November 3, 2017

NEXT MEETING: November 3, 2017

Visit Richmond CA

Matt Lewis, Executive Director of Visit Richmond CA (formerly Richmond Convention and Visitors Bureau) is honored to present to the Richmond Rotary. Matt will discuss Visit Richmond CA’s efforts in celebrating the Richmond story. He will discuss the Bureau’s efforts in supporting local events and going outside of Richmond to encourage new opportunities. Matt is proud to represent Visit Richmond CA and loves the great spirit, effort and energy of the people of Richmond.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • David Brown read a thank you note from Santa Rosa Teachers Association, to which our chapter donated $2,600 after the wildfires. Some 40 teachers and their families lost homes in the fires, so they are very appreciative of Richmond Rotary donations.
  • Richmond Rotarians attended 5 tree-planting events around the city. President Connie reported that planting trees is easier than you think.

MEETING OF October 27, 2017

Welcome

President Connie Tritt presided over the meeting and welcomed everyone. Dan Tanita led the pledge, Herb Cole offered the invocation, and Syd had a memorable thought-for-the-day, which, unfortunately, was not recorded and, memorable or not, we forgot it.

Recognitions and Happy and Sad Dollars

  • Hank Covell had happy dollars about his daughter’s engagement
  • Rick Ambrose expressed his sorrow over the extensive loss of property due to wildfires in counties to our north, which affected staff members at the Richmond Art Center.
  • Gonzalo Ochoa is happy to celebrate his daughter’s 13th birthday!
  • Rafael Cartagena enthused about about 23rd Street merchants, who are coming together more than ever to make the area more prosperous.

PROGRAM

Marketing and Branding the City of Richmond

Our own Rotarian, Richmond Mayor Tom Butt presented an update on a branding and marketing initiative begun in 2015. The $105,000 cost of the contract with North Star, the firm conducting it, has been covered entirely by private donations. No city funds were used. A small remainder, $3,000, is needed to cover the final bill on the study. Tom welcomes contributions.

The study was conducted because the current city logo, dating from 1977, is not highly regarded. Most people are unable to interpret what it means. Tom felt that a less ambiguous, more attractive graphic identity can attract new investment. A survey determined that residents held a number of well-known negatives—high crime, poor streets, blight, dysfunctional politics, schools. But perceptions of Richmond have been steadily improving over the last 8 years. And although it’s difficult to erase the negatives, Tom emphasized, we can build on the positives—and we have.

Tom reviewed the city’s highest-rated assets: its shoreline (32 miles long, more than all other East Bay cities), its affordability, the Rosie the Riveter WWII National Historical Park, and the Richmond Promise program. He noted that the city is regarded as a leader in social justice issues. Curiously, respondents in the survey scored Chevron both as a negative (pollution) and a positive (tax base).

Tom described the process of developing a new logo for the city (shown above). It was the product of an extensive process that included surveys of residents and outside stakeholders. He many variations that the branding and marketing committee screened. The group settled on a logo that emphasized the city’s waterfront location, environmental stewardship, and its history. Beneath the logo is a “strapline” that reflects this: Bay Front, Home Front, Out Front.

Will this become Richmond’s official logo? Tom doesn’t think a vote to adopt it can pass in city council as long as he his mayor. However the logo can be used unofficially for business communications and marketing. He encourages us to do exactly that.


Darlene Drapkin, “Rotating Editor”