Today's talk on "My 3 Things in Life" was delivered by Steven Weitzen, who has been selected as the District Governor for 2020-21. His key points were as follows:
  1. Rabbi - In his early days his rabbi influenced into community service and that has changed his perspective on life immensely.
  2. Attorney - He said he has represented over 2000 clients throughout his career and that has impacted his life to know that he has served so many people and helped them in various challenging issues.
  3. Rotary - Joining Rotary has fulfilled his passion in life of serving the larger community. His trip to El Salvador to help the under-privileged people taught him many things. His selection to the District Governor role has been a great experience. It has been a major learning process and he has enjoyed it a lot.
 
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Update on events after Bocce:
Susan Hennenfent and other key members gave a brief update on the large set of tasks that happens once the Bocce event is over. Members don't realize the amount of work that happens in the background. Final Bocce wrap-up committee meeting below. Wonder why Charles is missing here :-). Great picture Charles!
 
 
  1. Jon Fish tallies all the money and prepares the profit-loss sheet.
  2. Jon distributes the monies that go to the various beneficiaries - almost 40% to the top 2 beneficiaries.
  3. Charles follows up to do the press releases and other PR activities.
  4. Thank you letters have to be mailed out to all the sponsors and people that made $50 and above donations.
  5. Susan mentioned that the biggest challenge is getting all the proper addresses of all the donors and auction items.
  6. Auction committee tallies all the collections from raffle, ships out any auction items, prepares reports for Jon, etc.
  7. Bill mentioned that the new format of Bocce+Beer did please many people and it went well.
  8. Malcolm reminded everyone that the target is to reach $100K in net within few years and that he will chair it until that time. He added that this year the net was $41k.
  9. Molly added that we need more members to carry out a huge event like this.
 
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The BIG Idea:
Next, we had our main speaker talk about "The BIG Idea". Chuck Samuelson, Founder and President of Kitchens for Good, has spent a lifetime in the food service industry as a chef, restaurateur, and consultant. Chuck started his career as a dishwasher at 13 and rose to Executive Chef and Restaurant General Manager in his late twenties. He has owned award-winning restaurants, a catering company, been a Hospitality Consultant to top San Diego restaurants, and served as the Senior Manager for Food Services at Stone Brewing Company. And one interesting fact about him is that he was born and raised on an Indian Reservation in NE Montana and he is a mixed race Native American Mutt.
 
 
Chuck said that at Kitchens For Good they primarily hire felons that are looking to get back into society and train them to be chefs so they can have a good life and give back to society. All they hear in the kitchen is "Yes Chef" and "No Chef" :-). They train to become good in culinary and go out to work at various restaurants.
 
When he was at Stone Brewery, he realized that he was no fulfilled and not happy at the job. He saw lots of food go to waste every day. Statistically, it seems, a single broccoli needs 5.1 gallons of water to grow and an orange needs about 13 gallons! So, he used to cringe seeing all that food go to waste - almost 40% of the food is wasted. That's how "The BIG Idea" started about 3 years ago. One of his goals was to eliminate hunger, but that was not the main goal. The key thing was that he wanted to create jobs & hence trained people in culinary. He wanted to get felons trained since he saw that once those felons are trained the recidivism rate was just 4% compared to other training where the rate was much higher and these felons go back to their bad deeds.
 
At the school the trainees learn "life" and "knife" skills and graduate with jobs in hand. They have already graduated 190 students in the past 3 years and all are employed somewhere. His goal is to hit 500 graduates each year. One of his classic story is about a a student "Yacca", who graduated and was hired as a chef at a winery. Soon he had to fill the shoes of a Sous Chef and seeing his performance he was soon moved into the Executive Chef role. The organization also gleans food from framer's markets and uses those "not-so-perfect" fruits and vegetables to cook food for the hungry.
 
Just two weeks ago they partnered with Chef Works and hosted their first fund-raiser and raised almost $50K. They had any celebrity chefs come and make gorgeous entres and appetizers from wasted food! It was an amazing success and the students also learned a lot from this experience to work with celebrity chefs. The students feel good that they are finally feeding others.
 
His primary needs at this point are to open more kitchens that trains more students by creating a safe place for these felons in their lives. He said that right after his Rotary talk he has to go and preside at a graduation event where his Class #13 is graduating.
 
 
In the end DMSB "acting" Club President Charles Foster presented the speaker with the imaginary Joshua certificate that represents our club DMSB donating school supplies to schools in Malawi in the name of the speaker.
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