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Join us on a Wednesday convenient to you and experience the fun and friendship of the Rotary Club of San Jose!

Contact our Executive Director, Leslee Hamilton for more details (408) 297-6101.

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Fill up an application and join community leaders. Become a member of the Rotary Club of San Jose.

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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.

Diversity & Inclusion

Having a diverse and inclusive Rotary Club means we value and welcome individuals of all ages, cultures, ethnicities, and races to our Club. We invite younger people, women, and minorities who support Rotary’s values, ideals, and mission to join our members in service to our community, and we strive to give all members equal opportunities to serve as leaders within our Club.

Fun & Friendship Events

Zoom Host When   Description Registration Link
Jeremy Harris   Jan 28 6:30 PM
Variations of Name That Tune - using hints from lyrics, famous performers, movies, Broadway shows, and of course, melodies on the piano. 

Designed for all levels!

Everyone gets to play - no rush, no time factors.  Fun for all!

click here
Karen Fox Feb 2 7:00 PM
Let’s meet your furry family members who keep us sane during Shelter-in-Place. 

Share your pet via a photo, a pet resume, or a special live appearance!
A more intimate event to truly learn about each other, only 10 spots available!

click here


Sean O’Kane Feb 3 6:30 PM
Everything you ever wanted to know but were afraid to ask about the Arts, Geography, Science, History, Entertainment and of course a mix of Potpourri.

And I’m not talking about a mixture of dried petals and spices placed in a bowl or small sack to perfume clothing or a room. 

Hurry, max of 12!

click here

The Speaker for January 27, 2021: Tamara Alvarado

Advancing Equity in Philanthropy
Tamara serves as a Program Officer in the David and Lucile Packard Foundation's Local Grantmaking Program in a new role leading the cultural and civic investments in the Vibrant Communities portfolio spanning the five Bay Area counties that the program serves: San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Benito. The portfolio invests $4 million annually to advance creative, environmental, and civic organizations that connect people with art, nature, and their communities, creating a unique sense of place for all. 
Tamara joins the Packard Foundation after serving as executive director of the Leo M. Shortino Family Foundation, a San José, California–based foundation that focuses on youth and arts. Tamara has held executive, board, and director positions at various local, regional and national arts and community organizations, including the School of Arts and Culture at Mexican Heritage Plaza; the Multicultural Arts Leadership Institute at 1stAct Silicon Valley (now SVCREATES); MACLA/Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana; and WESTAF (Western States Arts Federation).
Tamara holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish Literature with an emphasis in Chicano Studies from Stanford University. She has been a traditional Aztec dancer for over 20 years and is a member of Calpulli Tonalehqueh Aztec Drum and Dance.

The Meeting Summary for January 20, 2021

Before the meeting we listened to the shortened English version of La Tejanita.

President Fernando called the #5282 meeting of the Rotary Club of San Jose to order. He welcomed fellow Rotarians and guests. President Fernando sent well wishes to those with January birthdays; Charlie McCollum and Michael Turpin celebrated their birthdays today.

President Fernando introduced County Supervisor and fellow Rotarian Susan Ellenberg. She represents District 4 of Santa Clara County. After setting her timer for ten minutes, Supervisor Ellenberg discussed the County’s response to Covid. In the last few weeks the numbers of infections and deaths have been high. Covid-19 website gives the figures. The supply and information regarding vaccines from state and federal is less than ideal right now. The County has the ability to administer the vaccines, but doesn’t have the needed supply; vaccine updates can be viewed at and

Supervisor Ellenberg then discussed her projects regarding juvenile justice, the need for transparent County budget (goals or programs, delivery and results), small business support for those impacted by Covid and County hospital access.

President Fernando introduced new member, Ashley Bruni who is a member of the Urban Catalyst team and sponsored by Nicholas Adams and Josh Burroughs.

President Fernando presented Blue Badges to Pat Tietgens and Rowena Tomaneng. Congratulations went to both.
Brian Franklin of Fun & Friendship Committee announced three upcoming Zoom events: Jan 28, Song and Schmooze with Jeremy Harris; Feb 2, when Karen Fox will host Share Your Pet; February 3, Trivia Contest hosted by Sean O’Kane with prizes. Details can be found on the Rotary website.

Jenny Niklaus announced the Valentine’s Day Program is coming up soon. Rotarians will be invited to speak about love. The focus this year will be on what you learned about love during the pandemic. Email Jenny if you want to participate in the program; she will help you put your talk together.

President Fernando announced that early registration has been extended to February 15, 2021 for Rotary Int’l Conference in Taipei. He also gave a shout out to the committee that writes the meeting summaries. President Fernando suggested you call Gay Crawford for a fine opportunity to give to the club and at the same time donate to the club.

Dave Ginsburg introduced our speaker, recently retired St. Louis Sgt. Heather Taylor, who is the former president and current spokesperson for the Ethical Society of Police. She co-authored the Ethical Society of Police’s, a Comprehensive Evaluations of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.  She was a homicide sergeant before her retirement. For years she was the only African-American in that division. Most members of law enforcement are white males but often such a department make-up doesn’t reflect the community they serve.

