DIGITAL EDITION No. 244 October 25, 2017  EDITOR: Layne Bowen PHOTOGRAPHER: Nicole Le PUBLISHER: Richard Lazovick

Our Program For November 1, 2017


Karissa Kruse

When the devastating fires broke out, 90% of the winegrape harvest had been completed in Sonoma County. Just two days later many growers in safe zones began picking the remainder of their crops. On November 1st we welcome as our speaker Karissa Kruse, the President of the Sonoma County Winegrowers, a marketing and educational organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of Sonoma County as one of the world’s premier grape growing regions.  She will answer many of the questions we all have about how the fires have and will impact the future of this most valuable industry and what the focus of the organization will be in the coming months. 

Since named President in May, 2013 Kruse has guided the organization’s commitment to become America’s first 100% certified sustainable wine region.  She launched the Sonoma County Center for Ag Sustainability in January 2017, a think tank in partnership with the Wharton School of Business, which brings subject matter experts from around the United States to Sonoma County.

She also relaunched the Sonoma County Grape Growers Foundation in January 2016, which aims to assist local agricultural employees and their families in the areas of healthcare, affordable housing, childcare, education and workforce development and currently serves as Executive Director of the Foundation.

Karissa earned a BS in Economics and an MBA in Marketing from Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. She has 20 years of experience in various aspects of marketing, brand management, strategic planning and business development. Karissa has worked for companies such as General Mills, Universal Studios, Mattel and Dairy Management.

She is a partner in a small winery, Argot Wines, and the owner of a 12-acre vineyard on Sonoma Mountain.

Wednesday November 8th: Club Is Dark – Veteran’s Program Tomorrow 
Wednesday November 9th: Veteran’s Program 
Wednesday November 15th: Sonoma Chocolatiers – David Gambill 
Wednesday November 22ndClub is Dark


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Come see us at: http://rotarymeansbusiness

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Opening Ceremonies

Pledge: Marnie Goldschlag
Reflection – Cathy Vicini


Marnie introduced today’s speakers.  Mayor Chris Coursey and council member Tom Schwedhelm. Because Mayor Coursey had to leave early for another engagement, the Program was held early in the meeting.


Mayor Chris Coursey offered encouraging words for our city and its residents. Chris noted that most of those who perished were elderly. The city wants our residents to stay in Santa Rosa and will do everything possible to help residents rebuild and live in our town. Chris discussed the steep learning curve by all in government in dealing with a natural disaster of this magnitude, unprecedented in the history of California. He described the steps that are being taken by the EPA and local entities to clean the toxins and debris by the end of winter so that rebuilding can begin. He also covered the relaxation of some building codes and a fast tracked permit process that will allow homeowners to rebuild faster. Included in this will be letting people place granny units, tiny homes and trailers on their property while rebuilding. These would then be grandfathered in as legal Granny units to help with the housing crisis we are experiencing. Tom Schwedhelm discussed and other organizations that arehelping, and Rebuild Sonoma led by former Clinton era FEMA Secretary James Lee Witt who lives in Sonoma County. Tom emphasized that our recovery should be dependent on people helping people. Afterward the speakers took many good questions from the audience. 

Other Guests

Joan Kaznar, Bill Kazmar, Ron Reichmoth, Michelle Baime, Mary F. Walsh and Gary Zimmerman were our guests today.

Visiting Rotarians

District Governor Elect Barb Spangler was in attendance today. Welcome, Barb!


Ginny Cannon announced that Yale Abrams and his wife are in New Jersey after the passing of Yale’s sister.

Robby’s Raffle

Karen Ball won $67 in today’s raffle!

Cathy’s Joke

Got a huge laugh!


  • Rich De Lambert asked membership committee members to stand. See one of them if you know someone who might be a prospective member from the list on your table.
  • Don McMillan has information regarding the Rotary golf tournament next June in Scotland for any interested golfers.
  • Cathy Vicini asked for a gathering of those who have lost homes at 5pm next Monday to talk about things they’ve lost. At the Trecini Wine Tasting room downtown.

Rotary Moment!

Steve Reuter told us about his harrowing escape from the wildfire that engulfed his home and his neighborhood. Steve described his trip down to his in-laws in Larkfield.  As he was trying to make his way through the smoke and flames, Steve hit an abandoned car while travelling about 30 miles per hour on Mark West Springs Road. His airbags deployed and there he sat in the middle of Mark West Springs Road surrounded by flames.  As he was trying to figure out what to do, cars passed by but then lights from a Middletown firetruck appeared. The firemen rescued Steve from his car and took him to Sutter. Steve is one of the many who experienced the terror of the tragic event and we are so thankful he is with us today.

Other Business – New Member!

Rotary first lady and studio artist Rose Frances has applied and has been approved for membership in our club. Welcome, Rose!


Rotary Club of Santa Rosa Officers

President: Julia Parranto, President Elect: Tony Roehrick, President Elect Nominee: Cathy Vicini, Past President: Jose Guillen, Secretary: Debi Zaft, Treasurer: Cecil G. Humes

President Rotary International

Ian Riseley of the RC of Sandringham, Australia

Governor, District 5130

Bob Rogers, Rotary Club of Sebastopol

Attendance Secretary

Debi Zaft P.O. Box 505 Santa Rosa, CA 95402

Board of Directors

Kathleen Archer, Ray Giampaoli, Steve Marburger, Jackie McMillan, Diane Moresi, Laura Held, Peter Holewinski, Steve Baime and Jeff Kolin