Cache-Control : no-cache, no-store, must-revalidate Expires : -1 Pragma : no-cache
An Inside Look at Banking in a Post-Pandemic World
with Farmers & Merchants Bank President Henry Walker.
Meeting was called to order by club President Joe Lins. He welcomed everyone in attendance and informed members of the passing of Louis Kuntz wife, Barbara. “The Rosary is scheduled for tomorrow at McCauley Wallace and Funeral at St. Juliana Falconieri Church in Fullerton, California.”
President Lins introduced new members of the Fullerton Rotary Club, “Steve McLaughlin and Karl Zener. Steve is the newest member of our club, and Karl is a member of the La Habra Rotary Club.” President Lins awarded them with their Rotary pins, plaques and four-way test. Congratulations to our newest members!
President Lins asked Patrick Harnett to come up to the stage and be recognized. “Patrick, we were running low on the budget when you joined our club,” President Lins joked. “We didn’t have the certificate of membership or the four-way test. Here is your membership plaque and your four-way test. We are glad you are here. Thank You.” Kudos on his Rotary International tie.
Today’s important facts, did you hear about the two sharks eating a clown? One says to the other, “Does this taste funny to you?” Joke received mixed reviews. Another important fact of the day, what do you call a Zombie while he’s cooking stir-fry? “Dead man wok-ing.” This joke was liked by the members.
On this Day, in 1913, American all-round athlete Jim Thorpe signs to play baseball with the New York Giants, unlike his other sporting endeavors, the Olympic-medal winner’s career in MLB was uninspiring. More on Jim Thorpe, on January 26, 1913, he relinquished his 1912 Olympic medals, “because he played 2 seasons of semi-pro baseball.” Then on August 20, 1920, he is installed as president of the American Professional Football Association which would later become the National Football League. Then on January 29, 1963, he is elected to the Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Finally, on January 8, 1983, the International Olympic Committee restored his medals 70 years after they were taken from him for being paid $25 in that semi-pro baseball stint. In 1950, Green Bay Packers founder, player, and coach Curly Lambeau of Lambeau Field, resigns after 31 seasons and 6 NFL titles under his belt.
For our Commencement ceremonies, Past President Bob Sattler gave us our Invocation. He asked members to bow their heads for a prayer. “Lord, on a day like today, we get to come to a Rotary meeting, and organization that supports and helps those in need around the world. Breaks through political barriers. We are truly blessed. Thank you and Amen.”
Our Patriotic Moment was given to us by Kim Barlow. She gave us a brief, On This Day in History, “In 1790 the U.S. Supreme Court met for the very first time. It is a very important day because a third of our government branches came to be all those years ago.” She led us in the Pledge of Allegiance. President Lins thanked Kim for bringing in her grand-daughter Charlie to last week’s meeting, “that’s quite a compliment to see you and her because that little girl truly loves you.”
Our Songmaster for today was “the very highly talented, maybe not at singing,” Farrell Hirsch. Farrell takes the stage and jokingly says, “that’s more applause it will get when it’s done.” Farrell went with a song from The Carpenters. Before though, he explained what went through his mind when President Lins called him to be Songmaster, “I tried to explain to him that I can’t sing and that it’s torturous for me. Not in an emotional way because I am a HAM. I’ll sing in front of an audience at MSG if you let me. But nobody should have to listen to me sing. So maybe there’s a way to get back at Joe for this.” Farrell sang a parody song for President Joe Lins, Dolly Parton’s Jolene, as payback. It was great! He led the club to “Top of The World” by The Carpenters. Farrell Hirsch did a job well done as the club’s Songmaster.
Today’s guest in attendance were, Gary Draper, guest of Marty Burbank and Thad Sanford. Thad gave Gary an introduction, “Gary is our president of the Roosters. We are honored to have Gary here today!” Scott Dowds introduced his guest, John Kenny from Rotary South and Helen Eligio. Jim Vanderburg introduced his wife, Willa Vanderburg. “We’ve been married for 67 years.” Christian Esteban introduced his guest, Giselle Monterrosas. Giselle will be stepping in for Christian at La Joya Scholars.
Brett Ackerman was asked to come up and give us an update of the transition of Fullerton Rotary South into The Fullerton Rotary Club. “There last meeting was yesterday. Their contract ran out where they are renting which means they are going to join us. March 1st is the official date. Everything is running smoothly; all we need to do is turn in the paperwork to Rotary International. Looks like probably 15 members joining us.” President Lins thanked Matt Howells, Brett Ackerman, and Jim Ripley for the work they’ve been doing to facilitate this move.
