Rotarians = People of Action


Our new Carmel Valley Rotary President

Firuza Khaytenova!

"Life is given once, so do it right!"


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Partners in Community Service 


One Club

Seven Schools

Multiple Charities

Hundreds of Students

Thousands Reached in the Community


(For information about PICS view the link below)



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Siobhan Greene, CEO of the Hospice Giving Foundation, presented a program on the history of Hospice in Monterey County at our December 4th meeting.  Started in Carmel Valley by Dr. Jerry Rubin in 1997, the need for compassionate end-of-life care was recognized as a valued missing part of the community.  Developed over 21 years into the Westland House and many other services, the Foundation has given back to the community $25M in very personal care to the patient and their families.  The second half of Siobhan presentation was on the necessary planning required before death so family, friends, and doctors know the requests and direction desired by the individual.  No time like the present to take care of those details!





November 27th the club welcomed new member Susanne Burns (center)!  Susanne is the manager with PacRep Theater in Carmel!  Our own thespian Fred Hero (left) was her sponsor!  Mike Holl, Membership Chair (right), welcomed Susanne!


 Patrick Robinson Ph.D., from UC Santa Cruz and Director of Ano Nuevo Reserve, presented a talk on Elephant Seals and how that research also helps judge the overall health of the Pacific ocean.  Patrick had a number of videos from cameras that had been attached to the seals that are the primary tools for observing behavior and recording their life cycles while they are at sea for months.  The seals will be "pupping" in January - only half will survive their first year.  The birthing females will fast while nursing loosing half of their body weight.  Seals travel has much as 6,000 miles off the west coast and dive to the depths of over 2000 feet!  Primary predators are sharks and Orcas.  Very interesting presentation! 







November 14th, our annual Veterans Day Salute hosted by Carmel Valley Rotary Club and Carmel-by-the-Sea Rotary Club!


Army Veteran Stan Soroken blows Taps


Colonel Gregory J. Ford, Garrison Commander from the Monterey Presidio, addresses the Rotarians and guests.


Keynote speaker Dr. Thomas H. Griffin, Chairperson from the Veterans Transition Center in Marina, details all the services provided for Veterans including housing, job development, case management, supportive services. and a food pantry.


Rotarians and guests from the Carmel-by-the-Sea Club and Carmel Valley Rotary Club enjoy an excellent lunch and the shared celebration of each club's Veterans and visiting military personnel!  Thank you for your service!




November 6th PICS Chair Deecie Denison receives her "thank you" plaque and gifts from Immediate Past President Kevin Kenoyer.  Deecie received a standing ovation from the club!



Also on November 6th Program Co-Chair Steve Andrews (right) presents Rob McClurg, who is with "The Grapes of Understanding" prison project, a donation from the club.  Rob, a retired school teacher, also gave an interesting program on Ed Ricketts, John Steinbeck, and the early history of Cannery Row! 



On election day Carmel Valley Rotarians staff the Free Flu Clinic at Tularcitos Elementary School!  Left to right Past Presidents Kevin Kenoyer, Rod Neubert, and Rich Briscoe answer questions.




Our last meeting in October included one of our favorite presentations from the Tony Willemsen Education Program.  This year each school received $1,000 in memory of Tony, a Carmel Valley Rotarian who strongly believed in reading and education who established this program before he passed away.  Recipients were the principals from each school:

Elisa Tacconi-  Captain Cooper Elementary School

Ryan Peterson- Tularcitos Elementary School

Jay Marden- River Elementary School


 Chair Ron Shimizu, Elisa Tacconi,  Jay Marden, and Ryan Peterson receive our donations toward their schools.



The second half of our meeting was a power point presentation from the Carmel Foundation.  President and CEO Holly Zoller, along with her administrative staff, detailed the many activities and services provided by the Foundation.  Established in 1950 for adults 55 and over, the mission was simple - provide necessary senior services and also provide activities - a place to call home. Volunteers are the backbone of the Foundation and by combining with other senior agencies within the community provide a broad spectrum of needed assistance and services, including housing, and transportation.  A true benefit to our community! 

President and CEO Holly Zoller of the Carmel Foundation addresses the club.





Past District Governor (5170) Orrin Mahoney from the Cupertino Rotary Club shared why he was proud to be a Rotarian at our October 23rd meeting.  Having joined Rotary in 2000, Orrin talked about how he was recruited into Rotary and why he found Rotary to be an excellent opportunity to participate in valued community projects providing a personal sense of involvement and satisfaction.  "Service above Self" is the Rotary mission statement.  The Rotary Foundation is the greatest asset and project funding opportunity available - it always gives back more than what was received.  Rotary inspires and Rotary gets it done!



Candidates for the Carmel Unified School District Board were our guest speakers October 16th.  Tess Arthur, John Ellison, Sara Hinds, and Lisa Talley Dean were each given time for a general introduction and then additional time for two other timed answers to a specific question.  On election day - Tuesday November 6th, voting will be for two of the four candidates.




Left to right - new member David Eisen, sponsor Neil Ticker, and Membership Chair Bruce Greenbaum


October 9th we welcomed new member David Eisen, a retired Project Manager most recently involved with the "clean-up" at Fort Ord.  David was sponsored by Neil Ticker.  Welcome David!

This month is also Rotary's Vocational Month.  Members Dr. Shimizu (DDS), Lewis Leader (writer/reporter/editor and recently campaign manager), and Rabbi Bruce Greenbaum gave a brief history of the careers, details of their jobs, and the surprises and rewards of their vocations.  All three volunteer their time through Rotary and other organizations, giving back to the community in addition to their valued occupations.





Our first October meeting had two special guests:  Rafael Payan, General Manager of Monterey Peninsula Regional Parks District (Palo Corona Regional Park - Rancho Canada), and Governor Elect of District 5230 Rod Coburn from the Fig Garden Rotary Club!


Governor Elect District 5230 Rod Coburn


Our guest speaker was Jeff Johnson, who has a Ph.D. in Chemistry, presented a program about Citizens' Climate Lobby (CCL) and global warming.  The lobby group works for climate change solutions by building support in Congress for a national bipartisan effort while working with everyday people for individual action.  Jeff used science data to show the increase in carbon dioxide and how it has impacted atmospheric warming, ocean warming, sea level rise of 4 inches (1993-2018), and ocean acidification - which has serious influence on the ocean's food chain.  Global warming affects migration, animals, insects, plants/trees, water levels, etc., including us!  65% of carbon dioxide comes from burning coal, burning oil, gasoline, and natural gas.  Increased use of nuclear, solar, wind, hydro, and renewable resources would greatly reduce our carbon footprint!


Jeff Johnson, Citizens' Climate Lobby





New Member Jason Zukor

Left to right - Bruce Greenbaum Membership Chair, President Firuza, Jason and his wife Mina!


Melanie Scherer, President of "The SNIP Bus", was our speaker September 25th.  What is the "SNIP BUS"?  It is a traveling clinic to spay and neuter dogs and feral cats.  Thousands of animals are killed every year in shelters in California - a tragic situation that Melanie wanted to help prevent by providing low cost and available spay and neuter clinics.  The rolling clinics have spayed or neutered over 6,800 dogs.  The Salinas Valley has a very high rate of shelter killings, due to over population because too many dog and cats are not spayed or neutered because of veterinary costs and/or distant office locations.  Providing the rolling clinics from Prunedale to King City, the bus averages 26 to 32 animals per stop.  Dogs 6 months or older are of minimum age for the procedure.  Feral cats must be in crates and, do to the limited space within the bus, large dogs are not accepted.  A $25 donation is requested for each procedure.





