This is the meeting for the week of April 24, 2017 through April 30, 2017

This Meeting at a Glance:
Program: How Jelani Girls Inspires Young Girls to be Great through Cultural Exchange
Program Description: Our talk this week is about Jelani Girls. Jelani Girls is an American nonprofit organization helping young women re-imagine what it means to be great through an international cultural enrichment program that combines humanitarian service.
Speaker: Ashley Company, CEO & Founder of Jelani Girls & Jelani Women

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!

Message from President Mitty

Our Club’s 1st Charity Fundraiser this August!

New to our meetings? Then I want to welcome you to the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley’s online meeting! Every week we curate inspiring and educational content in an online format like the one you’re seeing here. As you continue reading, watching, and scrolling, our hope is that you’ll leave feeling a little bit more inspired. As an online Rotary club, we have these asynchronous meetings online, but we also meet in-person in the Silicon Valley / San Francisco bay area for service projects and for social events. Keep reading on, and feel free to also join us for one of our in-person events if you can make it!

Welcome to our meeting this week!

I want to thank everyone who came out to help at April service project this past Sunday serving chili at the Annual Justin’s House Charity Chili Cookoff in Santa Clara! Special thanks to guests Diane and Sherri for cooking up amazing chili! The black cherry secret ingredient definitely made our chili a top contender! Shoutout to member Rushton Hurley for chairing the event, and members Brian Liddicoat, Andrew Taw, and Heather Shaw for coming out to serve chili! And of course a shoutout to our guest Leanza for coming out to help out as well! There are some great photos of the event in the Events segment of this meeting, but here’s a couple of my favorites to share with you all. As you can see, we also finally got an outdoor event banner for our Rotary club to use for events! The banner came in handy at the chili cookoff, but will also be great for future events like our club charity fundraiser on August 6th!

Speaking of August 6th, I want to take this time to personally invite each and every one of you reading this meeting to our club’s 1st annual charity fundraiser happening on Sunday, August 6, 2017 at the Retzlaff Winery in Livermore, California! This will be our club’s first-ever major charity fundraiser. (We did only charter in 2015, after all.) We’re incredibly excited about this event, but we also really need as much help as we can get to make sure this event is as successful as it can be. The event, called “A Taste of Good with Rotary” will be a food and wine event in a gorgeous outdoor space with live music. This is a family-friendly event (you don’t have to be 21+ to attend; only to drink wine!) that is perfect for bringing your entire family (including dogs!) or friends out to. There will be silent auctions and drawings available too. Tickets will be available for sale soon. The best part of all of this is that in addition to being able to meet some incredible people, everyone who attends will be helping contribute to an amazing cause: our Laptops for Good Project. The Laptops for Good Project provides Chromebooks (laptops with Google Chrome OS) to deserving high school juniors and seniors who are going off to college, but don’t own their own laptop. One of our club’s core focuses is education, and we believe that a laptop can go a long way in enabling a young adult with the right tools to thrive. So bookmark August 6 on your calendars, please! And if you cannot make it for the August 6th event, we hope you’ll consider donating a ticket to a young adult to attend the event, and/or making a contribution to the silent auction prizes.

Together, we’re going to make sure “A Taste of Good with Rotary” is an amazing event!

I also want to take this time to say a special congratulation to member Monique for being elected the 2018-19 President of the Public Library Association! What an enormous honor! Congratulations, Monique!

Members (and guests), I’m definitely far from being all knowing. If you’ve been wondering why certain people get shoutouts or congratulations, then I’d like to take this time to invite you to consider putting in a happy dollar this week and sharing with us something good that has happened to you recently! While the donations from Happy Dollars really does help power some of the amazing service grants and community projects our club gives out and holds, it’s really just an opportunity for you to share something good that’s happened to you. Go ahead and brag a little or talk about your business. We want to hear good news! And if you believe in karma, think of it as a way to give back a little something as an investment that’ll pay out with more good fortune in the future. And if you’re not able to make a monetary donation (even $1 is perfectly fine!), then feel free to email me directly at [email protected] and share with me the good news!

I’m especially excited about this week’s program which is about inspiring young girls who come from low-income families. Our speaker this week, Ashley, is the CEO and Founder of an amazing operation. I won’t reveal too much of what she does with Jelani Girls, but I can tell you that her work has been featured on television and that after hearing her story, I was won over with what they do and would love to figure out a way to support getting more young girls the cultural exchange experience that Jelani Girls provides. You’ll enjoy the program, so be sure to make it all the way to the bottom of the meeting for our feature program this week!

Enjoy this week’s meeting, and we’ll see you in May! (That’s next week!)

