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“Service Above Self”

Rotary is a service organization of business and community leaders united worldwide.  Rotarians are making a positive impact in our local and global communities.

The Rotary Club of San Jose

Benefiting the community and our world through action, integrity, service, and fellowship.

The Rotary Club of San Jose is the largest, most active and well-known service organization in the community. We are a leadership organization working together to make a difference. Our members include local business, nonprofit, professional and civic leaders. We form lasting friendships through our shared Rotary experiences including weekly meetings with interesting speakers, committee meetings and projects, social events and group service projects within our community and internationally.

The Program for November 20th: Thanksgiving

The Rotary Thanksgiving program has been a part of Rotary’s tradition since 1997. It was created because Terry Graff, who was president of the club in 1997, wanted to depart from the then traditional sermons which highlighted earlier Rotary Thanksgivings. The result was a program that featured ten Rotarians, who candidly told fellow members what caused them to be thankful. Among the participants in that first program were Dan Orloff, Chuck Reed, Leigh Weimers and Fernando Zazueta. This year’s program includes another group of approximately a dozen Rotarians.

Welcome Our New Executive Director

Leslee Hamilton is a Bay Area native and has worked in downtown San Jose for over 30 years. After graduating with a degree in business economics from UCSB, she joined the Peace Corps, which sparked a love of service, travel, and cultural adventures. She has extensive training in non-profit management and most recently was executive director of Guadalupe River Park Conservancy. A Rotary member since 2008, Leslee is inspired by club members’ generosity and Rotary’s local and international impacts.

No Meeting on Wednesday, November 27th

There will be no meeting on November 27th at the Summit Center.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Need Community Feedback for Expansion of Rotary PlayGarden

As a result of funding from Santa Clara County – and a match from the City of San Jose – the Rotary PlayGarden will be expanding. Through November 17, Guadalupe River Park Conservancy will be supporting the Parks, Recreation & Neighborhood Services Dept. (PRNS) by staffing community feedback boards regarding desired program elements for the expansion. If you know families that will visit the PlayGarden at that time, please encourage them to participate.

Additionally, there is a survey (please click here for the link), and two community meetings will be held - #1 - Thursday January 9, 2020 – 6:30-8:00pm and #2 – TBD week of February 24, 2020.

Christmas in the Park

Christmas in the Park Event!

Please join us in an evening of fun, friendship and holiday cheer!

This magical, family friendly evening will begin with spirited "hot chocolate" and decadent desserts at the "88" residential building. As a group, we will then walk to Christmas in the Park to enjoy the traditional lights, trees, and exhibits!


Wednesday, December 11th


6:00 - 7:30PM Dessert and Drinks
7:30 - 8:30PM Christmas in the Park!


The 88 Entertainment Lounge
(88 E. San Fernando Street, 5th Floor)

Stop by the lobby table at the Summit Center to sign up for this FREE event, or send an email to Karen Philbrick.


Red Badge Fall Project-Family Giving Tree

For this year’s Fall Red Badge Project we are excited to be assisting with The Family Giving Tree’s Holiday Wish Drive.

The Family Giving Tree provides gifts for the Holidays to Bay Area children, families and seniors from low-income households. The Family Giving Tree expects to distribute around 100,000 gifts this year alone.

Our job is to be Santa’s Helpers. We will be sorting gifts donated from all over the Bay Area for delivery.

Red Badgers please sign up as soon as possible. While this is a Red Badge Project, we invite all members that are interested to volunteer with us.

Thursday, December 12
110 W. Tasman Dr.
San Jose 95134

We need 50 volunteers.  To sign up, please contact Bill Schroh or Ginger Sotelo.

Thank you in advance for dedicating your time to brighten the holidays for many children, families and senior this year.

Winter Wonderland Holiday Lunch

For more information, click here to register and pay online.

