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Meeting: August 3, 2021
Introduction
PRESIDENT BOB MILLER (Business Services Manager at First US Community Credit Union) kicked off the meeting with an expression of gratuity for ELFRENA FOORD (Partner/Certified Financial Planner at Foord, Van Bruggen, & Pajak) who graciously offered her musical abilities in the form of a piano performance at this week’s meeting. PRESIDENT BOB gave special acknowledgement to our three Greeters of the week: LARRY GILZEAN (President at Spare Time Sports Clubs), STEVE BRANDENBURGER, and JOHN GORALKA (President at the Goralka Law Firm). Photography done by our own blood, JOHN SWENTOWSKY (Owner of Swentowsky Photography) and the Wine Reception organized by the lovely SARAH HODGE (Director of Resource Development at NeighborWorks Sacramento).
Thought of the Day and Visitors
Inspired by the constant political distress that our society seems to revolve on, LEN MCCANDLISS drew his attention to our third-ever president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, with quotes regarding democracy, politics, and virtues. Can you imagine such topics being intertwined?
Visitors included prospective new member JENNY WINSTEAD (Sacramento Literacy Foundation), neighbor Rotarian SIDNEY SMITH from the Elk Grove Rotary Club, and prospective member BOBBIE HALES (Gilbert CPA).
Meeting Sponsor
Our meeting sponsor, RUTH TESAR (CEO at Northern California PET Imaging Center) was eager to share some of the new things her company is doing. She first gave us some background information, as listed below:
● Northern California PET Imaging Center was the first independent imaging center in the U.S. that wasn’t affiliated with a research project or university.
● The majority of their work is tied to oncology, but they are showing promising and exciting levels of development in the field of neurology.
Some of their recent highlighted field developments in imaging are tied to some of the most
prevalent chronic illnesses, including the following:
● Alzheimer’s
● Breast Cancer
● Prostate Cancer
● Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in NFL players
● Cancer immunotherapy responses
To see the full PowerPoint slideshow created by RUTH, click HERE.
Announcements
SARAH HODGE stepped up to discuss the Brown Bag Committee during the Committee Spotlight. Brown Bag Day is scheduled for Tuesday, August 17th. This will be the first of four scheduled Brown Bag events for the 2021-2022 Rotary year. For more information, please contact SARAH. There will also be emails going out for anyone interested in participating!
In light of the upcoming Sacramento Century Challenge, DAVID BRANDENBURGER discussed a similar upcoming charitable cause – the Pan-Mass Challenge – organized by a friend. They have a fundraising goal of a whopping $52 million! The ride is all about raising funds for cancer research and treatment at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and any donations are greatly appreciated!
To learn more about the Pan-Mass Challenge, click HERE. If you want to keep it local, please sign up to ride and/or donate to our local Sacramento Century Challenge right HERE.
PAUL KEEFER (Executive Director at Pacific Charter Institute) talked about the Rise Against Hunger event from last Saturday (July 31st). 240 meal boxes = 11,664 meals, 1 silver medal, and 1 bronze medal later… We had a blast! Thank you to everyone who came out!
JOHN SWENTOWSKY was sporting a stylish Rotary apron when he cheerfully reminded everyone to mark their calendars for the last two Loaves & Fishes events of the 2021 year: September 30th and December 30th. We are already looking forward to the fun that will ensue and hope you can be a part of it!
Chair of the Day – Guest Speaker Introduction
DAVID BRANDENBURGER (Managing Director at Newmark Knight Frank) was honored to introduce us all to the Guest Speaker, AMANDA BLACKWOOD (President and CEO of the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce). AMANDA is the first female President and CEO of the Metro Chamber – yay for Girl Power! Her career spans both the private and nonprofit sectors with a focus on financial management, including her past role as CFO for Folsom Asset Management, Inc. She currently sits on the boards or commissions of Sacramento Works, Visit Sacramento, Downtown Sacramento Partnership, Mayors’ Climate Commission, Metro-PAC, and even more. In 2020, she was recognized by the Sacramento Business Journal for their “Most Admired CEOs” and “Women Who Mean Business” awards.
Guest Speaker
AMANDA shared that she was a past Rotarian and briefly compared the overlapping nature between the Metro Chamber and our Rotary Club. She prefaced her discussion with the importance of mental health by acknowledging the challenging times that we are facing not just as employees, business owners, etc. but as a community. We all share a common ground regarding fears, concerns, and distress inflicted by the pandemic. That being said, no financial strategy can be successful if we are not taking care of ourselves.
AMANDA shared the goals of the Metro Chamber, namely 1) To bring people together, share ideas, and better facilitate an open dialogue about  challenges we face from within the community, 2) Employ a “Boots on the ground” tactical assistance strategy, and 3) Advocacy.
They are the largest chamber to advocate at a federal level. They strive to help businesses learn how to make good policy, first and foremost.
As expected, one of the Metro Chamber’s primary focus areas is having strong businesses. Economic recovery and policy are an important point of conversation to be having in our functionally-dysfunctional current state of society. This importance of this topic is only further heightened when you are lucky enough to live in the economic hub that is the Sacramento Metropolitan area. AMANDA eloquently stated “If our businesses aren’t properly supported, then there are no jobs.” She further emphasized that there is a breadth of in-person and online community resources for any business owners that have been financially impacted by the pandemic, and encourages community members to access what is available to them. Ultimately, the Metro Chamber values all voices within Sacramento County, and takes every voice into consideration in determining policy that can help us embark on our journey to financial recovery.
Housing is another significant focus area. With homelessness rates only increasing, it has become a hot topic for change. We have increased accessibility to the funds that would be needed to enact change towards the issue of homelessness, so the current issue lies in determining how to use these funds to decrease such a widespread problem. AMANDA stated they currently have created a three-component approach for homelessness, and this will
become more publicly addressed in the months to come. Overall, she described their current approach to this difficult matter as “pro-human and pro-business.” The three components include:
1. Clean housing sites
2. Housing sites must be properly staffed and have sufficient access to necessary resources
3. Enforcement of psychosocial-regulative behavior
To listen to AMANDA’s full speech, click HERE.