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Our October 2019 Luncheon Speaker was Steven Campbell
Steven R. Campbell
Speaker - Author - Radio Host
 
 

Steven Campbell is an author, speaker, and mentor to individuals and organizations worldwide. With a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Zoology from San Diego State University and a Master's of Science Degree in Information, Steven Campbell has been a college professor and educational dean in northern California for over 20 years. In addition to Making Your Mind Magnificent Steven is the author of two college textbooks. He is also radio host for his world-wide program titled "Making Your Mind Magnificent" which can be heard every Wednesday morning on KOWS (kows107-3.org/). Steven also conducts workshops throughout the United States on how to make our minds our greatest mentors.

Steven provided a highly creative and thought-providing presentation on our Mind and Feelings. You can view his slides in PDF form HERE

 
 
 

Our September 2019 Luncheon Speaker was Bip Roberts
 

Leon Joseph "Bip" Roberts, born in 1963 in Berkeley, California, is a former Major League Baseball second baseman and outfielder who played from 1986 to 1998 for several Major League teams including the Oakland Athletics.  He is best known for his hitting and base-stealing skills and now as the color co-host for Comcast SportsNet A’s game coverage. Bip entertained our group with his story of growing up in Oakland and what led to his decision to pursue a career in Major League Baseball. Our membership really enjoyed his presentation.

 

In Bip’s 13 years of professional ball as a switch hitter, he finished with a .294 lifetime batting average with 30 home runs and 352 RBIs.  Noteworthy are his 264 stolen bases, averaging over 20 per season, on top of his 27 RBIs average.  His most productive season as a base stealer came in 1990 with San Diego where he stole 46 bases, ranking him in the top ten in the majors that year. 

 

Noteworthy in Bip’s career is his 1992 NL All-Star game appearance, going 2-for-2 with two RBIs.  He was also Cincinnati Reds team MVP that year and finished 8th in the NL MVP voting, stealing 44 bases and hitting .323.  That year he also tied an NL record with ten consecutive hits.   Later with the Padres in 1994 he hit in an MLB best 24-game hitting streak. 

 

Bip continues to give back to his community, serving as an Asst. Coach for the Academy of Arts Urban Knights DII-Pac West Baseball program in 2010-2012, and donating time to the Students Rising Above Foundation, helping low-income, at-risk Bay Area kids. 

 

Lastly, how can you fault a guy that uses “Bipster” as his email handle! 

 

 

 
 
 
 
Our August 2019 Luncheon Speaker was Vivienne Wong
 
Vivienne Wong, Coordinator of the Indian Life program at the Museum of the San Ramon Valley, provided our members with a detailed history and description of the native peoples (in Alamo/Danville, the Tatcan tribe and in San Ramon, the Seunen tribe) living in our local area prior to the arrival of New Spain settlers in the 17th century. Her presentation was extremely interesting and well-received by all members in attendance. 

Ms. Wong was born in Washington D.C. and grew up in New York City.  "My first Indians, " she recalls, " were the Iroquois, Mohawk and Pocahontas. Thanksgiving was a holiday celebrating the Pilgrims, who settled just a state away. "  After graduating from Wellesley College, she worked in publication:  Look Magazine, Cleveland Plain Dealer and Vogue Magazine.  Then she and her husband became international expatriates living in Tokyo, Lagos, and Hong Kong

Returning to the U.S. in 1994, she and her family settled in Danville.  "After living in the densest cities of the world,"  she says, " being in a house with a lawn was a new experience.   I brought two cats who had never walked on green grass."

When Vivienne joined the Museum, she was re-exposed, after a 40 year hiatus,  to Indians;  this time,  on the opposite side  of the continent.  "It has been both familiar and shocking,"  says Vivienne.   "Yes, I was back to a favorite historical subject, but I was unprepared for the differences  between  the First Indigenous People of California   and the East Coast Indians.  For instance,  the First Contact between Indians and Europeans.  No Pilgrims, lots of Franciscan monks.    I have also been fascinated  by new findings from  academia,  from archeologists, anthropologists, biologists.  Forty years of research is unfolding a much more complex picture of the First People's practices, traditions, languages and culture.    I am looking forward to sharing this information with the members of SIRS." 

 


 
Our July 2019 Luncheon Speaker was Scott Denison
Scott Denison
 
General Manager
Lesher Center for the Arts at City of Walnut Creek
 

Scott Denison is clearly the East Bay's most accomplished Impresario! He has been a leader in the Arts for 46 years for Walnut Creek and the surrounding communities. Under Denison’s guidance for the last 30 years as General Manager for the Lesher Center for the Arts, he oversees over 850 public events each year. He coordinates performing arts activities with over 85 producers and producing organizations. He is also the Managing Director of the Center REPertory Company producing 6 professional productions each season; and is the director and co-founder of Fantasy Forum Actors Ensemble, an adult family performing arts company which presents programs for the young and Young at Heart. Scott directed Disney’s Beauty and the Beast  and Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella , Hairspray, Le Miserables,  and for the past 18 seasons Center REP’s A Christmas Carol. Denison has directed over 150 productions. In 1979 he created the Shellie Awards, which annually honors outstanding performing arts achievement in Contra Costa County. In 2007 he created the Chevron Family Theatre Festival bringing adult nationally acclaimed performances together for one day performing to over 7,000 guests of all ages.

Scott spoke to our SIR branch about the building of the arts community and how that community was brought together commencing 30 years ago with the opening of the Lesher Center for the Arts.   He brought out how the arts are important to the economy of the surrounding area.  He also described how the Americans for Arts Survey has contributed to the quality of life of our local citizens. He shared some interesting stories of noted people (celebrities) that he has worked with over the years and he briefly described some of forthcoming events in the near future.  His report is available by clicking HERE.

 


 
Our June 2019 Luncheon Speaker was Frank Jordan
Frank Jordan

WW1 & 2 Historian

Frank is a recognized historian of both the First and Second World Wars and has traveled the battlefields of Western Europe extensively since he was a young boy.  For the past 30 years he has organized and led battlefield tours of Normandy and the World War I Western Front in France and Flanders.  Frank has lectured for years on the battlefields and is a member of many military history organizations that examine the cause and effect of these great conflicts, as well as perpetuate the memory of those who served.  He brings a special passion for the Second World War in Europe as his father parachuted into Normandy on D-Day (with the British 6th Airborne Division), fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and jumped again across the Rhine into Germany. Frank spoke to our group on the Allied landing at Normandy which was a fitting topic given the recent 75 Anniversary of D-Day this past June 6th.

Frank Jordan grew up in San Francisco, attending St. Gabriel Grammar School and Archbishop Riordan High before receiving a degree in Finance from the University of Southern California.  While at USC Frank was a valuable member of the Trojan’s 1978 National Championship football team.  He is known for his last second, game-winning field goals against UCLA in 1977 and Notre Dame (and Joe Montana) in 1978. Frank has been working with New York Life Insurance Company for 38 years.  He recently completed his second screenplay, based on the true story of the first African-American from either World War I or World War II to receive the Medal of Honor (posthumously), 73 years after he was recommended.  Frank resides in Orinda with his wife Barbara and has two sons in college.

 
Our May 2019 Luncheon Speaker was Gisela Zebroski
 
Gisela Zebroski
Novelist/Speaker
 
When WWII broke out in 1939 Gisela Zebroski’s privileged childhood came to an abrupt end. The Soviet Union took over Latvia, the country of her birth.  Her parents, destined for deportation, fled to Germany and settled in Poland. In 1945 the family fled again from the approaching Red Army. Her father had been drafted and was missing in action. Her mother and four siblings survived air raids and found safety in Austria.
 
In 1954 she immigrated to California where she married an American scientist who inspired her to go to college. She graduated with a degree in psychology and minors in creative writing, history and philosophy.  Her two novels, THE BARONESS and MEPHISTO WALTZ, recount the world of her past. Her own story is a work in progress under the title of SELFIE SIDEWAYS.
 
 
Topic:  The Berlin Airlift, the Candy Bomber and I
In 1948 Stalin challenged the West to a showdown between communism and democracy. Berlin set the stage. By blocking all land access routes to the Western Zones of Berlin, Stalin took 2.3 million Berliners hostage - doomed to starve to death unless the West surrendered their territory to the Soviets. A massive blackmail. Over the following 11 months the Allies airlifted 4.6 billion pounds of supplies to Berlin, thus sparing West Berlin from Soviet occupation. By treating the hungry children of West Berlin to candy, Lt. Hal Halverson, turned former enemies to friends and the airlift to a joint venture. He is known as the CANDY BOMBER.

 
 
Our March 2019 Luncheon Speaker was Olympic Champion Eddie Hart
 

Author-Lecturer-Speaker-Mentor-Coach-Motivator-Team Builder

WOW, what a great speaker Eddie turned out to be! His presentation style, relating his experiences at the 1972 Olympic games in Germany, captivated the entire group. Many members took advantage of the opportunity to purchase his book "Disqualified: Eddie Hart, Munich 1972, and the Voices of the Most Tragic Olympics" which he graciously  autographed.

Eddie Hart is one of the most prolific track athletes who ever sprinted. He was born in Martinez, Ca, grew up just a few miles away in Pittsburg, where he competed and graduated from high school. Eddie set his goal at the tender age of 13 to become; “The World’s Fastest Human,” a mythical title given to the individual that wins the 100m at the Olympic Games. He was the NCAA 100 meter champion while attending Cal Berkeley.  He won national & international competitions, including the 1972 Olympic Trails in world record time of 9.70 in the 100m finals which was rounded to 9.9. He competed at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games and won an Olympic Gold Medal in the 4x100m relay, while anchoring the US team and breaking the world record.

Many years later, as a master’s track and field athlete (Over 40) Eddie continued to break records and gain titles as a World Master’s Champion. Upon returning from the Olympics Eddie was hired as the sprint coach at Cal, and four years later he was employed as the head track Coach at the Alameda Community College. After 30+ years of coaching and teaching in the community college system Eddie retired.

Since Eddie has reached his goals and dreams, he believed it was time for him to help the youth develop and attain their goals and dreams. That’s why in 2003 he felt compelled to start the Eddie Hart All In One Foundation so he could use his name, influence, relationships and resources to make a positive difference in the lives of youngsters. Eddie is now dedicated to educating and motivating youngsters to becoming viable members of society.

 

NOTE: Eddie’s attempt to win the 100 Meters sprint Gold medal in Munich is most captivating and will be a major component of his March 2019 luncheon presentation.


 
Our February 2019 Luncheon Speakers were Jerald Marrs & Cindy Stafford
 

Jerald N. Marrs

Attorney at Law

Jerry and Cindy provided a high-level overview of senior-relevant legal topics such as Estate Planning, Trusts, Advanced Health Directives and Long-term Healthcare plans. They also provided some insight on Medi-Cal qualification and the option of seeking Veterans benefits.

Click HERE of a PDF version of the slides they presented.

 

Jerald N. Marrs, Attorney at Law, is a longtime resident of San Ramon. Jerry practices elder law and estate planning. He is committed to helping seniors, individuals, couples and families through the trying times associated with the aging process and the preparation and administration of estate plans. He drafts estate planning documents, including Wills, Trusts, Advance Healthcare Directives and Durable Powers of Attorney, and assists with probate and trust administration. He also helps seniors with asset protection, government long-term care benefits, conservatorships, probate and veteran’s benefits. 

Jerry is also a mediator and is devoted to helping people resolve disputes in a logical and appropriate manner. Jerry has a very calm demeanor, is easy to interact with and is an excellent communicator. He mediates disputes regarding elder law, care decisions, asset distribution, probate matters and trust administration. He has a background dealing with emotionally charged issues and has resolved a variety of matters. He has completed significant mediation training, including Dispute Resolution at the University of Colorado School of Law, negotiation training with the EEOC, and 50 hours of Mediation Training with the Center for Community Dispute Settlement. 

Jerry is a disabled veteran from the U.S. Air Force and strives to help others who have served our country.

