From Teller to CEO
First Northern Bank’s Jeremiah Smith got his promotion to CEO the old-fashioned way: he earned it. Smith, who will be our guest speaker on Tuesday, June 13th, at noon at the Annunciation Greek Church, began his career with First Northern as a teller while working on a degree at Sac State. Now, he’s the head of the $1.9 billion Dixon-based bank that focuses on small business lending, ag lending, consumer banking, and mortgage origination on a personal level. How are regional banks adapting to the changing market? What lies ahead for inflation and interest rates? For availability of funds for business, personal and investment? Join us Tuesday to hear Smith’s perspectives on those and other issues. Also, new member Roger Godfrey will be inducted into our club on Tuesday (see below). Reservations are requested. Please keep an eye out for your email invitation and sign up right away—and bring a friend or prospective new Rotarian!
Recap of the June 6th Meeting
Reported by Paul Keefer
Celebrating our Club’s Veterans
In a room adorned with American flags and red, white, and blue bunting, BOB DALY (Financial Advisor/Financial Network Wealth Advisors), BRUCE HESTER (Retired/Colliers International), and RICK DAVIS (Colonel/US Air Force, Retired) led an inspirational meeting that reminded all of us of the special roles that current and former members have played in preserving our freedom.
Tuesday not only was the 79th anniversary of D-Day but also the Rotary Club of Sacramento’s annual Armed Services Day celebration—an impressive and uplifting program, despite the sad news of the passing on the previous Wednesday of long-time Rotarian and Army veteran JIM STRENG (Retired/Streng Construction) at the age of 93. A moment of silence was observed in his honor.

Daly narrated a beautiful PowerPoint presentation that highlighted 38 current and former members of our club who proudly served in the armed forces. For those of you who missed the presentation, or would like to view the tribute slides again, click here. (The actual set of PowerPoint slides is too large a document, so the presentation has been condensed. You will want to zoom in on your computer.)
Davis, who chaired our Armed Services Day celebration, also provided the Thought for the Day. He reminded us that Rotary and our armed services are both focused on Service Above Self. He quoted Albert Einstein, saying, “Only a life in the service of others is worth living.” Davis hammered this point home with envelopes on each of the tables with blank checks and the names of our Rotarians who have served our country. The checks symbolized the willingness of the veterans to “sign a blank check” in terms of the lengths they were willing to go in service of our country. He also made a point to recognize all people in uniform, including police and fire, for their service above self (see below).
Hester epitomizes “the Rotary way,” with his 20 years in our club, his successful career in real estate, and the Bronze Star he was awarded while serving in the Air Force. , traveling, gardening, and beekeeping. Bruce loves history and is also a member of the National Speakers Association. Tuesday, he gave us the gift of learning, with an entertaining and informative presentation on World War II. He shared several stories about D-Day, some of which many of us did not know. D-Day proved to be an interesting game of cat-and-mouse between the Allies and the Germans—the Allies using a variety of deceptions to trick Hitler into believing that General George Patton would lead up to one million troops in an assault focused on Calais. The actual D-Day invasion was called Operation Overlord and included 39 divisions from five countries with more than 160,000 troops storming ashore on five beaches in Normandy—without Patton. At the conclusion of his remarks, Bruce not only received the usual speaker’s gift, but also was named the official “Historian Laureate” of RCOS by President LINDA GEERY (CFO/California Lawyers Association) and given a commemorative medallion.
Service Above Self Award
Also joining us on Tuesday were two special guests from the Sacramento Police Department: Service Above Self Award honoree Officer Kristen Hutchins, and her boss, Capt. Marnie Stigerts. They were introduced by DEE JOHNSON (Retired/State of California), a member of our Service Above Self Award Committee. Officer Hutchins earned the award for her incredible work supporting the mental health and wellness of her fellow officers. Detective Anthony Herrera of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department also received a Service Above Self Award but was unable to attend Tuesday. He launched “Be the Solution,” an organization dedicated to bringing peace to the streets.
