12:30 p.m. noting this is the 5,332nd meeting in our 111-year-old Club.

Tristen Connor

Thought for the Day – Tristen Connor

Tristen Connor gave us the thought of the day on the one-year anniversary of sheltering in place. While there have been devastating incalculable losses, there have been some positive aspects – vital issues to be addressed.  Among them are the important conversation about healthcare and need to have stable science-based health organizations such as the CDC and WHO.  In addition a bright light has been cast on socio-economic injustices including systemic racism, food insecurity, housing insecurity and voter suppression.

Visiting Rotarians and Guests

Past President Ed Jellen welcomed Julie Wedge, guest of Keith Uriarte, Jack McAboy’s guests, his business partner Bill Cramer and friend Harlan Hirschfield.  Also attending was Javarre Wilson with Alameda County Behavioral Care Services.

President-Elect Dudley Thompson

President’s Announcements

President Ces announced that under President-Elect Dudley Thompson’s leadership, plans are being made tentatively to broadcast the Civic Thursday meeting from the California Ballroom on June 3rd.

He also announced that Celeste Gordon and Greg Knight have been appointed co-chairs of the newly created Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.  The committee will advise members, leaders, staff and community about Rotary’s commitment to this work.

Trisha Connors and Rebecca Kaplan

New Member Inductions – Trisha Connors and Rebecca Kaplan

Kerry Hamill sponsored and introduced Trisha Connors. Trisha is a lawyer, educator, legislative genius and a mom.  She loves music. The first concert she attended was Barry Manilow and her last concert, pre-Covid, was Radio Head. In 20 years of marriage, she has moved seven times to different states, but always kept her membership at Sequoyah Country Club because she believed she would end up again in Oakland. She also attended the 1989 World Series Game which was interrupted by the Loma Prieta Earthquake.

Keith Uriarte sponsored and introduced Rebecca Kaplan.  Born in Ontario, Canada, she attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology as an undergrad and received her law degree from Stanford.  She is the first openly LGBT elected official, serving on the Oakland City Council since 2008.  Previously she was Oakland City Council President in 2019 and this year she is Vice Mayor.  In the past she served on the AC Transit Board for over seven years.

Welcome Trisha and Rebecca!

Alex Kaffka

Speech Contest Update – Alex Kaffka

Alex Kaffka, co-chair of the Speech Contest Committee, announced that Oakland Rotary will be sending its Interact students to the North Regional Speech Contest.  Alex also noted that the real success this year was the dramatic improvement of speeches thanks to mentoring from Oakland Rotarians over a six-week period.  This coming year the Committee anticipates tripling the cohort and will need 12 mentors. Members interesting in being a mentor should contact either Barbara Beery at barbarambeery@gmail.com or Alex Kaffka at arkaffka@gmail.com to sign up.

Recognition of Club Losses during Pandemic – Jack McAboy

Past President Jack McAboy noted that since the final meeting in the California Ballroom on March 5, 2020 six members have passed away during this past year.  He asked for a moment of silence for these individuals:

Eric Alexander, Bert Clausen who was a 64-year member of the Club and just turned 101; Tom Guarino, Rich Hallock; Jon “Siggie” Sigurdson, and Gene Zahas, Past President and Club Treasurer, who was a 49-year member of the Club.

Numerous bellringers took place and are listed elsewhere.

Gene Zahas

Gene Zahas’ Legacy to the Club

Pres. Ces introduced Chris Zahas, who on behalf of his sister, brother and Gene’s life partner Wendy Howard, announced a bequest from his father’s estate in the amount of $200,000.  Chris told of his father’s love for Rotary and how he found it fun, while serving the community. Gene was especially delighted with the coffee mugs distributed on the day of his demotion as Club President.  He was grateful for the many friendships he made and experiences he had through Rotary. This bequest will go to Oakland Rotary Endowment, where it will focus on Gene’s passion for Oakland, for education and for youth.

Pres. Ces thanked Chris on behalf of the Rotary Club.  He also encouraged members to talk to personal estate planners and consider making a gift to the Oakland Rotary Endowment through our estate plans. Ces is including Oakland Rotary in his estate plan and challenges everyone else to do likewise.

Eric Foner

Speaker for the Day – Eric Foner

Robert Kidd introduced today’s speaker, Eric Foner. A Professor of History at Columbia University and noted author of 25 books, his book, The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery, won the Pulitzer Prize in 2011.  His latest book is The Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution.

His remarks focused on the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the United States Constitution.

The 13th Amendment abolished slavery and was the first document to use the term “slavery” in the Constitution. It was supposed to be simple, but contained a loophole in that involuntary servitude continue for people convicted of a crime. This led to many men not being set free.

