President's Message
John Mathers
member photo
Rotarians Coming Together!

Something magical is happening in our Club: we are doing service projects while having more fun! This is not to say that we didn’t have fun before, but rather that members seem to find more opportunities to combine our service with fun. As an example, we had a diaper bag stuffing party at Homeless Prenatal Project — ten or twelve members showed up and completed the job of packing items for new mothers into 50-plus diaper bags in extremely short order. Lots of laughter and lots of joking. Then the entire group enjoyed a glass of wine or beer and some appetizers. After more laughter and a little more wine, the CEO and Founder of HPP, Martha Ryan, gave us a tour of the incredible facility. Everyone made a contribution, enjoyed connecting with others, and learned a great deal about HPP. It was a perfect combination of service, socializing and education.

And this is happening in all aspects of our Club. We had another New and Prospective Members Evening this month, and again it was a real hit. Held at Lynn Luckow’s office on Post Street, around twenty people showed up for wine, food and friendship. Oh, and we all had an opportunity to learn more about Rotary and the work we do! The energy in the room was palpable, and the members and potential members that attended were impressive: smart, focused, service-oriented and enthusiastic. We all had a great time and everyone left satisfied.
If you have not been involved in a service project in the last six months, find something that interests you and test out the thesis that service and socializing go well together. There are lots of projects coming up in April and plenty of chances to get to know Rotary and other members better.
Congratulations March 25, 2018
April 1
    Antonio Alvarez Lorenzo

April 2
    Brad Wong
April 5
    Jim Bradley
April 7
    Carrie Condran Labriola
April 8
    Scott Plakun
April 12
    Warren Grawemeyer
April 14
    Kristina Ruiz-Healy
April 16
    Michael Strohl
April 18
    T. Otis Paul
    Donna-Lee Rubin
April 20
    Kathryn McCall
April 23
    Donald Parachini
1983: Peter Lagarias
1987: Anita Stangl
2007: John Mount
2010: Clif Thomas
2011: Peter Logan
2016: Yang Yang
2017: Alison Healy
   Sunny Singh
March 2018 Highlights
Rotarians of the Month: The Rotary Club of San Francisco has been putting on Emergency Services Day (ESD) for over thirty years. This year it was bigger, better, and more inclusive than ever. The ESD Team was dedicated and creative, none more so than Jane Mermelstein (Real Estate Sales; Zephyr Real Estate) and Ann Daugherty (Financial Services, IBN Financial Services). They came up with an idea for supporting the homeless with quality socks, then parlayed that idea into centerpieces for the tables, coordinating the design and execution with Club Past President Harold Hoogasian (Florist-Retail; Hoogasian Flowers). They persisted with smiles and careful planning, and the result was recognized by everyone at the event as fun and valuable. For their tireless energy and bright spirits, and their contribution to our Club, we honor Ann and Jane as February’s Rotarians of the Month!
Great Luncheon Programs:
  • Heidi Kuhn (Peace Building; Roots of Peace) and Martin Lowenstein talked about China Camp, a gift of the McNear Family and a well-known park for Marinites. Its history is a story of California, the gold rush, and the discrimination that plagues our world. Heidi and Martin shared the history and the plans for updating the park and especially the museum to the Chinese who lived and worked there.
  • Dr. Andrew Iwach, a key physician with the Glaucoma Foundation, discussed how the Foundation is working with patients and pushing the boundaries of application of the newest approved techniques in addressing degenerative eye disease. Dr. Iwach was both engaging and informative.
  • Dr. Jonathan Granoff, president of the Global Security Institute, addressed the crowd on World Wide Rotary Day (WWRD) with an inspirational message about the importance of working for human rights and a nuclear-free world. The event was a huge success, thanks to the hard work of the WWRD team chaired by Sacha Shashi (IT Services; Nimbus Systems). About 40 members of the San Francisco Consular Corps attended as our guests with more than 80 Rotarians and friends on hand to recognize their work.
