Rotary International


John F. Germ

Rotary District 5160 Governor:

Fred Collignon

Durham Rotary President:
Ravi Saip


Rowel Editor: Phil Price
Rowel Publisher: Jen Liu




July 12th, 2016


The  2016 Harvest Festival will be held on September 18, 2016


2016                                         Calendar for Durham Rotary


1 2
3 4 5
No Meeting due to 4th of July holiday
6 7 8 9
10 11 12
Club Assembly
(Ravi Saip)
Also board meeting at 5:00pm
13 14 15 16
17 18 19
Camp Royal Students
(Larry Bradley)
20 21 22 23
24 25 26
Mary Sakuma will present a program based on her travels to Germany and Switzerland
(Mary Sakuma)
27 28 29 30


1 2
Grant Lundberg, CEO of Lundberg Family Farms
(Jen Liu)
3 4 5 6
7 8 9
(Len Forman)
10 11 12 13
14 15 16
(Jim Patterson)
17 18 19 20
21 22 23
(Chris Hatch)
24 25 26 27
28 29 30
(Roy Ellis)

Note the new Rotary International theme of the new International President, in the upper left corner.  Note the new officers in the upper right corner.  See article about the new international president and a communication from the new District Governor below.


President Ravi Saip opened his first meeting by asking J. R. Gallagher to lead the pledge, which he did.  He then asked Mary Sakuma to lead the club in a song.  She led us in “God Bless America”.  Jim Patterson then gave the invocation.




July 19th:  Larry Bradley will have our Camp Royal students


July 26th:  Will be the District Governor's visit.


August 2nd:   Jen Liu will present Mr. Grant Lundberg, current CEO of Lundberg Family Farms


August 9th:  Len Forman


August 16th:  Jim Patterson


August 23rd:  Chris Hatch


August 30th:  Roy Ellis


September 6th;  No Meeting due to holiday the day before.


September 13th:  At Durham Park in preparation for the Harvest Festival.


September 17th:  Harvest Festival preparation day.


September 18th:  The Harvest Festival.


September 20th:  No meeting.





President Ravi introduced Chris and Rene Vercruyssen (the son),  Mark and Pam Lopex, Dave Dodd and son Mitch and Greg Huddleson. 


J. R. Gallagher introduced his son, Sean.


Your editor introduced Rene Vercruyssen (the father).


Mike Wacker’s table had no visitors and so contributed $1 each.




Larry Bradley will have our Camp Royal students who will talk to us about their experiences.






The new District 5160 Governor for this year is Fred Collignon from Berkeley, the Governor Elect is Gary Vilhauer from Danville, then following him will be Jon Dwyer from Benicia. 


District 5160 Governor Elect for 2017-18 Gary Vilhauer has been running the Foundation Training for several years now.


Jon Dwyer, District 5160 Governor Nominee for 2018-19 was the District Trainer for immediate Past District 5160 Governor Ken Courville. Some Durham Rotarians may have met them at training events.


From the New District Governor:

It is the first hours of the first day of the one-year regime of the rotund nerdish Governor who comes to you from the Berkeley Rotary club. Happy Rotary New Year!

I'm honored to get a chance to serve you and am excited about the year ahead.   I hope to meet each of you: maybe it will be at your club’s official Governor's visit, or maybe at the August 27 Six Flags Foundation Family Fun Day, where we’ll induct your club’s president and celebrate our Foundation with your families and Rotary youth. You might attend the Fall and Spring assemblies, or the District Centennial Conference in Berkeley next spring. I might see you at the Rotary International convention in Atlanta.  There’s so much in our future! 

I'm looking forward to a year of fun and bragging as we celebrate our District Centennial this year. We’ll also be celebrating our Rotary Foundation’s Centennial. The Rotary International theme for the year, set by our new President John Germ, is "Serving Humanity Above Self".  Our District’s plan is to serve alongside our extended Rotary family, and our youth – which translates to having fun, and giving us a lot to brag about.

During this year, as we do every year, we’ll be carrying out projects in our clubs, creating a significant impact in our communities, locally and abroad. We expect again to have one of the largest Rotary youth programs of any District in the U.S. or abroad.  We will seek to continue our annual tradition of setting a new District record in fundraising for the Foundation and for Polio Plus. We will again work to increase our members’ involvement in our clubs, we’ll attract new members, we’ll raise our retention rates – it’s going to be a wonderful year!

But first, breathe deeply, appreciate this gift of Rotary, and join me in looking forward to yet another big year. 
Have fun, change the world, and spread the word about Rotary,


Note that he will be at our Club on July 26th.




From Past District 5160 Governor Ken Courville:


Welcome to our newest club Vacaville Eventide Chartered 23 JUNE 2016.  


