Posted by John Dean on Jul 09, 2020
Over 63 members and guests welcomed President JT Harold Forbus (Accounting | Bogdan & Frasco) whose term of office commenced on July 1, 2020. President JT opened the meeting by making a public service announcement to remind everyone that the IRS tax filing and payment deadline is July 15. He also thanked his wife Anne Marie and two daughters for their patience and support of his work with Rotary.
Visiting Rotarians and Guests
President JT then introduced visiting Rotarians and guests, including:
  • Sesh Ramaswami and Sangita Seshadri from the Rotary Club of Saratoga, CA. Sesh is the President and his wife Sangita is the President-elect of their club.
  • Aggie Freeman from the Rotary Club of Silicon Valley Passport.
  • Cindy Sekkel and PDG Ron Sekkel who are Rotarian friends of Bob Hermann through Rotacare.
  • Assistant Governor Liz Mark from the Rotary Club of San Francisco Chinatown.
  • Jeff Pickett, the newly installed President from the Rotary Club of San Francisco Castro.
  • Malinda Monterossa from the Board of the Rotary Club of Los Angeles.
  • JT’s wife Anne Marie and their two lovely daughters.
  • Todd Groves from Walnut Creek.
Message from President JT Forbus
President JT gave a brief summary of his background and his pathway to our Club. Born in Mather Air Force Base in Sacramento, CA, he was a classic military kid, moving regularly as his father was transferred around the country. Family is a core value with JT, and he mentioned that his motivation for working hard is his family.  
President JT noted that he is quiet by nature and never really considered himself a leader in the classic sense. He evolved into a leadership role professionally simply by seeking to improve efficiency at his accounting firm and learning how to build consensus toward solutions. For the coming year, JT wants everyone to be purposeful and strategic as we work toward our shared goals. Among the key goals he would like to address in his term as President is to appeal to a broader cross-section of our community and to strive to make the Club more inclusive, welcoming, and diverse. He ended by saying that "Rotary truly is our chosen family. Let’s have fun and make an impact!"
News from the Service Vice Presidents
Each of the Club's Service Vice Presidents then gave a brief presentation about their respective area of focus and goals for the coming Rotary year.
Bob Hermann (Information Technology: Administration | Retired), Vice President of Community Service, described his focus on two goals: transparency and teamwork. He intends to work diligently to create opportunities for all members to serve on impactful community projects and to make the various local projects welcoming to all. Bob also wants to increase the number of members involved in the various community service projects and to leverage the amazing skills of our members. By avoiding the “Team of One”, we can be more impactful and prevent any one member from becoming overburdened or “burned out”. Bob also hopes to increase communications about the various community service projects. He noted that COVID-19 definitely presents challenges with certain community service projects, and the project leaders are actively looking at ways to re-think and re-tool certain projects to ensure member safety. He wants to evaluate each project using the acronym “CARE”: 
  • Cause: What matters to us as Rotarians?
  • Action: What are we doing to ensure project success? Have fun and enjoy doing it.
  • Result: What positive changes or experiences did we achieve with this project?
  • Experience: How did we feel doing it? Would we do it again?
Susan Dean (Healthcare: Nursing Services | Retired), Vice President of International Service, stated that her committee has been thinking outside the box in the face of the COVID-19 challenge. One of Susan’s goals for the year is to allow members to participate in international projects without leaving the comfort of their home. She also hopes to have the International Service Committee work with other committees on joint projects; already this has occurred where the International Service Committee joined forces with the Youth Development Committee to work with Kenyan youth to fight gender and domestic violence as well as COVID-19. They are doing this by distributing face masks with inspirational messages, accompanied by cards with hotline phone numbers for those in need of help. Our Club financed the production of the masks, and in addition, we are selling the Kenyan masks as a fundraiser for our Club. You can order on Another creative project that is planned is to assist disabled youth in Kyrgyzstan to learn English. There are significant employment opportunities for local youth if they are fluent in English, such as translating corporate and financial documents and contracts. The International Service Committee is beginning to work with a local Kyrgyzstan group that has hired an English teacher using a grant from the US Department of State. Our role? Help the students practice English using Zoom or Skype. Said Susan, "We all know international projects will look “different” in this age of COVID-19. We have to be creative." 