The 14th Amendment has three sections of interest.  The first says any person born in the United States is a citizen and is entitled to equal protection of the law.  The second section says if a state denies the right to vote to any citizen, it will lose some of its members of Congress. The third section was designed to keep leading Confederates out of public office if they take the oath to defend the Constitution and then provide aid and comfort to enemies of the Constitution.  This has been highlighted most recently in the aftermath of the January 6, 2021 assault on the U.S. Capitol, and the role possibly played by the President of the United States in inciting and encouraging that assault.

The 15th Amendment guarantees the right to vote of African American Men (women were unable to vote at that time), but it does not guarantee it to those we cannot meet a literacy test, grandfather clause, poll tax, or have drivers license/ID.

These are seen as a laudable effort to create for the first time an interracial democracy.  Dr. Foner warned that many of these issues are as important today as they were after the Civil War.  He stressed that what we think about history really matters. Rights can be gained, but also taken away.

He also recommended viewing the 6-hour long TV series, AMEND.

See Eric's segment here: https://youtu.be/mlz8bItpeq0

Bellringers

Executive Administrator Jesse Bowdle announced the following bellringers:

Keith Uriarte rang the bell for Rebecca Kaplan.

Debo Sarkar and Amani Soliman rang the bell for Gene Zahas.

Marie Saverimuthu rang the bell for Eric Foner.

Ringing the bell for our “Fallen Rotarians” were Ces Butner, Joe Goralka, Isaac Kos-Read, Ed Jellen, David Kittner, Stephanie Casenza, David Stein, Mike Mowery, Fred Morse, Pat Williams, Dudley Thompson, John Claassen, Harold Lowe, Jason Wizelman, Ralph Sklar, Suzie Yokomizo, Debo Sarkar, Georgia Richardson, Karen Friedman, Peter Sherris, Mona Hall, Kim Cohn, Steve Blair, Wise Allen and Sandeepa Nayak.

Adjournment

President Ces closed the meeting at 1:30 p.m. by ringing the bell with his closing adage “and that’s the way it went” plus the reminder that Rotary Opens Opportunity for Service Above Self.

Birthday Greetings

Happy Birthday! Celebrating between March 23 and 31 are:

24 – Corey Nott

25 – Debra Barnes

      –  Amani Soliman

27 – Greg Knight

      – Steve Lowe

28 – David Naveh

29 – Dan Altemus

      – George Arth

      – Robert Kidd

Membership Anniversaries in March

Thank you for your years of service to the Rotary Club of Oakland and the community!

  • Tom Love – 49 years
  • Jeff Allen – 36 years
  • Mike Bruck – 30 years
  • Randy Reed – 30 years
  • Barbara Beery – 27 years
  • Elida Scola – 15 years
  • Jill Loh Kearns – 14 years
  • Ana-Marie Jones – 13 years
  • Matt Ching – 9 years
  • Ken Kawaichi – 9 years
  • Betsy Biern – 7 years
  • Mark Epstein – 4 years
  • Kim Johnson – 4 years
  • Siddhi Saraiya – 4 years
  • Jason Dreisbach – 3 years
  • Kevin Kelley – 3 years
  • Sonja Malaga – 3 years
  • Reenie Raschke – 3 years
  • Amani Soliman – 3 years
  • Julayne Virgil – 3 years
  • Marilyn Galiothe – 2 years
  • Georgia Richardson – 2 years
  • Kathleen Sims – 2 years
Abby Ginzburg

Next Meeting, March 25 – Abby Ginzburg -- What’s Up For Tipped Workers After the Pandemic?

Maude Pervere announced our next speaker will be Abby Ginzburg. Ms. Ginzberg will speak about Waging Change, her inspiring film about the One Fair Wage movement, which aims at raising the federal minimum wage for tipped workers from a shocking $2.13 an hour. Waging Change shows how this tipped minimum wage results not only in poverty, but also in discrimination, harassment and even assault – overwhelmingly against women – and how the worker-led movement One Fair Wage has been driving change

Ces Butner, President of Rotary Club of Oakland

Call to Order – Ces Butner

President Ces Butner called our Civic Thursday Zoom meeting to order at 12:30 p.m. noting this is the 5,331st meeting in our 111-year-old Club.

Lewis Griggs

Thought for the Day – Lewis Griggs

Lewis Griggs gave us the thought of the day. In honor of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, he presented three quotes:

  • Malcolm X – “You can’t teach what you don’t know. You can’t take people where you won’t go.” 
  • James Baldwin – “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
  • Angela Davis – “I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.”

Visiting Rotarians and Guests

Past President Ed Jellen welcomed San Leandro Rotarian Dianne Dorn, guest of Jesse Bowdle.

Daniel Freeman

Self-Introduction – Daniel Freeman

Daniel Freeman got his blue badge and made his three-minute introduction. Daniel would sum up his life by the word “adventure”. He’s been a kayaker, scuba diver, backpacker and marathoner; has been charged by a bear, chased by a moose plus encounters by too many other animals to count, including an angry beaver. Daniel has been married 32 years and lived in 15 different cities. He has three daughters who live in Alaska, Washington and Oregon. As a leader in the Salvation Army, he has served others in a myriad of ways, currently at the Salvation Army Adult Rehab Center in Oakland.

