NEXT MEETING: May 8, 2015
Richmond Rotary’s Teen Moms Project
“A child’s future well-being is determined by age two. What his mother knows can improve his chances.” (The Rotarian, Nov. 2014).
This special Club meeting/workshop is now in its tenth year. The Teen Moms Project offers words of hope and encouragement to a teen mom. As West Contra Costa County’s youngest mothers struggle to stay in school while raising a family, Rotarians will pull together personalized care packages of needed baby supplies for youth enrolled in the Adolescent Parenting Program of WCCSD and the YMCA Infant Toddler Center of Richmond High School. Richmond Rotary is grateful to Burt’s Bees and Project Linus for their donations to this effort.
- President Stoney Stonework noted that Nepal had been hit by a 7.9 earthquake over the past weekend and 6200 people lost their lives with thousands more injured. Pam Jones suggested the Club raise money for a shelter box, a self-contained unit that helps up to 10 people survive after a disaster for 2 weeks. Members generously raised their hands and the $1,000 for one shelter box was raised very quickly!
- Prez Stoney announced that Martinez Rotary was having their Century Bike Ride on May 9th and everyone was invited.
- Henry Moe said that the 24th annual Salesian High School Golf Tournament on Monday, May 4, at the Richmond Country Club was sold out, but dinner tickets are still available for $25 each. For more info, visit the event web page . Proceeds support the Salesian College Preparatory Scholarships and Tuition Grants Program for students in need.
- Prez Stoney reminded everyone that Kitchen@812 was hosting their Culinary Clash on May 20th at their facility and encouraged people to attend.
MEETING OF May 1, 2015
President Stoney called the meeting to order and asked Jonathan Lawlis to lead the Pledge of Allegiance. He asked for a silent prayer for freedom, peace, and justice on Earth, as well as prayers for the poor people in Nepal. Sid Chauvin’s thought for the day was mostly personal: Old age is coming at a really bad time.
Visiting Rotarians and Guests
- Liz Palmer was visiting from Oakland Rotary #3.
- Felix Hunzinger introduced Oscar Garcia, his guest for the last time (see below…)! Hmmm, Felix and Oscar sounds familiar…
- Markku Pelann noted he was seated at a table with all ladies whom he didn’t know! In addition to Liz from Oakland, Michelle Montakhab and Prapti Rana from Nutiva, guests of the speaker, introduced themselves.
- We are delighted to officially welcome a new member to the Richmond Rotary, Oscar Garcia, civil engineer for Chevron. He was recommended by Felix Hunziker, and we look forward to having him participate as a member, and learning even more about him. Welcome, Oscar!
- Felix Hunziker finally earned his Blue Badge by sharing his “Who Am I?” with the club. Felix was born in upstate New York and moved to the Saratoga Hills in the ‘70s with his 3 brothers. It was incredibly rural then, so Felix was a rebel who grew up hunting squirrels and hanging out with the tumbleweeds. He got into construction after high school and became a carpenter. In 1988 he went to Switzerland where he felt he really grew up doing an apprenticeship in framing. When he returned to the states he was ready for something different and studied architecture, graduating in 1996 with a BA in arts and architecture, and focusing on residential design for the next three years. He started working for HTK Architects in 1999 and has worked there ever since. Felix and his wife, also an architect, have lived in Richmond since 2003, and he is very active in the community. He is a self-described “gun nut” and Libertarian, who also serves on the Police Commission for the City of Richmond with David Brown. A very comprehensive and interesting overview – thanks for sharing, Felix, and congrats on the Blue Badge!
Recognitions and Happy and Sad Dollars
- Josh Surowitz celebrated his 41st birthday with some delightful, but consternating news: just as his two boys turned 3 and 5, his wife let him know that she is pregnant – with TWINS! Congratulations, Josh! David Brown added that in light of this news, he was letting Josh out of his donation to the shelter box…
- Bill Koziol celebrated his 7th wedding anniversary on April 26th (but thought it was April 23rd – at least he was early, and not late!). They had one of the three best meals of his life at The Bull Valley Roadhouse in Port Costa. Bill also had some happy dollars for playing hooky from work in the Foothills. It was a blast, but less fun to be back, though at least it was Friday….
- Nick Despota celebrated his 66th birthday (yeah, Social Security) on April 29th. On that day he submitted his last invoice (he hopes) for commercial web design work. But like other “retired” folks in the room, he finds himself doing exactly the same kind of work as a volunteer for a climate change action group and a certain Rotary Club. Not complaining. Just sayin’
- April 27th marked Sid Chauvin’s 11th year anniversary in Richmond Rotary. He also had historical happy dollars: April 30th was Willie Nelson’s 87th birthday, as well as the 70th anniversary of Hitler killing himself.
- Tom Waller had happy dollars for a situation that started off badly for his Russian bride (Tanya) but ended up well thanks to a fellow Rotarian! Tanya hit a roadway hazard while driving to work, leaving both right-side tires flat and misaligned. The tow truck operator recommended G&O Tires – Gonzalo Ochoa took great care of them and did a very good job on the car. Tom mentioned that Gonzalo feels badly about not attending more Rotary meetings, but his business is booming and he is short-handed at the shop. He hopes to see everyone soon!
- Herb Cole had sad dollars since today marked the last day everyone will see Jonathan Lawlis until September, since he’ll be in Canada. He also noted that Henry Moe had come in the bar (at Don Lau’s recommendation) after the meeting and had asked for some “funding” for the Interact kids to attend the boat cruise, and did a great job!
Revolutionizing the Way the World Eats – One Coconut at a Time
Stacey Street introduced Danielle Herrerias, Manager of People & Culture for Nutiva since 2012. Danielle worked in HR for Read Goods Solar, as well as various management positions for a real estate consultancy, Japanese developer and mortgage companies. She has an MA in City Planning from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and an AB in Biology from Stanford. She lives in Marin with her husband and 3 kids and is an avid runner and biker.
Danielle’s presentation, “Revolutionizing the Way the World Eats – One Coconut at a Time” began with the history and origin of Nutiva, and its CEO/Founder, John Roulac, who became interested in the environment when he learned that nuclear waste was dumped 9 miles from his home. He began his life journey: to study natural systems and discover practical solutions to pressing environmental challenges. John is recognized for his expertise on whole foods, organic farming, natural healing, hemp agriculture, forestry, permaculture, recycling and composting, and the conservation of water and energy. He began Nutiva with 500 hemp seed protein bars, and today its core values of Innovation, Purity, Community and Well-Being are embodied in all the company does. Nutiva now offers a range of certified organic products based on the ancient superfoods hemp, coconut, chia and red palm. Danielle shared some details about these, including that coconut oil makes up more than 60% of all sales now that people understand all the great health benefits, that hemp and chia are incredibly high in protein and Omega-3s, and Nutiva uses red palm fruit, not kernels, that don’t harm orangutan territory.
Nutiva has been on the fastest growing companies list for 6 years in a row and has tripled in size in the last few years. They are proud to give back to the community, having donated over $2 million to date to sustainable agriculture and other environmental organizations. She showed a short video demonstrating their relationship with TRUPP (The Remember Us People Project) and its founder Barry Dugar (http://nutiva.com/community/outreach/) She noted that most of their employees are based in Richmond, where they moved in 2012. Nutiva is focused on international growth, especially China and Europe, and have a goal of $200 million in sales in FY2016. Danielle and her colleagues also shared some tasty coconut treats with all in attendance!
- Stacey Street, Rotating Editor