Program Chairs:
  Peggy Bloomfield
April 10, 2008   

April 17
"Economic and
Financial Literacy"

April 24
"Rotary Foundation"

May 1
"UCLA Basketball"

Next Week...
April 17
"Economic and Financial Literacy"
Bill Coffin

Upcoming Meetings...
April 24
"Rotary Foundation"
Steve Day

May 1
"UCLA Basketball"
Ben Howland, UCLA's basketball coach

Upcoming Events...
May 1, 7:00 am
District Breakfast
Westin LAX Hotel

The speaker will be Patricia Murray, who has served as a major and a pilot instructor for the California Air National Guard. She will provide an eyewittness account of the conditions in the Middle East.

This Week...
ED JACKSON led the pledge, and who else but LENNY came forward for the song – America The Beautiful.  He’s right – it would make a lovely National Anthem. KEVIN BADKOUBEHI and PP STEVE SCHERER provided a tandem Invocation. “We are honored and pleased to enjoy this Rotary fellowship. We are thankful for the food we are about to receive, every time. Amen” A winning combo, obviously.

There were several guests. KATIA VAISBERG brought Marian Pavlovich, who chairs their Rotaract Professional Development  section.  SHARON was there in support of CHRIS, and not to be outdone, LENNY was with SUNNY, plus Special Guest David Friedman. An anonymous voice was heard suggesting that LENNY be fined $100 for each meeting David attends until he officially joins, but this did not fly, apparently.

MARK ROGO introduced his neighbor, Frank Ardolf, who arose to say that he knew the Janss Brothers, indicating his true age.  LEE DUNAYER brought KATHY REZOS, our former member who now lives in Cleveland. And DWIGHT HEIKKELA was with his wife, SOOK.

ELLIOTT TURNER reminded us of the WAPI assembly, at Westwood United Methodist Church on Saturday, April 19th, starting at 0900.  Refreshments – even pizza – will be provided, and this is a fun project.  While we will get your money anyway, this is a chance to offer some needed labor – so for those who usually just pay, c’mon along SEAN McMillan noted that the District Breakfast is set for May 1st at the WESTIN LAX, starting at 0700.  The Speaker is Patricia Murray of the Air National Guard. She also happens to be Miss California, which you should know in case you are looking for reasons to get up that early.  Call PP DON NELSON to sign up The District Assembly, which is for all Officers and new Board Members, will be on May 17th, at the Carson Community Center.  It runs from 0800 through lunch, and really is important for you to attend.  Please notify SEAN if you will be there. ART HENRY reminded us of a special event just for WVRC members – on Monday the 21st, they will gather at the Huntington at 11 am for a lecture by the Curator of the Jack Smith Exhibit, Sue Hodson, followed by lunch.  Call ART for carpooling arrangements.

It’s Birthday Time once again, for all those April arrivals.  And please, just because he came along on April 1st., don’t be mean to ELLIOTT TURNER.  After all, Jacksonville doesn’t declare it a day of foretelling, or anything.  SHERRY DEWANE liked the 5th, in Manitowoc (and we know you know that is in Wisconsin).  CLARK McQUAY brought us back to Alhambra on the 7th.  The 8th was favored by two members – RON KLEPETAR in Chicago and DICK ROBINSON, who claims Altus, Oklahoma, was where it all began.  LORIN RUTTENBURG admits that her heart belongs to Bayonne, which of course is in NJ.  Ithaca, NY has a plaque commerating ERIC LOBERG, and the 18th is a day of wild rejoicing.  NICK KAHRILAS stayed back east, declaring NY NY to be the scene on the 23rd.  DON PARK ended our assault on the 28th, with Bruning, Nebraska as the location.

PP STEVE SCHERER invited SAROSH MOTIVALA to come forward.  STEVE then formally introduced SAROSH, and proceeded to bring him aboard.  SAROSH was presented with a pin – which they both had trouble attaching – and then spoke briefly about his reasons for joining Rotary.  His Dad was an example of Service Above Self, and this permanently impressed SAROSH. He was of course given a standing ovation.