The September 18th speaker was very interesting and spoke about a sordid history seldom known by most people.  Margarita Kalinina-Pohl is a Senior Program Manager at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey.  Her topic was about the Gulags in Alzhir, Kazakhstan that housed women and children imprisoned  for being the "enemy of the people" from 1918 to 1954.  No trial no proof no justice in conditions that ranged from below freezing to over 100 degrees in the summer.  The women had to build their jails and then were used as forced labor for the Soviet Union with little food nor medical care under extreme cruelty - including repeated rapes by the guards.  Children under 3 could remain with their mothers, older children were sent away with most never finding their parents in later years.  Mass graves are now being exposed supported by the dairies and journals of the women that survived.  It is estimated that 18,000 women were trapped in these Gulags with unknown numbers of those that didn't survive.





 September 11th's meeting had two guests, speaker Sharon Casey, and Alpine - at golden lab in training as a guide dog for the blind.  Guide Dogs for the Blind (GDB) is a guide dog school located in the United States, with campuses in San Rafael, California, and Boring, Oregon. It was founded in 1942 by Lois Merrihew and Don Donaldson to help veterans who had been blinded in World War II.  Sharon has been a volunteer puppy trainer for thirteen years and a leader with the Monterey County Chapter of GDB.  She resides in King City with her husband and business partner.  Puppies are in her care from 9 weeks to 16 months when the dogs then go into additional training in San Rafael.  Best breeds for successful guide dogs are labs (80%), Golden Retrievers (10%), and a mix of both breeds (10%). Intelligence, willingness, attitude, and size all play a part in a dogs selection and success - only 45% succeed.  Pre-matching the dog and person involves many different criteria and once matched takes approximately two weeks of joint training before  the couple can go home together.  Dogs are provided free of charge to a legally blind person.  GDB is funded 100% by donations! 

 Look at that face - it's Alpine!



It's not just the plants, it is the social, education, and beautification projects within Carmel Valley - it is the fun of doing it with friends!  Gordon Dill, President of the Carmel Valley Garden Club, shared the experience of being a member at our August 21st meeting.  The garden club started with 30 members and now is 220 members!  The mission of the club is to educate and promote the science of successful gardening, sharing that with the local community, and working together with other groups to beautify Carmel Valley.  They have a major fund raiser each year in May for two days called the "Flower Show", but it is so much more!  Flower judging, photography, music, food and wine, and crafts are all part of the festivities held each year at Hidden Valley.  The first weekend in May - watch for the two day event that ultimately improves our Carmel Valley experience!




The August 14th meeting was a perfect subject just before next week's Monterey peninsula car shows and races!  Chris Holl has been a car judge for over thirteen years.  His love of cars started with his first car, a used 1967 MGB - of which he still owns!  Being a Concours Judge requires knowledge, experience, and to some degree solid mechanical ability.  He discussed the fine points - literally - of critiquing a car starting with 100 points and subtracting from that score for each negative element.  Time, love, money equals a show car owner!  There is no preference for a professionally restored car over an owner restoration - it is the results that counts.  From tail pipe to and through the interior to the front grill is all judged for operation, original parts and their condition!  For car lovers, this will be a big weekend! 





Left to right - Janie, Sophie, Gilbert and Taum.

August 7th we welcomed our first new member for the 2018 - 2019 term year!  Sponsored by Janie, Taum and Firuza welcomed Dr. Gilbert Hakim into the club.  Gilbert's wife Sophie pinned his new Rotary pin on his lapel finalizing the induction, he then gave a brief history of his background in chiropractic medicine and his keen interest in cars!  Welcome Gilbert!!  


Our guest speaker was Judy Proud, President of the Carmel Valley Women's Club!  Established in 1949 with six women, the club will be celebrating its 70th anniversary next year!  Their primary mission is supporting community projects, providing young women with scholarships, fund raising for those goals, and developing friendships that bind the community and the club together for the common civic good.  Currently the Carmel Valley Women's Club has 133 members that range from all over the peninsula.  Look for their annual fashion show in Pebble Beach - their primary fund raiser event! 



We had a special speaker on the 31st, Erden Erue an adventurer and traveler of the uncommon kind!  Bicycles and boats - small boats like canoes and row boats across the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian oceans!  A multi accomplished record setting man who dreams and does!  "The Guinness World Book of Records" documents over a dozen of his feats proving what can be done with determination, planning, and doing!  Most recently he "rowed" across the Pacific from Monterey to Hawaii!  "It is the journey - not the destination" that is his goal and his measure of success! 



Our meeting of July 24th proved to be funny and entertaining with a clear message of the importance of a moral compass, especially for kids at risk.  Frank DiPaola, a gang intervention consultant and retired Los Angeles Police Officer, shared his experiences dealing with gangs, under-cover narcotics operations, and his development of an intervention program that has had over 10,000 kids participate in.  He has also been a consultant and actor in various cop TV shows and movies and has recently wrote a book about his life as a cop "From Hell to Hail Mary".  Working with the kids and witnessing their transformation away from crime and developing into solid citizens has been most rewarding for Frank.  He is also active with the Carmel Mission Classic Car Show (scheduled for August 22) and the Carmel P.D. "Youth Diversion" program with Carmel High School where drugs are a major problem.   



Carmel Valley Rotarians enjoy a baseball game with the Monterey Amberjacks - and Amberjack himself!  Those cheering on the team was Neil, Joe, Phyl, Steve, Jack, and Lewis - Cynthia took the photo!

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July 17th's guest speaker was Matt Shea, President of the Carmel Valley Village Improvement Committee (CVVIC), who gave a brief history, the accomplishments, and future plans of CVVIC.  The mission of CVVIC is to beautify, increase safety, and still maintain the rural character of the Village.  The committee is non-political and wants to remain under the radar while keeping the "rustic hamlet" feel of the Village.  Completed projects are a Sheriff Sub Station, 11 trash cans and re-cycle cans around the Village, 2.8 miles of sidewalks and curbs, 17 over head lights, and acquired property next to the Carmel Valley Historical Society.  Plans for underground power lines are 4 to 5 years in the future.  30 wine tasting businesses are now in the Village, not all our local or Monterey County wineries.  Discussion followed on possible plans for Carmel Valley Airport which is for sale.



Immediate Past President Kevin Kenoyer swore in new club President Firuza Khaytenova on July 10th!  Firuza thanked Kevin for a marvelous year and pinned his lapel with his "Past President" pin and presented him with his new Rotary badge.  Firuza also introduced and gifted her Board with Rotary goodies brought back from Toronto!   Past club presidents Vicky Peach and Jamison and Warren Kaufman brought pink roses to help celebrate Firuza's day!  

Congratulations President Firuza!




June 26th was President Kevin's last official meeting!  Kevin thanked the club members and individuals within the club for their service and continued support throughout the year.  Kevin talked about the "bottom up" approach, new to Rotary, and how the work of Rotary is at the club level!  "Making a difference" was this year's theme and the club did exactly that!  Kevin's slogan this year was "do good have fun"!  President Kevin "did good" and "we had fun"!  Thank you Kevin for an outstanding year of service and dedication!! 



June 19th's speaker was Spohie Biddle who has spoken to the club once before.  She is described as a "health strategist" and nutritional adviser, who has gained experiential knowledge of many different holistic approaches to healing and rejuvenating the body.  Spohie's talk today was primarily on men's prostate issues.  She stated genetics maybe be "your potential" for health issues, but good life style choices can make for different results.



Our first meeting in June was lively and fun!  Rick Westbrook and Maria Dawson from the Improvisational Theater demonstrated how improvisation can improve communications which enhances team building.  Rick has been involved with the TV program "Whose Life is it Anyway".  Maria is part of Children's Theater and "Comedy Improv".  Fun games were a big part of the "improvisation" experience, guiding spontaneous responses and actions!  Lots of action from CVR members!



Our last meeting in May was a safari to Botswana!  Dan Presser provided photos, video, and narrative about his recent trip.  Giving a brief history that Botswana was a British colony until September of 1966 when Botswana was given their independence, shortly after that date diamonds were discovered providing the new country with a superb natural resource.  (It now has the second largest diamond mine in Africa.)  Deep into the Okavango Delta he visited the area of Xakanaka who's native language is a rare "click" language.  Numerous encounters with wildlife of all types provided interesting photo ops and personal experiences!






