SIR programs in 2007



November 14, 2007
Note that this is the 2nd Wednesday - this month only
Speaker: Maha ElGenaidi, Founder & President, Islamic Networks Group
Intro by: Stan Barkey
Subj.: Understanding American Muslims

During the last few years, many of us have become aware of how little we know and understand about Islam. With the political, economic and military tension in the Middle East and the threat of terrorism from radical Islamic groups all around the world, it makes sense for us to invest some time in learning about both the teachings and the practices of this religion.

Fourteen years ago, Maha ElGenaidi founded the Islamic Networks Group to provide educational information to Bay Area schools, churches, government groups and businesses to increase understanding. She has spoken to hundreds of these groups, appeared on numerous television and radio programs and written several handbooks to increase cultural competency with the American Muslim community.

Ms. ElGenaidi has been a resource to several state and federal government agencies and has been an advisor to California’s Commission on Police Officers Standards and Training for cultural diversity and hate crimes.

She was awarded the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors Citizen of the Year in 2002. Maha received her BA degree in Political Science and Economics from the American University in Cairo. She is married and lives in Santa Clara.


October 17, 2007

Meeting at IFES Hall

Speaker: Steve Fine, San Francisco Forty-Niners
Intro by: Stan Barkey
Subj.: New Stadium Plans & Progress

Those who have been to Candlestick Park/ 3COM/Monster Park, or whatever the city of San Francisco calls it, know that the experience of a game day there is not on the list of things we brag about in the Bay Area. There can be no doubt that the time has come for the building of a new modern stadium. But that raises several questions:
Where should the stadium be located?
Who should pay for it?
Do the Niners belong to the city of San Francisco?

When the Forty-Niners started looking for a site for the new stadium, they only had to look across the parking lot from their headquarters in Santa Clara to find a location with better weather, transportation access and parking. But of course, something like this is never simple or easy.

Our speaker for October is Steve Fine from the Forty-Niners’ Community Relations staff. He will provide information about the new stadium plans and an update on the progress being made through the maze of obstacles they face from environmental impact reports to funding issues.


September 19, 2007
Last meeting at Elks Lodge

Speaker: Dr. Jennifer Heldman, NASA Ames Research Center
Intro by: Stan Barkey
Subj.: Is there water or ice on the Moon?

Since our earliest ancestors looked into the night sky and saw the Moon, we have been intrigued by its possibilities. We asked, “Could people live there?” “Could we send a space craft there?” “Could we send a man to walk on it and return to earth to tell about it?”

During our lifetimes, scientists and astronauts have helped answer many of our questions about the Moon, but we still don’t know if there is water there that could potentially help sustain life on a space station there.

Our speaker in September will describe a lunar mission that will provide data to answer more of our questions. Dr. Heldman has been fascinated by the study of space since she was in the third grade. As a child she and a friend set up their own space shuttle cockpit and simulated space flight from lift-off to landing. Her childhood interest grew into formal education with a B.S. in Astrogeophysics at Colgate University, M.S. in Space Studies at the University of North Dakota and a Ph.D. in Planetary Science at the University of Colorado.

Currently, Jennifer is a Principal Investigator with NASA Ames and the SETI Institute in the Center for the Study of Life in the Universe. She will tell us about the LCROSS mission (Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite) and what she hopes to learn from it.


August 15, 2007
Speaker: Dr. Shahram S. Gholami, MD FACS
Intro by: Stan Barkey
Subj.: Robotic Prostatectomy

We have heard about all kinds of advancements in surgical procedures, but if I have to have surgery on my prostate would I really want a robot to be involved?

When our August speaker finishes his presentation you will have a better understanding of how surgeons are using robotics to improve the results of their surgeries and the health of their patients.

When we decided to find a speaker on this subject, we contacted Intuitive Surgical to see if they had someone who could speak on the use of robotics in surgery. They suggested that a practicing surgeon who uses robotics in on a regular basis would bring more value to us, so they referred us to Dr. Gholami.

Dr. Shahram Gholami earned his BA in Biological Sciences at Cornell and his MD at Boston University School of Medicine. His Surgical Internship, Surgical Residency and Urology Residency were all completed at UCSF. His research and writing have won numerous awards. He currently serves as the Director of the Prostate Cancer Institute Northern California and Director of the Incontinence Center of Northern California.


June 20, 2007
Speaker: Dr. Richard Swanson, President and Chief Technology Officer of SunPower Corporation
Intro by: Larry Templeton
Subj.: Solar Energy Today

After our recent program on global warming, one SIR asked about the viability of solar power as an alternative to fossil fuels. Our speaker for June has answers to this and many more questions on solar energy.

Richard Swanson graduated from Ohio State University with both bachelors and masters degrees in Electrical Engineering in 1969. After completing his PhD work at Stanford, he received a post-doctoral fellowship to study techniques for solar electrical power generation. He then joined the faculty at Stanford where he continued his research funded by grants from the US Government and the Electrical Power Research Institute.

In 1991, Dr. Swanson resigned from his faculty position to focus his attention on SunPower Corporation which he had co-founded six years earlier. He recently received the prestigious Becquerel Prize for Outstanding Merits in Photovoltaics from the Commission of European Communities.

