President Norman S. Mitroff, Ph.D.
President Elect Judd Howell, PhD
Secretary Jim Smith
Treasurer Christine Ramos
Past President John Muhlner
Community Services Director Charlotte Williamson
Vocational Service Director Rod Ellison
Club Service Director Suzan Rada
International Service Director Michele Neumann
RI Foundation Director Christine Hayne
Membership Director Ted Bystrowski
Public Relations Director Matt Endriss
Sergeant-at-Arms Dick Gourley
Overall Director of Everything Joice Beatty
Ombudsman Steven Ebersole
Fundraising Director Cindy Warren
Program Chair Donn Black
Greetings from Saint Helena, The Heart of the Napa Valley Wine Country!

Service Above Self

We meet Tuesdays at 12:15 PM

Native Sons' Hall

1313 Spring Street
PO Box 211
St.Helena, CA 94574
United States

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Posted by Alan Galbraith on Sep 11, 2014

Reported by Alan Galbraith

Presidential Reminiscence Day:  We were treated to reminiscences by former Rotary presidents Joice Beatty (1994-95), Rob Andreae 1997-98), Kathleen Patterson (2004-05), John Sales (2006-07), Chuck Meibeyer (2007-08), Wendell Laidley (2009-10), Kelly Crane (2011-12),y Margo Kennedy (2012-13), and John Muhlner (2013-14).  Joice recalled that she was the third woman into St. Helena Rotary; she was taking a fall for the sisterhood – if she did not join Rotary, others would not.  Rob recalled that the Club had about 60 members drawn broadly from the community, including local officials; the Club was the best way to become involved with the community.  Kathleen stressed how her attendance at the International Convention in Japan changed her perspective on Rotary.  Rotary was doing its part to promote peace in the word through its polio, cleft palate, and housing programs.  John, who had belonged to Rotary Clubs in Pleasanton and Napa and visited many in foreign lands during business travels, stressed that Rotary generally was helping people around the world, and, for him, that the St. Helena Rotary opened doors throughout the community, and led to his service on other boards.  Chuck joined Rotary for business connections but found that the real reward was in service.  Chuck noted that membership (94) during his term was high, and that much was accomplished, including the Centennial Part Project, which generated much participation and excitement.  Wendell recalled that the last Winter Ball was during his year, and that it was a great party.  Rotary introduced him to many fine people.  Kelly recalled the successful saloon night during his term but more broadly stressed his joy at meeting people from around the world.  He sees Rotary as a great opportunity because “one gets out of it what one puts into it.” Margo took pride in recruiting members without prior Board experience for the Club Board; she stressed both the opportunity for service and our great people.  John focused on the four-way test, and especially the importance of trust.  He singled out the Wappo Park Project led by Charlotte Williamson.   The remarks ended with President Norm Mitroff “pinning” the past presidents.

Thought of the Day:  Otty Hayne (an apocrypha): “Wine and women will make men of understanding to fall away.”

Visiting Rotarians: Tom Stimpert, president of the Calistoga Rotary Club.


  •  Louise Christian, guest/mother of Christine Ramos
  •  Inger Laidley, guest/wife of Wendell Laidley

Birthdays:  Gene Armstead, Margo Kennedy and Bryan Remer


  • Tom Stimpert urged attendance at an address in Napa on September 23 by the president of the Worcester MA Club.  He will talk about gaining new membership.
  • President Norm Mitroff announced that our September 23 lunch meeting would be dark.

Bell Ringers:

  • Charlotte Williamson in appreciation of her niece, who recently moved from her house to San Francisco.
  • Rob Andreae in honor of daughter’s Catlin’s marriage hours before the earthquake.

Finemaster: Jack Neal, with a fine selection on the history of Bocce.  For example, the first documented game was in Egypt around 5200 B.C. (from a painting in an Egyptian tomb).  Total number of balls: nine.   The state with the greatest recent rise in players: California.

