President Norman S. Mitroff, Ph.D.
President Elect Judd Howell, PhD
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
Overall Director of Everything Joice Beatty
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 on Nov 11, 2014

Reported by Alan Galbraith

Speaker of the Day:

Tessa Kelly, briefly introduced by Andy Bartlett, returned to show her photographs from her year abroad.   She organized her presentation by month.  It featured landmarks in her host city of Granada, Spain, with its Moorish influence, and also of the many places, near and far, that she visited during her year abroad.  It also included photos of her several host families.  Tessa’s year abroad concluded with a tour of Europe by bus with 30 students over 18 days.  This was the clear highlight of her presentation.  Amsterdam made a special impression on her, as did the leaning tower of Pizza  (“yes, it really leans”). 

Special Introduction: Joice Beatty, taking the place of President Norm Mitroff, recited the service of past presidents of the St. Helena Rotary Club, and then called upon member veterans to speak of their service.   It was a fitting way to honor our veterans on Memorial Day.

Thought of the Day: Matt Endriss quoted from Steve Jobs to the effect that craziness can lead to genius

Guest:  Mechele Manno, Dean of the Upper Valley Campus, Napa Valley College; guest of Roxanne Schaubhut.  


  • Suzan Rada reminded members of the Christmas Dinner on December 9; email invitations will be sent out shortly.
  • Joice Beatty reported on the status of sales of raffle tickets.  It appears that about 150 remain to be sold.

Club Anniversary:  Margo Kennedy (23 years)

Bell Ringers:

  • Alan Galbraith in appreciation for the voters of St. Helena.
  • Jim Smith in commemoration of his start on a new novel.
  • Matt Endress in celebration of a weekend in Seattle with his father.
  • Steve Ebersole in appreciation for a guitar concert in Portland.

Finemaster: Dick Gourley chose Rotary knowledge.  Suzan Rada provided an elegant response to why service above self was meaningful to her.  Mary Sikes showed no hesitation in naming our District Governor (Kevin Eisenberg). 

Posted on Nov 11, 2014

Reporter: Cindy Warren

Speaker of the Day: Rich Jacobson  " Social Security 2.0- the Key Features and Changes"

Rich returned to fill us in on recent changes to Social Security. Currently the SS Trust Fund is running at a surplus. In 2033, the surplus is expected to be gone and the system becomes a "pay as you go" system. Baby Boomers are retiring at 10,000 per day.

Possible areas for reform: 

1. Increase amount you pay on income ( currently $117,000)
2. Raise the retirement age.
3. Lower benefits for future retirees
4. Reduce COLA adjustments

Early SS Retirement: If you take SS before age 66 you will be penalized for making more than $15,720 per year (earning threshold). This penalty disappears if you wait until you are 66.  Waiting past age 66 increases your benefits, which max out at age 70. 

Spousal Benefits: Ex- spouses are entitled to SS benefits from their ex, even if the ex has several ex- spouses. All ex spouses can receive the benefits if they were married to the person at least 10 years.

Survivor benefits: Survivor gets most or all of deceased person's benefits. For more info go to:  to see what you benefits may be. 

Guests: None
Visiting Rotarians: none

A new Rotary Welcome song was led by Bryan Remer


  • Joice Beatty has Raffle  tickets for sale
  • Margo Kennedy filled us in on the new committee members process for electing a District Governor. An amendment is being considered to include a DG ( former or future) as part of the three random committee members. Our Club voted to oppose the amendment.
  • Cindy Warren asked members if they want to hand Xmas wreaths again this year on Thanksgiving morning. There will be a "wreath refurbishing" in the next weeks. 
  • Polly Keegan announced the Casino Royale fundraiser for Rianda House this weekend - Nov. 8th.

Club Anniversary: Polly Keegan - 11 years

Vocational Ad: Joel Toller, Real Estate. Joel has been selling real estate for 15 years. He stressed that NV real estate is not cookie cutter and the agents deal with many issues- wells, easements, etc. 

Fine Master: Ben Hill "winged it" and stumped the group on SH Hospital info.

Bell Ringers:

  • Kelly Crane  reinvented the 4 Way Test to reflect the "Light Up Rotary". He calls it the "4/20 Test"
  • Joel Toller has deviated septum surgery and his packing is being removed. Yea!
Posted on Oct 29, 2014

Reported by Alan Galbraith

Speaker of the Day:
Our speaker of the day was District 5130 Governor Kevin Eisenberg, introduced by Jim Riley, Assistant Governor.  Jim stressed Kevin’s background in education.  Kevin joined the Calistoga Rotary in 2000, and developed “Rotary zeal” through a service trip to Mexico.  Taking note of the décor, Kevin began by observing that he had never before given an address adjacent to a skeleton.  Kevin took his initial cue from the current president of Rotary, Gary Wong, a Taiwanese, who adopted the theme of “Light Up Rotary” - which was, in turn, inspired by Confucius: “Better to light a candle than curse the darkness.”  Kevin stressed the lighted candles around the world from projects undertaken by the 35,000 Rotary Clubs. Further, the reputation for humanitarian work has allowed Rotary to step in where others could not.  Kevin cited the example of mediating the end of a bloody civil conflict in Sri Lanka. Wong also wants Rotarians to have fun.

Kevin then turned to his own motto, “Pride and Joy of Rotary.”  Pride in what we accomplish; pride in fellowship; joy in from the act of service.  Kevin stressed that pride in Rotary meant that members should be wearing their pins.   You will then be called upon to answer why you have pride and joy in Rotary, You will meet people and receive invitations when you travel.  And, as the pin is a constant reminder of the four-way test, it will also “make you nicer.”  

