DIGITAL EDITION   No. 109   January 14, 2015     EDITOR: John Poremba  PHOTOGRAPHER: Shannon McConnell

Our Program for January 28th:



Wednesday, February 4th: Bob Rubin – Marine Biology Expert
Wednesday, February 11th: TBA
Wednesday, February 18th: Club Fellowship


Visit our district at:
Check out Rotary International at:
Come see us at:

Mike Kalhoff presenting motivating invocation

Mike Kalhoff presenting motivating invocation


President Mark Burchill called the meeting to order.

The Honorable Knoel Owen led the meeting in the Pledge of Allegiance. Noel’s pledge raised the question “Is a retired judge still considered “honorable”? Of course he is, as long as his wife says so. Mike Kallhoff took to heart the message from our Club Assembly last week and made a special effort to talk with our newest Rotarians. He encouraged all Rotarians to reach out to new members and make the effort to give our Red Badgers a positive Rotary experience. It is simply one way of putting the four way test into practice by building better friendships.


Ginny Cannon introduce our one visiting Rotarian, Jay Jacobson. Jay is in the medical ethics field and was visiting all the way from Salt Lake City, Utah.


Carrie Ludtke introduced her husband Josh and her good friends Ginny Medeiros and Yvonne Player. President Mark introduced his guest Kim Graves and Jeff Gospe introduced our new foreign exchange student from France, Chloe Mellier. I am sure the next week we’ll have plenty of guests as our club tries to increase its membership and make President Mark lose his hair over the member increase. Will your name be in the bulletin next week under the heading of “Guests”?


The sun was shining indeed and there was nothing bad, sad or discouraging to report.


Last summer, Chicago hit on a way to get kids to read. How? (page 21)


Paul Hamilton announced that this week’s raffle jackpot was a whopping $21. The small amount represents the start of new jackpot since Rotarian, Rich deLambert walked away with a tax free fortune last week. Any one from the IRS listening? Robby Fouts earned the right to draw a marble from the velvet bag. Robby speculated that the winning marble would be rougher then the others, unfortunately his premise proved faulty and Robby walked away with a $10 consolation prize. Not too shabby when the loser walks away with 50% of the jackpot.


Rick Allen


Rick Allen is a Real Estate Appraiser who has been in the Rotary Club of Santa Rosa for ten years. He started in the business as a part time appraiser in 1986 while also working as a full time school teacher. In 1993 he was licensed by the State of California and since his retirement from teaching is working full time as a real estate property appraiser. Rick thanked all those Rotarians who have supported his business over the past ten years. Several years ago I contacted Rick and asked him to appraise my situation. After giving it some thought Rick declined my offer stating that my personal situation was hopeless. Now that’s what I call an appraisal.


President Elect Doug Johnson will assume the gavel and begin his Presidency later this year. As President Elect he serves on the Board of Directors, is a member of the local Foundation’s Board of Directors, is a member of the Nominating Committee and he interviews prospective members. Doug has spent a considerable amount of time this year in training to assume a Rotary leadership role. The most important service our District provides is training new leaders and providing the continuity between past and future presidents. We all are looking forward to a very successful Rotary year under Doug’s leadership.

Jim Johnson

Jim Johnson


Just what is a seasoned Rotarian? According to Jim Johnson it is someone who is just plain old and is the only one left from the club he joined. Jim grew up in a small rural town in Texas. His mother and father struggled to find success and as a result the family moved around often. Jim never did have a “home town”. He was always considered one of the new kids in school and suffered all the abuse that new kids receive from their peers. He found solace in reading and created his own fantasy world.  This fantasy eventually led him to a career in promotion, publicity and advertising. Fifty years ago information came to the public from the radio. It was, as Jim put it, the theater of the mind where the human voice and sound effects could convey a message or an image. It was because of this theater of the mind that Jim decided to become a radio announcer. After his eventual move to California, Jim became a disc jockey and a news reporter. He served in the US Army as an officer in the Signal Corps doing work on the first color TV. Jim was a pioneer in the early days of television. Jim Johnson had quite a career. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to share his amazing experiences as a fellow Rotarian. Jim, thank you very much for your long Rotary career.


Ted Wilmsen reminded all those Rotarians involved in our school dictionary distribution program that they should bring back all extras upon completion with their assigned schools. If any additional dictionaries are needed please contact Ted.

Matt Fannin reviewed our membership objectives from last weeks meeting and asked Rotarians to invite a Red Badge Rotarian to sit at you table during our meetings. If you don’t have a Red Badger at your table you might find yourself being assessed a small monetary amount.   Rotarians are still needed to mentor our newest Rotarians. Interested Rotarians should contact Matt. We also received the names of seventeen potential candidates for Rotary membership. If you submitted a name Matt would appreciate if you would make the call to invite the candidate to a meeting. A personal call from a friend is more effective than a cold call from a stranger. Consolidated information about Rotary membership was also available on each table. Special thanks to President Mark for putting these “cheat sheets” together.

In two weeks, on February 4, our program speaker will be Bob Ruben. Mr. Ruben started the Pacific Manta Ray Research Center and is a very informative speaker. Please invite your guests to this very interesting program.

Karen Ball declared the Club Social at the tasting room of Trecini Wines a great success. Special thanks to Debi Zaft for providing wonderfully delicious deserts and to Cathy Vicini for hosting the event.

