President's Message
John Mathers
member photo
A Special New Year!
At our January 16 meeting I had the honor of doing two things: celebrating members with 25 years or more as Rotarians and briefly celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Both fit well into this quote I found from Dr. King:
Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness. This is the judgment. Life's most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?
Most people agree that we are living in an era of great hostility and perceived separateness. Reading or watching the news everyday can be depressing: terror, anger, lies, misogyny, mistrust and deception. These are the values of separateness, potential road markers for cultural decline.
But we must ask: is this an accurate reflection of our times? I note a “perceived” separateness! I look at my life (and you can look at yours), and clearly see that I am experiencing more love, more relationships, more contribution, more joy every day, month and year. So are we truly separate?
Dr. King’s statement is prescient: through service to others we find ourselves. Rotary is about service, about relationship and about satisfaction. Those Rotarians with 25 plus years of experience in Rotary demonstrate this truth and guide us all into the life that Dr. King identifies as being of value. Thank you for your service, Rotarians.
January 28, 2018
February 2
   Connor Krone
February 8
   Allan Herzog

February 12
   Tom Brunner
February 14
   Paul Bach
   Cullen Wong
February 17
   Lilian Tsi-Stielstra 
February 18
   Diane Kohler 
   Anita Stangl 
   Jane Mermelstein
February 19
   John Mathers
February 22
   Lily Muldoon
February 27
   Mark Calender
1969: Les Andersen
1986: Doug Shackley
1987: Marie Brooks
2001: Cecile Chiquette
2006: Dagmar Schaefer-Gehrau
2008: Stephanie Schmautz
2013: David Eastis
   Angie Ong
   Antonio Alvarez Lorenzo
2017: David Widerman
   Makiko Goto-Widerman
   Bill Poppen
   Nahla Awad
January 2018 Highlights
Member pictureRotarian of the Month:  Year after year, Mark Calender (Insurance; Calender-Robinson) is there to make elementary school children happy! While the Dictionary Project has been a staple project in our Club for many years, it only has become a standard because Mark has shepherded it along every year. Consistently supportive and organized, Mark makes the event a yearly success. And throughout the year, Mark is a quiet promoter of all the Club’s activities and efforts. For his dedication to our Club and its key projects, we honor Mark as December 2017’s Rotarian of the Month!
Great speakers:
  • Gary Schlossberg, Economist with Wells Fargo. Like a firehose, Gary reviewed the current environment, the prospects for 2018, and the potential pitfalls. We only wish it could have been three and one-half hours, not just one half an hour.
  • Celebrating Long Time Rotarians. Rotarians of all ages and experience are wonderful, but this group of members with 25 or more years of service are truly special. You can recognize them from now on by the gold emblem in the middle of their name badges. At this luncheon, we heard about how they came to Rotary, what was especially moving in their experience of Rotary, and what draws them to our Club. These members have contributed so much for so long; they are worth celebrating at every meeting!
  • Heather Brostrand gave a detailed talk on the Opioid Crisis in our country, pointing out how the sad statistics speak to the need for simple solutions for emergency service personnel and the validation of the situation as a disease rather than a crime.
Service Projects: A group of Rotarians pasted Rotary nameplates into our entire inventory of new dictionaries in record time and then enjoyed some social time at a nearby tavern. Thank you, Harold Hoogasian (Florist - Retail; Hoogasian Flowers), for hosting this event, and for providing a place to keep our inventory before we can deliver the dictionaries to third graders.
Another cadre of dedicated Rotarians enjoyed The Arc Dinner Club, preparing dinner and sharing it with several clients of The Arc.
Support for The Rotary Foundation: Our annual Super Bowl Pool was another great success. While the final numbers aren't in, it looks as though we hit our target of $20,000: two full completions of our board! Eight lucky winners will be awarded Paul Harris Fellowships based on the score at the end of each quarter of the game. Thanks to Fred Marschner (Financial Planning; Northwestern Mutual) for organizing yet another great Super Bowl Pool.
Meanwhile, Emily Borland (Architecture; Emily Borland Specifications) received her Paul Harris Fellowship "+5" award: thank you for your commitment and generosity!
Lowell Interact: Four students from the Lowell Interact Club — Fellenia, Ethan, Hannah, and Crystal — gave our Club some insights on their club's accomplishments. From August to December 2017, their club recruited 80 members and provided over 400 volunteer hours benefiting 15 local community causes. Let's hear it for our Lowell Interactors and for their club advisors Connor Krone (Non-Profit Management; Student Investment Lab) and Immediate Past President David Dye (Management Consulting; Retired)!
January 2018 Membership Corner
New and Prospective Members!!! In February we have an event designed for our new and prospective members. Join leaders from the Rotary Club of San Francisco at the office of Club member, Lynn Luckow, 668 Post Street, from 6:00-8:30 PM on Wednesday, February 7. At this casual, after-work mixer, we will enjoy appetizers, drinks, conversation, and a short program focused on serving the community and projects. New opportunities and programs, new people, and places to go. Please RSVP on so we can plan.
And the winner is . . . !
Seven eligible members of our Club sponsored one new member each in the last six months, creating a seven-way tie for the membership contest. The tie was broken by a random drawing performed by Harold Hoogasian. He provided the prize of a week’s stay on the Big Island in his condominium near Kona. The lucky winner was David Shen. In David’s absence, the gorgeous Hawaiian lei from Hoogasian Flowers went to one of our most regular visitors, Karen Schmautz. Congratulations to David, and best of luck to all of you who are dreaming of Hawaii for the second contest period.