Yours in service,
Mitty Chang, President
Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley
[email protected]

Weekly Inspiration: One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Gym

Every week we start our meetings with a short video highlighting innovation, inspiration, entrepreneurship, or social change. This week we are featuring a video from Great Big Story about how one construction worker in Cape Verde takes the trash he collects on the beach and converts it into a public gym.

Alcindo Soares is a construction worker from Cape Verde who grew up dreaming of becoming a professional athlete. With no access to an indoor gym, he works out on the beach every day. One day while working out, he noticed that garbage kept washing up on the shore. So he decided to pick it up, and use it to build a free beach gym for everyone. What was once a pile of refuse is now a fully functional outdoor exercise center.

Stories like these are not only inspiring but also recharges your faith in humanity. We salute and thank Alcindo for all he does to better his community. Is there a local story from your community of a local hero you’d like to share with us? Or is there a project in your local community you’d like to work on sometime this year? Tell us in the comments!

Laughing Out Loud (L.O.L.) with our Lady of LOLs

yvonnebubbleWe believe that laughing a little every day keeps you healthier. Every week we try to share with you something that will make you smile! This section is curated by Rotarian Yvonne Kwan, our club’s “Lady of LOLs.”

From Yvonne: “Fellow member Rushton sent me a great joke video from one of his friend’s daughters. I thought it was too good not to feature. Enjoy!

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 program of our club where we match our members with other Rotarians that they haven’t had a chance to really get to talk to. This program is organized by member Tzviatko Chiderov.

In this week’s Coffee with a Rotarian, we are featuring a digital coffee meetup between two of our members, Shags Shagrin and Tzviatko Chiderov!

Here is what Shags had to say about Tzviatko:

Here is what Tzviatko had to say about Shags:

Thanks for sharing, Shags and Tzviatko! Check in next week for more Coffee with a Rotarian stories!

Community Messages

Part of being in Rotary means being active in your local community. Our members are connected with dozens of incredibly amazing community groups and projects. This segment is for community announcements from our community partners and members.

Help Judging the Student Video Contest! (From member Rushton Hurley): 

Hi, all!

Every year, students at schools around the world create videos telling about the efforts of those who work to make life better for others. Our club helps with the judging of this contest, and this year’s finalists are ready for you to see!
There are three videos, and you can follow the link in the ballot to watch them and cast a vote. All told, it should take about ten minutes to complete the videos and cast a vote.
The deadline for our being able to count your vote is April 30th, but we’d love for you to do this in the next few days if possible.
Service via Video 2017 ballot:
Thanks so much for taking part and helping encourage these students to tell stories of service.
Best wishes,

Have a community announcement you’d like to see for future meetings?

Email your announcement requests to [email protected] Announcements from members take priority, so consider having one of our club members submit your announcement request!

For Members: Updates

This segment of the meeting is dedicated to our club members. This section includes announcements and new initiatives. Guests, you are welcome to read this section or just skip it.

We need help with our club’s 1st charity fundraiser on August 6th! “A Taste of Good with Rotary”

Members, our President-nominee Andrew Taw is chairing our club’s first annual charity fundraiser happening on Sunday, August 6, 2017 at the Retzlaff Winery in Livermore, California! Since this is our club’s first big charity fundraiser, we are looking for help from anyone who is willing to volunteer it! Proceeds will be benefiting different projects, with the main beneficiary being the Laptops for Good project. The Laptops for Good project is an initiative spearheaded by Andrew to donate Chromebooks (small laptops) to deserving high school juniors and seniors who come from low-income families. For almost all of these recipients, this is the first computer they have ever owned. We believe that in today’s world, a laptop can go a huge way in aiding a young adult to have the right tools to thrive.

Bookmark on your calendars Sunday, August 6th! Tickets aren’t on sale yet, but we are looking for silent auction prizes/baskets, and drawing prizes as well! Below is a video message from event chair Andrew for you, our fellow members and Rotarians. If you are reading this and you aren’t a member of our club, we welcome your donation too if you have a basket or item you’d like to donate!

Past Member Announcements:

  • Message from Treasurer-elect Heather on Automatic Dues: Make sure to check your emails! We are switching our system over to automatic dues rather than manual payment. Treasurer-elect Heather has more info for you!
  • Homepage Hero Image Project: If you’re able to take a photo of yourself against a green screen (any background that is completely green), President Mitty will splice your image into the hero image of the homepage of our website! Send your photo to [email protected] with the subject line “Rotary eClub Homepage Hero Image Project.”
  • TRF Challenge coins: Members who donate the following amounts will receive the following coins: $1000 – Gold, $500 – Silver, $200 – Bronze. Go ahead and request your Challenge Coin via the online form here then! 
  • Service Blotter Submissions: Click here to fill out The Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley Service Survey

Our Events & Projects

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

Rotary E-Club of Silicon Valley

Fremont, CA
117 Members & Guests

Calling all service-minded entrepreneurs, foodies, and community leaders! This group is for anyone interested in innovation, community service, education, business networking,…

Next Meetup

Volunteer at the OACC Gala!

