The Flywheel

Program for Wednesday, July 18th
Joint meeting with Berkeley Rotary at "His Lordship's

State Treasurer Bill Lockyer

Mr. Lockyer is California's lead asset manager, banker and financier. He is also the chairperson or a member of numerous State authorities, boards and commissions.

Mr. Lockyer will give his perspective on California's future, its opportunities and challenges. Note that the meeting will be held at His Lordship's Restaurant, at the Berkeley Marina.


MEETING OF June 13, 2007

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

Pam Jones flanked at the head table by this years officers, Mark Howe, Jim Young, Jon Lawlis and guests, opened today’s meeting.  Leigh led us in the pledge of allegiance

Visiting Rotarians

We had many visitors today who came to hear the entertaining Cliff Docterman.

  • Gisella, the spokesperson for Brookside Hospital was visiting from the San Pablo Rotary.
  • Jack Freethy was visiting from the El Cerrito Club.

Rotarians with Guests

  • Lee broughther friend Christina Carrington to the club today.
  • John Troughton brought his son Chance Troughton to lunch today.
  • Werner Schwartz brought his wife Lea a frequent visitor to the club

Sunshine Report

David K reported that Elof had fallen again and would appreciate a phone call.  His cell phone number is 510-672-0523.

Charlie Wong was at the meeting today which meant he had to overcome the ordinary aches and pains to make it to lunch.


  • The Rotary picnic is this Saturday at 12:00 on Angel Island.  Mark Howe will take up to 15 people to the island at 10:00 from the Richmond Yacht Club guest dock.  You can leave you cars at the club for the afternoon.  Mark will also bring you home to the RYC guest dock late in the afternoon.  Otherwise people can take the Tiburon ferry over to Hospital Cove.  Please notify Allen Baer if you are planning on coming he needs to know how many people to bring food for.  There will be a tender to bring people to the docks in the event you have to berth at the mooring buoys.  See Mike Winter who will be bringing down his power boat and tender. 
  • The Mervyns shopping spree will take place on July 28 at 6:45 AM.  Jan Brown among others has donated $100 to the event.

Recognitions & Awards

  • Joe Nusbaum celebrated a birthday today – he is older than 50.
  • Glenn Daggs donated $50 to recognize his wedding anniversary.
  • Henry Kelman also had a recent birthday which he donated some spare change to celebrate.
  • Monique Le Conge was recognized for being the oldest person in the club – actually this was a computer error.  She is not 107 years old.
  • Josh Genser got tagged by Joe Bagley for a donation to celebrate his anniversary.  He went to his cabin to celebrate the event where it was 119 degrees.  Thanks goodness there is a rushing stream adjacent to the cabin.
  • Lea Schwartz the most patient person in the world and also the wife of Werner Schwartz recognized her 55th anniversary.

Happy and Sad Dollars

  • John Lawliss was happy that he was going to Banff Canada this coming week.
  • Ralph Hill was ecstatic that he was sitting next to three of the prettiest girls in the club.

Raffle Results

Brad Ward from the El Cerrito Club won the raffle but pulled up a white ball.  The Raffle had $647 in the pot today.


Cliff Dochterman discovers
"Friendly Fire" in the world of Rotary

Cliff Dochterman, a past Rotary International President and a popular speaker, talked today about some of the unconscious behaviors that are hurting local Rotary Clubs. In North America, Rotary membership has been declining, and these behaviors may help to explain at least part of the phenomenon. "Friendly fire" is Cliff's label for the long list of actions that hurt club retention and recruitment.

Cliff Dochterman started rattling off a series of very funny self-deprecating one-liners.  “You know, those girls sitting with Ralph Hill they don’t know how safe they really are — I have phone messages older then Ralph.” Or, “I meet at my Moraga Club — Moraga loosely translated means large mortgage”  And, "As you know I am the ex-president of the Rotary Foundation, a role ike that of a corpse at a funeral. I also belong to a Sunrise Club that meets at noon its members are so old." Cliff showed no mercy: "You can always recognize an ex-Rotary Foundation president because he's always in the corner drooling. In fact, the Foundation has a whole staff of drool-wipers at the convention.”


After the laughing died down he listed the types of behaviors that contribute the slow decling and death of local clubs:

  • Many Rotarians insist on 100% attendance look down at those who cannot attend 100% of the time.  This is just unreasonable in today’s fast-paced world and scares good potential members away. Fifty-percent attendance is what is required and that is what a club should advise newcomers.
  • Many Rotarian are short-sighted when they expect that all philanthropic activities should be targeted to meet only local needs.  The word "International" is part of Rotary International for a reason — much of the Rotary Mission takes place on the international scene.
  • Many clubs are resistant to change and are stuck in their old ways, which does not allow new blood to filter to the top.  Clubs need to be constantly reborn to stay healthy he says. 
  • Some clubs do not allow the formation of additional clubs in one town.  Santa Barbara has eight clubs and is the same size as Richmond in population which has one club.
  • Cliques often develop within clubs. This hurts clubs because the parts of the membership are seen to be exclusive and are not welcoming to new members.
  • Sometimes the physical facilities of the club become too small as the club grows which impedes its growth.

There can be many reasons for "friendly fire" behaviors but many of them can be changed. Growth can continue if we are aware of the attitudes and actions that often lead to declining memberships.

- Flywheel notes by Mark Howe