Joe Teehan                                                                                                                                                          

    Rotary Brass: Doug Cole, John Dunne, Brad Burdick & Del VandeKerk
Sara Maloney, Book Review   Del VandeKerk & Darin Rasmussen, Wildbird
                                              Service Fund Grant Presentation

August 23, 2021 


Book Review:

Sarah Maloney reviewed A Bad Case of Capitalism, by Shiraz Balolia

Shiraz Balolia is the founder of Grizzly Industrial, a Bellingham-based machinery and tool company with annual sales in nine figures.  This 287-page autobiography, published in 2020, was written in just five months.  It is a fast-paced, inspirational, and, at times, humorous story of a person with humble beginnings who built a world-wide empire through hard work, determination, and perseverance.

He dedicated his book to “the reader who has a dream” and says, “it is meant to energize young and older minds alike.” In short, captivating stories, he shares the personal journey of an immigrant from a third-world country who started with nothing, and eventually launched 29 businesses, 16 of which he still owns. 
Balolia was born in Kenya to parents of East Indian heritage, and left Kenya in 1972 for Vancouver, Canada.  He married his childhood sweetheart at age 20 and started his first company at age 23.  He founded Grizzly in Bellingham in 1983, moving here with his wife and two children, and gained US citizenship. 
In 1989, he launched Woodstock International in Bellingham to sell products to other dealers, and continued to expand, adding facilities in Pennsylvania and Missouri.  Today, he has 300 employees, more than 860,000 square feet of warehouse space, and offices in Taiwan and Shanghai.  The company headquarters remain in Bellingham.
At age 67, Balolia is not yet retiring, although he recently transitioned from president of his company to the less hands-on positions of CEO and chairman.  He is now able to spend more time on his hobbies of advance woodworking and world-championship shooting.
As the book’s back cover says, his remarkable story of romance, courtroom drama, failure and success takes the reader on a wild ride from India to Kenya to Canada to America.
Purchase from Village Books or Amazon $19.95.
Opening Welcome:  
President Peter Theissen rang in the meeting with a mighty swing of the mallet. He welcomed all to the 4,705th meeting of the RCOB, the 61st virtual and 7th in person since the pandemic. His invocation melded, if you will, the world’s major religions.
Club and Committee Announcements
1. President Peter Theisen: If we’re sick of being reminded about the opportunity to sponsor the RCOB website, now is the time to act.  Annual sponsorships cost $350.00. The rotating ad appears on the RCOB webpage and a link takes people directly to your personal business webpage.
2. Catherine Riordan informed the members that the Tattler committee is looking for a few more writers and editors. The qualifications are minimal (Grinstad has been doing it for years.)

Weekly Meeting instructions:

You will still receive an email from Sandee each week prior to the Monday 12:30 meeting if you are unable to attend in person (you can start logging in at 12:00 for short socializing) with the link for that privacy protected meeting.  If you have not done so, please download the Zoom app on your computer (you need a camera and microphone on it), iPad or phone.  There is no cost to you.  If you do not have either, you can also call in.  On the invitation, there are US phone numbers you can call and enter the meeting ID number also indicated on the invitation.  HERE ARE ZOOM INSTRUCTIONS.

Four Points is not requiring a Contract thru 2021 and need only 72 hours to cancel an event. We will continue to evaluate other locations for a permanent location.   Lunch will be $22 for a sit down meal. We must notify them by Wednesday at 4:00 pm each week prior to the Monday meeting as to the number of members attending.  We are sending out meeting “Invite's” weekly and members are asked to sign-up ASAP. You can also sign-up by going to the event section of our website at  If you sign up for a meal at the meeting, you will need to pay the $22 even if you don't wind up attending the meeting after numbers are turned in.  If you plan to attend but not eat, PLEASE indicate that on your sign-up so we don't overorder meals and still make sure there is enough seating. 

Four Points also will not collect the payment weekly, so the Club will collect payments prior to the meeting or at the door.

We urge members of the RCOB has set up a Venmo account for ease in payment of Meeting lunches, Happy Bucks, Minister of Fun, Dues or donations to the club.  Our account is @RCOB-Bellingham.  If you do not have a Venmo account you can set up an account with your computer then download the app. on your phone (just Google "Venmo" and you will find all the information you need)  You then attach it to a debit or credit card (a fee on your end) or attach to your checking account at no cost.  Payment will be sent directly to the RCOB checking account. When you use it for the first time it may ask you the last 4 digits of the RCOB phone number which is 0282.   Give Sandee a call if you need help.  360-734-5532

Other payment options are to bring a check in the correct amount to the meeting made out to RCOB or cash in the exact amount to speed up the payment process.  There is also the PayPal option as usual and we are set to take payments at the meeting.  We have a QR Code that you can simply click on to pay thru paypal also.

