DIGITAL EDITION No. 22 March 27, 2013 EDITOR: Jula Parranto PHOTOGRAPHER: Kris Anderson
Our Program For April 3rd:
THE BUSINESS OF DYING
For more than forty years Ronald Henderson has served families during the hardest day of their lives in funeral homes here in the North Bay. His many years at all levels of service of service, from janitor to funeral director to the general manager of four local mortuaries, have given him a rare insight into the business of dying. Next Wednesday, he will dispel the many myths of his profession and enlighten us on mankind’s history of funerals, cremation, and the science of embalming since the beginnings of civilization.
April 10, 2013: The Future—Printed in 3D
April 17, 2013: Renewing our schools
April 24, 2013: What’s Normal? The exception Ginny!
Every Wednesday, another fresh face at the podium. It makes one wonder if, by the time we get to Past President’s Day, we might have reviewed them all. This week’s meeting was led by Immediate Past President Marnie Goldschlag, in exceptionally rare form as she invited Mike Kallhoff back to the podium for his long-awaited Craft Talk. No, wait! That was a two weeks ago. This week Mike led us in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. Today’s invocation was given by Past President Will Haymaker, who was president of this Rotary Club exactly 10 years ago, in 2002-03. Will dedicated his remarks to the women members of our Rotary Club. Tongue-in-cheek and quite touching, almost to the end.
GUESTS OF ROTARIANS
The aforementioned Mr. Haymaker confirmed that we had no Rotarians visiting from other Rotary Clubs, but we had three visitors as guests: Matt Everson introduced today’s speaker, Ken Fischang, President & CEO of Sonoma County Tourism, and Julia Parranto introduced her wife and special guest Rose Frances, but in the emotion of the moment could not recall her name. Ann Gospe was the guest of her husband Jeff but, unfortunately, she rode to Rotary with Jeff, and arrived too late for introductions.
NEW BULLETIN EDITOR
Joining the ranks of volunteer editors for the first time today was Julia Parranto. Good portions of this week’s Santa Rosarian newsletter are directly from Julia’s notes. Thanks, Julia!
As of this moment, the report was sunny. Past President Debi Zaft asked Matt Everson about his father, who underwent surgery last week in San Francisco. Matt says his dad is “doing pretty well.”
Doug Johnson was called on to talk about the rewards of working with fellow Rotarians. He spoke enthusiastically about his experience with A.J. Printing, owned and operated by our own Greg Johnston and his brother Dan. Doug has been working with AJ Printing on the Giro Bello, who have been providing complimentary printing services to our club. Doug encourages all of us to use AJ Printing a full-service print shop, for all our printing needs. Marnie chipped in with her 2 cents, encouraging all of us to use Rotarians first, to help each other’s business. Remember, Rotary Means Business.
THE BULLISH RAFFLE
Like the current stock market, Rotary’s raffle jackpot continues to boom, reaching $638—a record peak—this week, according to David Brown. Our guest speaker carefully selected what looked like a winning ticket for Gary Vice but Gary slunk back to his table with another $10 consolation prize. We know that the number of ordinary cards get smaller every week, but no one knows the odds in favor of drawing one of the two jokers in the deck. The suspense continues to build every week. How about an official card count, Nick?
This is a final reminder that the Rotary Assembly of District 5130 is Sunday, April 6th at Mendocino College. For more information, contact Club Secretary Jack Abercrombie.
Meet community, business, and professional leaders from all over the world and broaden your understanding of Rotary by attending the 2013 RI Convention in Lisbon, Portugal, 23-26 June. Register by 31 March, to save off the onsite registration fee. Learn how to register online. On the RI website.
