18 August 2014 — PDG Sylvia Whitlock on Diversity in Rotary


The waning days of Summer are filled with activity in our dynamic little Club.  Sunday, August 17th, we held another of our quarterly “One More Item” Food Drives at Gelson’s in Sherman Oaks, to benefit the Valley Food Bank.  It was nice to be back at the Sherman Oaks store where the customers have always been quite generous, often giving more than “One More Item.”  During three full shifts covering a total of six hours, Club members, family members, and an Interact student and her faculty advisor, once again collected several hundred pounds of food for those in need.

Next, our program this week is particularly special to me.  I first heard Dr. Sylvia Whitlock speak a few years ago at the District 5260 Conference.  I was new to Rotary, and she just blew me away.  In 1987-88, Sylvia was the first female president to serve as a Rotary Club president anywhere in the world, for the Rotary Club of Duarte, and since then has served Rotary District 5300 in various roles, most recently in 2012-13 as its District Governor.  This week’s program includes the video of her speech at PETS (Presidents-Elect Training Seminar) in February of this year.

Then, next week, our Fourth Sunday meeting at Denny’s, in Sherman Oaks, is NOT to be missed!  Not only will we kick off the Rotary Themed New Generations month with a first-hand account from Melodie Genty, a Rotary Youth Exchange student, about her experiences so far, we will also have the extreme pleasure of inducting Daniele Della Gala, as our first new member in this Rotary Year.  I hope to see you all there!

Finally, September is upon us and with it our next, and unfortunately timely, E-wareness campaign:  Suicide Prevention.  We look forward to learning about symptoms, diagnoses, treatment and the impact of suicide on family and friends.  Check back weekly to learn more.

Linda Catran
President, 2014-2015


On Sunday, August 17, the Club hosted our sixth ONE MORE ITEM Food Drive, in support of Valley Food Bank.  We returned to Gelson’s Sherman Oaks, with their construction having finished.  Generous shoppers were asked to add just one extra item to their shopping and leave it with us.  At the end of the day, once again we had five full barrels to help the food-insecure around the San Fernando Valley.  Our next public Food Drive is set for November 16.

Daniel Pearl Magnet HS Interact President Ilana and Faculty Adviser Dan take a shift with us again.

Daniel Pearl Magnet HS Interact President Ilana and Faculty Adviser Dan take a shift with us again.

Club Member Sharon and Newest Club Member Daniele (to be inducted on 24 August) start the morning shift.

Club Member Sharon and Newest Club Member Daniele (to be inducted on 24 August) start the morning shift.









SUNDAY, AUGUST 24 — 12:30pm to 2:00pm — Our FOURTH SUNDAY meeting for August, with special guest speaker Melodie Genty, a visiting Rotary Youth Exchange (RYE) student from New Caledonia, for an informal and enjoyable conversation getting to know Joao and learning more about RYE. We will also have very exciting team news! The Fireplace Room at Denny’s, 5525 Sepulveda Boulevard in Sherman Oaks.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 20 — 7:00pm to 10:00pm — FIFTH ANNUAL DANCE FOR THE CHILDREN, in support of The Rotary Foundation’s PolioPlus Fund and continuing the eradication of polio, Arthur Murray Sherman Oaks, 4633 Van Nuys Boulevard, just south of the 101 in Sherman Oaks.










There were no female Rotarians anywhere in the world until the 1980s.  In fact, in many parts of the world women are deeply in the minority in Rotary Clubs.  You can’t tell from our Club, where the women outnumber the men and two of the three Presidents in the Club’s history have been (and still are) women.

The first woman to serve as a Rotary Club President is Sylvia Whitlock…long ago, but not as long ago as you might think: 1987, as President LInda noted above.  Sylvia is also a recent Past District Governor of District 5300, and spoke at PETS (Presidents-Elect Training Seminar) in February of 2014 to the Presidents-Elect of the Clubs in six Southern California and Nevada Districts.

There’s a lot of learning going on whenever Sylvia–a former school principal–speaks.  Here is her talk at PETS a few months ago, offering us plenty of food for thought.

If the embedded video does not work, please click here to view it on YouTube.

Always worth a little personalization: your Programs Chair had the privilege of sitting next to Sylvia at lunch and hearing her speak at the Rotary District 5260 Conference in 2009.






The opinions expressed by guest speakers, or in advertisements that appear on external websites linked to this program, are those of the speaker(s)/websites/advertisers and not necessarily of the Rotary E-Club of The Greater San Fernando Valley or its members. No endorsement is implied. Programs are presented for informational purposes only.


3 responses to 18 August 2014 — PDG Sylvia Whitlock on Diversity in Rotary

  1. Great presentation!

  2. It’s always a treat to hear Sylvia Whitlock speak.

  3. What a powerful presentation! I was fairly young in the late 80’s, and was taught that we are all equal. I was shocked that women were so segregated in the workforce and Rotary. Thanks to Nancy for a wonderful series of emails to teach me how it really was back then, and explain how far we have come.

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