A Tip of the Hat, if I may:
KEVIN BADKOUBEHI has volunteered to be our Representative when we present a sword to the Outstanding Cadet at the UCLA Army ROTC Graduation Ceremony on May 1st in Pasadena.   Now, I just received notice of the Naval ROTC Ceremony, which will be at UCLA at 10 am on May 30th.  If you would like to be the Presenter of our Ships Clock to Midshipman  2/C Zachary Zarow on that date, please let me know.  Our final Presentation will be to the Air Force ROTC, but I don’t know the date on that yet. Getting back to KEVIN, above, he did this last year and enjoyed it so much he asked to be the Presenter again this year – so it really is quite a ceremony, worth participating in. Lemme know about either the Navy or Air Force, please.

We had two Craft Talks today.  First up was DWIGHT HEIKKILA, who reported that he had grown up in North Chicago, which is some miles above Chicago itself. We were reminded that Ray Bradbury kept writing about Waukegan, which is just a couple of miles from North Chicago. DWIGHT lived there for his first 17 years, and it was easy to decide that he wanted to go to college someplace else.  Sputnik came along when he was in the fifth grade and Science called.  He could be described as a Science Nerd at that time. 

He enrolled at Carnegie Tech, as a Chemistry major.  However, despite the difference from where he grew up, he soon decided that what he really wanted was to be a Liberal Arts major.  So he transferred to Cornell, and after trying several majors, ended up graduating in Psychology.  As he pointed out – “People were searching at that time”. This was the late  60’s, and sure enough, the Army came calling.  As he finished Basic Training, the Warsaw Pact countries (read, Russia) invaded Czechoslovakia – whoops, the Soviet Union was invading the rest of Europe!

He had earlier decided to study Languages in the Army, figuring, correctly, that with that sort of training they wouldn’t be sending him to Vietnam. He asked for Russian and German, and arrived at Monterey Language Institute, where they immediately assigned him to study Korean, somehow.  It turned out that the Korean language was one of the most difficult for English speakers to learn, which became obvious as he saw so many students wash out. The choice was simple – study Korean, or go to Vietnam.  So he spent two years in Korea, where his form of the language caused great merriment. He remembers paying one dollar a month for his room, and ten dollars a month for his daily Qwan Ki Do lessons.

Upon discharge, he came to Los Angeles, and applied for a Fullbright Scholarship, to study in Japan.  He wasn’t selected, and thus the forbidding idea of getting a job came up. Dwight was fortunate to get a job with a Japanese bank, since he also spoke Japanese. This was a tortuous process, with FIVE interviews, but he passed inspection and became a Loan Officer.  His salary was lower than his previous temporary job as a mail clerk! He transferred to a Korean bank when his Japanese superiors wouldn’t allow him to attend the UCLA MBA School, which began at 3 every day. It was a fortunate move in another way, since his wife-to-be walked in as a customer.  Meanwhile the scene in LA was changing – there were just a few buildings between Western and Vermont on Olympic, for example. However, he began to realize that honest bankers were poorly paid.

So he started with Equitable Life, being hired since they felt it would be such a novelty for small business owners to meet a white person who spoke Korean – and they were right. He earned his Securities License just as the 1980’s came along – up 30% that year alone.  His wife, Sook, took some time off to manage their children through the LA public school system, which was quite a challenge.  She had had an accident, and was cured after attending a Seminar sponsored by the Methodist Church.  This inspired her to achieve a Masters of Divinity from Claremont, and her mission is to improve Homelessness in and around Los Angeles.  In the meantime, upon learning of DWIGHT’S Mother having dementia spells, SOOK insisted that she come and live with them.  His Mother will soon be 89, and she still lives with them.

They moved to Westwood three years ago, knowing no one in the neighborhood.  However, DWIGHT was invited to play tennis with a friend, which is where he met LEO TSENG, his sponsor.  He has now been in Family Planning for 25 years, and feels that his original degree in Psychology has served him well!  Their daughter graduated from Yale and Johns Hopkins, and her husband, who is a Harvard graduate -  both teach Middle School in Long Beach.  In the last four years, their students are now scoring better than those who come from selected advanced schools. Their only requirement is that their students agree to two hours extra study daily – testament to what great teachers can achieve. The HEIKKILA’S son, a Dartmouth graduate, will soon finish Law at the University of Chicago, and seems headed for the ACLU.  DWIGHT concluded with a quote from Mark Twain; “When I was 14, my Father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around - but when I got to be 21, I was astonished by how much he had learned in seven years”.

