DIGITAL EDITION   No. 26     April 24, 2013     EDITORS: Julia Parranto & Jim Johnson     PHOTOGRAPHER: Kris Anderson

Our Program For May 1st:


Michael Santos was arrested for distribution of cocaine August 11, 1987, when he was 23


Santos was tried, convicted, and sentenced to 45 years in prison. 25 years later, Michael was released with credit for good behavior. It was August 13, 2012. He was 48 years old.

During the quarter century that Michael served in prison, he pursued a deliberate path to reconcile with society for the bad decisions of a reckless adolescence. He focused on a three-part plan: Michael aspired to educate himself, to contribute to society, and to build a support network that would help him emerge as a law-abiding, contributing citizen. While incarcerated, Michael earned an undergraduate degree from Mercer University and a master’s degree from Hofstra University. He authored several books to help others understand prisons, the people they hold, and strategies for growing through adversity. Despite multiple decades in prison, Michael found strategies to contribute, to live a life of relevance, and to emerge with values, skills, and resources that translated into success. Next Wednesday he shares those strategies, and his story, with Rotary.


May 8, 2013: Santa Rosa Symphony Conductor Bruno Ferrandis
May 15, 2013: What’s New in High Tech Gadgetry?
May 22, 2013: A Visit to Project Amigo


It looked like Past President’s Day at the podium with Debi Zaft leading us the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America. Yale Abrams bridged the gap between the opposite ends of human intelligence, quoting both Albert Einstein and Woody Allen on the infinite universe and finite space. Subbing for our absent Bill Rousseau was our Rotary Club’s President Elect designate Mark Burchill, who added another notch to his Rotary achievements.


Bright sun again today as the recovering Dick Jenkins was back again…this week to see what the other half of the ballroom looked like. Penny Tibbetts informed us that Dan Wright has been dealing with serious challenges at home, providing valuable in-home care for his wife, Patsy.

Carrie Ludke holds the book written by her guest and today's speaker, Ginny Scales-Mederios

Carrie Ludke holds the book written by her guest and today’s speaker, Ginny Scales-Mederios


In addition to Carrie Ludke’s guest Ginny Scales-Medeiros, today’s speaker, we extended a warm welcome to Ginny’s videographer, Julio Martinez, and her photographer Juan Carlos, to Susan Radford, the guest of Diane Moresi, and to Ann Gospe, who seems to be related to her sponsor and our fellow Rotarian Jeff Gospe.


Ann Gospe – Sponsored by Jeff Gospe
Sonoma County Economic Development

Darren Elliott – Sponsored by Robert Pierce
Owner, UNET Solutions


After 26 years in Rotary, Acting President Burchill brought back Mike Truesdell as the Secret Greeter, who awarded a free lunch to one of our Rotarians. We can’t give you his name…it’s a secret! But here’s a clue: he’s always cheerful, bouncing around whistling a tune, and joyfully communicating in some foreign accent.

Rotary 4.24.13 RobbyFouts (Small)ROBBY+ROTARY=BUG BUSINESS

‘Twas back in ’79 and Hitmen Termite and Pest Control was only a dream for young Robby Fouts. Five years later Robby took on the rodents, ants, in-laws, raccoons & pesky North Bay termites, and began the first of an estimated 18,000 inspections, traveling 3,700 miles under all those North Bay homes. Robby confessed that he received his Rotary indoctrination as a kid in the high school Interact club, with lots of Rotarians as clients. He finally became a dedicated Rotarian in 2003.”You get out of Rotary only what you put into it”, Robby confirmed, proving once again that “Rotary really does mean business.”


Santa Rotarian editor Julia Parranto paused over her legal meeting notes to express everyone’s gratitude for the boys and girls of this week’s Hospitality Team: Greeter Judy Glenn, sellers of the luncheon tickets, Katie Barr & Chip Rawson and collecting luncheon tickets, Rick Allen.

