Oakland Rotary News

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Call To Order - President Dudley Thompson

President Dudley Thompson called to order the 5,391st Civic Thursday meeting of the 3rd established Rotary Club in the world. The Ballroom was full of Rotarians, and there were many people participating on Zoom.

Thought for the Day – Alex Kaffka

Alex Kaffka shared an inspiring quote by Stephen Covey: “When you show deep empathy toward others, their defensive energy goes down, and positive energy replaces it. That’s when you can get more creative in solving problems.”

Visiting Rotarians & Guests

Past President & District Governor Ed Jellen introduced Ruth Stroup’s guest, Dr. Edie Zusman. In the ballroom Joe Goralka introduced visiting Rotarian and fellow Assistant District Governor (along with Joe) Dianne Dorn, past president of the San Leandro Rotary Club. C J Hirschfield also introduced her guest, just as a glitch in the sound system caused the microphone to malfunction and the name was inaudible.

Member Re-Introduction – Keith Giron

Karen Friedman reintroduced Keith Giron. Since it was also Keith’s birthday, the ballroom audience serenaded him with the “Happy Birthday” song. A native of Denver, Colorado, Keith excelled in sports, including cross country and wrestling in high school. He was captain of the cross-country team and co-captain of the wrestling team. At the University of Notre Dame, Keith was co-captain of the Wrestling team. He majored in accounting, but also enjoyed philosophy. He worked for several large firms before establishing his own solo accounting practice. He belongs to the AICPA and is a past president of the California Society, East Bay Chapter. A Rotarian since 1989, he has served on the ORE Board and is a long-time member of the Karl Stucki World Community Service Committee. WCS has provided him with many travel opportunities abroad.  His family consists of three daughters, an adopted son and two grandchildren. His personal mantra is “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it”.

Banner Exchange

One of the most fun experiences of being a Rotarian is visiting other Rotary clubs and swapping banners. Barbara Beery, President-Elect Mary Geong and Joe Goralka recently attended the Rotary International Annual Convention and all presented banners to President Dudley. The banners were from Jinga, Uganda; Seabrook, Texas; and Sri Lanka. Anyone travelling soon? Dudley would like more banners for his wall.

World Community Service Report

Barbara Beery, co-chair of the Karl F. Stucki World Community Service Committee, shared many of the programs our ORE and RI donations have funded during 2021-2022. They included six new projects in Africa, a program for blind university women in Ethiopia, programs in many countries that addressed water sanitation issues, a malaria elimination project, cash for school supplies, a project to protect endangered species, a program to help Afghan refugees and a project in Ukraine. We are touching so many lives.

Chinatown Personal Safety Alarm Distribution

President-Elect Mary Geong reported we recently distributed 350 safety alarms to residents of Oakland Chinatown. In collaboration with the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, Asians United, San Francisco Chinatown Rotary and the Rotary Club of San Francisco, we will distribute additional safety alarms on Saturday, June 18. The Oakland Police Department will offer a training presentation on personal safety and the collaborative organizations will distribute the personal safety alarms.

Summer Solstice Mixer

Jesse Schmidt, chair of the Business Development Committee, invited everyone to attend the Summer Solstice Mixer on June 21st from 5:30-7:30 pm at the home of Giovanna Tanzillo.  The event is co-sponsored by the Business Development Committee and Oakland African American Chamber of Commerce. As a special treat, there will be a live performance by the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir.

Epic Hike – Part 3

Past President Robert Kidd invited all Rotarians to join him on the third leg of the Epic Hike. On Sunday, June 26th, the hike will be 6+ miles through Redwood Regional Park. In August, the fourth and final leg of the hike will be from Chabot Regional Park to San Leandro. Please sign up on the Club Website Calendar.

Rotary King Pins

Pres. Dudley encouraged us to come out and bowl with the Rotary King Pins for six weeks starting on Wednesday, July 6th at The Plank. The team needs two or three more players. All levels of bowling experience are welcome. Last year the team came in 4th out of 15 teams. Contact Dudley for information and to participate.

Program for the Day – Joel Makower

Our speaker, Joel Makower, was introduced by Michael Bruck, whom he has known since they were in high school. Joel is the CEO and co-Founder of GreenBiz Group. He has travelled all over the world speaking about sustainability strategies, innovation and the effects of climate change. Joel is also the author of 12 books. Much progress is being made in this area even without government mandates. Many corporations are starting programs on their own and having an impact unbeknownst to many of us.


Jack McAboy, Karen Friedman, Linda Boessenecker, Fred Morse, Barbara Beery, Mary Geong and Michael Bruck rang the bell for Keith Giron.

Keith Giron rang the bell for Dudley Thompson’s demotion.


President Dudley thanked everyone for participating and adjourned the meeting at 1:32 pm reminding everyone to Serve to Change Lives and don’t keep Rotary a Secret.

Next Meeting, June 23 – Lance McGee – Unique Derique

C J Hirschfield announced our program will be provided by Lance McGee. When not bringing joy to all ages as a professional clown, his alter-ego Lance McGee is a Trauma-Informed Wellness Consultant, Drama Therapist, and Mindfulness Coach providing support to Oakland middle-school educators, administrators, staff, and students. Lance’s work also includes training SFJazz teaching artists and other educators who work with middle school youth, as well as leading workshops on recognizing trauma-informed care practices and mindfulness for non-profit organizations, health clinics, colleges and educational systems throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. His past also includes school-based counseling for the East Bay Agency for Children, as well as work with the Mindful Life Project.

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