Rotary Club of Westlake Village Sunrise


Dec 19, 2014
Patricia & George Jones
Finding Freedom at Home
Jan 09, 2015
Sherlyn Pang Luedtke
Boost Your Effectiveness by Making Courageous Choices
Jan 16, 2015
David Biedebach
Abundant Energy
Jan 23, 2015
Linda Penalonzo
End Malaria NOW
Feb 06, 2015
Terry Moerler
Navy Seal Academy Survivor
Feb 13, 2015
Dennis Koors
Win Life's Daily Endurance Events
Feb 27, 2015
Jim Eckley, Don Martin, John Grace
Stock Market Crash 2015? What's a Poor Investor to Do?
Mar 06, 2015
Mar 13, 2015
Amy Stec
Maintaining a Healthy Diet in Today's Busy World

Upcoming Events


Executives, Directors, and Chairs

Past President
Club Service
Youth Service
Community Service
The Rotary Foundation
International Service
Youth Exchange
Public Relations
Rotaract Advisor
RYLA Coordinator
Family of Rotary
Interact Advisor

Club Information

Call for more info - Jon Morse 805-341-1305

Westlake Sunrise


Fridays at 7 am
North Ranch Country Club
4761 Valley Spring Drive
Westlake Village, CA  91362
United States
District Site
Venue Map

Home Page Stories

This Friday is our Holiday Celebration with seniors at the Goebel Senior Center (1835 E. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks) starting at 7:00 am. This is our annual holiday party that features our Club celebrating with seniors and includes a delicious breakfast buffet catered by Cisco's Restaurant, ensemble of holiday songs beautifully performed by Newbury Park High School choir and maybe even a visit from Mrs. Claus! Be sure to join us for what promises to be a "Ho Ho Ho" lot of fun at the Goebel Senior Center this Friday and make sure you don't go to our usual meeting place!

Louis Celaya, Deputy City Manager, City of Agoura Hills and chair of the Conejo/Las Virgenes Future Foundation (CLVFF) was our guest speaker at our Friday meeting, November 21. Wonderful presentation by Louis talking about the CLVFF which is a non profit organization dedicated to studying and shaping the future in the Conejo/Las Virgenes region. CLVFF anticipates community needs and initiates projects and programs to meet those needs. CLVFF members include innovative and visionary leaders from our community. Louis spoke of various popular programs including an annual Health Expo, sponsoring the Senior Congress and Youth Leadership program. CLVFF is involved in more than 100 projects dealing with all kinds of education, arts, housing and environmental issues. Thank you so much for a great program Louis and because you're a big USC fan, a special thanks from the UCLA members of our Club!

Thanks to having a terrific Club leader even though he is a "Giant" fan! Thanks to having two outstanding Club fundraisers with proceeds to benefit various charities! Thanks to having purposeful Club events that give back to the community! Thanks to you and the members of Rotary Club of Westlake Village Sunrise for being part of the most caring, giving and fun Rotary Club in the world!
And for your entertainment, here's a hilarious short video that reminds us of how precious the "little ones' can be...



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The argument over the ages has been around the questions How was the world formed? and What is our purpose here?  Last Friday's speaker was producer, director and writer of motion picture films, Emmanuel Itier (pictured here with his entourage,Maria, Kathy and John), who entertained us with his presentation about his latest films "The Invocation" and "Femme Women Healing the World". Click on links below to see trailers of each film. Fascinating program as Emmanuel talked of his movie industry experiences and what inspired him to produce such extraordinaire films. Thank you Emmanuel for a wonderful presentation!

THE INVOCATION: trailer: film: password: InvocationNow

FEMME: trailers:
- password: FemmeLeFilm



Veteran's Day 2014. Here's a picture of our Club's veterans with guest speaker a couple of weeks ago. Michael Ramakrishnan, Greg Taylor, Mayra Placsencia (speaker) and Jacob Castroll. Thank you to our Club veterans for their services. Thanks to all veterans for all that they've done for our country!

Very poignant program last Friday delivered by Marine Corps Sergeant Mayra Plascencia and Outreach Coordinator at New Directions for Veterans. Mayra spoke of her intense and heroic years on the battlefields of Iraq, the difficult transition back to civilian life and the struggle to get the "back home" feeling. However, through the support of her family and fellow veterans, Mayra is now successfully reaching out to help and counsel veterans to cope with everyday life issues through her position at New Directions. Thank you Mayra (pictured here with our very own Club "Veterans" Michael Ramakrishnan, Greg Taylor and Jacob Castrol) for a beautiful presentation. We applaud you for your service to our country and we're so glad you finally found that there's "No Place Like Home"!