Don McMillan announced that the kickoff meeting for the 2015 Giro Bello will be held at 12 noon on Thursday, January 22, 2015. Carmen Sinigiani will host the meeting which will be held at the offices of DeMeo, DeMeo and West, 565 West College Avenue.

Chip Rawson thanked all those Rotarians who helped with the painting of the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation’s office. Chip shared photos of the work and the newly painted building. Rotary is being recognized for its effort by a sign posted at the entrance to the property acknowledging the project which was completed “with a little help form the Rotary Club of Santa Rosa”. Special thanks to Chip for all his work on this special hands on project.

President Mark announced that another Wine Social is planned for 5:30 pm on February 16th at the Burchill family estate. Please mark (no pun intended) your calendars with this fun event.

Jeff Gospe with Exchange Student

Jeff Gospe with Exchange Student Chloe Mellier


Jeff Gospe introduced our newest exchange student Chloe Mellier who shared her background and experience as an exchange student. Chloe is from a very small village in the South-west of France. The village of Germ has a population of only forty residents. It is located in the picturesque basque region, the Hautes-Pyrenees of France.   Her father is a chef and owner of the Auberge de Germ Hotel (which is highly recommended on Trip Advisor if you are planning a trip to Germ).

Chloe’s passion is drama. She also sings, plays the guitar and dances. Her life ambition, thanks to her Rotary exchange experience, is to travel. Being an exchange student has opened up a whole new world for her. She has made new friends from around the world and looks forward to realizing new experiences and more friends. Her goal is to become an artist and live her passion. She wants to be happy and make other people happy too. Chloe is a remarkable young woman who is living her dream and she believes that this experience is “not a year in the life but a life in the year”. Chloe is another example of just how Rotary can influence the lives of people around the globe!

Speaker Carrie Cader Ludtke

Speaker Carrie Cader Ludtke


Shannon McConnell introduced today’s program speaker and fellow Rotarian, Carrie Ludtke. Carrie really didn’t need an introduction since she has been a member of this Club since 2009. Carrie shared with us her passion which is writing and she spoke about the challenge of getting her work published.

Many Rotarians think of Carrie as a Pharmaceutical sales person. That’s what her Rotary badge identifies. Pharmaceutical sales is her job, it pays her bills. But writing has always been and remains her passion. She grew up in rural northern California in the small town of McKinleyville. Throughout grammar school she wrote story after story in journals, many of which she still has today. After high school she enrolled in Sonoma State University and wrote for the school paper, the Sea Wolfe.

After school she continued to write and found great comfort in writing. She called it “writing therapy”. Her book, “Burnt Cupcakes, A Memoir of Marriage, Motherhood, and Madness” was released in 2013. It is a book about the struggles she personally went through after becoming a mother but she believes that there are elements in her book that everyone can relate to. The book was greeted with an outpouring of love and support. Some people relate to the feeling of being overwhelmed as a parent. Others to the desire to travel and have new experiences.

Some people have told her she was crazy for being so honest and putting herself out there, especially since some of the honesty shows her in a negative light. But Carrie never regretted sharing her story. She hopes her openness will encourage other people to be open about the struggles they may be having also and seek help if needed.

The publication of her book has opened many unexpected doors for her. She thought she was writing about her personal journey but the writing itself has provided new journeys for her. The process of finding a publisher was a journey all by itself. She has crossed paths with several very amazing authors, editors and literary agents.  But probably the coolest part of the journey for her was promoting the book in Paris with her husband.  She met with the manager of “Shakesphere and Company”, one of the oldest book stores not just in Paris but in the world.  It was inspiring for her to stand in the same room where Hemingway frequented and where the classic book, Ulysses by James Joyce, was published. In her own words it was nothing short of life changing for her, a small town wishful writer, who until then had never been out of America.

Carrie read from her book and shared some of the influences in her life that eventually led her to become a writer.   What she learned is summed up in the simple enlightening phase from her book; “Fortunately, I was learning with cupcakes as with life, your can always readjust your recipe and try again”. No matter how great your planning is, things in your life don’t always turn out how you want them to or expect them to.  But that’s the beauty of it…we can keep readjusting and try again.

Our special thanks to Carrie Ludtke for sharing her life, her book and her journey. We are indeed fortunate to have such a talented Rotarian in our club.


It was another meeting agenda that was filled with interesting items that imparted such amazing wisdom and knowledge. Unfortunately, a full agenda that imparts great wisdom means little time for recognition and fines. Oh, what a shame it is!


With a ring of the bell President Mark closed the meeting and thanked all those Rotarians whose volunteer efforts make our meetings an enjoyable success. Special thanks to Jack Atkin who enthusiastically applauded the work of your humble scribe this afternoon. Such recognition brought this wanna be writer to tears!


Rotary Club of Santa Rosa Officers

President: Mark Burchill, President Elect: Doug Johnson, President Elect Nominee: Jose Guillen, Past President: Peggy Soberanis, Secretary: Jack Abercrombie, Treasurer: Cecil G. Humes, Sergeant at Arms: Jack Geary

President Rotary International

Gary C.K. Huang, member of the Rotary Club of Taipei, Taiwan

Governor, District 5130

Kevin Eisenberg, member of the Rotary Club of Calistoga

Attendance Secretary

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

Board of Directors

Karen Ball, Tim Delaney, Debra Dorfman, Tim Fawcett, Bill Hatcher, John McHugh, Jack Tolin, Cathy Vicini