Rotary Meeting: June 22, 2021
PRESIDENT KEVIN SMITH-FAGAN (Executive Director of Fairytale Town) called us to order by thanking all the Rotarians who volunteered at Tuesday’s meeting. A big thank you was given to TODD ANDREWS (President of Andrews Construction, Inc.) and BILL BADHAM (SVP Commercial Banking Manager at Umpqua Bank), our greeters, for all the warm welcomes; to ELFRENA FOORD (Partner and Certified Financial Planner at Foord, Van Bruggen, & Pajak; and Concert Pianist) for setting the atmosphere at our wine reception as she played the piano; TED WHITE (President of Sacramento Delta Property Management) with the highly valued role of sponsoring our wine reception; JOHN SWENTOWSKY (Owner of Swentowsky Photography) for providing the joy captured memories as our photographer; and JOHN GORALKA (Founder of The Goralka Law Firm) for transcribing the day’s events as Pulse Reporter.
Thought for the Day:
PRESIDENT KEVIN SMITH-FAGAN was inspired by our speaker of the day’s topic, being Bitcoin, which prompted him to ponder the concept of value. He reflects on the role that value has in the Rotarian mindset with the following thought;
 What is value? How can there be value in something that, in the literal sense, does not exist? What’s value? What is valuable to me? What is valuable to you? As I thought about it, I came down thinking, that each of our own individual values are the things that give us our hope ending, but it’s our shared value that give us the power to change the world. It’s our shared value at Rotary, that we will see in today’s meeting, that make us able to change people’s lives through scholarship programs, through the community grants program, protecting the environment. All the millions of things we do both locally and internationally. It’s our shared values that make Rotary great and gives us the power to make a difference. Thank you for being Rotarian because it’s our shared values that make ourselves, our community, and our world, a better place for everyone.”
Club Announcements:
NANCY SMITH-FAGAN (Co-Chair of the Scholarship Committee) announced this year’s scholarship winners! Being a scholarship winner is no easy accomplishment. Our scholarships are administered to High School Seniors that meet the criteria of being at least top 3 in their class. On top of that, they must have shown a demonstration of leadership and community service and be prepared to enroll full time in an undergraduate study in an accredited 4-year university or college in the U.S. This year the GPA average of all scholarship recipients was 4.0.
This year’s winners were as follows:
Derek Ian Arnold Scholarship: Delta High School
  1. Stephanie Estrada: Will be attending Notre Dame to become a doctor
Harold and Lilla Strauch: Rio Americano High School
  1. Nazanin Sadeghian-Dezaz: $2250 to attend Cal Poly and major in math.
  2. Steven Hartman: $2250 to attend UC Davis to become an Aerospace Engineer.
Oleta Lambert Scholarship: Any Sacramento Area High School
  1. Ania Wilson: $1000 to attend University of San Francisco majoring in Biology.
Jim and Mary Jo Streng Scholarship: Bella Vista High School
  1. Perla Mariel Tellez Perez: $5000 to attend Sierra Community College and transfer to a UC majoring in Economics.
Robinson Crowell and Sacramento Rotary Foundation Scholarships: McClatchy High School and Sacramento High School
  1. Ashley Jun: $2500 to attend Stanford and major in Electrical Engineering.
  2. E’Sean Howard: $2500 to attend Grambling and major in Business.
  3. Angel Garcia-Lopez: $1600 to attend UC Merced and major in Mechanical Engineering.
  4. Amarea Lee: $1600 to attend San Diego State and major in Business and Marketing.
DENNIS SMITH (Chair of the Community Grants Committee) gave us a breakdown of how Rotarian dollars were allocated towards community betterment. There were 31 total applicants this year, 9 of which were chosen as grant recipients to be aided from the $25,000 total community grant funds. Though the decision was tough, we are proud to announce this year’s recipients.
    • Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math (STEAM) Alive, Powered by You project
    • Renovation of transitional housing home for 4 men & 1 full-time live-in house leader to duplicate successful 4-bed transitional home for women
    • Team BRIGHT (Burn Recovery in Groups Healing Together) community reintegration program – collaboration between Firefighters Burn Institute and Shriners Hospitals for Children – Northern California
    • 5-home Phase 2 of 13-home Mandolin Estates project in South Sacramento for economically disadvantaged families
    • Expansion of this U.C. Davis 2nd year vet student, volunteer staffed Clinic’s referral program for local Sacramento veterinary clinics to provide complex and/or emergency veterinary care for free to pets of homeless people in Sacramento area (in partnership with Sacramento Loaves & Fishes)
    • COVID-19 Relief Fund providing food essentials and infant diapers to undocumented and asylum-seeking families and individuals to help them prioritize their income toward paying rent and other housing bills
    • Help launch “Grow a Row” project in collaboration with local grower, Heirloom Acre Farms, to plant flowers and greens on donated land to supplement current inconsistent supply of flowers from local grocer partners and to provide more consistent harvest for bouquets given out to isolated and/or hospice receiving seniors in our community
  • VITA Academy (Academy at All Hallows School)
    • Chevalier Project to create 30 to 40-minute video and interactive study guide for 4th through 6th graders to bring to life story of violinist, composer, and conductor Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, who is referred to as “Black Mozart” and who contributed significant body of classical music in 1700’s – video and study guide will be made available free to all Sacramento area schools and is to be basis for “live” version of story to be created by Sacramento Philharmonic to take out to schools for educational performance events
    • Discover the Flyway outdoor education program in Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area to teach appreciation for wetlands, agriculture, and wildlife of Greater Sacramento region to students from Title 1/low-income K-12 schools in Sacramento area
PRESIDENT ELECT BOB MILLER announced the up-and-coming Rise Against Hunger Event on Saturday, July 24th, taking place during 3 different time slots. We are looking for people to chair this event where, together, we will be packing meals to help fight hunger. To see a flow chart for the meal packing assembly line CLICK HERE. Don’t forget to bring a healthy degree of competitive nature because there will also be a trivia contest along with a corn hole contest. Let’s do this!
