DIGITAL EDITION   No. 27     May 1, 2013     EDITOR: Layne Bowen     PHOTOGRAPHER: Diane Moresi

Our Program For May 8th:


And Alan Silow’s inside look at seasons of change for 85 year old Santa Rosa Symphony

Bruno FerrandisThis has been a landmark year for the Santa Rosa Symphony, completing its first year as the resident orchestra at the Green Music Center and, in a few months, opening its 86th performance season. On May 22, Music Director and Conductor Bruno Ferrandis and Conductor Emeritus Jeffrey Kahane will give a tour de force performance with Jeff at the piano and Bruno conducting the orchestra for the Symphony’s benefit and  major fundraiser of the year. This fall marks Ferrandis’ 8th season with the Symphony. Rotary’s special guests this week will be the Symphony’s Executive Director Alan Silow and conductor Ferrandis with an update on the current season and a preview of the new season.


May 15, 2013: What’s New in High Tech Gadgetry?
May 22, 2013: A Visit to Project Amigo
May 29, 2013: French Group Study Exchange Team


If Rotary was the 9th Grade, most of us would be worried about finals. This Rotary year ends on June 30th and District Governor Michael Juric, reminded all current Rotary Presidents of their annual goals and upcoming events:
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  • Membership: The goal of our Rotary Club is to add 12 new members during the current membership drive ending May 21. Remember, $100 for the first Rotarian to bring in two new members.
  • RI Foundation Giving: $100 per year per member. All Rotarians are notified of this expectation upon joining the club. 50 percent of the RI giving comes back to the District in the form or local or international grants.
  • Group Study Exchange Team: Our guests from France the week of May 26th.
  • District Conference: May 31, June 1 & 2 here in Santa Rosa at the Vineyard Creek Hotel.
  • Other key Wednesdays in June: June 19—Past Presidents’ Day

    June 26—President’s Debunking. Will President William show up?



President Bill called today’s meeting to order. Past President Yale Abrams led us in the Pledge of Allegiance to these United States of America as if he’d been doing it since grade school. Another Past President, Debi Zaft, followed up the pledge with a stirring invocation based on the teachings of that great philosopher, Audrey Hepburn.


Two visiting Rotarians graced us with their appearance today. Gary Metzger was visiting us from his home club of Rotary Club of Valley of the Moon. Steve Amend, from the Sunrise Rotary Club of Santa Rosa, also attended our little gathering.


A number of other guests helped fill the room at today’s meeting. Guests included: Ann (Jeff’s better half) Gospe, Robert Pierce’s repeat guest, Darren Elliot, guest speaker Michael Santos, and Justin Paperny, Executive Director of the Michael G. Santos Foundation. Rich de Lambert introduced his guest, Brandon Uhrich.


Ray Giampaoli – Deborah Gray, Sponsor
Branch Mgr., W.J. Bradley Mortgage Capital

Doug Johnson with Manuela Gonzalez as she presents a check from Robobank

Doug Johnson with Manuela Gonzalez as she presents a check from Robobank


One of our club’s most recent Red Badge members, Manuela Gonzalez is off to a hot start in our Rotary Club. She always has a smile, is quick to volunteer and today, on behalf of her employer, Rabobank, she presented an extra-large $1,500.00 sponsorship check to Doug Johnson and President William on behalf of our club, for the Giro Bello Charity Cycling Event! (Editor’s note: “Manuela, can I give you my Christmas list?”)


Blaine Goodwin, recently returned from a trip to the northeastern U S, presented our President William with a club banner from a Rotary Club in Maine.


Penny Tibbetts had a sunny health report for our membership.


Ted Wilmsen wins the raffle!

Ted Wilmsen wins the raffle!

One of our newest Rotarians, Red Badger Elizabeth Karbousky, taking care of the raffle duties and guarding a growing jackpot at $910, guessed that the odds of winning were one in 12, Ted Wilmsen reached into the velvet bag and drew the Lucky Joker! The aggravating thing was that he had won the big jackpot at least once before, and this time Ted bragged about it in advance! Ever the honorable Rotarian, Ted donated $100 to a new Paul Harris Fellowship for his new granddaughter. Better that Rotary gets to share in Ted’s windfall than Uncle Sam (not to be confused with Sam McMillan).


