President Norman S. Mitroff, Ph.D.
President Elect Joice Beatty
Secretary Jim Smith
Treasurer Warren Warner
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
Ombudsman Steven Ebersole
Fundraising Director Cindy Warren
Program Chair Donn Black
Sergeant-at-Arms Dick Gourley
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 Polly Keegan on Mar 05, 2015

Reporter: Cindy Warren
Speaker: Rev. Denise DeSimone, Author, Singer, Speaker and Ordained Minister. 
Denise shared her story of overcoming a diagnosis of Stage IV throat and neck cancer and a prognosis of 3 months to live and how she began her spiritual journey towards healing. 
Upon her diagnosis of cancer Denise knew she had to find unique solutions and think outside the box. That she had to "live for the moment". Instead of dwelling on what she did wrong, she made peace with her illness and put her energy into a loving place. She surrendered to cancer.
When confronting obstacles in life, she recommends the following:
1. Stop wasting your time beating yourself up. Challenges are opportunities to look inside and see what you are.
2. Bring more light in, so the challenges and baggage you carry have no more room.
3. Take a look in the mirror and see if you love yourself enough. 
4. Forgiveness is key.
5. At the end of the day, ask yourself:
  • Did I live?
  • Did I love?
  • Did I matter?
Just 22 months after being told she would never sing again, she sang the National Anthem to a sell-out crowd of 37,000 Red Sox Fans at Fenway Park. Her story is an inspiration to all. She is the author of the book  From  Stage IV to Center Stage.
Guests: Jordan Bentley, guest of Don Thomas. Dr. Bret Johnson, Susie Felder, Rose Ann Kronmark, Sara Hickman, Janice Berry- Griswold, guests of Cynthia Kee
Visiting Rotarians: Kathi Polachek
The Rotary Singers sang a rousing " For He's a Jolly good Fellow" to Dick Gourley for his amazing job of cleaning up the storage room. Thanks Dick.
Vocational Commercial: Rob Andreae -,Finance, Real Estate and Investment Consultant.
Rob is currently "retired" but has not stopped working for our financial community. He currently works for The Advisory Group, SF which helps non-profits in their investments. Rob's focus is on Napa Valley projects.
  • Joice Beatty announced the SHHS Ag Program Rib Feed on March 25 at Native Sons Hall. Tickets are $35. Visit for tickets an info. This is a great opportunity to support our local high school kids.
  • Warren Warner apologized for sending out so many February bills. The LAST bill you got from him is the correct one.
  • Suzan Rada has fresh eggs to sell $5 a dozen
  • Norm Mitroff encouraged members to sign up the the Rotary Social for March 31.

Raffle: Ben Hill, Rod Ellis and Natalie Klug were the big winners.

Finemaster: Justin Meyers quizzed us on SF Giants Trivia

Bell ringers: Steve Yost thanked Rotarians for their support for helping him since his health issues started. Steve, you're on the mend!

Posted on Mar 03, 2015

Reported by Jonathan Hollister

Speaker of the Day:  Joanne Hatch, R.D., and Catherine Haas gave the club a presentation on healthy eating and diet facts.  We were reminded that, “The greatest wealth is health.” Joanne is a registered dietitian and has worked at SHNV for 18 years, she has 40 years of experience in the field of dietetics, and is currently the Director of Nutritional Services at SHNV. She earned a BS Degree from UC Davis in Dietetics and a Masters Degree in Clinical Nutrition from Rush University in Chicago. She taught the chef students at the CIA their nutrition course for approximately 3 years. A little known fact about Joanne: she tap dances in her spare time! (She’s not quitting her day job!)  Catherine Haas, the next generation of registered dietitians who received her BS degree from Pepperdine University, and recently completed her internship and MS degree at Tufts University in Boston. She has recently joined the staff at SHNV. A little known fact about Catherine is: she speaks Mandarin Chinese!

Thought of the Day: It came from Andy Bartlett who reminded us that Yogi Bera once said, “If you don’t know where you are going you will end up somewhere else.”

Visiting Rotarians: None.

Guests: Kerry Forbes, guest of Doug Ernst; Dr. Michael Cleaver, guest of Norm Mitroff; Jordan Bentley (former Rotary Youth Exchange Student 1998-1999), guest of Don Thomas.

Birthdays / Anniversary:  None.

