Rotary Club of Westlake Village Sunrise


Sep 05, 2014
Eric Rolph, Jim Wisdom & Jim Vaughn
Our Own Runners Gone Wild!
Sep 12, 2014
Casey Galang, Pres Rotaract Club of Conejo Valley
The Twilight Zone: Rotaract Runs the Meeting
Sep 19, 2014
Brent Reinke
What I Learned at Base Camp
Oct 17, 2014
Mike Velthoen
Up in Smoke?
Oct 24, 2014
Myra Plascencia
A Marine's Life Beyond the Battlefield
Nov 14, 2014
Emmanuel Itier
Buckle Up for The Invocation

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RYLA Coordinator
Family of Rotary
Interact Advisor

Club Information

Service Defines Self

Westlake Sunrise

Contact us: 805-341-1305

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


Everyone loves exceptional live entertainment.  This week, Angela Wolcott, Artistic Director of the new nonprofit will talk about Of Note Productions, which seeks to provide the people of Ventura County special event performances by the most notable contributors to Broadway, Off-Broadway, and the NYC Cabaret.  They are committed to enriching the cultural life of our community by providing high quality performances, elegant receptions celebrating the artists, as well as educational events that will inspire and engage local playgoers and students of all ages, providing opportunities to learn from those at the very top of their field. Their first concert is coming up October 10th and stars Tony Award Winner, Faith Prince.


This speaker is ideal for sharing with those you know.  Please take the time to invite your guests to our meetings this week and next.


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

October 6! Our Club's 28th Annual Golf Tournament and 1st Annual Poker Tournament at the North Ranch Country Club! Promises to be an awesome, fun filled day! Members: Secure sponsors, bring golfers, round up poker players, solicit for auction items, sell golf ball drop tickets and then get ready to have a BLAST! Proceeds to benefit our Club's local, national and worldwide charities! Get involved now! Green fees, golf ball drop tickets and buy ins can be purchased at either or

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!



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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.

In their hands! 7/25/14: District Governor Loretta Butts, pictured here with our President Greg Patterson and members Michael Ramakrishnan and Saleem Saleem, paid a visit to our Club last Friday morning and gave a heartwarming program about her "Rotary Moment". DG Loretta joined the Rotary Club of Atascadero back in 1994 and since then has served on several o f the club's boards and as Treasurer and Rotary International Foundation Chair. In 2001 she was instrumental in the charter of the Rotary Club of Templeton and served as its Charter President from 2001-2003. But it wasn't until she later traveled to Nigeria to assist in a polio eradication NID trip that she revealed to us, that's when she had her "Rotary Moment"! DG Loretta has also served on the District Level as International Service Chair, STEPS Chair, Assistant Governor and GSE Group Coordinator. It was a riveting presentation from DG Loretta and at the end she gave President Patterson her "world" gift. We are so honored to have you as our District Governor, Loretta, and thank you so much for your wonderful visit despite the fact that you're a "SF Giant" fan!

Sunrise last Friday morning evoked beauty, fun and a photobomber. Pictured here are the angelic twosome Terry Moerler and Evie Greene, wise guys Jim Wisdom and Tom Waite, and the dashing pair of Saleem Saleem and Greg Taylor; and, of course, our Club photobomber, the dapper Greg Kaapuni pictured here twice! Guests for last Friday's meeting included Chris Blanton (Merrill Lynch) guest of Alan Lederman;Ross Budrakey (Forsberg Enterprises) guest of Michael Bonilla; Eric Arbuckle (Merill Lynch) guest of John Newhouse; Cole Groszewski (Core Business Consulting) and Ben Pace (Paychex) both guests of Ron Yamashiro. Thank you guests for coming!

7/18/14: Wonderful to have Elliot Laurence back for a second time to present his fun and humorous program to our Club. Elliot is the founder and director of "Mind Mavericks" where the organization of thoughts create higher thinking and consciousness with his website: providing humorous and fun brain challenges that increase the use of brain and creative imagination. Elliot gathered together a few of our Club members to try these exercises where grunts, snorts and whistles could be heard but never did it create higher thinking! Thank you Elliot for a fun presentation!

Guests included Arlen Smith (John Grace) pictured here with Saleem Saleem; Nguyet Au who works for Terry Moerler and Ray McCarthy; Shlomo Kimchi longtime friend of Jacob Castroll; Ben Pace and Cole Groszewski (Ron Yamashiro); Eric Arbuckle (John Newhouse). Thank you all for coming!

