Posted by John Dean on Jun 24, 2020
Over 60 participants joined the June 23, 2020 meeting of the Rotary Club of San Francisco via Zoom – the final meeting under the leadership of 2019-2020 President Casey Blair (Financial Services: Private Trading | KCB Trading, LLC). Among the guests were Assistant Governor Patrice Perillo as well as Casey’s parents, his wife Nicola, and their two daughters.
President Casey introduced Tom Briody (Elder Care and Senior Services | Institute on Aging). Tom serves as CEO of the Institute on Aging in San Francisco. The Institute employs over 700 caregivers, who provide critical assistance to elderly clients. The Institute received a grant from the SF Rotary Foundation to purchase essential Personal Protective Equipment (“PPE”) for clients and healthcare providers. During the recent COVID-19 pandemic, San Francisco General Hospital and Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco turned to the Institute on Aging to assist in the transfer of patients into hotels. The goal was to get these elderly patients into socially-distanced, safe and secure housing, and prevent the spread of COVID-19. These patients remain in hotels today, and caregivers from the Institute continue to visit and assist them, working to keep them safe and healthy. The PPE purchased with the Foundation grant have been essential to this effort. Tom expressed gratitude to the Foundation and to the members of our Club.

President Casey noted that the San Francisco community-based Rotaract Club, co-sponsored by our Club, is featured in the June 2020 issue of the Rotarian magazine. The article also mentions that Lynn Luckow, Vice President of Youth Development, donates use of his studio space for the Rotaract Club meetings and social events. Thank you, Lynn!
Upcoming Events
President Casey announced several upcoming events:
  • Rotary Virtual Social Hour: every Sunday at 5:00 PM.
  • Rotary International Virtual Convention: through June 26, 2020. Both general sessions can be seen at your leisure on YouTube. 
  • July 7, 2020: the first meeting under incoming President JT Forbus. Be sure to join in and hear President JT’s plans for the coming Rotary year.
  • July 9, 2020: Join incoming Vice President of Community Service Bob Hermann (Information Technology: Administration | Retired) as he addresses “Turning Passion into Reality”. Learn about the many opportunities, even in the throes of COVID-19, to aide our community.
  • July 9, 2020: Christopher Wiseman (Event Planning | Glaucoma Research Foundation) leads another “Collage and Cocktails” event from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM.
  • July 18, 2020: District 5150 Rotary Means Business Fellowship presents "Envisioning a New Normal in Business Leadership and Innovation". A great panel of speakers will discuss the “new normal” in business. Get tips on surviving and thriving during the pandemic. For more information, go here.
Thank You's from President Casey
President Casey then took a moment to thank the members of the Club’s Board of Directors. Frank Yoke (Development | San Francisco Bay Area Council, Boy Scouts of America); Kathyrn McCall (Law: Corporate | Trustly, Inc.); Lynn Luckow (Development |; Sacha Shashi (Information Technology: Consulting | Nimbus Systems); and Dan Joraanstad (Financial Services: Advising | Retired) are ending their terms and leaving the Board. Dora Dye (Education: Community College | City College of San Francisco); John Dean (Education: Law | Dean Dispute Resolution); Michael Petricca (Education Management | Academy of Art); and Gary Dales (Accounting | Fly Leasing) continue in office for another year. President Casey thanked the Board members for their efforts and support this year.
President Casey also thanked the Presidents' Council for their valued support and counsel during the past year. Members of the Presidents' Council include Past Presidents: Stephanie Schmautz (Elder Case and Senior Services | The Carlisle); David Dye (Management Consulting | Retired); John Mathers (Management Consulting | eVo Associates); Rhonda Poppen (Grant Writing | GRANTdog); President-elect JT Forbus (Accounting | Bogdan & Frasco); and President-elect Nominee Mary Liu (Real Estate: Sales | Vanguard Properties/JM Real Estate Group) and Vice President of Vocational Service. The purpose of the Presidents' Council, originally established under past president John Mathers, is to provide the current President with a useful sounding board and continuity.
President Casey thanked his parents for their support. His father, Mike, is a longtime (36 years) Rotarian in Washington state and encouraged Casey to get involved in Rotary. President Casey also expressed his thanks to his wife Nicola and their daughters, Emmy (4) and Leyna (8) for their support during his term.
District 5150 Rotarian of the Month
President Casey announced that Tim Hornbecker (Nonprofit Management | Retired) has been named District 5150 “Rotarian of the Month” for his ongoing service and efforts on behalf of Rotary. Tim then serenaded Casey with a harmonica rendition of Hail to the Chief. Tim added that although Casey’s term as President will always be known as the “COVID Casey Term”, Casey managed to set a high bar for other clubs with our initiative and the use of technology (including virtual meetings).
District Awards and RI Presidential Citation
President Casey presented the highlights of the recent District 5150 Awards Regatta. Our Club won a number of awards. See full story here. He added that we are also slated to receive the Rotary International “Presidential Citation” as well and thanked all of the Board members and project leaders for these achievements.
Debunking of President Casey
President-elect Nominee Mary Liu then took over the “stage” (screen) for the much-anticipated Debunking of Casey Blair. Mary recounted Casey’s early years: born in 1971 in Los Angeles and then the family moved to Deer Park, WA outside Seattle. Mary presented a series of mildly embarrassing (if not incriminating) photographs of Casey through the years from a young high school and college athlete to his college and early work career. After graduating from Columbia University in 1994, Casey took a job at the New York Stock Exchange as a floor trader followed by a stint with the Chicago Board of Trade. Casey met Nicola in 2001, and they married in 2007. Today, he is a private trader, trading futures on thirty-year bonds on the Japanese market. He typically works 4:30 PM to midnight, Sundays through Thursdays. Casey joined our Club in 2009 and has held a series of leadership positions within the Club, including Treasurer and Vice President of Club Service and RYLA Treasurer. Mary noted that after nine “smooth” months as President, suddenly Casey was faced with COVID-19 and the end of in-person meetings. He was able to learn a new four-letter word, Zoom, and the Club quickly transitioned to virtual meetings, one of the first Rotary clubs to do so. Mary then conducted a lively “lightening round” of “How well do you know Casey?” The winners (tied at 13 correct out of 15 questions): Dora Dye, Susan Dean (Healthcare: Nursing Services | Retired); Ann Daugherty (Financial Services: Private Trading | IBN Financial Services); Jianying Chen (Healthcare: Acupuncture | American Institute of Zhizhen Therapy and New Qigong); Andi Valo-Espina (Haberdashery | Andrea-E-Soci Custom Tailoring); and Raymond Erickson-King (Nonprofit Management | The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Center). Each will receive a Starbuck’s gift card. A video from Mike Blair, Casey’s father, was then played.