Janna Jo Williams, Farm and Garden Manager of Earthbound Farms, discussed the history and development of the organic farm on Carmel Valley Road at our May 22nd meeting.  Over a 20 year period the farm brand has grown from 5 local raspberry and fruit and nut tree acres to over 50,000 acres and 200 other farm cooperatives.  Earthbound is the largest organic farm brand in the U.S. supplying such large outlets as Costco.  Earthbound's processing center in located in San Juan Batista and handles a wide variety of produce, including herbs and flowers.  Everyone wanted to know when the Earthbound Farm stand will re-open - Janna says July!!  Can't wait!!!



Our May 15th meeting was a very Zen experience!  Reverend Shogen Danielson from the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center engaged the club with the history of Tassajara (an Esselen word for "good place to dry meat"), the history of the Zen Monastery dating back to 1965 (the first Zen Buddha monastery outside of Asia), and how Shogen was first inspired by Buddhism, later becoming a monk being ordained in 2004.  Shogen served in the Peace Corp for 39 months in Africa and had traveled to India and Nepal.  Shogen is currently involved with the chaplaincy at the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, Salinas Valley State Prison and Hospice of the Central Coast. He's on the teaching council of the Monterey Bay Zen Center.  



Our May 8th meeting was the club's annual Partners in Community Service (PICS) luncheon!  Chair Deecie Denison performed another brilliant task of organizing and supervising the many months of coordination required between seven schools within our community.  Each school's students researched, interviewed, and selected a charity they felt worthy of a donation that was provided by our club.

Tularcitos selected the "American Cancer Society"

Carmel River School selected "Get on the Bus"

All Saints Day School selected "ALS Association"

Junipero Serra selected the "Alzheimer's Association"

Carmel Middle School selected "Costal Kids Home Care"

Carmel High School selected "Peacock Acres"

Carmel Valley High School selected "Safe Place"

Thank you to the students and teachers for another marvelous year of Partners in Community Service! 



Our first meeting in May was a presentation by Monterey County Regional Fire District (MCRFD) Chief Mike Urquides and President of the MCRFD Board Warren "Pete" Poitras.  On the June 5th ballot is Measure "H", a special tax to the cannabis industry, not to the public.  The "why" of this tax is the additional burden of fire protection and response to an industry that has exploded within the county - already taking over from old fresh flower growers and other crops.  Public safety as well as the problem of rescue personnel and fire fighters dealing with the contamination of being around the plants and/or the marijuana smoke from fighting a fire.  The tax impacts cultivation, nurseries, manufacturers, and retail businesses of cannabis.   

Chief Mike Urquides



April 24th's meeting was historic.  Jewel Gentry from the Diocese of Monterey and the Mission Preservation Fund, spoke to the history of world migration, the arrival of Padre Junipero Serra in Mexico and the U.S., the California mission era, post mission and the gold rush era, through the mass western migration after the Civil War and the completion of the transcontinental railroads.  The California missions are all required to "earthquake" retrofit their 250+ year old buildings, San Juan Bautista Mission is one of the last to be completed of the 21 original missions.    


April 17th was the club's annual Top 100 Dinner at Rancho Canada.  For decades the club has honored the top 25 students in each class at Carmel High School.  This dinner not only honors the students, but the parents and the staff.  Many students are four year honorees having accomplished the grades and citizenship all four years of high school.  Congratulations students, parents, and staff of Carmel High School! 



You could almost hear the roar of a racing motorcycle as our guest speaker talked about his passion for bikes!  Greg Enyart, the docent at Moto Talbott Collection Motorcycle Museum in Carmel Valley, discussed the evolution of the museum at our April 10th meeting.  Robb Talbott, of winery fame and quality men's clothing, started the collection through his personal interest at an early age and his continued passion for the history of motorcycles.  160+ motorcycles ranging from the 1900s showcase bikes from 16 countries.  Many bikes on display are "winners" of major championships, record setters, or have interesting and unique stories.  The mission of the museum is the education, preservation, and restoration of notable motorcycles.  What an asset for Carmel Valley Village! 



The April 3rd guest speaker brought a very enlightening program on the procedures and policies of determining endangered species and the agreements and enforcement that follows.  Jenny Miller Garmendia, a Marine Policy Consultant, spoke to the politics, international treaties, unique fisheries, cultural issues, conservation groups, and commercial fishing regulations relating to endangered species - particularly sharks.  It is hard to appreciate the science work to first identify endangered species and then get an agreement between governments, businesses, universities, and conservation groups, and then enforce compliance!  Jenny presentation was a big eye opener to the difficulties of cultural diets/traditions and the survival of sharks and their impact on coral reefs - just one area of their impact on our environment!




Our last meeting in March was a double treat!  Peter Meckel, Founder and General Director from Hidden Valley Music Seminars in Carmel Valley, gave a brief history of their 56 years of music performance and education programs.  Known for their Masters Festival, which is Master Classes for musician and singers, draws teachers and students from around the world.  Taught by principal musicians from the major orchestras, young musicians get the opportunity to learn from professionals - sharing the passion of their chosen instruments or voice. 

A very special treat was a solo violin performance by Farkhad Khudyev, conductor of Youth Music Monterey County, and a noted international prize-winning musician.  Farkhad introduced each piece before his performance giving the background of the composer.  Beautiful and marvelous music! 





The Party's Back!



Rancho Canada

March 24th 6:00 PM

Live music with the Jim Vanderzwaan Trio, silent auction, and raffle tickets!

$50 per person

A few dinner tickets will be available at the door! 

The Carmel Valley Tradition Returns!




President Prescilla Walton from the Carmel Valley Association (CVA) was our guest speaker March 13th.  A new video was shown covering the history and mission of CVA that had its roots in the original Carmel Valley Property Owners Association established post WWII.  Their mission was to monitor development within Carmel Valley.  A master plan was developed in 2010 that capped housing and established policies and procedures for growth.  Traffic, event zoning, and short-term rentals have become issues for CVA.  With any development comes concerns for water, air quality, schools, and the recent traffic increase from tourists heading to the wine tasting rooms in Carmel Valley Village.  Maintaining quality of life for residents and conserve precious water resources remains a big part of CVA's mission. 




March 6th our newest Honorary Rotarian was inducted into the club by President Kevin and Director Ron Brenaman.  Nick Cunningham, life long Monterey resident and Olympian Blodselder, was formally welcomed into the club witnessed by both his parents, Wendy and Tim Cunningham - a surprise presence for Nick!  Nick, recently returned from the Olympic Winter Games in Korea, provided Olympic label pins for each Rotarian and thanked the club for our support over the years!  Congratulations Nick on your Olympic experience and being such a roll model for so many people!

Left to right: Prez Kevin, and Wendy, Nick, and Tim Cunningham



Our guest speaker March 6th was Bob Faulis, Managing Member Cannery Row Plaza, who discussed a mixed-use project planned for the geographic center of Cannery Row.  The 3.5 acres of vacant land purchased in July 2017 as distressed property will be transformed into condos, retail space, restaurants, additional parking spaces, recreation trail, and a historic cultural visitor center.  Open area platforms are planned for Bay viewing by the public which will be above the rocky shore line below.  The project estimate will be approximately $140M - all U.S. money sources.  Designed as both a neighborhood area as well as a tourist destination, the combined community will be the best of both! 



Our last meeting in February guest speaker was President Mike Djubasak from the Monterey Sunrise Rotary Club.  Mike, and his International Committee members, presented their recent wheelchair project in Peru.  124 children ranging in age from 1 to 14 and suffering from a number of different physical problems were fitted with individual wheel chairs - for most their first.  Rugged and easily repaired (with a 7/16 wrench) these wheelchairs were adjusted to fit children from head to toe and from left to right depending on each child's physical needs.  This project was a joint effort with Hope Haven West from Modesto, CA.  Mike stated their club's next wheelchair destination is Mongolia in July.  What a significant project!!




