DIGITAL EDITION   No. 48     October 2, 2013     EDITORS:  John Poremba & Jim Johnson     PHOTOGRAPHER: Kris Anderson

Our Program For October 9th


The Sonoma County Registrar of Voters Office prepares us for 2013-14

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

  • Who, and what, is the Registrar of Voters?
  • What do they do and how do they do it?
  • What’s new in the Sonoma County Registrar of Voters Office?
  • We don’t vote that often: What do they do the rest of the time?
  • Exactly who are the people who vote?
  • How about the 2012 Presidential elections?
  • California is a huge state: What’s new Statewide?
  • The future of voting and elections: What’s going to be different?
  • Remember to register & don’t forget to vote!



October 16: The Honorable Rene’ Auguste Chouteau: The state of the Superior Court
October 23: John Blount, Director, Rotary International (2009-11)
October 30:  S A Y stands for Social Advocates for Youth

NOTE: The October 23rd meeting will be held at St. Rose Hall


Visit our district at:
Check out Rotary International at:
Come see us at:
Check out the new Levi Stadium:


President Peggy called the meeting to order and Greg Johnston led the assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance to our Flag.  In his invocation, Robert Pierce captured the spirit of our Rotary Legacy Project by reading several inspirational quotes from Ralph Waldo Emerson, Helen Keller and George Washington Carver.  These quotes not only speak to our purpose but to the principles of Rotary service:

“Taking action is how you give your gift and live a life of true service to yourself and others.  And that doesn’t mean that your life’s work has to be something that seems grand and noble.  The real key to being of service and living your purpose is simply to do what you love to do, whatever it may be.” This quote by Rebecca Fine reflects what all Rotarians believe when we put “Service above Self” into practice.


Mike Kallhoff welcomed our three visiting Rotarians:  Doug Roberts from the Santa Rosa Sunrise Club, Troy Ingold from the Fortuna Sunrise Club and Carl Barr, who was visiting all the way from the Rotary Club of Moses Lake in Washington State.


Past President Steve Olsen introduced his guest, Santa Rosan Lex McCorvey, a member of this Rotary Club for almost 25 years; as recently as 2004.  Ryan Thomas introduced a very special guest, his young son Zachary, and Jeff Gospe introduced Giovanni Provenzano, this year’s Rotary Exchange Student from Cagliari, the capital of the Island Nation of Sardinia.


Penny Tibbetts asks all of us keep Past President Joel DeSilva in our thoughts and prayers. “Just Joel” is recovering from a tough bout of pneumonia.

More than an attitude: Last week, fellow Rotarian Genie Williams Delles updated us on Facebook with the latest good news about her six-month battle against cancer. She announced that she is scheduled for her last PET-Scan this Friday and she is absolutely positive that the test will reveal that her cancer is gone! Genie’s optimistic attitude toward her illness has inspired all of us so much that we urge you to not miss re-reading every word of her online posting. While no one who knows her has ever doubted or failed to be impressed by her positive attitude toward the future, Genie swears that the six months since her initial biopsy had changed her perceptions about her life and the future.  “I will never look at life the same way again”, she wrote in her September posting on Facebook.

Karen Ball helps young Zachary Thomas choose a ticket

Karen Ball helps young Zachary Thomas choose a ticket


Karen Ball announced that the raffle prize has grown to $624.  Young Zachary Thomas picked the winning ticket held by Rich de Lambert. Unfortunately for Past President Rich, he was unable to find a Joker from the deck of cards and left with the $10 consolation prize.  It has been a long stretch without anyone pulling “a Ted Wilmsen” and the Jackpot continues to grow larger. The odds are also growing in your favor…but only if you participate and purchase some of those beautiful red tickets next Wednesday. Don’t forget to listen to their siren song—your chances of winning are improving each week. Buy your raffle tickets for every Rotary meeting.


On behalf of the Rotary Club of Santa Rosa, which will observe our club’s 92nd birthday in December, Elizabeth Karbousky honored the 12 fellow Rotarians who celebrate their birthdays this month. Liz presented each Rotarian present with a special treat—homemade cookies from her own kitchen:

Kris Anderson           Jose Guillen

Katie Barr                 Greg Johnston

Dan Bornstein          Nicole Le

Troy Carrington        Carrie Ludtke

Tim Fawcett             Tim Stewart

Ann Gospe               Roy Thylin

October Birthdays!

October Birthdays!


Jeff Gospe introduced Giovanni Provenzano and gave us a quick lesson in pronouncing the first name of our new Rotary Exchange Student correctly. GiVAHnee” attends Santa Rosa High School as a senior through this current school year. An appealing young man with a captivating persona, he shared dozens of photographs from his home and family in Cagliari, the capital of the Island of Sardinia, located in the Mediterranean between the west coast of Italy and eastern Spain. As you might imagine, Cagliari is a beautiful city with a quaint harbor and wonderful beaches. His grandparents are dedicated Rotarians who strongly encouraged his participation in Rotary’s student exchange program.