Website and Phone App instructions:
Here is a tutorial on how to login for the first time.  (Click here)  In order to login you need to know your user name and password in your Clubrunner account.  The user name is Yourfirstname.Lastname.264 unless you have changed it.  Example: Sandra.Lindhout.264  The password is initially set by Clubrunner at 264 unless you have changed it.  Sandee can see your Username from my computer but not the password.  She can also change your password for you from her computer at your request if you run into problems.
Once you have originally created your User Name and Password you can download the ClubRunner Mobile app on your phone:                                                             
Here is a link for you to take a look at the app:

Please contact Sandee at 360-734-5532 or if you run into any trouble.
For Minister of Fun, John Moffat made us all relearn our national geography.
Dale Rings zoomed in from Arizona with member Chuck Snyder, along with former member Bob Brunkow.
Mark Knittel introduced Bellingham Bay Rotary member Mark Turner
Del VandeKerk introduced Wildbird representative, Darin Rasmussen, Director of Public Safety, Chief of Police at WWU
Other members who were on Zoom:  Monty McAllister, Jennifer Moehl, Robin Halliday, Kathy Hughes, Jodi Borelli, Scott Wallace and Frank King.
Presentation:  Service Fund Grant
Del VandeKerk introduced the first Service Fund Grant to Wildbird. Darin Rasmussen accepted the $1,000 grant and gave a short talk about the Starfish Program, which this grant will help to fund. The Starfish Program was created in Canada by five friends who wanted to make a difference by feeding hungry students. A student who is not hungry learns better. It’s a simple concept. Starfish was brought to Whatcom County in 2018. The program now involves Options High in Bellingham and the Blaine and Mt. Baker School Districts. It provides food to students on weekends, to supplement the Free and Reduced Cost breakfasts and lunches provided on school days. During the last, mostly virtual, school year, the program also provided food to food-insecure families on school days. 
Doug Cole introduced the speaker for the day, Joe Teehan, from radio station KGMI. Joe graduated from the University of Colorado in music – trombone playing. Since he couldn't make a full-time career from playing music, he started in radio and, by 1985, he had a talk show in Colorado. He was also a news reporter for the radio station. In 2003, he and his family moved to Bellingham. Employed by KGMI, he eventually became station manager.
The five stations in the Cascade Radio Group, KPUG, KGMI, KISM, KBAY, and KAFE are all owned by Saga Communications, a national radio network. Each station has a different format and different goals. For example, KISM is classic rock and KGMI is news/talk radio with a conservative bent. Joe stated that Saga has not dictated philosophy to the stations. So, the stations are all different, each appealing to a different part of the local audience.
Mr. Teehan solicited questions from the floor, which provided further information:
In the last two decades there has been a shift in radio, making it leaner and meaner. KGMI now has only three full time employees. This means that much of the coverage is created and fed to the stations by those who are making the news. There is little weekend local coverage. But Teehan stated that, at least, we don’t have remote personnel pretending to provide local coverage.
Joe stated that he believes that radio will stay relevant. It remains a question as to how long terrestrial radio (analog with radio towers) will be able to compete with digital delivery. He reiterated that Cascade Group’s strength is that it is local.
Final Announcement: 
Was not made. Prexy Peter mauled the bell and the meeting was over.
Covid Report:  
Covid report: Gary Goldfogel gave very sobering news today: 36 patients in the hospital, 14 in ICU, four on ventilators. These are the worst local numbers of the pandemic. He has a sense that there are more cases out there among the vaccinated (asymptomatic) and that may lead to a higher symptomatic breakthrough rate. Not an optimistic report...
August Rotary Anniversaries - Thank you! 
Brian Griffin
Member Since 1960
Steve Hager
Member Since 1988
Kelli Linville
Member Since 2011
Sara Maloney
Member Since 2018
August Birthdays
  • Robin Halliday
  • Ken Marzocco
  • John Pedlow
  • Debbie Ahl
  • Dave Blair
  • Lynda Hinton
  • Ken Culver
  • Susie Thomson
  • Cathy Buckley
Sep 20, 2021
Chris Kobdish - Way Station
Sep 27, 2021
Doug Ericksen, Washington State Senator
Oct 04, 2021
Beyond Net Zero Commitment, PSE's Clean Energy Implementation Plan and local clean energy projects
Oct 11, 2021
"Port of Bellingham 101"
View entire list
Upcoming Events
RCOB In-Person Meeting September 20, 2021
Four Points by Sheraton
Sep 20, 2021
12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
RCOB In-Person Meeting September 27, 2021
Four Points by Sheraton
Sep 20, 2021
12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
View entire list
Interested in being a sponsor?
Download the website sponsorship guide
Executives & Directors
President Elect
Executive Secretary
Vice President/Program Chair
Past President
Director/Vocational Service & Membership
Director/Community Service
Director/International & Youth Service
Director/Club Service & Meetings
Website Administer
Editor:  Steve Ban
Reporter:  Tom Grinstad
Invocation:  Peter Theisen
Greeter: John Pedlow & John Moffat
Raffle Sales:  Bob Morse
AV:  Mark Knittel 
Photographer: Mike Diehl
Music:  Rotary Brass "God Bless America"
Book Review:  Sara Maloney