SAROSH MOTIVALA was sponsored by PP STEVE SCHERER.  YOE had met him earlier, when I called him to introduce him to JOY’S daughter, Jennifer.  Jennifer was finishing up her PhD in Psychology, and they talked about that as a career.  He is an Assistant Professor at UCLA in the Psychiatry Dept.  He does research, looking at stress, or insomnia, for instance.  In his program, they study stress, working with patients, and the easiest way to induce stress is to tell them to make a speech!  When you speak, your blood pressure goes up, your heart rate goes up, your hands get clammy – and he is reminded of this every time HE gives a talk.

At the present time he is studying insomnia, which is quite prevalent.  Insomnia is a disease that can be easily treated by counseling, and as a Psychologist, he finds that he gets lots of gifts from grateful patients!  He likes the perks.  He was born in Bombay in the summer of 1969.  However, less than two years later, his Father decided to move the family – but to where?  Los Angeles was chosen, since an uncle knew someone there who could help him get a job. His contact was the President of the Beverly Hills Bank, and Mr. Motivala came first by himself.  Enroute, he stopped over in Chicago, where he won $500.  He was trained as a Civil Engineer, and shortly found a job.  A year later the family followed – his Mother, sister and SAROSH.  Even today, when he returns to India and people hear him speak, they laugh at his accent.

His first name, Sarosh, was originally a Persian name. This provides him with a unique background, being born in India but with definite influences from the Middle East. The name itself means Guardian Angel, but he has found it has different meanings in different places.  While backpacking in Peru, for instance, he learned that his name means altitude sickness.  In Turkey, it apparently means, to be drunk. 

More detail on his reason for being interested in Rotary. His Dad was employed by the City of Los Angeles as a Civil Engineer, but when he retired he found a major interest in Community Service.  He grew up being very poor, and his own Father died when he was ten.  He had four younger brothers and two sisters, and sometimes they did not have enough to eat.  As he grew up and became successful, this background caused him to actively search for ways to help poor people get food.  So he started a small program on Sundays, feeding people with the help of friends. The lines grew huge, and kept growing. SAROSH was a teenager at this time, and his Dad forced him to help – which was resented, because on Sunday he would rather have watched football, etc.

But he came to enjoy what he was told to do.  At Loyola High School, their motto is “A man for others” and he sees a lot of that in the Ideals of Rotary.  He feels that Rotarians are friendly, courteous, and dedicated to helping others, and these are things he values.  So he thanks us for bringing him into our group, and looks forward to learning, and developing a lot of great friendships.

YOE – Yes, Craft Talks score again!

And from President CHRIS, Something to ponder at tax time:
Why does a slight tax increase cost you two hundred dollars and a substantial tax cut save you thirty cents?

—YOE, Ernie Wolfe


Christopher Bradford

President Elect
Sean McMillan

Vice President
Ed Gauld

Mark Block

Exec. Treasurer
Don Nelson

Shane Waarbroek

Executive Secretary
Ernie Wolfe

Past President
Michael Gintz

Community Service Chair
Mark Rogo

International Service Chair
Elliott Turner

Membership Chair
Steve Scherer

Vocational Service Chair
Sherry Dewane

Youth Service Chair
Ann Samson



Wilfrid J. Wilkinson

    David Moyers
Palos Verdes Sunset Rotary

Monday, Beverly Hills, BH Hotel, 9641 Sunset
Tuesday, WLA/Brentwood, Chez Mimi, 246 26th St, Santa Monica
Wednesday, Century City, Hyatt Regency Century City, in the Breeze Cafe
    Culver City, Wyndham Hotel, 6333 Bristol Parkway, CC, or
    Wilshire, The Ebell, 743 S. Lucerne Blvd, LA
Friday, Santa Monica, Riviera Country Club, 1250 Capri Dr, Pacific Palisades