President's Message
John Mathers
member photo
You Are Awesome
Over the past few months as president of our Club, I have participated in a number of events and had the chance to speak with many of our members as well as members from other clubs. I realize that this may seem somewhat trite and ridiculous, but the people I encounter at Rotary are incredibly impressive. As noted in last month’s article on Ethics, we live in a world where someone’s word or agreement means little; where support for anyone other than oneself is unusual; and where the focus is often on what we can gain rather than what we can give.
So imagine an outsider — some colleague or neighbor — who doesn’t know Rotarians, coming into our Club and learning about what we are doing. They can only be shocked at the level of commitment and the results we achieve. And to tell the truth, I am just as shocked! Arriving at our luncheons, I take notice of the friendly but efficient focus of the greeters, cashiers, and receptionists. Each one takes pride in doing the absolute best.
Participate in any one of our projects and observe the dedication to getting the result … and having fun along the way. Join any one of the social events and uncover new levels of friendship and enjoyment.
Our Rotary world is not normal. These are special people.
But where does this commitment come from? It’s not necessary or required by the Club’s bylaws (hmmm, interesting idea). This is a statement about the special people that come to Rotary to be engaged in the community, both local and international, while building friendships that last a lifetime. Rotary is a community built on working together to create a better world, one where we are responsible for our neighbors and our environment.
All I can say is THANK YOU FOR CHOOSING TO BE A ROTARIAN. You are highly valued and cherished for what you bring to the Club and everything we do.
September 24, 2017
October 11:
    Sally Swanson

October 13:
    Kevin Leong
October 20:
    Peter Logan
October 25:
    Christy Nguyen
October 27:
    Tom Briody
October 29:
    David Shen
1975: Jim Patrick

