Diversity by Stefani from Flickr (CC by-nc-sa 2.0) (1200p)

This Meeting’s Highlights
Program: The Care and Feeding of Passion-Based Communities
Speaker: Mike Lawrence
Meeting for the week of April 11th to April 17th, 2016

Is this your first time to visit us? If so, welcome to our meeting!

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 45 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!



Message from our Club President

This week, I’m writing you from home. As our members know, that’s a bit of an anomaly for me in this time of the year. Tomorrow morning, though, I revert to expectations when I head to Central America with Tabitha. I will speak at a Rotary conference there later in the week.

What I wrote above speaks to two aspects of being an eclub Rotarian.

First, I’m in an eclub because my travel schedule would make being a properly contributing member of a land club somewhere between challenging and impossible. Rotary is important to me, though, and I am grateful that I have the opportunity to explore possibilities for service with others in a setting that accommodates my work.

Second, I’m well aware of the international character of our organization, not simply because I will be meeting Rotarians in Belize, but because our club is made of members living in or regularly traveling to various places. Our members live in California, Utah, Illinois, Michigan, Quebec, Ontario, Kenya, South Africa, and Japan, and we have the ongoing opportunity to connect with and learn from each other.

The stories we share of what Rotary does globally remind us of what’s possible when people work together to innovatively address challenges. It is special that we can see the results of our work locally and globally first-hand, and even more, that we can become friends with those who have been part of those efforts.

Wherever you are joining us from and whatever time you may be reading this, our goal is to share what is special about our club and Rotary with those near and far, and we’re glad you’re here.

Rotarian guests, we ask that you consider contributing something – whatever for you is the regular cost of a Rotary meal, perhaps – to the efforts of our club. Please choose one of the options below:

* To pay via Google Wallet, you’ll need to log in to your account to donate.

Those of you who prefer a more traditional approach can mail a check made out to the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley to our treasurer: ℅ Allen Thompson, 13500 Cascade Ct., Bakersfield CA 93314.

Non-Rotarian guests, there is no need for a donation from you. As we see it, your job is to simply enjoy what you read and watch, though at the end we do ask that you let us know you were here and also leave a comment letting us know what you think. This club is loaded with folks who love sharing ideas, and we look forward to your sharing yours!

Yours in service,
Rushton Hurley, President
Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley


The Power of Images

They say a picture says a thousand words. Every week we try to bring you a picture that we think will inspire you a thousand times.

Meeting Rotarians from around the world gives us the chance to see what our different strengths make possible.

Diversity by Stefani from Flickr (CC by-nc-sa 2.0) (1200p)
Diversity by Stefani from Flickr (CC by-nc-sa 2.0)

A little extra information from the person who posted the picture:

Here’s the rundown on the coloring of the chickies. lancaster.unl.edu/4h/Embryology/colorchickens.shtml Basically, vegetable dye is injected into the egg before they are hatched, so the chick is actually born this way. It’s not just for Easter fun, but also used by scientists as a way to distinguish birds and observe their movements and habits directly after hatching.



The Power of Ideas

We welcome the opportunity to share thoughts from those whose insights can help us see new possibilities in our communities.

One can acquire everything in solitude except character.

I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.
Mother Teresa

The world is so empty if one thinks only of mountains, rivers & cities; but to know someone who thinks & feels with us, & who, though distant, is close to us in spirit, this makes the earth for us an inhabited garden.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


The Power of Dance

Often, the barriers to community are strongest when the focus is on perceived differences. Sometimes, though, someone comes along and gives a sense of just how much we have in common. This video from Matt Harding is one of those stories of how much we share.

Our Events & Projects

This section of our meeting is where you learn about both recent and upcoming events and projects our club is leading or supporting. We welcome guests to all of our events and service projects listed here.

Did you miss our past events? Come join us for any of our upcoming events! Guests, you are welcome too!

All times are in U.S. Pacific Time (Silicon Valley time, that is)!

Friday, April 22 – Rotary Networking Hour in Downtown Oakland at Parliament

Come join us on Friday, April 22 from 6 PM to 8:30 PM for a Rotary Networking Hour at the Parliament bar (811 Washington St, Oakland, CA 94607)! We have the entire area reserved for Rotarians and guests! Bring your business cards and come ready to mingle! Light appetizers will be provided. No host bar available. RSVP on Meetup by clicking here.

Sunday, April 24 – The Justin’s House Chili Cookoff in Santa Clara
Less than two weeks away!