Rotarian Spotlight
ELFRENA FOORD (Arata Brothers Trust) delivered what has become a big favorite among club members, the Rotarian Spotlight. She told everyone…
“TODD ANDREWS has been a member of our club for 31 years. Todd exemplifies today’s theme of service. Todd helped start the Sac Century fundraiser, which has raised over $700,000 to benefit children in crisis. Thank you, Todd! When Todd was only five years old, his parents moved to the Belgian Congo in Africa, because his dad worked on water projects for the federal government. Todd spoke French and Kiswahili (pronounced Ki-Swahili) before he spoke English, so he became trilingual when he was only four years old! He returned to the U.S. and lived in Sacramento, attending Encina High School, where he met his wife of 45 years. In fact, they went to the Junior Prom together. He attended UC Davis where he became a member of the Davis Bike Club and became enthusiastic about bike rides. He graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Civil Engineering. He got a job at Continental Heller, and then a French company purchased it. Since he knew French, he went to Paris to be a liaison between the two companies. Returning to Sacramento, he started his own company, Andrews Construction, which he still owns. Two fun facts about Todd: He plays guitar in a band with DENNIS SMITH (Commercial Real Estate Consulting) called the Yard Dogs and they get together every Wednesday to play together. Second, he is going to France this August to participate in a long-distance bike ride. He will leave Paris, ride to Brest on the coast, and then ride back to Paris. It is a 750-mile endurance ride that has to be completed in 90 hours or less. Todd is sixty-nine now, and he says it’s his last chance to ride in this race before he turns 70.
“BARBARA ARNOLD has been in Rotary for 28 years. Barbara has three major drivers in her life today. The first is her profession. After earning her medical degree from the University of Colorado, she served four years in the U.S. Air Force as a flight surgeon. In 1981, she opened her Ophthalmology practice in Sacramento. The second is her life as an artist. While she has a home in Curtis Park, she has an art studio off Scribner Road along the Sacramento River, where she paints the natural beauty outside her window. She also teaches watercolor classes to the visually impaired in collaboration with the Society for the Blind and the Crocker Art Museum. She enjoys seeing her paintings sell at auctions to support the Crocker and KVIE Chanel 6. As a kid growing up in Nebraska, Barbara said, she and her family lived frugally, but she always saw her parents volunteering. So, philanthropy is Barbara’s third driver. For 41 years, Barbara has been a volunteer faculty member at the UC Davis Eye Clinic and gives financially to their Eye Research Fund. Over 12 years ago, Barbara visited Fairytale Town with her two grandchildren and noticed the park could use some upgrades. That started the many contributions that she gave and resulted in her being bestowed the title of ‘Fairy Godmother.’ Her philanthropy has been recognized by our club’s first-ever Jeanne Runyon Award, the local Association of Fundraising Professionals Outstanding Philanthropist Award, and the California Medical Association’s first Compassionate Award. While awards are nice, she says she just wants to be a role model to incentivize others to give, so that others can experience the joy of seeing how what they have given has helped others.
Past-President TIM PINKNEY is celebrating his 75th birthday and 40 years as a Rotarian. He has been with our club for 31 years, and before here, was in Seattle Rotary for nine years. When Tim was 12, his dad told him, ‘Always give back to the community where you earn your living.’  And, Tim says, Rotary has been THE way he has done this.
Tim served as our club president 15 years ago and also served twice as President of our Foundation. In addition, Tim and his investment company previously managed our Foundation’s investment portfolio. Tim was a Certified Financial Planner for 35 years and retired in 2016. He now spends time here as well as his second home on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Baja, Mexico. Many of us know that Tim loves flying airplanes. What we do not know is that the very first time Tim took control of a pilot’s control stick was when he was five years old. That experience lit him up for flying so that by college, he was a multi-discipline pilot flying all sizes and types of aircraft. Tim served in the Navy for 24 years, flying off aircraft carriers. He made the last aircraft carrier landing of the Vietnam War in 1975. Now, Tim has retired from flying, too, and his new hobby is learning and teaching about space. In the last five years, he has given 115 public presentations on topics like the Webb Space Telescope and Artemis Moon Missions. He is now trading in his ‘Top Gun’ title for his new classification of NASA Solar System Ambassador. Fun fact: Tim flew a WWII B-25 bomber over the Golden Gate Bridge wearing our beloved, deceased Rotary member Bill Stone’s flight jacket.