Practice Areas

Estate Planning and Elder Law: Wills, Trusts, Durable Powers of Attorney, Advance Health Care Directives, Life Care Planning, Long Term Care Planning, Conservatorships, Probate, Medi-Cal and VA Aid & Attendance Planning.

Mediation: elder law, care decisions, asset distribution, probate matters and trust administration.

Admitted

Colorado State Bar, October, 1998, State Bar # 30010
 
California State Bar, June, 2016, State Bar # 309419
 

Education

University of Colorado School of Law, 1998
 
University of California, Berkeley, 1995
 
Defense Language Institute, 1990
 

Member

State Bar of California
State Bar of Colorado
National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
Contra Costa County Bar Association
Alameda County Bar Association

 

 

 

 
Our January 2019 Luncheon Speaker was Thomas Lindemuth
 
Thomas E. Lindemuth
Desalination Expert

After nearly fifty years working as an engineer, inventor, entrepreneur, and educator, Mr. Lindemuth is now retired and living in Walnut Creek, California. Although his overall experience includes other topics, this profile highlights his experience with desalination technology, project management, and planning consultation. 

After completing his degree at UW Madison in 1968, he was employed by Aqua-Chem in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. At that time, Aqua-Chem was the foremost desalination manufacturer in the world and holder of landmark patents for the multi-stage process. His responsibilities included water chemistry, material performance, product purity, and adaptation of evaporative technologies to various wastewater streams. In this area, he developed highly efficient separation processes to handle wastes from food processing, pulp and paper manufacture, and nuclear installations. He continued these responsibilities with AMF Beard in Shreveport, Louisiana. 

In 1974, Mr. Lindemuth joined Bechtel Research and Development in San Francisco. His initial assignment was to develop the master plan segment for water supply at the Jubail Industrial City in Saudi Arabia. This is one of the free world’s largest completely planned cities, and is located at a spot where there is essentially no natural fresh water. The plan laid out the projected growth rates in water consumption, the recommended technologies as the city grew, and the size and timing of plant installations.

As the need for desalted water grew, the size of individual production modules did not keep pace. Until recently, individual modules have been limited to less than ten mgd, as it was in the 70’s. The largest plants required as many as forty parallel modules, with a maze of interconnected piping, controls and utilities.  Recognizing this need, Mr. Lindemuth led a team of experts to conceptualize a single module of 25 mgd, along with a development plan to bridge the unknowns for scaling up by a factor of more than three. 

Mr. Lindemuth continues his interest in desalination technology and implementation is convinced that the time is coming when desalination can start to fill the needs for more pure water in North America. With adequate ingenuity and financial support, new facilities should be possible without the enormous carbon footprint typical of today’s technology. 

 
 

Our November 2018 Luncheon Speaker was Martin Silverman
 
Martin J Silverman
attorney, actor, writer and presentations coach
 
Mr. Silverman, a past speaker to our group on the topic of the US constitution, presented an interesting synopsis on the state of space travel and exploration programs currently in play by both commercial (Space-X, Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic) and governmental entities such as NASA. It was a very interesting presentation and answered the age-old question of how far a golfer could hit a 7 iron on the Moon. Turns out that would be approximately 2.5 miles.    
 
Mr. Silverman attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City, acted in several plays, and wrote TV scripts.  He then became an attorney and practiced antitrust and communications law in a 30 year career.  Now retired, Martin chairs the Marketing Committee for The Role Players Ensemble Theater in Danville.  He directs the Member Speaker Series at Crow Canyon Country Club.  He coaches local business people to improve their speaking presentation skills.  He is a frequent contributor to an online public policy issues forum.  Since 2010, Martin and his wife Ellie, a watercolor artist and Ikebana Japanese floral designer, have been living happily ever after in Danville.
 

 
Our October 2018 Luncheon Speaker was Glenn King
NFL Officiating Professional
 

Glenn King was born and raised in the Bay Area, attended Mission San Jose High School in Fremont prior to attending San Diego State University where he graduated with a Business Administration degree.  It was at SDSU where he met his wife Karin also from the Bay Area and they ultimately relocated to San Ramon where they raised their two children, Alex (34) and Andrew (31).  In 1989 Glenn started in the Real Estate Business as a residential Real Estate Broker and has run his own real estate office here in the San Ramon Valley since then.   He expanded in 2006 to Scottsdale, Arizona where he owns and operates a second office. 

Glenn played football at Mission San Jose High School but ran track during his collegiate years.  He has always had a passion for all sports but never considered officiating any sport until a football official who used to work as a referee during his own high school  games  approached him with the idea.  Five days later Glenn worked a Freshman football game at Washington High School in Fremont where he was quickly hooked on this new avocation. 

In 2009 Glenn developed a passion for a relatively new segment of football officiating - Instant Replay and was hired as part of a replay crew by the Big 12 Conference where he worked for two seasons.  Ultimately, he was asked to join the newly formed PAC12 Conference in the same role as they expanded from 10 teams to 12 in 2011.  In 2014 he joined the National Football League in the same role, so his background in this segment of officiating is quite broad, encompassing two Division One NCAA programs and the NFL. 

Glenn provided some great insights on the history of instant replay and how it actually works.  He shared a brief NFL training film focused on officials calls narrated by Dean Blandino. It was evident that Glenn really enjoys his job! 

 
 
Our September 2018 Luncheon Speaker was Diane Gilfether
 
Founder and Director of The Blackhawk Chorus
 
Diane Gilfether is the recipient of many, many awards both for her professional achievements as one of the Bay Area's leading Lyric Coloratura Sopranos, as well as her continued work with The Blackhawk Chorus. She has received the Arts and Culture Commission's "Arts Recognition Award" given by the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors; the Bay Area News Group and Comcast's "Hometown Hero" award; and has been named a prestigious Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International. In her operatic career, Ms. Gilfether was selected as a "California Arts Council Touring Artist" for four consecutive years, an award and designation given to only two classical singers in the State. She has appeared with  the  San Francisco Opera, Pasadena Opera, City Opera, and was a longtime leading lady with Donald Pippin's Pocket Opera. She has been a featured soloist with the Oakland, Berkeley, Washington-Idaho, Concordia College (Indiana), San Jose, Monterey, Stockton, Santa Cruz, UC Davis, Holy Names University and UC Berkeley symphony orchestras, to name only a few. She has toured nationally and internationally delighting audiences and critics alike with concerts and recitals throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. Often in demand for master classes in voice, Ms. Gilfether holds Bachelor's and Master's Degrees from Holy Names University, and studied voice with the late Donald Stenberg of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. As a well-known and respected voice teacher, many of Diane's students have gone on to successful careers in both the classical and popular genres.
 
In 2016, Diane received the prestigious award given by the Contra Costa Commission for Women and the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors at their Hall of Fame Gala Awards Night as the Honoree for "Women  Contributing  to the Arts!" Most recently, Diane has been named Holy Names University's "Alumni of the Year" for her service to the University and the community at large.
 

 
Our August 2018 Luncheon Speaker was Dan McGovern

Dan McGovern

President, Eugene O'Neill Foundation

 

In retirement, Dan McGovern’s avocation is theater. He is the president of the board of the Eugene O’Neill Foundation, Tao House, in Danville and co-chair of the Eugene O’Neill International Festival of Theatre in New Ross, Ireland. Dan is also a Visiting Research Scholar in the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

Dan regaled our group with his career in government, federal and state. During President Reagan’s first term Dan was the second-ranking attorney in the U.S. State Department. While at the State Department Dan testified before Congress 13 times and headed U.S. delegations for bilateral treaty negotiations with a dozen countries. He also defended the United States before the World Court in The Hague.

In the second Reagan administration Dan was the general counsel of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an agency of 10,000 employees.

Dan served in the administration of President George H.W. Bush as the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the western United States. There he managed a staff of 800, ranging from lawyers to toxicologists.

Dan was also the general counsel of the California Department of Transportation. At CalTrans Dan managed a staff of 125 attorneys.

Dan began his career as a Deputy Attorney General in the Criminal Division of the California Department Justice. He also served on the staff of the California Supreme Court for 20 years.

 
 

 

Our July 2018 Luncheon Speaker was Steven Burchik

Steven Burchik

Author, Photographer

 

Steven Burchik grew up in New York City and earned his bachelor’s degree from Manhattan College during the turbulent 1960s. He worked his way through school, including a stint at the New York Daily News, and remained active on campus—even starting a second student newspaper to provide an outlet for students to voice different views.

After graduating, he entered the US Army at the peak of the Vietnam War. He trained at various bases in the U.S. then spent a year in the rice paddies northeast of Saigon in the role of a forward observer as a sergeant with the First Infantry Division. He later earned his MBA from Michigan State University and had a successful career as a marketing executive and entrepreneur in the food industry.

Married with grown children, Burchik enjoys pursuing photography and sailing on San Francisco Bay. Compass and a Camera, his memoir of his Vietnam War experience, was his first book.

 

Compass and a Camera, A Year in Vietnam

ABSTRACT: With a compass to direct him in his job as a forward observer and a personal camera to document his experiences—and keep him connected to his creative side—Vietnam veteran Steven Burchik was lucky enough to make it home and years later decided to write about the most challenging year of his life.

Like any experience, his year spent with the First Infantry Division stationed in the rice paddies near Saigon included good times as well as bad. He candidly recalls how, although he believed communism to be a serious threat in the world, he soon learned that a guerilla war is a difficult one to fight, and survival rather than victory quickly became his focus. But he also remembers the exhilaration of helicopter rides over serpentine rivers and the time he introduced village kids to a gumball machine.

A unique memoir of the war, this presentation pulls not only from Burchik’s memories, but also from the daily letters he wrote to his fiancée (she kept every single one) and includes numerous photographs from his collection of over four thousand. The images alone make this lecture a must-see for any history buff or fellow veteran.

KIRKUS REVIEW:  (Feb 18, 2015)  “An evenhanded, tasteful, just-the-facts time capsule of one American soldier’s Vietnam experience.”

BOOK AWARD:  Compass and a Camera won a Silver Medal at the 2015 Independent Publisher Book Awards ceremony in New York on May 27 in the category Autobiography/Memoir III.

His latest book, Focus on Vietnam, was released on Veterans Day in November 2016 and features more than 250 photographs

For more information, Contact Steven Burchik

                                                Email:              info@stevenburchik.com

                                                Phone:             925-998-9433

                                            Address:          3204 Vallejo Place, San Ramon CA 94583

You can also visit the author’s website at      www.stevenburchik.com
 
 
Our June 2018 Luncheon Speakers were Cliff Buxton and Debbie Vanek
 

Cliff Buxton

Cliff is a Bay Area native and has lived in Danville for the past 20 years with wife and two children.

Cliff began working with the San Ramon Valley HeartSafe Committee in 2010 helping to provide free education to the community about Compressions Only CPR & AED use.  Cliff is a Basic Life Support Instructor for the American Heart Association.

He’s also an active member of the San Ramon Valley Fire District Communications Reserves and he enjoys spending time assisting with the San Ramon Valley Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) serving as a Train The Trainer (T3) Instructor and Division Leader.

He also serves on the San Ramon Valley Residential Care Facility Working Group, helping to improve overall safety and preparedness in local Residential Care Facilities.

In his spare time Cliff volunteers for the American Red Cross as a Government Liaison and Disaster Response representative

 

 

Debbie Vanek, Fire Inspector

Debbie is a native of Contra Costa County and lives with her husband of 20 years in Pleasant Hill. Together they enjoy all outdoor activities and spend much of their time shooting archery for fun and competition.

Debbie Vanek has been employed as a Fire Inspector for the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District for 13 years. She performs fire code compliance inspections at commercial and residential properties. Debbie also coordinates numerous community projects to include being the Program Manager for The San Ramon Valley HeartSafe Committee and the San Ramon Valley RCFE Working Group, Mauzy School Emergency Preparedness Project and supports the San Ramon Valley Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and is requested nationally to speak and train groups regarding Residential Care Facility evacuation. 

