Rotary Meeting: March 30, 2021


PRESIDENT KEVIN SMITH-FAGAN (Executive Director of Fairytale Town) rang in the meeting commenting on the noticeable difference in his Zoom attire, which reflected the sunnier weather we have all been so lucky to enjoy over this month! Spring is undeniably upon us, and one of PRESIDENT KEVIN’s favorite parts of Spring is the 2021 Major League Baseball season starting up this week.

PRESIDENT KEVIN lightly touched on a question that has been in the minds of many: When might we begin resuming in-person Rotary meetings? Dr. Olivia Kasirye, our Public Health Officer, believes that Sacramento could move up to the Orange Tier sometime in late April. If that’s the case, PRESIDENT KEVIN is hoping we have the option of in-person meetings by May. There have already been some discussions between our Club and our homesite, the Greek Enunciation Church. With all things to consider, we are asking Club members to offer their voice in a survey coming that is coming soon. We want to know what your opinions, concerns, and comments are regarding the possibility of in-person meetups. We look forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts!

ALLISON CAGLEY (Sergeant in Arms) (Executive Director of Friends of Sacramento Arts) gave a warm, virtual welcome to guest KENT LACIN (Owner of Kent Lacin Media Services). FRED TEICHERT (Executive Director of Teichert Foundation) attested to KENT’s superb musical abilities, as evidenced by a lip-synching group performance at one particular Arden Middle School talent show. Everyone has a claim to fame at some point or another, and it just might happen at Arden Middle School. ALLISON also welcomed guest JERRY GRUBER (General Manager & Operations VP at Jackson Hospitality LLC) who is interested in possibly joining our Club! Thank you to all our amazing guests for joining us this week! STEVE HUFFMAN led us in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Thought for the Day & Meeting Sponsors

BOBBY REED (CEO of Capitol Tech Solutions) presented the Thought for the Day in lieu of this week’s meeting theme and topic of choice: Protecting our Environment. BOBBY selected a quote from 2018-2019 Rotary International President, BARRY RASSIN. The quote discussed Rotary’s important role in addressing climate change and how it affects all our priorities and focus areas.

CLICK HERE to view BARRY RASSIN’s entire discussion regarding environmental preservation.

We did not have a meeting sponsor this week as our list of prospective meeting sponsors is running short, but we still have 3 months left of this term. Please reach out to PAST PRESIDENT DAN MCVEIGH (Downey Brand LLP) or anyone else in the meeting sponsorship committee if you are interested.

Club Announcements

Registration for Golf 4 Kids on Friday, May 21st is already open, contact SARAH HODGE (Director of Development at California State University, Sacramento) or JAMIE FURLONG (Securitized Real Estate Specialist at Bangerter Financial Services) to get your tee time. We have 4 beneficiaries this year: Ralph Richardson Center, Luther Burbank, Sacramento Central YMCA S.N.A.P. Program, and The Community Transition Program at Sacramento State. Our goal is to raise $10K through the online auction, so anyone with wine, items, trips, or anything else you can provide – contact CALLEE SETZER (Sales of Setzer Forest Products) or NORM MARSHALL (President of Headwaters Construction Inc.) to learn how you can help. We still have a few more sponsorships remaining – a title sponsor, a hole in one contest sponsor, a longest drive sponsor, and 1 more tee sponsor available.

Thursday, April 29th is the next date we will be offering our service at Loaves & Fishes. Please reach out to JOHN SWENTOWSKY (Owner of Swentowsky Photography) if you are interested in volunteering.

The DEI Learning group is continuing to explore deep issues through film. On Tuesday, April 13th at 4pm, there will be a Zoom meeting revolving around a film series discussion of the 4-part Netflix documentary series “When They See Us.” It is a dramatized documentary based on the true story of the 5 black boys that were wrongfully accused and convicted for the brutal attack on the highly publicized Central Park Jogger case in 1989. Email ALLISON CAGLEY to join.

CLICK HERE to read the NY Times Article “The True Story of How a City in Fear Brutalized the Central Park 5.”

JAMIE FURLONG gave an update on the upcoming Mother’s Day Event. Some of the logistics are still being worked out, but this event will likely take place in the morning or early afternoon of Saturday, May 8th. Mark your calendars to enjoy a lovely day with fellow Rotarians as well as the rest of our community.

