President Susan Sheridan opened the meeting by welcoming everyone and thanking Tom Engel for donating the wine for the wine reception. Don Baird then offered an invocation before which he described the various symbols of Christmas with roots in the Christian faith including the wreath, the Christmas tree, and St. Nicholas himself.
She then welcomed everyone to the Annual Meeting and asked Past President Walter Dahl to confirm a quorum was present which he did with mathematical precision.
The next bit of business was for PE Dave Cohen to announce the coming term’s slate of officers and directors, which were as follows:
Sargent-at-Arms: John McIntyre
Treasurer: Linda Geery
Directors: Todd Andrews, Jim Culleton, Amin Elmallah, Randy Friedman, John Lemmon, Richard Osen, Valerie Piotrowski, Becki Roberts, Diane Schachterle, and Virginia Wade.
After about two seconds of discussion the entire slate was unanimously and enthusiastically approved.
Past President Peter Dannenfelser then rose to announce the candidate to be President-Elect-Elect for the 2016-2017 term. After a long series of tantalizing clues as to this person’s identity he was finally announced: our very own Daniel McVeigh! After a raucous round of applause he was unanimously approved. Our new President-Elect-Elect said a few brief but gracious words that confirmed in everyone’s mind that we’d found the right person for the job.
Sargent-at-Arms John Lemmon proceeded to welcome our honored guests, after which President Susan introduced the head table.
She then called Horace Wulff to the podium to provide a heartfelt eulogy for recently departed member Doug Enoch. Joining us as a guest was Doug’s wife Sylvia. A few moments of silence were observed to honor a longtime member and a good friend. After the eulogy Larry Cassidy rose to honor Doug and to offer a gift of $1,000 in his memory to the Bud Lewis memorial fund.
President Susan then invited Michele Amaral to the podium to introduce our newest member Shadi Dizechi. Michele indicated that Shadi had recently completed her degree in accounting at Sacramento State University, but more importantly she was engaged to be married to her son! Everyone rose to applaud Shadi, welcoming her to our ranks.
President Susan then introduced Dee Hartzog as the meeting sponsor. Dee graciously donated her time to Mercy Housing California, yielding the floor to Mary Kelley of Mercy Housing. A summary of Mercy Housing’s mission and efforts on behalf of the homeless is available elsewhere in The Pulse.
It was time for a little wallet-loosening, beginning with Gary McDonald, who announced that Senior Gleaners and the Sacramento Food Bank were merging. Gary said that while the merger was a great development for both organizations and Sacramento generally, it meant he was out of a job! That didn’t stop him, however, from honoring the following people with donations of $100 each: John Lemmon for his assistance in working through the legal aspects of the merger, Diane Schachterle for tireless and energetic work on behalf of Senior Gleaners, and President Susan Sheridan for her past service on Senior Gleaners’ board of directors. But Gary wasn’t done! To top things off he donated $100 to the Children’s Toy Drive effort and $100 to the Centennial Bike Ride event. Thanks Gary!
Inspired by such generosity, the membership responded in kind. Steve Shiflett donated $100 in honor of his three high school reunions that were going on. Steve was an Air Force brat and went to high school in three different states! Paul Bystrowski announced that his insurance firm John O. Bronson had been sold to a national organization, and he donated $1,000 to commemorate that event. Paul Stone provided a check for $500 from the Rotary Rooters. Kiefie Breuer made a donation in honor of Doug Enoch.
President Susan then called Len McCandliss to the podium to introduce the Speaker of the Day, Mike Pereira. Mike was a long-time football referee for the Pac-10, and eventually the NFL where after two seasons officiating, became the Senior Director of Officiating in 2001 – 2009. He then joined Fox Sports to serve as the networks rules analyst for the network’s college and NFL coverage, a position he currently holds. As a final note, Len read a note from Past President Gary Kerns, a former Pac-10 football referee himself, said the best praise is from one’s peers and offered praise to Mike as someone who reflected the highest standards of officiating.
Mike began by offering his condolences to Sylvia Enoch for the loss of Doug, commenting on what an extraordinary life he led. He said his own life was blessed. He talked about growing up in Stockton and how he wanted to be a baseball player, playing American Legion in high school. After a particularly bad day on the field he asked his father if he’d buy him a coke and his father said he wasn’t worth the $.25 it would cost to buy it. While that stung it also motivated Mike to be really great at something. He tried minor league baseball but that didn’t pan out. He was attending the University of Santa Clara when he found his true passion. Short on funds he was invited to officiate pee wee football in E. Palo Alto. There were three games and was paid $10 a game. He said that experience gave him a shot of adrenaline like nothing else ever had, and he knew that was something he could be great at.
He eventually made his way to the Pac-10 and in 1996 the NFL. After he got the news he called the golf course his father was playing at and told the pro to have his father call him right away. When he told his father the good news that he had made it, all he said was, “Don’t make any bad calls against the 49ers.” It was later that Mike knew how happy his father was for him, his father said that when he went to the first tee after their telephone call he hit the longest drive he’d hit in his life.
Mike said he’d had his down times, among other things having to fight and eventually beat cancer. But that he was so happy to be back in California, in Sacramento which was always home.
After a few questions from the audience, including one from a former NFL player who complained about a “bad” pass interference call Mike called against him in 1996, the meeting was concluded. President Susan dismissed the membership admonishing everyone to remember to be “Good Rotarians!”