Formerly, Debbie worked for the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff as a Senior Emergency Planning Coordinator, Community Warning System Assistant Project Manager and Regional Disaster Medical Health Coordinator for the State Office of Emergency Services, Region II.

Debbie has over 31 years of emergency and disaster related experience ranging from Emergency Medical First Response, Emergency and Disaster Public Education and Planning, Public Alert and Warning Systems Planning and Implementation, Fire and Life Safety Compliance and American Red Cross Disaster Response Mass Care and Sheltering.

Notable Accomplishments:

2012 International Code Council Community Service Award recipient.

This award was given based on Debbie’s formation of the San Ramon Valley Residential Care Facility Working Group.  The group’s objective is facilitate Licensees and Enforcement agencies working together to provide an avenue for open communication to solve issues, identify opportunities and discuss ideas related to safety within the RCFE environment in the San Ramon Valley.

“Residential Care Facility (RCF) Evacuation Training (Six Residents or Less)” DVD Development and Production team member: 

The team (San Ramon Valley Citizen Corps Council) wrote, developed and produced a DVD to teach caregivers and administrators of RCF’s to prepare and train for emergency evacuation of 6 bed care facilities.  The project received the “Gold Award” from the California Emergency Services Association for exceptional efforts in support of Emergency Management.

 
 
Our May 2018 Luncheon Speaker was Dan Ashley
 
Dan Ashley is anchor of ABC7 News at 6 & 11 p.m.
and ABC7 News at 9 p.m. on Your TV20, weekdays.
 
Dan Ashley came to ABC7 in 1995 as the weekday 5:00 p.m. news anchor and investigative reporter. He has received a number of awards, including two awards from the Radio Television News Directors Association of Northern California (RTNDA) for Best Newscast, 60 Minutes and Best Newscast, 30 Minutes. In 1996, ABC7 News at 6:00 p.m. won an Emmy for the most outstanding single news broadcast in a large market.    Most recently, Ashley reported from Poland on the "March of the Living" with Bay Area holocaust survivors, and before that, reported from Marine Corp basic training at Camp Pendleton in San Diego.  Other notable assignments include reporting live from New Hampshire and South Carolina for the state primaries and from Iowa for the state's caucus. Ashley is a graduate of the University of North Carolina with degrees in English and Speech Communication.
 
Ashley began his television career at WTVD, the ABC owned television station in Durham, North Carolina. He then worked for WCBD-TV, the ABC affiliate in Charleston, where he was weekend anchor and later the 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. anchor.  During his news tenure in Charleston, Ashley also won the prestigious DuPont Columbia Award and the Edward R. Murrow Award. Ashley's distinguished work is recognized by many industry organizations, including Associated Press, United Press International, and the Press Club of Atlantic City. He has also received awards from the New Jersey and Atlanta chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
 
Dan shared a number of interesting stories with our group. He also provided a comparison of the news industry as it was in the Walter Cronkite era to present day with the complications now provided by social media. 
 
 
 

Our March 2018 Luncheon Speakers
 
 
            
Marvin Remmich    Dominique Yancy
 
Marvin and Dominique provided an overview of the organization while, survivor Jessica Lucia, shared her poignant story of the murder of her father, Pittsburg homicide inspector Ray Giacomelli, in 2003 and how the One Hundred Club of Contra Costa County helped her and her family over the years. One Hundred Club profile
 
 
The One Hundred Club of Contra Costa County was formed in 1984 by a group of concerned citizens who care about the welfare of families of peace officers and firefighters who lost their lives as a result of and while in the line of duty in Contra Costa County. They followed the example of the original One Hundred Club which was started in Detroit, Michigan in the early 50's. Since then, many other communities across the country have formed their own One Hundred Clubs. They are a 501 (C) (3) Exempt Organization and since formation, the Contra Costa County group has helped 11 families of fallen officers and firefighters.
 
$20,000 will be presented to the surviving spouse of a peace officer or fire fighter working in Contra Costa County within forty-eight hours after his/her death. It is the policy of the Club to assist the surviving children with college until they attain the age of 18. Scholarships will be offered when appropriate. 
 
The group raises money by organizing special events and dinners. Membership is open to anyone who wants to join.

Our February 2018 Luncheon Speaker was Daniel Dunn
 
 

Director, The Museum of the San Ramon Valley

 Museum consultant to museums nationally

Former director of the Blackhawk Museum

 

Over twenty five years of museum experience at both the staff and director levels. Broad experience developing staff, supervising university interns and volunteer support groups. Developed, designed and presented over 100 exhibitions on diverse subjects in art, science, culture and history. Developed and managed collections in art, technology, natural science and history. Developed and presented educational programs including a summer program at the Blackhawk Ranch Fossil Quarry which was recognized nationally. Created community partnerships with educational institutions, community organizations, other not for profit institutions and the for profit community. Has supervised affiliations with The University of California and the Smithsonian Institution.

Diverse teaching experience, both in and out of the classroom. Taught adults and young people at the elementary, high school and community college levels also serve as a private tutor. Served on several not for profit boards both locally and nationally. Served as judge for the National History Day program at the local level, for the State of California and at the National Finals in Washington.

Trained oral historian.

Graduate of Leadership San Ramon Valley.


Our January 2018 Luncheon Speaker was Rob Silverman
Robert J. Silverman
Attorney at Law
 
R. Silverman Law Group
Walnut Creek, CA
 
In his 25th year of law practice, Rob Silverman focuses primarily on trusts and estates, including probate and trust administration. His emphasis is on estate planning directed toward wealth preservation and enhancement. He has helped more than a thousand individuals and families establish meaningful estate plans for the benefit of their families, loved ones, and charities. He presented an insightful summary of matters to consider when establishing a trust and how the tax reforms passed in congress recently impact this specific area.  His SLIDES are available by clicking HERE
 
Mr. Silverman also represents clients in connection with real estate matters, including residential and commercial purchase/sale transactions, commercial leasing, real estate entity formations (e.g. Limited Liability Companies), and joint ownership (aka T.I.C.) agreements. In addition, he serves his clients’ business needs, handling transactions involving the purchase, sale, formation, operation, and management of their business ventures.
 
Mr. Silverman brings to his practice invaluable practical experience in the fields of real estate and business. He was President and Chief Operating Officer for a franchisor; directed a computerized loan origination operation for a mortgage banking/brokerage company; and conducted real estate brokerage and property management for various companies, including his own.
 
Mr. Silverman originally practiced in partnership with his father, Donald Silverman, with the law firm “Silverman & Silverman” in Alameda, California. He then served as “Of Counsel” to several local firms, Buchman Provine Brothers Smith LLP and Berding & Weil LLP. Mr. Silverman has been a licensed California real estate broker for nearly 35 years and has also served on the professional advisory board of several non-profit organizations.
 
Both in and out of the office, Mr. Silverman prioritizes family, health, and happiness. He has been happily married to his wife, Karen, for 28 years with whom he shares three children, each thriving in their own, unique way. Rob is also a regular practitioner of pilates and other sporting endeavors, and he supports his family in their frequent long distance running and martial arts hobbies. He also has a passion for travel, enjoying seeing and learning about the world’s varying cultures and countries. Having worked for a major luxury cruise line in his twenties, he has been fortunate to be able to visit more than 50 countries around the globe. He is also a life-long supporter of the Bay Area sports franchises, from local high school sports to the California Golden Bears and World Champion Golden State Warriors, Giants, and even the A’s – albeit champions from many years ago (there’s that Oakland optimism).
 
Mr. Silverman’s expertise in estate planning and related fields enable him to help clients optimally protect, manage and transfer their estates to their loved ones. He understands the importance of family and is skilled in using law as a tool to help clients avoid unnecessary costs and prevent potentially lengthy and emotionally damaging disputes among family and/or trust/estate beneficiaries. Starting with careful and compassionate discussions with his clients about their objectives and desires, Mr. Silverman takes seriously his role in facilitating the design of a plan that will meaningfully and efficiently achieve those objectives and desires. Mr. Silverman takes pride in his work, enjoying the great satisfaction that comes from building a personalized, customized plan for his clients.
 
Education
University of California, Davis (B.A. 1978)
Golden Gate University (J.D. 1992)
 
Professional Membership
State Bar of California
Contra Costa County Bar Association
Alameda County Bar Association
Estate Planning Council of Diablo Valley (Past President)
 

Our November 2017 Luncheon Speaker was Bill Yenne
 
Bill Yenne
Author, Historian, Book Producer
 
 
Bill Yenne is the author of more than three dozen non-fiction books, as well as ten novels. His work has been selected for Chief of Staff of the Air Force Reading List. He is the recipient of the Air Force Association’s Gill Robb Wilson Award for the “most outstanding contribution in the field of arts and letters [as an] author whose works have shaped how thousands of Americans understand and appreciate airpower.”
 
Mr. Yenne has contributed to encyclopedias of both world wars, and has appeared in documentaries airing on the History Channel, the National Geographic Channel,  C-SPAN and ARD German Television. His on-air credits also include his appearance on Mystery Files: Sitting Bull on the Smithsonian Channel. Among his memorable appearances on C-SPAN was a recent discussion of his book Operation Long Jump: Stalin, Roosevelt, Churchill and the Greatest Assassination Plot in History.  You can see more information about Mr. Yenne by going to his web site.  
 
Bill will be presented the fascinating story of the Flying Tigers, a group of American pilot volunteers flying for the Chinese against the Japanese in the early days of World War II. Many members commented how they enjoyed his talk.  
 
ABOUT WHEN TIGERS RULED THE SKY
From the acclaimed author of Hit the Target and Big Week, an in-depth account of the legendary World War II combat group, the Flying Tigers.

In 1940, Pearl Harbor had not yet happened, and America was not yet at war with Japan. But China had been trying to stave off Japanese aggression for three years—and was desperate for aircraft and trained combat pilots.

General Chiang Kai-shek sent military aviation advisor Claire Chennault to Washington, where President Roosevelt was sympathetic, but knew he could not intervene overtly. Instead, he quietly helped Chennault put together a group of American volunteer pilots.

This was how the 1st American Volunteer Group—more commonly known as the Flying Tigers—was born.
 

 
 
Our October 2017 Luncheon Speaker was Mike Stapleton
 
Michael Stapleton
Special Agent
Federal Bureau of Investigation
 
FBI Special Agent Mike Stapleton, M.A., retired from the Federal Bureau of Investigation during 2004 after a career spanning 34 years.  He walked us through many of the FBI’s highest profile cases he was involved with including the “D.B. Cooper” skyjacking case, the Polly Klaas kidnapping & murder investigation, the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, and the UNABOMBER – Ted Kaczynski investigation.  Mike also provided an overview of his work with the FBI’s Disaster Squad of forensic identification specialists who assisted state and local authorities in the identification of the remains of individuals killed during the volcanic eruption of Mt. St. Helens, Skamania County, State of Washington, on May 18, 1980.  The presentation will provide an overview the FBI Disaster Squad, before and after eruption photographs, eye witness accounts, procedures that were used to identify the victims, and interesting facts about the eruption and its aftermath.
 
During his career with the FBI he lectured and taught at the FBI Academy and law enforcement departments and academies throughout the U.S. and abroad. 

 
 
Our September 2017 Luncheon Speaker was Gene Metz from the John Marsh Historic Trust
 
Gene Metz
Architect
 
President,
John Marsh Historic Trust
 
Gene Metz received a BS, Architectural Engineering from Clemson University in 1956 and Masters, Architecture, from Cal, Berkeley in 1968. Gene has held positions as an Instructor, Professor, and Associate Dean at LA State University (1961-1975), a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Standards (Housing Standards & Solar Energy) from 1975 to 1981, as Director, Design and Construction Services for Cal, Berkeley from 1981 to 1990, and, since 1991, as Principal/Owner of F. Eugene Metz AIA Architect based in Alameda, CA.
 