2020 Rotary International Convention

Honolulu Hawaii
June 6-10, 2020

The 2020 Rotary International Convention in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA is where people of action from all over the world will gather to connect, celebrate, and collaborate to make a better world. 
At the general and breakout sessions taking place during the convention, you can:
  • Hear from world leaders, philanthropists, and other remarkable people during general sessions.
  • Take part in breakout sessions to learn more about thought-provoking topics at in-depth seminars, workshops, and discussions.
For more information, please click here.
To register, click here.  Registration fees increase after December 15thRegister now!

The Meeting Summary for November 14, 2019


Rotarians and their guests were welcomed in the lobby by the Red Badge committee, chaired by Helen Lambert and Terri Chapman. President Karyn Sinunu-Towery rang the bell to open our 5,228th meeting and congratulated the Military Care Committee on a great job at Monday’s Veteran’s Day Parade. Ours was the only service club in the area to provide free coffee, doughnuts, sandwiches and fruit to parade participants. We’ll have a video to watch next week.

Rafe Ann Du Bois shared some upbeat news that it was National Kindness Day. Noting that kindness comes in many forms, she shared a tale about tough love as delivered by her first grade teacher when Rafe Ann was reluctant to narrate a school play. We then moved onto guest introductions, with traveling mics handled by Karen Fox and Deima Elnatour, and our guests included pianist Katya Grineva and San Jose Sharks President John Tortora.

President Karyn next expressed her admiration John Kennett for his work as our interim executive director and presented him with a Challenge Coin. She also pointed out that our new executive director, Leslee Hamilton, was wearing a very John Kennett-like Hawaiian shirt at her introduction. “Leslee, please…”

Fernando Zazueta took the podium to provide a history lesson about O’Brien’s Candy Shop, which opened in 1868. It was, in 1878, the first place to serve ice cream and specialty sodas west of Detroit. Charlie O’Brien, son of the downtown eatery’s founder, was our second president and the Rotary Club of San Jose’s very first meeting was held at O’Brien’s. A replica of one of its early incarnations is at History Park.

Matt Braker was next to update us on a global Rotary project, this time the Hungry Harvest effort that started at the Rotary Club of Seattle. The idea began with police cards picking up unused food and delivering it to food banks and grew quickly to become a district-wide, statewide and eventually nationwide effort. Also on the worldwide stage, we got a photo of Larry Stone -- boo amongst yourselves -- on vacation in Vietnam wearing his Rotary gear.

Bill Schroh let us know about a volunteer opportunity with the Red Badge committee, which as its annual project will be helping sort toys for Family Giving Tree on Dec. 12 at 5:30 p.m. Contact the committee if you’re interested in helping out.

President Karyn made a pitch for next week’s meeting, which is our annual Thanksgiving program and will include the presentation of the Ellenberg Award.

Jim Sparaco was next up to introduce our speakers, Sharks radio voice Dan Rusanowsky and Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson, who had a conversation about the team and its place in the city. Here are a few highlights:

-- Wilson said that his role as general manager is to make San Jose a place that players want to play. He later noted that while many NHL players have “no trade” clauses in their contracts, no players list San Jose as a team they refuse to be traded to.

-- The Sharks philosophy, Wilson said, is to be the hunter not the hunted. He says if coaches and team leaders encourage the team to play the right way, success will follow.

-- Two up-and-coming players that fans should keep an eye on are centerman Barclay Goodrow and defenseman Mario Ferraro.

-- On the team’s sudden rivalry with the Vegas Golden Knights, Wilson said he has never seen a rivalry escalate as quickly as that one has. Of last season’s astounding Game 7 comeback against Vegas, Wilson said, “I’ve never been to a sporting event like that.”

-- Steve Ellenberg asked a question about Wilson being the last player to play in the NHL without a helmet, Wilson joked, “Not a sign of genius, I tell you.”


Summary submitted by Sal Pizarro, Meeting Summaries Committee.
Photos taken by Harvard Sung, Photography Committee. Please click here to see the full set.