Meeting Information

Pietro’s #2
679 Merchant St
Vacaville, CA 95688
Wednesday, 06:00 PM – 07:00 PM






Bring guests, who you think you can interest in becoming a member, to meetings.


Potential New Member


Speaking of a potential new member, here is the one who we passed the hat for the last couple of meetings.  Meet Leland Aguiar.



Conference in Oregon

Join us August 11-14 at the first annual Stove Summit

This summer, StoveTeam International joins InStove to co-host Stove Summit in Cottage Grove, Oregon.

Stove Summit is a four-day conference dedicated to solving global humanitarian and environmental challenges through a combination of field demonstrations, capacity-building workshops, presentations by clean-cooking thought leaders, and networking with stove-sector professionals. Sign up to attend Stove Summit (link:
Stove Summit is a unique opportunity to learn about the state of the art in improved cookstoves from the leaders in the field, funders, partners, and experts in project implementation and evaluation.
Representatives from the following groups will present at Stove Summit:

International Lifeline Fund
Burn Design Lab
Trees Water People
Aprovecho Reseach Center
Oregon State University, and
Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves

Additional workshops will focus on stove designs, rocket stove building, effective philanthropy, and measuring impacts.
Attend Stove Summit, and stay the following week for
Stove Camp, hosted by Aprovecho Research Center.
We hope to see you there!
Sign up to attend Stove Summit today!


 J. R. Gallagher was recognized in the amount of $5 for failing to introduce himself when he introduced his son.


Dave Jessen disclosed his travels to Seattle and Vancouver, B.C.  He contributed $25.


Must Be Present To Win

President Ravi has moved the drawing up in the meeting.  And he was the winner.  Really?




President Ravi showed two video clips from Rotary International, in which the new International President spoke about Rotary’s service to humanity


He then presented Dave Dodd who spoke about Weiss McNair, LLC., a local manufacturer of sweepers, harvesters and blowers.  Weiss McNair sells their locally manufactured products worldwide.


Board Meeting


Jim Patterson reported the new project approve by the Board which is to complete our sidewalk projects by connecting our Putney Street projects to Goodspeed Road.  Northstar Engineering will provide the engineering.  A CSUC class, and maybe a Butte College class, will provide volunteer work.  Donations to our Foundation are now being sought for the project.  Following his discussion of this project guests Mark and Pam Lopez presented a check to our Foundation for the project.




Durham Rotary Foundation - Minutes of the Board of Directors - July 12, 2016

Secretary Jim Kirks called the meeting to order at 7:48PM.

Present: Mike Wacker, Member at large-term expires 6/30/17, Rev. Jim Patterson, Member at large-term expires 6/30/18, Ravi Saip, President, K. R. Robertson, Treasurer, and Jim Kirks, Secretary.

New Business: Secretary Kirks announced that this was the annual meeting of the Board and that the Chairperson must be elected at the annual meeting.   Roy Ellis is willing to serve as Chairperson.  Roy was unanimously elected by the members of the Board to be the Chairperson for 2016/17.

Phil Price, attorney for the Durham Rotary Club and Foundation presented a resolution to amend the By-laws of the Durham Rotary Foundation to change the annual meeting from the 2nd Monday of July to the 2nd Tuesday of July as the Durham Rotary Club now meets on Tuesdays, and no longer meets on Mondays.  The Resolution was adopted unanimously by the members of the Board and signed by the Secretary. 

There being no further business, Secretary Jim Kirks adjourned the meeting at 7:49pm.

From Rotary International:


(John Germ is the new Rotary International President)

John Germ: Champion of Chattanooga

From the July 2016 issue of The Rotarian

Just before John Germ dropped by, Rick Youngblood took a deep breath. “You want to match his energy,” he says, “but he makes it hard to keep up.” Youngblood is the president and CEO of Blood Assurance, a regional blood bank in Chattanooga, Tenn., that Germ helped found in 1972. After his visit with Youngblood, Germ strode between mountains of empty bottles and cans at Chattanooga’s John F. Germ Recycling Center at Orange Grove, which he designed, before he drove to a construction site and popped a cork to dedicate a Miracle League field where special needs children will play baseball – all before zipping to the airport for a flight to Chicago and a cab ride to Rotary International World Headquarters, where he takes office as president of RI this month.

Why the breakneck pace? “I don’t have hobbies,” he says. “Civic work is my recreation.”

