Rotagram Index Page
Back to Home Page
Rotary Wheel
Rotagram - Meeting Notes and Club News Rotary Wheel
Volume 83 Issue39 Wed, May 1, 2024

Rota-Scribe: RobertJahncke

Fullerton Rotary Nonprofit Members Share their Programs
Rebecka Forrester (Monkey Business) and Andrew Gregson (Chamber)

President Ripley opened the meeting with a "Clang". There's a lot going on in this month. First of all, did you see the conservative news how much you need to retire? A recent study found that you will need $1.46 million to retire comfortably. What else is going on: Older Americans Month. It's also Jewish American Heritage Month and Military Appreciation Month. Right behind that is Cinco de Mayo. And then May 6 is Cable Appreciation Day. Fifth through the 11th is National Hurricane Preparedneess Week. The Sixth is National Nurses Week. May 10th is National Teachers Appreciation Week. Of course the 27th is Memorial Day so you're all prepared now.So what's the difference between roast beef and pea soup? Anyone can roast beef. Just what do you call a sleepwalking nun? Roaming Catholic . Today we have Jonathan McFarland, leading us in the pledge. Frank Kawase with our prayer. 

Jonathan: A few fun facts about the US flag and the Google's definition of fun facts and my definition of fun facts are entirely different, so you're only going to get two fun facts. One is that the US flag has seen 27 versions since it was originally approved in 1777. The current version that has 50 stars in the 13 Stripes was approved and adopted by Congress in 1960 after Hawaii became a state. The first flag on the moon was a US flag planted there by Neil Armstrong in July 1969. total of six flags have been left on the Moon and apparently the first one was incinerated on takeoff by the lunar lander. Please join me in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Frank Kawase: My mother-in-law would look at me and say "Frank, you eat to live like  I live to eat. so please join me in the lesson ".

Dave Cardenas is back with us.

Does anybody have any announcements to make.

Jim, I feel so happy to see that Dr. Joe Arnold is with us today.

Aaron Greg: Un-Corked is this Saturday, I've got the wine bars, signup sheet. If you want a copy so that you can remember when you're supposed to be pouring.

After Uncorked, we will do a quick training on how to do the Rotagram. And we are looking for volunteers who can participate. The more volunteers we get, the better off we are. Matt said it if you are under 70 It is not a huge chore because you can actually just take notes on your computer and send it over to Bob Jahncke. But if you are over 70 We can do it manually as well. So we'll try them both ways.

Miko: reported on the last Top 100 for Fullerton High School: Cathy Gach, Matt Howells, Randy McFarlane, Mike and Elizabeth Oats and Chris and Bob Simon. The school has already requested a date for next year. We're going to be going under dress for the first few so I want to make up words that are worth a tie.

Proposed New Members:
Dr. Ramon Miramontes, transfer from Buena Park
Dave Cardenas, Transfer from Pasadena
David Sukert, Daytro Digital Marketing, by Amyn Choi-Wan and Leslie Mc Carthy
Joe Baldo, Higher Ground, by Lana Erlanson and Amy Choi-Wan

Jim Riply:We have a couple of programs today but and then after that we want to get people updated for Un-Corked, because it's this Saturday. I look forward to that but for now reach deep into your pockets and shake loose $5 bills because Mr. Marty Burbank has to take as much as he can.

Marty Burbank: As we were sitting down to enjoy our lunch John Phelps was saying some unkind things about some of the professionals at our table.

John: are you referring to my lawyers?

Marty: So that'll be $5. Each alright. Joe Lins you have something going on?

Joe: I do. It's the lovely Susie's birthday on Friday.

Marty:That's a good answer $5 Dick Ackerman, you got somethinGhappening

Dick Ackerman: I do. I'm gonna be caught because there is my 56th wedding anniversary.

Marty: Lisa, you have something coming up.

Lisa: I do. My wedding anniversary as well but apparently I was serving at all right...Marty: That’ll be $5. Okay, got those covered.I think that's all I have for today.

Jim Ripley: Today's program, I'm not sure who wants to go first. We have two presentations. In fact, go with Monkey Business and Andrew Gregson with North Orange County Chamber.

