Posted by John Dean on Jul 15, 2020
President JT Harold Forbus (Accounting | Bogdan & Frasco) called the meeting to order at 12:15 PM. Over 55 members and guests joined this virtual meeting. 
Visiting Rotarians and Guests
The following visiting Rotarians and guests unmuted one-by-one and introduced themselves:
  • Mitone Griffiths from the Rotary Club of Half Moon Bay.
  • Dr. Jack Higgins from the Rotary Club of Los Altos.
  • Patrice Perillo, past president of the Rotary Club of San Francisco West and now an Assistant Governor.
  • Brenna Quon, Interactor from St. Ignatius College Preparatory high school in San Francisco.
  • Kailey Sjauwfoekloy, Interactor from St. Ignatius College Preparatory high school in San Francisco.
  • Richard Swart, past president of the Rotary Club of San Francisco Chinatown and now co-Director of PRLS.
  • Alan Test from the Rotary Club of Newport Beach and husband to PDG Sue Rokaw.
Message from President JT Forbus
President JT began the meeting with some sobering statistics cited by San Francisco Mayor London Breed at a news conference on Monday, July 13, 2020: Of San Francisco’s 4,800 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 48% are persons of Hispanic descent. Until recently, the local infection rate was around 0.6, meaning that a person testing positive for the virus was likely to infect less than one other person. Today, the infection rate had risen to 1.25 (more than doubled). President JT said that the virus is spreading exponentially and urged everyone to please wear a mask and follow the guidelines.
Rotary Moment 
President JT called on Vice President of Community Service Bob Hermann (Information Technology: Administration | Retired) for a brief “Rotary Moment”. Bob announced that the Foundation of our Club had donated $10,000 to the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank, which was matched by an anonymous donor for a total of $20,000. The Food Bank is currently operating over 20 food distribution sites per week around San Francisco and Marin. Bob showed several photographs of the large “drive thru” food distribution site held every Friday in the parking lot at Oracle Park. On a recent Friday, Bob and Dan Joraanstad (Financial Services: Advising | Retired) volunteered at the site, and over 1,100 cars passed through in a four-hour period. Each car received about 100 pounds of food. The volunteer process at the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank is well organized, with procedures to keep everyone safe in this time of COVID-19. See this opportunity for our Club to help at the Food Bank on August 15, 2020.
News from the St. Ignatius Interact Co-Club Presidents
Vice President of Youth Development David Dye (Management Consulting | Retired) introduced Brenna Quon and Kailey Sjauwfoekloy, co-presidents of the Interact Club at St. Ignatius College Preparatory high school. This Interact Club is co-sponsored by our Club and the Rotary Club of San Francisco West. Brenna and Kailey attended the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (“RYLA”) camp two years ago, where they met Lynn Luckow (Development | and David. The three-day RYLA Camp and the leadership training, in Kailey’s words, “showed us that community service could be fun.” Brenna added that community service is a key part of the St. Ignatius' culture, but that many SI students see it only as a graduation requirement. Brenna and Kailey saw Interact as a way to make service fun, while allowing students to develop leadership skills. They showed photographs of several Interact events: the first was a “Christmas Store” for members of St. Dominic’s Church, where Interactors using funds provided by St. Ignatius, shopped for gifts which were then provided to members of the church; and a Krispy Kreme donut sale, where Interactors sold donuts with the proceed of over $600 to benefit St. Anthony’s Dining Room and its affiliated addiction and recovery programs. They ended by providing testimonials from SI Interactors about how involvement in Interact had impacted them. Both Brenna and Kailey graduated from St. Ignatius this past spring and will be attending college in the fall. Good luck to both of these outstanding Interactors!
New Member
President JT and our Vice President of Membership Terry Pickering (Financial Services | Retired) inducted our newest member, Sue Rokaw (Law: Insurance | Deans & Homer). Sue is an attorney and a longtime Rotarian, having begun her Rotary journey with the New Bern Breakfast Rotary Club in North Carolina. She has held a number of positions within Rotary over the years and is well known to members of our Club, having just concluded her term as District Governor a few weeks ago. Sue looks forward to getting involved in both the social and service aspects of our Club. Terry virtually presented Sue with a copy of A Tradition of Fellowship and Service: The Rotary Club of San Francisco at 100 and a certificate evidencing an initial contribution of $26.50 toward a Paul Harris Fellowship (symbolic only, as Sue and her husband Alan are already longtime Paul Harris Fellows). David Dye is her sponsor. Welcome, Sue!
Club Calendar
President JT presented the upcoming events and meetings on the Club calendar.
President JT opened the floor to announcements, which included:
BASIC PRLS on July 25, 2020. Richard Swartz explained what this course covers and added that BASIC PRLS is a prerequisite to the Master PRLS series. President JT announced that our Club will cover the fee for this course.
$20 for Twenty Seconds
Those pledging today included: 
  • Lisa Stark (Communications and Media), who donated in honor of District 5150 PDG Ron Gin's appearance as a guest speaker at Lisa’s other Rotary Club in Arizona.
