//Plain Language

Plain Language

Meeting for the week of March 25 – March 31, 2019

This Meeting at a Glance:

Program: Plain Language

Speaker: Cheryl Stephens

Is this your first time to visit us? If so, welcome to our weekly online meeting! To complete our meeting, please continue reading from here to the bottom of this page.

Each Monday our week’s meeting is posted early in the morning, U.S. Pacific Time. These meetings are designed so that you can read and watch what we post anytime during the week. The entire meeting takes about 60 minutes to complete, with the video conference recording of the program being the bulk of the time.

Note that you can easily read this meeting with your favorite device, so feel free to take our meeting on the go with you; read it while on public transit, waiting in line for coffee, or even at the park! Please also make sure to complete the attendance form at the bottom and leave a comment. Enjoy!

Welcome to the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley!

Here’s a message from President-Elect Tzviatko:

Greetings Rotarians and Guests,

Have you ever felt completely lost in a conversation with a professional or while reading an article online? Cheryl Stephens, this week’s speaker, is a leader in the plain language movement which aims to solve this problem and ensure maximum comprehension even when discussing complex topics.

I would also like to recognize our Charter President Rushton and his team for involving our club in Relay for Life. Please refer to the “eClub vs. Cancer!” section below on more info about how you can help. Thanks Rushton!


Tzviatko Chiderov
President-Elect, Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley

Weekly Funny with the Lady of Laughter (LOL)

We believe laughter is an important part of life, and we should all make time to laugh a little. This segment of our meeting is meant to tickle you just enough. These funnies are curated by member Yvonne Kwan, our “Lady of Laughter!”

Can February March? No, but April May! Happy last week of March!

What do polar bears eat at a BBQ?

Where can you buy chicken broth in bulk?
The stock market!

What lights up a soccer stadium?
A soccer match!

Weekly Inspiration

Every week we start our meetings with a short video highlighting innovation, inspiration, entrepreneurship, or social change.

When Dr. Ed Zawada went back to work the day after a wildfire razed his Northern California home, he was far from alone. Many of his colleagues at Dignity Health’s Mercy Medical Center also had lost their homes or evacuated, but they knew their patients—who could see the fire burning from the hospital—needed them. With only the present and future before them, this community of healers united to support one another and spread humankindness.

After Wildfire, a Community Rebuilds With Humankindness

World of

Why we asked for donations to PolioPlus in lieu of wedding gifts

Learn more at https://blog.rotary.org/2019/02/13/why-we-asked-for-donations-to-polioplus-in-lieu-of-wedding-gifts/

Through a Rotarian’s Lens

Sometimes a photo can capture an amazing moment. Back by popular demand, Keith Marsh’s photography will feature in this new section, curated by member Keith Marsh himself!
If you’d like to submit a photo for this section please contact Keith.

So far this year, the San Francisco Bay Area has had an extraordinary amount of rain. One of the advantages of these passing storms is that they often produce some amazing skies with massive cumulus clouds. This view over the Golden Gate bridge was captured a few years ago with the help of HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography.

Coffee With a Rotarian

A natural part of Rotary is the networking and the fellowship you get out of meeting other Rotarians. Coffee With a Rotarian is a monthly program of our club where we match participating club members for one-on-one virtual (or in some cases in person) coffee meetings, so they can learn more about each other. This program is organized by member Tzviatko Chiderov.

This week we have Suzanne from Napa, CA, USA reporting on a chat with Tzviatko from Harare, Zimbabwe.

Tzviatko and I met for CWR today, and I learned that he moved temporarily from Zimbabwe to South Africa about three weeks ago. His work requires ongoing access to the internet and this became problematic for him. He found a solution, and hopes to return to Zimbabwe within the next month. His flexibility and resilience is evident, and I really appreciated the chance to speak with him.

We encourage all club members to participate in Coffee With a Rotarian. You can sign up here!