Rotary Good News

ALLISON CAGLEY gave a special shoutout to her nephew Tyler, who is completing his senior recital this week before proceeding to work on his Master of Education at the University of Oregon. Best of luck to you, Tyler!

NANCY TEICHERT mentioned that today is the first time she gets to pick up a grandchild from school and take him home since the pandemic because she is now vaccinated! It really is the little things in life that can bring so much joy, especially after a nationwide crisis.

LATOYA WONG (Executive Director of Rotary Club of Sacramento) proudly mentioned that her daughter is now a graduate of University of Oregon. Congratulations to your family, LATOYA!

JAYDEEP BALAKRISHNAN (Associate Dean at California State University, Sacramento) had a special birthday to celebrate. Wishing the happiest of birthdays to that special someone in your family JAYDEEP.

Chair of the Day

DAVID BRANDENBURGER (Managing Director at Newmark Knight Frank) announced our guest speaker AMANDA HANSEN (Deputy Secretary for Climate Change at the California Natural Resources Agency) brought to us by our club’s Environmental Committee that is sworn to support Rotary International’s new initiative: Protecting the Environment. Today’s focus is on Climate Change, which is AMANDA’S area of expertise at the California Natural Resources Agency. Prior to her current position, she was a director of the Community Reconstruction Program in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Office of Storm Recovery from 2013 to 2017. She was deputy associate director for policy outreach for the White House Council on Environmental Policy and chief of staff to the chairman of the 2010-2011 round of United Nations climate change negotiations. She was special assistant to the Special Envoy for Climate Change at the U.S. Department of State and a foreign affairs officer at the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs. Needless to say, there is no one better to talk with us today about such a prevalent issue as climate change.


Guest Speaker: Amanda Hansen

AMANDA HANSEN graciously appeared on our Zoom platform to first thank all us Rotarians for all committing to positively impacting our community; she was well aware of all the real, hands-on work that Rotarians pursue in our everyday lives.

Looking at things first from a statewide focus, AMANDA acknowledged that California has made major strides in environmental issues; demonstrating an ability to address climate change with ecofriendly regulations and statutes while also still strengthening our economy & leaving room for economic opportunities. We are making headway on many environmentally sensitive subjects and in turn, it is contributing to our economic prosperity. California is proof for many other countries around the world that you can have your cake and eat it too!

As a state, we have inherited an incredible legacy of leadership on action in the energy and transportation sectors. Governor Newsom signed an order for all electric vehicles in California by 2035 to help us reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, which in turn will build our market and create many new job opportunities. Other areas of focus we are homing in on from a state as well as international level include:

  1. a) draught
  2. b) wildfire
  3. c) excessive heat
  4. d) flooding

As the aforementioned issues have become more widespread in recent decades, it is a call to action; we must figure out how we can simultaneously increase our resilience for climate change and natural disasters while also continuing to lower our gas emissions.

Another area of focus nature-based solutions. You may wonder, what is that? Wetland preservation is one example of a nature-based solution. For example, along the coast in California, we have lost about 90% of our wetlands. Wetlands are a crucial landscape for the following reasons:

  • Wetlands sequester more carbon for longer periods of time than forests.
  • They serve as a buffer for sea level rise and high tides, protecting communities that live by the coast from the impact of waves.
  • There is lots of biodiversity that lives and thrives in wetlands.
  • Wetlands filter and clean our water.

Clearly, wetland restoration is a critical investment for us to make at this time. It will help us reduce carbon emissions and increase our climate resilience. In turn, it can stimulate our economy by creating jobs, attracting tourism, etc.

AMANDA HANSEN concluded by offering numerous examples of what we can do to protect and sustain our environment, both as individuals and in groups. Huge thanks to AMANDA for offering her intellect, expertise, and innovation at our meeting.

CLICK HERE to view AMANDA’s entire presentation.

CLICK HERE to view AMANDA’s full Q&A.

Next Meeting

We are dark next week! Join us back on April 13th with City Councilmember MAI VANG from District 8, who will be talking about her role with the City Council and her vision for the Meadowview South Sacramento district she is leading.