Mark Burchill, Wayne Rowlands and Vinay Patel with Rajeevalochan Dinamani of the Rotary Club of Bangalore, India

Mark Burchill, Wayne Rowlands and Vinay Patel with Rajeevalochan Dinamani of the Rotary Club of Bangalore, India


Assisted by Vinay Patel, Wayne Rowlands summarized the recent virtual meeting with their RMB friends from Bangalore, India, the ones who are creating a new Android phone App for Rotary Means Business. Wayne reminded everyone to attend next month’s Rotary Means Business Fireside meeting at the Wikiup offices of former district governor Maureen Merrill. For more details access the calendar at

Club historian Jim Johnson announced that he had hoped to incite Jack Geary, our club’s powerful Sergeant at Arms, to fine President William for forgetting that last Friday, April 19, was the birthday of Rotary founder Paul Harris. Jim had it worked out that, since Paul Harris was born exactly 145 years ago that a symbolic penalty for our soon-to-be-debunked president might be $145 donated to the club’s Foundation. A great idea, Jim, Try again next week. In the meantime, Happy Birthday, Paul Harris!

Giro Bello Chair Doug Johnson announced that our Rotary Club’s fantastic fundraiser needs more volunteers. A special volunteer meeting will be held next Wednesday at 11 am directly across the hotel lobby from the ballroom. Doug urged us to show up on time. Next week’s Rotary meeting will begin at 12 noon, immediately afterward in the Ballroom.

Past President Debi Zaft reminded all of us—again—that the deadline to sign the official certification that we had read the current issue of the Rotary magazine was today, April 24th

Rotary’s next Hands-on Project is scheduled for this Saturday, April 27th at the New Directions School on Stony Point Road just north of Todd Road. Volunteers will devote their efforts to two of the school buildings and will include general maintenance and the usual clean-up work.

Dan Schell and Karen Ball

Dan Schell and Karen Ball


Waiting in the wings with velvet purple bag, shiny ticket bucket, and $851 dollar bills in the Rotary Jackpot—Karen Ball & Bob Sorenson! A visiting celebrity made the draw; calling out numbers held exclusively this week by Dan Schell. Dan reached into the bag and carefully drew out the three of diamonds. With the county tax assessor unavailable to assess the results Dan tucked his $10 consolation winnings into his pocket and guessed that next week’s jackpot will top $900 and calculated that the odds of winning will be 1 in 12!


The striking new stand-up display sign on display at this week’s meeting, designed by Robert Pierce, is not for Rotarians to see at our meetings. The sign is part of our club’s efforts to create more awareness of Rotary in this community. Along with a distinctive new blue & gold tent, the Giro Bello sign emphases publicly that the annual cycling event supports Rotary’s many local charity projects in Sonoma County. Both the tent and the sign will be on display at dozens of public events throughout the spring and summer. Fellow Rotarians are encouraged to wear their “Rotarian at Work” shirts at every public opportunity, such as this week’s Hands-on Project at the New Directions School. Here is that reminder to develop the habit of wearing your Rotary pin whenever you are in the public eye. That tiny gold Rotary wheel is spotted by others wherever you wear it. Your pin will give you the opportunity to tell someone about the world’s first, and largest, service club. It’s easy to do and it will save you money, especially if you neglect to wear your Rotary pin to weekly meetings.


With the gleam of a true future Rotary President in his eye, Mark Burchill noted that he had lots of time for his fellow Rotarians to confess their sins and immediately focused on long-time Rotarian (since 2002) Judy Glenn, who recently returned from an extended leave of absence from Rotary. Judy acknowledged the addition of Kelly Bollinger, pointing out that he was the first-ever male partner to join her CPA firm, and donated $50 to our Club’s Local Foundation.

Kim Murphy confessed to spending a lazy vacation spent eating, sleeping, and drinking in Old Mexico in preparation for her move to new offices in Fountaingrove’ s cozy little business park, just south of the FG Parkway. Kim contributed $25 to the club and $75 to the Jack Levar Memorial Fund. We all were invited to Thursday’s open house, however truth-in-advertising requires we mention that Kim’s open house was long over by the time you received this week’s Santa Rosarian.

Next, Mark’s eye fell upon Mike Kallhoff’s difficult to ignore tie, even louder than the extremely gauche fabric around the neck of the Presidential Elect nominee. Mike’s tie clashed nicely with his deeply maroon shirt. A compromise was reached: $10 for the tie and $5 for the shirt equaled $15 to the club!  And Mike avoided probation, even receiving dispensation that allows him to wear both the shirt and tie at Rotary again.

