Rotary Meeting, September 13, 2022
This was a uniquely interesting meeting. Rotarians were greeted with big smiles from RICK DAVIS (Retired, Colonel, USAF).
Thank you to SURENDER SINGAL (US Army, Corps of Engineers) for providing the much-needed wine for our meeting, cheers!
PRESIDENT LINDA GEERY called the Rotarians to order. LINDA noted that this meeting provided a unique opportunity to visit with an FBI agent. This was a very timely and informative speaker, particularly with what we all see on the news each day.
PRESIDENT LINDA introduced TIM MATTHEIS (WMB Architects) fellow Rotarian and Renaissance Man who noted that the last rage of summer’s heat has finally passed us by. Tim’s Thought….
“It’s been so refreshing these last days, and particularly this morning, the breezy-almost crisp air was just a scented hint of the autumnal equinox.
As we enter the last week of summer, here are some thoughts about the End of Summer from a Poem by EMILY DICKINSON.”
As imperceptibly as Grief
The Summer lapsed away-
Too imperceptible at last
To seem like Perfidy-
A Quietness distilled
As Twilight long begun,
Or Nature spending with herself
Sequestered Afternoon-
The Dusk drew earlier in –
The Morning foreign shone-
A courteous, yet harrowing Grace,
As Guest, that would be gone-
And thus, without a Wing
Or service of a Keel
Our Summer made her light escape
Into the Beautiful.
Esteemed President Linda Geery introduced our guests…. Any possible future members?
  • AMIN ELMALLAH (CSU Retired,) guest of THOM GILBERT (Retired, Gilbert & Associates)
  • KAREN MCCLAFIN (Broadway Sacramento,) guest of JOHN GORALKA (Goralka Law Firm)
  • RICHARD LEWIS (Broadway Sacramento,) guest of JOHN GORALKA (Goralka Law Firm)
  • ROGER BILSTAD, guest of THOM GILBERT (Retired, Gilbert & Associates)
  • STEVE RULAND, guest of NORM MARSHALL (Headwaters Construction, Inc.)
  • DAVID NYSTRON (McCuen Properties) guest of JEFF STONE (HUB International)
  • RICHARD SADDLER (NASA) guest of TIM PINKNEY (Luxe Aviation, LLC)
  • JAMIL WHITE (Louis White Law,) guest of TED WHITE (Sacramento Delta Property Management)
  • AMBER BELLANTE (Law office of Amber Bellante) guest of JAMIL WHITE
Meeting Sponsor JOHN GORALKA (Goralka Law Firm) donated his time to Broadway Sacramento. RICHARD LEWIS, the face of Sacramento Musical Theater, reminded all the Rotarians in attendance of the struggles endured by theatre with Covid and then with the economic challenges we have all endured including gas at $7.00 per gallon. While last season was a critical and artistic success, those economic challenges resulted in lower ticket sales and revenue.
The Broadway at Music Circus is one of the very few venues where 2, 3 and even 4 generations of a family routinely attend together.
RICHARD announced the spectacular shows coming to Sacramento including the very popular Frozen. Click here to visit the site directly.
This is an awesome show, not to be missed. Based upon a true story of 9/11- with an exceedingly positive message!
2 lucky Rotarians received gift certificates for 2 tickets to an upcoming show of their choice….
Their tickets were taped under their plates. Be sure to attend meetings in person if you can- you never know what you may find.
JOHN SWENTOWSKY (Swentowsky Photography) Rotary Photographer and Lottery Winner!
Second Lottery Winner – unable to disclose name due to concerns regarding FBI disclosure.
After ongoing negotiations and the realization that Agent DENNIS GUERTIN already knew who he was, DENNIS SMITH authorized the release of his name.


Our Rotary Spotlight was presented by SHIRLEE TULLY (Capital Public Radio.) So good to see SHIRLEE’s sparkling smile! SHIRLEE shined the light on 3 special Rotarians- all of whom were celebrating a birthday.
9/13 birthday
23 years in Rotary
23 years in Rotary, currently he is the President of the Rotary Foundation.
STEVE has practiced law for 47 years and has his own law practice.  He used to do litigation and worked for Channel 3 on first amendment issues.  You might remember the Dorothea Puentes case where she killed people and planted them in her backyard.  The media and Channel 3 wanted to get access to sealed court documents and STEVE was the attorney that helped them with that.  Since then, he has taken to a calmer side of law and is focused on estate planning now.