Ladies First Ladies first?

I'm Rebecca Forrester here with Monkey Business cafe. Thank you all for those who patron at Cafe. I am not an employee. Aa lot of people thought originally that I was when I joined. I've been a member for a year and a half now. I'm a board member with Monkey Business. And Monkey Business Cafe is part of part community homes, which is a Bible 123. And part of the community homes houses emancipated foster youth as well as current foster youth. They're actually STR TP, which is a short-term treatment, therapeutic program that's licensed by the state for kids that are the hardest cases. So these are kids that are Ward's of the state. They live in our group homes that are actually based in Orange. And these are children between the ages of 14 and 17. And we have about 10 kids right now in those homes. And Monkey Business cafe was created so that the kids would have some form of workforce development opportunity. And what happened was when these kids were nearing the ages of 15, about, I want to say more than 20 years ago, our founder Kerry was driving these kids to job interviews at Burger King and places like that. These kids that were living in the group homes were getting rejected. And if you can imagine not having a family and living with other teams and having the, you know, social anxieties that kids face these days, but with their circumstances getting rejected by employers, just something that was not helpful for them at all, obviously. So Monkey Business was created with the help of John Phelps, my sponsor, and Monkey Business Cafe has evolved over the course of the past two decades. It's actually located on Amirge and Lemon, by Fullerton College. For those of you who are unaware, we now own the building. And we own a facility in the back that houses 18 to 24 year olds as well. So that's a fourth place. And I'll get into that a little bit in a moment. But Monkey Business Cafe started as a thrift store then it turned into a restaurant. And now it serves the public breakfast and lunch from the hours of 7am until 2pm every day and they have great reviews on Yelp and the food is fantastic. There are wonderful items that are farm to table not all the items are farm to table but a lot of them are because we have a program with us here at Cal State Fullerton and the Fullerton Arboretum. So the kids that live within our treatment facility and the aged out foster youth building are able to grow the food farm to table which is a wonderful therapeutic opportunity. We even have bees so they put on their beekeeping suits and they tend to bees and smoke the bees. And it's just wonderful that they even grow organic foods. Where I'm in real estate, commercial and residential. And I would buy sweet potato pies, but they would grow. They planted sweet potatoes in order to ward off naturally pests for the other produce. So we try to have an organic model as much as possible on the Fullerton Arboretum lot. If you're familiar with the village and Arboretum, it's by the cactus in the desert section. So if you ever go far enough, back towards the freeway, you'll see our program for the Monkey Business cafe. There's a sign, and our kids really, that's their favorite aspect of our program. They love going and getting their hands in the soil, and just cultivating the land. And then they come up with the food menu as well. So they work with the food scientists that we have, as a collaborator of Fullerton, Cal State Fullerton, and she's an agriculturalist. She comes in with her students from Cal State Fullerton and interacts directly with our kids, teaching them good nutrition. They have a whole software program where they'll input different food ideas, and they come up with the menu. The kids have, ownership with the ideas that they're able to implement into the menu and see their ideas come to fruition from planting in soil all the way seeing it on the menu and serving it to the public. So it's a really wonderful model. I'm very passionate about it. Because when I was young, I had a job. And it really helped me save for my first investment property helped me out better social skills, I had a lot of social anxiety when I was a kid. And working young really helps with that. I'm a huge believer in and having work experience as a young person. And that's why they asked me to be on the board. As far as how Monkey Business needs help, Monkey Business helps patrons. So if you can go and have business meetings, there are a bunch of meetings there for breakfast, please do, because it's only open from seven to two. And it doesn't run profitably without other sponsorship and donations. And we have have basically 60% of our workforce, our current and former foster youth, not just housed within Monkey Business, or within our community homes, but also other foster organizations, Orangewood, and the like. And we even collaborate with OC United and some of the kids that they house as well. So if you can be a patron there, that would be so appreciated. If you could consider monkey business for catering for your events, we have a food truck, and we have a wonderful catering department. So the menu is not limited to what you see when you go and have breakfast and lunch there. There's a larger variety of what can be offered. And that really helps support the cafe and the model continue. In addition to that, we are currently in the beginning stages of constructing a 30 unit building where the four unit complex currently exists. So we've done a feasibility study. And it looks as though we have some loans and grants that we are praying for approval, so we will be able to house even more 18 to 24 year olds. In California, obviously, you know, we're What is it 30% of the US homeless population is here. But if you look at the stats of where those homeless people come from, an enormous percentage comes from former foster youth. So we are trying to mitigate that to reduce those numbers by helping these kids have housing as long as possible and have employment in a supportive environment while they're being housed and where better than right next door to where they work. So donations for the building would be incredibly appreciated. We were just base we were given a funds by the Phelps