Past-President HAL BARTHOLOMEW has been in Rotary for 38 years. He was president of our club 25 years ago when we had 525 members. He is an attorney, a certified family law specialist, and a managing partner of the firm, Bartholomew & Wasznicky. They have a total of eight attorneys and, although most represent clients in court, Hal limits his practice to couples who agree to divorce without going to court. For those of you unfamiliar with a collaborative divorce, each spouse retains an attorney and a coach, and the process is a series of meetings where good-faith negotiations take place to resolve all issues. Now, Hal knows that people chuckle when they hear the words ‘attorney’ and ‘good faith’ in the same sentence. But the process works. Hal is actually the founder and president of the state-wide organization for collaborative divorce advisors, as well as the 76-member local chapter. Fun fact: When Hal retired after 18 years as a volunteer board member of the Cosumnes Community Services District in Elk Grove, his long-term service to the community was honored by having a park named after him. The Hal Bartholomew Sports Park is not just an ordinary park. It is it’s 46 acres include two lighted soccer/ la crosse fields, softball and hardball diamonds, tennis courts, and more. A lifelong resident of Elk Grove, he was honored as the Elk Grove Citizen of the Year, as was his father before him. Hal has three children, and two grandchildren and is married to Past-President BEVERLY BRAUTIGAM (Brautigam Financial Services). And as many of you know, they are co-owners of Christopher Cellars Winery in Elk Grove. Beverly and Hal are having their annual swim/BBQ for the club on Sunday, August 27th at 3 p.m., so mark your calendars.
Past-President JOHN LEMMON is a third-generation Sacramentan and a third-generation Sacramento Rotarian who has been in our club for 21 years. But wait, it gets better. His grandfather, Dal Lemmon, was the president of our club in 1932. His father, Vince Lemmon, after serving as a B-17 pilot in the European theatre of World War II, joined our club and became its president in 1959. Then John was our president six years ago. Such an amazing family legacy of service! In 1991, after practicing law for several years at a large law firm, John and his partners set up their own business law firm, Knox, Lemmon, and Anapolsky, where he still works. John started scuba diving in high school and has been an avid diver ever since. He learned how to catch Pacific lobsters by hand and once won a prize by nabbing a 13-pound lobster. That is huge! He loves woodworking and building things. Over the years, and with the help of many volunteers, he has designed and built many themed sets for large fundraisers that have included dramatic lighting, sound effects, and even functioning pools and large waterfalls. John and his wife, Debbie, met in high school and have been together ever since. They own an RV and love to travel. They will be in Europe next summer to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. Fun Fact: John comes from a family of seven children, but he is the only one who chose Sacramento as his home. In the summer of 1971, his parents took all seven kids and went to Europe. They bought a Volkswagen van and camping gear, and all nine of them camped their way through Europe for, imagine this, 10 full weeks! Surprisingly, the family was featured in a German newspaper when they were in Frankfurt, and later recognized in Italy because they had been featured in a military magazine.”
Meeting Sponsor
BOB DALY was our meeting sponsor but yielded his time to Julie Baumgartner, the Veterans Program Director for Volunteers of America. She is a 19-year state reservist and spoke about homelessness and the intricate work required to support individuals’ needs. Julie outlined the services that VOA offers to support homeless veterans. These services include housing, training, resources, and materials. VOA draws support for its services from the Department of Labor and the Veterans Administration.
Club Announcements
VIRGINIA WADE (Retired/Safe Credit Union) announced that more volunteers are needed for both shifts of the June 29th service event at Loaves and Fishes. Please click here to email Virginia if you can help out.
CLATON LEE (CL Trust) announced the good news that Rotary International has approved our $400,000 Safe Water Honduras water project. President LINDA congratulated Clayton and the International Service Committee for their remarkable fundraising efforts, noting that this marks the first time every club in our district has contributed to one international project.
They Were Gems for Giving
  • BRUCE HESTER donated $500 each toward his and ELFRENA FOORD’s next Eddie Mulligans in celebration of their 24th wedding anniversary.
  • DEE JOHNSON donated $100 to the Crystal water project fund in honor of her one-year anniversary with the club.
  • DAN COLE (Cole Partners Development Company) split a Diamond ($1000) with half honoring his dad, BOB COLE (Retired/Goodwin Cole Company), as a veteran and half because BOB is celebrating the birth of his 11th great-grandchild, Casey Lewis Cole.
  • President-Elect Nominee BOBBY REED (CEO/Capitol Tech Solutions) celebrated with two Opals for his two boys making the all-star teams in their respective youth baseball divisions.
  • ROY ALEXANDER (Retired/Sacramento Children’s Home) honored fellow Rotarians for their involvement in the community with $100 toward his next Paul Harris.