STEVE loves woodworking and actually makes Craftsman-style furniture. Lucky for him, he inherited a Pacific Grove cottage where the furniture he makes is a perfect fit.  He also likes running and has completed 5 marathons, a couple of them with his daughter.  Great way to spend time together!
Fun Fact:  In the service, STEVE was a drill sergeant, which is a different side of him that we have seen in Rotary.  His company commander was none other than our DAN COLE before either of them even thought of being a Rotarian.
VIRGINIA WADE                    
9/17 birthday
21 years in Rotary
VIRGINIA has been in Rotary 21 years.  She says Rotary introduced her to the importance of volunteering and her many years in Rotary have been rewarding because of the opportunities to help others.
VIRGINIA was an executive with SAFE Credit Union and retired in 2018.  Her years there were filled with opportunity and pride in the organization. And yes, she worked at the same SAFE Credit Union whose name now adorns our Convention Center.
Retirement gives VIRGINIA more time to be with her partner ED and her dogs Parker and Dakota.  VIRGINIA has a passion for horses and has been riding for the last 35 years.  She had her beloved horse Thunder for 19 years and still rides at riding stables in Loomis.
Fun fact: VIRGINIA shares a name with the famous tennis player, and in 1977 when the tennis player VIRGINIA WADE won Wimbledon, nearly everyone she met asked if she was the “real” Virginia Wade. In 1992, VIRGINIA was at a resort in Jamaica getting ready to play tennis, and the tennis pro looked over to a man nearby and said Guillermo, guess who is here to play tennis with you? It’s VIRGINIA WADE! This man was the famous Brazilian tennis player GUILLERMO VILLAS.
Yes- she is the real VIRGINIA WADE!
STEVE BRANDENBURGER                  
9/18 birthday
37 years in Rotary
STEVE studied law at McGeorge and even had Justice Anthony Kennedy as a constitutional law professor.  STEVE had a private practice law firm for 28 years.
STEVE met his wife Ede in 1965 getting on a double chair lift at Squaw Valley which he admits was really over both their heads. Skiing has been a theme in the BRANDENBURG family ever since.
STEVE grew up enjoying skiing and the family cabin in Homewood, Lake Tahoe.  When his parents sold it, STEVE and EDE went on a search for a replacement cabin in 1974 and ended up with an 8-unit resort lodge on Donner Lake, Loch Leven Lodge.  It was once featured on the cover of Sunset magazine In September 1993.
STEVE enjoys leadership and non-profit work and has been Past President of Sacramento Symphony, McGeorge Alumni Assn, League to Save Lake Tahoe, and Kandahar Ski Club.
Fun Fact: Some people claim to be Sacramentan but STEVE BRANDENBURGER is the most Sacramentan you’ll ever meet.  He is not only a Forever Sacramentan but he is a forever resident of William Land Park as he lives in the house he was born in.
PAUL KEEFER (Pacific Charter Institute) then reminded us all about the history, purpose, and the impact of our EDDIE MULLIGAN and PAUL HARRIS fellowships.
The Sacramento Century bike ride is on October 1st and is our premier fundraising event to benefit the Sacramento Children’s Home Crisis Nursery. You can still sign up to ride, run, walk, kayak or hike to help children in need!
  • MEGAN LAURIE (UCP of Sacramento & Northern California)
A couple of pieces of good news to share about the Sacramento Century fundraising:
  • We now have 744 individual riders vs. last year on 9/13/2021 individual riders of 550
  • TOM BACON has started his fundraising efforts through GoFundMe and has already raised $7,200 (towards his goal of $10,000.) Thank you TOM!
  • Not included yet in PRESIDENT LINDA GEERY’s numbers is a $10,000 check from Sorenson Foundation, bringing her total to $12,690! Way to go PRESIDENT LINDA!
VOLUNTEERS- all these riders and numbers are amazing but we need to ensure our riders and guest have an amazing time! If you haven’t yet signed up to volunteer, we need you! SUSAN and KATHE are here with the laptops ready to sign you up! We have 91 spots to fill!
  • Pre-ride: We need 14 more volunteers
  • Food shoppers, water pick-up, warehouse coordination, road sign replacements
  • Ride: We need 22 more slots filled! Water stop at Vierra Farms, Stop #3 and #4 rest stop, support and gear transportation, sign removal, return items to storage
  • Festival: We have 55 available opportunities
  • Bike valet, Capitol Mall break down, rider check-in, drink ticket sales, merchandise sales, parking attendant finish line cheer section
109 total spots needed for the Festival and 73 are confirmed and signed up. She’s still waiting for confirmation from a couple of groups about take down, bike valet, and parking monitor but they said they will let her know by Monday.