Over $50,000 gross proceeds was made at our 28th annual golf tournament and our first annual poker tournament on Monday, October 6! From the smooth registration of golfers, to the exciting scramble tournament, to the electrifying helicopter ball drop, to the delicious dinner and astonishing silent auction and finally wrapping up with the raucous poker was 14 hours of exhilarating Rotary fun and all for great causes! Many, many thanks to all the golf and poker participants as well as to our wonderful volunteers! For more pictures please check out our Club's Facebook page and Kenny Backers Photography link:

Guest speaker last Friday was Mike Velthoen, managing partner of Ferguson Case Orr Paterson law firm in Ventura, who masterfully delivered an informative discussion regarding medical marijuana issues in the workplace. "Cloudy" is the best word to describe the legal decisions regarding employer versus employee when it comes to drug use, positive tests and medical marijuana clearance. Mike also maintains a diverse practice in all aspects of business litigation, with an emphasis on trade secret disputes, intellectual property and employment law. Thanks to Mike for a great presentation! Speaking of drug use, one of Mike's biggest fan in the audience was some delusional guy wearing a "Giants" baseball shirt. This member (who purportedly claims to be our Club President) tried to persuade RCWLVS members to root for "his" team in the World Series by singing songs with the words "San Francisco" in it and waving his "swinging" watch in front of the eyes of fellow Rotarians! This type of behavior cannot be tolerated and more careful screening of those that join us for breakfast must be implemented!

"Sometimes it's best to shut up and just listen" is an excerpt from Rik Middleton's wonderful book called "Don't Look At Me In That Tone Of Voice". Rik was our speaker last Friday and gave us an insight to the world of "Visual Listening" which introduces an entirely new way of communicating and listening. Rik even showed some of his techniques in a "Blind Man's Bluff" game in getting Marilyn Lippiatt and Eric Rolph to focus on communication without being able to look at one another. Rik's mission is to help better understand the origins and fundamentals of human communication, both verbal and nonverbal. Rik's book was developed for hostage negotiators as well as for people in all professions to provide hands on learning experiences to better equip one for success in all types of interpersonal interactions. Thank you Rik for a wonderful and thought provoking program!

Guests last week included "new face" Aaron Stel (friend of John Grace) who probably ate his last "free" breakfast.  And it was also great to see some "young" faces that we haven't seen in a while. Nice to see Ron Brack with his buddy Bill Medley. Also, welcome back to "Startmeister" Don Martin!

Awesome and inspiring program last week Friday as Brent Reinke, attorney at the same law firm as Prez Greg, told us of his experience in climbing to one of the Everest Base Camps which reaches an altitude of 17,000 feet! That's higher than Mt. Whitney! Brent made the trek this past April at the insistence of his brother who has climbed to the base camps numerous times. Brent talked about the exhaustion they faced each day, the bland food they had to eat, the primitive toilets they had to use; but most importantly, Brent told us of the spectacular sights he experienced and the triumphant feeling of reaching his destination! Thank you Brent for a wonderful program and sharing with us your "bucket list" journey!

Welcome aboard new members Nancy Paul and Ben Pace! Greg Taylor, our memberhip chair, did the honors in inducting our newest Club members who shared their celebratory event with their family, friends and sponsors! Nancy runs the Three Wishes Scholarships organization and Ben is a consultant with Heartland Ovation Payroll and Core Business Consulting Inc. Congrats to both Nancy and Ben in joining the world's greatest charitable organization!

That is Casey Galang's "gang" was here at our meeting last Friday. Casey is the current president of Rotaract of Conejo Valley and she and fellow members Cynthia Montoya and Kara Hensley presented a wonderful program in sharing what their Club is up to this Rotary year. Rotaract is a branch of Rotary that includes "younger/professional" members from 18 - 35 years of age and keeps the "rift raft" out like Tom Waite and Eric Rolph from joining their Club.  Rotaract supports our Rotary Club along with other Rotary Clubs in the Conejo area by working in joint community projects such as My Stuff Bags and Backpack Project. They also go on an annual House Building Trip to Mexico where they and other Rotaract groups construct a house in one day! Thank you to Casey and her "gang" for sharing their wonderful stories and we wish them luck on their future charitable endeavors!

