July 12, 2001


12 July, 2001 Meeting of the Westwood Village Rotary Club

PRESIDENT GEORGE DEA started the first meeting of his reign with a bang, proclaiming this year's District 5280 theme, "Mankind Is Our Business" and District Governor Len Wasserstein's target for the year, a net gain of 5 members for each club.After CLARICE EVANS led the salute to the flag, PP ANDY ANDERSON read a touching poem with an O'Henry ending about a harried Mom and her sweet little kid.The unbeatable combo of JIM DOWNEY AND LENNY FRIEDMAN took us through Home on the Range.GEORGE introduced his new board at the head table: STEVE ADLER, PETER MORE, TODD GURVIS, ANN ELKINS, KEVIN KOMATSU. TED IHNEN and RUDY ALVAREZ were not in attendance.

Rotarians ALT KARLSSON of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Stockholm, YASUO NAKAZAWA, CEO and General Manager of Sports Club in Suita, Osaka, Japanand his lovely wife; Rotary Auxiliary members Eloise Siskel, Shirley More, Vivianne Younker, and Janice Koyama Dea; and guest Alke Muller, a German Textile Designer all livened PRES. GEORGE'S kick-off meeting.No sooner had RO SHAW, Medical Fitness Expert, led us to nirvana with deep breathing, loosened knees, and waves, than our new leader began fining this wretchedly poor group. Amazing what a little power can do even to a nice guy like George. He almost fined his own wife! Howard Siskel said he didn't have the $2 million dollars he thought Eloise was worth so George fined him a lesser amount for having a 50th anniversary. John Singleton complained the paltry sum they finally settled on amounted to about 1/2 of one cent per day.To add insult to injury, Dave Whitehead was fined for improper exposure. In thanking our PPSteve Adler for a splendid year of leadership, RALPH BEASOM then presented our PP STEVE ADLER with a compendium of photographs and Windmill out-takes.

KEN KILPO introduced our speaker Mr. Andreas Ekman, Consul General of Sweden. With an MBA from Stockholm School of Economics Ekman has an impressive background beginning in Washington as Minister of Economic Affairs at the Swedish Embassy. He has continued to operate as an economist on a global stage with consular stints in Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe.   Calling Sweden "the new Eden of the telecom world," and "the Klondike of the Wild Web", Ekman's mission is to promote trade, industrial cooperation, academic contacts, tourism and cultural exchange between Sweden and the Western United States. Citing business ties already established with Dell, Cisco, Compaq, Hewlett Packard and others, he is especially interested in building upon these connections in the telecom industry. California is a major focus of his efforts at stimulating business with Sweden in economics, academics, film, life sciences, and the environment. He believes Scandinavia is economically pacing the rest of Europe and that his small country of 9 million population in an area the size of California will be the economic leader of Europe in the future. It was obvious that he esteemed highly the enviable record of California's Nobel Prize winners in science. Consul Andreas Ekman invited everyone to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the initiation of the Nobel Peace Prize competition in February 2002, which Sweden will celebrate at the Museum of Science and Industry in Los Angeles. As a windup to the short Q&A period, STEVE SHERER elicited chuckles and guffaws with: "My wife is Swedish…Why are Swedish women so beautiful?"

Before he rang the final gong, Pres. GEORGE voiced the sympathy of the entire Westwood Village club for Doug Desch's loss of his beloved Opal, and announced there will be a memorial ceremony for her in mid-September.

Editor for the day,
       Lenore Hoag Mulryan