Here Come the Judges!
Retired Judge and fellow Rotarian Brian Van Camp will be our featured speaker on Tuesday, June 20th. “From Roe v. Wade to Dobbs v. Women’s Health–How We Got There, and Where Are We Going?” will be the title of his presentation. He will review the jurisprudence of abortion and privacy rights from the Common Law to Roe v. Wade, the historic roles of Federal and state governments in legislating in this area, the efforts to pass a uniform, national law, and the impact of Dobbs on both state and national elections. And we will also be inducting Federal Judge Kim Mueller as an Honorary member of the club that day. As always, we will meet at noon at the Annunciation Church. Be sure to keep an eye out for the email invitation and make your reservation right away. And bring a friend or prospective member!
Recap of the June 13th Meeting
Reported by Nancy Teichert
The best way to brighten up a meeting is by inducting a new member. President-Elect TODD KOOLAKIAN (Director of Philanthropy/Sacramento Children’s Home) put a Rotary pin on the jacket lapel of his friend, ROGER GODFREY (Senior Vice President/California Bank of Commerce). A woodworking hobbyist and fan of the Oakland A’s, Godfrey met Koolakian through Leadership Sacramento. Be sure to welcome Roger at our next meeting.
Seated at the head table were MEGAN LAURIE (Director of Development & Marketing/United Cerebral Palsy of Sacramento and Northern California), President LINDA GEERY (CFO/California Lawyers Association), guest speaker Jeremiah Smith, CEO of First Northern Bank, and DOUG STEPHENSON (Senior Vice President/Banner Bank).
JOHN WOOD (Principal/McGee & Thielen Insurance Brokers), JEFF STONE (Vice President/HUB International), and TODD ANDREWS (President/Andrews Construction) greeted arriving members and guests. The wine was provided by BOB ROSENBERG (CEO/Inve$tnet) and the photography was by JIM HENDERSON (Attorney/Messing Adam & Jasmine). A moment of silence was held for the passing of Rotarians BILL HIRSCFELT (Retired/John O. Bronson Insurance Agency) and JIM STRENG (Retired/Streng Construction). President LINDA led us in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Sergeant-at-Arms KATHE NATHAN (Retired/Merchants Bank of Commerce) introduced guests and visitors. They included: Pat Orner, guest of RICK DAVIS (Colonel/U.S. Air Force, retired); Shonna Shearson, visiting Rotarian (Bakersfield) and guest of Past-President BOB MILLER (VP-Business Services/First US Community Credit Union); prospective member Bhavnesh Makin, guest of JOHN FRISCH (Senior Managing Director/Newmark); and Randall Stoller, who accompanied guest speaker and visiting Rotarian (West Sacramento) Jeremiah Smith.
Thought for the Day
The Thought of the day was appropriately focused on banking by RUTH TESARr (Retired CEO/Northern California PET Imaging Center). She said she had tried her hand at ChatGPT, using the artificial intelligence app to help her comment on banking. Banks contribute to job creation, economic development, and entrepreneurship. “Banking empowers dreams,” she said.
Meeting Sponsor
Our Meeting Sponsor Past-President KEN NOACK, JR. (Senior Managing Director/Newmark Knight Frank) donated his time to MEGAN LAURIE, who presented a short video about the work done by United Cerebral Palsy. With 14 programs in eight counties, the nonprofit provides life experiences such as sports and crafts to clients with cerebral palsy, autism, epilepsy, and intellectual disabilities.
Club Announcements
  • JIM HENDERSON said more volunteers are needed to help prepare meals at Loaves and Fishes on Thursday, June 29th.
  • Past-Presidents JON SNYDER (Broker/Snyder Commercial Real Estate) and THOM GILBERT (Retired CEO/Gilbert Associates) announced an $8,500 to the Sacramento Rotary Foundation from our late Past-President ERNIE FARRINGTON. The funds came from money Farrington had raised to try to resurrect the local Soap Box Derby. He died before he could fulfill that dream, but wanted the money to go to an organization that serves the needs of youth in the region.