Giovanni updates the club on his visit to the US

A very outgoing young man, Giovanni loves skiing and spending his summer’s at his family’s beach home. He spoke of the differences between schools in Italy and California and has already made many friends here.   He is looking forward to playing basketball this year for Santa Rosa High. Giovanni swore that he is happy to be in California but did admit that he missed Italian pizza.  “It is the best”, he said, “Even better than In-and-Out Burgers!”

Craig Meltzner said we are looking for two more families to host Giovanni during his stay in Santa Rosa; and encouraged anyone interested in a great opportunity to expand your world vision, or sharpen up your Italian, to contact Rotarians Craig Meltzner, Larry Miyano, or Jeff Gospe. He reminded us all that you do not need to be a Rotarian, or even have teen-aged children, to host an exchange student. If you or your family has any reservations, simply talk to anyone who has experienced hosting a Rotary Exchange Student.


President Peggy announced that John McHugh has earned the honor of Rotarian of the Month for September.  Earlier this year John took the lead role to help our Rotary Club evaluate many options and chose a Legacy Project worthy of Sonoma County’s oldest Rotary Club. He has demonstrated outstanding group leadership skills, and exhibits a degree of professionalism in his work. John has devoted his time and energy to guide our club through the process and help all club members choose a Legacy Project worthy of the 92-year history of the Rotary Club of Santa Rosa. John received a standing ovation for the fine work he has done; and for being selected Rotarian of the Month, September 2013.  Well done!



Volunteers staff the Monte Rio rest stop for the Gran Fondo

On Saturday, the Rotary Club of Santa Rosa and members of the Giro Bello team manned the rest stop in Monte Rio for the 2013 Gran Fondo. Everyone pitched in with the set-up, layout, preparation of the food and drinks, and then did the take-down and cleanup!


This is personal taste, but I love the music, the theater, dances, movies, clothes, hair styles, and the attitudes that books, movies, and myths still portray almost a century later. Every time I happen across Rotary’s online poster for the club’s big fundraiser in January, I experience a flash-back in time. I can’t wait for January’s “Casino Royale” Night!


Rotarians who would like to attend the 2013 Awards Breakfast on Wednesday, October 30th, should contact Mike Kallhoff, Rotary Disability Awareness Committee Chair, or Jack Geary, for reservations. Our Rotary Club has supported this signature program event since 1982 (talk about Legacy Projects!) and we pre-registered for a table of eight to take advantage of the early bird rate of $30 per person. The Employers’ Best Practices Awards are made by the Sonoma County Mayors’ Committee for Employment of People with Disabilities, a self-supporting, non-governmental organization.

For more than 32 years, the Rotary Club of Santa Rosa has been a major breakfast sponsor of this event, along with the California Department of Rehabilitation and Disability Services & Legal Center, who recognize employers, employees, and service providers of Sonoma County for their efforts to hire, retain, and promote people with disabilities. The October 30th awards breakfast will be held at the Flamingo Resort Hotel from 7:30 am to 9:30 am. For additional information you may access the committee’s website:

Sir Winton, “The British Schindler”, honored by Illinois Rotarians

In advance of Adolph Hitler’s advance into Czechoslovakia in 1939, a British stockbroker’s kindness and determination helped nearly 700 children escape Prague in advance of Hitler’s armies in 1939. Last month, he became the first inductee into the Rotarian Peace Hall of Fame exhibit at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center in Skokie, Illinois.
[list style=”arrow” color=”blue” el_position=”first last”]



Vicki Hardcastle reminded everyone that the Rotary District 5130 Foundation Dinner South will be next month, on November 2nd from 6 to 11 pm at the Sally Tomatoes Event Center, 1100 Valley House Drive in Rohnert Park.  All Rotarians are encouraged to support the Foundation by attending this important event.  It is black tie optional. Vicki also announced that during the month of October our Rotary Club will match all contributions between $100 and $300 made to the Rotary Foundation.  Plus each contributor will be entered in the raffle which will take place at the Foundation dinner. For a map with complete directions, access Rotary’s events calendar at www. Remember, this is the once-a-year District 5130 Foundation Dinner South in Rohnert Park, starting at 6 pm, Saturday evening, November 2nd.

Doug Johnson reminded Rotarians that Levi’s GranFondo is this Saturday, October 5, 2013.  Those Rotarians who volunteered to support the GranFondo should report to the Monte Rio rest stop at 6:30 am.  Doug didn’t mention it, but the rest stop landmark is the huge “Quonset Hut” as you drive into town. You can’t miss it…even at 6:30 am on an October 5 Saturday morning.  We will man the rest stop until 10:30 am.  Thanks to everyone who volunteered for this nationally-recognized event with more than 7,500 cyclists expected to ride!

Jackie McMillan announced that the World Community Service meeting will be held at 5 pm this Monday, October 7th, at the home of Rotarian Rick Allen and his wife Patricia near the top of Fountaingrove Parkway. The program that evening will discuss the value of micro-economics for third-world countries. The address and directions are on the club website or in your new Rotary Roster. All Rotarians are cordially welcome to attend.

