This is the meeting for the week of July 10, 2017 through July 16, 2017

This Meeting at a Glance:
Program: The Impact of RYLA, a Thank You Message
Program Description: Learn about the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards Camp experiences of the young Interact Club Co-President our club sponsored to this year’s RYLA camp this past June.
Speaker: Marilyn Nguyen, Co-President of the Interact Club of KIPP San Jose Collegiate Prep

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 Stephen

Welcome to Week 2 of our Rotary Year!

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!

I hope everyone had a great fourth of July! Last Sunday, we had a very successful Jam session graciously hosted by Shags at his lovely home in Walnut Creek. Shags made smoked salmon to go along with bagels and cream cheese.

The Jam Sessions were started to help the club create meeting content. They are hosted once every quarter and also act as a social event for members to bond while putting together cool ideas for our meetings. This last Jam Session we had members Andrew Taw, Mitty Chang, Cecelia Babkirk, Rushton Hurley, Yvonne Kwan, Leanza Tupfer, Steven “Shags” Shagrin, Heather Shaw, and myself. Chris Cochrane, Roger Plested, Jaiki Alves, and Monique Ziesenhenne joined us remotely via video conference. We made great strides toward creating systems that will help generate content for the meetings.  As an E-Club, there are so many cool and different ways people can get involved and seeing everyone working together at the Jam Sessions makes me very excited to be a part of such an engaged community.

Yours in service,

Stephen Zhou, President
Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley
[email protected]

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.”

With the start of the new Rotary year, summer is also in full swing in the Northern Hemisphere. Here are some beachy jokes to cool you off.
What did the pig say at the beach on a hot summer’s day?

I’m bacon!

What do you call a witch at the beach?

A sandwich!
What do you call a beach with tiny waves?
A microwave beach!

Weekly Inspiration: “Through My Eyes: The World I Want to Live In”

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 White House Film Festival 2016 Finalist Nashrah MohdReza.

The White House hosts an annual student film contest and this is the 3rd year this program has been around. Last year’s theme was “The World I Want to Live In.” This short film was made by 14-year old Nashrah MohdReza. It is about a girl who dreams of the perfect world in which she is accepted.

Coffee with a Rotarian: Rushton & Shags

Getting to know our fellow members and Rotarians is an important part of Rotary. Our club runs a regular initiative called “Coffee with a Rotarian,” where members are paired with other Rotarians to get to know each other in a 1 on 1 coffee session either in-person or virtually. These Coffee with a Rotarian initiatives are spearheaded by member Tzviatko Chiderov.

This week we feature a coffee session between members Shags Shagrin and Rushton Hurley!

Here’s what Shags had to say about Rushton:

“Rushton and I have had several conversations over the years, so this time it was more of an
update than a “get to know initial chat”. It was exciting to hear that his new book was to
come out this week (June 20), “Making Your School Something Special”. He said that it has
over 50 tools and techniques for teachers to “enhance learning, build confidence, and foster
success at every level.”

This week (June 25-28) he will be sharing it at the International Society for Technology in
Education Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas. That’s his old stomping ground for 7
years while studying at Trinity University. One of his majors was History, yet he didn’t have
an answer to my question as to why they would put the Alamo in the middle of such a busy
metropolitan area. (wink wink!)

He and Tabitha are looking forward to their first cruise in mid-July to ports in Italy, France,
and Spain. It’s always a delight to chat with Rushton, so thanks for pairing us up this month!

See more about Rushton’s new book at

Here is what Rushton had to say about Shags:

Additional comments and links from Rushton about Shags:

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.

August 6th Fundraiser – Help Sell Tickets!

We need all club members to help us with our 1st annual club fundraiser happening August 6 in Livermore, CA! Please help us sell tickets, collect donations, etc! 🙂 The link to the fundraiser tickets is here:

Past Member Announcements:

  • Club Fundraiser on August 6 “A Taste of Good with Rotary” in Livermore, CA: Looking for help, donations, gift prizes, etc! Email Andrew Taw
  • 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!
  • 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
131 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]

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.

You can purchase your tickets here or share this link with your friends and colleagues:

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 powering our club’s projects and service grants.

Thank you to member Rory Olsen for his $15 donation to Polio Plus fund! Rory had this to say:
“All is well”

Thank you to member Rushton Hurley for his generous $25 donation to Polio Plus fund! Rushton had this to say:
“Here’s a $25 donation to End Polio Now in honor of our new president!”

 Thank you to member Monique Ziesenhenne for her generous $20 donation! Monique had this to say:
“Happy Birthday dollars from me for the Club General Fund!”

Thank you all for your donations last week!