Nik Dehejia

New Member Induction – Nik Dehejia

Joel Parrott sponsored and introduced our newest member Nik Dehejia. They have worked together at the Oakland Zoo for over 15 years beginning when Nik was the California Trails Project Manager. Joel announced that Nik would be taking over as CEO of the Oakland Zoo in early April. Nik is a community minded and focused individual who also enjoys riding his bike.  Welcome Nik!

High Adventure Committee

Mark Rosen, co-chair of the High Adventure Committee, announced that today is National Johnny Appleseed Day. Johnny Appleseed was a real person and to celebrate him, we can eat fruit or plant a fruit tree. He planted apples to make hard cider and apple jack.  Apple jack is a strong alcoholic drink which happened to be “America’s First Spirit”, but has since lost most all of its popularity. Currently Laird’s Apple Jack is a leading brand. Mark offered a recipe for Apple Jack Crumb Pie.  Email him at mrosen@info-gate.com for the recipe.

Breakout Session

President Ces sent everyone to breakout rooms to enjoy fellowship and discuss the positives and negatives of the last year during the COVID shelter-in-place order. Earlier in the meeting we learned that a committee is at work on how Oakland Rotary will return to in-person meetings as soon as it is safe to do so with Pres. Ces at the podium in the California Ballroom.

Michael Tchong

Speaker for the Day – Michael Tchong

Allison Bliss announced today’s speaker, Michael Tchong. His most recent book Uber Trends was extremely popular and is currently working on a 4th book about the COVID lockdowns.  Michael is a futurist who says forecasting the future can be extremely difficult. Who could have guessed a worldwide pandemic would happen in 2020? The past year has been crazy and very few could have predicted the COVID pandemic, transition to Zoom or the necessity of wearing masks. Michael rattled off dozens of upcoming trends including a new social medial platform, Clubhouse. Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) are digital tokens of art or even sports experiences.

Food takeout is booming and expected to maintain its market share of food purchases in the future. Restaurants and kitchens are becoming decentralized where you order via an app and the food is delivered without being tied to any specific kitchen/restaurant. Green energy and the electrification of automobiles will further change our makeup of energy use. Michael then went on to discuss how all businesses are tech companies these days and the future of business is online and through apps. Startups operating in the cloud will also change the way we work.  Michael answered questions about the impact to certain industries and what might revert to previous patterns. 

See Michael's video segment here: https://youtu.be/bZD81-Ljugw

 

Bellringers

Executive Administrator Jesse Bowdle announced the following bellringers:

Ruth Stroup rang the bell twice: once for Daniel Freeman and the work he does in the community and again for Nik Dehejia.

Isaac Kos-Read and Mike Bruck rang the bell for Nik Dehejia.

Adjournment

President Ces closed the meeting a few minutes after 1:30 p.m. by ringing the bell with his closing adage “and that’s the way it went” plus the reminder that Rotary Opens Opportunity for Service Above Self.

Birthday Greetings

Happy Birthday! Celebrating between March 14 and 22 are:

14 – Merlin Edwards

17 – Roberta Abel

20 – Ryan Spink

     – Suzie Yokomizo

21 – Gio Tanzillo

22 – Garrett Dailey  

Note: This birthday list is based on membership information in ClubRunner. Please update your ClubRunner account to help us keep this information current. If you need help with ClubRunner, please contact our Executive Administrator.

Membership Anniversaries in March

Thank you for your years of service to the Rotary Club of Oakland and the community!

  • Tom Love – 49 years
  • Jeff Allen – 36 years
  • Mike Bruck – 30 years
  • Randy Reed – 30 years
  • Barbara Beery – 27 years
  • Elida Scola – 15 years
  • Jill Loh Kearns – 14 years
  • Ana-Marie Jones – 13 years
  • Matt Ching – 9 years
  • Ken Kawaichi – 9 years
  • Betsy Biern – 7 years
  • Mark Epstein – 4 years
  • Kim Johnson – 4 years
  • Siddhi Saraiya – 4 years
  • Jason Dreisbach – 3 years
  • Kevin Kelley – 3 years
  • Sonja Malaga – 3 years
  • Reenie Raschke – 3 years
  • Amani Soliman – 3 years
  • Julayne Virgil – 3 years
  • Marilyn Galiothe – 2 years
  • Georgia Richardson – 2 years
  • Kathleen Sims – 2 years
Eric Foner

Next Meeting, March 18 – Eric Foner – The Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution

Robert Kidd announced our next speaker will be American Historian Eric Foner. He will examine the three constitutional amendments that followed the Civil War (the 13th, 14th, and 15th) including what they were trying to accomplish, how the Supreme Court eviscerated and, more recently, resurrected them, and their relevance to the struggle for racial justice today.