DIGITAL EDITION   No. 102   November 19, 2014     EDITOR: John Poremba  PHOTOGRAPHER: Kris Anderson

Club is dark Wednesday, November 26th




Wednesday, December 10th: Portrait of Sonoma County
Wednesday, December 17th: The Redwood Chordsmen


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


President Mark Burchill called the meeting to order.

Paul Hamilton led the meeting in the Pledge of Allegiance. Ryan Thomas reminded all Rotarians of the importance of the Four Way Test. His thought for the day was to “live so that when your children think of fairness and integrity, they think of you”.

There were no visiting Rotarians in attendance.

Zachary Thomas was the guest of dad, Ryan

Zachary Thomas was the guest of dad, Ryan


Karen Ball introduced her guest, Stephanie Carlson-Sharp, from Sharpshooters Cleaning. Cecil Humes introduced Emily Harrington of Summit State Bank. The proud father, Ryan Thomas, introduced his son, Zachary and Kim Murphy introduced her wonderful husband, DeWayne White.


John McHugh announced that Tim Stewart’s mother recently passed away at the age of 101. Tim’s mother lived a full and rewarding life.


Julia Parranto is a trial lawyer who has her own firm, the Law Offices of Julia Parranto. She specializes in representing plaintiffs in personal injury cases. She enjoys trying cases and is willing to go to court when representing a client. Julia spoke of how she enjoys the feeling of living in the moment when a verdict is announced. She also has a partner in her firm who specializes in divorce law.

Peggy Soberanis realizes she does have today's ticket

Peggy Soberanis realizes she does have today’s ticket


Steve Marburger announced that this week’s raffle jackpot was just over $200. It took Past President Peggy Soberanis awhile to realize that she held the winning ticket but she was unable to draw the winning marble and take home the jackpot. Peggy left with her $10 consolation prize.


President Mark inducted Emily Harrington, Branch Manager of Summit State Bank, as a member into our Rotary Club. Emily was joined at the podium by her sponsor, Cecil Humes.

Emily’s first experience with Rotary was as a Rotary Exchange student in Holland. She joins the over 1.2 million Rotarians worldwide in service, fellowship and camaraderie. President Mark encouraged Emily to get to know her fellow Rotarians, join a committee and rotate among different tables when attending our luncheon meetings. Emily was welcomed with a standing ovation from the members present.

Mark Burchill, Emily Harrington and Cecil Humes

Mark Burchill, Emily Harrington and Cecil Humes

President Mark spoke of the need for Rotarians to be prepared when someone asks the question, “What is Rotary?”. We all should have the answer on the tip of our tongues. It’s what Mark called an “elevator speech”. One suggestion is to say that Rotary is a leadership organization made up of local businesses, professionals and civic leaders. Rotary meets regularly, we get to know each other, make friends, and through that, we are able to get things done in our community.   Remember that a Rotarian is like a Boy Scout, “always prepared” to give their elevator speech!


[list style=”arrow” color=”blue” el_position=”first last”]

  • There is a change to our meeting on December 3rd.  Our club is changing how we give gifts at the children’s Nutcracker party, so we will not be wrapping presents on December 3.  Instead, President Mark has planned an exciting Fellowship activity with some surprises.  Come check it out!
  • The Sonoma County Association of Rotary Clubs January meeting will be hosted by the Rotary Club of Santa Rosa Evening. The dinner meeting will be held at the Paradise Ridge Winery at 4545 Thomas Lake Harris Drive, Santa Rosa on Thursday, January 29, 2015. The guest speaker is the most sought-after speaker in Rotary, RI’s Past President, Mr. Rick King. The cost of dinner is $50 and is selling out quickly. Space is limited so reserve early. For details, download the SCARC flier here. Please reserve by contacting Jack Strange (Santa Rosa Evening) at Dress is business casual.
  • President Mark reminded everyone that a Social and Wine Tasting will be held on Monday, December 8th at 5:30 pm. The social will be hosted at the Burchill home at 2529 Caballo Court in Santa Rosa.
  • President Mark announced that our Club is planning a Rotary Friendship Exchange with Rotarians from New York City. Members from our Club will be traveling to NYC and members from New York coming here to Santa Rosa. Two of our Club members have already indicated an interest in traveling to the Big Apple. Members interested in this fun exchange should contact President Mark.
  • Ryan Thomas has assumed the responsibility for the High School Recognition program sponsored by the Club. Ryan announced that this next year we will recognize all outstanding students from all the local high schools at a special program at our regular meeting on February 25, 2015. Please note your calendars and plan on attending this meeting.
  • It’s that time of the year when our Rotary Club purchases Poinsettias. By doing so we are able to provide 50 poinsettia plants for seniors living at the Vigil Light Senior Complex. Shannon McConnell announced that we only have two meeting dates to order our plants. The deadline for ordering is December 1st and the cost $9.75 per plant. Poinsettias will be available for pick up at our meeting on Wednesday, December 3rd.
  • All Rotarians are invited to make this holiday season a special time for our elderly neighbors at Vigil Lights Apartments by joining a holiday social with refreshments and a sing-along following our December 3rd meeting. This is a very special Club tradition that shouldn’t be missed.
  • Julia Parranto recently attended the Salvation Army kickoff for its annual bell ringer fund drive. Last year our Club placed 4th, raising just over $4,600 for the Salvation Army. The 1st place winner raised over $18,000. This year our Club is committed to improve! We are much better than a 4th place finish. Sign ups for bell ringers will begin next week. Let’s show what the true Rotarian spirit is by volunteering to ring the Salvation Army bells and raise money for a great organization.
  • Ted Wilmsen announced that sign ups for the Dictionary Project will begin at next week’s meeting. Ted encouraged all Rotarians to sign up to distribute dictionaries to our local schools. If you have never participated in this remarkable experience, it is truly a wonderful feel good Rotary project. It is loads of fun too.
  • Kathleen Archer is looking for Rotarians to participate in The Salvation Army’s adopt a family program this holiday season. For just $200 you can adopt a family. Many families have so very little to share and your help can provide them with food and gifts that will make their holiday a joyous one indeed. Interested Rotarians should contact Kathleen.