DISTRICT GOVERNOR KAREN is collecting food when she attends 9/20. East Sac has had the largest amount per capita. Please bring canned goods!
  • SHARNA BRAUCKS and KATHE NATHAN announced that we are still critically in need of blood donations. Please contact SHARNA, KATHE or SULAF if you wish to donate blood.
JIM RELLES (Relles Florist) donated in honor of MAGGIE who helped him sell his home.
Chair of the Day, PAST PRESIDENT KEN NOACK introduced FBI Field Agent DENNIS GUERTIN Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC). DENNIS indicated that he had been monitoring KEN for some time….
DENNIS was named ASAC of the National Security and Administrative Branch of the Sacramento Division of the FBI in December 2019. As of April 2022, ASAC GUERTIN volunteered to become the ASAC over the Intelligence Branch. From November 2016 until his recent appointment, MR. GUERTIN was the Supervisory Special Agent of the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Sacramento.
MR. GUERTIN has served in the San Francisco Division, the Washington Field Office, and the Sacramento Division working on criminal, counterintelligence, counterterrorism and HUMINT matters – Covert Intelligence Gathering by Agents or Others. In 2010, MR. GUERTIN was promoted to Supervisory Special Agent in the International Terrorism Operations Section, Counterterrorism Division responsible for program management of counterterrorism investigations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq. From April 2011 through November 2011, MR. GUERTIN deployed to Bagram, Afghanistan as the FBI Senior Advisor to the Commanding General of the Joint Special Operations Counterterrorism Task Force. From May 2012 through June 2013, MR. GUERTIN served as the FBI Counterintelligence Liaison to the Iran Operations Division, Central Intelligence Agency. In June 2013, MR. GUERTIN was selected as squad supervisor of a HUMINT squad in the Washington Field Office and served there until his transfer to Sacramento in July 2014.
MR. GUERTIN is a 1990 Army Reserve Officer Training Corps graduate of the University of California, Berkeley earning a degree in History- GO BEARS! Prior to joining the FBI, MR. GUERTIN served on active duty for seven years as a commissioned officer in both conventional and special operations units.
DENNIS was an excellent speaker, down to earth, and very informative with a timely topic. The mission of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (the “FBI”) is to protect the American people and to protect the constitution. When he joined in 1971, the FBI’s focus was on violent crime, bank robberies, gangs, and drugs. On September 11, 2011, (9/11) all that changed. DENNIS reminded us that we just had the 21st anniversary of 9/11.
The priorities for the FBI immediately became counter-terrorism, counterintelligence, and global criminal activity.  DENNIS noted that they only have 13,000 field agents to cover these threats nationwide. DENNIS confessed that he often has a hard time sleeping at night and that he worries about what the world may be like for his sons. These challenges include China and its ever-present attempts to steal intellectual property. Ongoing cyber-attacks from many sources including Russia and China. He noted that China has a 100-year plan to attack the United States.
Agent GUERTIN noted that the recent symposium was recently conducted with the FBI’s law enforcement partners (both local and federal agencies) at Jesuit High School. We are all very lucky to have agents of the caliber of DENNIS GUERTIN working to keep us safe each day.
Agent GUERTIN noted the increasing presence of more growing threats. Technology also created unique issues such as end-to-end encrypted communication and cryptocurrency. That said, DENNIS remains confident about the future and the ability to meet these many diverse challenges.
PAST PRESIDENT WALTER DAHL’s (DAHL LAW) investigation uncovered Agent DENNIS GUERTIN’s first arrest which was here in Sacramento. A Sacramento City College Math Professor was discovered to be plotting……
District 5180 Governor KAREN CENDRO will be guest speaker for our September 20th meeting, and she promises to serve an entertaining, interactive program for the annual District Governor visit. A past-president of the Rotary Club of Laguna Sunrise and cooking enthusiast, she has chosen “Serve It Up” as the theme for her year as District Governor and asks that everyone bring a canned food item for donation to a food bank. Keep an eye out for the ClubRunner email with the reservation link in it.
09/20/2022 –Speaker KAREN CENDRO – District Governor 22/23
09/27/2022 –Speaker PETE MORELLI/NFL Referee
10/04/2022 – Dark
10/18/2022Speaker GIULIANO KORNBERG/ SAC Regional Performing Arts Alliance