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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.

The Speaker for August 5th: Madeleine Fackler

Today's Refugee Journey ... from Harm to Home"

For the last 4 1/2 years Madeleine Fackler has served as the Chief Information Officer at the International Rescue Committee -- one of the largest NGO's focused exclusively on the current refugee problem globally. Madeleine moved into the role after having spent 30 years working in high tech companies (Hewlett Packard, 3Com and an Internet start-up) and most recently as the CIO for Johnson & Johnson's Consumer Product Group. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Math & Economics from Smith College and a Masters in Computer Engineering from Stanford University. At the IRC she is responsible for providing all of the systems and needed technical infrastructure globally for the staff of 14,000 employees. The IRC works in over 40 countries and manages 25 resettlement centers here in the US (including 4 in Northern California). Last year their work supported over 30 million refugees worldwide. Most recently Madeleine has been focused on ensuring IRC's work can continue effectively despite the challenges of Covid-19 throughout the globe.

The Meeting Summary for July 29, 2020

After the introductory music of Boda de Luis Alonso, the virtual meeting was called to order at 12:15 p.m. by President  FERNANDO ZAZUETA. To begin meeting 5,260 of the Rotary Club of San Jose, President Fernando noted that July 29 marks the birthday of past-president MEL MATSUSHIMA, further noting that in Japan, Mel would be a Shogun as he is “the last oldest son of the oldest son of Samurai that goes back 800 years or 29 generations.”

The Inspirational Thought for the Day was delivered by ERVIE SMITH who, President Fernando mentioned, joined our Club in 1990, three years after women were admitted for membership. In her remarks, Ervie mentioned that she is inspired by the nonprofit communities with which she works, and by young people who are helping to serve others. She concluded with a line from poet C.S. Lewis: “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”

MICK GRECO, chair of the Rotary PlayGarden Advocates Committee, then provided an update about the Rotary PlayGarden, which recently marked its fifth anniversary and next year will be welcoming its one millionth visitor. Mick invited members to join his Committee as it looks forward to being able to welcome visitors back for large gatherings again when allowed to do so.

CATHERINE COOK of the International Service Committee spoke about the Club’s involvement with the nonprofit crowdfunding organization, Kiva, and our being introduced to its mission back in 2014 by then president STEW PARK. Since our Club’s initial investment of loaning $10,000, that has now resulted in $40,000 in loans being made to folks in underserved areas. To date we have provided 237 loans to people in 68 countries. For more about how Kiva works, visit

President Fernando mentioned that we should be on the lookout for details about the formation of Zoom Breakout Rooms that will allow interested members to “visit” a virtual room with other members about 15 minutes prior to the start of each weekly meeting. Each room will feature a specific discussion topic. This will allow for further engagement among Rotarians. We were also reminded that we will be receiving a diversity survey so that our Club can determine its baseline of the composition of our membership as we seek to become a more diverse Club and be more reflective of the community in which we serve.

President Fernando then explained that on the last Wednesday of all subsequent months, he will ask if anyone is celebrating a special event to take a “fine” opportunity to ring the bell, with each ring equaling a $100 contribution to the Rotary Foundation. For planning purposes, if you have a special occasion to share with the Club, notify GAY CRAWFORD ( and President Fernando will mention it during the meeting. Another option is to signal by using the Hand option on Zoom so that your microphone will be unmuted for you to share the news. The first of these will occur on August 26.

Our speaker was introduced by Rotarian LARRY DONATONI from Santa Clara University, location of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, of which speaker Don Heider is executive director. He is also a professor of Social Ethics, a professor of Communication, an author of seven books, and a former Emmy award-winning broadcast journalist. His topic today: Artificial Intelligence and the Vatican.

The Institute for Technology, Ethics and Culture (ITEC) in Silicon Valley began as an advisory entity with interested and respected members, including Rev. Brendan McGuire of the Diocese of San Jose. This led to the participation in a conference about Technology and the Common Good held at The Vatican in 2019. Pope Francis has said: “A better world is possible thanks to technological progress, if this is accompanied by an ethic inspired by a vision of the common good, an ethic of freedom, responsibility and fraternity, capable of fostering the full development of people in relation to others and to the whole of creation.” The Vatican, specifically the Pontifical Council on Culture, was interested in having a presence in Silicon Valley, and a memorandum of understanding was formed between the two entities.

ITEC convenes meetings of thought leaders, especially exploring the area of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Among its work, ITEC is creating an online library and digital resources, and providing a digital ethics management framework. Ethicists and moral theologians are convened to write and discuss issues centered around AI, and an online repository will be built. Questions such as “Are humans more like animals or machines?” are explored. Much of AI is designed to make things easier for humans, yet this may result in some people being more impatient with reality.

Professor Heider concluded his thought-provoking presentation, then answered several questions that covered such topics as tech industry business ethics, AI weaponry, our relationships with devices, and driverless vehicles.

President Fernando thanked our speaker and mentioned that a contribution to Our City Forest was being made on his behalf. He also acknowledged the work of the Summaries Committee and its members and made a pitch for the purchase of Rotary Club of San Jose masks being sold through KATHLEEN THOMAS.

Next week’s speaker is Madeleine Fackler, senior I-T executive/CIO for the International Rescue Committee.

President Fernando adjourned the meeting at 1:15 p.m.

Please click here to view this week’s broadcast.

Respectfully submitted by Brian Adams, Meeting Summaries Committee.


August Birthdays

District Newsletter

Every other month, our District Office complies 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 July Newsletter.


Golf Committee
August 4th 2020 at 11:30 am
More info

Madeleine Fackler
Speaker: Madeleine Fackler
Topic: Today's Refugee Journey ... from Harm to Home
August 5th 2020 at 12:15 pm
More info

Book Club
August 10th 2020 at 11:00 am
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Cindy Chavez
Speaker: Cindy Chavez
Topic: President of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors during a relentless pandemic and fiscal crisis; How Supervisor Cindy Chavez has continued to keep dozens of “balls” in the air while still getting things done!
August 12th 2020 at 12:15 pm
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Downtown Impact Committee
August 13th 2020 at 8:00 am
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Club Board Meeting
August 18th 2020 at 7:30 am
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Nicole Taylor
Speaker: Nicole Taylor
Topic: SVCF New Vision and Work
August 19th 2020 at 12:15 pm
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Red Badge
August 25th 2020 at 8:00 am
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Mary V. Hughes
Topic: Election
August 26th 2020 at 12:15 pm
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Leigh Weimers
August 26th 2020 at 4:30 pm
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Madeleine Fackler
Today's Refugee Journey ... from Harm to Home
Aug 5th 2020 12:15 pm
More info

Cindy Chavez
President of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors during a relentless pandemic and fiscal crisis; How Supervisor Cindy Chavez has continued to keep dozens of “balls” in the air while still getting things done!
Aug 12th 2020 12:15 pm
More info

Nicole Taylor
SVCF New Vision and Work
Aug 19th 2020 12:15 pm
More info