The Flywheel


Jim Matzorkis,
Executive Director of the Port of Richmond

The Port of Richmond ranks number one among Bay Area port facilities for import of automobiles and bulk liquids. Jim Matzorkis, the man who keeps the machinery humming along, will tell us what it takes. He will discuss new developments including expansion of the auto import operations.

MEETING OF September 28th, 2007

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

A valiant survivor of the previous day’s Contractor’s Lunch, Prez Pam brought the meeting to order. Rafael Cartegena led the Pledge. Glen Daggs led a moment of silence to honor the goal of peace and fairness on Earth. Henry Kelman, provided a sagacious and unique perspective on the death penalty.

Visiting Rotarians

District Governor Stan Smalley, a real friend of the Club, was on hand.

Rotarians with Guests

Leslie Levy brought her assistant Jane. Sid Chauvan brought his wife, making some solid domestic points. Werner Schwarz introduced Prez Pams guest, April Jordan who is interested in becoming a member.

Sunshine Report

David K had all good news. This was Don Hardison’s first Rotary appearance since his recent pacemaker surgery, not counting the Contractor’s Lunch. Likewise it was Elof Granberg’s first meeting, not counting the Hotel Mac/Masquers dinner. Great to have you both back in circulation.


    FDR impersonator and Pam
    Prez Pam & Prez FDR. More pix.
  • Richmond Homefront Festival at Marina Bay. T-shirts were distributed. (Be sure to check out the photos on the Projects page.)
  • Gallo Wine Dinner at the Hotel Mac. It will be held this Tuesday 10/2 and the cost is $80 per person.
  • District Rotary Foundation Day. Raffle tickets are still available.

Special Events

  • District Governor Stan Smalley handed out Paul Harris awards. These awards were announced at an earlier meeting by Stan, but lacked the appropriate signatures at the time. It’s was a gracious act for him to return in the midst of a busy schedule and personally present these awards.


Margaret Morkowski ran recognitions from the podium.

  • 20 year’s in Rotary recognition. Leslie Levy and Judy Kafka were two of the first three women admitted to the Club in 1987. Leslie, who was also the first woman President (2000-2001), told her story first. Ren Partridge was her sponsor, and it’s no surprise that Dave Calfee was deeply involved as well. Leslie was 7 months pregnant at the time, and would have preferred to wait a few months so she could enter with the clear image of a “professional woman”, vice a soon to be mommy. But she was warmly petitioned to join immediately, following the Supreme Court ruling against Rotary International, and (you know how effective Rotary arm twisting can be in pursuit of a good purpose) she agreed. Judy Kafka then told her story and provided some wonderful vignettes of her welcome into the “men’s club” in transition. She was warned that the “old guard” would find it more unusual that there was a Democrat in the club than a woman. Dave Calfee was Judy’s sponsor. These were wonderful stories about Rotary in an earlier time.
  • John Nicol gave some history of the Duarte, CA club that first admitted women in Rotary, and was then promptly kicked out of Rotary International. The case was heard through the court system, and the U.S. Supreme Court finally overturned RI’s regulation, with far reaching impacts. Providing a small insight into the style of jokes that were common in Rotary before women joined, John told probably the best joke of the year. I’m sure I heard litigator Leslie deem the joke barely acceptable, through attempts to control her laughter.
  • Bart Wallace was back in town and contributed $500 in honor of a few missed birthdays. Bart is working in Southern Cal now. Come back before you turn into a Dodger fan Bart.

Leslie had a check recognizing her 20 years in the Club.

Dandy Don Lau had to own up (thank you Margaret) that he was interviewed as part of a panel on NPR last week on violence issues in Richmond. And he mentioned our sponsored PERES School at least 6 times.

Dave Calfee was recognized for sending a generous check to support Club programs.

Happy and Sad Dollars

  • David K was happy to note that the Club has found deep pockets for long stemmed roses only once, and that was to Leslie Levy upon the birth of her son.
  • Bart Wallace was happy to be back with his friends, and not so happy to be working in Southern California. Sounds like he’s still a Giants fan.
  • Don Hardison noted that a number of friends have indicated how glad they are to see him up and about. But Don assured us that no one is happier than he about this particular circumstance.
  • Glen Daggs was happy that his firm landed a new contract with the City of Richmond.
  • Jan Brown was happy that the preparations for the Homefront Festival are almost complete. And extended an invitation to all to participate.
  • Erle Brown felt it had been a good week. He was delighted that red-badger Rafael Cartagena became a Paul Harris donor this week. He was pleased that Judy Kafka, a charter member of the Contractor’s Lunch, extended her beverage repertoire from iced water to a gin and tonic this year. And he was pleased that Phyllis arrived at Angie’s in time to drive him home, even though Ralph Hill started to hit on her. Erle also received a generous check from Dave Calfee, this second one for Rotary International. Thanks Dave!
  • Herb Cole also enjoyed the Contractor’s Lunch, and urged even greater participation next year. After all, Erle will be paying the bill.
  • Sid Chauvan had sad dollars. His youngest daughter is now 26, which isn’t as depressing as realizing that Bridgette Bardot is now 73.
  • Ralph Hill had to remain seated as he contributed his happy 5. He couldn’t stand because he had attended yesterday’s Contractor Lunch, and also because he’d been with Phyllis!
  • Don Lau was happy that he’s been able to start the process of re-establishing a Little League in Richmond. Say Hey Don.
  • Werner recognized Lea’s birthday, always young to us.
  • Jim Young contributed some cash to recognize is new employer, Wells Fargo Bank.
  • And Jon Lawlis, read a letter from Dave Calfee on his interest and support of the Club.

Raffle Results

Your scribe won the right to select the orange ball in a bag of 2. Only 2! And came up with white.


Vickie Squier

Virginia Squier of Speakeasy

Jim Young introduced the speaker. Virginia Squier focused on the theme that how you say something is far more important than what you say. And as a professional communications coach with the firm Speakeasy, she knows what she is talking about.

Vickie discussed the four characteristics of a good speaker in detail: authority, energy, audience awareness, and connecting with the audience. She gave colorful examples to make her points, and drew a number of good questions from the audience.

- Semper Paratus, Scribe Rich Brandes