Greg Johnston pitched the exciting San Jose Sharks hockey game on Saturday night, November 2nd. Tickets so hard to get that Greg bought 25 of them in advance. If you might be interested in joining them, contact Greg immediately. He might have a couple left, just for you! The $87 per person cost includes access to the legendary but comfortable Sky Box suite. Two drink tickets are included with each admission ticket.

Filling in for veteran (and Veterans’ Lunch Powerhouse) Nick Knickerbocker, was our club’s only past president born on the 4th of July! Ray Dorfman! Tickets are now on sale for the annual Veterans Luncheon at noon on Thursday, November 7th at the Veteran’s Memorial Building in Santa Rosa.  Tickets for this outstanding event sponsored by the Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs of Santa Rosa are only $15 each. Rotarians are encouraged to buy an extra ticket to sponsor a veteran who might not be able to attend without your help. Ray reminded us that our Rotary Club will be dark on the Wednesday the 6th, and encouraged us not to let Nick down in order to have a large turnout for this very special event.  We honor our veterans by remembering their sacrifice and their service.

Past President Bill Rousseau is looking for one more golfer to fill the last slot on our Rotary team at the YMCA Golf Tournament at the Windsor Golf Club.  Tee off is Friday afternoon, October 18th, at 12:30 pm. Join your Rotary golfers as we compete against the other Rotary Clubs in the area. Let’s bring the bragging rights home to our club.


Jack Atkin introduced this week’s guest speaker, Don Chigazola, living & breathing proof that Americans are never too old to build on a dream. After several careers that most of us would consider successful, Don and his grown son Tony followed Don’s fantasy occupation…accomplishing the “almost impossible”, overcoming the obstacles of public perception, bureaucratic restrictions, and global barriers of distance, time, and customs to become the owners of Chigazola Merchants, an import company here in Santa Rosa that seeks to import excellent Italian wines produced by small family-owned-and-operated wineries.


Guest speaker Don Chigazola

A graduate of the University of California Davis, Don began his career in the sciences, earned a degree in Biological Sciences and started work as a chemist with Lee Pharmaceuticals.  His personal drive and abilities eventually led him to become the Director of Operations for the Medtronic Vascular facilities in Sonoma County. A few years ago when Medtronic decided to move its production to Ireland, Don decided to make a career change.  Inspired by his father’s handling of a terminal illness—and fueled by Don’s burning need to find more satisfaction than he had achieved in the corporate world—he discovered  a unique, virtually-unrecognized wine import business.  As he informed us, “If you don’t wake up each morning excited about what you are doing, you are doing the wrong thing!” Inspired by his own heritage and his love of Italian wines, he was driven to import wines from some of the smallest, most isolated wineries in Italy. He traveled throughout rural Italy searching for family-owned-and-operated vineyards & native varietal wines made by small family producers. His business plan: Purchase these unique wines in Italy and ship them back to California.

Don recounted the myriad of licenses and permits necessary to become an importer and retailer of alcoholic beverages, dealing with the US Alcohol, Tobacco, Tax and Trade Bureau, the California Department of Alcohol & Beverage Control, the Board of Equalization, and the City of Santa Rosa; a process that took time but was necessary if he were to achieve his business plan. But he was also required to get TTB approval for individual wine labels and  finally, FDA registration for a food facility.  With all that completed Chigazola Merchants was now able to import wine.

His wines are shipped overseas from Italy to New York and then across the country by refrigerated trucks to California where he wholesales to restaurants, and through his website. If Don didn’t already know that he was in Wine Country, he found out when he was besieged by questions—where could we find them? How could we purchase them? What about our own local wine producers? After some brief answers he referred us all to the Chigazola Merchants website,, where interested wine aficionados can find his imports through designated wholesalers and specific restaurants such as Ca’Bianca or John Ash.

As we listened to Don Chigazola, it was obvious that Italy and its winemakers taught him more than merely to love and enjoy the wine. He has learned how to live in the moment, treasure land & family and work to live, not live to work.  Our thanks to Don for his positive outlook, for these wonderful insights, and inspiring words to live by. Salude! And Grazie!


Greg Johnston            Robert Pierce

Mike Kallhoff               Karen Ball

Debra Dorfman           Joy Parker

John Berto                  Jeanne Levin


From Martin Luther: “Beer is made by men, wine by God.”
W.C. Fields said this: “I cook with wine; sometimes I even add it to the food.”


Rotary Club of Santa Rosa Officers

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

President Rotary International

Ron D. Burton, member of the Rotary Club of Norman, Oklahoma, USA

Governor, District 5130

Helaine Campbell, Rotary Club of Sebastopol Sunrise

Attendance Secretary

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

Board of Directors

Debra Dorfman, Matt Fannin, Jose Guillen, Doug Johnson, Nicole Le, Robert Pierce, Jack Tolin, Creed Wood, Cathy Vicini