Mr. Metz has been a member and/or officer in a number of planning, advisory and professional organizations since the late 70’s. Since 1994, he has been a board member of JOHN MARSH HISTORIC TRUST, serving as its president since 2000.
 
Gene told the story of John Marsh, the first American settler in Contra Costa County, and his extraordinary life prior to, and after, his,arrival. Gene also provided an update on the Trust's latest successes on behalf of the Stone House and Marsh Creek State Park. Retired architect Gene Metz has worked to save the Marsh house since prior to becoming a founding member of the Trust in 1994.
 

 
 
Our August 2017 Luncheon Speaker was Bill Farber
 
Bill Farber
Financial Advisor
Ameriprise Financial Services
 
BILL FARBER is a Financial Advisor at Ameriprise Financial Services. For the past nine years he has conducted regular (9-12 a year) seminars for a major outplacement firm, Lee Hecht Harrison including advice on: financial planning; retirement planning; investing rollovers and 401k rollovers. He has also spoken at the University of California at Santa Clara at the request of one of their professors who teaches business classes. He is an excellent speaker on a topic he loves. He covered some key financial areas for our group and answered a lot of questions.  
 
 

Our July 2017 Luncheon Speaker was Mark Roseman
Mark E. Roseman, JD
Executive Director
Steve Frankel Group, LLC
and
Practice-Legacy Programs
 
Born in Brooklyn, NY, Mark graduated from the Ohio State University with a B.S. degree in agriculture. After completing his undergraduate and postgraduate studies at Ohio State, he graduated from the Western State University College of Law in Fullerton, California. He was admitted to the California bar in 1978.
 
Mark became a tenacious advocate for survivors of childhood sexual abuse in 1990—a time when the national conversation on the topic was hushed and subdued. Mark was a member of the task force that drafted the first delayed-discovery statute in California to extend the statute of limitations for survivors of childhood sexual abuse to sue for damages in civil court. He lobbied in Sacramento for the passage of the law he helped draft, Code of Civil Procedure Section 340.1, extending the statute of limitations for locating childhood predators and enabling survivors access to the courts from age nineteen until age twenty-six.
 
Mark is also the coauthor of You the Jury: Allegations of Sexual Abuse, which followed a fictionalized case of childhood sexual abuse and asked readers to decide the guilt or innocence of the defendant.  Mark’s most recent book: Derailed, is a memoir about how being trained as an attorney taught him to survive in prison.
 
His talk covered some of the conditions encountered in the California corrections system which he personally experienced for 2 years. Learning how to cope with the extreme overcrowding and competition for prison resourses - 280  men in a facility designed to hold 150!  He enlightened us on how separated service members (of which he is not one) have special status on a prison yard and why.  He also answered questions regarding how the recidivism rate could be improved. 
 
Mark can be contacted at www.markeroseman.com.

 
Our June 2017 Luncheon Speaker was Malcolm Sher
 
Malcolm Sher
Board Member
CASA of Contra Costa County

Malcolm Sher has served on the Board of Directors of CASA for approximately fifteen years and was its president for four years. He is passionate about the need for competent representation of foster children and youth in the juvenile justice system, and particularly those who have become “dependents” of the court because they have been abused, neglected and abandoned by their families. Before joining the Board of Directors, Malcolm completed the entire CASA Volunteer training program so he could fully appreciate the wonderful fork done by the CASA Volunteers extent to which the CASA Volunteer, “independent” and separate from the lawyers and social workers, advocates only for that child or youth and is their “Voice in Court.”
 
Mr. Sher, a board member for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) will explain how CASA of Contra Costa County provides volunteer advocacy services to children who are dependents of the Juvenile Court as foster children. CASA volunteers are appointed by the Juvenile Court and work one-on-one with these children, fostering a unique atmosphere of trust and mutual respect leading to a meaningful relationship. The CASA volunteer is often the only adult in the child's life who is not paid to care for them, and for many children this is the most valuable part of having a CASA volunteer working on their behalf.
 
Research shows that if a child has even one consistent, caring adult in their lives it can provide the support they need to complete their education and learn to trust and build healthy adult relationships. A CASA volunteer provides this stability and also has the trust of the court so that they can provide meaningful input about appropriate educational, mental health and housing for the child or youth. Each CASA volunteer must complete 45 hours of initial training. In addition, they are required to obtain 12 hours of continuing education each year. CASA volunteers spend an average of 15 hours a month working with their foster child. Last year our volunteers donated over 23,000 hours in advocacy services valued at more than $530,000.

In 1998, the Contra Costa County Juvenile Justice-Delinquency Prevention Commission honored Malcolm with its Annual Juvenile Justice Award as “Outstanding Community Volunteer.”

Born in Zimbabwe, (formerly Rhodesia) Malcolm obtained his law degree from London University in 1969 and practiced law in the U.K. before immigrating to California in 1975, where he litigated for thirty five years before becoming a full-time mediator. He has been married to his wife, Kathy for forty years, has two adult children and a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

 
Our May 2017 Luncheon Speaker was Bryan Walley
 
Bryan Walley
Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Dept. Search & Rescue Team
 
Bryan Walley is the Executive Officer – Administration and Board of Directors member for the all-volunteer Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Dept. Search & Rescue Team (CoCoSAR).  He has been a team member for over 11 years and typically serves in the Command Post during missing person searches, or as a search team member. His specialties include being a member of the Mountain Rescue Group, a man tracker, an Urban Search & Rescue resource member (disaster response), and the Sergeant of the Metal Detector resource.
 
In addition to his work on the Search & Rescue team he is a sworn County Reserve Deputy and a sworn City of Orinda Reserve Police Officer.
 
Prior to becoming a volunteer with the Sheriff’s Department, Bryan retired from Chevron Corporation where he worked 33 years in finance, planning and logistics. Prior to that he worked as an engineer in the auto industry and spent 4 years in the Army as a paratrooper and Ranger.  He is a Viet Nam veteran.  Bryan has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University and a MBA from the University of Chicago. 
 


Our March Speaker was Ronald Wetter, MPA
 

Ron is the Community & Government Relations Manager for Kaiser Permanente’s Diablo Area.  He joined the Kaiser Permanente team in 2004.  Ron oversees all community and government relations activities for Central and East Contra Costa County and the Tri-Valley Area of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. His overall areas of focus encompass health care policy, reform and industry trends, economic and workforce development, and day-to-day relationship management with the district offices of the region’s Congressional, State Senate, State Assembly, Contra Costa and Alameda County Boards of Supervisors and various city councils. He is an adjunct member of California State University East Bay’s graduate program faculty, teaching courses in health care policy and U.S. health care systems in the University’s Masters of Science in Health Care Administration program.
 
Prior to joining Kaiser Permanente, Ron served as the Executive Director of the Workforce Development Board of Contra Costa County, a 37-member public board that develops and coordinates workforce and economic development activities on behalf of Contra Costa County.  He also worked for PG&E for 21 years as a regulatory policy analyst in its Regulatory Relations Department, legislative and policy analyst in the company’s Government Relations Department, and as the company’s Government Relations Director for Contra Costa County.
 
He currently services on the Boards of the East Bay Leadership Council (formally the Contra Costa Council), Livermore Valley and San Ramon Chambers of Commerce, and Innovation Tri-Valley.
 
Ron earned a B.A. in Political Science from San Jose State University and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from California State University, Hayward.  He lives in Walnut Creek with his wife, Terri, and 21-year old son, Alex.

 
 
Our February 2017 Luncheon Speaker was Eric Fraisher Hayes
 
 
Eric Fraisher Hayes is in his seventh season as the Artistic Director for Role Players Ensemble. He also serves as the Artistic Director for the Eugene O’Neill Foundation, Tao House. He recently directed The Emperor Jones for the Eugene O’Neill Festival.  Other O’Neill Festival credits include: Desire under the Elms, The Iceman Cometh, The Hairy Ape and Mourning Becomes Electra. Other directing credits include the Livermore Shakespeare Festival, California Conservatory Theatre, ArcLight Rep, New Conservatory Theatre and PlayGround. As an actor, Eric has worked at the Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf, the Magic as well as the Colorado and Wisconsin Shakespeare Festivals. He is a leading scholar/practitioner of the plays of Eugene O’Neill and is often invited to give presentations. Last season he was invited to talk about O’Neill’s plays at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and this upcoming summer he has been invited to present at the 2017 International Eugene O'Neill Conference in Galway, Ireland.
 
 


Our January 2017 Luncheon Speaker was Alexander R. Coate
 

GENERAL MANAGER

EAST BAY MUNICIPAL UTILITY DISTRICT
 
Alexander R. Coate has 30 years of experience with public agencies, engineering consulting firms, research and law. Mr. Coate has worked for more than 23 years with the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) and currently serves as EBMUD’s General Manager. Previously he was Director of Water and Natural Resources with responsibility for water supply planning, water rights, and watershed management including recreation and fisheries. Mr. Coate also managed the District’s implementation of the $900M Freeport Regional Water Project in partnership with the Sacramento County Water Agency. The Freeport Project is the recipient of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Sacramento Section’s 2009 Water Project of The Year Award and the American Council of Engineering Companies’ 2012 Merit Award. Mr. Coate’s education includes a B.A. in Neurobiology and a Masters in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. Mr. Coate also holds a Professional Engineer’s license with the State of California.
 
Mr. Coate is a member of the American Water Works Association and the Association of California Water Agencies. He currently serves on the boards of the California Urban Water Agencies, the California WateReuse Association and the Water Research Foundation.

 
 Our November 2016 Luncheon Speaker was Mr. Nan Su
 
 
Grew up in China, and came to the US in 1989, Mr. Su has been serving as a news commentator for SOH international Chinese Radio network, and NTD international TV network since 2003, commenting on a wide range of national and international news events. In the past decade, Mr. Su has made many speeches to the public events on the topics related to China.
 
Also a writer, Mr. Su has been publishing poems, short stories, and prose in Chinese ever since 2000.
 
Mr. Su is an activist for China’s human rights. He was one of the main coordinators of Human Rights Torch Relay in 2008 prior to Beijing Olympic. Human Rights Torch Relay, starting from Athens in July 2007, and made stops at more than 140 cities around the world, was a global relay trying to raise international awareness of China’s human rights conditions. Mr. Su was instrumental in making San Jose as the 1st stop of the relay in the North America.
 
Besides his involvement in the public, Mr. Su has a master degree in Engineering, and has been a professional engineer for over 26 years. Mr. Su has been married for 27 years, and currently lives with his wife and two daughters in San Jose, California.
 
About the Presentation
 
With the strong bi-partisan support, US Congress unanimously passed resolution H.R. 343 in June, 2016: expressing serious concerns about the on-going large scale forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience in China. European Congress passed a resolution in Dec. 2013, urged Chinese government stop this brutal practice. The governments of Israel, Span, Taiwan, and Australia already made policies to prevent and discourage their citizens from going to China to receive organ transplant.
 
This presentation reveals the current international focus on: China’s large scale forced organ harvesting, for huge profits, from prisoners of conscience. The investigation, to be covered by this presentation, has been undergoing since late 2003, and its results have shocked the whole world.
 

 
Our October 2016 Luncheon Speaker was Gail Murray, Bart Director
 
 
Gail Murray represents District 1, which includes Clayton, Concord (partial), Danville, Lafayette (partial), Martinez, Pleasant Hill, San Ramon, Walnut Creek and Unincorporated Contra Costa County (partial). Voters first elected her to the BART Board in 2004 and re-elected her in 2008 and 2012. She made a detailed presentation on the challenges that the BART system is currently facing.
 
Murray brings to the BART Board a wealth of transportation experience.  She is the President of Gail Murray Consulting, specializing in public transit policy and planning.  She is also a Research Associate with the Mineta Transportation Institute at San Jose State University. For 10 years, Murray worked at the University of California at Berkeley, where she created the Berkeley TRiP Commute Store, which promoted alternatives to the single-occupant automobile.  She also held the position of Acting Director of Transportation for the campus.  Other executive positions she has held include Acting Assistant General Manager of AC Transit District in Oakland; and General Manager of a paratransit company in Hayward, serving older adults, persons with disabilities, and Head Start preschoolers.
 