Service Report

Tell us about service you’ve done recently in your community.
Click here to fill out The Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley Service Survey


On the first meeting of every month, we feature service reports from club members for the previous month. Thanks for your service everyone!


For Members Only

February 2019 Club Announcements

  • “Hi! Do you have any questions about the club?” – The New Facebook Chatbot on Main Pages. If you have visited any of our non-meeting pages in the past few days, you’ll notice that we now have a Facebook Chatbot active on our site. This is one of our new initiatives to try to convert more prospective leads into members, as well as to increase interaction between guests and our club. Messages will be responded to by our social media team. Please note this messenger chat isn’t designed for club members. Members, if you still want to contact someone, please direct your notices to the email of the member or the officer you want to reach.
  • 2019 Homepage Refresh! After hearing feedback from members, the webmasters can now say that we have finally gotten around to updating the main hero image on the homepage into something that we believe better represents the global and the digital nature of our club. We’ll be periodically changing the graphic throughout the year, as we continue to refresh different parts of our site.
  • Join page updated! The webmaster team has done a much-needed facelift for the Join page. The start of a new year is the perfect time to share with friends and colleagues our Join page!
  • Weekly Meeting Disqus Reactions Updated. Did you know you can leave a reaction for each of our weekly meetings now? Right above the comments for a weekly meeting, you’ll now find four different reactions you can vote for. We’ve also added some comment policy, and are working on fine-tuning a few other pieces to the comments and the meetings.
  • New year, new posts! eClub Rotarians – haven’t joined the conversation on Facebook yet? Consider joining the conversation by signing into our club members-only Facebook Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/rotarysiliconvalley/

Our Events & Projects

We hold our meetings online, but we do regular service projects and social events in the Silicon Valley! This section is updated every week with our upcoming events. We welcome guests to all of the events and service projects listed here.

Also be sure to join our Meetup Group for automatic calendar updates and to RSVP for our events! These are open to all guests as well!

Upcoming Events:

All times are Pacific Time! (San Francisco time)

More events coming soon! All events are open to guests, unless otherwise mentioned. Feel free to join us! If you ever have questions, please email inquiries@siliconvalleyrotary.com

What would you like to do?

Hey Members! Let us know what you want to do by posting in our members-only Facebook Group (if you don’t have access, please request it with Webmaster Mitty). Remember, you’re only taking advantage of the full impact of Rotary when you’re stepping up to get involved.

eClub vs. Cancer!

Our club annually gets together to support the fight against cancer, and our 2019 effort starts this week – we would like every member of this club to get involved! You can walk as part of our group at the Santa Clara Relay for Life on April 27th, donate to help fund medical research, or honor a friend or family member battling cancer.

If you saw the email Rushton sent last Saturday, you know that as a club, we’re working to have everyone participate in a service project to raise funds for research to fight cancer. While there are several ways you can take part (walk as a member of the team, donate, send a picture with the name of someone you’re honoring etc.), this week, we’ll focus on luminaria.

What’s a luminaria? It’s a bag with a candle in it, and the name of either someone we’re supporting in his or her battle with cancer, or someone we’ve lost to cancer and want to remember.

The Relay for Life event includes a ceremony in the evening in which the luminaria are placed around the track and elsewhere as a visual reminder of the effect cancer has on the lives of those with the disease and the friends and families who act as caregivers.

One way you can be part of the club’s effort is to dedicate a luminaria in honor of someone important to you. You can make a $10 donation at this page (http://main.acsevents.org/goto/rushton), or send a note to Past President Rushton (rushton@siliconvalleyrotary.com), who is gathering names and messages so a group of volunteer students can create the luminaria for us.

Get involved – we are hoping every member of the club will take part!

What can you do now? Well, one especially fun way to get involved is to join the group attending the San Jose Earthquakes match on April 6th! Contact Rushton (rushton@siliconvalleyrotary.com) if you (and friends!) are up for a great outing, soccer style!

Happy Dollars: Do Good by Sharing Something Good

Each week we ask our members to share stories with the club and toss in a few dollars to support our efforts. The primary goal of this section is to provide a fun way of getting to know each fellow members and guests, while giving back to a good cause.


