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
International Service Director Michele Neumann
RI Foundation Director Christine Hayne
Membership Director Ted Bystrowski
Public Relations Director Matt Endriss
Sergeant-at-Arms Dick Gourley
Ombudsman Steven Ebersole
Fundraising Director Cindy Warren
Program Chair Donn Black
Overall Director of Everything Joice Beatty
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 on Oct 15, 2014

Reported by Alan Galbraith

Speaker of the Day: Our speaker was Marielle Coeytaux, vigorously introduced by Donn Black.  Donn made note of Marielle’s diverse background, including that she was born in Tunisia, was raised in the Pope Valley, spent a year in Yugoslavia on an AFS scholarship, is a licensed pilot, a certified mediator and, pertinent to her talk, is the author of a treatise on bullying (La Malaise Francois).

Marielle entitled her talk “Stop Bullying in its Ugly Tracks.”  She began and ended her talk by stressing the importance of stopping children from bullying while they are young.  She divided her talk into three parts: first, she undertook to define bullying; second, she addressed the importance of eliminating bullying behavior; third, she addressed what can be done about it. Ultimately, Marielle stressed, bullying is a political act, based on “might makes right”; “I can take what is yours”; and “God gives me the right to be the author of your life.” The victim feels unworthy of respect and conforms his/her behavior to that which is demanded – and loses the language of the heart.  Marielle made her points through a thoughtful power point presentation, with far more to say than time allowed.  She hopes to give her complete presentation at the St. Helena Library.

Special Presentation: Gene Armstead described his work as a licensed professional fiduciary.   He handles the financial affairs of estates, of persons who are not competent to handle their own affairs, and of persons who do not want to handle their financial affairs.  This typically comes about through appointment as a trustee of a trust (which owns the relevant assets).  Gene is compensated on an hourly basis.  His principal source of referrals is attorneys.  

Visiting Rotarian:  Douglas Hitt, Calistoga Rotary Club.


  • Tony Allegra, guest of Donn Black.
  • Paul Coeytaux (father of Marielle), guest of Donn Black.

Wedding Anniversary:  Rob Andreae (36 years)


  • Cindy Warren explained the Rotary raffle: 500 tickets at $20 each, with first prize $500 of California Lotto Scratcher, second prize $200 of scratchers, and third prize $100 of scratcher
  • Suzan Rada provided initial details about the Holiday Party (December 9).​

Bell Ringers:

  • Ben Hill, in recognition that St. Helena rotary won the service club award at a recent golf tournament.
  • Charlotte Williamson, in thanks for a bountiful grape harvest.

Finemaster:  Joice Beatty’s topic: “Who has been paying attention?” She focused on Rotary issues, and generally succeeded in exposing deficient knowledge – with one clear exception: Wendell Laidley correctly responded that the date of the holiday party is December 9, 2014!

Posted on Oct 08, 2014

Reporter: Cindy Warren
Speaker: Dick Gourley  " Club Runner and St. Helena Rotary Website- Our Club Communication Strategy"
Dick and the newly formed PR Committee have identified problems with Club Runner and our external presence. Their goal is to "Develop and Implement an Internal and External Club Communication Plan". We currently have a revamped Twitter account and a Facebook account that needs input. 
  • The next steps involve: 
  • Development of a 3 year business plan
  • Focus on Community Service
  • Develop our "story" on the website and Social Media platforms
  • Train members on the process
  • Get members engaged and encourage them to evangelize the Club.
Any photos or stories/articles should be sent to Matt Endriss.  The new website is
Guests: Jenny Ocon, guest of Wendall Laidley.  Brad Bowles, guest of Christine Ramos. Pat Griffith, guest of Dewitt Garlock
Member's Vocational 90 second Ad:  Jon Hollister, Estate Planning Attorney.
Jon stressed the importance of having all your papers and documents ready and up to date. Jon creates trusts and documents, Wills, Durable Powers of Attorney, etc. He offers a free consultation and charges a flat fee. "Where there's a Will, there's a family fight". 
  • Pat Griffith told us about the Boy Scouts Wine, Food and Auction on November 1 at Charles Krug Winery from 3-7 pm. Tickets and tables  are available at
  • Norm Mitroff announced that our District Governor Kevin Eisenberg will be attending our Oct.28th. meeting. He encourages all members to attend the meeting.
  • Alan Fowler has no golf events planned but will try to get a group together in the near future.
  • John Muhlner attended the Interact meeting on Monday and filled us in on their projects: Food Drive; T-shirt sale; Raising money for Polio; Water Tanks. Interact meets every Monday  at noon at the high school. Rotarians are welcome and encouraged  to attend.
  • Polly Keegan announced Casino Royale, benefiting Rianda House on November 8th. ​
  • Gene Armstead announced the St. Helena Catholic School Auction at the CIA on October 18th.
Birthdays: Michelle Neumann, Cindy Warren
Wedding Anniversary: Gene Armstead- 24 years
Club Anniversaries: Diane Dillon, 27 years and Charlotte Williamson, 14 years.
Bell Ringers: Alan Galbraith announced the engagement of his daughter Kate. Congrats!
Finemaster: Matt Endriss
Matt shook things up a bit and gave members an opportunity to pick one of three subjects for $30 each: Earth Science, Sports- Baseball, or Undergarments.
Ted Bystrowski ( Earth Science) and Cindy Warren (Undergarments) answered correctly, but Ben Hill (Sports), Kathleen Patterson ( Sports)  and Norm Mitroff  (Undergarments) each had to fork over $30. I'd say Norm "got his knickers in a twist " with his incorrect answer!
Posted on Oct 06, 2014

Reported by Jonathan Hollister

Speaker of the Day:  Wendy Strachan from the St. Helena Farmer’s Market.  

The mission of the St. Helena Farmers' Market is to bring the finest fresh produce, crafts and other items and services to local residents and visitors, while providing a social gathering place and an educational resource for the community that promotes good nutrition and a healthy life style.

Thought of the Day: It came from Lester Hoel who reminded us in the words of Will Rogers to be “thankful we are not getting all of the government we are paying for.”

Visiting Rotarians: None.

Guests: Brad Bowles (Bank of the West), guest of Christine Ramos; Dave Stoneberg (St. Helena Star), guest of Doug Ernst; and Nicole Burkel (High School Classmate from Massachusetts), guest of Charlotte Williamson.

Birthdays / Anniversary:  Cindy Warren celebrated her wedding Anniversary

Craft Talk:  Ted Bystrowski gave a summary of his insurance business with offices both in Napa and St. Helena. Ted is an insurance broker at Malloy Imrie & Vasconi Insurance Services.  He has worked there since 2008 and is a fourth generation insurance broker looking for opportunities to become a valued partner with businesses and assist with their Insurance and risk management needs. Some of the insurance products and services offered include:  Property & Casualty Insurance; Workers Compensation; Commercial Insurance; Professional Liability Insurance.

Announcements:  Polly Keegan wants everyone to pay attention and turn out for the big Rianda House Casino Royal event coming on November 8 at the Charles Krug Carriage House.

Raffle Winners:  Guest Brad Bowles; Alan Galbraith and Matt Endriss.

Bell Ringers:  Ted Bystrowski gave $50 for the opportunity break out of his modesty and to promote the business side of Ted.Finemaster:  Christine Ramos went on the offensive with a variety of Rotary-themed questions hitting Jon Hollister, Polly Keegan. Jack Neal and Cindy Warren.

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!
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