David Dye (Management Consulting | Retired), Vice President of Youth Development, has been heavily involved in youth development activities for many years. He highlighted several of the current youth programs affiliated with our Club: Interact (for high school students); Rotaract (for college-age and younger adults); Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (“RYLA”), a multi-day leadership training program for high school students; and Action Leadership Program for Students (“ALPS”), a more extensive leadership training program for high school students. Both RYLA and ALPS were originally developed by members of our Club. Other projects administered under the auspices of the Youth Development Committee include Scouting for underprivileged youth, the Interact scholarship program (which awards $2,000 scholarships to graduating seniors), and the newly formed Rotary Youth Alumni group on LinkedIn. All Club members are welcome to participate on the committee. The Youth Services Committee is always seeking new ideas and is currently seeking members willing to serve as advisors for Interact clubs. David reminded everyone that anyone directly interacting with youth must complete an online Youth Protection Certification course.
photo of Sunny SinghSunny Singh (Financial Services: Advising | Wedbush Securities), Vice President of Vocational Services, stated that Rotary began as a business networking organization. Our Club and District have both begun a renewed campaign on the theme “Rotary Means Business.” Sunny encouraged everyone to join the committee. He hopes to schedule networking events, topical speakers, as well as roundtable discussions on career and professional development. In the age of the pandemic, he would like to get a dialogue going about the challenges of working from home, marketing strategies for young professionals in the age of COVID-19, and resources to enhance career development. Sunny welcomes anyone who would like to assist with vocational services. He added that the opportunity to network is not only a benefit for our current members, but it will also attract new members.
Club Calendar
President JT displayed the Club Calendar and thanked the Board and in particular, Dora Dye (Education: Community College | City College of San Francisco) who maintains the calendar. The calendar is color-coded so you can quickly check for meetings, socials, and other special events. Said President JT, “We have a very robust calendar for the next few months.” 
  • Kenyan face masks are still available for purchase here.
  • Homeless Prenatal Program needs handmade blankets. See call from Emily Borland (Engineering, Architecture and Consulting | Emily Borland Specifications). 
  • Invoices for annual dues have been sent out. Treasurer Gary Dales (Accounting | Fly Leasing) mentioned the multiple ways to pay listed on the invoice and added that our Board is committed to working with any members facing financial challenges paying their dues. Contact Vice President of Membership Terry Pickering (Financial Services | Retired) to discuss options. This is completely confidential.
  • Everyone celebrated once more the July 2020 Rotary District 5150 Rotarian of the Month - our very own Tim Hornbecker (Non-Profit Management | Retired). Congratulations, Tim! Well-deserved!
$20 for Twenty Seconds
Those pledging today included: 
  • Peter Logan (Law: Insurance | Peter Logan Law Offices) who announced that his daughter, a writer living in New York, sold her first piece, which is slated to appear in The New Yorker.
  • Dan Joraanstad (Financial Services: Advising | Retired) who donated in honor of Bob Hermann’s presentation on Community Service.
  • Emily Borland, who donated $100 in gratitude to Rhonda Poppen (Grant Writing | GRANTDog) for the calligraphy work Rhonda did for Emily’s friend.
  • Rhonda Poppen who donated $100 in honor of JT’s upcoming term, and she asked that the donation be given to the members of the Sir Francis Drake Hotel staff who assisted us during our in-person, pre-pandemic luncheon meetings.
  • President JT who donated $100 to the Sir Francis Drake Hotel staff.
  • Immediate Past President Casey Blair (Financial Services: Private Trading | KCB Trading LLC) who donated $49 in honor of the Past Presidents' Council and $1 in honor of President JT.
  • Anne Marie Forbus who donated $20 in honor of President JT, with daughter Leia adding a “Congratulations, Daddy!” sign.
  • John Mathers (Management Consulting | eVo Associates) who donated $100 in honor of President JT’s first meeting as President and asked that it go to the Sir Francis Drake Hotel staff.
  • Heidi Kuhn (Peace Building | Roots of Peace) who donated $100 in honor of President JT and requested that it go to the Sir Francis Drake Hotel staff.
  • Anita Stangl (Medical Services | Alliance for Smiles) who donated $100 in honor of President JT and requested that it go to the Sir Francis Drake Hotel staff.
  • Todd Groves who donated $100 in honor of President JT and asked members to consider donating money to provide personal protective equipment to residents of Krygyzstan.
  • Mary Liu (Real Estate: Sales | Vanguard Properties/JM Real Estate Group) who donated $50 in honor of President JT and $50 in gratitude to Dan Joraanstad and Bob Hermann for referring a family member to Mary. The family member just closed on a new condominium.
  • Malinda Monterossa from the Rotary Club of Los Angeles (LA 5) who donated $100 in honor of President JT and requested that it go to the Sir Francis Drake Hotel staff.
  • Gary Dales who donated $40 in honor of President JT.
  • Terry Pickering who donated $100 in honor of today's presentations by the service vice presidents.
  • Carrie Condran LaBriola (Nonprofit Management | Retired) who donated $20 to the Sir Francis Drake Hotel staff.
The meeting was adjourned at 1:30 PM.
Photos and editing by Dora Dye