June 17, 2015
Unlock the Extraordinary Power of Your Mind!
Chester Santos, "The International Man of Memory", is one of the world's
foremost experts on memory training. He has competed at the highest levels of
competitive memory and in 2008 was crowned the USA National Memory Champion.
Chester is capable of such amazing feats as memorizing and perfectly recalling
a 100+ digit sequence of numbers after looking at it for only 5 minutes, and
memorizing and perfectly recalling an entire deck of playing cards in less
than 2 minutes and 30 seconds. In addition, he can learn hundreds of random
words, names and faces, and poetry in a matter of minutes.
He's helped thousands of people around the world to realize the benefits
of an improved memory and sharper mind, and has appeared in various television,
radio, and print media all over the world. He has spoken for executive organizations
as well as for many Fortune 500 companies and prestigious universities including
the Royal University for Women in Bahrain, the Haas Graduate School of Business
in Berkeley, Stanford University, and Harvard University.
Chester is working on a new book about memory improvement and brain fitness.
His iPhone application, “Steel Trap”, was featured by Apple and became
an instant worldwide bestseller.
Chester's presentations are a wonderfully unique blend of interactivity,
entertainment, inspiration, and education. He delights audiences while helping
them to develop real world skills that they can apply to achieve more success
in their career and personal life. His presentations are "unforgettable" experiences
that everyone will always "remember" and talk about for years to come.
May 20, 2015
The Star Geezers
Music Like You May Have Never Heard Before
The Star Geezers is a musical quartet, playing their own instruments and singing
in varied harmony. The group evolved from an “imitation” Soggy Bottom
Boys formed originally to promote a church activity at the Los Altos United Methodist
Church. (The original Soggy Bottom Boys was a musical group featured in
the movie, O Brother, Where Art Thou? The name is a homage to the Foggy Mountain
Boys, a famous bluegrass band.) The Star Geezers have become famous in their
own right and continue to play for many church activities and other functions.
Most of the songs that The Star Geezers sing will be familiar. The others will
just be fun! We will even get to sing along, if we want. The members:
Jim Reynolds: Co-Leader, guitar and singer. Jim is a Silicon Valley Specialist/Consultant
in Integrated Circuit fabrication. He became interested in Blue Grass music
while in college and taught himself to play the guitar and sing this type of
music. He has played with many California blue grass bands.
Ballard French: bass (named “Bessy”). Ballard worked at various companies
in Silicon Valley before retiring from Xerox Corp. in 1994. He built “Bessy” in
1959 to play in a noontime group while employed at Ampex Corp. It replaced a
single rope string “tub”, and cost $16.35 (including strings) to
construct from scrap lumber.
Stan Kullborn: singer. Stan worked as an optical engineer for Perkin Elmer
before he started his own financial consulting company. He has sung in several
country and gospel bands as well as church choirs.
Mike Beamer: Co-Leader, guitar, mandolin and singer. Mike formerly owned
a music store, The Music Shoppe, in Menlo Park CA. He is an outstanding jazz
guitarist and also plays the mandolin.
Don't miss The Star Geezers!
April 15, 2015
Global Climate Change Effect on Bay Area
Will Travis, who is commonly called “Trav,” is a consultant, writer,
teacher and speaker on sea level rise adaptation planning. Following retirement
in 2012, he served as senior adviser to the Bay Area Joint Policy Committee.
It's an alliance of agencies supporting the effort to draw up a long-term regional
plan that takes into account both environmental and economic needs. "Our
prosperity in the Bay Area is tied to having a coherent strategy for climate
change," Trav said. "I moved out here because I loved this region,
and that has never changed."
Trav received Bachelor of Architecture and Master of Regional Planning degrees,
both from Penn State University, and between 1961 and 1970 he worked in the
fields of architecture, local planning, private consulting, advertising and
public relations. From 1970 until 1972 he was design analyst at the San Francisco
Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC), the nation’s first state coastal management
agency. In 1972 Trav joined a consulting firm created by Stewart Udall, which
drafted the first master plan for the East Bay Regional Park District. From 1973
to 1985 he served in a number of positions at the California Coastal Commission.