The Jack Levar Fund received another donation: $25 contributed in Kris Anderson’s name by the protective and generous Robby Fouts. If anyone got all the details of this recognition, please bring it up next week.

But first, Stephan Passalacqua added to the “Robby Fouts Legend”. Let’s see if we got this one straight. Once upon a time, someone’s mom called Hitmen Termite and Pest Control and asked for a discount or a certificate to the New Orleans Jazz Festival. At that point acoustics became a problem and someone took a red eye flight with the kids to New Orleans and Stephan contributed $100 to his Paul Harris Fellowship. How’s that for accurate reporting? Or not?

At this point in the meeting Mark Burchill ran out of recognition material with 10 minutes left to fill. Grandmother Deborah Gray announced the arrival last week of a new grandbaby and donated $25 to the club. Wally Lowry coughed up $15 in gratitude for his two granddaughters safely finishing the Boston Marathon before the explosions occurred. And Bob Higgs contributed $50 to the club for some great fishing he enjoyed at Lake Oroville. Apparently the Marnie/Greg Christmas Tree Feud is heating up again, with no one injured so far. Each of them chipped in $15 to the club.

Remember the beautiful bouquet of roses that Doug Johnson presented to Gesine Franchetti in appreciation for her work on the spectacular Mystery Dinner? The dinner was the top auction item at last fall’s Casino Royale fundraising event. This week Karen Ball confessed that she was invited to the Mystery Dinner, and deemed it such a fabulous evening that she was inspired to make a $50 donation to the club in personal appreciation for the opportunity to attend.

Working from insider information, Acting President Burchill interrogated Shannon McConnell about her magnificent weekend in Palm Springs as special guest of her employer, Shannon had been promoted as Northern California Sales Manager after achieving the highest quota of the year. Shannon acknowledged her achievement and recognition, adding another $100 to her growing Rotary Paul Harris Fellowship.

Speaker Ginny Scales-Maderious

Speaker Ginny Scales-Mederios


Carrie Ludtke became friends with Ginny Scales-Medeiros after she spotted Ginny’s fictionalized memoir by that name. She bought the first book Ginny had ever written because Amazon gave it a 5-Star rating. Carrie loved the book and when she learned that the Santa Rosa author donated book sales to the Sonoma County Humane Society, they became good friends and Carrie asked if she would tell her story to her Rotary Club. What is Normal tells the story of a young girl growing up with a dysfunctional family in an old trailer and a chicken coop. Based on true situations, the memoir describes the abject poverty of a young girl who attended nine different schools dressed in clothes made by a mother who couldn’t sew.

Reading a comic book at the age of 12, the girl read that she could order greeting cards with no money down that she could sell door-to-door. She discovered that she was good at it, and discovered other things she could sell—like cinnamon-flavored toothpicks. Soon she was earning more money than her family and her whole world changed. She dropped out of school, left home, taught herself how to lie and improve her sales talents. At the age of 15 she began selling used cars and was tops in sales for six years in a row. As a maturing young woman earning a good income, she observed things around her and spotted a need to improve a product and eventually patented a new sunless tanner, sold it to a large company and continued to improve her life. She told an inspiring story of earning success through her self-reliance, practical inspiration and hard work, drawing energy from her passion for life. What a fascinating Horatio Alger story of self-reliance and ingenuity.


Rotary Club of Santa Rosa

President: Bill Rousseau, President Elect: Peggy Soberanis, Secretary: Jack Abercrombie, Treasurer: Cecil G. Humes, Sergeant at Arms: Jack Geary

President Rotary International

Sakuji Tanaka – Rotary Club of Yasjio, Japan

Governor, District 5130

Michael Juric – Rotary Club of Windsor

Attendance Secretary

Jack Abercrombie P.O. Box 505 Santa Rosa, CA 95402 707-538-4770

Board of Directors

Matt Fannin, Jose Guillen, Paul Hamilton, Nicole Le, Diane Moresi, Vinay Patel, Robert Pierce, Carmen Sinigiani, Creed Wood, Marnie Goldschlag, Past President