The Flywheel

Program for April 20, 2007

China's impact on the global economy

Dr. William Liang. President, CEO and founder of WEST Management Group Ltd. will draw on his experiences in mergers & acquisitions on the Pacific Rim to describe his view of the future impact of China’s economic growth on the global economy. 


Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

Prez George called the meeting to order on a bright and clear day in Richmond.  Past Prez Stoney asked for a moment of silence for peace, freedom and justice in the world.  Some famous, good looking and talented Rotarian (obviously I missed who) led us in the pledge.  Incoming Prez Pam gave us the following thought “life is like riding a bike…in order to keep your balance you need to keep moving forward.”

Rotarians with Guests

Rafael Madrigal has as his guest Bob Rios or Bob’s “Green” Cleaners.  David K has again as his guest Bill Kosiol (another free lunch?).   Mario Paucar has as his guest his brother Jim.  John Troughton introduced his son Chance.

Sunshine Report

Mr. Sunshine David K reported that a sympathy card had been sent to Lesa McIntosh.  Update on Elof Granberg is that his left knee is getting better.  PDG Werner was at the meeting and feeling so much better that he was asleep.  Calls to Charley Wong are always welcome.


  • Mario Paucar, in tandem with Rafael Madrigal, reported that they are busy organizing the Cinco de Mayo Event as part of the 23rd Street Richmond Association.    They both encouraged strong Rotary participation.  The event is from 12-6pm with the parade happening from 9am-11am.  There will be food, music and lots of family fun.
  • Prez George reminded us that Rotary’s event at the Western Railroad is also on that same day.
  • Joey Bags reported on the very successful GRIP dinner serving that went on this past week.  It was a huge success and thanks to all for participating including Ralph “cute buns” Hill and Herb “I got no hair to put in my hairnet” Cole
  • Remember….our regular meeting will be at GRIP on 4/27!!!

Special Events

  • Erle Brown presented Bill Terry with his Paul Harris during his “Old Timers” Who Am I?  see below.


Apparently no one recognized any one else. This may be troublesome.

Happy and Sad Dollars

  • John Troughton was recognized as the Hercules Man of the Year and made a $100 contribution for all of his travels and for his Anniversary (2/14).
  • Josh Genser was sad that the Business and Education Committee that he Chairs could not give away all 15 of the $2500 scholarships they had available to local students
  • David K will be missing a number of meetings to care for his wife who will be having surgery.  All the best to Janet for a speedy recovery!
  • Markku  Pelanne brought a newspaper article on our own Tom Butt.  Tom promptly dug into his own pocket to purchase the article from Markku.
  • Bill Terry was extremely happy that his company’s first shipment of aggregate (80,000 tons of rock and gravel) was successfully delivered.
  • Herb Cole was happy about his experience with the GRIP dinners and commented that Ralph Hill felt safer at GRIP than in El Cerrito.
  • Tony Thurmond was just happy to be at the Club meeting and for his daughter’s first steps.

Raffle Results

Chance Troughton’s name was picked and he is entitled to a free lunch on his next visit.

The Program

Two "Old Timers" Reintroduce Themselves

Erle Brown was born in Alameda in 1935.  He was brought up in Alameda where every morning there was a knock on the back door and the milkman did a quick inventory in the icebox and suggest what dairy products were needed that day.  Erle started his college career at Cal, attending for 3 years, left to get into the car business..then completed his college education as a Spartan at Michigan State University in 1960.  One year before that he made the best decision of his life and married Phyllis Peres (as in Peres Elementary School) in ’59.  Poor Phyllis had to work as a teacher, traveling 30 miles every day, so Sweet Erle could finish his education.  Erle worked for Beckman, a division of Dow, getting training in Cleveland.  Worked for 2 years in Seattle. When his father-in-law passed away, He joined the family business George Peres Paving and Grading business and claims to be the only contractor “who knows who his father is.”   Erle joined Rotary in 1978.  He liquidated his business in 1986.  Erle has served on the Richmond Boy Club and Richmond Museum Boards.  Likes to travel to Mexico once a year to continue his ongoing research on which alcohol give you the best tan. Erle served as Rotary President in 1992-93 and continues to serve as our Foundation Chair.  He ended his colorful past stories by presenting Bill Terry with his Paul Harris.

Joe Nusbaum….proud to hail from the great city of Cleveland, Ohio has had a long history of being “tapped on the shoulder.”  A graduate of Case Engineering (now Case Western Reserve) he joined the Army Reserves in his junior year and got “tapped” to go to Fort Bennington, then Camp Clayborn.  He was “tapped” to be an instructor because of his metallurgy knowledge.  “Tapped” to go to Officer Candidate School (90 days) Joe because a 2nd Lieutenant and a Training Officer.  (Can you imagine sweet Joe being mean and yelling out instructions to new recruits??)  “Tapped” to go to the Philippines…by the time Joe got there the war was over!  So what did Joe do next??.. jobs like building roads and disposing of surplus explosives.  Be sure to invite Joe over next 4th of July!  When Joe’ tour of duty was over he found that his parents had move to San Francisco so there is where he headed.  Joe and his brother Carl became the “Sanford and Son” of the West Coast by getting into the junk business.  Joe found that buying and selling plastic junk was rather lucrative…then that making compounds out of scrap could be reusable raw material…then that making plastic pipe out of scrap was even better.  At its height of production Westflex Manufacturing had 100 employees and was in operation 24 hours a day except on weekends.  Joe sold the business in 1985.  On a personal note, Joe met Anne (from Salt Lake) in San Francisco and they married in 1953 and they have 2 daughters.  Joe served as Rotary President 1989-90 and for many years as our Club Secretary.

Thanks Erle and Joe for sharing your memories with all of us!

Substitute Editor. The Menehune