The Jim Wisdom/Jim Vaughn show came "running" through our meeting last Friday. Marathoners Jim and Jim each told us of their experiences running the New York Marathon in past years. Truly a remarkable accomplishment to not only finish one marathon but these two, combined, have run close to 15 marathons all over the nation! Unbelievable! Jim and Jim gave us a little history about the New York Marathon as well as training tips and the "why in the world" reasons they run marathons! Thank you to Jim and Jim for a great program! Guests last Friday included soon to be members Nancy Paul (John Grace) and Ben Pace (Ron Yamashiro). Our morning was illuminated with members Ralph Gould, Jacob Castroll and Nick Frankle all wearing colorful shirts (of course, Ralph chooses Bruin colors) and meeting fun included putting for $$$ with Past Prez John Newhouse giving it that "Trojan" try!

That's our wonderful speaker, Angela Wolcott, sharing a "cup of joe" with two of our esteemed members Bill Medley and Ron Cunningham. Angela spoke to our group last Friday about her non profit organization that she founded called "Of Note Productions" which brings the best of Broadway, Off-Broadway and Cabaret from New York to our community here. Premiere concert will showcase Tony Award winner Faith Prince one night only on October 10 at the Bellini Osteria in Westlake Village. Visit their website for ticket and organization information. Thank you Angela for your engaging program and we'll see you at the theatre!

8/22: President Greg, on behalf of our Club, handed a check for $1M (not really, but large sum) to Eric Rolph for the benefit of his and his wife, Julie's, non profit organization called Riley's Rescue. Named after their beloved daughter and Riley's passion for animals, Eric and Julie head up this organization that finds homes for homeless animals. Check out their next fundraising event on September 6 the "4th Annual Gala Under the Stars Event" on their website: Other "cool" meeting stuff included Ken Koors and Michael "Gotta Love That Tie" Bonilla receiving their "Gold" badges after completing their 26 step(not really, more like 3 step) "Red to Gold Badge" program. Congrats to Ken and Michael! Also, guests attending included: Roshni Dugar and Abriannah Aiken both Oak Park High students who along with our Club member, Nadine Rothermel will be chartering the Interact Club at Oak Park High School; Cathy Weinstein and Peggy G dropped in to talk about CASA of Ventura County and finally John Grace brought his friend Georgette. Thanks to all the guests for coming to our meeting!

Donnelly Wilkes, MD, a former Lieutenant Commander U.S. Navy came to talk to us about his days as a medic on his tours of duty in Fallujah Iraq. It was a fascinating and very emotional talk and one to really appreciate our military on the ground. Afterwards, a photo with our newest member, Eric Arbuckle and oldest member Jacob Castroll. Eric is a former marine and is focused on helping returning vets transition. Jacob just likes to be in pictures. Thank you Dr Wilkes for sharing your incredible story with us! Photos: Michael Zapf

Very informative program last week as our speaker Nancy Paul (pictured here with John Grace, Saleem Saleem and Nadine Rothermel), founder of Three Wishes Scholarships, told our Club members of the numerous "gems of opportunities" to get college scholarships! Nancy started Three Wishes Scholarships to help families develop a personalized game plan for money for college. Her new book, "The Little Book About Scholarships" is launching on Kindle on August 13 with ways to help as many students and parents save money on college. In attendance was Agoura high school graduate Mason King (pictured here with Jim Eckley) to find out more about scholarships and also our Rotary Student Exchange program. Thank you to Nancy Paul for her wonderful presentation and thank you Mason King for coming to our meeting!

On the heels of Feed the Needy, this past Saturday saw our Club tackle another community project, the Group 4 Backpack project.  This event provides backpack for many of the local school kids that are badly in need of a backpack and school supplies but can't afford one. Many of our club members along with other local Rotary club members dug in to help assemble and fill in these wonderful backpacks with supplies.  Thank you to Margo White for heading up the project, to Art Trek for hosting the event and to all of our hard working Club members for giving up their time on Saturday to help those in need!

Knud "Ken" Koors was our speaker last Friday and delivered an emotional speech about "Trust in America". Knud has been all over the world starting in Denmark, then Canada, then Iran and finally ending up in California. And Knud has done everything from being a butcher to selling cars to now working with Farmers Insurance. Great presentation Ken! Also at this meeting members welcomed new Rotarian Eric Arbuckle a financial advisor with Merrill Lynch and was a former Marine! Eric and his wife Tiffany have already stepped up in participating in our community projects (see below)! Welcome aboard Eric! In addition, Jim Wisdom, Knud and Josh Land received Paul Harris Fellows from Foundation chair Jacob Castroll. Congratulations to the new PHF recipients! Finally, we had an MMA brawl in the middle of our meeting with members Greg Kaapuni and Greg Taylor going at it! Or was it to see who had the best pair of legs??? 

