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Windmill for August 10, 2023

By PP Mark Rogo


It was a very memorable meeting for many reasons including:


New Member Induction

The Governor invited up Meir Nemetsky and his sponsor PP Mark Rogo to come up to the podium. It was a great honor for Meir to be inducted by the District Governor and he was presented with a new member packet, that included a Club pin, RI pin, his certificate of membership, booklets on being a Rotarian, a certificate for free rounds of golf from PP Steve Scherer, ten years of free tax return preparation by PP Chris Gaynor, free estate planning services from PP Michael Newman, a disc of 1930s classics from PP Ed Gauld, comedy lessons from Sunda Croonquist and free financial brokerage services from Sherod Hansen. Oh, I forgot. One year of all the beer you can drink from Terry White.

PPx2 Steve presented Multiple Paul Harris pins to a number of our members, which were then pinned by the Governor.


  •  Jim Meyer, John O’Keefe, Roozbeh Farahanipour, PE Ben Fisher, PP Steve Scherer (the man, the myth, the legend), Lynn Rogo, PP Mike Newman, PP Ed Gauld, and PPx2 Chris Gaynor.

The Presentation by the District Governor of Rotary District 5280, which all of us were excited to hear was next. It should be noted that this was the largest meeting of the year, a testament to the Club’s enthusiasm over our new DG.

Makiko Nakasone was born at the foot of Mt Fiji in a village of 1,600 people with no phone service and no air conditioning. She was the first Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar to serve as a District Governor in our District. Her membership in Rotary began in 2004 as a member of the Burbank Sunrise Rotary Club, when she was working as a Journalist of the Readers Digest of Japan, later to become a staff writer for Nikkei Financial Times. Today she is the owner of an educational services consulting company and former Chairperson of the district Peace Initiative, along with our very own PP Marsha Hunt.


The Governor is the 5th female DG in a row in our District, each with different ethnicities. Only one other district in U.S. has done the same; American, British, Persian, African American and Japanese.


In her local Rotary Club in Japan, only local dignitaries could be a member, even though she was designated an Ambassadorial scholarship recipient. In her own words, “To serve you as a District Governor is my way of saying thank you.”

Governor Nakasone recited to all of us the Vision Statement of Rotary International from April 2018 - 

“Together we are a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change - across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.”

She also shared how Rotary created lasting change in her life, her version of the famous “Rotary moment” we have all experienced. It was a very heart-warming story of a boy on a wheelchair at a train station, when she was very young, and how people stepped up to help him get across the gap between the railway platform and the train. Simple gestures of compassion.

“What it means to be a Rotarian with humanity…Rotary helped me to be a kinder and more compassionate person.” The Governor wants all of us to tell our story to our friends.

Rotary International today is made up of 1.4M members in over 220 countries. There are more countries hosting Rotary Clubs than there are countries in the United Nations.

The Governor wanted to address her goals for the year.

  •    Support The Rotary Foundation,
  •   Promote Rotary,
  •    Grow Rotary.

Our annual District 5280 Foundation Dinner will be held on November 19th this year in Marina del Rey at the Marriott. Also, our District will be hosting the Rotary International President in May. A special dinner in Malibu has been arranged with Rotary International President (RIP) Gordon McInally on May 13th, preceded by a District luncheon to honor the RIP at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

As part of the Governor’s campaign to promote Rotary, she is planning. 

  • Four large billboards being set up around the city promoting Rotary membership, 
  • Encouraging all of us to wear something Rotary every day,
  • Join the peace walk on October 28th, about one mile,
  • Joining Rotarian’s at Work on April 27th next year,
  • No more “best secret in town,”
  • She encourages all of us to offer great Club experiences, and
  • For all Rotarians to sponsor at least one new member in this Rotary year.


The Governor’s list of upcoming District events include.

  1. April 2nd – 11th – the District Humanitarian Trip to Ecuador (and I can strongly recommend this event to see first-hand how Rotary makes a difference in so many lives)
  2. May 3rd – 5th District conference at the Biltmore Hotel 
  3. May 13th – luncheon honoring RIP McInally, open to everyone at the Beverly Hills Hotel
  4. May 25th – 29th - Rotary International Convention in Singapore. The Governor is leading a post-convention tour of Japan as well, May 30th thru June 5th. 