President Mark presented the slate of candidates for election to the Rotary Club of Santa Rosa’s Board of Directors, 2015 – 2017. The candidates include Elizabeth Karbousky, Shannon McConnell, Jack Atkin and Will Haymaker. Julia Parranto was nominated to the position of President for the term 2017-2018. The assembly was then opened to nominations from the floor. Since there were no nominations from the floor President Mark requested approval of the nominees as presented. The nominees were approved by acclamation.

President Mark presented the proposal to change the structure of the District Governor Nominating Committee. The current Nominating Committee is composed of 3 past District Governors, 1 Current District Governor, 1 Governor Elect, and 3 at large (no past District Governors).

The proposal presented for our Club’s consideration is to change the composition to allow a past District Governor to hold an at large position.

An “Aye” vote would mean less diversity but more experience in the committee. A vote of “Nay” would mean more diversity but less experience since only 3 of the committee members could be PDG. After some discussion and a review of the past practices a vote was called for. By a show of hands the proposal did not get approval from the majority of Rotarians present at the assembly. President Mark will notify the District of our vote.

Legacy Project Survey results were presented to the Assembly by President Mark. Seventy one responses to the survey were received. The Healthy Habits Project received 39% strong support/support and 61% neutral/not support. The Nature Project received 53% strong support/support and 47% neutral/not support. The decision on whether to fund either project as a legacy will be decided by the Board of Directors. If neither project is selected the agencies involved will be encourage to file for a charitable grant and work with our Hands On Committee. Rotarians interested in this decision are encouraged to attend the next Board meeting on December 2nd.

Doug Johnson presented the financial outcome of our annual fund raising event, the Giro Bello. In 2011, the first year of the event, our Club raised approximately $17,000. In 2012 and 2013 we raised $47,000 and in 2014 we increased that to $67,000 with 1,000 riders joining the event. Doug is projecting that in 2015 we should exceed $85,000 and have 1,200 riders participate. The long range goal for 2016 is to raise over $100,000 and have 1,500 riders participate. Kris Anderson has volunteered to lead the marketing effort for our next Giro Bello. Rotarians are asked to volunteer early and assist in making next year’s event a success. Everyone is encourage to participate.

The Giro Bello has become its own entity and has created the momentum necessary for it to be successful in the future. Comments from riders in last year’s Giro Bello were very positive. They demonstrate the enthusiasm our event has created.

“This was the most amazing bike ride of my life, truly epic”.

“Beautiful course – the best of the year. I love this ride”.

“I plan on riding it every year as long as I am able”.

Doug announced that Past President Don McMillan will be taking over the lead of this event for the next year.

President Mark reviewed the outcome of our second fund raising activity the “Pillow Fights”. There were 700 advanced tickets sold and a total of 1,100 total tickets sold. About 800 ticket buyers actually attended the event. It was anticipated that we would realize a profit of $10,000 from the event but the Club ended with a loss of $15,500. The event was planned as a family friendly event and the cost of the ticket was set to influence attendees. The venue worked out well and budget expenses were down 30% from projected due to several factors which reduced our costs. These included donated beer and lower security costs.

Some factors which may have affected the attendance included a late marketing start (July 1) and depending on social media as the main marketing approach. Traditional marketing strategies were not used.

The discussion from the Assembly floor indicated that a close look at our participation in this event is needed. The Board of Directors will review this event and decide whether we can increase profit and lower the risk of a loss.   The question before the Board is whether we should continue the Pillow Fights. Does it compliment or conflict with the successful GiroBello?   Does it expose Rotary to a new demographic?

Are the future rewards worth the risk? Should we cut our losses and cancel future events? President Mark indicated a survey will be out for our Club members to weigh in on the issue. Please let your opinion be known.


Much to the dismay of all present, there simply wasn’t enough time to recognize any Rotarians this week. There was a collective sigh of relief but we must remember there will always be a next week for those who are deserving.

Happy 80th birthday Jim Johnson

Happy 80th birthday to Jim Johnson!


Before President Mark closed the meeting Cathy Vicini announced that today was Jim Johnson’s 80th birthday. Happy Birthday wishes to Jim and a heartfelt thank you for all you have done for Rotary.



Rotary Club of Santa Rosa Officers

President: Mark Burchill, President Elect: Jose Guillen, President Elect Nominee: Doug Johnson, 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