Friday, May 5, 2017, 4:00 PM
2 Attending

Check out this Meetup Group →

Recap of Recent Past Events:

Chili Cookoff Service Project this past Sun. April 23rd in Santa Clara
Thanks to everyone who came out to the chili cookoff service project this past Sunday! We had a blast! Here are some photos from event chair Rushton! Special thanks to all of our members who came out: Rushton Hurley, Brian Liddicoat, Andrew Taw, Heather Shaw, Mitty Chang, and guests Diane, Sherri, Leanza!

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 [email protected]

Serve: Volunteer at the OACC Gala

Volunteer with our President-elect Stephen Zhou at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center’s Spring Gala starting at 4 PM and through the evening on Friday, May 5th in the Downtown Oakland area!

Event chair: Stephen Zhou

Click here to RSVP on Meetup

Network: Rotary District 5170 Conference – May 5-7, 2017 in Santa Cruz, California

Join hundreds of Rotarians from throughout our Rotary district for our annual Rotary District Conference! This year’s conference will take place in Santa Cruz, California at the Boardwalk! This family-friendly event will be open to all guests and family members to attend. We hope to see more of our eClub members join us this year!

Our club’s event chair: Yvonne Kwan

Socialize: Beer O’Clock at Faction Brewery – Sat. May 27, 2017 from 4pm-6:30pm in Alameda, California

Kick back with Rotarians and awesome people for a relaxing Saturday social hour starting at 4 PM and running until 6:30 PM at the famous Faction Brewery in Alameda, California! Rumor is that one of our Aussie members will also be flying in to join us for some drinks! Guests are welcome! If you are a guest, we would love for you to email us in advance at [email protected]! But you are also welcome to just come join us and look for the Rotary hat, shirts, and sign!

Our club’s event chair: Shags Shagrin

Network: Rotary International Convention – June 10-14, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Join over 35,000 Rotarians from around the world at the annual Rotary convention! This year’s convention will take place in Atlanta, Georgia, USA and features the centennial celebration of The Rotary Foundation! The Rotary International Convention is the largest regular gathering of Rotarians, and is also one of the best networking opportunities anyone can ever experience. Our Rotary eClub will have member events and experiences in Atlanta! Come join us in Atlanta! Members, be sure to let President Mitty know the dates you will be there!

Our club’s event chair: Mitty Chang

Special: Club Charity Fundraiser “A Taste of Good with Rotary” – Sunday, August 6, 2017 at Retzlaff Vineyard in Livermore, California

Save the date for Sunday, August 6, 2017 for our club’s first annual charity fundraiser! This delicious food and wine lunch event will indulge your taste buds while we enjoy amazing company, live music, silent auctions, auctions, and ticket drawings. More info coming soon.

Our club’s event chair: Andrew Taw

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!)

Last week’s happy dollars went towards our club’s general fund. Here were the happy dollars donations from last week:

Thank you to member Rory Olsen for his $15 donation! Rory had this to say:
“Our house was reroofed last week. My cats are still catching up on their sleep.”

Thank you to member Monique Ziesenhenne for her generous $15 donation! Monique had this to say:
“Happy dollars because last week I learned that I have been elected 2018-19 President of the Public Library Association (! I’m tremendously honored and am happy to share with the Club General Fund.”

Thank you to member Brian Liddicoat for his generous $15 donation! Brian had this to say:
“Looking forward to helping Rushton with the chili cookoff this weekend. Burp!”

Thank you all for your donations last week!

This week’s donations will go towards supporting club operations!

Happy dollars is also a great opportunity to share with the group about something good that has happened to you.

So what are you happy about? Share with us below, and help support one of our future leaders!

Fill out my online form.

Selected Six

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 six comments every week from last week’s meeting to be featured during this week’s meeting.

Here are six comments selected from last week’s meeting about How Rotarians Empower Entrepreneurs Globally through Microfinancing:

Guest Leanza Tupfer (California, USA) had this to say:
“Enjoyed the video about Banking on Cheese – this is a great alternative for cheese farmers, and shows a new innovation on how we can store different items as collateral instead of money and gold. Also enjoyed volunteering at the Charity Chili Cook Off for Justin’s House this Sunday!”

Guest Angela Hoang (Sydney, Australia) had this to say:
“A great presentation, it was really amazing to be able to hear about all the intricacies that happen behind the scenes to ensure that elections are scrutinised properly so people can trust that their opinions and choices are not being altered – it’s definitely very important! Good luck in the future and your talk also made me appreciate how it’s so much easier to bring professionals together now through different platforms, I think it’s one of the ways we can move forward and work better globally with the best minds working together all over the world. Thanks Sando!”