TODD KOOLAKIAN (Director of Philanthropy of Sacramento Children’s Home) thanked some of the many sponsors of the Sac Century Challenge, taking place October 2nd. Sac Century Challenge is the Sacramento regions premier cycling event to benefit the Sacramento Children’s Home Crisis Nursery! If you are interested in sponsoring, don’t be shy to reach out to TODD KOOLAKIAN!
RUTH TESAR (CEO of Northern California PET imaging Center) announced the endeavors of Shelterbox. On behalf of Shelterbox and its cause, a young man is riding his bike from Lake Tahoe all the way to Alaska! Shelterbox provides shelter and other resources for those affected by disasters. It is a global nonprofit organization made up of people who believe that shelter is a basic human right.
CHRIS ANN BACHTEL celebrated her 22nd year participating in Rotary by giving a Pirate Level Donation of $100. CHRIS really wanted to accompany this donation with a pirate accent, but she opted for a pirate phrase instead, “Yo, ho, ho, and a bottle of rum!” she exclaimed. To our surprise, she supplemented that exclamation with the presentation of an actual bottle of rum. Not just any rum, but a brand by the name of “Pirate Rum.” Thank you CHRIS! For the years of commitment to our club, and of course, for the Pirate Rum!
Guest Speaker:
JOE CICCOLO is the Founder & President of BitAML, a compliance advisory firm exclusively serving the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency market. BitAML clients include Bitcoin ATM operators, cryptocurrency exchanges, traders and trading platforms, crypto hedge funds, lending platforms, and crypto-cannabis solutions. He is a frequent guest speaker at both Bitcoin and compliance industry events, and regularly conducts formal training for federal, state, and local law enforcement, as well as traditional retail and investment bankers on both cryptocurrencies and customer onboarding.
Cryptocurrency was conceived in 2008 by an unknown source operating under the alias of “Satoshi Nakamoto”, his was assumably a group of multiple computer scientist. On an obscure blog, “someone” made a post referencing a white paper, 8 pages in length, in which they claimed being to able to make transactions without an intermediary institution.
CLICK HERE to read the aforementioned Bitcoin paper.
What is Bitcoin?
When people think about Bitcoin they think of digital currency. However, on top of being a digital currency, Bitcoin is also a network. That network is, computers all over the world that communicate with each other and help to verify transactions. These computers participate in a way that rewards and incentivizes the participants in a self-contained ecosystem outside of traditional financial services.
The movement of money within the traditional financial system involves the important concept of “centralization”. When money is sent from one party to another the transaction is first verified by central financial institutions commonly referred to as banks. Banks have “ledgers” which are used to validate a transaction by verifying account balances. One major component of what makes Bitcoin innovative is that it is “decentralized” in that there are no central actors or institutions between the two parties of a transaction. Instead, they have “mining rigs” which are hardware and software that compete to unlock or solve “cryptographic” puzzles, which in doing so, verify the transaction. The record of these solved puzzles that describe transactions is called the “blockchain.” The blockchain is the ledger of the cryptocurrency world.
The way that mining rigs compete to solve puzzles is unique. The analogy JOE CICCOLO provided was a comparison to winning the lottery. If you pretend you are in a room full of people and everyone is guessing what the lottery numbers will be, statistically, you will eventually guess the right numbers, regardless of if it takes weeks of constant guessing. This is what it’s like for a system of computers to solve a cryptographic puzzle. Miners use computing power to guess, what is essentially a random series of number, hoping to outcompete all other miners. When the correct input of numbers is guessed, the transaction is verified. After a transaction is verified, it is added to the blockchain. Every 10 minutes the blockchain is updated. The incentive for miners to participate is that they get rewarded with Bitcoin. There is a finite number of Bitcoins that will ever be mined into existence, there will only ever be 21 million Bitcoins.
In order to participate in the Bitcoin network, you need two things: a connected device (smart phone, computer, etc.) and internet connectivity. In order to send a Bitcoin transaction, you also need two things: the requisite fund to send and a valid recipient address. That means, no intermediary financial institution is needed to participate in the network. To get involved in the cryptocurrency space you can utilize Bitcoin ATMs, Crypto Wallets, and Crypto Apps.
Not only is Bitcoin an innovation that rethinks how we participate in the financial industry, but it also has sociologically impactful real-world application that can immerse from its implementation. Despite JOE’S distinguished ability to articulate such a complex topic, some of these concepts may be hard to fully grasp. To hear him explain it again
CLICK HERE. For addition assistance, YouTube is our friend. Here are some informative videos that can help you dive deeper into some of the concepts regarding how crytocurrency works, what blockchain even is, and how the blockchain is verified .
What’s Next :
If you didn’t make it to the June 22nd meeting, don’t fret! We have a recording of it for you to watch HERE.
Not only that, but there’s still a chance to make it to the next one!
On June 29, 2021, from 12:10 PM – 1:30 PM, we will be meeting at The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church. We will be having our “Year in Review” where we go over all the great things that have come into fruition as a result of our efforts and leadership as well as memorable moments worth reflection. Come and join us for this years wrap up and reminisce!
Upcoming Rotary Club Meetings at a Glance:
  • 7/6 – The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church 12:10 – 1:30 PM
INSTALLATION- President Elect Bob Miller (Farewell President Kevin Smith-Fagan!)
  • 7/13 – The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church 12:10 – 1:30 PM
Speaker: Carrie Ellinwood- U.S. Small Business Administration