We’re putting together a chili team for the first Justin’s House Chili Cookoff, to be held Sunday, April 24th, in Santa Clara, from noon to 3:00 (9:30 to 3:00 for those on the club chili team). We’re helping raise money for a great cause during a fun day of competition and food.

Justin’s House is an organization we helped with their launch last year. They work to help teens battling substance abuse and addiction, and we’re working to help them with this annual fundraiser.

Can you join in? Find out more about the Justin’s House Chili Cookoff day by clicking here. To learn how you can get involved with our club’s team, please email Gene Tognetti ([email protected]) or RSVP on Meetup by clicking here.

Saturday, May 7 (9am-12pm) – Food Sorting Service at Second Harvest Food Bank

Come join us for a morning of sorting food at Second Harvest Food Bank! We will be at the Cypress Center in San Jose. This event will be capped at 5 people, with priority going to those whom we haven’t seen out at an event yet. Members interested can RSVP with Andrew Taw ([email protected]). Priority registration is given to club members until April 18. After which, we will be opening up RSVPs to all guests as well. Confirmations of attendees will be finalized no later than Saturday, April 30th.


For Our Members: Min-e-Grants

Min-e-Grants are service grants of up to $250 that are available for our paid members only. These miniature grants are available for our members to use for local community service projects such as school renovations, community park improvements, and partnership opportunities with other local groups.

Support a good cause with a Min-e-Grant! The club will consider suggestions from our members to support a good cause with a donation. To do so, the member should make a case through our Min-e-Grant process, identifying a third party (another Rotary club, perhaps) which will match what our club donates to an appropriate cause.

Sound intriguing? If so, read the rules, gather what’s needed, and make something happen!

Rotary eClub of Silicon Vally Min-e-Grants


The World of Rotary

We are part of the Rotary International family, with over 1.2 million members in over 180 countries around the world. Rotary’s reach is global. Here we tell our members and guests about Rotary’s initiatives and events.

This is a big week for Rotary, as the Council on Legislation meets in Chicago. Here’s the report, taken from Rotary.org:

Representatives from Rotary clubs worldwide will gather in Chicago 10-15 April to consider changes to the policies that guide Rotary International and its member clubs.

The Council on Legislation meets every three years and is an essential part of Rotary’s governance. The representatives — one from each Rotary district — review and vote on proposals that seek to change Rotary’s constitutional documents and on resolutions that express an opinion or make a recommendation to the Rotary International Board of Directors.

Get live updates and daily vote totals on My Rotary beginning 11 April.

Many of this year’s proposed changes are designed to increase membership by giving clubs greater flexibility in the timing and the nature of their meetings. Other proposals would amend membership requirements.

Over the decades, Council representatives have debated virtually every nuance of Rotary policy and membership and attendance rules. The five-day meeting is one of Rotary’s primary agents for change, allowing the organization to evaluate and enhance its relevance in a rapidly changing world.

Learn more about the Council on Legislation

Find the original post with pictures and comments at this page.


For Our Members: Service Survey

This section is dedicated for our members to report to us what service projects they have participated in recently. We love giving shoutouts to our members for the good work and the impact they’ve made in their local communities.

Our members do all sorts of things to help others, from grand projects to small moments that are big for one person in need. We ask each member to tell us what he or she is doing each week, and bring those reports together once a month to inspire each other to see new possibilities for making a difference.

What have you been up to? Let us know via the link, below!

The Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley Service Survey


Happy Dollars

Happy Dollars is the segment of our meeting where anyone can choose to make a voluntary donation to tell us a short story about something good that has happened to them this past week. Maybe someone paid for your coffee, gave you a ride somewhere, or you got a job promotion.

Most people have much more to celebrate in their daily lives than they normally realize. Our members and guests are welcome to toss a few dollars into the good karma jar as they tell a quick story, recognize the work of someone else, or just express something fun. Here’s what folks have been up to the last week, and below that, the secure form to share something, yourself!

member Nate Gildart ($10)
A little bit for the polio effort.

member Brian Liddicoat ($15)
The reason for my donation is attorney-client privileged (just kidding!).

guest Caroline Dobson ($10)
Zen donation. (No reason given, that is!)

member Mahmood Khan ($25)
eClub to use for worthy causes.

Fill out my online form.


While we’re still a week away from Chris Cochrane’s birthday on the 18th, we’re happy to pay honor to another honorable dude whose birthday falls on the 11th, the day that launches our meeting this week.

One century ago, Alberto Ginastera was born. He was an Argentinian-Swiss pianist and considered one of the most important classical composers of the 20th century.

May this be a week both cross-cultural and musical for you!