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  • Doug Johnson asked his fellow Rotarians to volunteer to help out with three commitments that need eager volunteers. The first event is this weekend—the Wine Country Century—Saturday, May 4th at the Wells Fargo Center, from 11 am to 5 pm to promote the Giro Bello’s three beautiful rides cycling event on July 6th. We’re also needed Friday evening, 5 to 9 pm for last minute registrations.
  •  The Human Race, Santa Rosa, is the largest in the world, a great place to promote Rotary’s Giro Bello. Sign up online or just show up early Saturday morning, May 11, 7 am for breakfast at Slater Middle School, 3500 Sonoma Avenue, through Howarth & Spring Lake Parks. Volunteers are needed through 12 noon.
  • The 3rd Annual Backroad Challenge on Saturday, May 18th is a charity biking half-metric, metric century, and a full century for the Petaluma Sunrise Rotary who volunteer for Giro Bello every year,
  • Giro Bello Director Doug Johnson signing Craig Meltzner up as a volunteer

    Giro Bello Director Doug Johnson signing Craig Meltzner up as a volunteer

    Giro Bello: Our Rotary Club desperately needs your strong support to maintain the great tradition of our club’s major charity event. With less than 200 riders registered what we need most—immediately— are eager cyclists to register for the three most beautiful rides in wine country. Contact your cyclist friends, neighbors, co-workers, and relatives. Since this is our club’s largest fundraiser to support local non-profits and the people they help who depend on Rotary grant funds and donations. We must have corporate sponsors. Do not forget that Giro Bello is one great party for participants and volunteers. We urgently need volunteers on both Friday afternoon & Saturday morning, July 5 & 6, for registration and other duties. O’Reilly Media Center in Sebastopol is Giro Bello home base once again.



“Now is the time for us to spread the word and tell our friends & neighbors about the more than 90 years of value & service from our Rotary Club to this community in which we live and work”, Jim Johnson announced to Rotary this week. “As the Rotary Club of Santa Rosa approaches our Centennial Celebration, and as club historian, I ask any & all Rotarians interested in becoming part of a major campaign to promote and publicize Rotary’s 91 years of dedicated community service to Santa Rosa and Sonoma County to contact me now to become part of a major community relations campaign in this coming Rotary year. Don’t know what to do? No idea how to do it? This is your chance to learn and become a local ambassador for Rotary”. For more details, call me at any time—day or night—at 571-0226 or email me at”


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  • Yale Abrams, chair of the Hands-on committee, thanks participants in last Saturday’s work day at New Directions School. He also has a “lost and found” item to return!

    Yale Abrams, chair of the Hands-on committee, thanks participants in last Saturday’s work day at New Directions School. He also has a “lost and found” item to return!

    Troy Carrington, Chip Rawson, and “Silent“ Rotarian of the Year Robbie Fouts led 14 helpful and handy Rotarians in a hands-on project last weekend that included laying paving stones, painting two houses, tree trimming and other grounds-keeping duties. Commenting that many of the crew worked from 6:30 am until 6:30 pm, Past President Yale Abrams told us that these Rotarians definitely made a difference and asked they stand and be recognized, then promised more hands-on volunteer opportunities are forthcoming!

  • Mark Burchill reminded the membership that tomorrow evening, May 2nd, Past District Governor Maureen Merrill hosts the monthly Rotary Means Business meeting at her office in Wikiup. Editor’s note: More than 30 people attended Thursday’s RMB meeting, food, fellowship, and the weather was great. We all received Maureen Merrill lessons in image, posture, appearance, bearing, and voice projection at no additional charge. Past District Governor Mike Merrill remained in the background.
  • With The Rowdy Table strangely quiet today, Cathy Vicini reported that Greg Johnston was otherwise occupied getting ready for the big ribbon cutting ceremony at A.J. Printing this afternoon. Unless the news is plastered all over Page One of the local Press Democrat, you may question Greg on behalf of the club at next week’s Rotary meeting.



