This is the meeting for the week of May 1, 2017 through May 7, 2017

This Meeting at a Glance:
Program: Providing Life-Saving Clean Water & Sanitation to the World
Program Description: Our talk this week is about how the charity organization Surge for Water provides creative solutions for clean water, sanitation, and hygiene to remote parts of the world.
Speaker: Shilpa Alva, Co-Founder & Executive Director of Surge for Water

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

Happy May! Welcome new members Megan and Angela!

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!

New Members!

It’s my honor this week to introduce our club to two of our newest members, Megan Breyer and Angela Hoang. Megan is based in the Silicon Valley, and Angela is based in Sydney, Australia. We’ll be hearing each of their introduction stories over the coming weeks, along with having them each formally inducted in as club members alongside that process. Megan and Angela, we are so glad to have each of you join our Rotary club and international family! Members and guests, please join me in making both Megan and Angela feel welcomed! We’ll be expecting their self-introduction videos in the coming weeks.

District Conference.

I spent this past weekend in Alaska for their District Conference up there. I can tell you without a shred of doubt that Rotary District Conferences are amazing opportunities to meet like-minded people from throughout your region. Our own district conference is coming up this weekend in Santa Cruz, May 5 to May 7. I would strongly encourage any of you who can make it to attend! Board Member Yvonne Kwan will be helping coordinate our members going. Please reach out to her if you intend on going. Unlike the normal district conference, our District Governor Jeff Orth has made sure this event is family-friendly and fun! It’ll be at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Unlimited games and fun! I hope some of you can make it out for it!

Surge for Water.

I’m very excited for this week’s program because we have the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Surge for Water, Shilpa Alva. Her organization provides life-saving solutions for water, sanitation, and hygiene to remote parts of the world. You’ll hear more about the great work they do in the program video at the end of this meeting. For those of you new to our meetings, that will take up t he bulk of the time of this online meeting.

Welcome to May!

Time certainly flies. It’s already May, which means this Rotary year is coming to an end soon, and so is my term as club president. We’ll be having our official end of the Rotary year celebration party sometime either the end of June or beginning of July. More details will be announced soon. The event will be in the Silicon Valley, and we’ll have a remote connection setup available for members who can’t make it there physically but want to join us digitally.

Many of you know I’m a web designer by trade, but not all of you know I’m a huge Star Wars fan. Every week, May 4th is considered a major day for Star Wars fans worldwide. We called it “May the Fourth be with you day” or May 4th. And so to honor that tradition, I’d like to share with you a graphic I made just for this club.

Enjoy the rest of the meeting!

May the Fourth be with you,
Mitty Chang, President
Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley
[email protected]

Weekly Inspiration: Teaching Empathy with Video Games

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 a gaming company in Montreal is teaching empathy with video games.

In a small neighborhood in Montreal, some of the most innovative minds in video game development are building the learning tools of the future. “Empathy gaming,” an immersive form of gaming where players step into the shoes of video game characters, forces players to confront real human issues, such as bullying, alcoholism and depression. Minority Media is one of the Montreal-based companies leading the charge in this burgeoning genre of video games. By expanding the confines of this genre, these games have the potential to help us better understand the world around us.

Virtual reality is widely considered to be a technology category to look out for new developments. It’s great to see that it might also become a solution to help understand the situation of others.

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: “We are into a brand new month! Happy May, everyone!
What do you call a bee that can’t make up its mind?
A maybe. (Get it?! A may-bee!!)
If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring?
And as a bonus for all of you Star Wars fans:

Baronness of Birthdays

We love our members. Without them, this club wouldn’t exist. This section is a segment dedicated to appreciation them and their special days.

Hello Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley! This is Nicole, your Baroness of Birthdays. I was thrilled when Mitty asked me to be your Baroness of B-days. My two favorite things are balloons and cake!! Every month, we’ll give shoutouts to our fellow Rotarians and I’ll give you all some fun facts that you might or might not have known before.”
For the month of May, we are celebrating John Lozano, Nathan Gildart, and Steven (“Shags”) Shagrin!!!
The birthstone of May is the emerald which symbolizes success and love. 
The month of May was named after the Greek goddess of fertility, Maia.
May was once considered a bad luck month to get married. There is a poem that says “Marry in May and you’ll rue the day.”
May is National Physical Fitness and Sports and National Hamburger Month
“Among the changing months, May stands confest the sweetest, and in fairest colors dressed.”- James Thomson.

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 an in-person dinner meetup between San Francisco bay area members Shags Shagrin, Andrew Taw, and Nicole Pham!

Here is a joint video message from Shags, Andrew, and Nicole:

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

For Members Only: 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.

IMPORTANT – Have you moved in the last year? Is your mailing address up-to-date in our directory?