The Tidbit

For each meeting, we create or find a short video that helps you with some slice of technology or anything else as a way to learn something new.

This week, Nate (our man in Tokyo), shows you how to create a contact group in Gmail. If you’ve been typing lots of addresses into your To: field and wondering if there was an easier way, then your moment has arrived!


A Little Humor

We like to share a little humor each week, and as it turns out, it’s almost always appropriate that “Little” is part of the title.

This one is in honor of Nate, who did the Tidbit, above. If you didn’t know (and even if you did,) Nate plays in a band that helps raise money for good causes in Japan.

There’s a band called 1023MB, however, they haven’t had any gigs yet.

That was yet another rimshot from HigherPerspectives.com.


Selected Comments from Last Week

Every week we finish our meetings by offering thoughts on what we’ve seen and read. The idea is to take the discussion forward another notch by asking good questions, identifying where what was presented connects with our lives personally, and (via reading others’ comments) to get to know each other better.

Last week, we set a new record for guests via our program with our speaker, John Hewko, the General Secretary of Rotary International and the Rotary Foundation. That gets a big woohoo!, of course.

Still, there are Rotarians who drop by without letting us know, which is a bummer. Guests, please fill out the attendance form at the end of the meeting, and leave a note letting us know what you think – we welcome your insights!

Here’s a great group of some of last week’s comments from our guests and members:

member Richard Knaggs (Cape Town, South Africa)
What a fantastic meeting. The compassion story, the Tidbit, the inspirational image and of course the time give to us by John Hewko for a thoroughly captivating presentation. It is a real privilege to be a part of ROTARY and its efforts such as, end polio now. Great to have Ferheen join us. You are very welcome here. 🙂

member Manju Ramachandran (California, USA)
What a wonderful program! I actually made my daughter (who has been going to Interact meetings in Cupertino) watch it too! Very inspiring to hear of your support for the eClub concepts. Thank you for your time!

member Heather Shaw (California, USA)
Welcome Fehreen! Thank you Secretary Hewko for sharing your insights on the continuing polio challenge and Rotary’s goals. Rushton, you weren’t kidding when you said there would be some tears shed with the power of compassion video. I definitely went and squeezed my dog and reflected on our mutual benefit. Thanks for sharing it!

member Shags Shagrin (California, USA)
Thanks for a fantastic presentation, John. So nice to hear of the things to come, as well as the Rotary legacy. Welcome to Ferheen — hope the hot peppers are a hit in Japan! Rushton — another outstanding meeting.

member Chris Cochrane (Ontario, Canada)
Excellent meeting. John, thank you for your insights. it was pleasure to “e-meet” with you! Currently I’m en route to Augusta, Georgia, to help bring the Masters Golf Tournament to the world…this year online at Masters.com. You can catch your favourite player, or watch specific holes, even the Par 3 tournament by downloading the Masters 2016 app.

member Yvonne Kwan (California, USA)
WELCOME, FERHEEN!!! I’m so proud to be able to call you a fellow Rotarian now in addition to all of the other wonderful things you are in my life 🙂 See you in Osaka soon!

The Power of Compassion video tugged at my dog-loving heartstrings so much. It’s another reminder that we all need companionship and compassion to thrive, whether we find it in another human or a furry four-legged friend.

John, thank you for taking the time to present to our eClub and for sharing your perspectives of Rotary! The enthusiasm that you hold for Rotary was oozing through the entire presentation, and I think the passion that you have for the End Polio Now campaign will rub off on everyone who views this. Thank you for all that you do and for supporting eClubs! Hopefully we’ll run into each other in Seoul at the convention!

guest Barbara Shannon (California, USA)
As always, I love each meeting. I have never been disappointed. Most often, I catch up when for some reason I am wide awake at 2 in the am…a testimony to the convenience of the eClub flexibility. I take away so much, and I am always reminded why I joined Rotary. This meeting’s challenge to personally administer those two drops of polio vaccine one day and the remnants of this disease in Afghanistan and Pakistan, two very challenging countries, will not be forgotten.

member Nate Gildart (Tokyo, Japan)
Thank you John for your presentation. Our club’s meetings with Rotary leaders such as yourself help this new Rotarian gain a deeper understanding of who we are and what we’re about. I particularly appreciate your reinforcing of partnerships – profound change demands a team effort, not to mention innovation and out of the box thinking, which you addressed. I’m eager to see (and be a part of) the end to polio and a new, bold Rotary initiative in the not-so-distant future. Ferheen, welcome! I hope we can meet during your time here in Japan!

