Rotary Meeting: January 5, 2021


PRESIDENT KEVIN SMITH-FAGAN (Executive Director of Fairytale Town) welcomed members with a big “Happy New Year.” January also marks the 2nd half of our Rotary year, which is already filled to the brim with esteemed guest speakers and hot topics. We will be covering the latest COVID-19 news, the Mars Rover, and the Superbowl, just to name a few!


ALLISON CAGLEY (Sergeant in Arms) (Executive Director of Friends of Sacramento Arts) wished everyone a Happy New Year and asked if we had any guests on this first meeting of 2021 that would like to announce themselves. FRED TEICHERT (Executive Director of Teichert Foundation) welcomed SAMANTHA HOSIHDA (Interim Program Supervisor at City of Sacramento), one of the astounding leaders of our District. Her presence at today’s meeting was spontaneous and unexpected, but so greatly appreciated! We hope to see you again this year, SAMANTHA!


JUDITH KJELSTROM (Director Emerita of the Biotech Program at U.C. Davis) articulated our hopes with her Thought of the Day from John O’Donohue entitled For A New Beginning:


“In out-of-the-way places of the heart,

Where your thoughts never think to wander,

This beginning has been quietly forming,

Waiting until you were ready to emerge.

For a long time it has watched your desire,

Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,

Noticing how you willed yourself on,

Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.

It watched you play with the seduction of safety

And the gray promises that sameness whispered,

Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,

Wondered would you always live like this.

Then the delight, when your courage kindled,

And out you stepped onto new ground,

Your eyes young again with energy and dream,

A path of plenitude opening before you.

Though your destination is not yet clear

You can trust the promise of this opening;

Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning

That is at one with your life’s desire.

Awaken your spirit to adventure;

Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;

Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,

For your soul senses the world that awaits you”


PAST PRESIDENT JIM LEET (Attorney of Boutin Jones Inc.) lead us in a strong recital of the Pledge of Allegiance. Thank you, JIM!


Our first meeting of the New Year included the announcement of an exciting new community service project. BOBBY REED (CEO of Capitol Tech Solutions) debriefed everyone on the new committee, Protecting the Environment. Environmental preservation is one of the more recently integrated components of Rotary, officially becoming the 7th focus area per Rotary International’s website.

According to BOBBY, we are going to kick off this new initiative locally by joining the American River Parkway Clean-Up. We are sponsoring mile 0 which will consist of regularly scheduled clean-up events. We will be committing 20 volunteer hours per quarter. Working with him in collaboration, we have both DAVID BRANDENBURGER (Managing Director of Newmark Knight Frank) and TODD ANDREWS (President of Andrews Construction, Inc.). Volunteers are still needed.


CLICK HERE to learn more about the Rotary International’s commitment to protecting the environment.


STEVE HUFFMAN spoke in representation of the Compassion Committee, and STEVE was sad to say that Miles Snyder is recuperating from a hip replacement after a bad fall. He is currently going through a physical rehabilitation program and would love to hear from fellow Rotarians. Notes can be sent to his email address: PRESIDENT KEVIN also chipped in, stating that PAST PRESIDENT KEN NOACK JR. (Senior Managing Director of Newmark Knight Frank) is mourning the death of his father, honorary member KEN NOACK. A proper, virtual remembrance of KEN NOACK will be coming in one of our upcoming meetings. Our deepest condolences go out to KEN NOACK JR. and the rest of his family.


Anyone with an interest in commenting on the proposed Bylaw amendments is invited to join PRESIDENT KEVIN in his upcoming listening sessions.


On the Good News front, GIULIANO KORNBERG (Development Manager of Sacramento Philharmonic and Opera) was called out by PRESIDENT KEVIN for being listed among the 100 Notable Business Leaders as judged by Sacramento Magazine – what a huge accomplishment! GIULIANO humbly thanked Rotarians for all their help and donated $100 towards his Eddie Mulligan.



JIM LEET is happy to have completed his last radiation treatment for cancer and donated $755 to complete his Paul Harris and Eddie Mulligan. He thanked those who helped the club raise $13,000 in donations for the Salvation Army Red Kettle over Christmas. PRESIDENT KEVIN donated $100 in light of JIM being finished with his radiation therapy.


ALLISON CAGLEY contributed $100 towards her Eddie Mulligan in honor of her upcoming 42nd wedding anniversary, which she will be celebrating with a special Lamb dinner cooked by her very own chef-of-a-daughter!


Chair of the Day, PAUL KEEFER (Executive Director Pacific Charter Institute), was pleased to introduce our speaker for the day who is spearheading the ambitious, exciting, and even controversial, Aggie Square Project: the UC Davis/Sacramento Innovation District in Oak Park.


ROBERT SEGAR, the Assistant Vice Chancellor of Campus Planning and Environmental Stewardship at UC Davis, said Aggie Square is an unprecedented venture between UC Davis (the 13th highest ranked public U.S. university) and the Sacramento community. Aggie Square will be a $1.1 billion private and public partnership to build a hub for research, innovation and education on the land owned by UC Davis in partnership with Wexford Science and Technology, the state of California, and the City of Sacramento.


Located adjacent to the UC Davis Hospital, the first phase will include construction of four buildings on Stockton Blvd between 2nd and 3rd avenues including Life Sciences, Technology and Engineering Labs; Lifelong Learning for job training; Housing and the Food and Health marketplace.



According to BOB, half of the 1 million square feet of the project will be used by the university. The other half will be occupied by privately funded labs, commercial office space, community-based organizations, and start-up business ventures. The six-county region around Aggie Square is anticipated to generate $5 billion in economic growth and $2.6 billion along from the construction of the campus. If any of the start-ups make it big, there would be a shared wealth of an unknown profit in spin-off benefits.


One of the labs in Life Sciences will focus on regenerative medicine which uses stem cells to create new therapies and cures for diseases. Job training for those technical jobs will be provided at the Lifelong Learning Center. Wexford has developed science and technology hubs in other cities across the country in partnership with other major universities.

CLICK HERE to visit the official Aggie Square website.


The influx of new jobs could be so great, that it has caused widespread concern among certain coalitions of local community members. Admittedly, one lawsuit has been filed by neighborhood residents who are worried about the increase in traffic and the prospect of being displaced by higher rents from the development. “People want to share in the success,” said BOB, so commitments will be made to create a trust for affordable housing and apprenticeships for the local community.


Everyone is excited about the participation of The Edible Schoolyard Project by the Alice Waters Institute for Edible Education, which has a goal of providing a “free, sustainable school lunch,” to every student in California. Local organic farms generate food for the table in a collective effort to bring healthy, farm-to-fork food to school cafeterias.


“It’s thrilling to be a part of it,” said BOB. And despite the pandemic, they have been fortunate enough to stay on schedule. Construction could begin as soon as this year. Thank you for the phenomenal presentation BOB, we look forward to watching this dynamic project unfold!


For more information, email


ALLISON CAGELY reminded Rotarians that next week, we have guest speaker Michelle Wong, Executive Director of the SMUD Museum of Science and Curiosity, will be presenting us with the full breakdown regarding the MOSAC set to open in town by the end of the year!


We will be back at the same time next week for another captivating meeting! See you then!