7/11/14: "There's a new sheriff in town" and his name is Gregory J. Patterson, Club President! Ringing in the new year, our Commander in Chief, performed remarkably under stress during his inaugural meeting! From the time he "gonged" the Rotary bell to start and all the way to the end when he had us "sing" the 4 way test, Greg ran the meeting with "fist pounding" enthusiasm and not once did any member walk out of the meeting! "Light Up Rotary" is the Rotary International Theme and "Service Defines Self" is our Club's theme announced by Greg. "How will YOU define yourself this year with our Club" asked Greg as well as "show me whatcha got" as he rallied members to commit to an Avenue of Service committee and/or Club fundraising event for this upcoming year. Guests included "Snow White and the 5 dwarfs" pictured here with Club member Nadine Rothermel as Assistant Governor surrounded by Greg's fellow Group 4 Rotary Presidents:  Ray Taylor, Westlake Noon; Patrick Miller, Newbury Park; Nate Harimoto, Thousand Oaks and Mike McDermott, Conejo Valley. Other guests included Greg's wonderful family (pictured here): wife, Lorelle and sons, Willem and Harris; David Lunn (guest of Jim Wisdom) and Eric Arbuckle (guest of John Newhouse). Congratulations and best of luck to our NEW president Greg Patterson!

What a year! Our fearless leader, John Newhouse, held his last meeting on Friday, June 20 and then enjoyed a well deserved demotion party last Friday, June 27. At his last meeting, John honored his wife Wendy for all of her support during this past year; as well as, handing out "perfect attendance" pins to those members that have not missed a meeting or makeup during his year. On hand for last meeting were guests Sue Lindeman (pictured here with Margo White and Terry Moerler) who received an "Outstanding Community Service Leader" award from our Club and our dear friend Bob Brown (pictured here with Gerry Breitman). Then it was on to John's Demotion Party day which was held last Friday and started out with a round of golf at Westlake Golf Course and ended with a blast of a party held at the Sheraton Hotel. Thank you to all that helped out with the Demotion Party! And here are the final numbers for the year 2013-2014: $49,600 net profit from our two big fundraisers, the California Jazz and Wine Fest and our golf tournament; $13,000 in Club member donations to The Rotary Foundation; $36,722 given to 44 different Community and International projects from our Club; and 35 community and international projects that Club members participated in. Thank you John and thank you members for a FANTASTIC year!

Wonderful and informative presentation by Gilbert Simoni, MD (pictured here with our very own GERD, Jim Eckley) who treats patients with GERD or Chronic Acid Reflux with an incisionless solution. TIF (Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication) treats the underlying cause of GERD by reconstructing the valve between the esophagus and stomach to ensure that stomach contents do not reflux back into the esophagus. Pretty cool stuff, eh? Doctor Simoni's company, Advanced Gastroenterology Inc., is located here in Thousand Oaks. Thank you Doctor for a great program! Other highlights from last Friday's meeting included our Club's donation to the Dreamcatcher Playground at the Old Meadows Park in Thousand Oaks. Pictured is our President John Newhouse giving check to Ron Block from the Thousand Oaks Sunrise Club who is heading up the park project. Also, Alan Sworski gave the greatest praise anyone could give to a friend...a Paul Harris Fellow that went to his good buddy and past business partner, Richard Linsday. And finally, checks were given out to our Non Profit partners from the California Jazz and Wine Fest and included Bob Bland and Debbie Leon from Conejo Compassion, Charlotte Stehlik from Leonis Adobe Museum, and Susan Murphy from Conejo Free Clinic. Thank you so much to these partners that participated in selling tickets to our CJWF!

what a tale my thoughts could tell! What an unbelievable program last Friday! Carl "The Mentalist" Christman (pictured here with "once skeptic but now have no doubt" members Saleem S and Ron Y ) entertained our members with his remarkable skill of reading minds! He's for real! Just ask Saleem, Ron, Alan Lederman, Eric Gilbert and all the other members that were there! Carl, once a University psychology professor, has now become a remarkably popular entertainer at various venues and colleges across the country, where audiences marvel at his ability to get inside their minds. Simply amazing presentation! Thank you, Carl! Friday's guests included Christy Manning's best friend, Keyna Binder (pictured here with Christy and Margo White) and her husband Joshua Binder; Christina Cox (John Newhouse guest) and Peter Diaz (Jim Wisdom guest). Also in the house was the beautiful Gail Cunningham, guest of Ron Cunningham as they celebrated their upcoming 60th wedding anniversary with us! Thanks to all guests for coming to our meeting! 