Service projects and fun events: Dinner at the ARC: Making dinner with ARC clients and sitting down to enjoy the result is both fun and supportive. The clients love the event and those that help in preparation certainly have a great time.
Homeless Prenatal Project diaper bag stuffing and celebrations: Club members and friends spent an evening stuffing 74 diaper bags (and then enjoyed some food and drink at the local pub). A couple of days later, members helped to distribute the bags to new and expecting mothers at a party that was filled with enthusiasm, laughter and the joy of motherhood.
District 5150 Assembly: This was a wonderful opportunity to show support for our President-Elect Rhonda Poppen (Grant Writing; GRANTdog) and the 110th birthday of the Rotary Club of San Francisco. The 19 club members who attended put a great deal of energy – and a lot of noise from five vuvuzelas – into the celebration as Rhonda was called up to receive the Club's 2018-19 theme banner. Club members participated in multiple interesting and valuable seminars on subjects ranging from NGO Partnering, Human Trafficking and International Projects to Membership, Youth Services, and Rotary International Resources. All attendees reported that they had a great time and that they learned a lot.
Support for The Rotary Foundation:These members were recognized as Paul Harris Fellows, as an appreciation for their generous donations to The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International:
  • PHF: Benjamin Lam (Banking Services; UBS Financial Services)
  • PHF+1: Frank Yoke, III(Development; SF Bay Area Council, Boy Scouts of America)
  • PHF+3:  Peter Logan (Law - General Practice; Peter Logan Law Offices), Tom Briody (Elder Care; Institute on Aging)
  • PHF+4: Laine Hendricks(Public Relations; County of Marin)
  • PHF+7: Lilian Tsi-Stielstra (Insurance Services; Wells Fargo Advisors)
Report from the Board Retreat
The 2018-2019 Board of Directors met at the Wells Fargo office of Eric Schmautz on Saturday, March 10, 2018 to discuss strategies for the upcoming Rotary year. We all agreed, and the member surveys confirm, that the Club is headed in a great overall direction. We have seen a year of impressive impact, both locally and globally: membership has grown and the Club is financially sound. We look forward to our 110th birthday celebration as the second oldest Rotary Club in the world.
We will build on our vision/purpose to "support healthy communities through strong friendships and active engagement". The three pillars of focus stemming from this vision are:
  1. We have fun while doing service programs.
  2. We focus equally on those served and on those who are serving.
  3. We engage organically/naturally with every member multiple times monthly.
Many insights came from the day, but perhaps one of the most notable was raised by Sacha Shashi, VP of International Service, who proposed that we host an annual "Social Impact" Accelerator Conference on Clean Drinking Water. The initiative would bring together local Rotary Clubs, International Government Agencies, other non-governmental organizations, innovators, and researchers. This stems from the work of and insights gained from former Club member, UC Berkeley Professor John Dracup.
Please mark your calendar now for the Club Assembly at our May 15 luncheon meeting. Each member will have an opportunity to communicate directly with each board director, gaining first-hand their respective vision for the coming year. Happy 110th Birthday, Rotary Club of San Francisco! It's going to be a great year!
Connectors and Their Role
Connectors have been introduced into the Club as the Club has grown over the last two years. Why? The Club philosophy is focused not only on growth of membership but on engaged members who are actively interested in the Club. It’s no use to add new members if established members are disengaged or feeling neglected and are leaving.
The purpose of the Connectors is to try and reach all of our members on a personal, one-to-one basis. This builds on the fact that one of the top three reasons people join Rotary is for fellowship. We want our membership to be engaged with the Club’s activities and connected to other members.
The Connectors play an increasingly vital role in ensuring that we don’t miss an important event in your life, that you have another avenue to keep you informed about the Club’s activities and hopefully to help you participate with the Club. We aren’t a lunch Club. We aren’t a savings institute. We are a Club that looks for your financial support, plus your personal efforts to achieve things in helping other people that we couldn’t dream of individually.