Today’s Finemaster and Recognition Master was immediate past President Zoot Velasco. The club knew they were in for something good when they heard who the Finemaster was. “What a warm reception. All those who’ve grown, put a dollar in the net.” He recognized Jeff Hutchison, who was not present, for his Rotary anniversary. Mike Oates was recognized for his anniversary, “where you fined for this last week for this? Your wife is a saint for staying married with you. For the canonization, would you like to put in a couple bucks please?” Mike Oats agreed to put in $5. Carl Camp was asked to stand and be recognized for his wife’s birthday next week. “I might not attend next week’s meeting,” Carl said. “Well, there you go. All the more reason to get you today. Thanks for remembering. That’s $5, sir.” Gary Draper from The Roosters Club was asked to stand, “we were so excited to hear about the Roosters for many years through Dan, Marty, and Thad. You had us all until you told us you used to be a member of this club. Why did you leave? That should be a fine,” joked Zoot. He wanted all members who are Roosters to stand and be fined $5 each. Brett and Matt were recognized for all their hard work with the transition of both Fullerton Rotary Club’s, “and for all those that are happy to see Rotary South join us, please put up a dollar in the fine net.” Farrell Hirsch was called upon, “I’m not going to fine you for your singing. You were surprisingly better than you led on.” He was fined $5 for his six-year anniversary at The Muck. “Anyone want to put up a dollar for Farrell and what he has done at The Muck, please do.” Jim Vanderburg was asked to stand, “it’s so good to see you back and you look fabulous, just fabulous! It’s really good to see you back and in good health. If anyone can remember
all the great things Jim has done for this club in his many positions, please put up a dollar in the fine net.” Cathy Gach was asked to stand. “I want to thank Cathy for agreeing to be President. I only had to tie her up and torture her for about 3 days! I really want to thank you for all you’ve done as treasurer for this club among a million other things. Please, put up a dollar for Cathy in the fine net.” Minard Duncan and Karl Zener were asked to stand, “Karl, tell everyone what you told me.” Karl explained that Minard was his elementary school principal. “Part of the reason Karl has been successful is because of the role models he has had, such as Minard Duncan.” Minard was recognized for all his accomplishments in life. Zoot Velasco did an awesome job as Finemaster!
Our Program at Hand today, An Inside Look at Banking in a Post-Pandemic World with Farmers & Merchants Bank President Henry Walker, introduced by Scott Dowds. “It’s my pleasure I get to introduce my boss to you all. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Henry for 30 years! When we started together, the bank was a small family bank. When we grew the bank, we didn’t do it like other banks do it. We did it through organic growth. Growth through people telling their neighbors and friends about us and wanting to work with us. Henry is a 4th generation banker in a 116-year-old bank. Him and his brother get it done every day. Please welcome, Henry Walker, President of Farmers & Merchants Banks.” Henry thanked everyone for having him as the speaker. He was thrilled with the idea of the Finemaster, “I have 3 employees sitting here that need to be fined.” He starts off with how Farmers & Merchants Bank is a family bank going back 4 generations. He himself, has been in banking for 35 years. In addition to banking, Henry is an avid Polo player. Farmers & Merchants Bank is 116 years old founded by Henry’s great grandparents, “my great grandmother came to California with her family around 1885. So, I’m 5th generation Californian. 5th generation Long Beach. 4th generation banker, and 3rd generation Polo player.” He remembers his grandparents, from both sides of the family well. They lived up to their 90s. “My mother and father were born in 1926 and 1927.” Henry is the 6th child his parents had. His great grandmother received an education from UCLA upon arriving to California and obtained a degree in teaching. His great grandfather, CJ Walker, moved west to California from New York State, during the Gold Rush. “He worked the railroads, as far as Kansas. He saved up enough money and bought a horse. For 6 months he rode West to California.” He tells of how his great grandparents met at a Thanksgiving dinner, while both were working in Tulare County, California. When his great grandmother moved back to Long Beach, CJ decided to follow, “thank god she came back to Long Beach, otherwise the whole family would have ended up in Tulare County.” Henry’s family came to Fullerton in 1958 to help develop the city. Ken Walker, his father, came to Fullerton to build his home and raise his family. His two older brothers went to Buena Park High School, his brother Daniel who he works with, his sister and himself went to Sunny Hills High School in Fullerton, California. “I enjoyed my education at Sunny Hills. I wrestled there for 4 years.” Today, Henry lives in the Naples community of Long Beach, with his wife of 15 years and 4 children. Henry says that there are 7 directors at Farmers & Merchants Banks. His brother, Daniel, is Chairman and CEO. Daniel is 16 years his senior. 6 of the directors are considered independent which is standard in the banking industry. The financial world is in an interesting place after the pandemic. “The Pandemic for some was terrible, but for banks was fantastic.” He says that it was economically great because the government put in a lot of money into the system within those 2 years of the pandemic. PPP loan program was a success, his bank processed 100 percent of every completed PPP loan application during the pandemic. His staff were able to work 12-hour days for 60 days shoulder to shoulder with no COVID transmissions. “At the end of the day, the banking industry had unparallel growth. We ended up being one of the top 100 largest banks in the country. Which we are quite proud of.” When Henry began his career in banking, there were 18,000 banks in America. Now, because of the huge amounts of consolidations there are about 4,700. The recession and federal interest rates were a topic of discussion as well. Henry took questions from members in attendance. President Lins awarded Henry with the highly coveted speakers gift, “thanks for coming out today. You are an amazingly busy guy. Busy is not the right word. The adjective for a guy like you is totally engaged. Thank you sir.”
Last thing on the agenda was the 50/50 drawing for $36. Ticket holder number 6369704, Bill Edman wins the money. For the 2 drawings for the free Muckenthaler Event courtesy of Farrell Hirsch, 6369676 Jim Vanderburg wins the tickets. “Thank you for coming today, looking forward to seeing you next week. Charge ON! Meeting adjourned.”
invite a Friend and Share Rotary
(published using 100% recycled electrons)
this edition was published in Cancun, MX