Member Ferheen Abbasi (Osaka, Japan) had this to say:
“Sando, thank you so much for your wonderful presentation! Transparency is so important in many fields but especially in elections! I wish we could use your system in the US. Keep up the great work! Also, cheeeeeeessssseeeee. I miss really nice cheese 🙁 Can someone send me some please?!”

Member Raquel D. Juncal (Costa Rica) had this to say:
“The main causes of social inequalities in health are in the sociopolitical contexts that determine the opportunities for good health. Because of these, it is important that healthcare models make the shift from more strict -and sometimes inflexible- management models towards new organizational models where the information technology tools can enhance the quality, safety and continuity of healthcare, especially in developing countries where the priority is to improve patients’ access. This also allows controlling costs, optimizing processes as well as reallocating resources. Thank you for your presentation, Sando! I will certainly contact you to know more about Gara :)”

Guest C Alexander had this to say:
“I really enjoyed my first visit to this site and the meeting. What an amazing effort, Sando! Not only does democracy improve when reliable data is shared for critical thinking purposes, it seems that a redefined sense of community is enhanced as well. It was gratifying for me to teach beginning computer and Internet skills to under-served populations over my library career, particularly in terms of connecting seniors to distant family members via email, Google services and Facebook. Amazing to see the personal difference the Internet makes for people who are isolated from family members and the broader, connected region they inhabit. I loved the Cheese Bank story as well, since we have a professional cheese-maker in our family. Monique, thanks for the cheese librarian link. As someone with an MLIS myself, I was wondering how I would do a Dewey or Library of Congress Classification for Parmigiano Reggiano? ( LOC says:… ) LOL, my family raised fruit in pre-SV and it would have been something to see banks back then with pallets of dried cherries, ‘cots and prunes in their vaults.”

Member Shags Shagrin (California, USA) had this to say:
“Amazing things going on in Sando-land! Yvonne – those were great groaners, for sure. Dinner With Rotarians this past Sunday at my home with Nicole Pham and Andrew Taw was a great time. We got to know about each other, our attraction to and experiences with Rotary, and enjoyed the fellowship of a meal and great wine! I’m ready to cook for another paella party — we just need a place.”

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!

Tip: If you participate in the monthly photo contest via the comments, you’re much more likely to be featured in the next week’s meeting! Guests can participate too! Read our Members segment of our meeting to learn more about the theme for this month.

Program: Inspiring Young Girls to be Great through Cultural Exchange

Every week we bring to you a new program on innovation, education, technology, and humanitarian service. This week our guest this week is Ashley Company, the CEO and Founder of Jelani Girls and Jelani Women.

Jelani Girls is an American nonprofit organization helping young women re-imagine what it means to be great through an international cultural enrichment program that combines humanitarian service.

Meet Ashley.

World travel expert, international inspirational speaker, and social entrepreneur, Ashley N. Company draws on over 10 years of youth development, mentoring, personal experience, and community organizing to deliver purpose-driven success strategies and transformational keynote addresses for youth, mid-level professionals, college students and women. She uses her life story to inspire and train audiences to overcome tremendous adversity, cultivate leadership skills and transform communities.

Inspired by a dream, Ashley made a bold move to leave her position as a District Manager with PepsiCo, a Fortune 100 company, to to create Jelani Girls, Inc., a non-profit organization focused on transforming urban young women into global citizens and Jelani Women, a for profit service travel organization for professional women. At the age of 30, she has visited and volunteered in more than 60 countries and territories, raised over $200,000 for Jelani Girls, impacted the lives of over 2,000 children in need and helped hundreds of women travel and serve in Africa.

Ashley has been featured in multiple media sources across the northern and southern regions of the United States as well as internationally, most notably CNBC Africa and Huffington Post.Ashley has also been honored by the Foundation for Enhancing Communities with the 2014 Women In Philanthropy Award and Hampton University’s Top 40 Under Forty Young Alumni Award.

Members and guests, please join us in welcoming Ashley from Jelani Girls!

Related Links

Ask a question. Leave a comment!

Have a question for Ashley? Leave a comment or a question in the comments below! Or just tell us how your week has been!

Upcoming Program Schedule

All of our guest speakers and programs are recorded live online. We welcome members and guests to join us in one of these upcoming recordings. Recordings are approximately 30 to 45 minutes long and are subject to change without notice.

Upcoming Recordings:

  • Oops, none scheduled at the moment!

If you would like to join us for any of the live recordings, please email [email protected] with your request. Requests will be checked up until 5 minutes prior to the recording time. Please note the timezone is all California, USA time.

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. 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.

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]

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