Eye opening program at last Friday's meeting from Jonathan Fraser Light (pictured here with Ralph Gould), attorney from LightGabler, a law firm that specializes in employment counsel and litigation, intellectual property and unfair competition. Jon spoke of alarming employer/employee issues in the workplace as well as nerve-racking classifications of independent contractor versus employee and exempt versus non exempt employees. There is a massive maze of employment issues that employers have to navigate through. LightGabler guides, advises and counsels employers to insure there are no labor violations or potential employee litigation matters. Thank you to Jon for a great presentation! Guests for Friday's meeting included Kelsey Wisdom, daughter of Jim (who received his gold badge at this meeting!); Sharon Renshall and Carol Freeman, both members of the Thousand Oaks Rotary (Carol is President); and, Chris Newton (guest of Michael Bonilla).

SOLD OUT! HUGE SUCCESS! BIG HIT! JACKPOT! What an incredible event put on by our Club yesterday at our 3rd annual California Jazz and Wine Fest. 1,500 attendees partying, 80 volunteers working, 25 sponsors participating, 14 wine vendors pouring, 14 food vendors serving, 12 marketplace vendors selling, 4 breweries flowing, 4 awesome bands playing, 1 beautiful day with temps in the 70s (thank goodness) and only 1 reported police code 240! It was one of the biggest fundraisers our Club has put on! You should all be very, very proud of this historic Club accomplishment and success! And it was because of all your HARD work! THANK YOU ALL SO VERY MUCH!

HERE IT COMES! THIS SUNDAY! THE 3RD ANNUAL CALIFORNIA JAZZ AND WINE FEST (also on "Upcoming Events" to the left)! Over $30,000 in sponsorships!The best wine and food vendors in the planet will be there! Less than a week to invite anyone and everyone to our fundraiser! It's going to be the EVENT about town! Don't be left out! Just click on the following link: to get info and tickets! Thanks to all that have worked so hard on this event. YOU, Mr. and Ms. Member, should be very, very proud of OUR event!

Thank you Chase Morrison for an inspiring and thought provoking program regarding exit strategies for those in business. Chase (pictured here with Barbara Grant) is a partner in the firm B2B CFO and has over 30 years of experience delivering accounting, management reporting, operational execution and financial planning expertise to business clients. Chase's program last Friday focused on "exit strategy" - a comprehensive plan to successfully exit your business with the key goal to help business owners reduce risk by converting illiquid assets to cash. We really appreciate having you, Chase, as our program speaker! Friday's guests included Kim Siegried from Paul Martin restaurant (pictured here with PE Greg Patterson), Sri Madhuji (guest of Kym Roncoroni), Dolores Layfield (guest of Michael Bonilla) and Nate Harimoto, President Elect for the Thousand Oaks Rotary Club. Thanks to all guests for coming to our meeting last Friday!

Powerful presentation last Friday by our very own Past President and "Do-Everything" member, Evie Greene (pictured here with Alan Lederman) as she talked about the wonderful program called PACE (Promise of Assurance to Children Everywhere). Worldwide, 60 million girls aged 6-11 are out of school each year. Over half a million women and girls are trafficked each year. Pace is at the forefront to educate girls in the poorest regions of the world to prevent human trafficking, increase their self awareness and economic opportunity and change their lives. Evie spoke of PACE's flagship school in Piyali Junction, India where over 200 girls are not only receiving an education but other life necessities such as meals and medical checkups. PACE is headed up by founder and President, Deepa Willingham who was a Past District 5240 Governor. Evie is on the road to drum up support and spread the word for her pal Deepa in bringing PACE onboard as an international project for the District and our Club. Thanks Evie for a great program!

Friday before last, a member with a black eye (see story below). Last Friday, a member walking around with a cane. Casualties galore at our Club. Gee, what and who's next? Welcome back Randy Strong! Pictured here with his beautiful and always supportive wife, Sandy, (and a fellow member trying to expedite Randy's recovery by offering him a morning glass of zinfandel) Randy is recovering from a complete hip replacement surgery and is quickly making his way back to full strength! He should be ready to play for the Lakers by next season! Besides Sandy Strong, other guests from last Friday included Dan Greene (former First Dude and husband of Past President Evie), Kim Kvarda from Paul Martin restaurant (Jazz and Fest sponsor) and Cindy West (guest of Jim Wisdom). Thank you to all guests for attending last Friday's meeting!

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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