If you are not already involved with your fellow Rotarians who are hard at work on our club’s first and most rewarding fundraiser for 2013—the Third Annual Giro Bello Cycling Classic successful fundraiser, you should contact this year’s chair, Doug Johnson. Summer in Sonoma County hosts cycling events of all sizes that become more diverse with great opportunities for entertainment, outdoor fun, and sightseeing opportunities for family, friends, and out-of-town guests. But for members of this Rotary Club, Giro Bello is a very special opportunity to work together with our Rotary friends and other volunteers on the major event of your Rotary Club for a great cause—the worthwhile community projects we fund and the deserving people who need our help—here in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, and around the world. Last summer, Giro Bello was a huge success. This summer, with your help between now and Saturday, July 6th, we have an exceptional opportunity to work on an event that is bigger than all of us. Thanks to our success last year and in the future the Rotary Club of Santa Rosa is a major force for doing good, helping others and accomplishing great things.
Acting President Marnie couldn’t stand it and interrupted the procedures with her sense of humor, calling attention to the three “See No Evil, Hear No Evil monkeys”: Creed Wood, John Poremba, and Gary Vice. That did it, the tension was broken, and when the laughter subsided…
Kathleen Archer commenced begging for costumes for the World Community Service dinner to benefit the most active Rotary Club in Sonoma County. The dinner will have a murder mystery theme, so Kathleen needs police vests or jackets with “POLICE” printed on the back, and/or white lab coats. Kathleen would prefer to borrow the costumes to keep the costs down and the profits up. Contact her at 538-3411 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org to contribute wardrobe items for this classic drama. Kathleen promised they would be washed and ironed after the final curtain.
Matt Everson reminded us that we agreed to help out the Petaluma Sunrise Rotary Club’s Backroad Challenge Bike Event as payback to their valuable help at our Rotary Club’s Giro Bello. Both Rotary Clubs agree that they can use more help this year. To volunteer for the Backroad Challenge on Saturday, May 18th, let Doug Johnson know you would like to help.
DebunkingTime: Marnie G. was on a roll this week, basking in the presidential spotlight. Then it dawned on her that President William was not in attendance (duh!) and, in our president’s absence, announced the start of the Debunking Season. She signed up several volunteers in the spot!
- Acting President Marnie then turned her attention to the Rowdy Table and fined each and every one of them:
- Greg Johnston apparently has a girlfriend, whose car Marnie has spied in his driveway every morning for a while. He also still has his Xmas tree up. $5
- Robby Fouts insists his new expensive watch is not bigger than Greg’s, but offered to pay $5 for every mention of President Bill in the Fictitious Biz Names section of the PD. $40
- Past Prez Ray Dorfman was accused of copying Fred Levin in choice of facial hair and for some reason showed off his “sleek and streamlined” figure. $20
- Cathy Vicini had her mind in the gutter while holding the mike upside down, but came up for air long enough to let us know that Trecini Winery won Best of Class for its Sauvignon Blanc and its 2010 Late Harvest pinot noir. $20
- Don McMillan, aka Mr. “Past President” Rogers, threw his wife under the bus at the St. Rose meeting. $5
- With the paint hardly dry on her Red Badge, Katie Barr is on the fast track to get her blue badge in record time. All she has left to do is go to a board meeting, so she asked everyone present to babysit her boys, 6 & 8 years old. Prez Marnie volunteered Greg Johnston. $5
- Debra Smith, not at the rowdy table (but closely related), does not have PMS, but may have ESP. Her car license plate—“mydopey”?—apparently predicted her attachment to Ray Dorfman.
Jeff Gospe and his wife Ann spent two weeks in Florida having a great time. He brought back a gift for Prez William, and got fined $50.Not for the suck-up gift, but for the “great time” vacation in Florida.
Past President Kathleen Archer got ratted out by next-door-neighbor Wayne Rowlands for remodeling her entire house. She was roundly booed for offering $5; P. Prez Marnie added another $5 for getting fondled by Robby.
Mike Truesdell got called out for Cardinal Newman’s spectacular run at the Boys Basketball State Title. Past Prez “Dufus” Dorfman objected to the no fine, and got
fined another $5 for his effort.
Robert Pierce volunteered that he spent some time in Orlando recently (not with Jeff and Ann Gospe), and he (Robert, not Jeff) enjoyed Disney World. $10 to $15? Sure.
