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Due to the recent concerns about the COVID-19 virus and a desire to follow the suggestions of health care professionals, the club will be having virtual meetings until further notice.

Next Virtual Meeting Information:


Wed, March 3, 2021 12:00 PM (PDT)

Log in for social time from 12:00pm (noon) – 12:15pm, bell will be rung at 12:15pm to start meeting. Please join our meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone. Click Here To Go To Zoom Meeting

Our speaker will be Richard Aschieris, Port Director – Port of Stockton.
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You can also dial in using your phone. United States: (669) 900-6833

Meeting ID: 845 6619 6027
Password: 005220

“The Rotary Club of Stockton Begins the 2nd Century of Service to the Stockton Community”


As many as 41 members attended this virtual meeting!

  • Call to Order and Welcome! President Gary Frush welcomed members and guests to the Virtual Rotary Club of Stockton 2021 meeting!
  • Pledge of Allegiance & Four Way Test – Dennis Smallie celebrated his birthday by leading us all in the pledge and 4-way test.
  • Keo Keonorask

    Thought for the Day – Keo Keonorask – Keo is the director for the Corporate Walmart Marketing Strategy. His team built a page to help with COVID vaccine appointments. Go to the website link HERE. His thought was inspired by his professor in college who said that we should always leave things better than what we find them.

  • Special Thanks Today to – Matthew Grizzle for orchestrating these meetings, Corie Stewart our Zoom meeting entry coordinator, Dudley Drake for his work on speaker recruitment, Leena Mittal for continuing to taking notes (thank you Leena), and Eric Duran for the ultimate publication of the Wheel!
  • Guests of Rotarians – President Gary introduced Wendy Frush, his wife, and daughter Ashley from Seattle.

    Connie Uychutin

    Paul Kozlow’s guest – Connie Uychutin from ACR of San Joaquin County. ARC received grant from Stockton Rotary Foundation. ARC institution helps the people with intellectual disability like Autism, Down’s syndrome. Funds at ARC were used for remote services. A box of activities is dropped to the clients. The COVID pandemic has been very rough for their clients. This remote project would consist of 4 classes a week for 6 months. The drop boxes would have short cut recipes of preparing meals for themselves and their families. The online class is recorded for convenience. The box would also contain tools – like non-slip clip boards, scissors, non-slip knives and would include recipe cards. The project would encourage independence and responsibility among their clients.

  • Ngozi Elobuike

    New Member Introduction – Membership Chair Marcela Gracewski introduced new member Ngozi Elobuike. Ngozi Elobuike was raised in Stockon. She attended the Bear Creek High School. She did her Bachelors from Howard University with a major in Biology and minor in Chemistry. At Howard, she co-founded Global Med and Howard Harbor Metastatic Breast Cancer Campus Ambassador project. Welcome Ngozi as the new member of the Rotary Club of Stockton!

  • Rotary News:  Rotary Direct – Latest sign up: President-Elect Colleen Stewart! Total members registered in Rotary Direct for Foundation giving are 16! Please consider signing up; it’s easy to do! Please call President Gary (209-601-3631) or Linda Guinn (209-639-1482) to sign up.  Goal is 150 members.
  • Club Service & District Calendar for 2020-2021 – Click HERE for the latest list! Don’t miss out on some great activities that may or may not happen in the near future (due to the COVID-19 virus.)

Directions for members on how to make a payment to Rotary Club of Stockton

  • Click on “$ Online Payments” in the blue bar at the top (or click thia blue box)

Club Announcements

  • Foundation Fund Raiser – Crab Feed & Foundation Evening March 20th. Rotary foundation dinner. Get your tickets now.   ADG Waqar said the pickup area will be at 2105 West March Lane. ( See Instructions ). The cost of the dinner is $60 and the price increases after March 12th to $65. The dinner will be available for pickup from 4-6 pm and the program itself will be on Zoom. Ngozi Elobuike well be giving a presentation about her endeavors in the UK. There will also be a Ukulele band from Canada. The meeting will be wrapped up by 8:30pm.
  • Sharon Tweedy

