Posted by Brian Lan on Oct 10, 2018
President Rhonda Poppen welcomed all of our visiting Rotarians and guests to the city of San Francisco, noting that the City itself is the focus of today's speaker. 
Rhonda then shared upcoming events from the Club calendar including:
With so many volunteer opportunities on the calendar, Rhonda presented a Community Service Challenge by asking members to sign up for at least two community service events for the fall quarter. Past President Stephanie Schmautz (Retirement Living; The Carlisle) shared details about the Italian Heritage Parade on Saturday 10/7: she is looking for volunteers to help carry flags and provide supplies.
President-elect Casey Blair (Foreign Equity Trading; Feis Options) then presented the Board Report, noting that four community service grants have been approved recently (with 14 total to date) and that the Club has inducted two new members (with 9 total to date). Casey announced that the Board has a finalized annual budget and will put $500 towards the Hurricane Relief Effort in response to Hurricane Florence. Casey is also chairing the Nominating Committee, which is looking for members to join the committee and for members who are interested in any of the open positions on the Board: President-elect, Secretary, Treasurer, VP of Communications/PR, and VP of Club Service.
Rhonda went over the luncheon meeting sign-up process, telling us that it is important that we have an accurate headcount for the hotel because our costs go up if we need to add more people than expected. She noted that members can RSVP from the links in the invitation email that comes out the week before each meeting, at, from links in Grindings, or via the ClubRunner app. Instructions for how to register are available in this new video.
In light of the the Hurricane Relief Efforts, Anita Stangl (Non-profit Medical Services; Alliance for Smiles) said she would be willing to match contributions made by members of the Club. Several people stepped forward: $1500 in total was donated!
Today's Member Moment was about Brian Lan (Financial Planning; Merrill Lynch), who shared a clip from his recent singing concert as well as his personal background. Brian is originally from the Midwest and grew up in a family of musicians and dancers.
President Rhonda then announced that the Rotarian of the Month for October is Susan Dean! Susan is a retired nurse and has gone on 20 mission medical trips working with organizations such as Alliance for Smiles and Rotaplast.
Finally, Rhonda shared the 110th Anniversary T-shirt again with the help of model Greg Gutting (Human Services; The Salvation Army, Golden State Division). Don't miss out on this limited time fashion offering! You can buy your own anniversary T-shirt here.
Those contributing $20 or more included:
  • Club Social Chair Stacey Poole (Law - Family; Lerner-Poole), who is looking for new ideas and support for Club social activities.
  • Greg Gutting, who is performing in a local production of The Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare at Kelly Cullen Community Auditorium in the Tenderloin during the month of October. He invited members to the free show.
  • Anita Stangl, who invited members to a free screening of the movie Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down The White House at the Variety Theater on 11/1, hosted by Alliance For Smiles.
  • Flora Burke (Financial Advisor; Merrill Lynch), who invited members to help out with the San Francisco Auxiliary Jewel Ball at the Ritz Carlton on 11/3.
  • Lillian Tsi-Stielstra (Insurance Services; Wells Fargo Advisors), who shared that her son Peter is debuting in his first professional acting role in the play Pool of Unknown Wonders in Berkeley.
  • President Rhonda, who shared the story of clients of hers who are olive farmers. After an initial rejection, they are in the running to receive a major grant from the USDA.
Today's guest speaker was Leah Garchik, the long-time columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle. Leah, who has been working for the Chronicle for 46 years, shared the story of her humble beginnings in the City when she and her husband moved here from Brooklyn without a plan or jobs. She joined the Chronicle in 1972 as a part-time temporary steno clerk and slowly ascended the journalistic ladder, first writing book reviews and finally becoming a full-time columnist. Leah shared her personal experiences working for the paper as well as her thoughts on the changing newspaper industry. Leah was very touched when Rhonda told her that 100 children were being inoculated against Polio in recognition of her speech: Leah's father had suffered from Polio.
Bill Poppen (Banking Management; MUFG Union Bank) won today's door prize - A bottle of fine wine graciously provided by Cecile Chiquette (Accounting Services; Retired).
Photos by Ann Daugherty (Financial Advisor; IBN Financial Services) and others.
Edited by Scott Plakun (IT Consulting; The Plakun Group).