Posted by Brian Lan on Aug 22, 2018
In today’s luncheon, we welcomed visiting Rotarians from across the country and from India and Germany. Also in attendance were several staff members and clients from The Arc San Francisco as our featured guests, including new CEO Matthew Tarver-Wahlquist, COO Connie Tabas, CFO Marti Sullivan (Nonprofit Management; The Arc San Francisco), and guest speaker Kristen Pedersen, Chief of Employment and Education Services.
President Rhonda opened the meeting with everyone reciting the Rotary Four-Way Test. Following up from last week, Rhonda made another request to the Club for volunteers to help with hospitality for visiting Rotarians and guests as well as volunteers who can help with videography. Alison Healy (Non-profit medical services; Alliances for Smiles, Inc.) donated today’s raffle prize of a garlic holder and mortar and pestle set.
Rhonda announced that Scott Plakun (IT Consulting; The Plakun Group) is the Rotarian of the Month for August. Scott, who was president of our Club in 2009-10, has been working hard for years on communications in all forms (Grindings, website, PR) for the Club. He was given a foldable backpack as a gift from the Club in hopes that he could use it while on his annual visit to the Adirondacks in upstate New York.
President Rhonda and Vice President of Membership Dan Joraanstad (Financial Management; Retired) introduced and inducted four new members today: Deborah Wakefield (Wakefield Trust Concierge Senior Care and Family Support); Brian Lan (Financial Planning; Merrill Lynch); Steven Minchen (Real Estate Sales; Coldwell Banker Global Luxury); and Tyler Sterk (Financial Planning; Merrill Lynch). See Dan's Membership Corner for more information on each of our newest members.
Each new member was given an official Rotary Club name tag, a Rotary pin, a copy of A Tradition of Fellowship and Service: The Rotary Club of San Francisco at 100, and a certificate of contribution to the Rotary Foundation. The new Rotarians were encouraged to serve and be the inspiration for their community.
Those giving $20 or more today were Thomas Brunner (Non-profit research; The Glaucoma Foundation) to celebrate the new director at the Glaucoma Research Foundation; Tim Hornbecker (Human Services; The Arc of Alameda) to thank Fred Marshner (Financial Planning; Northwestern Mutual) for Fred’s incredible job chairing the Grant Review Committee for the San Francisco Rotary Foundation; Eric Schmautz (Banking Management; Wells Fargo Bank) to introduce his mother, Karen Schmautz, from Indian Rock Beach, Florida, to announce that she recently became a Rotarian at a Club in Florida, and that she is selling raffle tickets for the next Super Bowl to benefit her Club; Skip Brewster (Insurance; Retired) to recognize all the cancer research and the outstanding treatment given to his brother-in-law; and Ann Daugherty (Investment Management; IBN Financial Service) to honor her nephew who made it into his high school’s dream basketball team in Michigan.
Today’s speaker Kristen Pedersen shared how The Arc San Francisco is breaking down workforce barriers for people with developmental disabilities. The Arc is helping businesses to “shift their lens” about adults with disabilities to capitalize on this untapped resource and providing a lot of personal coaching for their clients to help with onboarding and support in their new careers. Kristen noted that these qualified individuals represent a large work pool, have shown to have higher attendance and retention (average tenure of five years), and can help companies to send a positive message. Some of the programs and services include: pre-employment preparation and career exploration, workplace immersion internships, learning assessments to determine one’s strengths, community college and adult education support, and corporate and community partnerships.
Kristen shared several individual client success stories and noted that in the past year The Arc has supported 331 individuals with 23 clients working full-time who no longer receive cash benefits, and 28 clients with upgraded career opportunities. Finally, Kristen introduced two recent clients, Rory White (Royal Auto Graduate, SFMOMA Employee) and Andrew Collier (California Academy of Sciences and PG&E Graduate, HAAVAS Employee), to share their stories.
Both Rory and Andrew praised The ARC for providing the support and coaching to help them succeed. At the end of the Q&A, the entire Rotary Club gave them a standing ovation. President Rhonda thanked the guests from The ARC and noted the strong partnership between our Club and The Arc in projects such as the annual Thanksgiving luncheon and the Dinner Club (which will start again in September). She also announced Rory White as the winner of the raffle prize!
Rhonda closed with an announcement that next week’s speaker will be Manuel Mollinedo who will talk about how zoos save endangered species.