SunPower’s all-back contact solar cells powered Honda to victory in the 1993 World Solar Challenge and were also used to power Helios, NASA’s high altitude solar powered airplane when it set a world record for altitude at 96,500 feet.

We are anticipating a great opportunity to learn about the current and future developments in this important field.


May 16, 2007
Speaker: Bob Bowlsby - Stanford’s Athletic Director
Intro by: Stan Barkey
Subj.: Stanford athletics

On July 10, 2006, Bob Bowlsby began serving as Stanford’s sixth Athletic Director replacing Ted Leland. Bowlsby gained a national reputation for his skill and integrity in running one of the country’s most ambitious and successful Division I-A athletic programs at the University of Iowa.

During his 15 years at the helm of the Hawkeye athletic program, Bowlsby built the program as a consistent competitor in Big Ten sports. In addition, he served leadership positions in several areas for the NCAA and the United States Olympic Committee.

Two key areas of the Athletic Director’s role involve hiring coaches and raising funds for programs and facilities. In both of these areas, Bob Bowlsby has demonstrated excellent skills that brought him to the top of the Stanford search committee’s list last year.

We are fortunate to have this opportunity to engage in conversation with the new Stanford Director of Athletics. Bring your questions, comments and a guest.


April 20, 2007
Speaker: Dr. James P. Collman
Intro by: Bob Garten
Subj.: Some Science Behind Global Warming

Global Warming has become such a common topic of political and media attention that it is challenging to sort out fact from fiction. Our speaker for April will be Dr. James P. Collman, from the Department of Chemistry at Stanford. His presentation will include issues such as:

The Greenhouse phenomenon
The Greenhouse effect on other planets
Historic climates since the last ice age
Biological energy sources
Renewable energy
The changes in sea levels

Dr. Collman is highly qualified to speak on these subjects based on his long and distinguished career in teaching and research including his service at Stanford since 1965 where he is currently Daubert Professor of Chemistry. He has received numerous honors including membership in the National Academy of Sciences since 1975, seven national awards for his research and two Stanford teaching awards. In 1983, Collman was named California Scientist of the Year.

We anticipate a lively question and answer opportunity following this outstanding presentation.


March 21, 2007
Speaker: Kirk Hanson, Executive Director, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics,
Santa Clara University
Intro by: Bob Simon
Subj.: Business Ethical Issues

For the past several months, newspaper and television news headlines have been focusing on several important ethical issues involving local business leaders. The Hewlett-Packard board of directors has been in turmoil over leaks, pretexting and invasion of privacy. The back dating of stock options has entangled many of our Silicon Valley companies and raised ethical issues for executives and board members.

One of the most respected local voices on business ethics is that of Kirk Hanson, Executive Director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. Prior to this assignment, Professor Hanson taught at the Stanford Graduate School of Business for 23 years. He has been engaged in dialogue with business leaders throughout his career as they struggle with ethical dilemmas and seek his insights.

Bring your questions for Kirk Hanson to our March 21st luncheon and bring a friend.


February 21, 2007
Speaker: FBI Special Agent Mike Gimbel
Intro by: Stan Barkey
Subj.: Anti-Terrorism Activity of the FBI

Few events have had more impact on our perception of the world than the hijacking of the airplanes on September 11, 2001. In the months and years that have followed, we have all asked questions like:
How could this happen?
Why did this happen?
Who are these terrorists?
Why do they hate America so much?

Our February speaker will provide significant insights into these and related questions from the perspective of the anti-terrorism efforts of the FBI. Special Agent Mike Gimbel has extensive experience in law enforcement beginning with 8 years of service as a Criminal Enforcement Investigator for the State of Florida. Seven years ago, Special Agent Gimbel joined the FBI and was involved with the investigation of federal drug violations and organized crime activity until he was re-assigned following the 9/11 events.

His current assignment is as the Primary Relief Supervisor for the International Terrorism Squad in San Jose where he oversees 8 FBI agents and 2 Joint Terrorism Task Force officers. He is also a certified instructor and teaches terrorism classes at the FBI academy as well as to local, county and state law enforcement.

Bring a friend to this special opportunity to learn how the FBI is responding to these threats.


January 17, 2007
Speaker: Robert Freiri, Executive Director, and Ted Becker, Resource Development Director of Silicon Valley Habitat for Humanity
Intro by: Stan Barkey
Subj.: Habitat for Humanity

For 20 years, Habitat for Humanity has been serving our community by helping families become homeowners who could not afford to accomplish this on their own. Through their efforts 28 families with 95 children have been able to own decent, affordable homes in Silicon Valley.

Our January program will be provided by Robert Freiri, Executive Director, and Ted Becker, Resource Development Director of Silicon Valley Habitat for Humanity. They will share with us the inner workings of Habitat for Humanity including:
how families are selected to become homeowners,
how that homeownership works
what the families are required to do to help build their homes
how resale of the property works
how volunteers make all of this possible.
how they buy property
how Habitat is funded

Building “affordable” housing is a challenging proposition that impacts our economy and community in many ways. Come and learn how this organization is making a difference.