Matt Everson introduced Ken Fischang, President & CEO of Sonoma County Tourism, mentioning that Ken spoke to us the first—and last—time when he came to Sonoma County in 2005 to take over the tourism campaign. Thanks to the efforts of Ken and his organization, Matt commented that Sonoma County is in the midst of a major re-branding.
Face-to-face: Grabbing a portable microphone, Ken plowed into the crowd and got our immediate attention, offering prizes for the right answers to Tourism Trivia. He emphasized the primary role of Sonoma County Tourism as a “Destination Marketing Organization” with the primary goal to put “heads on beds” and asked his audience what city had the first Destination Marketing Organization in America. Jack Tolin guessed “Detroit, Michigan, in 1896” and won a bottle of wine from…Sonoma County!
Sonoma County marketing: Historically, Fischang reminded us, the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce was responsible for marketing the city to attract tourism. In the 1970’s, the “Transient Occupancy Tax” was imposed to provide revenue for marketing outside of Sonoma County. At first, 100 percent of the proceeds of that tax were used for marketing. Now, across the U. S., 40 percent of the T.O.T. is spent on marketing; but only 22 percent in Sonoma County. Today less than 1 percent of the transit occupancy tax collected in Santa Rosa goes to promote tourism, according to Ken. In 2004 the County Board of Supervisors created a Business Improvement Assessment District to fund marketing efforts, raising $3.5 million in 2005. Since the 2008 recession, the goal has been to raise revenue growth by 25 percent. Five years later, that number is now $5.3 million.
Diverse housing options: Calling the county’s array of housing for tourists, “Wonderfully diverse”, Fischang reeled off full-service and limited service hotels, bed & breakfast inns, campgrounds, and vacation rentals, pointing out that because of that diversity, our tourism was not as affected as others in the recession: Napa suffered a 30 percent decline; Sonoma County’s drop was only 8 percent. Tourism is one of the top three industries in this county, employing 17,000 of our fellow citizens. 7.5 million tourists visit us every year–27,000 every day—the population of Windsor. Those tourists spend $1.3 billion per year. “Without these tourists”, Fischang pointed out, “we would each have to pay an additional $350 a year in property taxes!”
Where do all these tourists come from? Ken told us that most of them come from State of California, so Sonoma County Tourism has an office in Sacramento with another office in Los Angeles open this spring. The second biggest source is Texas, so there’s an office in Houston with the 5th office in Chicago. But the average American tourist stays here 3.8 days and spends $1200. The average International visitor stays 10 days and spends a whopping $4,500. When Sonoma County Tourism started its work, international visitors were 3 percent. Now, it’s 10 percent and they have an International Director of Sales; targeting the UK, Germany and France. Soon they will target New Zealand and Asia.
Conclusion: This is an exciting time for tourism and these changes will have a great impact on Sonoma County, stated Ken, “Tourism is leading us out of the recession. Last year, we experienced a 6.2% increase in occupancy. We partner with the Sonoma County Vintners and Sonoma County Winegrowers and share staff and a NYC public relations firm. Two years ago we created a brand mark that we all share. I can imagine this mark on bottles of wine, crates of Crane melons, locally-produced cheese, La Tortilla Factory tortillas…anything that Sonoma County produces that exemplifies the quality of our products. Because of the conjunctive labeling law that takes effect in January 2014, every bottle—out of 100 million bottles of wine produced in Sonoma County— will bear the identity of Sonoma County.”
First in U.S.—second in the world: The wine destination rankings by “Trip Advisor” make Sonoma County the target for wine-producers around the world. To keep this up, So Co Tourism plans to train 500 Certified Tourism Ambassadors this year to interface with our visitors to as a free-roving concierge who will be able to, for example, tell tourists where to get a good lunch, where to go winetasting, and much more.
At the conclusion of today’s meeting, Acting President Marnie announced that Ann Gospe had received word during the meeting that her sister-law, Karen Ebert, had passed away. A moment of silence was observed and condolences extended to Ann, Jeff, and the Gospe family.
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
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