This week’s happy dollars donations will be going to help fund our club projects and service grants!

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

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 Impacting Lives with Laptops for Good:

Member Catherine A. (USA) had this to say:
“Congratulations on the beginning of your year, Stephen!
Andrew, I was so excited to learn of a fellow HNU graduate who is doing such great work for deserving Bay Area kids. (I haven’t been back since I graduated many years ago, since I moved to another region for work and graduate school.) Hearing about your Upward Bound program, plus the snacks, laptops and folios for students, was awesome. I like your idea of a committee to help students network and achieve their goals, plus the future Google tie in. (Side note, there is now a small, self-driving vehicle at Santa Clara University which is being used to shuttle students across the grounds over sidewalks. My friend and I got a test ride last fall, when the golf-cart-sized vehicle was being programmed.) Perhaps someday we will have community based, self-driving cars taking students from homes to schools and colleges, so they can study while they are stuck in Bay Area traffic. Somehow, I believe you are just the right person who could find funding and backing for that kind of project, since many low income students are hampered by chronic transportation challenges. Good job!

Member Rushton Hurley (California, USA) had this to say:
“The video about the synthetic cadavers was amazing – a nice example of bringing excellence to a need many aren’t aware of. Nate and Tzviatko, most cool to hear from you guys, and the Australian history was a nice bonus. Andrew, what a powerful realization it was that students might lose their momentum in college because their families ask for help via the money the students receive to address their educational costs! I love that your experience helping low-income students get to college is now going into helping students succeed in college. I think you will be able to make a difference addressing the statistic that just over 9 in 10 lowest-quartile students entering college don’t finish. Stephen, welcome to the captain’s chair! I know you’ll do a great job this year. Finally, I hope more of us will share visuals in our meeting comments this year! Here’s a shot I took this morning as folks in our community were getting ready for the annual July 4th parade.”

Member Cecelia (California, USA) had this to say:
“Stephen, congratulations on becoming the President of arguably the best e-club in the Rotary world! One of the things I admire about your members is that you don’t just participate in doing good, you lead the way by seeing a need right in your professions and creating the structure through which you can respond to the need. I look forward to joining you in those endeavors and bringing an element of internationality to the club. Happy 4th, everyone!

Member Leanza Tupfer (California, USA) had this to say:
“Congratulations Stephen, and Mitty thank you for all that you’ve done this year. Andrew – please let me know if I can help in any way for Laptops For Good, this is such an awesome program and deserving opportunity for students in need of laptops! Also if anything is needed for the Club Fundraiser on Aug 6 🙂 Responding to the Westworld IRL video, it’s amazing that now we have the technology to create life-like cadavers that “react” as a human would to surgical operations and real world conditions. My thoughts are that building a more accurate model of a cadaver for human research is that it will allow physicians to empathize with how the research and procedures they perform could affect the human body, which hopefully leads to better understanding and improved medical care for when procedures are performed on real human bodies. Hope everyone had a great July 4.

Member Hardeep Singh (California, USA) had this to say:
“Congrats, Stephen! And thanks, Andrew! Loved the weekly inspiration with the syndavers, especially as a medical student who dissected cadavers during her first semester. Super cool!

Member Brett Sham (Sydney, Australia) had this to say:
“Andrew, congratulations on developing such a powerful and impactful project. It’s amazing that we forget that some of the things we take for granted can be so valued and have such a meaningful change on another person’s life. Nate, great video – I’m not even sure that I’ve ever been to Cockatoo Island. Such a shame I wasn’t in Sydney when you visited.”

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

Program: Impact of RYLA

Every week we bring to you a new program on innovation, education, technology, and humanitarian service. This week our guest is Marilyn Nguyen, Co-President of the Interact Club of KIPP San Jose Collegiate Prep.

Marilyn Nguyen will start her senior year of high school this Fall. As Co-President of the Interact Club our club sponsors, Marilyn was awarded a scholarship to the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) camp a month ago. RYLA is a leadership camp for high school students, and is organized differently and independently in each Rotary district. Our district’s RYLA has been around for over 30 years, and annually attracts nearly 200 high school students for a 5 night, 6 day leadership program. Attending our district’s RYLA is a competitive selection process with a long waitlist of students every year who want to go but cannot due to the program maxing out of camper slots every year.

In this week’s program, Marilyn shares with us about her experience at RYLA this past June. This is also our club’s introduction to Marilyn, who we will hear from periodically throughout the year on behalf of their Interact Club.   

Please join us in welcoming Marilyn!

Related Links

Leave a comment!

Feel free to ask Marilyn a question in the comments!

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 45 minutes long and are subject to change without notice.

Upcoming Recordings:

  • None 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?