Members, after this week we will be mailing out a members package to each of you that will include your magnetic Rotary club lapel pin as well as two Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley exchange banners. These exchange banners are meant for you to be able to trade with other Rotary Clubs around the world as a sign of friendship when you visit their club. We’re starting off by sending two to each member, but we’ll have a system setup if members want to request additional banners. As you might imagine, it’s critically important that we have the correct mailing address for you on file. Please check the Google Sheet Members Directory to make sure the address we have there is correct. Not sure how to access that? Email [email protected]

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

This is a repeat from the message from last week in case you missed it! We still need more help!

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:

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
120 Members & Guests

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

Check out this Meetup Group →

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 – May 5, 2017 in Oakland

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!

Are you going to be going to the conference? Please leave a comment here or email Yvonne at [email protected]!

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 to the Polio Plus fund! Rory had this to say:
“Please send my donation to Polio Plus! All is great with me.”

Thank you to guest Catherine A for her generous $20 donation! Catherine had this to say:
“I’m celebrating being uplifted and inspired by this week’s videos, and very grateful for the well-chosen content on this site.”

Thank you to member Megan Breyer for her generous $15 donation! Megan had this to say:
“Happy Dollars because I was offered membership in this amazing club and am officially a legacy Rotarian 🙂 Looking forward to building relationships with everyone!”

Thank you to member Linda Tangren for her generous donation!

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 Jelani Girls Inspires Young Girls to be Great through Cultural Exchange:

Member Kristi Govertsen (Montana, USA) had this to say:
“Ashley, thanks for sharing this with us. And to the rest of our club, I just wanted to say how nice it is to be back into the swing of things. After being ill and injured for much of the winter, I’ll be the first to admit I’ve been not as involved in my life (and Rotary) as I would have liked. I’m starting to resurface, and I look forward to participating more and more as I head toward 100% recovery. An extra special thank you to Mitty for reaching out to make sure I’ve been doing ok over the past few months. :-)”

Guest Maxi Bustos (California, USA) 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!”

Guest Bec Weragoda (Sydney, Australia) had this to say:
“Caught up on this week’s meeting during my morning train commute. An awesome variety and quality of content in this week’s meeting. Excited to see the club holding its first fundraising event, what a fantastic initiative! Thanks so much for your presentation Ashley. An inspiring story, thank you for sharing. Keen to know who else is headed to RI Con! Would love to meet more members in person.”

Member Richard Knaggs (South Africa) had this to say:
“Mitty, I was wondering if we could have a “where are you right now” map. This will allow members to show fellow rotarians where they are so if another fellow rotarian is in that area they can meet up if available. I think this will work especially well as many of our member travel so frequently. What a fantastic initiative Ashley. I love your programme and idea to build and mould fellow philanthropists in an effort to make the world a better place. I have forwarded this meeting to a lady I know in Cape Town, Michelle Korevaar who owns Spice4Life (, because she has similar programmes. I have also linked this to Robyn Farah, a real tech wizard women in Cape Town and with Deidre Crouser President of the Rotary Club of Blouberg. They can possible help with the day of service for your girls. Wishing you the best.”

Member Keith Marsh (California, USA) had this to say:
“Greetings from Morocco. I arrived here on Tuesday for a two week photo tour around the country. The first thing I did was attend a Rotary meeting in Casablanca. That completes one of my bucket list items of attending a Rotary meeting on six continents.”

Guest Jaiki Alves (Brazil) had this to say:
“Well, I would like to say about Ashley Project, OMG! This is amazing, congratulations you’re winning and I want reply BDL Club Member “What you’ve done with Jelani Girls is fantastic”. The first video about “One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Gym” Shows how amazing is the man. Congrats, wonderful meeting. This week I visited some Rotary Clubs here, I am attaching a photo.”

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: Providing Life-Saving Clean Water & Sanitation to the World

Every week we bring to you a new program on innovation, education, technology, and humanitarian service. This week our guest this week is Shilpa Alva, the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Surge for Water.

Founded in 2012, Surge for Water is a U.S. based non-profit organization that works to provide life-saving and creative solutions on water, sanitation, and hygiene to remote parts of the world. Surge for Water has helped over 350,000 people in 11 countries. From water filters for Nepal after the earthquakes, to safe water education in the Philippines.

Meet Shilpa.

Shilpa Alva is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Surge for Water. Prior to starting Surge for Water, Shilpa worked at Ernst & Young as a Consultant and Manager for over 3 years. Before Ernst & Young, Shilpa worked at Ecolab in the Supply Chain Team for over 7 years as a Manager and Planner. Shilpa completed her undergraduate degree at John Hopkins University in Chemical Engineering and Biochemical Engineering in 2002, and completed her Masters in Business Administration from the University of Minnesota in 2010. Shilpa is currently based in the Chicago area, but travels often for Surge for Water.

Today we will be following Shilpa’s story behind starting Surge for Water, and some of the success stories from the life-saving work her and her team do.

Members and guests, please join us in welcoming Shilpa!

Related Links

Ask a question. Leave a comment!

Have a question for Shilpa? 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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