(The following narrative is a continuation of a series of how a member was introduced to Rotary and subsequent memories. If you would like Rotary to be part of your life's story, please contact Alison Proctor at alisonproctor@gmail.com.) 


Ann Ritzma

Joined F.C. Rotary March 23, 2016

December, 2022


Service has always been the foundation of my life. I am a lifelong Girl Scout and a career public servant with a commitment to making a difference in the communities I serve and the people I work with. When I began working in Foster City in 2013, my Human Resources role was internally focused on the employees of the City. I wanted an external opportunity to serve the Foster City community and get to know residents and business leaders. Fortunately, over the past several decades, I have had the opportunity to collaborate with Rotarians in Pacifica and South San Francisco. Although I couldn’t join Rotary at that time, the experience left a lasting impression and inspired me to keep Rotary as a future option.

Matt Martel (Foster City Police Chief) and Jim Hardy (Foster City City Manager) introduced me to the Foster City Rotary Club in 2016 and it didn’t take long for “The Club that Cooks” to become part of my life. The weekly fellowship and community service projects are engaging, fun and fulfilling. It’s great to work with people who share a common set of values and believe in the power of service.

One of my favorite and memorable events with Foster City Rotary has been the Annual 4th of July Pancake Breakfast. I’ve been a server, a pancake flipper, a member of the flag waving clean-up crew and a happy celebrant. It’s a wonderful way to kick off Foster City’s spectacular celebration, watch the parade and contribute to the community spirit.

What I enjoy most about Rotary is the opportunity to work with exceptional people. Every event makes a difference in the Club’s ability to help others and provides an opportunity to build community. I have loved my role as a volunteer - RibFest, the Spaghetti Dinner/Bingo evening, Summer Concerts in the Park, Annual Tree Lighting, and the Holi Festival. I’ve learned new skills like making lassi and removing non-native vegetation while having a great time. I am especially grateful to Mary Lou Griffin, who took me under her wing and taught me the fine art of auction baskets and procuring donations for the club.

On a personal note, Rotary has given me the opportunity to have an impact and role in international projects like End Polio Now and Shelter Box. My contributions to TRF have broadened my service well beyond Foster City and my professional work. It is a pleasure and privilege to serve the Foster City Rotary Club and to be a Rotarian.