Posted by Cindy Warren on Sep 11, 2014

Reporter: Cindy Warren
Guests: Vincent Traverso, guest of Dewitt Garlock
Announcement: Joice Beatty asked people to sign up to help with the Bocce Tournament, tentatively scheduled for next Spring. If you don't sign up, Joice will be happy to assign you to a job!
"Chick Magnet" Judd Howell has been involved with the local Rotary group in Crofton, MD during his work assignment  in MD. Judd gave us a detailed show of how he attracts chicks. He actually gets paid for running around in circles!
Raffle: Roxanne Schaubhut won the black marble.
Meeting was adjourned to the Club Assembly in the larger room. Committee Chairs presented info about their committees in hopes of getting more Rotarians involved in the club. Many members got lost in the building and didn't make it to the Assembly. We know they were anxious to sign up for a committee. No worry, we will find you!
Posted by Alan Galbraith on Aug 19, 2014

Reported by Alan Galbraith

Speaker of the Day:  Pam Simpson, CEO/President, St. Helena Chamber of Commerce

Jim Smith (a Chamber Board member) introduced our speaker of the day, Pam Simpson, CEO/President, St. Helena Chamber of Commerce.   Pam grew up in an agricultural community in downstate Illinois.  She first came to Jim’s attention in the tasting room of Chase Cellars where she impressed Jim with her “incredible” knowledge of the product she was selling.  Pam joined the Chamber in May 2011.  As CEO, Pam moved the Chamber from its old location to its new location on Main Street.  With this move, the number of visitors calling on the Chamber more than doubled, from 4,535 in 2011 to 10,024 in 2013.  Pam provided a whirlwind overview of Chamber operations and many activities.   She noted that the Chamber’s budget has increased from $300,000 to $600,000 in the past three years.  The City provides funds primarily to operate the Visitor’s Center.  This is about $110,000 in the current fiscal year.  In addition, the City provided this fiscal year an additional $50,000 to augment the Chamber’s budget for marketing St. Helena.

The Chamber is currently bringing in a consultant to define what is needed in the downtown for it to remain “vital.”  Pam wants the business community to embrace an economic vitality vision that it can then share with the City and the public for further discussion.  Pam stressed that St. Helena was far behind its immediate neighbors in TOT (hotel tax) revenue, but that St. Helena had recently authorized a significant increase in new beds (126, bringing the total to 331) that, when the projects come on stream, will improve significantly TOT revenue. Pam discussed “low impact tourism", and asked that we have an open mind about future Wine Train operations; if passengers could stay overnight, that could assist in helping occupancy rates in our hotels.  Pam closed with some “quick facts” about the Napa Valley, including that we attract nearly 3 million visitors, that 92% state they plan to return, and only 4% consider traffic to be a problem.   

Thought of the Day:  Otty Hayne, noting that harvest season was already upon us, recited a prayer for agriculture: “Bless those who are in the fields; give us seasonable weather, and grant that we may all share the fruit of the earth, rejoicing in your goodness.”


  • Matthew Gamble, guest of Ben Hill.  Matthew is the spiritual leader of the Haven, at St. Helena Hospital.
  • Keith Arnold, guest of Mike Thomas.  Keith works for the Nature Conservancy in Washington, D.C.
  • Alexa and Skye Hollister, daughter guests of Jon Hollister.


  • Andy Bartlett read touching letters from Mavi, our exchange student (now back home) from Sicily, and Tesa Kelly, our returned student from Spain.
  • Pam Simpson announced the Napa Valley Film Festival (November 12-16) and made note of the Clif Family Bruschetteria Truck (at Velo Vino, 790 Main Street)

Anniversaries and Birthdays:

  • Christine Hayne, one year Club anniversary
  • Michele Neumann, three year Club anniversary
  • Tim Doran, birthday

Bell Ringer: Andy Bartlett rang the bell for himself, Alan Galbraith, and Mike Thomas for their completion of a 35 mile Napa bike tour on Sunday.

Raffle Winners: Michele Neumann (no black marble), Wendell Dinwiddie, and Ben Hill

Finemaster: Michael Layne

Michael’s topic was Robert Louis Stevenson.  Wendell Laidley was on the top of his game: he identified that the great author’s favorite musical instrument was the finger flute.  Mary Sikes also did well: she correctly responded that Stevenson and wife spent their honeymoon in a silver mine bunkhouse.  Jack Neal also did well: he correctly identified Fresno (one out of five) as the one California City that Stevenson had not lived in.  Jon Hollister (no doubt aided by information in a prior question) correctly responded that Stevenson died in Samoa.

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