The Governor ended her remarks by closing with poignant observations about all of us and the difference our membership in Rotary is making all around the world.

PPx2 Steve Day thanked the Governor and presented Governor Nakasone with a commitment from our Club to support the Humanitarian Trip with a Club sponsorship, a promise to provide at least one $300 gift basket for TRF November dinner, and a Club Foundation check for $500 to The Rotary Foundation.

Prior to our weekly meeting, the Westwood Village Rotary Club Board of Directors met with District Governor Makiko Nakasone, as part of the traditional tour a new DG takes of all 63 Clubs in her District. In fact, this Governor plans to take two tours, visiting each Club twice during her Rotary Year. Eleven Board members were in attendance and one District Rotarian, Monika White, who is the DGs executive assistant and a member of the Santa Monica RC. Governor Nakasone’s agenda included presentations from the Board on their goals, club financials, reports by committees and avenues of service, and listening to the DGs observations and comments. Amongst her comments was an overview of the upcoming 2024 Humanitarian Trip (April 2nd thru 11th) now scheduled for Ecuador and covering seven Global Grants. 

Our full meeting of the Club was delayed by 15 minutes, starting at 12:45 by PPx2 Steve Day. President Steve told everyone to push back their watches.

PP Tom Barron presented the 4-way Test, Sherod Hansen was recognized the official greeter for the Club for today, PE Ben Fisher led the Pledge of Allegiance. The Thought of the Day was led by PPx2 Diane Good and dedicated to the Governor. Teya McCockran gave it in Japanese to the Governor, in honor of her heritage being born in Japan which was a nice touch and well done. The Governor was also presented with a bouquet of flowers from the Club.

Our Song this week was “You’re a Grand Old Flag” led by PP Ed Gauld. 

Guests and Visiting Rotarians

  • Myra Lurie from the Beverly Hills Rotary Club,
  • Monika White from the Santa Monica Rotary Club,
  • Jerry Bergstein, a prospective member to the Club and guest of PP Mark Rogo,
  • The Family of new member Meir Nemetsky, was also present, including his brother, his wife and two of his children,
  • Sunda Croonquist introduced her two guests, Susan Hall from New Jersey, and Patrick “Paddy” Tunney (second visit)!

PPx2 Steve Day handed out the classic “Westwood Village Rotarians at Work” t-shirts to David Stover, Sherod Hansen, John O’Keefe, Ben Fisher, and himself, in recognition of their participation in the last homeless encampment cleanup in Westwood Village.


  • August 19th - First District 5280 Breakfast at Da Vinci High School in El Segundo (does anyone want to carpool?)

  • August 27th - District Picnic at Seaside Lagoon in Redondo Beach, 4:00pm to 9:00pm including a Boat Race!

  • August 29th - WVRC Dodger game with spouses' event

  • October 14th - Wine, Sip and Sea at the home of Rose and Chris Gaynor in the Palisades.


  • August 17, 2023: at Hillel, Erin Mascho from Cal. Restaurant Foundation

  • August 24, 2023: on ZOOM, Sanford Smith, Esq on Opening Rotary to Women

  • August 31, 2023: at Hillel with Past RI Director Vicki Puliz

WVRC 2023/2024 Leadership Team

President: Steve Day

President Elect: Benjamin Fisher

Vice President: Currently Opened

Treasurer: Terry M. White

Youth/Vocational Service: PP Diane Good

Director/Peace: PP Marsha Hunt

Foundation: PP Gordon Fell

Global Scholarships: PP Chris Bradford

Webmaster: PP Ron Lyster

District Governor: Makiko Nakasone

Immediate Past President: Chris Gaynor

Secretary: PP Nancy McCready

Community Service: David Strover

International Service: PP Nancy McCready & Nevin Senkan

Director: PP Tom Barron

Membership: PP Mark Rogo

Director/Social Media: PP Aly Shoji

Sargent at Arms: Jim Crane

Windmill Editor: Teya McCockran