New member Cathy Galusha

Cathy Galusha is a native Californian born in San Diego and raised in Santa Clara with her 7 siblings by parents Carol, Gerald and step-father Dave. Cathy is a Senior Director Commercial Banker at Bridge Bank. She received her B.S. in Business Administration with a focus in Accounting and Finance from SJSU in 2007. At SJSU she was invited and joined the Gary J. Sbano honors program, differentiating herself from her budding classmates. After graduating with honors, she joined Bridge Bank and quickly climbed the corporate ladder. During the first half of her adult life Cathy was a self-employed Cosmetologist. Being self-employed afforded her the flexibility to raise her only child Alexa and further her education. Cathy is a regular volunteer for Junior Achievement teaching underprivileged children about the skills and education needed in a job and the importance of businesses and government in a community. When she is not volunteering or helping clients with finance needs she enjoys playing softball, golfing, and spending time with her new grandbaby.

New Member Calvin Keen

Calvin Keen was born and raised in Palo Alto, the youngest of five children. In 1990, when Calvin was four years old, his parents, after many years at IBM, opened a jewelry store in North San Jose where Calvin spent most of his afternoons. Calvin attended Bellarmine College Preparatory for high school and graduated in 2004 as president of the student body. Calvin was accepted at Georgetown University but, after his freshman year, decided to take a leave of absence and live in Manila in order to work with a housing and community development organization. Back at Georgetown in 2009, Calvin was named “Mr. Georgetown” after winning a schoolwide competition for the designation and eventually graduated from Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service. While living in Washington, D.C., Calvin worked as a program manager for USAID projects in Africa and Central Europe and subsequently started a real estate development company. Moving back to the Bay Area two years ago, Calvin continues his work in finance and investment management as an advisor at Transamerica. For fun, Calvin is a classically trained tenor having made his debut at Carnegie Hall in 2009.


Club Board of Directors
November 19th 2019 at 7:30 am
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Play Garden Committee
November 20th 2019 at 11:00 am
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Fun & Friendship Committee
November 20th 2019 at 11:15 am
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Thanksgiving Program
Speaker: Thanksgiving Program
November 20th 2019 at 12:00 pm
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Foundation Board of Trustees
November 21st 2019 at 7:30 am
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International Service Committee
November 21st 2019 at 12:00 pm
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International House Committee
November 22nd 2019 at 8:00 am
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No Meeting
November 27th 2019 at 12:00 pm
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November 30th 2019 at 7:00 am
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DATE CHANGE: Red Badge Committee
December 3rd 2019 at 7:45 am
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Program Committee
December 3rd 2019 at 11:45 am
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Next Big Project
December 3rd 2019 at 3:30 pm
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Rotaplast Committee
December 3rd 2019 at 5:30 pm
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Paws to Consider Committee
December 4th 2019 at 11:15 am
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Marcus Shelby
Speaker: Marcus Shelby
Topic: Jazz
December 4th 2019 at 12:00 pm
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ELC Committee
December 5th 2019 at 7:30 am
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Los Amigos
December 5th 2019 at 7:30 am
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Rotary Book Club
December 9th 2019 at 12:00 pm
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Membership Committee
December 10th 2019 at 7:30 am
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Gala Committee
December 10th 2019 at 4:00 pm
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Career Development Committee
December 11th 2019 at 11:00 am
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Fun & Friendship Committee
December 11th 2019 at 11:15 am
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Christopher Kitts
Speaker: Christopher Kitts
Topic: Robots Everywhere-Land, Sea, Air and Space!
December 11th 2019 at 12:00 pm
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F&F - Christmas in the Park Event
December 11th 2019 at 5:00 pm
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Downtown Impact Committee
December 12th 2019 at 8:00 am
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Orientation Committee
December 12th 2019 at 12:00 pm
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Red Badge Fall Project Family Giving Tree
December 12th 2019 at 5:30 pm
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Club Board of Directors
December 17th 2019 at 7:30 am
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Service to Seniors Holiday Dinner
December 17th 2019 at 5:00 pm
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Play Garden Committee
December 18th 2019 at 11:00 am
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Winter Wonderland Holiday Lunch
Speaker: Winter Wonderland Holiday Lunch
Requires Registration
December 18th 2019 at 11:00 am
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Holiday Lunch
December 18th 2019 at 12:00 pm
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