  • David Dye, who donated $20 in honor of PDG Sue Rokaw’s induction into our Club.
  • Jianying Chen (Healthcare: Acupuncture | American Institute of Zhizhen Therapy and New Qigong), who donated $20 for his first haircut in three months and credited his wife for the cut. 
  • John Hoch (Financial Services: Advising | Retired), who donated $20 in honor of PDG Sue Rokaw’s induction into our Club.
  • Casey Blair (Financial Services: Private trading | KCB Trading, LLC), who donated $20 in honor of PDG Sue Rokaw’s induction into our Club and in recognition of the great job she did as District Governor. Casey donated another $20 in honor of Patrice Perillo, our 2019-2020 Assistant Governor.
  • Lynn Luckow, who donated $20 in honor of PDG Sue Rokaw. PDG Sue initially brought him into the RYLA program. Lynn donated another $20 in honor of the two Interact speakers from St. Ignatius and wished both of them success as they move on to college.
  • President JT, who donated $20 in honor of the two Interact co-presidents.
  • Mary Liu (Real Estate: Sales | Vanguard Properties/JM Real Estate Group), who donated $20 in honor of PDG Sue Rokaw’s induction into our Club.
  • PDG Sue Rokaw, who donated $100 in gratitude for the warm welcome to our Club.
  • Bob Hermann, who donated $20 in honor of PDG Sue Rokaw’s induction into our Club and $20 to everyone’s health, which we often take for granted. He announced that a friend had died this past week of COVID-19 complications, and he asked everyone to keep Dan in their thoughts with his current health challenges.
  • Ann Daugherty (Financial Services: Private Trading | IBN Financial Services), who donated $20 in honor of Dan Joraanstad’s great job during his recently completed term as Vice President of Membership and $20 in honor of Terry Pickering, who is beginning his term in that role.
Guest Speaker
Anita Stangl (Medical Services | Alliance for Smiles) introduced our guest speaker and Club member, Hans-Ulrich (“Uli”) Südbeck (Government Relations | Federal Foreign Office, Berlin, Germany), Consul General of Germany, who was asked to speak on the topic of COVID-19 and the re-opening of Europe.
Uli has served for many years in the German diplomatic corps, including posts in Kiev, The Hague, in Brussels as the German representative to the European Union, and other locations. He has been Consul General in San Francisco since 2017 and a member of our Club since 2018.
With regard to how Germany handled (and continues to handle) the pandemic, Uli pointed to several critical factors. First, Germany saw first-hand the devastation the virus caused in Italy and realized early on that the virus would spread to Germany. So everyone was focused and motivated to take action.

Second, Germany boasts a very robust health care system; every resident is provided health insurance. The ratio of Intensive Care Unit beds/resident is six (6) times higher in Germany than in the United States; so the issue of beds, equipment, and hospitals being overwhelmed with critically ill patients simply never arose. Equally important, Germany embraced the concept of contact tracing a number of years ago, for other illnesses, so there was a structure in place to do contact tracing early and get control of the spread of the virus.
Third, Germany is a federation, much like the United States, with semi-autonomous regions. However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is a scientist, and she listened to the medical experts. Merkel worked with provincial leaders to develop aggressive nationwide policies, including contact tracing. Merkel did something she loathes to do: she gave a national address to the citizens, outlined the problem and the science, and set out the steps being taken to control the spread of the virus. 

Economic Impact: Chancellor Merkel as well all political parties quickly realized that drastic economic measures would have to be taken to stop the spread of the virus, including a nationwide lockdown. The economy would require huge amounts of government support to avoid collapse and to rebuild. Germany embarked on a massive deficit spending program to bolster its economy, even though this was contrary to the longstanding German focus on balanced budgets. As a result, Merkel’s approval rating is now at an all-time high of over 75%. 
Within the European Union, it quickly became clear that unified policies and coordinated action were required. The EU had long espoused a policy of solidarity, with the goal of improving the living standards of all member countries. Members of the EU realized they must react to COVID-19 in a unified manner with dramatic action. While the EU has a longstanding policy that no nation will be required to assume the debt of any other member nation, member nations recognized that the pandemic was no one’s “fault”. Accordingly, members of the EU led by France and Germany are discussing making massive grants (not loans) to member nations in need. France and Germany have proposed 500 billion euros in grants, with another 250 billion euros in loans, to member nations. Discussions are intensifying, as the situation is critical and the EU takes a recess in early August. 
Uli and his staff have been in contact with leaders in California. Governor Newsom has appointed a commission of prominent political and business leaders to design plans for economic recovery post-pandemic. One issue which has been discussed is contact tracing. Germany and several other countries have implemented detailed tracing applications (often linked to cell phones). Uli mentioned that the position of California leaders seemed to be that they would “wait and see” how the tracing applications worked out in Europe before considering them in California. He added that the primary concerns seemed to be over privacy issues. Germany and France were willing to sacrifice some privacy in order to address the pandemic.
A brief question-and-answer session followed the presentation. The meeting was adjourned at 1:30 PM.
Photos and editing by Dora Dye