Judy Proud, Community Out Reach Director, introduced Youth Music Monterey County (YMMC) to the club at our February 20th meeting.  Providing background on the development and success of the county wide program, she stated over 300 student musicians, from 40 schools, from 12 cities are involved with this music program.  She also introduced YMMC Conductor Farkhad Khudyev, a professional international performer and conductor of considerable merit and musicianship.  Farkhad stressed how the power of music is so important to youth development in areas of compassion, sensitivity, and passion, building strength of character and citizenship that will serve these students for the rest of their lives.  YMMC gives three concerts each season - look for their performance dates!



February 13th's guest speaker shared her stories of three Chinese individuals who came from vastly different beginnings in China and how their lives changed when they came to the U.S. for an education.  Jana McBurney-Lin, author and editor, has lived in Singapore and China observing and writing about her experiences as well as the special stories of people who achieved great success in life.  Her blog "Bridge Over the Pacific" offers open communications and additional stories of life in Asia and the U.S. connection.



Gordon Jones, Chair of the Monterey Institute for Research in Astronomy (MIRA), was our guest speaker on February 6th!   MIRA's observatory is one of the few independent observatories in the U.S.  Founded in 1972 MIRA links non-scientists with astronomers in projects that expand our knowledge of the Universe.  Oliver Observing Station is located on Chews Ridge far from the light pollution of cities and busy airways.  MIRA also offers scholarships and interns the opportunity to work directly with astronomers on specific science projects! 

Oliver Observing Station, Chews Ridge



Our January 30th meeting was all about one of our projects at Carmel River School!  The idea to help with a new green house construction started with CV Rotarians Warren Kaufman and Nancy Bell - with plenty of sweat equity from club member Ron Shimizu.  Design and the majority of funding came from Dale and Brian Gingerich of Monterey Mattress, Carmel River School, and the our club.  The green house is part of a curriculum involving organic gardening and conservation - 475 children participate in the activities!       



Our own Rabbi Bruce Greenbaum was our guest speaker January 23rd.  Bruce and his wife Susan recently visited Viet Nam and China and shared their experiences and photos.  In Viet Nam, a communist country with a capitalist society, the street markets provide everything from groceries to hair cuts to hardware to fabric. The motor scooter is the primary transportation vehicle for families (4 to 6 riders) and freight - Bruce saw one intrepid motor "scooterist" carrying 30 foot sections of pipe!   Autos tend to obey the road rules while scooters, without mufflers, do their own thing!    



The January 16th speaker was inspiring and so timely in light of Martin Luther King weekend.  Anne C. Healey's topic was "My Civil Rights Journey", and what a journey it was!  Anne was born in Montgomery, Alabama, her pastor was Rev. King, she marched from Selma to Montgomery, attended the Washington D.C. "I have a dream" speech, and was part of many other civil rights activities.  Anne recently retired from IBM as a Senior Manager - I wish we had had more time to hear the rest of her life's story!   Her message was to "serve to make other's lives better"!  If only everyone acted for each other with that in mind!




The first meeting of 2018 was under rainy skies - at last some rain!  The fire season is officially and finally over!

President Kevin reviewed the last six months of the club's activities and then spoke to the next six months - the club's busiest months for fund raising and club events.

Our guest speaker was Nan Su who drove down from San Jose to speak at our club.  "Wisdom and Humanity from Ancient Chinese Culture" was his topic which covered how human rights in present day China is slowly returning to traditional values of "others are more important than self" and that all people are entitled to liberty and freedom of choice.  Sounds so much like "service above self" - a universal concept.






Our last meeting of 2017 was a lively and fun meeting!  We started with presenting new Carmel Valley High School principle Tom Barry with a donation for our annual CVHS student scholarship program.  (Photo below.)


The ugliest Christmas sweater contest was judged by 3 wise guys and 1 token wise gal!  Second place went to Barry Rowley - "Monkey Business".  First place went to Steve Millich who was awarded with an old bottle of "two buck chuck" wine!  Steve also lead the club in a Christmas trivia contest - amazing what you learn!

Guest speaker Sophie Biddle, a Health Coach, recommended that nothing but lettuce and berries is not the answer to a healthy life style.  Healthy foods may not be "happy foods"!  Other foods, classed as "not as healthy", are equally important for a long and happy life.  Occasional indulgences can provide the balance for an enjoyable experience important for the psyche! 



Our December 12th meeting featured guest speaker Steve Sinder, Carmel Magazine owner and publisher.  Steve's career began right after high school selling advertising for the local newspapers.  Forty years later, and five children later, Steve has been the man behind the Carmel Magazine since 1999.  Steve was recently selected the "2017 Business Man of the Year" by the Carmel Chamber of Commerce!  He also publishes the Monterey Jazz Festival program and several Chamber of Commerce guides.  Carmel Magazine is now at 35,000 copies!

Barry Rowley presented Terry Pershall, Chair of the Carmel Valley Angels Project, with our annual donation. 



December 5th's guest speakers were husband and wife David and Linda Mulally.  They presented their proposal for a new dog park at Rancho Canada's 10th hole along Carmel Valley Road.  Very different from the controversial Quail Lodge dog park, this park would be free to the public, have a separate large and small dog "off leash" fenced area, no events or camping facilities, and a set of rules posted that clarified people and dog behavior.  The site covers about 4 acres, is away from homes or businesses, and would have drinking water access for dogs.  Socializing at the dog park is not limited to just the dogs - but people too!


Congratulations Bob Spadoni on your 8th grandchild!



Steve Bernal, Monterey County Sheriff-Coroner, was our quest speaker November 28th!  Steve gave a detailed update on the status of the force, crime issues in the county, budget issues, and on some of the various programs associated with the Sheriff's office.  Areas covered included Advanced Leadership Training for deputies, an agreement with the U.S. Army to recruit Honorably Discharged Veterans guaranteeing an interview, the "Explorer Program" for kids, the new Tablet Technology introduced to the jail, partnering with Salinas High School for young inmates to get their GED, partnering with Hartnell for guiding inmates towards viable job skills, and community volunteers that are part of the Sheriff's Advisory Council.  Something new with the SO will be "drone" operations that can be used in a variety of emergency and criminal situations.









Kevin Urquhart of Monterey County Fisheries gave a factual and interesting talk November 21st on the Stealhead Trout and the Carmel Valley River watershed.  Lengthy droughts throughout local recorded history has left the river dry while normal seasonal dryness from July through October was common impacting the lives of the trout and making their population cyclic.  Some Stealhead from the same birth year migrate and some don't making population counts difficult.  Stealhead don't spawn and die making their life style different from other Salmon.  A target population is 4,000, which is believed to be sustainable by the river under normal conditions, is the goal.  Present population hovers around 1,000 adults.   Striped Bass, crayfish, and bull frogs are non-native predators.  Recent Carmel River restoration has greatly improved the health of the river benefiting the Stealhead and other species.  The preservation and restoration is on going.




November 14th meeting's guest speaker was Paul Miller, owner and publisher of The Carmel Pine Cone.  Paul purchased the Pine Cone in 1997 and has built it into the leading peninsula newspaper with local news as primary news.  Born in El Paso, TX, Paul's extensive background is in broadcast news having been a producer for CBS and NBC evening news shows working with Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather, and Tom Brokaw.  Paul discussed the accuracy of news reporting and networks that lean heavily towards either the left or right.      





November 7th was our annual Veterans Celebration luncheon honoring our Rotary veterans, community veterans and current military personnel representing the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force!  This joint meeting with the Carmel-by-the-Sea Rotary club represented a large segment of our community's veterans and their families.  Keynote speaker was Dennis Whitacre, a Viet Nam veteran.  Bugler was Stan Soroken, an Army veteran.  The National Anthem was sung by Kimberly DiFranco.  

Thank you veterans for your service!