  • KATHE NATHAN (Retired/Merchants Bank of Commerce) reminded us of the Sacramento Century Challenge on September 30th and some of the ways people can contribute.
  • ROBYN DELONG (Realtor/Coldwell Banker) invited us to get tickets to see Past-President JON’S son, James, star in Music Man at the Music Circus on July 13th—and perhaps get together for a group dinner as well. If you are interested, click here to let Robyn know.
They Were Gems for Giving
Good news came from Jim Henderson, who honored his second anniversary as a Rotarian. JIM RELLES (President/Relles Florist) donated in honor of his 54th wedding anniversary.
Rotarian Spotlight
ELFRENA FOORD (Arata Brothers Trust) put the spotlight on three members with birthdays in June:
  • Past-President GARY KERNS (retired Sacramento Valley Insurance) has been a member for 56 years and was an original director and founder of our Foundation, which now manages more than $2 million. For 22 years, he refereed major college football. At a Notre Dame game in 1985, he was waiting for the coin toss when elderly past Notre Dame captains were being honored. A well-dressed woman honored her late father who was a captain by spreading his ashes from her purse and whispered to Kerns, “Don’t tell anyone.”
  • RICK DAVIS retired as an Air Force colonel after a 26-year career which included flying B-52 bombers, working with the Space Shuttle program, and learning French so that he could serve as an air attache to Africa and India. He also helped with the closing of McClellan Air Force Base and ran the Sacramento Chapter of the American Red Cross during 9/11. Fun fact: He has shaken hands with Boris Yeltsin and Ronald Reagan, and had a one-hour audience with Mother Theresa, who then sent him a thank-you note for the visit.
  • “I don’t want to follow Rick,” shouted birthday boy JIM CULLETON (President/Strong and Associates), who was impressed with Davis’ accomplishments. Culleton is a third-generation Rotarian who runs the print shop, which has been in business for 50 years. A golfer, he has made two holes-in-one. He has ridden 100 miles in nine Sac Century rides, swum across Lake Tahoe multiple times, and climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro. Culleton decided he could become a salesman when he raised a pig named “Rainbow Sensation,” which was named champion swine at the Butte County Fair in Chico, and sold it for $630.
Guest Speaker
DOUG STEPHENSON introduced guest speaker Jeremiah Smith, CEO of First Northern Bank, to talk about changes in the banking industry after the closure of the Silicon Valley Bank and other banks. Smith is a native of Dixon and a member of the Rotary Club of West Sacramento and became CEO on January 1st.
After working as a bartender, Smith said he now has been a banker for 20 years with First Northern which has just under $2 billion in assets. He said it is a full-service community bank, publicly traded, and the number one small business lender. “The job was easy, until March 9th” (when Silicon Valley Bank was shut down by the FDIC).
Smith explained that Silicon Valley was different from community banks because most of its deposits were from start-ups or venture capital investors. He said the problem is that banks like that were playing roulette with their investment strategies and had limited available liquid assets. When inflation began to rise in 2020, their strategy failed.
Community banks like First Northern, he said, have a diverse deposit base, exceed regulatory minimums for cash for more liquidity, and, in First Northern’s case, have 65% of their employees also own stock in the bank. At 113 years old, First Northern is the oldest local community bank in the region and has 14 full-service branches serving Sacramento, Placer, Solano, Yolo, Colusa, and Glenn Counties, and a commercial loan office serving Contra Costa County.
Those Silicon Valley bankers were smart, but maybe a bit arrogant, he said. SVB, with $200 billion in assets, had been getting warnings from federal regulators, but no one expected it to go belly up so dramatically. First Northern has survived the Great Depression, the end of the dot-com boom, and many recessions. “We have stood the test of time,” Smith said.
Photo Gallery
(Snapshots from Tuesday’s meeting, courtesy of Jim Henderson)