NEXT MEETING: March 4, 2016
What's All The Buzz About Behavioral Finance?
In 1980, two Israeli psychologists studying fighter pilots published a landmark paper about how people make decisions under conditions of risk, stress, and uncertainty. The findings were highly relevant to the way we make financial and economic decisions, which are almost always made under such conditions. As a result, a new movement called Behavioral Finance has surfaced and has become a global phenomenon, spawning countless new studies, influencing both government and industry, going mainstream in academia, and creating the impetus for numerous new businesses.
Richard Lehman, a Wall Street and financial industry veteran and an Adjunct Professor on the subject at UC Berkeley and Golden Gate University, will give us an overview of Behavioral Finance and what it means to each of us.
- Last week, on Tuesday, February 23rd, Rotary International turned 111 years old. Happy Birthday to us!
- Rotacare will hold a grand opening at its new location in the Family Justice Center in Richmond on Wednesday, March 30. More specifics to follow.
- Speaking of Rotacare, contact Henry Moe if you’re interested/willing to provide meal pick-up and delivery for the volunteer workers on one of the Tuesdays in March.
- The Rotary District 5160 conference will take place April 1-3 in Woodland, CA. To sign up, contact Valerie Munoz at this email or telephone 925.683.6310. There are plenty of activities planned, including an optional golf tournament, home brew competition, a barbeque, speakers, hands-on projects, lots of fun, and even a photo contest.
- Alan Baer reported that, because of generous Foundation giving throughout Rotary District 5160, there are substantial funds available for supporting eligible Club programs. All members are encouraged to generate ideas and recommendations for local and/or international projects that the Club Board of Directors can consider.
MEETING OF February 26, 2016
Past President Alan Baer called the meeting to order at the Richmond Country Club. John Wilson led the pledge of allegiance to the flag. George Egan asked for a moment of silence for freedom, peace, and justice on earth. Sid Chauvin provided this thought for the day: “People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going.”
Recognitions and Happy and Sad Dollars
- While Rotary was 111 years old on February 23, Ric Ambrose turned just 62 on that date (which was the same month and day on which his father was born). And it was reported that Erle Brown even had a birthday on the same day (hmm, 111?!).
- Also celebrating a February birthday (on the 17th) was Liliane Koziol, who welcomes the various festivities around that time (Valentines and the Presidents day). She especially enjoyed a friend’s recognition of her special day when he said, “Congratulations for another revolution around the sun”. Nice.
- Dan Tanita and Don Lau both celebrated joining Richmond Rotary on the same day 32 years ago although the records apparently show Dan joining one day earlier than Don. Seniority has its perks.
- John Wilson celebrated 11 years in Richmond Rotary but he had been a longtime Rotarian before joining this Club.
- Bob Dabney joined Richmond Rotary nine years ago.
- David Cole offered some happy dollars for a special grant received by the Masquers Playhouse from the Red Oak Opportunity Fund which will allow sixth-graders from Washington Elementary school to attend a special performance at the theater. David also mentioned a Masquers showcase experience in Oakland on March 7.
- Ric Ambrose had some sad dollars in remembering Richmond Rotary member and friend, Lynn Martin, who passed away last year at this time.
- Josh Genser was very happy about his recent fishing trip on the Sacramento River with Jim Becker.
- Jon Lawlis was, well, pretty damn happy about flying away the next day to Puerto Vallarta for three weeks with the love of his life.
- Club Treasurer David Brown was likewise enthused about heading off to Puerto Vallarta for a week or so with his lovely wife. (And the rest of us? Stuck here!) Imagine Erle, Jon, and David all there vacationing in Mexico at the same time. It almost sounds seismic.
- Bob Dabney was happy about February being Black History Month but sad that there is still racism in America.
- Lilian Koziol had happy dollars for being able to give Rotary Certificates of Recognition to those who donated items for the Club’s annual auction in early December.
- Tom Butt was happy to encourage everyone to come celebrate the historic Red Oak Victory ship’s relocation around the corner from its current berth to Basin 5 on Friday, March 4, from 3-5pm. At that time, the Riggers Loft Wine Company will hold a “soft-opening” inaugural wine tasting at the Riggers Loft building which is next to the pre-move Red Oak location.
- Herb Cole was happy that the Richmond Rotary poker club, which has been in recess for a while, is starting up again at Hank Covell’s house. Inquiries, participation, and easy money are welcomed.
- Simon Ellis gave up some happy dollars as a new member of Richmond Rotary.
- Alan Baer seemed to be happy about an upcoming event where he’ll engage with 50-60 hyper-energetic young Rotary Interactors.
- Jim Findley also offered some happy dollars about being a new Club member with a “great bunch of people”. Yeah!
Tech Careers For Low-Income Residents
Stacey Street introduced Barrie Hathaway, Executive Director of The Stride Center, an Oakland-based non-profit organization that operates a program dedicated to helping low-income people acquire skills in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in order to get out (and stay out) of poverty and move to self-sufficiency in a well-paying career for which there are shortages of qualified personnel (especially in the ICT-intensive Bay Area).
Program admission requirements are basic (a low-income adult able to work with a high school diploma or GED and 10th-grade reading proficiency). Barrie made it clear that the real key to success in the program is the “want to” factor, not some predisposed ICT aptitude. Reading remediation interventions are also available through The Stride Center.
The Stride Center held its first ICT classes in San Pablo about 16 years ago and now operates in three additional locations (Oakland, Concord, and San Jose). With about 27 staff members, the Stride Center has an annual budget of $2.2 million, largely from corporate and foundation funding. While Stride Center coursework costs about $3,000 – $4,000 per student, many pay nothing out of pocket while about 60% pay 15% of costs (thus having some “skin in the game”).
The Stride Center’s always-updated ICT classes are fast-paced and last 6-12 months depending on the coursework in each of the seven different industry certifications offered, which are primarily in systems administration, network and security specialization, and software development and coding. In addition to technical skills, The Stride Center also provides training in generalized professional and life skills.
With industry-recognized credentials in hand upon completion (average 80% completion rate), graduates are equipped to compete in open-market, entry-level ICT job opportunities (average 75% successful job placement). Starting salary is about $19.50 per hour with 30%+ gains in compensation likely in the first 18 months.
At any one time, there are about 350 students participating in the more than 500 Stride Center classes per year. About 20-25% of students are young adults and about 31% overall are female.
Thanks to Barrie Hathaway for sharing this uplifting success story of a non-profit program making a real difference in the lives of many. Fortunately for Richmond, The Stride Center is also one of eight partners in the “Progress Richmond” collaborative effort founded in 2010 to empower economic and social mobility for Richmond residents.
- Tom Waller, Rotating Scribe