WEEKLY BULLETIN • NOVEMBER 19, 2020
Thanks to his week's correspondent:
Toni Harper
Invocation: Jon Sampson
Flag Salute: Mike Chertok
 

Spoke Editor Profile:

Toni Harper
"We should be shining lamps, giving light to all around us." Catherine McAuley, the Foundress of the Sisters of Mercy and the sponsoring congregation of Mercy Hospitals of Bakersfield. 
 
__________________________________
 
The big news of the day is that our President, Ken Beurmann, was diagnosed with COVID yesterday and is under the weather. Sargent at Arms, Jon Sampson, did a splendid job filling in for him.  From the entire club, we are sending President Ken our best wishes for a speedy restoral of health! 
 
Guests:  Collin Snitchler, guest of Ken Beurmann.  Collin is new to the area and in the health insurance field.  Thank you for joining us!
 
 

New Members:

Jim Damian sponsored a couple of new members:
 
Molly Bussaca, the owner of Secure Systems, was welcomed as a new member.  A native of Bakersfield and graduate of the only high school in the community, Bakersfield High School, she attended USC and returned home.  She is happily married and the mom of triplets.  We are super excited to have her in the club!
 
Pat Paggi, CPA and partner at Daniells Phillips Vaughn and Bock, was welcomed as a new member.  He is a past president of the Breakfast Rotary Club as well as a member on many local nonprofit boards including the American Cancer Society, Italian Heritage Dante Association and Goodwill Industries.  Welcome and thank you for making us your rotary club of choice! 
 

Good news: 

Brad Barnes introduced his beautiful new grandmother to the club, Blair Barnes. What an angel!
 
The annual Bell Ringing to benefit the Salvation Army is still scheduled for December 11 at various locations around the city.  If you are interested in joining, please reach out to Dave Wheldon: mckenneys@gmail.com
 
Samy Abiaoui was excited to share that Mission Bank is receiving confirmation of forgiveness by the SBA for many of the PPP loans that were given earlier in the year as part of the CARES act.  This is great news for local employers who have struggled to maintain payroll during this challenging time. 
 
The COVID Connect this week featured Nik Boone at Ascend Real Estate and Property Management.  He was very excited to arrive at 8:30 to his office – to find all of the employees in the office…well…imbibing! (In case you were wondering, Nik is not hiring so don’t try to apply!)  Aside from his unruly office staff, there are many things that are going well for Nik.  He and his wife are expecting their 2nd child (their first girl) in May.  Nik shared he is very excited about the construction of his new office building on Meany.  In addition, the real estate market is doing wonderfully and he is truly enjoying his work.

Program:

Today’s speaker was Wendy Barnes, who is the Coordinator of the Violence and Human Trafficking Response Program at CommonSpirit Health. Wendy provides education to health professionals across the country using her own experiences of having healthcare encounters while being trafficked for over a decade. Wendy is a member of the National Survivor Network and the International Survivor Alliance. Wendy has an Associate’s Degree in General Studies and has written a memoir, And Life Continues: Sex Trafficking and My Journey to Freedom. Wendy also co-authored a chapter in "Human Trafficking Is a Public Health Issue; A Paradigm Expansion in the United States" (Springer, 2017).
 
Wendy was joined by Sandy Woo-Cater. Sandy is an anti-trafficking professional with a unique combination of academic and on-the-ground skill sets. She is a project lead for CommonSpirit Health/Dignity Health’s national Violence and Human Trafficking Prevention and Response program and volunteers her time as co-director for the Kern Coalition Against Human Trafficking (KCAHT). She is a subject matter expert in trafficking and has 16 years of experience in the field.
 
This courageous program began with a warning that the contents would be heavy and potentially unsettling for some. 
 
Wendy shared her story of trafficking, physical and emotional abuse, and torture that she enduring over nearly 2 decades.  Beginning in high school, she was coerced into prostitution by a man who would become the father of her three children.  She tells the story of how she was slowly groomed to become more dependent on the abuser, isolated from others, and eventually how she felt hopeless to escape the circumstances given repeated abuse. The circumstances she sites that contributed to this were childhood sexual abuse, a lack of parental relationships, and most significantly, bullying from her peers. Even though she had opportunities to leave her trafficker through interactions with health care providers and law enforcement, she feared for the life of herself and her children. Eventually, she was arrested and served 2 years in prison.  Wendy subsequently was pardoned from those convictions by the Governor of Oregon.  Once released, with a criminal background, Wendy found it hard to find employment, however, she found success with some jobs and continued to grow her career and pursue education.  She is now a leader in the Human Trafficking, educating health care professionals around the country on how to effectively identify and intervene with victims of trafficking.
 
Sandy Woo-Cater then discussed the local initiatives to support efforts to combat human trafficking.  Among them are organizations that partner with law enforcement, healthcare, and social service agencies to provide support to those in the lifestyle and those who are survivors.  If anyone is interested in additional education, please reach out to Jon Sampson or Jason Cater (Sandy’s hubby), who will connect you with her. 
 
Although this program was heavy, it was an honest, courageous, informative, non-inflammatory firsthand account of a survivor’s experience. Nearly 11,000 cases of human trafficking were reported in 2018 in the US.   And although there is no profile of a victim, they are not faceless people from a continent half a world away.  72% of the over 1600 victims in California in 2018 were US citizens.  We can no longer turn away from the fastest-growing, $32 billion criminal industry.
Jon looks like a natural in the presidential seat.
Good group today on zoom. Looks like In-Person meetings may be delayed until after Christmas.
Molly Bussaca, the owner of Secure Systems, was welcomed as a new member.
Ken looks down on Jon Sampson. As he does all non-gingers.
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Chris Machado
November 1
 
Kristin Hagan
November 2
 
Jordan Kaufman
November 4
 
Steve Sanders
November 5
 
Josh Sherley
November 9
 
Toni Harper
November 10
 
Dick O'Reilly
November 12
 
Nikolas Boone
November 13
 
Jorge Barrientos
November 14
 
Dave Whelden
November 16
 
Jeff Gutierrez
November 17
 
Peter Hunt
November 18
 
John Phil Bentley
November 19
 
Girish Patel
November 21
 
Mike Allen
November 29
 
John Nilon
November 30
 
Spouse Birthdays
Jennifer Sampson
November 16
 
Phyllis Oliver
November 23
 
Anniversaries
Mary Castaneda
Raul Castaneda
November 3
 
Dave Plivelich
Kym Plivelich
November 21
 
Ken Beurmann
Gianna Beurmann
November 22
 
Join Date
Michelle Chantry
November 3, 2016
4 years
 
Jason Cater
November 5, 2015
5 years
 
Lyle Martin
November 5, 2009
11 years
 
Gary T. Friedman
November 6, 1975
45 years
 
Sam Newland
November 9, 2017
3 years
 
Steve Roach
November 13, 2003
17 years
 
Girish Patel
November 15, 2012
8 years
 
Joe Gregory
November 16, 2017
3 years
 
Jay L. Rosenlieb
November 29, 2001
19 years
 

Area Meetings

Tuesday @ noon
Bakersfield North

at the Petroleum Club

Wednesday @ noon
Bakersfield West
at the Stockdale Country Club

Wednesday @ 6:45 am
Bakersfield Breakfast

at the Petroleum Club

Wednesday @ 6 pm
Bakersfield Twilight

at The Mark

Bakersfield  Downtown
at the Museum of Art

Friday @ noon
Bakersfield East

at Bakersfield Museum of Art

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