Happy dollars is an opportunity to share something positive that has happened in your life whether it is personal or business. Think of it as your opportunity to brag a little, but also put a little bit into a karma jar. The money donated through happy dollars is put to charitable use, and the message that you leave for happy dollars will be posted in our online meeting the following week for the entire week for folks to see! (Pending that it’s appropriate!)

Here are the happy dollars contributions from last week!
This section is usually updated on the early hours of Saturday, so contributions made over the weekend may not be listed here.

Rory Olsen made a $20 donation.
Nice sunny week! All is well.

Brian Liddicoat made a $15 donation.
For an upcoming trial, I spent this last weekend listening to (and annotating) about 20 hours of recorded customer service calls between my client and customer service reps for a major bank. The takeaway: be really nice when you’re talking to customer service reps, even when you’re frustrated. Those calls are indeed recorded and you may be listening to yourself in trial one day…. 😉

Share your happy dollars thoughts with us and help with doing good around the world.

Fill out my online form.

Selected Comments

Every week at the bottom of our meetings, there is a comments section for members and guests to tell us what they enjoyed about the meeting or to ask questions to the speaker. We select a few comments every week from last week’s meeting to be featured during this week’s meeting.


Here are the comments selected from last week’s meeting.

Dr. Carlos Gabuardi, Ph.D.  said:
Congratulations Ferheen, Great presentation in simple terms, you may also become a professor. Thank you.

Carey Lai said:
Ferheen, thank you for the interesting program.

Keith Marsh said:
Ferheen-thanks for the interesting program on a very complex topic. I also enjoyed the video on saffron from India.

Be sure to leave a comment at the end of this week’s meeting after you watch the program below, and perhaps you’ll see your comment featured next week!

Program: Plain Language

Speaker: Cheryl Stephens

Every week we bring to you a new program on innovation, entrepreneurship, and education, and how those contribute to service to others. Special thanks to member Roger Plested for leading our club’s Programs Committee in finding us amazing speakers each week.

Cheryl Stephens is a leader in the international plain language movement. She has written four books about using plain language in law, on the web and in large organisation. The co-founder of the Plain Language Association International, Cheryl has consulted and provided training for over 30 years. Everyone’s life has been impacted by the plain language movement. Every time that you talk to a professional and you can understand the person, thank the plain language movement.

Plain Language with Cheryl Stephens

Additional Resources


Share your thoughts or ask our speaker a question in the comments at the bottom of this meeting page!

Upcoming Program Recording Schedule

All of our guest speakers and programs are recorded live online over Zoom video conference. We welcome members and guests to join us in one of these upcoming recordings. Recordings are approximately 30 minutes long and are subject to change without notice.

Our online video conference room link for these recordings is always https://zoom.us/j/5104080000. You are welcome to join us! Please note the timezone listed for all recordings is US Pacific Time (San Francisco, California, USA).

If you can’t join the live recording, please send your questions for an upcoming speaker to programs@siliconvalleyrotary.com.

You’re Almost Done! Please complete The Attendance Survey…

Thanks for reading and watching this week’s meeting. You have two last things to do before you’re done.

We have a very short attendance survey below for you to fill out to record your attendance.

Visiting Rotarians, this is how you can get an email receipt to pass along to your club’s secretary as proof that you’ve attended our meeting if you need it for makeups.

Non-Rotarian Guests, we would love to see who is dropping by our meetings! This part is optional for you. If you think you may want to join our eClub at some point in the future, we would strongly recommend you fill out the attendance form as it will improve your chances of success for your membership application.

For all members and guests — we strongly recommend and ask that you leave a comment in our comments area below. Tell us how you enjoyed the program. Ask this week’s speaker any questions you might have. Or just stop by and say hello and tell us where you’re from!

Fill out my online form.

2019-03-25T01:55:22+00:00March 25th, 2019|0 Comments