Murray has been Mayor, Council Member, Planning Commissioner, and Transportation Commissioner for the City of Walnut Creek, and Chair of County Connection (the Central Contra Costa Transit Authority bus operator).
 
Murray is a member of WTS (Women’s Transportation Seminar), AAUW (American Association of University Women) and the League of Women Voters of Diablo Valley.  She is a founding member of the Diablo Regional Arts Association and currently serves as a Trustee.  She is also a past member of the Harvard Alumni Association Board of Directors and past Chair of the California Departmental Transportation Advisory Committee.
 
Murray has a BA from San Jose State and a MPA from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
 


 
Our September Speaker was Martin Silverman, a Constitution Expert!
 
Martin J Silverman is an attorney, actor, writer and presentations coach.  He attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City, acted in several plays, and wrote TV scripts.  He then became an attorney and practiced antitrust and communications law in a 30 year career.  Now retired, Martin chairs the Marketing Committee for The Role Players Ensemble Theater in Danville.  He directs the Member Speaker Series at Crow Canyon Country Club.  He coaches local business people to improve their speaking presentation skills.  He is a frequent contributor to an online public policy issues forum.  Since 2010, Martin and his wife Ellie, a watercolor artist and Ikebana Japanese floral designer, have been living happily ever after in Danville.
 


Our August 2016 Luncheon Speaker was Dr. Michael Barrington
 
Dr. Michael Barrington shared some of his experiences as a missionary in Africa during the Nigerian civil war taken from his book, "The Bishop Wears No Drawers", a memoir of his life in Nigeria where he lived for 10 years, both during and after the civil war.  Dr. Barrignton was born in Manchester, UK but has lived in the Bay Area for 30 years.  As the president of MJB Consulting, he travels all over the world providing Monitoring and Evaluation Services to major humanitarian organizations such as USAID, UNICEF, Oxfam, Save the Children etc. and has worked in more than forty countries.  He is a former Catholic missionary priest and ministered in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Mexico and Brazil.  He speaks six languages and academically considers himself to be "over engineered" having three Masters Degrees and a PH.D.  He spent a year living as a hermit.  He now lives in Concord with his French wife and crazy American Eskimo dog and spends his free time in playing golf and writing.  he is also a brother SIR with Branch 116. 
 

Our June 2016 Luncheon Speaker was Bill Hodges
from the USS Potomac Association
 
 
Bill Hodges has been involved with the Potomac Association for eighteen years, as docent, narrator, speaker and crewman.  He also has cleaned the heads. In his talk, he provided the history on how F.D.R. ended up using this vessel as his floating white house while in office, as well as, the roundabout way the association actually acquired the ship. It was an interesting presentation in advance of our August 25, 2016 private charter of the ship.  
 
Bill and his wife Sue live in Oakland, and between them have had four children and more grandchildren than they care to count. He served as Chairman for the Alameda County Veterans Affairs Commission, and is past president of  Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 400 (East Bay). He also served as president of the Alameda County NRA Members Council, and is a California Department of Justice Certified Firearms Safety Instructor. While not engaged in these activities, Bill is an independent manufacturer’s representative in the photographic industry.
 
 

Our May 2016 Luncheon Speakers were San Ramon Police Officers, Darlene Kittredge & Becky Chestnut
 
Officers Becky Chestnut & Darlene Kittredge
SRPD Crime Prevention Specialist
 
Officers Kittredge and Chestnut provided a fairly complete overview of popular scams of the day that target all of us on a daily basis.  Their presentation was very well received and appreciated by our membership.  Here is a PDF document of the slides presented by them.  
 
Darlene Kittredge has been in law enforcement for 25 years.  She began her career in San Leandro at the San Leandro Police Department, where she worked for 15 years.  Starting in the Records Division, she was responsible for the entry of all missing persons, vehicles, property, warrants and rap sheets all while dealing with the public and taking cold police reports.  After 7 years in records, she transferred to Code Enforcement where her position took her to the streets. Vehicle abatement, dilapidated homes, weeds, citations and depositions encompassed this position.  She worked closely with the San Leandro Fire Department and the City Attorney’s office during her tenure in Code Enforcement. 
 
In 2006 she started a new career path with the San Ramon Police Department in Crime Prevention. San Ramon is where she got certified in Crime Prevention, Crime Free Multi Housing, Crime Free Business and CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design).  She coordinates all of these programs in addition to Neighborhood Watch, Coffee with the Cops, National Night Out, and social media. She is the editor of a Crime Prevention Newsletter that is published periodically ( Click HERE to see her latest Newsletter). She is one of the many presenters for the department and the go to person for many of the public events throughout the city.
 
 

Our March 2016 Luncheon Speaker was San Ramon Mayor Bill Clarkson
 
Bill Clarkson was raised in Oakland CA and received a Masters in Business administration at San Jose State University.  He served in the US Air Force and was honorably discharged in 1976.  He is married to Nancy and has a married daughter.

Bill is a small business owner, and began his business in San Ramon 37 years ago. His real estate company, Golden Hills Brokers, is the longest continuous owned brokerage firm in the San Ramon. He was awarded the “Business Person of the Year” by the San Ramon Chamber of Commerce in 1997 and by the Contra Costa Business Council in 2002.

Bill also has a long history of serve with the San Ramon Chamber of Commerce, serving on its board of Directors for 11 years, including one as its Chairman of the Board in 2008.

Bill is also a long-term San Ramon Rotarian. In 2010 he helped to found the Dougherty Valley/San Ramon Rotary Club, and served as their Charter President.

Bill has served in a number of positions with the City of San Ramon. He was a member of the Housing Advisory Committee, serving as its Chair in 1994. In 1998 he was a member of the City Charter Commission, and was a Parks and Community Services Commissioner from 2009 to 2011.

Bill was elected to the San Ramon Valley Unified School District Board in 1998 and served for three terms, including three times as the Board President.

In 2011 Bill was elected as the Mayor of San Ramon and is serving his second term.
 

 
 
Our February speakers were Randy Frederick and David Ninekirk from Charles Schwab
Randy Frederick is Managing Director of Trading and Derivatives with the Schwab Center for Financial Research. He is one of the early architects of Schwab’s option trading platforms and analytics tools. While he focuses primarily on public relations, client education and market analysis, he is frequently involved on matters of business development, product development and risk management. He has served on various corporate and industry committees including the FISD Executive Committee, the ISE Allocation Committee and the ISE Board of Directors.
                                                    
Frederick, a respected industry veteran with more than 25 years experience, writes blogs and educational articles for Schwab’s website and client newsletters. He was the host of the weekly radio show “The OPTIONal Hour” on TFNN from 2005 – 2007 and he has been published in trade magazines such as Active Trader, Futures & Options Trader, SFO and Futures. He is a frequent guest on CNBC, Fox Business and Bloomberg TV, and his comments often appear in the financial news media including The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, the Financial Times, Bloomberg, Dow Jones, Reuters, USA Today, Forbes.com and TheStreet.com.
As a Financial Consultant, David Ninekirk is an investment professional helping clients achieve their financial goals. He works with clients to understand their needs, map out cohesive strategies, and provide guidance and advice to help them succeed as investors.
 
Financial Credentials
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER tm Certificant
Series 7, 9, 10, 63, 65, 66 Securities Licenses

 
Professional Experience
  • V.P., Financial Consultant, Charles Schwab, 2000-present
  • Vice President, Wholesaler, MFS, 1999-2000
  • Financial Consultant, WM Financial, 1993-1999
  • Registered Representative, Transamerica Financial, 1992-1993
​
Education
  • BA, Business Economics, University of California at Santa Barbara
​

 
Our November 2015 Luncheon Speaker was Frank Somerville
 
 
Frank Somerville co-anchors the weekday editions of "KTVU Channel 2 News at 5," "KTVU Channel 2 News at 6" and "The Ten O'Clock News on KTVU Channel 2." Somerville joined San Francisco's KTVU Channel 2's Mornings on 2 and The Noon News in January 1992. The Berkeley native had been an intern at KTVU many years before.
 
Previously, he'd worked as an anchor-reporter at WJAR in Providence, R.I and at KFTY in Santa Rosa. While in Rhode Island, WJAR sent him to San Francisco to cover the Loma Prieta earthquake. That was in 1989. Somerville reported live for several days, and later said it was the hardest work he'd ever done in his life. His half-hour special on the quake was nominated for an Emmy Award. He also won an Associated Press Award for Best Spot News for his coverage of a fire in downtown Providence, and an award for a Best Feature story about an 87-year-old hockey player. (Somerville is a devoted hockey player himself.)
 
Somerville earned his B.A. in Broadcast Communications Arts at San Francisco State. While there, he was named "Outstanding Broadcast Student." Despite that, Somerville has admitted "I never really distinguished myself at school." He proposed to his wife on the Phil Donahue show live, while he was anchoring Mornings on 2 in San Francisco. She was a producer there, and the results of this proposal--where Somerville got down on knee on air--were seen across the country. "Thank God she said yes!" he quipped later. The Somerville home is filled with his abstract bright colored paintings and other artwork. Somerville has several hobbies. He trains twice a week in Gracie Jujitsu, a Brazilian martial art. He also plays ice hockey in an adult league. In addition, he works out at a gym at least three or four times a week.
 
Frank's presentation to our group focused on several of his most memorable life experiences: witness to a death row execution and a ride in a Blue Angels jet.  Both anecdotes kept the members full attention.  He was one of our best speakers in 2015.
 

 
Our October 2015 Luncheon Speaker was Bill Richardson
 
Born in San Francisco July 9, 1941, Bill went all through school in The City getting his BA from San Francisco State University, and Masters Degree from University of San Francisco. He taught school for two years in SF, then entered the San Francisco Fire Department and had over 30 years rising to the rank of Division Commander in charge of half the City’s firefighters. Bill was
elected president of the San Francisco Fire Chiefs Association from 1988 until he retired in ’96.
 
 
Bill began officiating football and basketball in San Francisco in 1966. He was selected to officiate PAC-8/PAC10 basketball in 1976, and football in 1977. He worked 10 seasons of PAC-10 basketball before deciding to concentrate on just football. At one time, Bill was the only official working both sports. He was also elected to the National Association of Sports Officials (NASO) board of directors for 4 years serving as board Chair in 1988. He was also elected PAC-10 Football Officials Assoc. president, was the representative for the instant replay staff, served on the PAC-10 compensation/benefits committee, and is a member of the Field of Honor selection committee, and was a T/A for 6 seasons evaluating officials for the PAC-10, and served the same position for the Mountain West from ’99-’01.
 
The NFL had Bill work as observer for West Coast NFL games, and as an officiating scout where at least two of his candidates are now working on Sundays. Bill worked PAC-8/10 football on the field from 1977 thru 1999 and was appointed referee in 1986. He was selected to referee the first BCS National Championship game Jan. 4, 1999. He worked Instant Replay the second time the PAC-10 had the BCS National Championship game Jan. 8, 2007, and was selected for the first PAC-12 Championship game as the replay official. He was asked to join the NFL in 1999 when they started Instant Replay and has been a replay official since. He worked in the USFL, World League (NFL Europe), and Arena League. He worked many major bowl games: Fiesta, Cotton, Sugar, Capital One, Gator, Mirage (Tokyo) are at the top of the list. Bill enjoyed sharing his football adventures with the family as they journeyed to many of the games, clinics, camps, parties, etc.
 
Bill did not disappoint and was very well received by our membership.    
 

 
Our September 2015 Luncheon Speaker was Bernie Rosner!
 
