The Flywheel

September 30, 2016

NEXT MEETING: September 30, 2016

METAS: Preparing Students for College, and Life

METAS, a program at Contra Costa Community College, prepares WCCUSD students from pre-school to 11th grade for a successful college experience through tutoring, culturally relevant academic courses, college readiness workshops, and parent involvement.

All METAS seniors graduate from high school and attend college. Many return to the program to become tutors, teachers, and leaders in our community. Dr. Mayra Padilla, the program director and former METAS student, will share how the program has evolved to stay responsive to our community needs, and in so doing has enabled youth for the past 28 years to realize their personal and educational goals.


  • George Egan alerted those present to watch out for a scam letter that claims to be from the IRS and demands payment of a certain amount. The fact that it tells recipients to write checks to the IRS rather that the U.S. Treasury is a clue that it is fake.
  • Henry Moe is still looking for donations to send more kids to the Rotary retreat.
  • Liliane provided an update on the school project in Cameroon that our club supports. She announced that there will be a groundbreaking ground in November.
  • Alan Baer announced that the Berkeley Club will be sponsoring the next TGIFF at HS Lordships on Friday, September 30th at 7:00 p.m.

MEETING OF September 23, 2016


Josh called the meeting to order and reminded members that when travelling members should take a club flag, visit Rotary Clubs in their destination cities, and bring home a flag in return. By way of note, Sid designed our flag and they are sewn by his wife. David Cole led the Pledge and Hank Covell provided the benediction. Sid’s thought for the day gave plenty of opportunity for self-examination, “Holding a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”

Visiting Rotarians and Guests

Our featured speaker, Gary Wong, is not only a former member of our club but a visiting member from Orinda. Alan Baer brought two guests, Donald Anderson and Walli Arakozoie.

Recognitions and Happy and Sad Dollars

  • Hank celebrated his birthday this week.
  • Tiffany Straus celebrated her fifth wedding anniversary and shared a sweet nothing from her hubby who described their relationship as a 12-year adventure.
  • Liliane offered a happy dollar for the opportunity to visit with Charlie Wong in the course of working up this week’s program with Gary.
  • David Cole offered a happy $5 for the fact that Interactive Resources will be completing plans for repair of the Masquers Playhouse. He will be back soon to announce a fundraising campaign to implement those repairs.
  • Jerry Feagley donated a sad dollar in remembrance of a good friend who recently passed away.


Attracting and retraining new Rotary members: One club's approach

Gary Wong, a former Richmond club member and son of Charlie Wong a former club member, spoke about the Orinda Rotary has effectively increased its membership. The key to his, and the club’s approach, has been to recognize that change is essential. When attracting younger members it’s especially important to meet the expectations, needs and desires of younger members. This doesn’t mean altering the mission of Rotary—plenty of people want to participate in community service projects and make a difference—but it does require new ways of accommodating people.

A prime example lies in the fact that among club members there is a very small percentage of salaried employees. They simply can’t get off from work for a long weekly lunch. One alternative is a monthly meeting after work and before dinner. In addition to this practical tip, Gary provided the following guidelines for engaging Millennials and Gen-Xers:
– They support causes not groups
– They love to volunteer but need to be asked
– They communicate electronically and through social media
– They hate meetings
Finally, don’t forget, people need to get something in return. Give them the opportunity to grow their businesses through networking.

David Cole, Rotating Editor