The Windmill
Program Chair:  Sally Brant April 4,  2013
This Week...
April 9 
Rotary Auxiliary Spring Tea

Jim Collins
"Olympics in a Wheelchair"

April 11   
Makoto Kobayashi
Ambassadorial Scholar
"Banking in the US and Japan and the Anderson School"


April 11   
Makoto Kobayashi
Ambassadorial Scholar   
"Banking in the US and Japan and the Anderson School" 

April 18  
Ara Norwood
"Six Great Men - Our Founding Fathers"
April 25   
Auxiliary Appreciation Day
Jack Paul - Craft Talk 
April 11
Makoto Kobayashi
"Banking in the US and Japan and the Anderson School"
April 18
Ara Norwood
"Six Great Men - Our Founding Fathers"
Phil Gabriel led our pledge and Ron Lyster broke out in Song instead of an Invocation (spurred on by his partner Steve Scherer! ;)

We had a visiting Rotarian from Highland Park, Illinois Penny Field and another all the way from Santa Monica, CA--Tom Litka. Special Guests included Therese Campbell and Catherine De Gama. PP Ed Jackson introduced Andrea Constantinescu from Heartfelt (a non-profit) and Meredith Skrzypczak, Editor for Westwood-Century City Patch and our Merchant Minute, an online news site for Westwood and Century City as well as Hollywood. It covers local business and government and distributes to over 900 sites to get word out about events in towns, schools, sports.
  • District Conference is the first week in May in Santa Barbara!
  • Friday, May 10 we will be having our joint meeting with the Santa Monica Rotary at the Riviera so there will not be a meeting here at UCLA on May 9!  The speaker will be an environmental science professor.
  • Andy Anderson and Peggy Bloomfield are both home after being at St. Johns  if you would like to send a note.  We are thinking of you both!
  • If you are interested in the Reagan Library Tour, please contact Sook or Eloise Siskel
And we rounded out the administrative stuff of our meeting with April fines to Eric, Leo, and Mike Newman!

We had a GREAT program today with craft talks from two of our newest members Diane Good and Phil Gabriel.  If you were not able to join us for this, please make sure you take time to get to know them.  They are each incredible people and it was a pleasure getting to learn more about them.

Diane Good
Who am I:  I am a daughter, sister, step-mom, grandmother, aunt, Godmother, career woman, volunteer, marathon walker and a Rotarian - just to name a few.

The name I was born with is Diane Kathryn Good and I was born in Urbana, Illinois near U of Ill where my father was working on his doctorate in education.   I am the third of four children having two older brothers and one younger sister - all except for Dad who we lost in 1999, live in Chicago.   That makes me a Midwestern girl and seeing as Chicago is my favorite city which just confirms this.  Until High School I spent most of my summers at my grandparent's farm in downstate Illinois, where they raised cattle, pigs, corn and wheat and where I learned to ride horses.  This is where I believe my lifelong love and support for animals began and continues as I do volunteer work at animal shelters and help raise funds for some rescue groups.  

At an age I don't remember, we moved to Danville, Ill whose claim to fame is being the birth place of Dick and Jerry Van Dyke and having the best custard ice cream in all of Illinois.  It was a wonderful environment to grow up in.  Families never locked their doors, we all played together outside after school, everyone knew their neighbors and we all went to public school together regardless of race or religion.

This happy environment all changed when I started junior high school.  My father took on a job as a junior high school principal in south Chicago so we had to move to what was a totally different environment from where I was coming from.   We moved into an all white suburb that insisted on remaining that way, where girls liked to fist fight other girls, where I knew no one and my father was my jr. high principal!!  Talk about having to deal with a lot very quickly, after one week I was ready to move back to Danville without my family!   After the first few weeks though, after the girls in school met my brothers, I became somewhat popular, or at least they liked to come over to our house.

Now I should mention here that my father after school and on weekends worked as a profession referee and umpire, so many of our weekends especially, were spent from early childhood through junior high, attending high school and college sporting events.  My two brothers and I were all very athletic.  I was a competitive swimmer through high school, as well as a summer life guard, and was voted female athlete of the year upon graduation.

I started at college on student loans at Western Illinois University.  In my sophomore year I worked downtown Chicago for the Aetna Life & Casualty who offered to pay for my tuition if I agreed to work days and go to school in the evening.  How could I resist??  I transferred to De Paul University (before they had a good basketball team) from which I graduated.  Upon graduation Aetna sent me to Hartford, Ct to train to become a risk manager.  In those days the only way to obtain certification as a risk manager was through an insurance company.  Today, the discipline is offered as a major in many universities across the country.  After graduation (3 months), the Aetna gave me a job in one of their wholly owned subsidiaries Urban Investment & Development.    I will touch briefly on a couple of the companies I worked for:

Urban Investment known for Water Tower Place where the offices were, after three months on a very cold, windy night had three slabs of marble fall off the south end of the building at 2:30 in the morning.  By the way, did I tell you that as a RM, you are on call 24/7 to be able to respond when a disaster strikes?

Next I went to work at Playboy Enterprises - yes, the adult entertainment company.  At the time I went to work for them, they also offered a magazine for the whole family called Games.  In 1978 Hef had a circular bed made for his mansion in California that was valued at $1M dollars.  I could not find a company that was willing to transport the bed in total due to its value.  A fight ensued with the architect who insisted the bed could not be dismantled but I was able to talk him out of his stance  and have the bed sent in pieces through three different carriers, truck, plane, and train and the architect just had to go to California to put it together!  Now the bed may go into the Smithsonian!