 
Mr. Rosner is a very special person.  He is an Auschwitz death camp survivor who wants to share his story with us at our September 16th luncheon.  His remarkable life includes his immigration to the US following the war where he would go on to get degrees from Cornell and Harvard, eventually settling in Orinda as he worked for Safeway's legal department. It was in Orinda that Rosner established an unlikely friendship with neighbor Frederic "Fritz" Tubach -- the son of a Nazi officer.  Together, he and Tubach wrote the book, "An Uncommon Friendship."  While the story of the Holocaust had been told many times, the story of Rosner's family had not.  In his 80's, Rosner is among the last people left alive who can remember the devastation of Nazi Europe. That's one of the reasons Rosner takes the time to tell his story.  Follow this link to read an article written about Bernie following a presentation to a Vallejo High School in 2012.  
 

 
 
Our August, 2015 Luncheon Speaker was Jon Dwyer!
 
 
John Dwyer is a 1970 University of Notre Dame graduate and majored in chemical engineering. From 1970 to 1978, he worked as a Construction Engineer building refineries and chemical plants. From 1978 to 2012, he worked for Nalco Chemical Co. in Technical Sales and Sales Mgmt. Nalco is the world’s largest specialty Chemical Company. His working career included 8 years of foreign assignments, 2 in Thailand and 6 in Saudi Arabia.  Jon and his wife Bonnie live in San Ramon. They have 2 grown children and five grandchildren.
 
During our August 19th luncheon, Jon will be discussing “Hydraulic Fracking: Cure or Curse?” This is NOT an "advocacy" program. He describes how oil and gas were formed, where they are found, and the process of getting them out of the ground  - both via conventional methods and how the fracking process differs. Jon will also summarize the history of the use of fracking in oil production, and present a "Case For" and a "Case Against.”  Although Jon has worked in and around the oil and chemical industry for 45 years, it is his intent to educate people on the process and not to try and "sell" anyone. He presented to our Walnut Creek Branch earlier this year and “they loved him.”
 
Jon's prensentation was very well received by all those in attendance. A number of members stayed to chat with Jon about his talk.
 

Our July, 2015 Luncheon Guest Speaker was Bob Fish!
 
 

We were very pleased to have Bob Fish return to our group for our July, 2015 luncheon.  Bob presented at our September, 2014 luncheon on the role of the USS Hornet in Naval History, and the famous Doolittle Raid over Tokyo. He was there at least 45 minutes after our meeting answering question, which is always a good indicator of member interest.  His talk and slide show this time covered the role of the USS Hornet in the Apollo 13 program.  Again, he was very well received and kept the attendees enthralled while he spoke and took questions for close to 45 minutes.  
 
Robert Fish graduated from high school in Orlando, FL in 1966 and attended the University of Virginia on a Naval ROTC scholarship. 
 
After college, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and worked in Okinawa as a shift supervisor for the USMC Western Pacific data center, managing the primary computer systems supplying the Vietnam war effort.
 
After being honorably discharged in 1971, he remained in the information technology field, holding increasingly important positions at Blue Cross, Safeway Stores, Wells Fargo Bank and Bank of America.
 
He has been involved in the founding of 12 high-tech companies, as well as being a founding investor of Pete’s Brewing Company, maker of the famous Pete’s Wicked Ale that won national acclaim in 1986.
 
In 1984, he joined his first high tech Silicon Valley startup company, Network Equipment Technologies (NET).  In 1985, Bob was the program manager for the modernization of the White House communications system (during the Reagan era).  Following the Challenger space shuttle disaster, he became involved with the US DoD and worked on a number of strategic national intelligence programs.
 
He later went on to found several other high-tech network security companies and is on the Board of Directors of two at this time.
 
In 2000, Bob joined the Board of Trustees of the USS Hornet Museum, a highly decorated WWII aircraft carrier located in Alameda, CA.
 
He researched the Navy’s role the recovery of the 1960’s NASA manned space-flights and is a recognized national authority on the subject.  He also created the award winning Apollo 11 and Apollo 12 spacecraft recovery exhibit onboard the museum and published a highly acclaimed book about the recovery of Apollo 11 called Hornet Plus Three.
 
Bob has lived in Danville for over 20 years, is married and has one son.

 
Our June, 2015 Luncheon Guest Speaker was Jane Flower!
 
Jane and Anja

Jane Flower worked with older adults in the field of low-vision for over 12 years at her previous job as Program Supervisor for the Aging with Vision Loss Program at the Dayle McIntosh Center in Southern California.  This position afforded her the opportunity to share her personal and professional knowledge on such topics as Daily Living Skills, Assistive Technology, Braille Reading and Writing, and Self-Advocacy Training.  Jane was born legally blind, and at the age of 8 was diagnosed with a retinal degenerative eye disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP).  Because of her personal life experience being a person with a visual impairment, she was also able to provide peer support to the older adults she assisted, which was a vital part of her position at the Dayle McIntosh Center. 
 
Jane began her current position as Outreach manager at Guide Dogs for the Blind in April 2013, and is excited to be a part of this wonderful organization. She received her current and second Guide Dog Anja in June of 2009.  As Outreach Manager, she and Anja travel throughout the U.S. and Canada sharing the mission and vision of Guide Dogs to perspective Guide Dog users, and professionals in the field of low-vision.  Jane received her MS degree in Gerontology in May 2013 from California State University Fullerton.  With the average age being 55 of those receiving Guide Dogs, and the aging population, Jane is hoping to be able to bring her message about Guide Dogs to older adult communities and educate them about this life-changing opportunity!    

Our March, 2015 Luncheon Guest Speaker was Sheriff David Livingston!
 
 
Our Guest speaker for our March 18, 2015 luncheon was Contra Costa County Sheriff, David Livingston. Sheriff Livingston had a great presentation! He presented a detailed look at the Contra Costa Sheriff's department which included budgetary and staffing information.  The scope of operations and involvement with many other agencies, such as Homeland Security, was a surprise to many of our members.  He was very well received by all members in attendance.  
 
Sheriff Livingston was elected the 22nd Sheriff of Contra Costa County on June 8, 2010. He started his career as a Police Officer with the City of Fremont where he later rose to the rank of Captain.  He then served as Chief of Police in the City of Pleasant Hill for three years before being selected as Concord's Police Chief in 2005.  He served as Concord's Chief of Police for five years.  He also served on the California Police Chiefs Association Board of Directors and the State Bar's Judicial Nominee Evaluating Committee. Additionally, Governor Brown recently appointed Sheriff Livingston to serve on the California Boating and Waterways Commission and the California Senate later confirmed this appointment with a unanimous vote.
 
Sheriff Livingston has a deep commitment to Community Policing, has served as a Cultural Diversity Instructor, and fosters a "participatory management" philosophy in which all employees are given a voice in the operation of the Sheriff's Office.  Additionally, he supports continued modernization of all operations including adopting technology advances and acquiring new equipment to better serve the public. 

Sheriff Livingston earned a Bachelor's Degree with Honors from the University of California, Santa Barbara and later earned his law degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law.  He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, the FBI National Executive Institute and the California Command College.  He is also an attorney admitted to practice in both the state and federal courts. 

 
 
 

Our February 2015 Luncheon Guest Speaker was Tom Barnidge!
 
TOM BARNIDGE
Metro Columnist
Contra Costa Times

Tom Barnidge has been a journalist for more than 35 years, since beginning his career as a sportswriter and columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He served as managing editor of The Sporting News, a national weekly magazine, and executive editor of the National Football League's Publishing Division before joining the Contra Costa Times as sports editor in 2004.
 
He left sports journalism five years ago to fill the newspaper's need for a metro columnist. His commentary on local and regional current events appears three times a week. He has written on topics as diverse as city council races, law enforcement, the Contra Costa Fire District, medical marijuana, BART labor negotiations, Common Core, County Supervisors' salaries, Plan Bay Area and animal control.
  
Tom lives in Concord with his wife, Faith, who started reading his column when he quit writing about sports.
 


Our January Speaker was Ronald Wetter, MPA
 

Ron is the Community & Government Relations Manager for Kaiser Permanente’s Diablo Area.  He joined the Kaiser Permanente team in 2004.  Ron oversees all community and government relations activities for Central and East Contra Costa County and the Tri-Valley Area of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. His overall areas of focus encompass health care policy, reform and industry trends, economic and workforce development, and day-to-day relationship management with the district offices of the region’s Congressional, State Senate, State Assembly, Contra Costa and Alameda County Boards of Supervisors and various city councils. He is an adjunct member of California State University East Bay’s graduate program faculty, teaching courses in health care policy and U.S. health care systems in the University’s Masters of Science in Health Care Administration program.
 
Prior to joining Kaiser Permanente, Ron served as the Executive Director of the Workforce Development Board of Contra Costa County, a 37-member public board that develops and coordinates workforce and economic development activities on behalf of Contra Costa County.  He also worked for PG&E for 21 years as a regulatory policy analyst in its Regulatory Relations Department, legislative and policy analyst in the company’s Government Relations Department, and as the company’s Government Relations Director for Contra Costa County.
 
He currently services on the Boards of the East Bay Leadership Council (formally the Contra Costa Council), Livermore Valley and San Ramon Chambers of Commerce, and Innovation Tri-Valley.
 
Ron earned a B.A. in Political Science from San Jose State University and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from California State University, Hayward.  He lives in Walnut Creek with his wife, Terri, and 21-year old son, Alex.

 

Our November 2014 Luncheon Speaker Was Repeat Guest - Dan Ashley From ABC-7 News!
 
Dan Ashley is anchor of ABC7 News at 6 & 11 p.m.
and ABC7 News at 9 p.m. on Your TV20, weekdays.
 
Dan Ashley came to ABC7 in 1995 as the weekday 5:00 p.m. news anchor and investigative reporter. He has received a number of awards, including two awards from the Radio Television News Directors Association of Northern California (RTNDA) for Best Newscast, 60 Minutes and Best Newscast, 30 Minutes. In 1996, ABC7 News at 6:00 p.m. won an Emmy for the most outstanding single news broadcast in a large market.    Most recently, Ashley reported from Poland on the "March of the Living" with Bay Area holocaust survivors, and before that, reported from Marine Corp basic training at Camp Pendleton in San Diego.  Other notable assignments include reporting live from New Hampshire and South Carolina for the state primaries and from Iowa for the state's caucus.
 
Ashley began his television career at WTVD, the ABC owned television station in Durham, North Carolina. He then worked for WCBD-TV, the ABC affiliate in Charleston, where he was weekend anchor and later the 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. anchor.  During his news tenure in Charleston, Ashley also won the prestigious DuPont Columbia Award and the Edward R. Murrow Award.
 
Ashley's distinguished work is recognized by many industry organizations, including Associated Press, United Press International, and the Press Club of Atlantic City. He has also received awards from the New Jersey and Atlanta chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
 
Ashley is a graduate of the University of North Carolina with degrees in English and Speech Communication.
 
Dan's talk was very well received by our largest luncheon attendance ever!
 
 
 
Our October 2014 Speaker Were From The League of Women Voters!
 
Carol Murota and Aase Schoen from the Diablo Valley League of Women Voters will be on hand at our October 15th Luncheon to debate "pro's and con's" of pertinent Bond Measures,  Propositions and initiatives being voted on during our November elections. 
 
The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages citizens to be informed and to actively participate in government.  The League works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and makes efforts to influence public policy through education and advocacy.  The League is proud to be nonpartisan, neither supporting nor opposing candidates or political parties at any level of government, but always working on vital issues of concern to members and the public.
 
When League members make individual Pros and Cons ballot initiative presentations to various organizations, at their request, they do so in the role of education and not advocacy.  Every effort is made to present both sides of the ballot issues in a fair and unbiased manner.  
 

CAROL MUROTA 

Carol is a professor emerita from UC Berkeley's Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies Department.  She had a 30-year career on the faculty where she ran the Dance degree program and directed the Touring Dance Company.  Carol currently sits on the League of Women Voters of Diablo Valley Executive Committee.  Pros and Cons is one of her favorite activities as it brings together voter service and careful research.
 