In 1985 Trav was appointed deputy director of BCDC. From 1990 until 2001,
he was BCDC’s representative to and chairman of a trustee committee that managed
a multi-million dollar oil spill settlement fund. In that capacity, he spearheaded
the public acquisition of 10,000 acres of privately-owned salt ponds along the
northern shoreline of San Francisco Bay; the ponds are now being converted to
natural habitat as part of the largest wetland restoration project in the western
In 1995 he was appointed executive director of BCDC. Under his leadership
in 2011, BCDC became the nation’s first state coastal management agency to
adopt development regulations for addressing sea level rise.
Trav and his wife, Jody Loeffler, are the authors of Katherine’s Gift,
a memoir on international adoption. They live in Berkeley, California.
Walt and Liz Wilson
Adventure into North Korea
North Korea – also known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
(DPRK) – is one of the last untouched places in the world. It’s a
country stuck in time, outside of the system — “a small planet,” in
the words of one author. The DPRK is the most secretive and antagonistic country
in the world. Since the country opened up to outside visitors, only a handful
of people have experienced the rare gift of visiting this reclusive nation.
Walt and Liz Wilson traveled to North Korea in July 2014 as members of the
first group of American tourists on a tour organized by an American company.
The Wilsons will share their experiences and a DVD of their adventure into
the heart of North Korea with us. Anyone who has attended one of their
travel presentations would agree that it's an event not to be missed. They
capture the essence and culture of a country and its people with breathtaking
visuals accompanied by insightful and fascinating stories.
The couple has explored about 90 countries during their 48 years of marriage,
including living in Germany and Japan during the 80s. Before retirement, Walt
had a leadership role in Solectron, helping it become a global electronic manufacturing
company for original equipment manufacturers. Liz, most recently, was a
drama teacher at Castillero Middle School in San Jose. Liz’s father
was a member of SIR in Mountain View in the 1960s.
Ray Rothrock and Christopher DiGiorgio
The Venture Capital Industry – Trends
While Chair of the National Venture Capital Association in 2013, Ray Rothrock
led the association in developing a "report card" on the venture
capital (VC) industry. Chris DiGiorgio, senior partner and recently retired
from a 30-year career at Accenture, facilitated the effort. This project involved
face-to-face interviews with interested parties of the VC industry including
five dinner meetings held all over the United States with about 80 people from
the business. Further, research information was collected about the industry.
The report card was provided to the board of the NVCA as Ray stepped down as
chair. Chris continued to research the project and developed a much more granular
view of the industry backed by first-hand data collection and analysis. This
picture, coupled with the interviews conducted from the industry itself, made
for a presentation road show which Ray and Chris have given either together
or separately for the last year to about 25 groups.
Ray is a partner emeritus of Venrock. His formal education is in nuclear
engineering with a BSNE (summa cum laude) from Texas A&M Univeristy and SM from the
M.I.T. and ultimately an MBA (with distinction) from Harvard Business School.
Chris is a Distinguished Alumni of California State University and holds
a BS in Computer Science and a BS in Business Administration.
Nicole Sandkulla, Chief Executive Officer and
General Manager of BAWSCA
The Bay Area’s Interests in the San Francisco
Regional Water System: Past, Present and Future
The San Francisco Chronicle reported in January, 2014, that a debate is emerging
between the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) and the Bay Area
Water Supply and Conservation Agency (BAWSCA) over the potential disaster if
the water system’s Mountain Tunnel collapses. That tunnel supplies 2.6
million Bay Area homes and businesses with water. SFPUC has known for 25 years
that significant work is needed on the 19-mile-long tunnel just outside Yosemite
National Park. But ultimately, the 89-year-old connector was left out of a
rebuild project, which focused on upgrading Bay Area water facilities that
could fail in an earthquake.
This was just one of the issues facing our speaker, Nicole Sandkulla, when
she was selected to be BAWSCA’s CEO/GM in July, 2013. Ms. Sandkulla,
a civil engineering graduate of California Polytechnic State University-San
Luis Obispo, joined BAWSCA in 1999 after nine years with East Bay Mud. During
her fourteen years as Water Resources Manager for BAWSCA, she was described
as “a results-driven executive.” She has a huge job representing
the interests of 24 cities and water districts, plus two private utilities,
that purchase water wholesale from the San Francisco regional water system.
These entities provide water to 1.7 million people, businesses and community
organizations in Alameda, Santa Clara and San Mateo counties.