    Rotary Read-In February Thanks – Sharon Tweedy: Thanks to members that sent in videos and/or purchased books for the Read In. Books will be sorted by grade level & delivered to 4 districts: Stockton, Lincoln, Lodi, and SJCOE. Thanks also to Eric Duran for his supreme effort in developing two video web sites for teachers to select books from: Public & the Stockton Police Department. The Public site has over 90 selections, Stockton PD, 48. As of Wednesday, the total count viewed on the Public site was 961. The Virtual Read In could not be a possibility without Eric’s efforts to make it happen as you will see when Matt demonstrates the Stockton PD site. The public site would be available to the teachers the rest of the school year. Thanks also goes out to Read In Committee chair Jim Dugoni (North Stockton Rotary) and Amanda Luna (SSJPL) and committee members. If this community service project strikes a chord with you, please let Sharon Tweedy know as we need new committee members for 2022’s Rotary Read-In. In Closing: If you have not had time to purchase/donate a book, we are still collecting books at Barns & Noble through the week of March 1st.

When (if) we (ever) resume regular meetings..

  • Use That Credit Card at The Meeting – You may now pay for lunch, raffle tickets (minimum Credit Card Purchase of $5.00) and other purchase at the Club meetings with a credit Card.
  • Potential Members – To encourage Club members to bring a potential member to the Wednesday meetings the Rotary Club of Stockton will pay for the 1st meal of a potential member brought by a Club member. For the proper procedure when proposing a new member, read this document.

Meeting Note takers needed for the New Year!

Thank you Leena Mittal for volunteering to continue taking notes! Your help is much appreciated! Now it’s time for someone else to step up!

PLEASE Consider volunteering (Like Leena has done) for a once a month (or more) opportunity to keep the Wheel rolling along. Our Wheel editor will appreciate you stepping up to assist! What’s a better way to know what’s going on in your club? -editor. Contact Corie Stewart at

Guest Speaker

Speaker: Past-President and Former Mayor of Stockton, Ann Johnson
Introduced by:
Past-President Dudley Drake

Ann Johnston has been in retail business for a long time. She is the former Mayor of Stockton. She is actively involved in the community.

Ann Johnston, Former Mayor of Stockton:
Ann recognize elected officials since they have thankless and difficult jobs. In the mid 90’s, the city council, economy was booming and there was positivity about the council. The council decided to build the Waterfront area to lay foundation for Stockton downtown and redevelopment.  Everyone was focused moving in same direction. Failed to look ahead in future. The council came under criticism later because of the amount of money spent on the redevelopment. In Early 2000’s more waterfront development occurred to finish what they started. Stockton Arena, other buildings in Stockton downtown were purchased. The City was running out of financing options. Public members questioned advisability. Around 2008, everything went down-hill. Newer homes were foreclosed. Housing market crash. That recession was huge and was reflected in the city finances.

Ann Johnston was the mayor of Stockton in 2008. She and the council did not have the information regarding city finances and the debt Stockton had acquired in last 4 years. Unemployment was high. Crime was always an issue. Unlike San Joaquin County, the city did not have a rainy day fund. New council members figured out a few options – leave positions unfilled that were vacant but then struggled for a year and a half. The City manager had experience with going through bankruptcy. The other solutions were bleak. Mortgages, contracts that were expiring. In year 2019, the city employees were down to 1000 from 2000. More retiree’s than active employees. After listening to all experts, defaulted on payments on mortgage and the only way was to file bankruptcy. It would set the stage for next 10 years. The council also laid out the plan to come out of bankruptcy. The city is fiscally healthy now. Stockton city now has contingencies. Stockton now has improved national standing.

Next Meeting: March 3, 2021
Richard Aschieris, Port Director – Port of Stockton

Richard Aschieris, Port Director, is the chief executive officer of the Port of Stockton, California. Since his arrival in Stockton, Mr. Aschieris has directed the dramatic expansion of the Port and initiated more than $150 million in infrastructure improvement efforts to revitalize and expand the Port’s operations. This has led to more than $2.3 billion in private sector investments supporting more than 10,000 new family-wage jobs in the greater Stockton area.

“I am quite fortunate to have a dedicated staff focused on operating a dynamic inland port. It is also a privilege to work with our Board of Port Commissioners, made up of exceptional professionals with a variety of experiences, dedicated to bringing economic opportunities to Stockton and San Joaquin County without taxing our local citizens,” Aschieris said.