Here’s how it works: The Connector is assigned a group of 10 members which is called a Circle. We have 10 Connectors and each is responsible to promote Club involvement, member interaction, and personal relationships. About once a month, the Connectors phone, text, email or talk to each of their 10 members. If you get an invitation to sit together with your Connector or meet up for a coffee, please accept. We also try to keep Members informed about upcoming speakers, social events, service opportunities, etc.
Part of the monthly email or other contact is designed to maintain a friendly relationship with you. We want to be aware of job changes, health issues, or life stage changes (marriages, births, family deaths) and relocation issues. Please feel free to keep your Connector or any of the leadership informed of important events in your life. This is a two-way street, and radio silence on either the part of the Club or the Member signals disinterest. Be in touch! Let us know what’s going on. We don’t want to pry we just want to be there for you, as best we can.
March 2018 Membership Corner
On March 6 we took in two new members.
Susan Dean joins, sponsored by Chris Davies (our newest member from February), who in turn was sponsored by Anita Stangl. The excitement of members finding others to join our Club is a virtuous circle leading to more and more people of like mind, committed to making this world a better place. Susan is a retired Nurse from UCSF and has participated in many medical missions for both Alliance for Smiles as well as a mission sponsored by Faith in Action for the children of Guatemala, who suffer from malnutrition. Susan is excited about exploring more opportunities of service that are available through Rotary.
March 6 featured Heidi Kuhn as our speaker with a presentation about China Camp. What a special pleasure for everybody involved that we also inducted her son, Christian, into membership on the same day. As a child and a youth he has been constantly involved with multiple good works abroad, stemming from Roots of Peace, developed and run by his parents. As a young adult, Christian hopes to bring his perspective on global service to the Club for new ideas and inspiration. The Club currently has a member—Jim Patrick—whose father and grandfather were Club Presidents for the Rotary Club of San Francisco. Now we have Christian whose great grandfather was president of the Rotary Club of San Francisco. What grand traditions our Club has!
Please welcome both Susan and Christian.
ROTARY LUNCHEON April 3, 2018:  Mikail Ali, SFPD Special Ops
Mikail Ali, a third generation San Franciscan and deputy chief of police, will speak to us about the San Francisco Police Department’s Special Operations Bureau.
SERVICE PROJECT April 7, 2018: Bike Build
Come and join the fun at our tenth annual Bike Build. This year, we'll be building 100 brand new bikes for kids in the third, fourth, and fifth grades at a variety of schools in San Francisco. Rotarians, Rotaractors, Interactors, friends, and family are all welcome! Students who want bicycles should contact their school's office.
ROTARY LUNCHEON April 10, 2018: Carbon Pricing and Climate Crisis
Whitney Larsen and Heath Massey, both volunteers with the Citizens Climate Lobby, will talk about carbon pricing: how it works, how it would impact the economy and society, and the political feasibility of this as a solution for the climate crisis.
Dinner Club at The Arc: April 16, 2018
Enjoy the opportunity to make dinner and share it with new friends at The Arc. Rotarians are invited to join the fun at one dinner a month: come once, or make it a regular commitment! Open to family and friends who are over 18.
ROTARY LUNCHEON April 17, 2018:  Workplace Wellness
Janice Litvin is a speaker, coach, and author on wellness, fitness, and weight loss. Today, she will speak to us about workplace wellness, which includes both physical health as well as mental health.
RYLA: April 20-22, 2018
Started by the Rotary Club of San Francisco as Camp Enterprise over thirty years ago, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) is now a district-wide program offering a three-day leadership experience each spring to over 100 high school students. This year, our Club has contributed $12,000 to sponsor campers and provided $2,500 to fund college scholarships. 
This year's camp is fully staffed. There are some limited opportunities to visit the camp while it is in session in Scotts Valley. Visitors must reserve in advance.  
SERVICE PROJECT April 23-29, 2018: LPGA Mediheal Golf Championship
The Rotary Club of San Francisco, and other nearby Clubs, are staffing the concessions at the LPGA Mediheal golf tournament at the Lake Merced Golf Course. There are many volunteer opportunities available. Rotarians, family, friends, and prospective members are all welcome (but you must be at least 18). Please join us to work a shift or two!