AASE SCHOEN 

Aase (pronounced Oh-see) was born in Denmark and graduated from U.C. Berkeley.  She taught math and science at Berkeley public schools and at Acalanes High School in Lafayette.  She is married with 3 children.  Although she recently retired from full time teaching, she is currently teaching  ESL at Acalanes Adult School.  She has lived and visited about 75 countries around the world.  Aase is new to the League this year. 
 

 
 
Our September 2014 Speaker Was Be Bob Fish - Author and Expert on the USS HORNET!
 


 
 
Robert Fish graduated from high school in Orlando, FL in 1966 and attended the University of Virginia on a Naval ROTC scholarship. 
 
After college, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and worked in Okinawa as a shift supervisor for the USMC Western Pacific data center, managing the primary computer systems supplying the Vietnam war effort.
 
After being honorably discharged in 1971, he remained in the information technology field, holding increasingly important positions at Blue Cross, Safeway Stores, Wells Fargo Bank and Bank of America.
 
He has been involved in the founding of 12 high-tech companies, as well as being a founding investor of Pete’s Brewing Company, maker of the famous Pete’s Wicked Ale that won national acclaim in 1986.
 
In 1984, he joined his first high tech Silicon Valley startup company, Network Equipment Technologies (NET).  In 1985, Bob was the program manager for the modernization of the White House communications system (during the Reagan era).  Following the Challenger space shuttle disaster, he became involved with the US DoD and worked on a number of strategic national intelligence programs.
 
He later went on to found several other high-tech network security companies and is on the Board of Directors of two at this time.
 
In 2000, Bob joined the Board of Trustees of the USS Hornet Museum, a highly decorated WWII aircraft carrier located in Alameda, CA.
 
He researched the Navy’s role the recovery of the 1960’s NASA manned space-flights and is a recognized national authority on the subject.  He also created the award winning Apollo 11 and Apollo 12 spacecraft recovery exhibit onboard the museum and published a highly acclaimed book about the recovery of Apollo 11 called Hornet Plus Three.
 
Bob has lived in Danville for 20 years, is married and has one son.

 
 
Our August 2014 Speaker Was Officer Allen Molien and K9 Hector of the San Ramon PD!
 
 
Officer Allen Molien took German classes in high school because his parents spoke the language – now, it’s helping the San Ramon Police Department’s K9 officer to communicate with his partner.  He has been with the San Ramon police dept since 2001 when he was assigned to the dept from the Contra Costa County Sheriffs Dept. 
 
“I grew up with my parents speaking German and I took it high school because I wanted to know what my parents were talking about,” Molien said.
 
Having a little background in German has helped Molien to learn the dozen or so commands needed to work with his canine, Hector. The 3-year-old German Shepherd was born Oct. 28, 2010 in Burbach, Germany.
 
From his home, Hector was later brought to Southern California. Molien selected him from a kennel in Riverside, which is used by the department’s K9 trainer Dan Moore. When they arrived, Molien and Moore started taking the dogs out one-by-one and running them through tests.
 
“Dan provides the pros and cons of the dog and you decide if you want him,” says Molien. “Hector was underweight and his fur was matted. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it goes to say one should never judge a book by its cover. By the time we were done going through all the tests…he had already started to take to me.”

Hector’s name comes from Greek mythology, where his namesake was a Trojan prince and the greatest fighter for Troy in the Trojan War. “Hector was known not only for his courage, but also for his boldness,” Molien said.
 
So far, Hector has handled his transition well. “He gets excited when I put on his collar and tell him to ‘Load up,’” Molien said. “As far as his new home is concerned he fits right in as a normal lazy dog enjoying his new big yard and time off.” During this time off, Hector enjoys playing fetch with an old lawn mower wheel.
 
The biggest change so far has been for the officer. “It definitely is a new learning curve,” says Molien. “I have had to adapt the way I drive, remember Hector needs breaks too, and on hot days I have had to pay attention to the temperature outside and inside the car.”
 
"Hector and I started our career as a K-9 team on June 6th 2012. On July 27th 2012 we passed the the POST (police officers standards & training) exam making it official for us to spring into action when called upon."
 
Molien says he has always been intrigued by the abilities of a K9 and the many uses they provide patrol. “I felt it was a finishing touch in assisting me with locating narcotics,” he said. “Every day is different and has a potential to take me wherever Hector is needed.”
 
The demonstration put on by Officer Molien, his colleague, and Hector was thouroughly enjoyed by all in attendance.  Sorry if you missed it!
 
 
 
Our July 2014 Speaker Was Shannen Enos!
 
 
Shannen was born in San Francisco and has lived in the Bay Area her entire life. She has 4 teenage daughters and currently resides in Tracy, CA. Shannen attended Westmoor High School in South San Francisco and received her college degree in nursing at City College of San Francisco. For these past 20 years, Shannen has worked as an Emergency Room nurse for Kaiser Permanente. During that time, she’s provided emergency care to numerous cardiac arrest victims.
 
In 2007, her work with Cardiac Arrest patients prompted her to establish a company, Enos CPR Services, which provides CPR training in conjunction with the American Heart Association. As an instructor, Shannen is an independent contractor and has a pool of 6 others who assist her as needed. Her company provides both CPR and emergency  care customized courses to companies and individual groups throughout the Central Valley and Bay Area
 
To quote Shannen “I absolutely LOVE what I do, both at the hospital, as well as teaching. Teaching CPR is a passion of mine. I feel so lucky that my business is centered around something untouchable.... yet so valuable. My belief is that everyone can save a life. All of us play a role: we can be good witnesses, keep scenes clear & safe, give aid, give comfort.... CPR isn't only about giving a chance of life. It’s about giving closure to families; it’s about giving someone a better outcome by being the first responder, and taking quick action.”
 
Shannen's talk about CPR was highly informative and covered many aspects of the proper way to diagnose when to apply CPR and how to actually apply it properly.  Those in attendance had many questions which she answered without hesitation.  There were so many questions, her talk time went slightly beyond the time scheduled but she graciously stayed on to speak with a number of members who had additional questions. Many thanks to Shannen Enos for sharing her depth of CPR knowledge with us!!
 

 
Our June Luncheon Guest Speaker was SIR 128 member Tue Phan-Quang
who graciously stepped in for our scheduled speaker who was a no-show
 
Immigration Judge (Ret)
SIR Branch 128 Member
 
Judge Phan Quang Tue retired on December 31, 2012 from the San Francisco Immigration Court where he served since his appointment in March 1995.  He was a trial attorney with the Immigration & Naturalization Service in San Francisco from 1988 to 1993.  He served two years as an Administrative Law Judge from 1993 to 1995 with the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board in Sacramento, California.

A refugee from Vietnam, he and his family entered the United States in April 1975 and he began a new life working as a dishwasher, then a shoe repairer, machine operator in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.  While teaching French at the Georgetown Preparatory High School in Rockville, Maryland, he maintained a part-time job as a dishwasher in the afternoon.

Moving his family to Des Moines, Iowa in 1979 he returned to law school at the Drake University School of Law where he completed a program of American legal system study in 1985, and passed  the Iowa State Bar examination in January 1986.  He was a Hearing Officer at the Iowa Department of Job Service from 1985 to 1987, and an Assistant Attorney General with the Iowa Department of Justice in 1987-1988.  He and his family moved to California in the summer of 1988.

A graduate of Jean- Jacques Rousseau, a French high-school in Saigon, he went on and graduated from the Saigon University School of Law in 1965.  After the 1968 Tet offensive, he was drafted and upon commissioned, was assigned to the Military Court.  He was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff of the Supreme Court’s Office of the Chief Justice in Saigon from 1970 to 1975.

The eldest son of Dr. Phan Quang Dan, a former Deputy Prime Minister in the government of South Vietnam before 1975, he was steeped in the tradition of scholarly pursuit and serving his country.  His brother, Captain Phan Quang Tuan, was a fighter pilot who was shot down in 1972 over Quang Tri, Vietnam.   

He is the father of 4 sons and he and his wife have been married for 35 years.  They have 8 grandchildren.  They made Danville their home in 1995.  Since his retirement he continued to maintain an active role in the Vietnamese community in the San Francisco Bay area, teaching a course of immigration law as an adjunct professor at the Lincoln Law School in San Jose and holding a part time practice of immigration law in the City of Santa Clara. 

He is fluent in English, French, and Vietnamese.  He and his wife have been active members of the San Ramon 24-hour Fitness Center and they work out regularly.   He is an accomplished karaoke singer.

On January 14, 2014 at the Breakfast Meeting of the Walnut Creek Sunrise Rotary Club he announced his candidacy for the House of Representatives for the California 11th Congressional 11th District.
 
All members in attendance really appreciated Tue's inspiring story of his early life in Vietnam and the challenges he overcame to migrate to the US in the mid-70's to rebuild his life.   Many thanks to Tue Phan-Quang for sharing his experiences with us!!  

 

 
 
Our May Luncheon Guest Speaker was Doni DeBolt
 

Executive Director
AASK (Adopt A Special Kid)
 
Doni DeBolt was selected in December 2012 to lead Adopt a Special Kid as Executive Director after a thirty one-year career as an educator and an administrator in different parts of the San Francisco Bay Area.  Doni’s parents founded AASK 40 years ago and it was the first agency in California to focus on the adoption of children with special needs.  They also set out to change the paradigm of was considered an adoptive parent as they were the first agency to welcome the LGBT community, renters, people of color, single and older people as parents, as well as not focusing on the race of the child and the family as a barrier to adoption.
 
As Executive Director, Doni plays a vital role in the organization’s mission to pair children with special needs with families in counties throughout California.  Her favorite thing to say is, “It isn’t what family looks like that matters.  It’s what family feels like!”  At AASK, they firmly believe that every child is adoptable and all individuals that would like to be a parent should come to AASK to start their wonderful journey toward being a parent.

A former special education teacher and administrator, Doni brings many years of experience to AASK.  She was a Program Supervisor for the San Ramon Valley Unified District where she coordinated and directed the special education programs for students at the preschool level, Early Start Infant Program, CEIA Center (Center for Early Intervention of Autism) and K – 5 Special Day Classes.  She was also a special education teacher with the Contra Costa County Office of Education, where she taught young children with autism.  She also was an Assistant Principal with the Contra Costa County Office of Education and oversaw 19 special education classes and staff.

Doni was raised in the DeBolt household and has spent her whole life dedicated to the organization. The DeBolt family was featured in a 1978 Academy Award winning documentary, Who Are the DeBolts? And Where Did They Get Nineteen Kids? The film features Dorothy and Bob DeBolt and their 20 children, 14 of whom were adopted and 9 of whom were disabled. The documentary won the 1978 Academy Award for Best Documentary, and it depicts the unorthodox, but loving and tolerant upbringing Doni DeBolt was raised in.

Doni received four teaching credentials (Multiple Subject, Learning Handicapped, Severely Handicapped and Administrative), two Master's (Masters in Education and Masters in Administration) and a CLAD Certificate from St. Mary’s College of California from 1979-2004. She currently resides in Pleasant Hill, CA. 
 
Doni's personal story and message of "love" for foster children was well received by all members in attendance at our May meeting.  It's not often our speaker receives a standing ovation!! Many thanks to Doni DeBolt for sharing her experiences with us!!
 

 
Our April Luncheon Guest Speaker was 
Father Jayson Landeza

 
One day, as he was observing a sidewalk protest, Rev. Jayson Landeza found himself on the receiving end of a volley of raw eggs. The priest paused as he recalled the incident and laughed. "It was a waste of perfectly good eggs."

As chaplain to a number of local fire departments and law enforcement agencies, Father Landeza wishes all of the hazards and on-site incidents he's faced could be as tame. He has been called to the scene of homicides, fatal car accidents and other heartwrenching situations where he has assisted and consoled people who are dazed, angry or hurt. He has been recognized for his service with numerous awards, including a medal of honor from the Oakland Police Department for the support he provided to members and families of the department after the shocking day in 2009 when four officers were killed in the line of duty.