1991: Andrea (Andi) Valo-Espina

1993: Fred Marschner
1996: Jim Kennedy
2003: Jyoti Chokshi
2005: Mark Calender
2006: Lena Dokuchayeva
2011: Wai-Ling Eng
2015: Frank Yoke
Interested in our speakers, but can't get to our meetings?
Videos of most of our luncheon speakers are available on our Club's YouTube channel.
September 2017 Highlights
Rotarian of the Month: President John named Member pictureLuis Moran (Real Estate Sales; Coldwell Banker) as Rotarian of the Month for August. Luis has been dedicated to our Club for quite some time, but especially so since July, when he became Club Secretary. Of course, the main duties of Secretary have to do with the Board and being sure that all decisions and actions are recorded for review and accountability. In addition, Luis has been carefully tracking all the incoming mail, which can be considerable, and parsing it out to various responsible parties. Through it all, he has been a positive influence and participant in every activity for the Club and the Board.
Member Moment: After growing up in Eastern Washington, Casey Blair (Foreign Equity Trading; Feis Options) went offMember picture to NYC for college and then followed that with a job on the trading floor in Chicago. After 7 years as an options trader on the heart-stopping Chicago Board of Trade, he set his sights west and settled in San Francisco in 2000. A brief stint on the Pacific Coast Options Exchange and a couple years in Singapore led him to starting his own trading firm from his glamorous laundry room in North Beach. He is married to his lovely wife Nicola, who was visiting from Hamburg when he met her at the Union Street fair. They have two energetic daughters, Leyna (6) and Emmy (1 1/2). In our Club, Casey has served on the Board as Director of Club Service and Treasurer. Currently, he is Treasurer of RYLA and on the RYLA Steering Committee. Casey is also on the Board of the San Francisco Rotary Foundation.
More Great Programs: Tallia Hart is the first female, minority, young head of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. She generously shared her experience of being abandoned in Vietnam and growing up in Colorado, making her way to San Francisco after running Chambers in San Rafael and Irvine. After an energetic talk, it is clear that Tallia is pro-business but also sees San Francisco as independent of any pressure that will reduce the opportunities inherent in our special business environment.
Bob Deering, Past District Governor 5180, introduced Ashlie Bryant and the incredible work she is doing to educate the public and reintegrate people who have been trafficked. The problem is huge and the work that Bob and Ashlie are undertaking is valuable and important. The stories of children and young adults who have been enslaved are both sad and compelling in the face of today’s world.
District Governor Ron Gin challenged us to think about what RI President Ian Riseley's 2017-18 theme, Rotary: Making a Difference means to us as individuals, as members of the second oldest Rotary Club in the world, and as part of District 5150. He reviewed several of the many ways our Club has made a difference: our members include the founders of Rotaplast, Rotavision, Alliance for Smiles, Roots of Peace, and other organizations; we have given thousands of dictionaries and hundreds of bicycles to school children; we have served thousands of Thanksgiving meals to clients of The Arc; several of our members have served as District Governors and as President of Rotary International; and more.
Paul Harris Fellows:President John and President-elect Rhonda recognized JT Forbus (Accounting Services; Bogdan & Frasco) and Elisabeth Whitney (Non-Profit Management) on their first Paul Harris Fellowships.
Service Above Self: In late August, over 60 Rotarians from the District including members of our Club met at Balboa High School to plant 500 trees in that neighborhood. The following month, Club members, friends, and Interactors volunteered very early in the morning to welcome walkers at the registration desk at the Alzheimer's Walk. Other members and friends stuffed diaper bags for expectant mothers and the Homeless Prenatal Program, and then attended the two baby showers.
Helping others: Moved by the recent disastrous hurricane in Texas, our Club members donated over $10,000 to help with relief and rebuilding. Working with Rotary leaders in Texas, President John has determined that our contributions will go to Rotary Clubs in Houston. Thank you to all of the donors for your generosity! It will make a difference.
September 2017 Membership Corner
Our newest member, Cullen Wong, was inducted into our Club in September. Cullen is one of our youngest members and yet has a Rotary membership that extends back seven years when he joined Rotary as an Ohio State University student. The local Rotary club had backed him and his robotics team on a project, and he wanted to support the club in return. Cullen has consistently overturned age benchmarks, not only within Rotary but in his work as well: He is the youngest manager hired by Ernst & Young on the West Coast. His reasons for joining SF Rotary Club #2 are familiar: to give back to the community and to find friendships. Also, he likes to bring a fresh and youthful perspective to Rotary. Cullen speaks Cantonese and Spanish and has already joined our Membership Committee.
Next Gathering: A New and Prospective Member Gathering is scheduled for Tuesday, September 26, 2017 from 6:00 to 8:30 PM at 668 Post Street. Thank you to Lynn Luckow for hosting. This is an opportunity for newcomers to get acquainted with current leadership over light food and drink. There will be a short program but most of our time will be spent socially. These gatherings have been great fun in the past, and we encourage everyone to join us and RSVP by way of our Club's home page (
New Membership Initiative: Do you know anyone in a major downtown San Francisco biotech, technology, services, or non-governmental organization with the title of Community Relations? Many corporations are cultivating community connection for their employees. We want to help facilitate their search for ways to connect with our Club. If you have any suggestions about specific people to contact, please let any member of the leadership team know.
News from the Connectors: At our October 3 luncheon meeting, we will sit by Connector Circle. As you know, each Connector has responsibility to be in touch with ten members. To provide you an idea of how the Connectors are organized, we will sit in groups led by Connectors. Greeters will help you with any questions that day.
PDG Profile: Eric Schmautz
Eric Schmautz’s Rotary career almost reads like an adventure story. He got an early start, joining Interact as a high school freshman in Florida, becoming president the second semester and continuing through his sophomore and junior years. His senior year, after working for the Boy Scouts during the summer, he took an interim position with the organization when the district executive became ill. Skipping Rotaract entirely, he became a member of the Rotary Club of Lake Seminole, FL, as a high school senior.

Eric transferred to the Rotary Club of Denver at the recommendation of his freshman adviser at the University of Denver, then to the Rotary Club of University Hills, because it was near the campus and he could attend meetings more regularly. After graduating with a major in applied mathematics and statistics, he continued working for Dominoes, where he had worked full-time all through college, while teaching courses at the University of Chicago in management in the service industry and taking graduate courses in statistics and operations research. While teaching at a conference in Chicago, Eric met people from several big national accounting firms and ended up taking a job with Deloitte and Touche in 1997; his second week on the job, he was transferred to San Francisco.

His first big client was in Japan, so Eric alternated weeks between San Francisco and Japan for a year and a half. He worked on the merger between Norwest Bank in Minneapolis and one of his other clients, Wells Fargo, which recruited him in 1999. He started with the bank in corporate finance and product management, became manager of Central Marin community banking operations, then worked in marketing strategy and now works in corporate communications.

Travel to Japan had precluded attending Rotary, but once Eric was at Wells Fargo, his boss, who was being recruited to join the Rotary Club of San Francisco by Past President Bill Ecker, asked Eric to join the Club. His sponsor was Dick Volberg, a Deloitte retiree. Eric’s first big project was working as a counselor at Camp Enterprise (now RYLA), where he became “more and more involved,” serving as chair or co-chair for six years. From 2007-09, he was a member of the Future Vision Advisory Committee for The Rotary Foundation, helping to plan for future funding.

Eric was President of the Rotary Club of San Francisco during its centennial year (2008-09), a time of great change, including closing the office, reorganizing the Board, moving the lunch meetings to the Olympic Club, and organizing the committees around the RI areas of service. During the centennial year, the Club raised $600,000 to rebuild and renovate the Boys and Girls Clubs’ Mission Clubhouse, the first freestanding clubhouse west of the Mississippi, which the Club had built in the 1920s. At the same time, the Club raised $70,000 for The Rotary Foundation.