7/29/14: "Feed the Needy"! Great turnout by our Club members to help feed the homeless at Calvary Church this past Tuesday night. Plenty of delicious and nutritious food provided and/or cooked by our members and spouses. Plenty of Club members and spouses on hand to dish out the flavorful meals. All to benefit the many local men, women and children in need of a good hot and fresh dinner. Thank you to all the members and their spouses that participated in this event and, of course, thank you to Michael Ramakrishan for setting up this worthwhile and beneficial community event.

So you are in another city or another country, and you think, "Hey, I sure would like to attend a Rotary meeting here so I can experience another club and make sure Randy has my make-up meeting recorded...but, where do I go?"  Or, maybe you are planning a trip and you want to add a Rotary meeting into your less than stellar itinerary and really want to spice things up! So, now you have help.

You can now search for a Rotary club with RI's free mobile app.  Available in the Apple App Store and the Android Market, you can download the FREE app called the Rotary Club Locator and it is from Rotary International.  The Blackberry version will be offered at some point in the future.

What will it do? 
  • The "Near Me" search locates clubs within a physical radius of 100 miles. (Note: Actual driving distances may be further.)
  • A keyword search for clubs. This search looks for the keyword in either the club name or meeting location address. This is useful for finding clubs that are outside of the 100-mile radius from your current location.
  • A map showing a club's location and driving directions
  • The ability to save search results to a list of favorite clubs
  • The ability to add a club to your phone's contact list
  • The club's website and primary phone number, if available
  • A search function to find clubs by district
Check it out and keep Randy happy.

Many people only know that you or so-and-so, belong to a Rotary Club.  What they may not know is what Rotary is or does on a larger scale.  Watch this space for different PSAs and stories to describe what the amazing organization of which we are a key part in helping locally and around the world. Watch our highlighted video and share it with people you know.  Give them your contact info in case they want to learn more! Rotary - Make a World of Difference 




Did you miss the recent District 5240 Grants Seminar?  Well, if you did, and you still want to learn something, look no further than what came through your mailbox.  On Page 61 of The Rotarian, you will find a handy reference and simplified explanation of Rotary's new Foundation Grants.  On July 2013, Rotary will launch their new grants model called Future Vision worldwide.  Take a moment to read up on the elements of this model and get familiar with it.


From the September issue of The Rotarian, here is an interesting little tidbit from In Brief:

Your genes
 may be responsible - at least in part - for how nice you are, according to the "The Neurogenics of Niceness," a study in the April issue of Psychological Science.  Researchers found that people who viewed the world as a threatening place were less likely than those with positive perceptions to help others - unless they had the "nice" versions of oxytocin and vasopressin receptors.  Genes determine which version a person has.

So, hmmm. Nibble on that one and ponder what hand you were dealt...Actually, I think our club members were born with the right jeans, genes in 'em.


As a Rotarian engaged in a business or profession, I am expected to:

1)    CONSIDER  my vocation to be another opportunity to serve;
2)    BE FAITHFUL  to the letter and to the spirit of the ethical codes of my vocation, to the laws of my country, and to the moral standards of my community
3)    DO ALL in my power to dignify my vocation and to promote the highest ethical standards in my chosen vocation;
4)     BE FAIR to my employer, employees, associates, competitors, customers, the public, and all those with whom I have a business or professional relationship;
5)    RECOGNIZE the honor and respect due to all occupations which are useful  to society;
6)    OFFER my vocational talents: to provide opportunities for young people, to work for the relief of the special needs of others, and to improve the quality of life in my community;
7)     ADHERE to honesty in my advertising and in all representations to the public concerning my business or profession
8)     NEITHER SEEK from nor grant to a fellow Rotarian a privilege or advantage not normally accorded others in a business or professional relationship.
 Thank you to Vocational Chair Jim Eckley for presenting this document. 





Of the things we think, say, or do...

1) Is it the TRUTH?
2) Is it FAIR to all concerned?
4) Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?



Rotary Club of Westlake Village Sunrise

P.O. Box 3846

Thousand Oaks, CA 91359



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