Posted by Ann Daugherty on Feb 05, 2020
This was the third meeting of the calendar year with approximately 54 Rotarians and guests in attendance. Harold Hoogasian (Retail: Florist | Hoogasian Flowers) introduced one of our Club’s past presidents, Kline Wilson, Jr. Michael Petricca (Education Management | Academy of Art) introduced Sean Buford, president of the San Francisco Firefighter’s Union along with Dr. Ranatta Kiefer (who happened to email Michael and ended up attending as his guest). Carlos Infante (Banking: Management | Chase Bank) introduced Steve Katzin from Chase Commercial Real Estate; Dan Joraanstad (Financial Services: Advising | Retired) introduced second-time attendee Steve Lindstrom, who has now applied for membership; and Jyoti Chokshi (Management Services | Talent Anywhere) introduced her husband, who is also interested in joining our Club.
President Casey Blair (Financial Services: Private Trading | KCB Trading LLC) reviewed recent and upcoming events and noted that we have had a very busy winter so far with a range of service projects, interesting lunch speakers, and social events.

John Mathers (Management Consulting | eVo Associates) did his best to empty the pockets of any Super Bowl Pool holdouts, raising another $5,000 in pledges for Rotary International. Duly noted that although he is not (yet…) a member of our Club, Sean Buford made a contribution of $100 to the Pool.
$20 for Twenty Seconds included: 
  • Mary Liu (Real Estate: Sales | Vanguard Properties/JM Real Estate Group), who announced that she had secured sponsorships for the upcoming Rotary Means Business event on March 14;
  • Christopher Wiseman (Event Planning | Glaucoma Research Foundation) who discussed the upcoming Glaucoma Research Foundation Gala and noted that 30 Rotarians had already signed up for this great fundraiser;
  • John Mathers announced that the Climate Change Committee would meet via telephone this Thursday, January 30, 2020.  All are welcome.
  • Rhonda Poppen (Grant Writing | GRANTdog) who pledged $60 in honor of her parents’ sixtieth wedding anniversary;
  • Clif Thomas ((Accounting | Clifton S.Thomas CPA) who mentioned that our guest speaker today, Rodney Fong, drove a scary car in the San Francisco Halloween Parade many years ago which terrified his kids;
  • Sally Swanson (Engineering, Architecture & Construction | Sally Swanson Architects) who celebrated a new consulting contract with the State of Hawaii to review designs in their prison system; and 
  • Stacey Poole (Law: Family | Lerner-Poole) who noted that her law partner, Club member Esther Lerner (Law: Family | Lerner-Poole), had happily retired to Florida, and Stacey would be officially changing the name of her law firm.
Member Moment:
Valentina Sacchi Beccarini (Student), recipient of a Rotary International Student Scholarship, has been in San Francisco for nearly six months and joined our Club recently. She is attending the University of San Francisco School of Law, pursuing a Master of Laws degree. She expressed her deepest gratitude for the support she had received from many of our Club members during some difficult transitions (including a stressful period when she needed to find alternative housing). She especially thanked District Governor Sue Rokaw and her husband Alan Test, who opened their hearts and home to her during the Christmas holiday season.
Michael Petricca introduced our guest speaker today:  Rodney Fong, a fourth-generation San Franciscan, small business owner (Fisherman’s Wharf Wax Museum among others), and current CEO of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. Rodney was the most recent speaker in our Club’s San Francisco Still Knows How speaker series organized by our Speakers Committee. Rodney discussed how he is organizing the City’s business community to tackle San Francisco’s deepest problems. He described how the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, representing the City’s 11 Districts operate like 11 little “cities.” In his view, the Supervisors lose the “Big Picture” solutions that address the City and County of San Francisco as a whole. The City has a $12 billion budget to deal with problems such as homelessness, but Rodney believes efforts have been strangled by the many processes that simply get in the way of making things happen. The Chamber of Commerce continues to work to smooth the way, especially for the City’s small business community. However, the best thing any of us can do is to reach out to our elected supervisors, voice our concerns, and vote locally. Rodney’s presentation was followed by a lively “Q and A” session.
Eric Schmautz (Banking: Management | Wells Fargo) mentioned that the Rotary International Conference Committee met recently. One site under consideration for an upcoming Rotary International Convention is San Francisco. He noted that this represents a $74 million impact on the City over a two-week period. However, some conference committee members expressed concerns about homelessness, aggressive panhandling, and dirty streets. No final decision has been made at this point on a location for the convention. Rodney noted that City politicians need to confront the economic impact and quality of life issues that our residents and visitors face.
Bob Hermann (Information Technology: Administration | Retired) and our guest speaker, Rodney Fong, won the door prizes (red and while Rotary shirts in honor of the Super Bowl). 
At the request of Kline Wilson and Harold Hoogasian, all past presidents of our Club in attendance today gathered for a photograph after the luncheon.
Photos by Bill Poppen ( Banking: Management | MUFG Union Bank)
Edited by John Dean (Education: Law | Dean Dispute Resolution) and Dora Dye (Education: Community College | City College of San Francisco)