Foundation. Thank you so much, John, for our architectural fees. And we are waiting to hear back from grants and some loans that we're applying for right now for that building, because 30 unit is is not a small construction. And so how how rotary can help again, be a patron consider us for catering and consider donating for the building fund for more transitional foster use. So I appreciate all of you. And do you have any questions? Yes, I was. I have a comment. I'm a former Community Volunteer Coordinator for Orange County for all oppressed when I used to work with the transitional housing placement programs for foster youth. And this IQ there. It's fantastic. But also to just the model it is really amazing. And I hope that you can share your story with the community more people really understand what I agree. And I've been trying to get them to express what we do more specifically for years. But they want to protect the kids as well, because we have underage youth in the cafe. And they don't want them being targeted. Because if they're serving the public, which, you know, they're hostesses, they have to be 15. But still, they're underage. And they don't want them to also feel labeled. So I've asked them, like, put on the on the truck, but on the cafe, like what foster youth you're supporting foster youth. But that's been the opposition is they just don't want the kids to feel labeled or targeted. So if you can help me come up with different ideas on how to do that strategically, I would, I would welcome one or two things in such a challenge is there's not a lot of collaboration. Yes, so many other organizations that are doing similar to what you're doing. But it's always the competition for donor dollars and things like that. And it's a shame, collaboration. So you're able to partner with other organizations that have random access to do more partnerships. it's unfortunate, but it's, it's we're very open to collaboration. So we used to have a partnership with the repurposed division. I don't know if any of you saw the NBC news pieces that I kind of covered for monkey business. I recently posted one that I'm on the committee with OSI United for a housing development on church property. But for monkey business, specifically, I had two pieces of cover. One was for our social enterprise for foster youth. But the second one was we had an account with Republic Services to repurpose food in a separate kitchen in Monkey Business. Well, we lost that account. Sadly, Fullerton has submitted a complaint right now because they're not repurposing in person. But with that brand, or with that relationship, we were in the water. Now we're not. So we're trying to figure out ways of getting another type of partnership where we can repurpose food. And we can collaborate with other organizations like that, because that it gave them a way to also give back to the community to create disaster relief and emergency food, that we're freezer stored on school property. We look at my YouTube page to see more about that we're trying to get another collaboration going. But we're also reaching out to organizations where we can take our kids and say, Hey, can they work at your facility for organizations that have that partnership, but they do have those accounts with Republic Services. So we're trying to find ways to collaborate to not only increase workforce development opportunities, but to just expand the model and, and create more, you know, maybe even scale this to different locations, because it would be so wonderful to even have this within homeless shelter, like connections. I used to volunteer at Mercy house shelter, and I would mentor women who were living in a shelter. And we had such a hard time finding jobs, same thing. And these were people that had bachelor's degrees, some even master's degrees, but because they had no family, no relationships, they were unemployed for a while, maybe they got disabled, they lost their apartment, I would drive people to jog and reduce. And they would get denied over and over and over. It was so discouraging. And I kept thinking, why can't we move on to business for adults, or for veterans, or for other types of people in different situations?  I absolutely agree that this model can be scaled, but it needs support and it needs collaboration. So I would love to create a brainstorm committee when we get right to the online. United has workforce development and I hired tried a couple there. So my husband and I have gone over to the shelter and spoken and some of their, their classes through jobs through for life with Mike Harmon. Yeah, that's awesome. Yes, it's a great day. That's the program I'm talking about. Yeah, there's just a gap between the employment component unless you're in LA and there's, you know, illumination foundation and various organizations like that. But there's not enough here local to Orange County and monkey business. We were even open. We're open to even being like having other people come in and work potentially in the afternoon or evening. So that is a possibility. We're completely open to using our facility and other ways. So if any of you have ideas of how we could use the facility from two o'clock into the evening hours, they are open. We don't have an alcohol license, so don't turn it into a bar. anything, I know you, Lesley, you make it a wine bar. And wine night, and but honestly like events, we're open to that we are having a strategic meeting on Thursday come up with more ideas of how to best use and be good stewards of our facility so that we can increase opportunity for other types of people groups, as well as our own kids, and utilize the facility to its best capacity. Because right now it's again, it's vacant from the hours of two into the evening numbers. And it could be used. It could even be a study house for for, you know, college aged people, something we have a great coffee bar We have wonderful coffee beans that are brought in from South County.  I am open to ideas. Since we're having this meeting on Thursday. Again, come up to me after the meeting today, unless you have ideas right now, we are open to events that you might have ideas for using our facility. But we definitely want to grow our home and help more people. 

