Posted by John Dean on Dec 04, 2019
President Casey Blair (Financial Services: Private Trading | Feis Options) opened the meeting at 12:15 PM, noting that this was our first regular luncheon meeting in three weeks due to the Thanksgiving holiday and end-of-month Board meeting.  

A number of visiting Rotarians were in attendance, including: Josie McHale, District 5150 Public Relations/Public Image Chair; Joe Santos from the Rotary Club of Daly City/Colma Evening (and a former member of our Club); Rich Swart from the Rotary Club of San Francisco Chinatown; and John Goings, a Rotarian and former long-time member of our Club who now lives in Pacific Grove where he is an active member of the Rotary Club of Pacific Grove.  
Several members of our Club introduced their guest: Migena Shroeder (Law: International | Albanian Eagle Security System (AESS)) introduced her parents, who are visiting from Albania, where her father is a long-time Rotarian (and former President of his club); John Mathers (Management Consulting | eVo Associates) introduced his guest, Chris Steele, a facilitator and consultant as well as a former Rotarian in Las Vegas, who has just moved to San Francisco; Dan Joraanstad (Financial Services: Advising | Retired) introduced Shon Buford, President of the San Francisco Firefighters Union who was joined by his mother, Janice; Anita Stangl (Medical Services | Alliance for Smiles) introduced her guest, Greg Benson, who is involved in a non-profit in Ghana; Lisa Christian (Development | Community Housing Partnership) introduced her daughter, Christiana Wygant; and Irena Matijas (Real Estate: Sales | Compass) introduced several guests who are interested in our Club.
President Casey then quickly reviewed several recent Club events:
  • The District 5150 Rotary Foundation Dinner at the Gloria Ferrer Champagne Cellars; this was a great event which sold out.
  • Dandelion Chocolate Factory Social: those attending had a private tour of the facility while enjoying chocolate samples and beverages.
  • Thanksgiving at The ARC: once again, over 50 members of our Club served a Thanksgiving lunch to over 250 clients of The ARC and the Salvation Army Residence. Special thanks to our cooking crew: Chef Eric Schmautz (Banking: Management | Wells Fargo), Lilian Tsi-Stielstra (Insurance: Services | Retired) and Scott Plakun (Management Consulting | The Plakun Group) for preparing the feast, which included 190 pounds of meat as well as stuffing, carrots, gravy, cranberry sauce, and 39 pumpkin pies.
Mark your calendars for a number of upcoming events, including:
  • December 6, 2019: Salvation Army Bell Ringing at the Westin St. Francis Hotel on Union Square.
  • December 12, 2019: Baby Showers at the Homeless Prenatal Program on Potrero Avenue.
  • December 17, 2019: Our Club's Holiday Party at the Westin St. Francis Hotel. Register now, as this event always sells out.
  • January 15, 2020: “Fund the Future” Gala at the Salesforce Tower. This event will raise much needed funding for the new Action Leadership Program for Students (“ALPS”), which is already being rolled out in five Bay Area high schools. Our Club has been instrumental in developing this program for the youth in our area, and your financial support is essential. Consider registering NOW, before the year end. See John Mathers for sponsorship opportunities or to arrange a donation to this program.
  • January 30, 2020: Volunteers will prepare “Homeless Survival Kits” in conjunction with Catholic Charities. 
Check our website and the District's website for more information on upcoming events.
Guest Shon Buford, President of the San Francisco Firefighters Union, spoke about the Toys for Tots Program. Begun in 1949, the Program now involves 300 firefighters who collect and distribute 200,000 toys annually to over 40,000 kids. Those attending our Club's Holiday Party are asked to bring a new, unwrapped toy for the Toys for Tots Program. Allan Herzog (Financial Services: Advising | Wells Fargo Advisors) offered to donate $500 to the Program, if ten others would donate $100 each. Anita Stangl, Jim Patrick (Retail: Office Supplies | Patrick & Co.), Shon Buford, Cecile Chiquette (Accounting | Fiduciary Administration), Lisa Christian, Dan Joraanstad, Bill Poppen (Banking: Management | MUFG Union Bank), Migena Shroeder, Josie McHale and Irena Matijas rose to the occasion. 
Honorary Member
President Casey joined Anita Stangl in inducting John Goings as an Honorary Member of the Rotary Club of San Francisco. John has been in Rotary for nearly 40 years with 36 of those in our Club before he moved to Pacific Grove. He plans to travel to the City at least once per month to attend our Club luncheon meetings. John received a membership certificate, a plaque and a miniature cable car symbolizing San Francisco.
$20 for 20 seconds
  • Tim Hornbecker (Nonprofit Management | Retired) donated in honor of Anita Stangl, Cecile Chiquette and Eric Schmautz for their continued service to our Club, and in honor of his daughter’s successful recovery.
  • Christopher Wiseman (Event Planning | Glaucoma Research Foundation) asked members to consider donating wine to the Holiday Party Wine Toss event and to plan to participate in the Wine Toss at the party for a chance to win some great wines.
Kat Ebanks (Nonprofit Management | City Embrace Counseling & Resource Center) introduced our guest speaker, Laurel Botsford. Laurel is the founder and president of Wisdom International and has devoted the past five years to working to educate the public on human trafficking. Her focus is on prevention: it is far more efficient to prevent human trafficking than to find the victims later, rescue them, and then treat and “fix” them. She noted that human trafficking is demand-driven: it is a $150 billion dollar per year industry worldwide. Humans are trafficked for sex, labor, and organ transplant. After her talk, Ms. Botsford was presented with a certificate indicating 100 children will be vaccinated against polio in her name.
Before the meeting adjourned, Mary Liu (Real Estate: Sales |Vanguard Properties/JM Real Estate Group) announced that she is working to re-establish the vocational service program for our Club starting in the new year. The goal is to develop vocational and career networking opportunities for our members. If interested, please contact Mary.

Irena Matijas won the door prize which was a sampling of Dandelion chocolates.
Photos by Lena Dokuchayeva (Development | Vereschagin Law) 
Edited by Dora Dye (Education: Community College | City College of San Francisco)