NEXT MEETING: August 25, 2015

Investing in Women: How Micro Credit Has a Lasting Impact in Guatemala

The majority of low-income women in developing countries do not have the opportunity to acquire the skills and experience needed to build a successful business and become economically empowered. Lack of education and training, role models and networks, and fairly administered capital combine with cultural expectations in Latin America to present formidable barriers to women entrepreneurs throughout the region.
Namaste Direct is a poverty alleviation organization headquartered in San Francisco, with operations in Guatemala carried on by its sister NGO, Fundación Namaste Guatemaya (FNG). FNG’s vision is that low-income women entrepreneurs in Guatemala will have the tools and access to support that are necessary to increase business profits and thereby move from poverty towards the middle class, and developed and implemented the Namaste Business Development Program (NBDP) to support this vision. The NBDP is a hands-up program that combines training, personal business mentorship from a trusted community leader and successful businessperson, and customized microcredit business loans to help women increase profits, formalize business infrastructure, and enter the formal business sector.

MEETING OF August 18. 2017


President Connie called the meeting to order and asked Josh Genser to lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance.  Herb Cole asked for silent prayers for peace, hope, and justice.  Sergeant at Arms Sidney Chauvin offered a quote for the day: “It is hard to feel fit as a fiddle when you are shaped like a cello.”

Visiting Rotarians and Guests

Josh Genser’s guests were Sandi Genser Mack, Lynn Mack, and Melinda McCrary.

Cecilia Orozco brought her daughter Ruby.


  • David Brown said that it is Peres School Teachers’ Fund time again!  We aim to raise at least $100 per teacher (28) to help them pay for much needed classroom supplies.  We have been doing this for over 20 years.
  • Oscar Garcia talked about our “100 trees” grant.  We will work with Richmond Trees.  Get your shovels ready, as this is a hands-on club project.
  • President Connie Tritt reminded us of the Four Way Test:

Is it the truth?

Is it fair to all concerned?

Will it build goodwill and better friendships?

Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

  • Pam Jones made a presentation regarding the Bikes for Kids project that is coupled with the Richmond Fire Department’s Holiday Program.  We have a $60,000 goal so that every kid gets a bike.  $49 buys a bicycle and a helmet.   Soon, there will be a donation link on our club webpage.
  • Reminder: there is NO MEETING on September 1.


Happy and Sad Dollars

Norm’s Nonsense


Overaa Construction: Building for the Future Since 1907

Josh Genser presented today’s speaker, marketing manager Martha Castaneda who spoke about the history of Overaa Construction.


In 1911, Carl E. Overaa started Overaa Construction in Richmond.  It is now the third largest self-performing contractor in northern California and the largest general contractor in West Contra Costa County.  They employ over 400 people.


Overaa’s impressive projects include Richmond High School (the original one), the Greek Theater, Richmond Transit Center, Richmond City Hall, Making Waves charter school, Chevron facilities, pump stations, and other private and public projects throughout northern California.


Overaa still has many family members working for the company.  Martha’s presentation even included a photo of Jerry Overaa shoveling gravel.  To learn more, go here: .

-Shana Bagley, Rotating Scribette