Our October 31st speaker was Shary Farr from Partners For Transitions, LLC.  In 1977 Shary began working with terminally ill patients and their families, helping with end-of-life issues.  Since that time, she has created several programs which provide preparation and partnership for Life After 60 in the belief that by planning ahead we can ease difficult times for ourselves and those who care for us.  Shary shared numerous recommendations for pre-planning that went beyond the usual Living Trusts, Wills, and Health Directives.  So much more needs to be addressed and documented now about our affairs,  as we learned recently with the unexpected bicycle accident with John McKenna, life can change in a moment!



October 24th meeting's speaker was Vic Grabrian from the Carmel Mission Foundation.  Vic gave a brief history of the Mission followed by some details of the major restoration just completed for seismic retrofit of the church.  The next project will be the quadrant which will include the gift shop, court yard, the Harry Downie Museum, Mora Chapel, Blessed Sacrament Chapel, and the Orchard House - the oldest (non-native American) residence in California.  The new $20M project will include a seismic retrofit, climate control, visitor safety items, and badly needed general repairs and maintenance.



Carmel Valley Rotarians are "People of Action" in our community! Today, October 17th, Carmel Valley Rotarians donated not only financial support but sweat equity in working with the Visiting Nurse Association in giving free flu shots at Tularcitos Elementary School.  Over 350 injections were giving in a three hour period to people from 3 years old to 97!  All free!  Protecting our community through positive action and support, Carmel Valley Rotary was there!  Carmel-by-the-Sea Rotary also donated funds to make this event possible!  Thank you to everyone who participated! 



Hugh Jebson, a Master Teacher with an extensive teaching background of over twenty-five years and currently at All Saints Day School, shared his philosophy of creating a safe and secure environment for children in schools.  The dynamics of parenting has changed over the years as well as the school's roll in gaining and maintaining trust from the parents and students.  The balance of teacher support and awareness of student safety and protection is a primary mission.  The school's administration must build the bridge to succeed in an endeavor that encompasses clear standards and boundaries.



October 10th's speaker covered a wide range of national security issues and threats.  Fred Lawson, retired military and business advisor, covered topics from North Korea, to Russian military expansion, to China's South China Sea military build-up, to cyper warfare both political and military.  Fred fielded some questions from the club - unfortunately we ran out of time to a very interesting talk!  Thank you Fred!



Our first speakers for October were George Lockwood and Broden Murray from St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church in Carmel Valley.  George discussed their 30 year partnership with St. Andre's School in Hinche, Haiti and thanked past president Fred Herro and the club for providing a Rotary grant to build a badly needed and much larger septic tank for the school.  Broden shared his development and success of gathering lap tops and iPads to send to the school's resource lab after the devices were first purged of all software and data and then updated with the latest software.  (The club, through former club members Jerry Harner and Greg Lister, have supported St. Andre's over that 30 year period providing badly needed support both on the ground as well as the funding for the children of Haiti.)



September 26th we welcomed new member Dr. Saul Eisenstat!  A surgeon at CHOMP, Saul briefly gave his background starting with the military (including a year in Viet Nam) and later being sent to Fort Ord - which introduced him and his wife to the Monterey Peninsula.  The vowed to return and did just recently!

Welcome Saul!! 

Co-sponsor Lewis Leader "pins" Saul as our newest club member.  Bruce Greenbaum, co-sponsor, presented Saul with his Rotary certificate and extended welcome!


Our guest speaker today was Jeff Ohlson, a retired Boeing Engineer, who discussed the development of the Carmel Valley Historical Society and the steady growth of their displays and artifacts.  The History Center Hours are Saturdays 1 - 4 and Sundays 11 - 2.  (Our own Joe Hertlein was instrumental in the building development for the History Center.)

 Jeff Ohlson presents the history of the Carmel Valley Historical Society and highlights of displays and artifacts.



September 19th guest speaker was David Lyon, retired Ambassador, who has world wide experience in military operations, historic analysis, and foreign government politics and policy trends.  David gave a very broad history of the China Sea area and the complexities involving Korea, Japan, and Taiwan concerning current control of the sea lanes, fisheries, natural resources, and strategic military positions.  This was an excellent presentation and certainly a very timely subject!  



Special guest speaker for our September 12th meeting was Jennifer Rosethal-Iverson, Attorney at Law, specializing in the Medical Marijuana Industry.  With a business opening soon in Carmel Rancho, club members had many questions about the operation and security issues surrounding this new legal concept.

Also, per our Bylaws, the President Nominee Selection Committee nominated Bob Spadoni for a vote by the active club members.  Today the club members voted unanimously to elect Bob as President for the 2019-2020 term! 




With great sadness we learned that former Carmel Valley Rotarian, and a dear friend to many in our club, John McKenna passed away today, September 11th, after a bicycle accident several days ago.  Our thoughts and prayers to his wife Mary and their family.  John will be missed - a true heart of a gentleman and Rotarian!




Last meeting's speaker was from Carmel Valley's Bernardus Winery, today's speaker was from our local brewery - yes we have one!   Dean Hatfield, owner and brewer of Carmel Valley Brewing Company, spoke to the club about his family's decision to start a brewery, experimenting with recipes, locating and buying the basic ingredients, marketing, distributing, and ultimately the success!  Dean also brought samples of hops and grains used to make his beer.  He also brought ice cold samples of his beer for all to taste - a fabulous treat of a very hot day!  Thank you Dean! 



The last meeting in August was with speaker Matt Shea, the Bernardus Vineyard Manager.  Matt shared the Bernardus history, development, and successes of the wine business with both humor and science.  Matt brought bottles of an excellent Bernardus 2016 Rose - a very different Rose from the historic Rose wines of the past.  Needless to say the club enjoyed the presentation and the special wine!  Thank you Matt!

width Matt Shea shares the winery's history and provided a fabulous Rose for the entire club as proof of their success!



August 22nd Congressman Jimmy Panetta spoke of his experiences with Congress, the politics, and how many of the new members of Congress are working together - despite senior leadership actions.  Panetta covered a wide range of subjects from veterans issues to local environmental issues.  He graciously and thoroughly answered questions selected from the audience. 


Below Lewis Leader introduces Jimmy - obviously after a very funny moment!  Note Jimmy's new Rotary badge!


President Kevin had earlier presented Jimmy with an official Carmel Valley Honorary Rotarian Certificate, official Rotary badge and lapel pin, and a Rotary pen - that Kevin quipped "for signing all those official documents in D.C". 



Local Howard Straus was our guest speaker on August 15th.  His topic was the life style choices in the type of food we eat, avoidance of chemically treated foods, and a basic vegetarian diet of no animal produces (including dairy), will provide the potential for the body to ward off various diseases.  His father, a doctor, was an early advocate in the 1920s for better nutrition, no smoking or alcohol, and no drugs. 



The August 8th meeting speaker was Greg Jamison who shared his experience of being involved with sports and sport franchises for over 40 years.  Insights into the players, owners, sport governing bodies, and city/county state politics was shared by Greg with humor and wisdom.  The highlights also included the sport salary differences from the 1970s and the  common use of taped delayed major sports events by the three primary broadcasting companies - so different from today's multi channel sports stations!



On July 25th President Kevin lead a "club assembly" with the various committee chairs introducing their goals and commentary about their new term ideas.  Our first "spin" of the "Opportunity Wheel" was Rich Briscoe - won a work day at the races!  K2 also gave Rich a "Butterfingers" candy bar for a recent financial "drop"! 



The July 18th meeting took us back to 1967 and the Monterey Pop Festival!  Photographer and author Tom O'Neal shared his photos and background stories - including how the first Pop Festival was based on the annual September Monterey Jazz Festival.  While taking photos in front of the stage, Tom had to duck and cover when Jim Hendricks destroyed his guitar.  One of our members admitted (or could remember) being there during the summer of "love"!  Warren - you must have a story to tell too!





"Fiesta Ano Nuevo Rotaria de Valle Carmel"

President Kevin Kenoyer starts his term with a grand fiesta!

President Kenoyer takes the oath of office from Immediate Past President Phyllis Cleveland on July 11th!


