Thanks to his week's correspondent:
Ally Soper
Spoke Editor Profile:
Ally Soper is the Chief Communications Officer for Kern County and former AM newsie. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin (hook ‘em!) with a broadcast journalism degree and landed her first TV gig coincidentally in grandparents’ hometown. Ally feels their spirit every day, especially at Downtown Rotary meetings, where her grandfather, Walter Condley, served as a member for many years. 
Mike McCoy
Mark Barnes
Flag Salute:
Sam Newland
Garro Ellis


Vanessa Nevarez, Rebecca Moreno, and Emily A. Fisher were guests of Traco Matthews (Big spender!)
Tyler Johnican was the guest of Lizette Patterson and Sam Newland
Annamarie Oddo was the guest of Ally Soper
Barry Hill was the guest of Justin Leland

Good News:

Ashley Sodergren announced the Make-A-Wish South Valley Regional Council was officially filled (yay!) and financially able to meet all eligible wishes within our area. Make-A-Wish creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. To learn more about this organization’s outstanding impact, please visit www.wish.org.
Jordan Kaufman (and his wallet) celebrated his eldest son Alexander’s graduation from Cal Poly SLO in industrial technology and packaging. Alex will soon begin his career as a packaging engineer. Clearly, he learned by doing, and did it! Congratulations!
Jason Cater seemingly gleefully announced Justin Leland’s Demotion at the Bakersfield Museum of Art on June 30. Our chapter will welcome Jim Damian as our new president in just a few weeks.
Pat Collins stood in for Josh Shirley (who is Josh?) to induct our new member, Juan Bustamante, into the club. Juan considers himself from Bakersfield by default and has called the Golden Empire home since 2007. Juan is a sales associate at Keller Williams Realty and it excited to join Rotary because he hopes to be a member of change in our community. Welcome, Juan!


This week’s speaker was our very own Traco Matthews, Chief Program Officer for the Community Action Partnership of Kern. Traco is also an adjunct professor at CSUB, community advocate, social pastor, and the second African American member of Downtown Rotary.
Traco discussed the history of Juneteenth, which marks the day in 1865 (2 ½ years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation) that Union soldiers landed in Galveston, Texas, to share the Civil War had ended and all salves were free.
Prior to Traco’s presentation, Mark shared during invocation that our meeting was, “another opportunity to come together as community leaders and effect change.” That’s certainly how I felt following Traco’s thought-provoking message about freedom and sense of belonging.
Traco shared the world of diversity, equity, and inclusion is a description of the journey from “declaration” to “experience” of full freedom, and that the sense of belonging in an organization is essential to its unity and community impact.
Traco highlighted Rotary International’s commitment to DEI, including their DEI taskforce, updated statement, and new website. While these resources are a benefit to creating an inclusive culture within our organization, they are not enough to spur this change. It must come from an awaking within our own hearts – ethically and morally.
Diversity, as Traco said, is a good thing. It’s normal. Diversity was created by God.
As of 2021, Juneteenth became a nationally recognized holiday. However, it has been celebrated across our country for centuries. I hope we all reflected on the meaning of Juneteenth this Sunday, as we honored its impact on freedom in our nation.
“At Rotary, we understand that cultivating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture is essential to realizing our vision of a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change.” – Rotary International DEI Statement
I used the “high angle” Justin, so you can’t be mad I didn’t let you hide behind the podium! Welcome, new member, Juan Bustamante!
This week’s meeting was held at Stockdale Country Club, because Downtown Rotary members don’t mind spending money on gas.
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Geoff King
June 4
Jim R. Fillbrandt
June 7
Rogers Brandon
June 11
Jim Black
June 12
Mary Barlow
June 16
Beatrice Barmann
June 21
Michael McCoy
June 24
Jeff Johnson
June 26
Spouse Birthdays
Mary Lou Secor
June 5
Mackenzie Boone
June 6
Bee Barmann
June 21
Megan Pierce
June 26
Bill Lever
Vikki Lever
June 11
Ken Secor
Mary Lou Secor
June 19
Doug Pierce
Megan Pierce
June 22
Join Date
Samy Abiaoui
June 3, 2020
2 years
Tom DeNatale
June 5, 1997
25 years
Kristin Hagan
June 9, 2016
6 years
Mark R. Bateman
June 9, 2011
11 years
Ray Watson
June 9, 1994
28 years
Signee Hoffman Swartley
June 12, 1997
25 years
Andrae Gonzales
June 14, 2017
5 years
David Oliver
June 14, 2012
10 years
Doug Pierce
June 15, 2017
5 years
Lynn Blystone
June 16, 1965
57 years
John Nilon
June 17, 1999
23 years
Mel Atkinson
June 18, 1987
35 years
Randy Saunders
June 18, 2020
2 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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Rotary Club of Simi Sunrise

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