Eric served as Lieutenant Governor (now Chief of Staff) for District 5150 during 2009-10. When one of the San Francisco Assistant Governors dropped out, he took on that job as well, which he held for a second year. He started the District Visioning Team in 2009 and was District Conference Chair for three years.

In 2013-14, Eric served as District Governor of District 5150, the first year of implementation of TRF’s vision plan, now known as the TRF Grant Model. Also during that year, the district leadership team was reformulated and three new provisional Rotary clubs were formed. Eric has been District 5150’s RI Convention promotion chair for four years and finance chair for three years. On the Zone level (British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Northern California, Nevada), he has been on the Zone Institute committee for three years and RI convention promotion chair for one year.

Eric served two years on Rotary Interntional’s Vocational Services Committee and currently chairs the RI President’s Young Rotary Leaders Advisory Committee. He has also been a trainer for three years at the RI Convention in membership development, visioning, and vocational service.

Eric played hockey in college, but an ankle injury ended his sports career. Now, he says, his biggest hobby is cooking, which he puts to good use each year preparing the Thanksgiving meal for the clients of The Arc of San Francisco and the Salvation Army. He also loves to travel. He and his wife, Past President Stephanie Schmautz, and their two daughters, Molly, two-and-a-half, and Katie, who was born June 7, recently returned from a month in Portugal.

“The biggest thing about Rotary for me,” he says, “is that it gives you an opportunity to do so much more than as an individual,” citing polio eradication as a prime example of the “power of like-minded people.”
Last month's PDG Profile of Peter Lagarias was written by Carrie Condran LaBriola.
Gathering for New and Prospective Members: September 26, 2017 
New and prospective members are welcome and encouraged to attend this informal meeting. Come and enjoy some food and drink while you meet other new and prospective members and learn more about the Club. Several officers of the Club will also be on hand to meet you and answer questions.
ROTARY TWILIGHT GOLF:  September 27, 2017
Join The Rotary Club of San Francisco for a friendly round of golf and a chance to win our coveted Golf Trophy! Points are based on participation, not necessarily golf score, so all skill levels are welcome! Fellowship follows every outing. Tee time is 4:15 on September 27 and October 11 at Harding Park Golf Course.
ROTARY LUNCHEON October 3, 2017: John Rothmann, Current Political Events
KGO 810 radio talk show host and political commentator John Rothmann, one of our most popular speakers, will discuss current political events. John always welcomes our questions.
Italian Heritage Parade: October 8, 2017
Help us make Rotary's float be the largest float in the whole parade! We need hundreds of marchers to represent Rotary and carry the more than 200 flags of the countries and geographic territories that are part of the Rotary World. Those who prefer can ride in style in a motorized cable car and throw candy to the crowd. All Rotarians, Interactors, and Rotaractors are invited and all are encouraged to bring family and friends for this fun event.
ROTARY LUNCHEON October 10, 2017: Bert Hill, The Future of Urban Bicycling
Bicycling is one of the fastest growing mode of transportation. Bert Hill, chair of the San Francisco Bicycle Advisory Committee for the City & County of San Francisco, will discuss the factors that support this growth, and the bright future ahead for urban bicycling.
ROTARY TWILIGHT GOLF:  October 11, 2017
FINAL OUTING! Join The Rotary Club of San Francisco for a friendly round of golf and a chance to win our coveted Golf Trophy! Points are based on participation, not necessarily golf score, so all skill levels are welcome! Fellowship follows the outing. Tee time is 4:15 at Harding Park Golf Course.
SOCIAL EVENT October 12, 2017: Glaucoma Research Foundation Reception
Join fellow Rotarians and friends at this wine and cheese reception, which will feature a short presentation about exciting advances that promise to restore vision lost to glaucoma.
ROTARY LUNCHEON October 17, 2017: Lynn Fraley, Ageless Energy
How to have better health, more vitality, and a belief system that works for you? Lynn Fraley, RN, DrPH, will navigate us around the minefields of misinformation regarding health, longevity, and heredity and help us to discover how our belief system affects our health. Lynn will also discuss how to slow or even reverse aging by making different dietary choices.
No Rotary Luncheon October 24, 2017
There will be no Rotary Luncheon on October 24. Please join us at our Halloween luncheon on October 31.
ROTARY LUNCHEON October 31, 2017: Halloween Celebration
A special luncheon to celebrate Halloween. Come in costume if you can, and see if you win the prize for funniest, scariest, or best costume. The highlight will be a visit from the Great Pumpkin, who will reveal the past and the future!