During his tenure, the Port of Stockton has set tonnage and ship-call records to become a leading bulk and break-bulk port in California. The value of cargo handled by the Port of Stockton is now more than $1.5 billion a year.
Previously, Mr. Aschieris served as Executive Director of the Port of Anacortes, Washington, where he diversified the customer base by attracting new and unique businesses while reacquiring traditional businesses that had left the port. For nearly 12 years, Mr. Aschieris was also a member of the senior management team of the Port of Long Beach, California, one of the busiest container ports in the United States. While there, he was responsible for directing the port’s local, state, and federal legislative initiatives and was active in several international marketing efforts.

A Stockton resident since 2000, Mr. Aschieris is a past President of the Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of the University of the Pacific School of Business and the Board of Directors of the Marine Exchange of the San Francisco Bay Region. He was selected as the Executive of the Year by the San Joaquin County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. An Eagle Scout, Mr. Aschieris is a past President of the Board of Directors of the Greater Yosemite Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Mr. Aschieris earned a graduate degree in International Relations from the University of Southern California, focusing on international trade, political economy, and international security. He earned an undergraduate degree in Journalism, minoring in International Relations, from California State University, San Francisco.

Upcoming Speakers

(Virtual unless otherwise noted)

March 2021

  • 10 – Tod Ruhstaller, “The Haggin Museum”
  • 17 – PRIP Cliff Dochterman, “A Talk With Cliff”
  • 24 – Jay Schwabe (Train Museum), “Telescope Across America:
  • 31 – Ort Loftus/Dr. Joe Serra, “Stockton Antidotes”

April 2021

  • 07 – “Crime Stoppers”
  • 14 – Dr. Alan Carpenter, “Ride Across America”
  • 21 – Pam Heaney, “Stockton Diamond Grade Separation”
  • 28 – TBA


  • $250 (Bell Ringer!) – Past-President Melanie Vieux recognized Bill Brown for the Dec 8th 2020 Article in Stockton newspaper, The Stockton Record. The article was about the new building for women shelter completed in December 2020. The building is part of the Gospel center rescue mission. The building is named “Bill” after Bill (William) R. Brown. Melanie and her firm architected this building. The building has 118 beds dorm for women and children. Bell ringer $250 for SRE!

Birthday Celebration Challenge!!!

July finals 14/15 or 93.3%
August Wrap up – 10/11 or 90.1%
September Birthday Celebrations: 15/15 for 100% participation!
October Finals 14 of 14 = 100%
Both September and October were 100 percent participation.
November birthday challenge was 87.5%.
December Challenge Wrap Up: 90% Participation

2020 Challenge Total:  76 of 81 for 93.8% – Thanks!

January Birthday Challenge: 10 of 10 for 100%!
Final Wrap for February – 10/10 participated = 100 %

YTD: Now 4 months @ 100% = September, October, January, February

February Birthday Challenge – 10 Members

Birthday Recognitions

Week 4:

  • $150 – Dennis Smallie – 2/22 – to SRE

February 2021 Birthdays…

Week Dates Rotarian
1 1st – 6th Liz Blanchard – 5th
Shirley Anthony – 5th
Colleen Foster – 6th
Tom Harrington – 1st
2 7th – 13th Hil Silver – 10th*
Laura Pinkerton – 11th
Amir Khan – 12th
3 14th – 20th Ann Van de Mark – 14th
Dorothy Serra – 14th
Chad Marcigan – 19th
4 21st – 27th Dennis Smallie – 22nd
Shak Khan – 22nd
5 28th (none)
*= Meeting Day – Wish Them a Happy Birthdayhday!


Rotary Club of Stockton Member Files
(Logon to DACdb required to access)
Conflict of Interest Policy 2019 Updated Club Constitution












Special thank you to everyone who contributed to The Wheel…

Editor, Eric Duran. Special thanks this week to Leena Mittal, note taker extraordinaire, Matthew Grizzle, Virtual and Audio Visual Guru as well as Club and Attendance Secretary, and Chief Checkers Matthew Grizzle and President Gary Frush!

Contact Information
Attn: Matthew Grizzle, Club Secretary
1024 W. Robinhood Dr. Suite 5
Mailing address:
P.O. Box 7457
Stockton CA 95267
Phone: (209) 472-9662
Fax: (209) 472-9664

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Rotary International President

Holger Knaack


District 5220 Governor
Sherry Cotta


Assistant Governor Area 2
Muhammad Waqar Ali Rizvi


Stockton Rotary Club President

Gary L. Frush


Meeting Location
Wednesdays at 12 Noon
Stockton Golf & Country Club
3800 W. Country Club Blvd.
Stockton, CA 9520