  • TODD ANDREWS honored his father, his former boss, and his late father-in-law, all of whom were veterans, with $100 each.
  • BOB ROSENBERG (CEO/Inves$tnet) celebrated Capital Public Radio and the strong signal from the new transmitter he helped to build with $100 for the Crystal Water project and $100 for his next Eddie Mulligan.
  • DOUG STEPHENSON (Director of Northern California Commercial Banking/Banner Bank), not to be out-done by bobby reed, donated $100 to the Crystal water project in honor of his son making his all-star team.
  • Past President BRIAN VAN CAMP (Owner/Van Camp ADR), having noted five close friends being honored in the Rotarian Spotlight, termed it a “royal flush” and donated $500 toward the Crystal Water project.
  • Past President BOB MILLER (VP-Business Services/First US Community Credit Union) honored TODD ANDREWS for his crafty lunch meeting that brought Bob into our club 10 years ago with $100.
  • RUTH TESAR (Retired/Northern California PET Imaging Center) honored her son, who is a Captain in the U.S. Army, with $100 for the Crystal project and $100 toward her next Eddie Mulligan.
  • JAMIE FURLONG (Managing Partner/Legacy Investment Real Estate) honored the memory of her grandfather, MEAD KIBBEY, and cousin by stepping up to complete her next Paul Harris.
  • MATT PAGE (Partner/Lucas Group Financial Planners) honored his father and son for their military commitments with an Emerald for each
  • PAUL KEEFER (Executive Director/Pacific Charter Institute) honored his two Eagle Scout sons and their Eagle Scout friend for surviving a deflated raft on the American River $75 toward his next Paul Harris.
We Had Lots of Visitors!
Sergeant-at-Arms Kathe Nathan (Retired/Merchants Bank of Commerce) wore out the batteries in her microphone with a long list of visitors. They included:
Pat Orner, guest of RICK DAVIS; William Jones, visiting Rotarian from the Kona Makua Club in Hawaii; Jackie Kirkwood, visiting Rotarian from the Midtown Club; Judy Baumgartner and Ana Bankert, guests of Kristi Holderegger (CEO/Volunteers of America); Bruce Szathmaxy, guest of Past-President TIM PINKNEY; Rebecca Freie, guest of DEE JOHNSON; prospective member Jeanette Anderson, guest of NANCY SMITH-FAGAN (Executive Director of Development/YMCA of Superior California); prospective member Brian Lee, guest of DAVID BRANDENBURGER (Managing Director/Newmark); Steven Guerrero, guest of President-Elect Nominee BOBBY REED; Angel Brynner, guest of ELFRENA FOORD and BRUCE HESTER; and Kristen Hutchins and Marnie Stigerts from the Sacramento Police Department.
At the Head Table
Seated at the head table were President LINDA GEERY, Chair of the Day RICK DAVIS, Meeting Sponsor BOB DALY, and featured speaker BRUCE HESTER.
Rotarians Who Helped
President LINDA thanked Greeters LATIF YUSUFI (Assistant Vice President & Sacramento Branch Manager/Golden Pacific Bank), STEVE WALKER (President/Fast Break Tech, Inc), and DOUG STEPHENSON (Director of Northern California Commercial Banking/Banner Bank). PAUL “Scoop” KEEFER provided the Pulse reporting. JIM HENDERSON (Attorney/Messing Adam & Jasmine) and Past-President DIANE WOODRUFF (Retired Chancellor/California Community Colleges) provided photography. DEE HARTZOG (Retired/Weintraub, Genshlea, & Chediak) hosted the wine reception. And Past-President WALTER DAHL (Attorney/Dahl Law Corporation) offered yet again a sharp joke to round out Armed Services Day.
Our Newest Member
Roger Godfrey’s application for membership has been approved by our Board. A Rocklin resident, Roger is a Senior Vice President with the California Bank of Commerce. President-Elect TODD KOOLAKIAN (Director of Philanthropy/Sacramento Children’s Home) and President-Elect Nominee BOBBY REED sponsored him for membership. Committee chairs, please take note that Roger indicated on his application that he is potentially interested in volunteering for Club Service, Community Service, Fundraising Events, Weekly Meetings, and/or Youth Services committees or projects. Roger will receive his orientation and be inducted into our club next Tuesday, June 13th. Please be sure to welcome him.
Photo Gallery
(Snapshots of the June 6th meeting, courtesy of Jim Henderson and Diane Woodruff)