guest Ulrika Wennberg (Stockholm, Sweden)
Very interesting to hear the personal story of John Hewko and his views on End Polio and how Rotary must change to continue to be a leader for humanitarian development work.

guest Randy Damewood (Tennessee, USA)
A a visitor, I am very impressed with this format. I was in Rotary many years ago (about 16) and do miss the fellowship and the chance to do something good with others. I did enjoy General Secretary Hewko’s comment about you can not do things alone – even if you have the resources of someone like Bill Gates. Having General Secretary Hewko provide a solid background of information on Rotary was a great 1st visit and I am looking forward to attending next week’s meeting.

member Linda Diekman (Illinois, USA)
What a great meeting! Have to say #MutualRescue brought me to tears! I gave my rescue pup an extra long walk last night 🙂 General Secretary Hewko’s remarks and overall support for eclubs was inspiring. If you take John up on his invitation to visit Rotary sites in the Chicago area, make sure to let me know you’re here. I live a short bike ride from Evanston and would love to meet up face-to-face. Have a good week everyone!

member Mitty Chang (California, USA)
Ferheen! WELCOME!!!! We’re so excited to have you part of our club!!! And I’ll see you in Osaka in June! 🙂 John, thank you so much for taking the time to speak to our eClub! It was wonderful to hear from your perspective, and it’s great to see you embrace eClubs as well! Thank you for all you do for Rotary! See you in Seoul, for the convention. 🙂

member Ferheen Abbasi (Osaka, Japan)
Thank you everyone for the warm welcome!! I’m so excited to be a part of the group – and there couldn’t be a more perfect meeting to be inducted! Thank you so much for your presentation, John! In high school, I was a part of World Savvy’s World Affairs Challenge and one year (2009, I think) we did a presentation/skit about polio eradication. At that point in time, there were 23 countries that had cases of polio. Now, it’s 2! As someone who officially joined Rotary 3 days ago, I’m so excited to be a part of an organization that truly does good. I would love to join a vaccination trip, especially since I’m currently in Japan, so close to countries that still have cases of polio. Thank you!!


The Program

Each week we bring to you someone, somewhere, who is finding a way to make the world a better place. We think that using online video conferencing tools gives us the chance, and perhaps the responsibility, to share stories as broadly as possible, seeking ways to improve communities through a variety of innovative ideas.

This week, we hear from Mike Lawrence, the CEO of CUE.

“Supporting a community of passionate educators has taught me a great deal about managing communities to provide powerful learning experiences with limited resources. Among the lessons I have learned are: how to rally volunteers, develop leaders, and all the while manage community expectations with an eye on the bottom line.”

In this presentation, Mike will focus on community engagement, learning with joy, and getting the best out of one’s team.

CUE is a professional organization devoted to technology as an integral aspect of education and the learning and teaching process. CUE seeks to engage the educational community by providing leadership, promoting educational reform, and supporting technology-based innovation through its services, activities, programs, and advocacy. The membership consists of nearly 10,000 educators who leverage technology in their work with students across all curricular areas, K-20. CUE is a California nonprofit with national reach and international impact.

Over the last twenty-five years, Mike Lawrence has been an English and web design teacher, administrator, technology coordinator, and non-profit leader. He was named an Apple Distinguished Educator in 2003. He assisted in the development and launch of the Discovery Educator Network (DEN) and co-founded the Google Certified Teacher program. He currently serves as CEO of CUE, helping the nonprofit grow threefold in 10 years, and also serves as Director of the California Student Media Festival. He led the development and launch of Leading Edge Certification and co-produces Infinite Thinking Machine, an award-winning web TV show focused on creativity and innovation in the classroom. He is a CUE Gold Disk recipient, was appointed to serve on the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing’s Teacher Preparation Advisory Panel, was honored as one of the National School Board Association’s “20 to Watch in Educational Technology” and was awarded the ISTE Making IT Happen jacket at ISTE 2013. He lives with his wife Julie and two kids in Southern California.

Members and guests, please welcome Mike Lawrence.


Upcoming Programs

Week of Apr 18th: Katia Gomez – Reinventing Student Sponsorships in Rural Honduras
Week of Apr 25th: Marcelle du Plessis – Lavender’s Power to Improve Communities


You’re Almost Done! One last thing: The Attendance Survey..

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

More importantly, for all members and guests — we strongly recommend and ask that you leave a comment below 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.


We'd love to hear from you! You can use this form or send us an email directly at [email protected]

Copyright Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley 2015-2017, located in Rotary District 5170 in the sunny Silicon Valley of California, USA. Rotary International club #86428. Inquiries can be sent to [email protected]

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?