Sunday, December 10, 2017


PROGRAM: Melanie Rice spoke on Women in Rotary.  Ms. Rice is the DGN for our district.  She joined the Norco Rotary club in 2002, is currently a member of the Corona Rotary club for which she was rejected as a member in the late 1990s because of her sex.  She outlined the history of women in Rotary which begins with women creating a variety of auxiliary efforts, all rejected by Rotary for full membership since 1911: Rotaryanns still exist today, and the Inner Wheel has over 100,000 members, women who support Rotary without any Rotary recognition.  This is a large number considering that the full membership of women in Rotary is about 200,000.  The USA has the greatest number of Rotarians worldwide and 28% are women.

Rotary removed the word “Men” from the title, the Men’s Club of Rotary from all of their titles in 1980.  Prior to that, and out of Duarte, CA, that club admitted the first woman and RI promptly suspended their charter.  That group continued as the “Ex Rotary Club of Duarte” until the US Supreme court told all men’s service clubs that it was unconstitutional to deny membership based on sex, etc.  That was in 1981.

By the by, Indio Rotary remained all men until about 1993-ish.  Just ask Roger about that.  Then ask me about being the first woman member of Indio Rotary……we have stories!!!!!

Some members of Rotary await the election of the first woman RI President…..perhaps in the next decade?

Friday, December 8, 2017

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Speaker of the Week!

Joshua Bonner is the president and CEO of the greater CV Chambers of Commerce with offices in Coachella, Indio, La Quinta, Cathedral City and soon in Desert Hot Springs and serving also the unincorporated areas of the county….think businesses in Bermuda Dunes.  It is the first chamber in the nation to have tribal representation as a partner with the chamber.  Mr. Bonner spends some time in Washington DC and in Sacramento and the issues at the federal level include proposed tax reform and healthcare reform.  From the chamber’s perspective, the cost to small businesses to insure all employees resulted in continually increasing costs under Obama Care.  At the state level the chamber is watching the Governor’s election and the candidates’ interest in single payer healthcare and how it will be paid for.

Upcoming Chamber events:  State of the City hosted by the Mayor Elaine Holmes on 10-19, Taste of Indio on 10/26 at Jackalope Gardens; national competitive bar-be-cue at the golf course on 11-4 and the business expo at Fantasy Springs events center on 11/16.

To honor the tradition of the good works of service clubs, Mr. Bonner donated 2 tickets each to our longest serving member, Roger Harris and to our newest member, Brandy Shaski.  They are going to the Taste of Indio.

He is donating free tickets for all to attend the business expo.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Speaker of the Week!

PROGRAM: Lauren Skiver, CEO of Sunline Transit

Ms. Skiver began her career in bus transit as a maintenance worker for a bus company on the east coast.  She is now the CEO of a “small” transit company called Sunline Transit.  This company has the bus transit business in the Coachella Valley, it also manages all that needs to be managed about taxi cabs/service, and it is on the cutting edge of generating, testing, and the selling of, alternative fuels.  The buses in the valley primarily run on hydrogen cell fuel that is made here from landfill compressed gas.  It is the first such agency in the US to run almost its entire fleet on this energy.  Although the US is backing off on its push for clean air alternative zero emission vehicles, all over the world there is an increase for it and Sunline Transit is in the market of creating the energy cells. 

The bus company has 14 routes with 76 buses, additional paratransit vehicles available to be called to provide transit to the invalids.  It made 4.5 million passenger trips in a year.

Measure A funds 54% of the company, there is limited money available in federal subsidies and the company, because of its track record in development receives a lot of grant support for their future endeavors.  74% of their cost is in wages/benefits with 300 plus employees, all but 100 are part of a union.  Bus rides and paratransit rides are all highly subsidized.

The company has monthly performance management meetings with real numbers and adequate data to update their decisions.  The company supports a Culture of Excellence which is far beyond just showing up each day.  Working excellently requires training of employees.

The hydrogen electric fuel cell bus is in its 9th generation iteration.  With each the cost is going down and when the market goes up, the costs will continue to go now.  The cost of such a bus in 2018 is $1.7 million.  Sunline also has 3 all battery electric buses built in Lancaster, CA by a Chinese company each of which costs $900,000. This is a newer concept that Sunline is trying as it keeps ahead of the business of public transit.

The company is currently 30% solar energy driven in their buildings and plan to be 100% within the next few years.