Not long ago Germ, 77, spent a raucous evening at the Chattanooga Convention Center, enjoying jokes at his expense. “John is a very influential person,” his friend Harry Fields announced from the podium. “I can’t tell you how many people emulate him … at Halloween. I mean, he’s the epitome of tall, dark, and handsome. When it’s dark, he’s handsome!” Nobody laughed harder than the guest of honor at the celebration of his contributions, which was referred to as the “roast of John Germ.” The dinner raised more than $75,000 for Chattanooga State Community College. In closing, Fields noted Germ’s contribution to his community and the world: “100 percent of himself – and everyone else he can shake down!”

A legendary fundraiser, Germ led Rotary’s $200 Million Challenge, an effort sparked by a challenge grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Rotarians ultimately exceeded that number, raising $228.7 million to fight polio. He has already served Rotary as vice president and director, and The Rotary Foundation as vice chair and trustee. His contributions to the fight to eradicate polio led to his selection as one of 12 U.S. Rotarians honored at the White House in 2013 as a “Champion of Change” – someone who has improved communities around the world. As president, Germ chose three simple, no-nonsense words to be the theme of his year: Rotary Serving Humanity.

“Rotary has kept its light under a bushel for too long,” he says. “We need to do a better job of promoting our cause. That’s the challenge ahead, but I don’t see it as a problem. I don’t believe in problems – I believe in opportunities.”

The son of a stonemason, who built the family home with his own hands, excavating its foundation with a shovel and a wheelbarrow, Germ developed his work ethic early in life. Nothing came easily. Other schoolboys made fun of his name – “they called me ‘Bacteria’ ” – and his parents couldn’t afford college tuition. After a stint in vocational school, he paid his way through the University of Tennessee at Knoxville by working in a machine shop and serving food in a dorm cafeteria. After graduating, he joined the U.S. Air Force. Soon promoted to captain, he was navigator on a 50-ton Douglas C-124, ferrying troops and tanks to Vietnam. “Unfortunately,” he says, “we flew home with soldiers’ bodies.” In 1965 Germ’s C-124 carried the Gemini IV space capsule to Cape Kennedy. On another mission, the giant plane lost two engines and skimmed the ocean, shaking like a bumper car all the way back to base. “When we landed, we found seaweed hanging off the fuselage,” he says. “That’s how close we came to a watery grave.”

When Germ’s military service ended, he joined engineering firm Campbell & Associates in his hometown. His boss, George Campbell, liked the young flier’s can-do attitude. “Within 10 years,” Germ told him, “I’ll either own some of this company or I’ll be your biggest competitor.” He wasn’t wrong. He eventually became chairman and CEO of the firm, which went on to serve Chattanooga’s airport, its most prominent hospital, several downtown high-rises, and the Convention Center. One of his challenges was a new cineplex, where the owner gave him a warning that puzzled him at first: “Don’t make the air conditioning too good.”

Germ asked, “Why not?”

“Because the customers need to smell the popcorn; we make most of our money at the concession stand.”

As president, Germ wants to “find the popcorn smell that’ll bring people to Rotary. And what is that? Service. We’ve got a service-minded generation coming up. We’ve got to get our message out to them, and we’d better do it fast.”

Part of that message, he says, is that polio hasn’t been eradicated yet. We may be “this close,” but there were still 74 cases worldwide last year (all in Pakistan and Afghanistan). His own father was struck with the disease as an adult. “We were on a fishing trip when my brother said, ‘Daddy can’t walk,’” Germ recalls. “We carried him back to the car. Doctors said he’d never stand up again, but he did exercises. He tied an iron weight to his leg and tried to lift it. Little by little he got to where he could lift that weight and wave it around. He walked with a limp after that, but he walked.” Germ thinks he inherited a little of his father’s stubbornness. “I don’t give up easily either,” he says.

He’s certainly not giving up on supporting polio eradication – and he’s calling on Rotarians to follow his lead by urging every Rotary club to give at least $2,650 to fight polio during his term, which is also The Rotary Foundation’s centennial year. The number commemorates the first donation – of $26.50, made by the Rotary Club of Kansas City, Mo., in 1917 – to the Foundation. During the 2017 Rotary International Convention, a birthday celebration is also planned for Arch Klumph with tickets costing $26.50. If that all sounds a little gimmicky, fine. “If we can get people to pay attention,” Germ says, “they’ll see that Rotary is doing great things in the world.”

While preparing for his presidential term, he stayed in touch with friends and allies – often from the nerve center of his world, a maroon leather La-Z-Boy recliner in his comfortable home on the Tennessee River. He designed the house himself. He hangs corncobs on the poplars out back to feed the squirrels that run around his porch. His desk holds a photo of Germ dressed as Elvis Presley, entertaining at a district conference, and a plaque his wife brought home from the local Hobby Lobby. The plaque reads, “Integrity is doing the right thing when no one else is watching.” “It made me think of John,” says Judy Germ.

