The new CEO of the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, Amanda Blackwood, headlined the club meeting of August 21.

Opening the proceedings, Patrick Furlong (Legacy 1031 Exchange Solutions), shared an inspirational Thought for the Day about “why do we stay in Rotary for life”? We stay young by being optimistic and involved, and Rotary is a great way to grow old while remaining young at heart.

Meeting sponsor, Laura Heintz (Stanford Youth Solutions), donated her time to Organic Skin Studio & Day Spa, and Rotarians learned from esthetician Nora Finch about their services that provide all-natural skin care for men and women.

New members Danielle McGarrity who is the Charitable Giving Officer at the Children’s Receiving Home of Sacramento introduced by David Ballard (Children’s Receiving Home), and Surender Singal who is a retired electrical engineer with the US Army, Corps of Engineers was introduced by Mike Bullington (Northwestern Mutual Financial Network) were formally inducted into the club.

Laurie Wright (Tri Counties Bank) encouraged signups for the September 18 Brown Bag lunches.

After a four-year drought, pitcher nonpareil John Swentowsky (Swentowsky photography) announced that the Sacramento Rotary Club won the district softball championships with a 10-2 win over Arden Arcade! The players were recognized and cheered by all.

Brian Turner (Law Office of Brian H. Turner) announced the birth of his baby boy Liam who was board on August 2 weighing 8 pounds, 5 ounces and 20-3/4” in height and donated $100 towards his Eddie Mulligan.

Jim Mattesich (Greenberg Traurig) announced his retirement after 46 years practicing law and donated $300 towards his Eddie Mulligan.

Past President Ken Noack Jr. (Newmark Cornish & Carey) donated $100 towards his Eddie Mulligan.

Past President Dan McVeigh (Downey Brand LLP) recounted the damage inflicted on his home by the recent Fireside event and Dan shared lively photos of the gathering.

Compassion chair Steve Huffman asked for everyone’s thoughts for Maynard Nelson, a member since 1972, who is ill. Get well soon Maynard!

Steve Ruland (Ruland’s Office Furnishings) announced Seersucker suit day and encouraged everyone to wear their suits at next week’s meeting.

John Swentowsky asked for additional volunteers to help serve at Loaves and Fishes (August 30) in the morning, (the afternoon shift is full).

Rick Osen (Sutter Builders, Inc.) introduced Roger Gaskin of Point West Rotary, who invited everyone to the Point West Brewfest on September 15 at Discover Park and offered discount tickets at $25 each to members of the Sacramento Rotary (regular ticket price is $45). VIP Admission is $75.00 – your price is $50.00. VIP gets in an hour earlier and they get a special mug and a $10 food voucher. There will be 80 breweries at the event along with music and food, and proceeds benefit WEAVE and other children’s programs.

Kathe Nathan (The Merchants National Bank) and Tom Bacon (BCRE – Bacon Commercial Real Estate) gave an update on the Sac Century fundraiser and encouraged more people to sign up with race lengths ranging from 16 to 100 miles. There are 101 “challenge champions” registered, several of whom are in our Club. It’s not too late, so sign up today.

Chair of the Day, Leigh White, Fox 40 TV introduced the day’s speaker, Amanda Blackwood, CEO of the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce. Amanda is the first full-time female leader in the Chamber’s 123-year history.

She reported on the Chamber’s mission to creating an environment for businesses to be successful here in this region. Inspired by this mission, the following strategic initiatives (summarized) were developed by the Chamber’s Board in 2017:

  1. Encouraging a dynamic business climate and “roll out the red carpet” for businesses including providing capital for small business growth, and free expert guidance in areas such as marketing, human resources and legal.


  1. Creating infrastructure – a recent assessment revealed that there is a need for training in technology-focused job placement in areas such as agriculture and helping to make connections with jobs of the future. She shared that there are plans underway to provide broadband access for farmers to help reduce commutes to the city, which will improve air quality and attract more potential employees. The chamber has lobbied for resources that have resulted in $1 billion of federal funds for this infrastructure.


  1. Developing leadership programs for young students that will make the connection between schools and the business community to create training programs that prepare the next generation for jobs of the future.


  1. Create a vibrant community through attracting and retaining a qualified workforce, find a solution to homelessness, and provide the workforce with affordable housing. Talented people are leaving the area for higher paying jobs in agriculture, technology and construction, and there is a high demand to create awareness of these types of jobs here in our own region. In addition, millennials typically choose place over the actual job and will stay in a city based on its level of culture, entertainment and food choices. They may choose to have no car or not buy a home to live close to work and enjoy the city where they live.

Next meeting is on August 28, 2018 at The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, and Gregory Favre, Editorial Writer, will be the featured speaker.

Thanks to door greeters Norma Farr (Fidelity National Title), Carol Christie (Lyon Real Estate), and Justin Schroer (UC Davis Cancer Center). Thanks to wine reception host Jim Raney (Raney Real Estate) and to John Swentowsky for meeting photography.