Special Speaker:  Cynthia Kee gave a short presentation on her occupation as a reverse mortgage specialist.  Cynthia has over 30 years of experience in Real Estate Finance. She joined the mortgage industry working for FinanceAmerica, a subsidiary of Bank of America. Twelve years later, she started her own mortgage firm California Capital Group, which she ran for seven years before moving into the wholesale mortgage industry. Now, Cynthia focuses exclusively on Reverse Mortgages.


  • President Norm Mitroff announced that the club will be sponsoring a fundraising event in May which will involve organizing some Rotarians to host a group of 6-10 people at their home for a gourmet dinner with wine.  The cost will be $100 per couple and Norm is looking for a few more hosts for this evening event.  Stay tuned for more details.
  • Susan Rada introduced Sharie Renault from the Calistoga Theater Company and treated the club to a brief performance of the upcoming play “Last Gas” which opens March 12 at the Calistoga Art Center, Fairgrounds Cropp Building, at 1435 N. Oak Street in Calistoga.  Visit for performance dates and ticket prices.
  • Kerry Forbes, guest of Doug Ernst encouraged all Rotary members to attend “The Peacemakers” benefit concert for trafficked children which will take place Friday, April 24 at 8:00 pm at the Lincoln Theater in Yountville.  Tickets can be purchased online at or call (707) 944-9900.
  • Cynthia Kee reminded all members to attend next week’s regular Rotary meeting to hear Reverend Denise DeSimone present to our club.  Denise is an author, motivational and inspirational public speaker, and workshop leader, with an extensive background in Interfaith Ministry, and a wide range of holistic healing practices. These healing practices include: Sound Healing, Reiki, Polarity Therapy, Reflexology, Shamanism and Process Therapy.  Denise's first book, From Stage IV to Center Stage is an extraordinary story of courage, strength and inspiration.  She travels extensively throughout the United States speaking and teaching.
  • Susan Rada announced that she will have more eggs for sale at upcoming meetings.

Raffle Winners:  Charlotte Williamson, Tim Doran, and Brad Bowles

Bell Ringers: 

  • David Moreland made another financial contribution earning a second Paul Harris.
  • Jack Neal attended the Daytona 500 in Florida and had a wonderful time.  He paid $22 to the Rotary Foundation.
  • Kelly Crane took our Youth Exchange Student David Jen to the Warrior game versus the Spurs.  He paid $20 to the club.​

Finemaster:  Roxanne Schaubhut quizzed the club about “Animals in Movies” trivia, stumping Justin Meyer; Cindy Warren and Mary Sykes.


Posted by Polly Keegan on Feb 04, 2015

Reported by Alan Galbraith

Speakers of the Day:

The speakers of the day, introduced by Rob Andreae, were two experts on Alzheimer’s disease, Laurie White, a specialist in dementia (and Rob’s sister-in-law), and Shelley Dombroski, the North Bay Regional Director (with offices in San Raphael and Santa Rosa) for the Alzheimer’s Association.  Laurie was first presenter.  She reviewed key points in the Association’s pamphlet, Know the 10 Signs, Early Detection Matters. The hallmark of the disease is memory loss disrupting daily life.  But there are other key indicators, such as “Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships” and “Missing things and losing the ability to retrace steps.”  Laurie showed a brief video with 2014 facts and figures.  The key statistics were that one in three seniors die with Alzheimer’s disease and two-thirds are women.  Alzheimer’s is the leading type of progressive dementia (Lewy Body Disease is second).  Shelley then followed on with a description of the resources available for help in the North Bay, including several fine treatment centers in the Bay Area.  She stressed that there was hope for the future; the science suggests that early detection before the disease becomes symptomatic may be key.  Shelley asked Rotarians to join a march against the disease in Yountville on September 12.

Special Speaker:
    Steve Carbone gave a short talk on his career as an advisor who helps clients work through financial problems, insurance, IRAs, and taxes.  He helps at multiple levels.  

Thought of the Day:
    Charlotte Williamson recited from Nelson Mandela: “To be free is not merely to cast one’s chains but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

    Dr. Ron Light, guest of Donn Black
    Lily Rada (just back from Bali), guest of mother Suzan Rada

Rotary Anniversary:
    Roxanne Schaubut
(one year)

Blue Badge:
    Ben Hill received his blue badge from President Norm Mitroff.  Ben stressed the importance of new friendships, and also that his superior at the hospital was looking for ways that hospital staff could become involved with Rotary.