In 1980 I was done with windchill factors and moved to LA.  I worked for Mitsubishi Electric Corp. who was interested in getting a driving program immediately set up because of accidents and tickets the population from Japan was getting.  The first day I drove to the Office complex, I noted that the majority of the cars were parked over the white line, not between them.  I knew then that I had my job cut out for me.

In 1984 at a RIMS conference I met my husband who was from LA but asked to speak on a panel that I was the moderator for.  There will be some of my friends who will tell you he really got the better deal because at  that time - remembering I grew up around sports my whole life - I had two season tickets to the LA Raiders and to the LA Lakers.  Of course, my husband, Frank Smith, Jr. was and continues to be a die-hard Dodger fan and had tickets for them.  So we were very compatible.  Frank, spent his career, almost 40 years as a tax/ERISA attorney/partner first with Musick, Peeler and then with Morgan, Lewis & Bokius.  He is a Vietnam veteran who was awarded the silver star, and is a double graduate on full scholarship from Notre Dame University - undergrad & law school.  He retired in 2008 because he was ready to and because he wanted to help care for his younger sister who lived in San Diego and had terminal cancer.

Upon marrying my husband I inherited two beautiful step-daughters the youngest Erin - an undergrad of ND and a law school grad of DePaul lives and works in Chicago as a real estate attorney.  Shannon our oldest is married to Jerome Porter and lives in LA.  On Monday she gave birth to our second grandchild, Desmond, Adeline who is two years old being our first.  Shannon also works with non-profits most recently helping Father Boyle at HomeGirl café.

I retired in 2012 to decide what I wanted to do next.  I was doing volunteer work for the American Cancer Society when they asked me to consider running one of their Discovery stores.  In mentioning this to a friend who happens to be on the Westwood Transitional Village (WTV) Advisory Council, she stated no way, we need you at WTV.  So within a month's time I was back working full time at WTV.  It has been a very rewarding job and the people I have met - wow.  In the first six months I met the LAPD, Sheriff, DCFS, paramedics, swat team, the fire chief and all of you the Westwood Rotary!  

Ed Jackson had been talking with the previous Director about joining the WRotary when she decided to get married and move away.  So when I came on board and read about the WRotary and the information collected by the previous Director, I did some research, talked to other Rotarians from other clubs and decided this was so worthwhile and does the work that I have longed to be involved.  So here I am.

Phil Gabriel
Phil is a local boy who grew up in Westwood attended Fairburn, Emerson, and Uni and went to Washington State. His dad was a doctor, grew up blessed but had a hard work ethic from early on with his first job at age 8 having a paper route.  Growing up in the late 60s and 70s he had dyslexia which at the time very little was known and was put in classes with special ed kids so academics were challenging.  His teachers were mean and flunked him because he would do the work in his head or typed up his work bc he couldn't write. In addition to his dyslexia he also stuttered and shared how he eventually overcame dyslexia by attacking his challenge by reading (of all things) and that was all he did read, Read, READ! He also went to the Dale Carnegie School of public speaking which, helped him face his fear and helped his stuttering.

Phil is very entrepreneurial and thought about opening a restaurant and tried working for two years and didn't like it so opened a book store -- Hunter/Gabriel on Westwood and Le Conte.  When it closed, he went to work for Borders for five years and realized he was better suited working for himself than someone else.  Although he is very entrepreneurial, he also wanted to volunteer and first started at the West LA Little league even when he did not have kids 25 years ago!

He has had not just one but TWO life changing events.  The first was when he was very ill when working at Borders and recovered. And the second was just this past Dec. 26, 2012 when his doctor told him he had to lose weight.  25lbs gone and 30 to go!  We sure are glad you are doing better, Phil!  He joined to continue volunteering and to volunteer with his daughter so offered if anyone in our club ever needs volunteers, he is happy to help.  When asked how he started Scrubs Unlimited, he said it was all his wife, Lisa's, idea (and fault! ;)  She works at UCLA and they have three children.
-YYE Aly Shoji

Westwood Village
Mailing address:
P.O. Box 24114, Los Angeles, CA 90024-0114
Meets: Thursday, 12:30 PM, UCLA Faculty Center
480 Charles Young Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90095


Club President - Dwight Heikkila
(310) 820-6090

President Elect
Mark Rogo
(310) 385-3164

Vice-President/Club Service
Leah Vriesman
(310) 844-4224

Secretary – Aly Shoji
(310) 301-3014

Treasurer - Don Nelson
(310) 472-9488

Past President - Ed Jackson
(800) 214-3810

Community Service - John Heidt
(310) 474-0938

International Service
Marsha Hunt
(310) 500-9828

Vocational Service
Richard Thompson
(310) 408-2822

New Generations Service
Jim Crane
(310) 733-6783

Rotary Foundation Chair
Steve Day
(310) 670-5013

Publicity/Public Relations
Mike Newman
(310) 208-7723

Membership - Colby Smith
(310) 948-9198

WVRC Auxiliary
Eloise Siskel
(310) 472-2509

Sook Heikkila
(310) 820-6090

Sakuji Tanaka

Lew Bertrand

NEARBY MAKEUP SITES: Monday, Beverly Hills: BH Hotel, 9641 Sunset / Tuesday, Inglewood: Hollywood Park Casino, 3883 W. Century Blvd, Inglewood / Wednesday, Century City: Hyatt Regency Century City, in the Breeze Cafe, Culver City: Culver City Elks Club, 11160 Washington Blvd., Culver City, or  Wilshire: The Ebell, 743 S. Lucerne Blvd, LA / Friday, Santa Monica: Riviera Country Club, 1250 Capri Dr, Pacific Palisades
For information about on-line makeups,