Kevin's daughter Sara "pins" her Dad as President!


President Kenoyer addresses the club members!

Carmel Valley Rotary Club's 2017-2018 Board - left to right:

President Kevin, Phyllis, Firuza, Barry, Ron, Bob, Mike, Fred, Bruce, and Taum.  (See left side panel for position titles.)

Immediate Past President Phyl receives the "gavel" from President Kenoyer.  Firuza is peeking over the top of the Polio Plus piñata!

The new "Prez" explains the new "fine" wheel!








The June 27th meeting was President Phyl's last meeting as President!  Before presenting her term-end awards Phyl summarized the club's accomplishments, volunteer hours, donations, and other activities for the year.  "For a small club Carmel Valley Rotary should be very proud of our "People of Action" and our "Service Above Self" dedication that serves our community and schools.  Thank you Rotarians for making it a great year!"


2016-2017 Awards

Rotarian of the Year!  - Kevin Kenoyer

President's Award - Rich Briscoe

Distinguished Service Award - Ron Shimizu

Above and Beyond Award - Lewis Leader

Service Above Self Award - Barry Rowley

Quiet Rotarian of the Year - Firuza Khaytenova

Appreciation Award - Betsy Shea

(Matt Shea accepted Betsy's plaque in memory of his Mother.) 


Appreciation Awards also to: Joe Hertlein, Bruce Greenbaum, Ron Brenaman, Deecie Denison, Paul Behan, Rod Neubert, Bryan Golden, Fred Herro, Rick Shea, David Wilsey, Bob Webb, and Taum Dell-Armo "Rising Star"! 


Rotary pens were also presented to the Safe Blood Africa Committee:

Warren Kauffman, Jamison Kauffman, Nancy Rushmer, Bryan Golden, and John McKenna!


Since the Carmel Valley Rotary Club formed in 1973 it has been served by four women Presidents:  Left to right  -  Victoria Peach (third), Nancy Rushmer (the first), Jamison Kauffman (second), and Phyllis Cleveland.  The three past Presidents presented Phyl with a beautiful bouquet of multi-colored roses!




June 20th meeting was jammed backed with great news!

Special guest speaker was Carmel Police Department Chief Paul Tomasi.  Chief Tomasi's excellent talk covered many aspects of police work, changes facing law enforcement, his leadership goals, community projects, and brought the club up-to-date on several recent Carmel crimes.  His passion for his profession clearly shows - thank you for your service Chief Tomasi!


Nancy Rushmer announced to the club a very large donation from our long time Honorary Member Jim Morgens.  Mr. Morgens has been a very supportive donor over many years involving our Partners in Community Service (PICS) project!Thank you Mr. Morgens, we greatly appreciate your gift and are humbled by your generosity!


Our club "Ambassador" Steve Millich attended the monthly area Rotary Presidents meeting on Monday the 19th.  Because our own Board was meeting at the same time Steve represented our club and received a donation from Mr. and Mrs. Leon Panetta via the Monterey Rotary Club.  Thank you Steve for the last minute attendance!  A very grateful thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Panetta!


Club Treasurer Rich Briscoe, we sincerely hope, made it to the bank and safely deposited all checks! 



Our President-Elect Kevin Kenoyer (K2) enjoying meeting fellow Rotarians and sharing a brew at the Atlanta Rotary International Convention!  "People of Action" and ready for his year!



Our June 13th meeting was well represented by two Pine Cone staff, Meena Lewellen (Advertising) and Mary Schley (News Reporter).  Mary has deep roots in Carmel and Carmel Valley and an obvious love for the area and her job as a reporter.  She discussed numerous highlights to her career and some of the problems/challenges of balanced reporting. 



June 6th meeting, "D" Day 73 years ago, was a jammed pack meeting!  President Phyllis presented an "Appreciation" plague and heart felt "thank you" to Deecie Denison for being an outstanding Chair of our Partners In Community Service (PICS) annual project.  Deecie leaves for Vermont soon on a six month leave of absence from CVR!  We will miss her energy and participation in Rotary until next fall!  Thank you Deeice!


Taum Dell'Armo (center) received his 3rd Paul Harris pin from Foundation Chair Rick Shea and President Phyllis.  Congratulations Taum!


Rosalie Dunham, Chris Wilson (Plumbing and Heating), President-Elect Kevin Kenoyer, and Phyllis presented Paul Harris certificates to Rosalie and Chris for their outstanding volunteer sustained community work during the Soberanes Fire.


Chief Mike Urquides of the Monterey County Regional Fire District and LAFCO Director Pete Poitras presented a photo gallery and time line of the 2016 Soberanes Fire.


Photo of the numerous thank you posters on Carmel Valley Road during the Soberanes Fire - thank you Pete!



June 2nd Carmel Valley High School graduated their 2017 class.

Moises Silva was the Carmel Valley Rotary Club Scholarship recipient presented by Ron Shimizu, Service Projects Chair.  

In addition to a heavy load of academics, Moises also works, getting up before dawn most days of the week.  This recipient has a strong work ethic, a positive attitude, and self-discipline.  Though it was a push to get everything accomplished, this student found the strength, the commitment, the resolve to finish every credit needed in order to graduate on time, all with a pleasant "good morning" and a smile on his face.  This graduate plans to attend the Fire Academy and join his brother in Northern California to fight fires. He also wants to get advanced training in Montana to become a smoke jumper, a wildland firefighter who parachutes into a remote area to combat wildfires.  Congratulations Moises!



Our own Lewis Leader was our speaker sharing his career as a print news reporter and editor.  From San Francisco to Los Angeles, including 3 years in Toledo, Ohio, Lewis had a interesting and varied life as a reporter/editor covering major new events as well as 3 World Series!  Hearing some of the "insider" aspects of the "news reporter and editor" added to the insights of the news room.  Thank you Lewis!



At our May 30th meeting we had a moment of silence for Betsy and her family.  Many Rotarians shared their affection and regard for Betsy both as a Rotarian and as a business friend. 



Our Betsy Shea passed away May 23, 2017.

She will be greatly missed by her Rotary family!




Our May 23rd meeting was a presentation by Monica Jain and Remy Garderet on sustainable fishing, both from the managing of a perishable natural resource to helping businesses become profitable and sustainable.  Their international group, Fish 2.0, provides services and opportunities ranging from Fiji harvesting sea weed for export, to Canada with open ocean fish farming.  Many hurdles, include various government regulations, politics, environmental restraints, and cultural issues, are involved with each unique project.  Fish 2.0 has been operating for over five years with a concept has taken root around the world.


Joe Hertlein received his 3rd Paul Harris pin from Foundation Chair Rick Shea!  Congratulations Joe! 



May 22nd, Carmel Valley Rotarian Adam Jeselnick announced the Carmel High School scholarship winners for 2017!  The students receiving the CVR scholarships were Andrew Barron, Ashlyn Davis, Abby Lambert, and Melissa Pavloff.  Congratulations Andrew, Ashlyn, Abby, and Melissa!




May 16th's speaker was exceptional!  Krista Almanzan, News Director and All Things Considered Host for NPR - KAZU 90.3, shared some of the highlights of her career as well as the structure, problems, and financial issues with public radio.  Most of the club listens to KAZU and is very familiar with the programing!  Thank you Krista!



May 9th was our annual Partners in Community Service (PICS) luncheon - one of our favorite programs!  This program involves giving five area schools the task of researching, evaluating, and selecting a charity for a donation from each school.  We provide the funds and the students provide their time and effort in the selection process. 

Carmel Middle School selected the Rape Crisis Center.

Tularcitos Elementary School choose Hope Services.

Carmel River School selected A.G. Against Hunger.

Junipero Serra School choose Coastal Kids Home Care.

All Saints Day School selected First Tee of Monterey.

PICS Chair Deecie Denison greets students, teachers, guests, recipients, and Rotarians!

Special guest speaker was Nick Cunningham, two time Olympian bobsledder and local resident, who also brought one of his bobsleds for the students and adults to enjoy!  Lots of photo ops for all!