    Suzan Rada advised that 45 had signed up for the Valentine Day dinner at the High School at 5:00 p.m., with wine at the Warrens at 4:00 p.m.
    John Muhlner advised that Margo Kennedy was coming along well.

Bell Ringers:
    Ted Bystrowski, in celebration of the Seahawk’s loss.
    Steve Carbone, in celebration of a weight loss.

Raffle: No prizes and hence no raffle.

Finemaster:  Matt Endriss took his theme from Super Bowl XLIX.  He went by table.   Examples: who were the announcers (from a list of possibilities), what special task fell on the designated home team (selecting the uniform colors); what was the half-time score, what was the name of the Patriot player who intercepted the ball at the goal line as time was running out.    

Posted by Polly Keegan on Feb 02, 2015

Reported by Jonathan Hollister

Speaker of the Day:  BEN CHOI, of Marin Clean Energy (MCE), California’s first Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) program.  MCE was founded in 2008 and began serving customers in 2010.  It now serves over 125,000 customers in Marin County, unincorporated Napa County and the cities of Richmond and San Pablo.  The Napa County Board of Supervisors recently voted to join MCE to give us all choices about where the energy we consume comes from.  Ben focuses on fostering strong relationships with MCE customers and community partners. Deeply engaged with customers, Ben is an excellent listener and problem solver. Ben strives to provide receptive and responsive customer service, and inclusive and collaborative community outreach. He is especially committed to engaging customers in Richmond, where he is a proud member of the community and sits on the Richmond Planning Commission. Prior to joining MEA, Ben worked as the Program Coordinator of a Demand Response program based in San Francisco. He is a graduate of Amherst College and an occasional online food writer. 

Thought of the Day: It came from Father Mac.

Visiting Rotarians: Gopal Shanker of the Calistoga Rotary Club.

Guests: Kathy Polachek; Lee Gustafson, past Rotary president and guest of Joice Beatty; and Dr. Steven Sunceri, guest of Donn Black.

Birthdays / Anniversary:  Ron McGowan 45 years club and wedding anniversary.


  • Charlotte Williamson would like as many Rotarians as possible to attend the club community service event at Wappo Park with the St. Helena High School Interact Club from 1-3 pm, Saturday, January 31.  We will be planting trees, shrubs, and native grasses to improve the park.
  • Suzanne Rada reminded the club members of the Valentine’s Dinner Party on Tuesday February 10th at the St. Helena High School.  The fee is $30.00.  Please join us at the St. Helena High School Culinary Arts Building for a delightful Valentine’s dinner prepared by the students in the Culinary Arts Program.  Tours of the new buildings will begin at 5pm followed by dinner at 6 pm, and entertainment immediately following by the Jazz Choir.  Food will include appetizers, organic turkey dinner with roasted veggies, and dessert.  No alcohol will be served at the dinner.  We will be dark that day for our regular Rotary meeting.  HOWEVER, a pre-dinner cocktail hour will be held from 4pm to 4:45 pm at Cindy and Jeff Warren’s house at 1317 Allyn Avenue.  Please bring a bottle of wine to share.  Come and share a glass of wine with your fellow Rotarians before the tour and dinner.
  • Joice Beatty is looking for the get well card the club signed last week for Margo Kennedy who is still recovering from illness and is missed by all club members.  Let’s find that get well card and give it to Margo ASAP.
  • Cynthia Kee reminds all members not to move the dishes down the table until the Raffle portion of the meeting begins to minimize noise and interruptions of club business.
  • Joice Beatty told the club that members may comment on the food service by leaving written comments in the box at the end of the catering table.

Raffle Winners:  Dave Brotemarkle and two other club members.

Bell Ringers:

  • Ron McGowan is celebrating a 45 year wedding and club anniversary.  Donated 45 dollars and offered to match any other member’s donation of 45 dollars.
  • John Muhlner was proud to announce that his son, Greg Muhlner (former Navy Seal) recently ran a half marathon in Florida and came in first in his age class (43 years) and also 11th place overall among a field of 5,000 runners.
  • Father Mac announced that he was awarded Citizen of the Year by the St. Helena Chamber of Commerce at their “Celebrate St. Helena” gala on January 24.  He noted that
  • John Sales and Lee Christianson played key roles in his success and donated $50 to the Paul Harris Fellowship of each of them.

Finemaster:  Christine Hayne fined Natalie Klug and Paul Dean despite their correct answers; and fined John Muhlner and Charlotte Williamson for their wrong answers to current events reported in the Wall Street Journal.

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