Jim: Thank You, Rebecka. Now, to get an update on the North Orange County Chamber of Commerce

Andy Gregson: This is about the Chamber. It's a pleasure to be here today to see a pleasure of serving as the president and CEO of North Orange County Chamber of Commerce. Because we truly get to help anyone and everyone north of Tustin. North Orange County Chamber of Commerce, for those of you have been around for a little while, it was the Orange County Chamber, started in 1893. It was just a whole bunch of people wanting to help callers because it was 1890. Anyway, this started the chamber. Back in the early 1900s it helped actually open up the sewage farm, which is now the the airport. In fact, just before the war, the Chamber actually had run the airport because it wasn't making any money. They kept it alive and that's why it's still here today. Another thing that chamber did, was it actually created the first volunteer fire department in Orange County, believe it or not, and that was in the early 1900s. And then of course now we have wonderful Fire departments. There are a few myths of the chamber. First one is that people feel that we are government run, or we're affiliated to the government. in fact, past Senator Dick Ackerman made sure that we weren't like them anymore. We do not get any money from the government. We're just literally like a regular business. We have to create services and serve our members in order for them to pay their dues. That's why we offer a lot of services that help businesses stay in business, because we truly do care. Because if we didn't, we'd all be gone. Another part that we also do, talking about government stuff, is more to do with lobbying and things like that, which I'll talk about in a moment. Another thing is elitism. Some people feel that maybe you've got to be a certain elite to be a part of the chamber. We'll take anybody who has a business, whether they have a huge global business, or whether they're part of the New Age, pajama party, and we're hoping we will help you grow your business. That's exactly what we're there to do for half an hour going to networking events, because we do want to wear regular clothing. But you know, still they do have to come up with pajamas sometimes. We've got maybe 50 or so people in the room here today. And if you own a business, how many times in the week do you get to meet 50 or so people in one room where the chamber you could do that weekly, you can come down to the chamber and you can ask, I need to find a plumber, I'll tell you that plumbers in the area, or maybe you want to see somebody who's an architect, and we're gonna tell it to share lots tax information to people. And that's how the chamber basically cooperates or work throughout the week with different folks. Another one is obviously, we're all worried about networking focus. Yes, we do like the networking event. But more of more of the fact we do larger events, things like state to the city. The city is a huge undertaking. The chamber does everything the city just shows up, I'd save a pretty and they're not pretty, but they do show up. Anyway. So basically, the Chamber does absolutely everything, including getting sponsorship. So many, many in this room are sponsored. And we really do appreciate that a big sponsor for us in the city of Fortson is actually the bank farmers Merchants Bank, they have done for years. And we're very grateful for them for doing that. And then the other one is limited scope, people feel that it's limited because it's a club again, it's a little bit like the AAA, you break down and you have triple aim to come and pick you up. If you don't have AAA, you're going to be Sunday at the side of the road for a while. And that's the way the chamber works. And the chamber only works that way or this chamber. And it works that way, purely because we are membership driven only that means if we only get paid basically, through our membership. We don't get any other services mentioned earlier. But the scope is not limited with North Orange County Chamber of Commerce. And the reason being is because we've been around since at negative city street. And we have members from all over Orange County across to Riverside County, and also in LA. And then of course, we do have a lot of businesses that are out of state. So basically anybody who wants to do business within Orange County, they look up on Google to see northern Orange County Chamber, and then bank they think that's what they're going to join. So I'm very lucky that some of the things we actually do is I wanted to share a little bit about understanding the main workings that we do because everybody sees everything that we do anyway. It just takes you through a short journey of what an average month looks like. For me on my chamber crew. One of the hardest things and I've given that job to Jennifer is actually collecting membership dues. Believe it or not, that's why