May 2nd's speaker was Mary Ann Leffel whose presentation covered a wide range of county issues and projects.  As President of the Monterey County Business Council and on the Monterey Airport Advisory Board, Mary Ann addressed subjects ranging from airline schedules to low income housing.  Thank you Mary Ann for an excellent update on so many local issues!



Rotary chili cook-off April 29th, 2017 - we didn't win, place, or show but we had the best chili, the judges just didn't know it.  Part of the crew was Cynthia and Joe Hertlein, Fred Herro, and chief cook Ron Shimizu!  Great job guys and gals!!  We had no leftovers!



April 25th club member Taum Dell'Armo demonstrated and discussed "The Way of The Samurai" - a very dynamic and interesting presentation!  In full dress and with his personal Samurai sword Taum demonstrated and explained the technique and history of "the extension of the soul". 


April 25th we also welcomed new member Jason Griffin!  Sponsored by Treasurer Rich Briscoe!

 Membership Chair Bruce Greenbaum, Jason Griffin, President Phyl, and sponsor Treasurer Rich Briscoe welcome our newest member!



Annual Top 100 Dinner!

April 18th was our annual Top 100 Dinner for the top 25 students in each class at Carmel High School!  Parents, relatives, and friends, CHS staff and CUSD Board members, and Rotarians and guests enjoyed the former Top 100 graduate (2005)Samara Leader's presentation.  Congratulations students, parents, and CHS staff!  



2005 Carmel High School graduate Samara Leader guest speaker!





Aerobatic Champion and multiple award winning airshow pilot Sean D. Tucker shared highlights of his career at our April 25th meeting!  Sean also discussed his passion for the at risk young adults of Salinas giving them hope and opportunity through his Bob Hoover Flight Academy!



April 6th was our second "Guest Gala" introducing Rotary to community guests.  Our hosts Taum and Diane provided an excellent "meet and greet" with wonderful hors d'oeuvres and beverages of all sorts!  Thank you Taum and Diane! 




Shane Santos, a graduate of CSUMB, shared his decision to join the Peace Corp.  He expanded on the screening process, training, and expectations of his 27 months in Micronesia.  This will be a complete weather, food, cultural, and job change from his four years at Rancho Canada.  Shane will keep us informed about his experiences and will keep an eye out for a possible Rotary community service project.  Best regards Shane - see you in 27 months!    


Steve Andrews is welcomed into our club by Membership Chair Bruce Greenbaum and sponsor Barry Rawley!


Mike Holl is welcomed into our club by Treasurer Rich Briscoe!  His sponsor is Fund Raising Chair Fred Herro!

April 4th we inducted two new members!  Steve Andrews and Mike Holl!  Steve, a retired retail manager, was formerly with the Cupertino Rotary Club.  Mike is a lending officer with B of A.  Welcome Steve and Mike! 




March 30th was a Monterey peninsula area Rotary clubs combined meeting at the Hyatt with special guest speaker Secretary Leon Panetta!   With balanced insight, combined with his 50 year career in Washington DC, Secretary Panetta proved what a true statesman he is.  Always straight forward, wise, and passionate, his presentation was loaded with timely commentary and recommendations for individual involvement in our democracy!   A standing ovation by over 300 Rotarians and guests closed the meeting.    




March 21st Marine Col. John O'Neil (retired) discussed the history of Putin's rise from the KGB into Russian politics, the corruption, the wealthy oligarchs, and the manipulation of the country's assets including its minerals and oil wealth.  Col. O'Neil's career included the Moscow embassy, advisor to the White House, and advisor to Home Land Security - including numerous other related positions of responsibility concerning security issues. 


Service Projects Chair Ron Shimizu presented to Carmel Valley High School Principal Tom Stewart our annual scholarship award.  Tom announced his retirement in June - we wish Tom and his family the very best!



Returning speaker and wounded warrior Major DJ Skelton shared his latest veteran successes with Paradox Sports.  This 501c-3 was developed by DJ to provide the opportunities for wounded veterans and civilians to experience the out door activities, such as rock climbing and mountain climbing, that they enjoyed before their injuries.  Development and improved prosthesis have resulted from these active veterans, but the rebuilding of their self-esteem and confidence is the biggest benefit!  Major Skelton, thank you for your service and continued service to and for others.



February 28th Abdel Kader Seck addressed the club with the very timely and important topic of "Muslims & Islam, Deepening our Understanding".   Abdel holds a Master’s in International Policy Studies (with a focus on Trade, Investment, and Development). Originally from Senegal, Abdel immigrated to the United States 27 years ago and is a U.S. citizen. He is the CEO and co-founder Community One World Enterprises (COWE) and was also co-founder and the V.P. for Africa of Abundant biofuels Corporation, the first Monterey firm devoted to renewable energy. Abdel is an expert in Sino-American trade relations and is the sitting President of the Board of Directors of the Islamic Society of Monterey County (ISMC) and is the initiator of numerous local outreach programs with the hope to bring tolerance, unity and peace in the world.



Past club President (and first female President of our club) Nancy Rushmer applied the finishing touches with the Rotary wheel logo to the "Book Nook" on Garza in Carmel Valley!  Thank you to Ron Shimizu, Warren Kaufmann, and Nancy for bringing this idea for the community to the club and doing all the work required to make it happen!!!!!  BRAVO!



Pat Gray at the February 21st meeting discussed the new Cachagua Children's Center sharing the history, development, and growth of this 501 C-3.  Pat outlined some of the goals and the direction the group and community has determined to be their first projects.  Well started on their way to be a valued community center, the fund raising phase has begun!



For our Valentine's Day program speaker, Cristin DeVine, a License Marriage and Family Therapist and a Carmel Valley resident, spoke on "What is Love".  She discussed how we can approach our relationships from our highest selves vs. bogging down with a power struggle!  



At our February 7th meeting Rob McClurg, a Carmel resident and retired elementary school teacher and high school football, baseball, and soccer coach, discussed his program in which he visits Soledad Prison with Palma High School seniors and they read and discuss the novels of John Steinbeck with the inmates!  What a marvelous program for the seniors and inmates!



January 31st was our first Paul Harris presentation of the year to member Marilyn Woods!   Thank you and congratulations Marilyn!!



Earth shaking and important information!  January 24th Glenn Pomeroy, Chief Executive Officer of the California Earthquake Authority, discussed the statistics and value of having earthquake insurance with CEA.  Check your home owners policy for coverage information and then compare the additional coverage CEA provides. 



On January 17th retired NFL Official Jim Tunney shared his life sports journey starting from age 9 sitting next to Jackie Robinson through his career with the NFL.  With wonderful humor and insight, Jim told about his experiences - including four Super Bowls!   His post NFL career has been just as interesting - including numerous awards for community service!





 Dana Peterson from the Monterey & Salinas Rail Road Museum spoke to the club about the development of the museum, the history of the rolling stock on display, and the 2,000 feet of HO track layout representing the Monterey and Salinas valley circa 1953.  The impact of the rail roads on agriculture and the shipping of produce across the United States changed the availability of fresh produce significantly for both the United States and international markets!



Teacher Diana Govan and Rotary Interact students West Whittaker, Dylan Houpt, Ryan Ricupero, Quincy Hendricks, and Duda (a Rotary exchange student from Brazil) packed 50 homeless care packages!



January 3rd was our first meeting of 2017 and it was truly an inspiration for the New Year by the Rev. Rob Fisher from St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church in Carmel Valley! 








Our last meeting for 2016 was December 20th and was celebrated with the Cannery Rogues!  It was a perfect send-off for the holidays season!


President Phyl thanked Rancho Canada servers Shane and Ringo for their wonderful service through-out our Rotary year!



Long time club member Bill Cater at the December 13th meeting discussed his years at West Point and some of the colorful characters that graduated and went on into distinguished careers in the military and/or business.



December 6th club member and literary agent Nancy Bell discussed the current book publishing industry and how it contrasts with self-publishing.