The contest started again for the period from January 1 to June 30, 2018: Whoever sponsors the most members in the first six months of the New Year receives a free week stay in Hawaii.
The Big Challenge: Who can sponsor more than one member?

Congratulations to everyone who sponsored a new member between July 1 and December 31, 2017:

Rick Harrell sponsored Ann Daugherty.
Ann Daugherty sponsored Jane Mermelstein.
David Eastis sponsored Mark Barmore.
Joseph Fang sponsored Pierce Smith.
Anita Stangl sponsored Lily Muldoon.
Lynn Luckow sponsored Connor Krone.
David Shen sponsored Gary Dales.
Dan Joraanstad sponsored Bob Hermann (not eligible for contest).
When Luis Moran joined the Rotary Club of San Francisco in 2011, he was reestablishing a relationship begun more than 20 years earlier. In 1992, the Club sponsored him on a Group Study Exchange to western Australia, facilitated by late member Dick Volberg. Two decades later, when he felt established in his career and wanted to give back to the community, Luis immediately thought of Rotary and joined the Club. He is now in the first year of a two-year term as Secretary on the Board.
A San Francisco native, Luis grew up in the Excelsior District, attended St. Ignatius College Preparatory and is the first of his family to graduate from college, earning bachelor’s and law degrees from Berkeley. An opportunity to move to Miami led him to a job as a financial consultant for Merrill Lynch. He joined the Rotary Club of Miami Beach and served as President in 1999/2000. Many of the small Club’s members had roots in Latin America, so the Club focused on international medical, dental, and vision projects in that area.
Missing the Bay Area, Luis moved back to San Francisco in 2001, becoming involved in his family’s furniture business, but he knew that wasn’t his true calling. He had maintained his bar membership and was volunteering at a community law clinic, but knew that wasn’t his vocation, either. A friend suggested real estate, which combined his experience in sales, finance, and law, “so I finally found my profession,” he says. “It took awhile, but I finally found my calling.” He’s been a Realtor with Coldwell Banker since 2006, specializing in residential real estate in San Francisco and the northern Peninsula. He lives in the Outer Mission and is unmarried, although he says he is “pretty close; stay tuned for details.” His parents emigrated from Mexico shortly before he was born; his mother lives in Burlingame, and the family maintains a home in Mexico, where they spent vacations and Luis still visits. He says his plan is eventually to live part-time in Puerto Vallarta.
Luis says his role as Secretary is “record-keeping guru,” connecting the Club to Rotary International and providing reports on membership and Club activities. He also serves as the “conduit” for requests from community members, directing inquiries to the appropriate person. In addition, as an officer of the Club, he assists President John Mathers when requested. Previously, he served as Vice President of Community Service and chaired the Dictionary Project for two years. He’s also participated in many Club service projects, including the Bike Build, food bank, and school playground painting.
The best thing about Rotary, Luis says, “is the fellowship, the friendships I’ve made. Everyone is so open and welcoming and accepting. When I walk in, I feel happy. It’s a cheerful Club; you never hear complaints. People enjoy life, giving back.” Being connected to the wider Rotary world also is important, he says, citing an experience on vacation in rural Cambodia, where he happened upon people drawing water from a well provided by a Rotary Club and felt “somehow, someway, I contributed to that.”
Luis travels a lot and is “always open to an adventure.” He drove cross-country when he moved to Miami and has traveled extensively in Asia and Latin America, commenting that in other countries, “Rotary is a very big deal. When you visit, you make an instant connection; everyone is helpful.” Luis is celebrating “a milestone birthday” this year with an August trip to Paris, Venice, Florence, and Rome.
All things considered, he says, “I love my job, and I love San Francisco. Life is good.”
Supporting The Rotary Foundation