every time I see Kathy and fearful did it get my check? Because I know she's not worried about it. And it's most important for clubs. So please remember to pay your dues when there are so that's a big part of our part of our week. And then another thing is obviously, I have a board, which comes to this. We're currently looking for board members. One of the things that we found with our memberships is the middle of the road memberships. They're doing all right, they can survive, they're doing okay, they need to help the main ones who keep opening and then closing, and the people who really start businesses, they want to be something different, they want to make something of their lives. They just don't know, they don't have all the tools and the experience to do it. So we're filling that gap, and filling that gap by doing workshops about how to stay prominent online, how to build your business, how to bring customers in doing marketing and advertising. And we're putting all that effort in ourselves. What we're asking for is we just need some help, whether it's sponsorship, donorship, whatever it is, it doesn't really matter. We just need to build our classroom.  We can sit 30 people in a room at little tables, we can teach them how to stay in business, and also support them in helping business once those classes are up and running and then able to go and get some funding. That will then purchase for these classes. Which means whilst these folks are learning how to build the business, we can also put some profits towards it, some of the monies to actually help them market their business to bring customers in the door, which will in turn, increase revenue and keep them in business. And that's really the be all and end all the chamber. Got lots of notes here. And it's all over the place. With the lots of different things :lobbying up to Sacramento on Friday, that was a waste of time, my money at that time. And, you know, we've got to go back next month because of the tabling it, even though I got up at three in the morning, you know crops like that, anyway. But it's worth something because we're going out there to try and get more funding from the state of California. Last year, we gave out nearly $347,000 to businesses who are getting money back for training the staff. And this year, we're asking for 545,000 because we got that many business participants actually within this program so that makes me feel good. We don't get much out of it. But what you do get out of it as soon as businesses grow and employ people. And that's what you know. Our main focus is to be honest with you. One of the main things that I feel like as we're going through my day in business. It was Zoot, he gave me this coin from Rotary, and he has a Four Way test on it. I look at this nearly every day. Because if we all really ran our lives, our businesses, our friendships and everything, like this Four Way test includes the government, we could train him on it. Life will be a lot better because these really, really work. When Joe asked me to join Rotary, I'm sure he got tenure or something, but you know, a little money in his pocket, or whatever it was, it doesn't matter because you know he's in. Anyway, so no one of the accomplishments we've done a lot over the last couple of years. Please, if you're a hater, be a hater because some of the things you might not like what we did, but we didn't in any way, just because we felt it was better for the area. So we helped with the pines and getting them actually up and running and buying that strip mall and making it a better and safer place, which in time is only going to build up the property value for everybody that got round there. If I hadn't been in that meeting, I know for a fact things wouldn't be the way it have been today, we were able to calm down. We also helped with the rest of the Fullerton Hotel project, where they pulled the hotel down, and they're building a big distribution center. It's just above the freeway, we do a lot of letters, the lobbying, recent one we did was we helped Cal State Fullerton with that Titan bridge they're going to be building over the summer. The kids stop getting run over here. I don't know why they thought about it now. You know, back in the day, maybe they didn't care as much. I'm not sure. And then, of course, you know, we have to do these silly things in Sacramento and deal with those folks. But it's okay. Because what I've learned is a lot of the folks who we really deal with in government, really do seriously care. The chamber is bringing them together. So they're able to bring the local community and the business members together and meet with senators and congressmen and women and an assemblymen and women and talk to them. And from these conversations, these folks really take it in and then they go back, and they start thinking about changing legislation, which is better. So I seem to point to that. I always used to think it's a waste of time. But it isn't a waste of time. And don't don't forget to vote to law. So important. I can't vote because I'm not American yet. I will be and then you knock it. But until then, don't forget to go out and vote. It's very, very important. did remind me and said he also says in his podcast, by the way, seriously, if you'd like to listen to a podcast, because sometimes we mess up and it's quite funny. But you know, listen to it. It's called chamber talk. So you'll find if you just look up chamber talk, you'll see North Orange County Chamber there, and we've had Brett and Joe have been on there. Joe even interviewed me as a joke.  