Her goal as a detective was to answer the needs of victims; her own mother had to turn Sgt. Taylor’s brother into authorities after her brother murdered a neighbor. Sgt. Taylor reminded us that the job of a homicide detective is not close to television fiction and is in fact a very, very difficult career. Sgt. Taylor retired when she heard a fellow officer say that a victim’s life didn’t matter.

Sgt. Taylor took many questions.
  1. In our current search for a new San Jose police chief, we should review the candidate’s lawsuits and internal complaints, do a very thorough background checks and investigate the state of the current department for which the candidate works. Don’t just look at race. Don’t just depend on the candidate’s performance at the written and oral examinations.
  2. She doesn’t embrace “defunding police;” she supports reallocating funds in order to hire persons who have talents that police don’t, such as hiring more social workers.
  3. The blue wall of silence is very prevalent, and it is difficult to change without the brass and the community being involved.
  4. She is deeply worried about the rise of extremist groups within the military and law enforcement.
  5. In order to diversify departments, programs within a community to train persons from all cultures has been successful in St. Louis.
President Fernando noted that a contribution had been made on our speaker’s behalf to Our City Forest and he announced that next week’s speaker will be Tamara Alvarado speaking on “Advancing Equity in Philanthropy.”

With an “Hasta La Vista, Rotarians,” the Zoom meeting was adjourned at 1:15 p.m.

Click here to watch this week's broadcast.

Respectfully submitted by Karyn Sinunu-Towery, Meeting Summaries Committee.


January Birthdays

New Member Ashley Bruni

Office Administrator at Urban Catalyst Fund, Ms. Bruni has diverse experience in the real estate industry, where she has worked for more than a decade. Acting as a key point of contact with business partners, local government officials, and the media, she has established strong community relationships through effective communication and strategic planning. Ms. Bruni currently serves as a new member of the Rotary Club of San Jose and was named one of Silicon Valley Magazine’s Most Influential People in Silicon Valley in 2020.

New Member Valerie Burniece

Valerie Burniece is the CFO at iXsystems, Inc., a privately held “gem” - an open-source provider of storage and customer server solutions. As a consultant, she was intrigued by the level of customer loyalty and company’s bootstrapped success for almost sixteen years without a bona fide finance and accounting function and signed on.  In less than three years the newly formed executive team has positioned the company for big growth.
This drive and passion are the common thread through her professional, volunteer and family relationships.

A proud native New Yorker, Valerie’s professional credentials include BA (Political Science & Fine Arts), MBA and MS Accounting. She lived in New England and moved to Los Gatos in 1992 with her husband, Tom, then to San Jose in 2007 where they live today.  While most of her career has been at technology companies, she spent three years as CFO & COO at a non-profit Hospice, a “give back” job. 

Community engagement through volunteerism has always been a priority. Over the years Valerie has been involved with autism, hospice, served as a church Treasurer and a “Good Sam”, bringing meals to homes. She is also passionate about women’s issues and started a women’s group at iXsystems, then led that group to do a volunteer project for Loaves and Fishes. So it’s probably not a surprise that Loaves and Fishes was a Fall 2020 Red Badge project. She is proud to be called a Rotarian and is eager to meet you all in person.


District Newsletter

Every other month, our District Office compiles a newsletter for Rotarians. These are intended to keep you informed about Rotary ideas and events at the district level. Please click here for the January Newsletter.


Tamara Alvarado
Speaker: Tamara Alvarado
Topic: Advancing Equity in Philanthropy
January 27th 2021 at 12:00 pm
More info

Songs & Schmoozing
January 28th 2021 at 6:30 pm
More info

Share Your Pet
February 2nd 2021 at 7:00 pm
More info

Jeffrey Munks
Speaker: Jeffrey Munks
Topic: Language Line, The Best Story About San Jose You Never Heard
February 3rd 2021 at 12:15 pm
More info

February 3rd 2021 at 6:30 pm
More info

Book Club
February 8th 2021 at 11:00 am
More info

Valentine's Day
Speaker: Rotarians will share their experience of love
Topic: love stories
February 10th 2021 at 12:15 pm
More info

Club Board Meeting
February 16th 2021 at 7:30 am
More info

Sr. Marilyn Lacey
Speaker: Sr. Marilyn Lacey
Topic: The Surprising Path to a Joyful Life
February 17th 2021 at 12:15 pm
More info

Foundation Board Meeting
February 18th 2021 at 7:30 am
More info

Lee Fisher
Speaker: Lee Fisher
Topic: Electoral College
February 24th 2021 at 12:15 pm
More info


Tamara Alvarado
Advancing Equity in Philanthropy
Jan 27th 2021 12:00 pm
More info

Jeffrey Munks
Language Line, The Best Story About San Jose You Never Heard
Feb 3rd 2021 12:15 pm
More info

Rotarians will share their experience of love
love stories
Feb 10th 2021 12:15 pm
More info

Sr. Marilyn Lacey
The Surprising Path to a Joyful Life
Feb 17th 2021 12:15 pm
More info

Lee Fisher
Electoral College
Feb 24th 2021 12:15 pm
More info