Bringing his pastoral presence to the scenes of troubling events is a part of what the chaplain does. "It's about being aware of what's happening, looking around to see if someone is struggling at the location, and see if I can help."

Father Landeza recently brought his years of experience as a chaplain to the federal level as the new chaplain for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives San Francisco Field Division. The needs of the ATF mirror those of city and county fire and law enforcement departments, the priest said.

The role of the agency's chaplain, a voluntary position, is to provide support and comfort to ATF employees and their families in times of crisis. Father Landeza is responsible for an area that consists of most of California (north of Bakersfield) and Nevada.

Father Landeza, who took the chaplain officer basic course at the Army Chaplain Center and School in Portsmouth, New Jersey, has been a chaplain for most of the 25 years that he has been a priest. His first assignment as chaplain was in 1995 for the Fremont Fire Department. Over the years he has been chaplain to the Oakland Police Department, to the Berkeley Fire and Police departments. In addition to being a chaplain, he served the Oakland Diocese as an associate pastor and a pastor.

While he continued to take part in chaplain certification and training programs, including attending citizen police academies for the Berkeley and Oakland police departments, Father Landeza said that he never wanted to be a cop. "I admire police and firefighters — I would not be able to measure up to those physical and emotional demands."
 
We were honored to hear from Fr. Jayson Landeza during our April luncheon.
 
 
Our February luncheon speaker was
Mike  Conklin
CEO and Chairman of Sentinels of Freedom.

 
Mike was an extremely interesting speaker.  He explained how his organization developed over time and also shared a number of personal stories about the many veterans his organization has been involved with.  It was also very nice to hear how one of our own members, SIR Ron Lowe, has been such a strong supporter of Mike's efforts with Sentinels of Freedom over the years.  
 
Mike is a successful Real Estate Developer and the father of three Army Rangers. He was inspired to establish Sentinels of Freedom after one of his 3 sons was wounded in Iraq in 2003. Impressed by the level of care his son received in the military hospitals, and deeply concerned over the plight of wounded warriors without families or community networks to support them after their release from the service, Mike began the work that would evolve into the Sentinels of Freedom Scholarship Foundation.

Sentinels of Freedom connects “permanently disabled Veterans with caring community volunteers who pool their resources to provide housing, accessible vehicles, education, a suitable job, and ongoing community support towards an end game of economic self-sufficiency.” After operating informally for several years, Sentinels of Freedom was officially incorporated in 2007.
 
Many THANKS to Mike for being our speaker in February.
 

 
Our January Guest Speaker was Curt Pipes
Tasting Room Manager of a Boutique Livermore Winery

Curtis PIPES, from Las Positas Vineyards.

Curt joined Las Positas Vineyards in January 2013, and as the Tasting Room Manager, he embraces the passion and goals of the owners to maintain and expand on the rich heritage of the Livermore Valley wine industry.
 
Curt graduated in 1998 with a degree from the Hotel & Restaurant Culinary School at Santa Barbara City College and then joined the Elephant Bar & Restaurant chain, working for 11-years and becoming a General Manager. Following a period at a Santa Barbara Winery, Curt moved North. He will comment on Livermore winery growth since mid-1800’s, and discuss operations at Las Positas Vineyards.  
Our Branch is planning to visit the winery during the Sept/Oct timeframe.  
 
Many Thanks to Curt Pipes for being our Guest Speaker in January.

 
 
Our November Luncheon Guest Speaker Was Dan Ashley!
 
Dan Ashley is anchor of ABC7 News at 6 & 11 p.m.
and ABC7 News at 9 p.m. on Your TV20, weekdays.
 
Dan Ashley came to ABC7 in 1995 as the weekday 5:00 p.m. news anchor and investigative reporter. He has received a number of awards, including two awards from the Radio Television News Directors Association of Northern California (RTNDA) for Best Newscast, 60 Minutes and Best Newscast, 30 Minutes. In 1996, ABC7 News at 6:00 p.m. won an Emmy for the most outstanding single news broadcast in a large market.    Most recently, Ashley reported from Poland on the "March of the Living" with Bay Area holocaust survivors, and before that, reported from Marine Corp basic training at Camp Pendleton in San Diego.  Other notable assignments include reporting live from New Hampshire and South Carolina for the state primaries and from Iowa for the state's caucus.
 
Ashley began his television career at WTVD, the ABC owned television station in Durham, North Carolina. He then worked for WCBD-TV, the ABC affiliate in Charleston, where he was weekend anchor and later the 6:00 and 11:00 p.m. anchor.  During his news tenure in Charleston, Ashley also won the prestigious DuPont Columbia Award and the Edward R. Murrow Award.
 
Ashley's distinguished work is recognized by many industry organizations, including Associated Press, United Press International, and the Press Club of Atlantic City. He has also received awards from the New Jersey and Atlanta chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
 
Ashley is a graduate of the University of North Carolina with degrees in English and Speech Communication.
 
 
 
Our October, 2013 Speaker was Victor Gauthier!
 
Communications Associate & Tours Program Manager
San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge Seismic Safety Project
California Department of Transportation
 

Victor manages the project tour program which provides presentations and/or narrated construction site tours to nearly 4,000 people since 2011. He has become an expert on the existing San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge as well as the East Span of the new Bay Bridge. He has assisted in developing a new up-to-date version of the Corridor Overview presentations that will be viewed by hundreds of visitors to the Public Information Office as well as for participants of his offsite presentations. Victor presents to professional organizations, schools, conferences and regional associations. Victor is an active member of the Communications Partnership Team and has volunteered on behalf of the client at local schools and public events. Victor is also a member of the Web team that monitors and updates the Baybridgeinfo.org site, as well as all social media for the Public Information Office. Victor was heavily involved in the Westbound deck closure in 2012. During the closure, Victor escorted media and dignitaries on the construction site, and documented all visitors in attendance. Maintaining strong relationships with stakeholders and businesses is critical as more than 280,000 vehicles cross the bridge daily. Victor was an active team member that helped to successfully get the Bay Bridge open during the Presidents Weekend Closure of 2012.
 
We greatly appreciated Victor Gauthier's presentation to our group!
 
 
 

Our AUGUST Speaker was a ‘timely’ return Guest!
 
SIR Branch 128 was delighted to welcome back
 

Ron WETTER,  Our Kaiser Permanente
Community & Government Relations Manager.
 

 
Ron WETTER had addressed our Branch 128 back in June 2012, but quite a bit had changed in a short time so it was great to get him to come back in to provide an update.  
 
Ron is an excellent speaker and frequently called upon to discuss the current changes in Healthcare Policy, specifically as it relates to Seniors (that’s US), Obama-Care, and the effects within Contra Costa County and the Tri-Valley.
 
Ron holds a B.A. in Political Science from San Jose State University and a Masters in Public Administration from California State University, Hayward.  Both have served him well as he presides over Community and Government Relations on behalf of Kaiser Permanente and therein discusses health care issues and their effect at both the local and national levels and their likely effects on Medicare.

A former teacher of a class titled “The Business of Health Care and the Road Ahead”, it was as if Ron envisioned the changes now being implemented.  He is also a former employee of Contra Costa County and PG&E.
 
Ron lives in Walnut Creek with his wife Terri and son Alex.
 
We greatly appreciated the return visit of Ron WETTER as our Speaker.

 

 
Our JULY, 2013 Guest Speaker came with a wealth of Talent & High Praise.
 

SIR Branch 128 was honored to welcome:

Mary C. SHELTON,  Superintendent of the
San Ramon Valley Unified School District

 
On July 1, 2012, Mary C. Shelton assumed the office of Superintendent of the San Ramon Valley Unified School District (SRVUSD).
 
Prior to July 2012, Mary held various administrative positions within the Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD); she was unanimously Board approved for the SRVUSD post, beating out numerous other candidates.
 
With a Bachelors of Science Degree in Secondary Education from the University of Tennessee, and a Masters of Science Degree in Mathematics from the University of Mississippi, although Ms. Shelton had worked as a computer programmer for Chevron in New Orleans, she always seemed destined to be in education.  Mary then spent 4-years teaching College Math at Louisiana State University in Shreveport, LA, and at Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss, before moving to the Jesuit Catholic High School in Sacramento where for 11-years she taught Math and ultimately became the Assistant Principal.  From 2001-2006, she moved into the Sacramento Public School system, taking over as Principal at John F. Kennedy High School.  Then in 2006, Mary went to work for the SCUSD.
 
Located in Sacramento’s urban center, SCUSD supervises 81-schools and about 48,000 students.  Appx. 69% of those students were considered below the Federal Poverty Threshold.  Alternatively, SRVUSD is a smaller but wealthier District with 35-schools and about 30,000 students.
 
The SRVUSD ranks among the Top 5% of all School Districts in California, and the Top 2% of all Unified Districts in the State.  Over 94% of Graduating Seniors attend College or University.  This month, the SRVUSD will bestow diplomas and certificates on more than 2,200-graduates.
 
This year alone, the District is home to FIVE Distinguished Middle Schools and FOUR High Schools are recognized in the Top-200 High Schools in the Nation - TWO of them ranking in the Top-100.
 
Mary is the mother of two grown children, an attorney and a civil engineer, who both live out of area.

We were thankful and excited to have Mary C. Shelton as our Speaker.
 

 
 
Our JUNE, 2013 Guest Speaker was the Danville Chief of Police
 
Chief STEVE P. SIMPKINS, our Danville TOP COP
 
 
In August 2010, Steve Simpkins, a then 16-year veteran of the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff, became the FIFTH Police Chief in Danville’s 28-year history.  Keeping communities safe was why Chief Simpkins first went into Law Enforcement and he has a strong history of "taking the bad guys to jail."
 
Starting a renowned career in 1993 as a Reserve Deputy in Sacramento County, then moving to Contra Costa County in 1994, Chief Simpkins has worked in Field Operations as a Detective and Patrol Officer, in our County Jails, and served in the contract cities of Orinda and San Ramon.
 
Promoted to Sergeant in 2001, then Lieutenant in 2005, Steve was the Facility Commander for both of the Counties largest Jails, along with an assignment as Administrative Commander for the Custody Services Bureau. Prior to taking over in Danville, he was Watch Commander for all operations of the Sheriff’s Office during non-business hours.
 
Chief Simpkins completed the FBI National Academy at Quantico, VA, he has a Graduate Certificate in Criminal Justice from University of Virginia, a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from Chapman University and an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice from Solano County.  Presently, the Chief is completing his Masters from Oklahoma University.
 
A resident of Clayton for several years with his wife and four children, his personal interests, when there’s time, are World travel and muscle cars.
 
We were honored to welcome Chief Steve Simpkins as our June 2013 Speaker.
 
 

SIR Branch 128 welcomed Fred LaCOSSE,
former TV Personality and San Francisco Television LEGEND
as Our MAY 2013 Guest Speaker
 
 
Over seven years ago, Fred LaCosse was troubled by the lack of quality in the teachings of American History being received by his grand-daughters. Fred embarked on 3-years of research that concluded in his development of a unique history-based presentation entitled: ‘Your American Freedoms: Protect Them or Lose Them.’
 
Born and raised in South Bend, IN, Fred earned Degrees from Wabash College & Northwestern University, then survived two years of Army food and brief TV stints in Chicago and Columbus before moving West to begin a fantastically successful 45+year career in Bay Area Television.
 
During that time Fred worked with: KNTV, KRON, KGO-TV, and KICU.  At different times he was a Floor Director, Director, Production Manager, Announcer, Reporter, Producer, Anchor and News Director.  Somehow he found time to marry his beautiful wife Terry Lowery, who co-hosted "AM San Francisco" with Fred on KGO-TV from 1982-1987.
 
Fred LaCosse is the recipient of numerous awards for his community involvement, as well as an Emmy for his news feature reporting and being elected to the National Television Academy Silver Circle.