November 29th Donna Bailey discussed love, marriage, and relationships and why the dynamics of relationships are influenced by perceptions and communication abilities.


Community Projects Chair Ron Shimizu (not pictured) presented a cash donation to Terry Pershall of Carmel Valley's Angels Project.  The club also donated unwrapped toys and gifts that will be distributed by Angels for Carmel Valley families. 






Carmel Valley Rotary neighborhood "mini" free library exchange is open and already a success!

Past President Nancy Rushmer, Community Service Chair Ron Shimizu, and Past President Warren Kaufman complete the project!



Carmel Police Chief Mike Calhoun recalled 32 years of service - including the humorous, ironic, surprising, and tragic events that occurred through those years!  Chief Calhoun retires at the end of the year - best wishes Mike!



Our Carmel Valley Rotary Interact Club filled sand bags at Mid-Valley Fire Station on November 11th!  Many thanks to Community Service Chair Ron Shimizu and Immediate Past President Rod Neubert for joining in!



November 8th was our annual Veterans Tribute!  It was our honor and privilege to thank our club veterans, member veteran guests, and current military from DLI and NPG.  Robert J. Norris, Jr. (former Marine) from Fort Ord Reuse Authority was our guest speaker. 



David Smarsh (Air Force Veteran), Robert J. Norris Jr. guest speaker, Kevin Kenoyer Club President Elect, and Phyllis Cleveland, Club President, present a donation to the Air Force Association.  



Casey Lucius, Republican Congressional  Candidate, addressed the club on October 3rd.



 The club's annual putting contest on September 27th was won by Bryan Golden! Congratulations Bryan!  We also surprised Bryan with a Paul Harris Fellowship - no relationship to his golf win!  Rick Shea, Foundation Chair, presents.

From left to right Lewis Leader (Program Chair and tourney "master mind"), Taum Dell'Armo, President Phyllis, Bob Spadoni, and Greg Pickens enjoyed perfect weather but not a perfect game! 



Carmel-by-the-Sea City Administrator Chip Rerig was guest speaker September 20th.



Russian-born artist, Ludmilla Pawlowska, now living in Sweden, exchanges club banners with President Phyllis. 



Carmel Valley Rotary presents checks in support of reading programs at three area schools, part of the CVR Tony Willemsen Reading Project! 

From left to right: Ron Shimizu, Club Projects Chair; Principal Jay Marden, Carmel River School; Principal Julie Kolofer, Captain Cooper School; Principal Ryan Peterson, Tularcitos; and club President Phyllis Cleveland.  



Thank you to the following for answering our request for donations of tubes of Zanfel (poison oak treatment) for the fire fighters from all over the state working the Soberanes Fire (Big Sur):

 President Lisse B. Jackson Rotary Club of Monterey Pacific!

 President Celeste A. Barron Hanford Sunset Club!

 President Tom Greer Pacific Grove Rotary Club!

 President Susan Winey of the Rotary Club Visalia!

 President Raul C. Rodriguez Rotary Club of Greenfield!

 President Oswald Duane Fresno Rotary Club!

 President Paul M. Gibson North Fresno Rotary Club!

 Michael and Sharon Sheltzer of the Visalia County Center Rotary Club!

 Carmel Valley Rotary Club members who gave additional donations:

     Adam Jeselnick and Deecie Denison!


Thank you to Chris Wilson and Rosalie for being the central point of deliveries and distribution!!




Carmel Valley Rotary Club – What We Do!


Our Rotary Club members are volunteers who work locally, regionally and internationally to combat hunger, housing issues, and pollution; improve health through water quality and sanitation; provide education through scholarships and vocational training; promote peace through communication and friendship; and eradicate diseases like polio internationally as well as providing funds and volunteers for a free family clinic in Seaside.






Partners in Community Service (PICS)

Five local elementary schools are each given Rotary Club Grants of $500-$1500. Their student councils select a community charity to donate to after researching and evaluating their programs. The students then make their award donation publicly at a special luncheon.


Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA)

Two high school junior girls and two junior boys are selected for the leadership skill they have exhibited and are given a one -week scholarship to attend a Rotary-sponsored leadership camp in Northern California called Camp Royal. There they meet and network with other gifted youth and hone their leadership skills in preparation for college and a life of contribution to society.


Rotary Interact Club

Interact high school students create and conduct their own community and international service projects. They are supported and coached by Rotary club volunteers and high school and college staff liaisons. CSUMB has an active Interact Club formed under this same basis.


Carmel High School and Carmel Valley High School Scholarships

Each year, deserving senior high school students, based on their academic achievements and service to the community are granted Rotary scholarships for college expenses. 


Rotary Youth Exchange

Each year the Rotary Club sponsors an outstanding high school student to spend their senior year abroad, living with a host family and learning the language and culture often establishing friendships that last a life time.


Top 100 Dinner

The top 25 student scholars in each class at Carmel High School are hosted to an annual special awards dinner with their parents. Recognition for academic and citizenship achievements are awarded. A nationally recognized inspirational speaker is invited by the Rotary Club to address the students.


3rd Grade Dictionaries

Every year local third grade students receive their own personal dictionary. Rotarians present the dictionaries to the students and discuss the value of literacy, education and integrity.


Monterey County Food Bank

Assisting the Monterey County Food Bank, Rotarians regularly distribute food to the needy. The Rotary Club also gives the Food Bank a large monetary donation each year.



The Rotary Club of Carmel Valley clears the litter and debris from two miles of Carmel Valley Road.  Carmel High School Rotary Interact Club joins the Rotarians in this community service.


RotaCare© Monterey Peninsula 

Rotarians support the Family Health Clinic in Seaside for free weekly medical services for the needy. The Rotary Club of Carmel Valley donates funds and volunteers to this humanitarian outreach.


The Safe Blood Africa Project

The Rotary Club has already established 22 blood banks in African hospitals that are helping to save 16,000 lives per year. The Safe Blood Africa Foundation has started a "Train the Trainer" hospital training program to expand and sustain the practice of modern transfusion medicine in Nigeria. We also join with the Global Network for Blood Donations, local and regional blood banks to increase blood donations in California and worldwide.  Two blood mobiles have been sent to Nigeria by our Rotary District 5230 – a combined effort of District wide Rotary clubs.


Safe Water

Unsafe water is the primary cause of death in developing countries. Carmel Valley Rotary sponsored the construction of a clean water tank in a remote village in Ecuador and built 5 wells and water systems for 5 secondary schools in Nigeria.


Wheelchair Foundation

With the goal to provide a free wheelchair to every child, teen and adult worldwide who needs one, but has no means to acquire one, Rotarians are distributing special rugged wheel chairs to children and adults in developing countries throughout the world.





Annual fund raising events involving the community.


Laguna Seca Raceway

Rotarians enjoy selling and checking tickets and helping customers at Laguna Seca Raceway events.  The Laguna Seca SCRAMP Foundation contributes money to the Club's community education projects. Did we mention it's a whole lot of FUN too?


Pacific Repertory Theater 

Rotary Club members and their friends enjoy reserving the entire theatre as they attend the theatrical performances in Carmel with a special advance party featuring local wines and hors d'oeuvres. Pac Rep contributes funds for our projects.  


Tony Willemsen Reading Project

Throughout his life past Carmel Valley Rotarian and former District Governor Tony Willemsen loved to help those less fortunate than himself.  Fostering an early interest in reading among the youth of our community was one of the many ways he chose to do so.  Through his generosity the Tony Willemsen Reading Project was born.  Each year our Rotary club donates to local area schools funds to promote reading skills in young students. With these basic reading skills developed at an early age, students benefit from a lifelong tool that is the very basics of learning.  With these reading and learning skills their future education and the world of possibilities open to them become accessible.  The added benefit is throughout the student's life time their choices will be better informed because of their ability to read and explore their options. 



The Rotary Club of Camel Valley

    A great way to give something back to your community and

have a lot of fun while doing it!


 Service above self!




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