President Todd called the meeting to order and Maggie Hopkins gave a Thought for the Day which perfectly in line with our speaker’s subject as she quoted Isabella Montague, “Much like the aging of fine wine, our journey through life is a nuanced and intricate experience, evolving with time and shaping our character in unexpected ways.”

Todd’s Tuesday Trivia questions were presented by Elfrena Foord and Jim Culleton. They introduced three potential car collectors and three members supposedly honored for their civic achievements. Who’s for real? It was tricky as the “imposters” almost matched the descriptions. Finally, Jim and Elfrena asked who during the holidays had been ice fishing (no one), ice skating (several) or skiing (many). Craig Brown won for skiing the furthest distance away – in Canada.

We welcomed two new members into our club. Hadley Wilson, director of development for Broadway Sacramento, was introduced by John Goralka. Josh Pelz, a financial advisor at Merrill Lynch, was introduced by Bryan Murray. Hadley and Josh each got standing ovations, and club members contributed seed money to start their Eddie Mulligans.

Hadley Wilson headshot Josh Pelz headshot


  • Networking Night – Ted White encouraged all to join the upcoming social gathering at Bailarin Cellars on February 1.
  • Rotary Youth Exchange – David Brandenburger seeks one club member in the McClatchy HS area to host an RYE student for three months in the 2024-25 school year.
  • Jean Runyon Award – Maggie Hopkins reminded members to submit nominations by February 24.
  • American River Parkway Cleanup – Megan Masten announced that our next service morning is scheduled for February 17 in Discovery Park.
  • CareGram request – John Wood is recovering from surgery and Steve Huffman asked members to write John CareGram notes of support.

Let’s Go Skiing!

Paul Keefer, John Goralka and Doug Stephenson were all out on the slopes with contributions in honor of our new members and for happy family news.

Ed Wright introduced our Guest Speaker, Natalie Collins, president of the California Association of Winegrape Growers. Ms. Collins shared extensive information on how the wine industry positively affects our economy in California. California produces 80 percent of the wine produced in the U.S., and is the fourth largest wine producer in the world. She also spoke about the Unified Wine and Grape Symposium held last week in Sacramento. It has been held in Sacramento for all of its 30 years. This event has a huge economic impact in Sacramento, bringing in $16.5 million directly to the city.

The California wine industry is having problems as wine consumption is down, she reported, and wine exports fall far below imports. Also, with a global oversupply of wine, about 50,000 acres of grapes in California need to be removed. She ended her talk about how the industry is responding. She quoted Pope Francis: “Wine is a gift from God.”

President Todd posing with woman and man

President Todd thanked our greeters (Maggie Hopkins, Forrest Junod, and Jackie Kirkwood), wine sponsor (John Goralka) and this week’s Pulse reporter (Liz McClatchy) and photographer (John Swentowsky).

Next week’s meeting will feature Chancellor Gary May from UC Davis.