El Cerrito Rotary Bulletin for September 21 2017


  El Cerrito Rotary The Wheel

September 21, 2017

Editor:  Gary Buffon




President Terry:  Opened today’s meeting by greeting everyone.  The flag salute was led by Joe Yang and Terry provided the thought for today.

Guests and visiting Rotarians:

Jan had her sister Carol as her guest today.  Bob Graham with our guest speaker today is a visiting Rotarian.


  • President Terry thanks the Rotarians who were at the Centennial Parade last Saturday.
  • October 12th is when our District Governor Gary Vilhauer will visit the club. All board members are to be on site by 10:30a
  • Oct 10 is the Rotary Board meeting
  • Sonya gave us some updates on the Sip and Savor progress and reminded us of the time being short and to keep focused. If you are not going to make it to the event please inform Sonya.
  • Jan told everyone they can begin turning in the raffle prizes next Thursday.

Happy Dollars:    Nobuko is happy for her new house in Berkeley is not on the path to completion.  Marty is happy he had a great time on his trip to the east coast.  Marla is happy she will be going to Italy even though she has to miss Sip and Savor.  Gary is happy for the funny situation at the Cerrito Vista park after the parade when the EMTs thought he had fainted and he got to visit the ambulance.  Michael is happy he got to see Mike Gonzalez out shopping and reported he is looking good and holding his own.  Jan is happy for her birthday and her sister Carol visiting.  Joe Yang is happy he and his wife got to go to Hawaii for their 4th anniversary,   Terry is happy for his trip to Ohio.  Bob Graham is happy for being in Rotary for 50 years.


Sgt at Arms Sal:   Not on duty today

Today’s Program. 

Sarah introduced Meg Heinicke from Namaste Direct along with Bob Graham, founder of the organization.   Meg gave us a summary of Namaste Direct, a micro lending organization that Bob set up almost 20 years ago in Guatemala.  Meg also pointed out that Guatemala is a young country that had a population that increased from less to a million to sixteen million today.  As a result there is a lot of poverty and single parent families.  This resulted in a lot of women having difficulty to provide for themselves and if they had children, it was even worse.  Namaste is an   organization provides women a way to start a business or aid an existing business to access funding to start or grown their business. The support of the Namaste organization support is through education and business consulting which provides a success model for the women..  Guatemala has a young population and Namaste provides the women a structured 9 month business program that has four separate segments that helps the women grow and build their business so they can work though the challenges of owning and running their businesses.  The Namaste model provides guidance, coaching, business management and education for the women so the money they are loaned is paid back so the organization continues to fund others.  The annual cost of the program is $600 per business owner and it has been successful for a long time.  Meg gave us a great summary and then answered a lot of quality questions.  This was a great presentation.  Thanks to Sarah for inviting Meg to speak to us today.

Bob Graham and Meg Heinicke of Namaste Direct


Raffle Winners:  Michael won the bottle of wine.  Gary had his ticket pulled for the marble game and selected a catseye.  Next week the jackpot will be $135.


Thought for the week:

My thoughts determine