Each year, members of the Rotary Club of San Francisco contribute to The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International (TRF) in support of RI’s areas of focus: peace and conflict prevention/resolution, disease prevention/treatment, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, basic education and literacy, and economic and community development.

Did you know...

  • Members who give their first $500 to TRF earn their first Paul Harris Fellowship ($1,000) thanks to matching points from the Club?
  • Gifts to Rotary International’s Global Polio Initiative are matched 2 to 1 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation?
  • 50% of our contributions to TRF will come back to our Club as District Grants?
  • Achieving our annual giving goal means more than 3,000 additional children around the world will be inoculated against polio?
  • Each Club member is encouraged to contribute $200 annually to The Rotary Foundation?

Our Club’s 2017-2018 Annual Fund goal for is $38,000. We have raised $30,000, leaving $8,000 to raise in the next two months. Please support The Rotary Foundation. Your support will help to continue the work of Rotary International and the Rotary Club of San Francisco.

To make a donation, of for more information, please contact Frank Yoke at 510-577-9221 or

Super Bowl Potluck Party: February 4, 2018
Enjoy watching the Super Bowl while sharing a pot luck dinner at the home of Lilian Tsi-Stielstra and her husband Scott Stielstra. Winners of the club Super Bowl Pool will be celebrated at the end of each quarter.
ROTARY LUNCHEON February 6, 2018:  Paul Tasner, PulpWorks
Paul Tasner, Co-founder and CEO of PulpWorks, will discuss how his company uses paper and agricultural waste to create safe, eco-friendly packaging for consumer products and thereby diminish the plastic packaging materials deposited in our landfills, waterways and oceans.
Gathering for New and Prospective Members: February 7, 2018
Meet up with Club leaders over drinks and appetizers. Hear about upcoming projects and events. Enjoy new friends and good conversation. Several officers of the Club will also be on hand to meet you and answer your questions.
ROTARY LUNCHEON February 13, 2018: Emergency Services Day
This is the day when we honor outstanding representatives of the public safety departments we depend on every day: Police, Fire, Sheriff, and Coast Guard. Meet the honorees and their loved ones, and hear their amazing stories of heroism and dedication told by the top brass of each department. Since this is one of the most popular meetings of the year, advance registration is required; registration closes on Friday, February 9.
ROTARY LUNCHEON February 20, 2018: Lilian Tsi-Stielstra, Walking the Camino de Santiago
As a stroke survivor, Club Member Lilian Tsi-Stielstra set up goals to eat healthy and exercise. Walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain was a challenge to herself and led to her discovery of the Spanish history, people, and culture that Lilian will share with us today.
Dinner Club at The Arc: February 26, 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.