Posted by John Dean on Mar 26, 2020
The first-ever “e-meeting” of the Rotary Club of San Francisco was called to order by President Casey Blair (Financial Services: Private Trading | KCB Trading LLC). The meeting was conducted via Zoom, with over 65 members participating. President Casey noted that the Club leadership was striving to be “nimble” as we adapt and respond to the evolving reality of the coronavirus crisis. He indicated that Club meetings would be online through at least May 1, 2020; he added that the Sir Francis Drake Hotel had been completely closed and boarded up, and the entire staff had been laid off through the end of April. President Casey thanked the Presidents' Council, Dora Dye (Education: Community College | City College of San Francisco), and Eric Schmautz (Banking: Management | Wells Fargo) for their support and assistance in putting this e-meeting together.
President Casey gave an update on the following events:
  • World Wide Rotary Day was canceled. President Casey thanked WWRD Chairman Christopher Wiseman (Event Planning | Glaucoma Research Foundation) and his committee for their hard work and noted that their work could be used as a template for next year’s WWRD.
  • The Bike Build was canceled. Current plans are to hold an expanded Bike Build next spring, aimed at providing bikes to children who would have received bikes this year.
  • The annual RYLA Camp was canceled. The camp had been planned for April 17-19, with over 200 teenagers scheduled to attend. President Casey thanked Lynn Luckow (Development |, Susan Dean (Healthcare: Nursing Services | Retired), Assistant District Governor Patrice Perillo, David Dye (Management Consulting | Retired), Connor Krone (Education: Management | Connor Krone Inc.), and all of the members who completed RYLA counselor training.
  • The Rotary International convention in Honolulu, Hawaii in June 2020 was canceled.
President Casey then acknowledged a few members and their involvement in recent events:  
  • Marti Sullivan (Development | The ARC of San Francisco) for inviting the Club to The Arc San Francisco Gala on March 6, 2020. A number of our members did attend to support this organization.
  • Carla Walter (Arts Therapy | Dance in the Spirit) for organizing a dinner and an evening at the San Francisco Ballet for a large number of Club members and guests on March 6, 2020.
  • President-elect JT Forbus (Accounting | Bogdan & Frasco) for attending the Far West PETS on March 6-8, 2020. JT noted that he sat with Rotary International President-elect Holger Knaack and discussed challenges facing Rotary.
New Members Inducted
Another first for our Club was an e-Induction led by Vice President of Membership Dan Joraanstad (Financial Services: Advising | Retired) and President Casey. The Club welcomed the following two new members:
  • Joseph Cresalia (Retail: Jewelry | Cresalia Jewelers), who is joining as the fifth member of our corporate member Roots of Peace. Joe is the sixth generation operator of Cresalia Jewelers in San Francisco, begun in the 1800's. His mentor is Jim Patrick (Retail: Office Supplies | Patrick & Co.).
  • Steven Lindstrom (Software Engineering |, who is committed to improving the community and has already been active in our Club. His mentor is Luis Moran (Real Estate: Sales | Coldwell Banker). 
Town Hall
President Casey then introduced several Club members and asked them to discuss current projects, as a sort of Town Hall:
  • John Mathers (Management Consulting | eVo Associates) discussed the role of the Rotary Climate Action Team and presented several photos showing that after the city of Wuhan, China was put on lockdown, there was a dramatic drop in pollution. See here for the next RCAT meeting.
  • Connor Krone discussed the ALPS program for youth. He noted that San Francisco school-age youth are frightened and concerned about the current virus situation, which has triggered school closures and resulted in online classes. He suggested that members who want to help youth in this strange and disconcerting time can serve as youth mentors (via online ALPS platforms). Rotarians can also donate money to assist with school-based meal programs. Donations can be made by phone: text 4SFUSD to 44321.  
  • Vice President of Vocational Service Mary Liu (Real Estate: Sales | Vanguard Properties/JM Real Estate Group) launched “Make Connections and Grow Your Business”. This will be an on-going meeting and will eventually be opened up to members of other Bay Area Rotary clubs. See here for details and registration.
  • President-elect JT Forbus announced that the deadline for grant applications has been extended to April 15. For information on how to apply, go here.
$20 for Twenty Seconds  
The servers and support staff who assisted us weekly at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel had all been laid off. President-elect JT Forbus suggested that we consider a donation to those staff members during this difficult time to show support. President Casey led two lively rounds of $20 for 20 seconds that raised over $1,500. After the e-Meeting ended, more members came forward to raise the total to over $2,000. The money will be converted into grocery store gift cards and given to the servers and support staff at The Drake who worked with us weekly. Thank you to everyone who donated!
President Casey thanked all members who participated in this novel e-Meeting experience and noted that our meetings will continue as e-meetings through at least the end of April. The meeting was adjourned at 1:20 PM.
Photos by David Dye (Management Consulting | Retired)
Edited by Dora Dye (Education: Community College | City College of San Francisco)