Since her husband of 57 years became president-elect last fall, “Rotary has consumed our lives,” she says. “In a good way.”

His presidency marks the apex of a life devoted to service. Previously active in the Jaycees, Germ joined the Rotary Club of Chattanooga in 1976. A natural leader and inveterate schmoozer, he has set fundraising records for Rotary and other organizations. The Blood Assurance program grew from a single blood draw into a regional network that supplies over 70 health centers in the Southeast with more than 100,000 units a year. It began when the United Way sent three doctors to the Chattanooga Jaycees to seek help with a blood shortage, recalls Germ’s friend and co-founder of Blood Assurance, Dan Johnson. “John was the Jaycees president and I was treasurer, so I got to watch him in action,” Johnson says. “When he goes to work, he never looks back. From nothing, we grew to our current budget of $29 million.” With help from Germ, Johnson, and others, Blood Assurance got its message out: Donating a pint of blood is a painless way to spend 30 minutes and save three lives.

“We owe much of our success to John Germ,” says Youngblood. “To me, he epitomizes three aspects of leadership: He’s a gentleman at all times, he’s compassionate to all people, and he’s an achiever. If John can’t get something done, it probably can’t be done.”

According to Fields, Germ’s success as a fundraiser comes from his out-of-the-box thinking. “Go back to the ’90s, when he was district governor. People thought of him as Mr. Chattanooga. We bought a barrel of Jack Daniel’s whiskey in honor of [well-known Tennessee Rotarian] Bill Sergeant. A barrel is 266 bottles’ worth, so we gave one bottle from that barrel to anyone who donated $1,000, and we raised $250,000.” The two men have often tended bar for charity, wearing matching aprons marked “Bar” and “Tender.” “My friend John is my greatest hero,” says Fields.

At the recycling plant Germ converted from a run-down dairy in 1989, adults with developmental disabilities sort tons of recyclables into great stacks of bottles and cans. “He has been involved in every bit of what happens here, from engineering the building to helping us negotiate contracts with the city,” says Tera Roberts, director of adult services for the center. Few of the employees would have a job if not for the recycling center, and they can keep anything interesting they come across. One worker found a crumpled $100 bill.

To finance the city’s new Miracle League field, one of the best-equipped in the country, Germ enlisted co-sponsors including Berkshire Hathaway, BlueCross BlueShield, and his own Rotary Club of Chattanooga. “Every kid should be able to play sports,” he says. “It’s not just for the child, but the whole family. What’s better than a child hearing his mom and dad cheer when he plays?” Another of his causes, the First in the Family program at Chattanooga State, provides scholarships for students who couldn’t attend college otherwise. Flora Tydings, the school’s president, calls Germ “an excellent role model to many of our students who, like him, are the first in their family to attend college.”

Today his schedule changes daily – sometimes hourly – as he keeps up with the duties of his new office. On his agenda, he says he would like to see Rotary operate more like a business. “We’ve been getting leaner, and I’d like to speed that up. In January, for instance, we’re going to hold our Board meeting in Chicago instead of San Diego. That means we won’t have to fly a couple dozen staff members to San Diego and put them up there. It’s just common sense.” He wants to shorten Board meetings, shrink some RI committees, and save money on committee meetings to make Rotary more cost-effective.

Half a century after landing his last C-124, Germ sees himself as Rotary’s navigator, plotting a course toward a bright future. “It’s going to be a team effort,” he says. His main target after polio will be Rotary’s static membership. On that issue, he says, “The fault is with us, the current Rotarians.” He wants members to “step up their outreach. I really think one of our main problems is that we don’t ask enough people to join. Why? For fear of rejection. We need to get over that – to get out there and bring in new members we’ll be proud of.”

To appeal to younger members, he supports a new move (approved at the Council on Legislation in April) that allows membership in Rotaract and Rotary at the same time. “I’m all in favor of that,” he says.

It doesn’t stop there. Germ supports flexibility in many Rotary matters. “Our clubs have always been organized around a meal. Lunch and dinner were part of our dues, and that system served us well. But society has changed,” he says. Rotary International is catching up by allowing clubs more leeway in when and how they meet. “How do we accommodate the 30-year-old businessperson raising a family? Well, for one thing, we could pay less attention to attendance,” he adds. “My question isn’t ‘How many meetings did you make?’ It’s ‘How are you making a difference in your community?' "

By Kevin Cook

The Rotarian



The Rotary International web site is:

District 5160 is:

The Durham Rotary Club site is:

The Rowel Editor may be contacted at

Note:  If any of you have anything to place into the Rowel fax it to Phil at 343 7251 or  E-mail it to "", before 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday.