This is the meeting for the week of May 8, 2017 through May 14, 2017

This Meeting at a Glance:
Program: End Polio Now Update
Program Description: In this week’s program, we are joined by our district’s The Rotary Foundation Guru, Cecelia Babkirk. Cecelia will be sharing with us an update about how the End Polio Now campaign is going.
Speaker: Cecelia Babkirk, District The Rotary Foundation Committee Chair

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

New Member Inductions! New Online Happy Hours!

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!

We are continuing our celebration of our newest members, Angela Hoang and Megan Breyer! In this week’s meeting, we officially induct Angela and Megan, and are able to get introduced to them through their self-introduction videos. Both Angela and Megan are first-time Rotarians, and I am so glad that they decided to choose our global family as their Rotary home. You’ll get to hear their stories in the new member introduction segment, but I would ask that you each (guest and members) join me in welcoming Angela and Megan in the comments below. (Even if you welcomed them last week!) New member inductions are a special moment for our club, and we are always working on improving the entire membership process. As a club president, I am very grateful for each of our members, and enjoy inducting new members the most of all of the benefits and duties of being club president!

One of our new initiatives for members is to make sure all new members are paired with a seasoned Rotarian in our club who will become their “Club Mentor.” The Club Mentor checks in with the new member over the course of the first three months of their club membership to make sure they have all of their questions answered, and get more familiarized with Rotary and how our club works. Special thanks to member Roger Plested for pushing the Club Mentorship idea! Members, regardless of if you are a club mentor or not, I always encourage each of you to reach out directly to new members. Getting to know your fellow members is a great way to be active with our club, but also a great service you can give to our club by helping us strengthen our club’s community.

New Online Happy Hours.

One of the biggest struggles of being in an eClub is connecting with fellow members who you don’t get to see regularly, and building that sense of community in the club. This is especially difficult for our remote members who cannot attend our monthly service projects and socials that are in the Silicon Valley. Earlier this year we used to schedule online happy hour sessions where we would bring our own beverage and just socialize online as an effort to bridge the divide and strengthen our bonds. We’re making an effort to bring back these online happy hour sessions as a regular event. We’ll aim for two every month as short one-hour session to really fit the “hour” part of the name in “Happy Hour.”

As an eClub, it’s important that we are constantly growing and adapting our club model to keep improving the process. Our charter members know that our club has grown a lot and improved its benefits immensely since we first chartered. While this Rotary year is coming to a close at the end of next month, we are certainly not going to stop launching new initiatives to improve the club! Expect to see some pretty amazing technology improvements with the website and member services coming in the next few weeks before July 1!

Lastly, I’m very excited about our program this week as we welcome back our district’s Foundation guru, Cecelia. She’s presented to our club before, and her insights into the amazing work that The Rotary Foundation does is always appreciated. I want to give her and past president Rushton some special kudos for making this recording happen on such short notice.

Enjoy the meeting and enjoy your week, friends!

Yours in service,

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

Weekly Inspiration: Spying on Wildlife with Animal Robots!

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 man has created robots with cameras that look like animals to spy on wildlife!

How do you record the most intimate moments in the animal kingdom? If you’re a clever English bloke, you build lookalike “spy creatures.” Filmmaker John Downer has spent much of his life capturing footage of wildlife, but it wasn’t until he and his team created robotic animals with built-in spy cameras that he was able to record rare footage of animal behavior in the wild, essentially from the perspective of the animal. Step inside his workshop to see how his mechanical menagerie spies on nature’s actors.

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

We 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: “May 14 is National Dance Like a Chicken Day! (Seriously, who makes these things up?!) Here are some jokes to have you squawking with laughter.”
What kind of chicken grows on a tree?
Why did the chicken join a band?
Because it already had drumsticks.
What do chickens grow on?

New Member Welcome

We love our members. Without them, this club wouldn’t exist. This section is a segment is dedicated to introducing our newest additions to our club!

“President Mitty here. It is with distinct pleasure that I am able to welcome two of our newest members into our ranks. Our club chartered in January 2015, and since then we have been growing our ranks. At the beginning of this Rotary year, back in July 2016, we had only 27 members in our club. Today, our family has grown to 38 members. Members are the lifeblood of every club and of Rotary. It is because of the selfless service, dedication, resources, contributions, and time of our members that Rotary is able to do the life-saving work it does in our local communities and in the world.

This week we are celebrating the official member inductions of Megan Breyer of California, USA and Angela Hoang of Sydney, Australia. As per our club’s tradition, we have asked both Megan and Angela to share with us a short video self-introduction.”

Here’s what Megan had to say about herself:

Welcome Megan!

Here’s what Angela had to say about herself:

Welcome Angela!

“President Mitty here again.

Megan. Angela. By becoming a member of our club, you each are joining the global family of Rotary as fellow Rotarians. You each now share this title with over 1.2 million leaders, activists, professionals, and miracle workers. It is because of the work of Rotarians that those without shelters have shelters, those without food have food, those with illness are cured, those without education receive it, and so much more. Whether it is the impact you will each make in your local community or in the global community, we know you each will live and think by the Rotarian creed of The Four Way Test: “First, is it the truth? Second, is it fair to all concerned? Third, does it build goodwill and better friendships? And fourth, is it beneficial to all concerned?”It is my distinct honor to officially welcome you both as the world’s newest Rotarians, and the newest members of our club’s global family.

Megan and Angela, it is my distinct honor to officially welcome you both as the world’s newest Rotarians, and the newest members of our club’s global family.

Members and guests, please join me in welcoming Megan and Angela to our club!”

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 meet up between members Kristi Govertsen (USA) and Nathan Gildart (Japan).

Here is what Kristi had to say about Nate:

Thanks for sharing, Kristi! Check in next week for more Coffee with a Rotarian updates!

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
122 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]

Network: Online Happy Hour – Tue. May 9, 2017 from 7pm-8pm PT on the club Zoom Channel

Join us for our online happy hour! Everyone brings their own beverage and drinks in front of their webcams as we all socialize across borders and continents. You can join at 7 PM Pacific Time (that’s San Francisco or Cupertino time) on Tuesday, May 9 at this link:

Network: Online Happy Hour #2 – Tue. May 16, 2017 from 7pm-8pm PT on the club Zoom Channel

Join us for our second online happy hour in May! Everyone brings their own beverage and drinks in front of their webcams as we all socialize across borders and continents. You can join at 7 PM Pacific Time (that’s San Francisco or Cupertino time) on Tuesday, May 9 at this link:

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:
“All is well! Please apply my gift to Polio Plus! Have a nice week.”

Thank you to member Brian Liddicoat for his generous $15 donation! Brian had this to say:
“I am loving this Bay Area week of warm sunshine!”

Thank you to member Monique Ziesenhenne for her generous $15 donation!

Thank you to member Rushton Hurley for his generous $25 donation! Rushton had this to say:
“I’ve got some time at home coming up – I love to travel, but am good with being under my own roof and getting caught up on all that’s on the backburner.”

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

Member Shags Shagrin (California, USA) had this to say:
“Fantastic program, and a very blessed mission you are on, Shilpa. I recall a short video featured during a past meeting about a book of paper filters for water purification. I found a story & video about it online:… Not sure if you’re familiar with the item, but it may be an additional tool for Surge.”

Guest Leanza Tupfer (California, USA) had this to say:
“I believe the post on Teaching Empathy with Video Games is an extremely valuable tool for teaching younger generations about real world issues and how to react. We have used technology to optimize dissemination of information, automate processes, and certainly for education, but teaching empathy and other critical situations I believe is valuable for teaching lessons that can be applicable for real world situations.”

Member Tzviatko Chiderov (South Africa) had this to say:
“Shilpa, this was great. Thank you so much for the amazing work. Again, the stories you shared were so inspiring, and I’m happy to have seen Surge evolve into the life-changing organization it’s become. I really liked the empathy gaming video as well. It’s so cool when technology is used in ways that help people become better.”

Guest C Alexander (California, USA) had this to say:
“Shilpa, I found your talk interesting in terms of the difference in approach between Surge and Rotary International, when providing aid to those in critical need around the globe. In your talk you stated, “Surge is not a free service” and “all (aid recipients) must work” “to appreciate” the subsidized sanitary and clean water products and services which Surge and Surge partners, sell them. You also mentioned that aid recipients pay, “40%-60% of all costs” for toilets, water filters, sanity pad supplies, classes and sanitation installations. Are Surge staff and Surge partner travel and lodging costs included in the costs charged to aid recipients? In contrast, Rotary International donates water purification systems, hygiene and sanitation products, among other goods, classes and medical services, around the globe. RI pays for these costs by regularly requiring and requesting donations from Rotary members, by implementing funding drives for specific projects, then by using member teams who work along with locals when possible, during in country installations and when providing local medical or professional services. RI members also pay for their own travel and lodging when in country. Most importantly, RI never charges recipients for aid supplies or services, nor does RI force recipients, who are already disadvantaged, to work to receive humanitarian aid.… Holding classes to create new cottage industries for families, women and girls, is a great idea. If residents in poor regions can then use new Surge-taught home-crafted products and services to barter for other needed services which were previously economically out of their reach, increasing their self-sufficiency, quality of life and dignity, that outcome is even better.”

Guest Jaiki Alves (Brazil) had this to say:
“Shilpa I am in love with your project, when I see those actions, I compare with actions Rotary and each time I have more sure that we are in the better world with better people, congrats. Wonderful actions. I went to Rotary Meeting in my city, and I said about this Eclub and all projects. I’m excited with this club. Thanks!”

Member Rushton Hurley (California, USA) had this to say:
“Loved the video from Shags, Andrew, Nicole, and Truffle! Shilpa, that was a great program. The story you start your presentation with paints a powerful picture. I really enjoyed hearing about the woman whose restaurant has benefitted so much from the filter you provided, as well. Shilpa, you clearly have a heart to serve others – if you aren’t already a Rotarian, I know a good eclub that would welcome having you apply! Finally, here’s a picture from my recent trip to Costa Rica to work with teachers and then take a couple of days to enjoy the country. For more, check out my Instagram feed!”

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: End Polio Now Update

Every week we bring to you a new program on innovation, education, technology, and humanitarian service. This week our guest this week is Cecelia Babkirk, our Rotary District’s Foundation Committee Chair.

The Rotary Foundation is the official giving arm of Rotary International. The Rotary Foundation is one of only a select few charities given a 100% rating on Charity Navigator, an organization that rates charities globally. It is through The Rotary Foundation that Rotary is able to carry out amazing life-saving feats like the End Polio Now Campaign, also known as the PolioPlus Fund.

Meet Cecelia.

Cecelia has been a Rotarian since 1994. She has served twice as club President and has served in many district positions, including Asst. Governor, International Service Chair, Vocational Service Chair, District Grants Chair and as the District Rotary Foundation Chair, a position she will hold through June 30, 2017.

In addition, she is a member of The Rotary Foundation Cadre of Technical Advisors, conducting audits and reviews of Global Grants to ensure good stewardship for The Rotary Foundation. Cecelia believes that the best way to experience the internationality of Rotary is to become involved in a Rotary Grant project that includes travel as a component. In real life, Cecelia is a Mortgage Advisor with Opes Advisors Inc., in San Jose, California.

Members and guests, please join us in welcoming back Cecelia!

Watch the addendum video mentioned in the presentation:

Related Links

Ask a question. Leave a comment!

Have a question for Cecelia? 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]

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?