Anyway, moving on from this thing, what's more important to you all is so coming from a business background and marketing to me, it's very important to understand, you know, who we're marketing to who's our target, what's going on in the area. This is employment size, again, very important, especially when you're looking affafordable housing, I'm afraid I'm a bit biased about it, it's slightly a bit of a joke, because it's not affordable, affordable to me here like a $3,000 or $4,000 home, not something that goes from the measures of everything else. But there's a lot of rental property out there. And of course, a lot of people who work they they needed this so they could rent the property. So this again, gives you a strong number of how many businesses and underneath is basically telling you up to four employees up to nine, all the way up to 5000 employees, I see nobody's got 500 to 1000 employees. This weird is a big gap just to be empty there. But that was the data that we got back. Then business sales volume, this is pretty important. Again, good for knowing what's going on in the city of Fortson and how much money they get. Again, going back to dec, he was explaining that the city get a very, very, very small amount of money from sales tax. Of course, you know, this is another way of maybe finding out how much more you're not going to have. But anyway, up to 500,000 is 820 businesses. And as you can see the middle middle sweet spot, there is a million to $2.5 million, which is quite strangely because a majority of our members are from for two because obviously we still are for to the Chamber of Commerce, however, they all go through the 375 iron less than $500,000 for their yearly membership. So I think there's something wrong there. So we're gonna go catching out the Lions of finance. Jennifer are because he's really good at you know, catching them out until us and that was question. Number of years in business. This was very strange to me that up to two years, obviously, that makes sense, because you know, it's just the way it is. But the six to nine years is almost at the same level where it peaked, and it peaks up after 10 years. But the nice thing is, is when you go across all the cities, believe it or not, this 10 or more years, Fullerton actually has a lot more businesses that have been in business 10 plus years than nearly any of the surrounding cities are talking. I mean, no going okay, it's only like 20 years old, but still from Irvine all the way up for to this still one of the sort of like strongest, longest experience, city or business owners, which leads me back to some of you should be on board members, right? silence There wasn't that. So you asked, What do you want a board member of? Silence? Okay, okay. These are These here are industry dominators. So basically, what's this sharing here is how many people are in, in that industry. It's funny because I was only talking about this with somebody yesterday. So there's 83 insurance agents or brokers just important. There's 38 in one apart, crazy in it. But then that allows somebody who's here to think, oh, maybe I should start marketing. And when I park, I've got less competition. So that's why we do things like this chamber. Just going through these are all the same. It's quite a few law firms. 117. So you were right to pay five bucks when you were making fun of the attorneys as we call them in town. That was a good one. And then finally, like I say, We're just here to help everybody grow and prosper, will argue with the city if we have to, because we can't because we're nonpartisan. And we enjoy every single member large or small. When we're reopening again, we'll have a ribbon cutting at the the new chamber office when it's when it's all nice, clean and tidy.  Thank you very much.

(published using 100% recycled electrons)
5/01/24 Fullerton Rotary Nonprofit Members share Podium
Rebecka Rorrester and Andrew Gregson
5/08/24 Community Investment Awards
CIA Recipients join Rotary to Receive their Donatoions
5/15/24 New Member Lisa Wozab Craft Talk
Met Shady New Member Lisa Wozab - "She has it Covered".
A Personal Harrowing Story Told by Fullerton Rotarian Matt Howells
this edition was published in Fullerton, CA
if you wish to unsubscribe, click here.