Kevin concluded his talk with a review of the six areas in which Rotary International (the non-profit arm) works: eradication of disease, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, economic independence (sustainability), and world peace and understanding.   He called upon each Rotarian to be an active peace fellow.  

Thought of the Day: Father Mac, drawing on the work of a physician who helped solve the AIDS riddle, stressed hope and resilience.  

Great Table Settings: The fun ladies (Suzan Rada, Joice Beatty, Helen Hendricks, and Cynthia Warren) decorated our tables in delightful Halloween regalia, topped off by the skeleton next to the podium (see above).    
Special Presentation:  Doug Ernst humorously described his reincarnation as a media consultant following his career as a newspaperman.  He knows from experience how to get “stuff” in the paper (and Business Focus in today’s Napa Valley Register featured an Ernst-inspired photo showing the effervescent and always smiling Cynthia Kee raising a toast in celebration of Kelly Crane’s thirty years as chief investment officer of Napa Valley Wealth Management. 

Visiting Rotarians:

  • Tom Tanaka, from the Napa Sunrise Rotary Club
  • Jim Riley, from the Napa Noon Club and Assistant District Governor
  • Kevin Eisenberg, District Governor
  • Felipe Bittencourt from a southern Brazil Rotary Club
  • Tatiana Bittencourt from a southern Brazil Rotary Club

Club Anniversary: Ted Bystrowski (three years)


  • Joice Beatty continues her crusade to sell raffle ticket.
  • President Norm Mitroff moved up today’s cocktail hour at Goose & Gander with the District Governor to 4:00 p.m. (not anticipating the early inning 8-0 disaster that would come the Giants’ way).

    Bell Ringers:

  • Kathleen Patterson, in honor of a winning Giants’ outing.
  • Kelly Crane, in recognition of Doug Ernst’s great work in today’s Napa Valley Register (see above)
  • Ted Bystrowski, for the benefit of the Polio Plus program

Finemaster: Once again, the Giants provided (most of) the subject matter.  Finemaster Mike Thomas reached new levels of obscurity – including one deviation, which was a guess as to his age on his current birthday.  (Your reporter will give away the secret next year, especially if Mike is slowing down on our Sunday bicycle ride.)

Posted on Oct 24, 2014

Reported by Alan Galbraith

Speaker of the Day:
Our speaker was Tessa Kelly, introduced by Andy Bartlett.  Tessa is back from Granada, Spain, where she spent her junior year.   Due to mechanical difficulties, Tessa could not illustrate her talk, which would have featured photos of architectural gems in and around Granada, a city that was ruled for centuries by the Moors and shows their influence.  Tessa turned her talk to her host families (wonderful), her school (not so great), and her fellow exchange students (fabulous).  She recounted her arrival in Granada, late at night and a day early, only to be ordered out of a closing airport.  The host parents pulled off a midnight rescue of weary traveller and luggage.  As for her school, well, it felt more like a jail, with fencing and controlled entry.   The class day consisted of three lecture classes, lunch, and three more lecture classes, mostly in place.  The Spanish girls did not seem much interested in interacting with the exchange students.   The exchange students, in turn, bonded – and this made for a great year.  Tessa responded that she was “from California” (highly regarded); one of her American colleagues responded “from Colorado” (a close second to California); the remaining American was “from Nebraska” (what?!).  Two students from Scandinavian countries rounded out the exchange contingent.  Tessa enjoyed the Spanish lifestyle – including great food at home, the siesta, and weekend partying.

Thought of the Day: Mary Sikes recited a teaching of the spiritual leader Adyashanti: “Do not seek after you yearn for, seek after the source of the yearning itself.”    

Special Presentation: Kelly Crane described his work of thirty years standing as a wealth management advisor.  The crux is investment planning: aligning investments with goals, and engaging in rigorous periodic review.  Kelly also recommends diversified investment funds with allocations that seek returns at least risk.

New Member Induction: John Muhlner inducted Brad Bowles, Branch Manager, Bank of the West, into the Club.   Brad grew up in the Napa Valley.  He worked in a wide variety of position in the wine industry before heading into banking.   He has been in banking for ten years.   Brad recited the wide range of services offered by the Bank of the West.   He introduced his wife Deni.  They met over wine tasting.  They have two children.


  • Tessa Kelly and father Matt Kelly, guests of Andy Bartlett.
  • Kate Galbraith, guest of father Alan Galbraith
  • Brad and Deni Bowles, guests of Ted Bystrowski

Birthday: Alyssa Samrick

  • Joice Beatty advised that two-thirds of the raffle tickets remained to be sold.
  • John Muhlner announced two donations of the St. Helena Rotary Foundation: $1,000 to Clinica Verde in Nicaragua and $2,000 to the Vine (Bicycle) Trail.
  • Andy Bartlett announced the selection of Gabby Gomez as next year’s outbound.  Gabby became interested in videography at age 11 and her short documentary, My Darling Lea, will be shown at the Film Festival.
  • President Norm Mitroff reminded that our luncheon speaker next Tuesday will be our District Governor, to be followed by an after-work reception at St. Helena Bistro (Chef Israel presiding).

Bell Ringers:

  • Dave Moreland, in thanks for a safe landing with 29 million bees.
  • Mike Thomas, in appreciation of an extended European river journey.
  • Jim Smith, in wonderment at today’s “record-breaking” luncheon attendance.

Finemaster:  It is late October.  The Giants today start the World Series.  And, no surprise, Alan Fowler’s topic was Giants’ baseball!   For example, who was the Giants’ coach with the most regular season winning games?  How many years since Kansas City was last in the World Series?  [Answers: Dusty Baker and twenty-nine.]

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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