If you plan to attend the Rotary Convention in Lisbon, Portugal, in June, District 5130 is hosting a reception and you and your guests are invited. Monday, June 24, from 6 to 9 pm at the Panorama Restaurant in the Sheraton Lisboa Hotel & Spa, Rua Latino Coelho, 1069-025 Lisboa. Substantial hors d’oeuvres and an open bar will be provided at the beginning of the event. After 6:30 the bar is no host. The cost is $25 U.S. per person. Please contact District 5130 Governor Nominee Kevin Eisenberg as soon as possible to reserve a spot. Email or 707-266-4967 in Calistoga.

Carmen Sinigiani is recognized for her Top Forty Under 40 Award given by the North Bay Business Journal.

Carmen Sinigiani is recognized for her Top Forty Under 40 Award given by the North Bay Business Journal.


Carmen Sinigiani was recognized as one of the North Bay Business Journal’s Forty under 40 at a gala reception this week. Profiles of Carmen and the other recipients of the awards were published in the Business Journal’s April 29th issue. The awards are made on the basis of leadership in companies, organizations and this community. Carmen, who has been a Rotarian since 2007, was the driving force behind Giro Bello becoming the primary fundraiser for our club’s charity projects. Last year she was named Young Rotarian of the Year for District 5130.


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  • Jim Johnson and President Bill traded barbs regarding Bill’s alleged poor presidential attendance and Jim’s alleged septuagenarian memory loss regarding the 145th birthday of Paul Harris, which occurred last month. They fought to a verbal draw that ended when Jim finally got a big Rotarian laugh and walked away from the conversation, taking Jack’s portable microphone with him!
  • President Bill had a tough time convincing the other two Jacks (Abercrombie & Atkin), Fred “I never saw a tax I liked” Levin, Ray & Debra “soon to be” Dorfman, and Roy Thylin, that AT&T Park is not a suitable Rotary make-up venue. In their defense, Ray pointed out that it should count as a make-up meeting given that there were two club ex-presidents and a club secretary were in attendance at the ballpark. Not much of a defense but somehow this motley group got away with a measly $5 fine each. An anonymous bystander was heard to remark that the dinky fine was even cheaper than a $9 ball park beer.
  • Matt Everson paid $25 to his Paul Harris Fellowship for a business trip to Chicago that also included a White Sox baseball game and a Chicago deep dish pizza. From Matt’s “cat-who-ate-the-canary” smile on his face, we assumed that he should have donated more for the business part.



President Rousseau and speaker Michael Santos

President Rousseau and speaker Michael Santos

Today’s speaker, Michael Santos, was just the opposite of what we expected. Arrested for distribution of cocaine, tried, convicted, and sentenced to 45 years in prison, Santos was released only last August with credit for good behavior. Enthusiastic, positive, and tightly-wound—an ex-con still wearing his sentence tightly around his ankle—he was determined to deliver his message with the conviction and persuasiveness of an old-time evangelist, crediting as his silent mentors the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates,

Indian nationalist leader Mohandos Ghandi, Viennese author, psychiatrist, and Auschwitz survivor Victor Frankl. and 19th Century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzche. He outlined his deliberate plan to educate himself, contribute to society, and build a support network while in prison that would help him become a law-abiding citizen. He summarized what he called his “Straight A Guide”—attitude, aspiration, action, awareness, accountability, appreciation & gratitude.

The presentation by Michael Santos was a remarkable experience–overwhelming and daunting— witnessing his laser-like conviction that he possessed the answers and the determination to accomplish whatever one might set as personal life goals, against all odds. Our speaker, who lives in Santa Rosa with his wife, whom he married while still in prison, offers the inquisitive observer a fascinating opportunity to follow his progress as his months after prison grow into years of freedom.



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