Mary ended with a sampling of single words used by Club members to describe Casey, set to the theme song from the motion picture “Rocky”. Words ranged from “honest” to “focused” to “dedicated”.
President-elect JT then led the Club in a rousing toast and cheer commemorating Casey’s year as President.

On behalf of the Club, Mary presented Casey with a gift certificate for dinner at Harris’ Restaurant; a gift certificate for two rounds of golf at Harding Park Golf Course; and a Rotary golf shirt and socks.
$20 for Twenty Seconds
Those pledging today included: 
  • Rhonda Poppen, who donated $50 to say, “Great job, Casey!”
  • John Hoch (Financial Services: Advising | Retired), who donated $50 in honor of Casey’s great year; $20 in honor of becoming a grand-uncle for the third time; and $20 in recognition of his 25th wedding anniversary.
  • Gary Dales, who donated $40 to say, “Well done, Casey!”
  • Carrie Condran LaBriola (Nonprofit Management | Retired), who donated $20 for Casey’s wonderful service this year.
  • Anita Stangl (Medical Services | Alliance for Smiles), who donated $20 in honor of Casey joining the Past Presidents' Club; and $20 in recognition of the Kenyan masks currently being sold by Susan Dean to benefit our Club and the Kenyan youth program.
  • Stephanie Schmautz, who donated $50 to say, “Great year, Casey!”
  • John Mathers, who donated $50 in appreciation of Casey’s year as President.
  • Scott Plakun (Management Consulting | The Plakun Group), who donated $20 to say, “Casey, you exceeded expectations!”
  • Stacey Poole (Law: Family | Lerner Poole & Stewart, LLP), who donated $20 in honor of Casey.
  • David Dye, who donated $20 to say, "Welcome to the Past Presidents Club!"
  • Jim Patrick (Retail: Office Supplies | Patrick & Co.), who donated $50 to say, "Bravo Zulu!" Jim agreed to cover Casey’s initiation into the Past Presidents' Club.
  • Dan Joraanstad, who donated $20 to say, "Congratulations on your year as President and your previous Board service."
  • JT Forbus, who donated $20 to say, "Congratulations, Casey!"
  • Jianying Chen, who donated $20 to say, "Congratulations, Casey!"
  • Ann Daugherty, who donated $20 to say, "Thanks for your great leadership this past year!"
  • Tom Brunner (Nonprofit Management | Glaucoma Research Foundation), who donated $20 in honor of Casey and $20 in honor of JT.
  • Melissa Galliani (Communications and Media | Cumulus Media), who donated $20 in honor of Casey’s year.
  • Emily Borland (Engineering, Architecture and Construction | Emily Borland Specifications), who donated $20 in recognition of Casey’s great year.
  • Tom Hornbecker, who donated $20 to thank Casey and the Board.
  • Alex Omoko (Human Resources | Geo Re-Entry Services), who donated $20 to say how proud he is to be a member of this Club.
  • Lynn Luckow, who donated $50 in recognition of a great year, and Casey's prior service with RYLA. Lynn hopes that Casey will wear that blonde wig again.
  • Kaushal Chokshi (Management Consulting | Scaale Inc.), who donated $20 to say “Thank you, Casey!”
  • Rick Harrell (Arts Therapy | Heroes' Voices), who donated $50 in honor of Casey.
  • Allan Herzog (Financial Services: Advising | Wells Fargo Advisors), who donated $20 as follows: $1 in recognition of Casey and $19 in anticipation of JT’s year.
  • Mary Liu, who donated $20 to say, “In gratitude and I learned a lot and hope to be as successful as you have been this year.”
The meeting was adjourned at 1:25 PM. 
Photos and editing by Dora Dye