28 October 2013 — Mini Craft Talks!










Who are you?

A staple of Rotary Clubs around the world for many years, “Craft Talks” are an opportunity for Club Members to tell their teammates about themselves. In that way we give everyone in the Club a chance to get to know everyone else. Some Clubs set aside five minutes of every Meeting for one member to give a craft talk. All Clubs remember to give new Club Members the chance to introduce themselves, but more CLubs need to remember to let the veteran members introduce themselves, in the same manner, to the new Members.

This week’s online program is a (loose) transcription of our 27 October “Fourth Sunday” gathering, where the program consisted of Mini Craft Talks. Each member was given three minutes (on a timer!) to say whatever we wanted to say. These are presented in the order they occurred around the table.  We’ll all get more time soon, and the one member who had to miss this gathering, plus the two who participated live via Skype during their current travels, will catch up.

So…as The Who has been singing since the 1970s…Who Are You? Find out!

PRESIDENT SARA VASQUEZ – Born in Israel, after her older brother was bar mitzvahed they moved to Brooklyn, New York…so kids would not have compulsory military service…lived in someone’s basement in Brooklyn, which was like the constant air raid drills running to the basement in Israel in that era…then, a nice apartment, but the weather and noise was colder and more than they liked, so off to California they went where Dad started a plumbing business, following in his solar heating career in Israel.  Sara lived first in Culver City for a year, then off to Van Nuys…where Sara went to elementary school (Erwin St.) and Madison Jr. High and Grant High, then CSUN, speech and language therapy…but preferred teaching a whole group and working with adults in stead of children, got a Master’s, and then became LAUSD administrator (now working for County).  Married, with one son who just started UC Santa Barbara.

LINDA CATRAN – Born in San Fernando Valley and grew up here, Taft High School, UC Berkeley, was a rabble-rouser and thought that would be the place…degree in Ancient Greek Philosophy, which has been “very helpful”…first job in accounting, in accounting and finance and keeps trying to get out of it but ends up gravitating back…in the early 1980s she worked at an entrepreneurial high-tech company at the beginning of personal computers, loved it, left there and started her own business in personal computers, opened store in BH, met husband there, gave up the business with kids on the way, after daughter born she ran the IT Department for Jewish Home for the Aging in Reseda, getting their computer/internet set up, left and started a travel agency with her sister, owned that for ten years, and ran the operations.  Now she does consulting in all those areas

PATTY GIVANT – Born in New Jersey, at age 10 her dad got a job in aerospace and they moved to Canoga Park, grew up there, Canoga High School.  Has a twin sister, both went to San Fernando Valley State College (later CSUN).  Got married right after college and began her teaching career, starting at Madison Jr. High, teaching English for 10 years, then Porter Jr. High and Granada Hills HS.  Degree in English, Masters in Education, another Masters’ in school admin at Pepperdine.  Taught for about 20 years, then administrator.  Most exciting when Granada became a Charter and that was great.  Two children, a son and a daughter, they grew up in Simi Valley, but now she’s back in Granada Hills.

REED GALLOWAY – Born in North Hollywood, went to North Hollywood High.  Mom was from Herkimer, New York, Niagara Falls area, dad from the Oklahoma/Texas area, had a dog food company, Galloway Dog Food, breeding and racing Greyhounds back then.  Both parents were in the film industry and worked for MGM and Technicolor.   Dad knew nothing about cars, in the 70s and 80s you’d drive a car until it blew up and then go get another car.  He had a ‘71 Cougar convertible behind the house, and when Reed turned 16 he asked for it.  Yes.  He took one look and to this day it was the worst engine he h as ever seen…and that’s what got him into the car business.  Went to Pierce College, worked for Honda for 13 years, then he and his partner opened up their own place. RM Automotive, doing that for 14 years.  Met his wife at one of the dealerships he worked for: had to put her bra on.  And you’ll have to ask him for car-related details to understand that.  Married 20 years, two kids, son into music, daughter into dance, and Sunday late afternoon they’re in a bowling league.

DAVID ARNOLD – Went to UCLA for undergrad, double-major in Political Science and Public Administration with a focus on international studies, Pepperdine for his Master’s in business.  That’s all we can share in the web program until our heightened security clearance comes through.

SHARON GORRELL – “Goofy Newfie,” born in St. John’s, Newfoundland; dad was US Military, moved to Texas.  Three schools for 1st grade, 4 for 2nd, then they moved to California and 3 schools in third grade.  At age 8, started tutoring schoolmates in math and reading, so she can read and write upside down and backwards, having used only one book with the tutee.  Has one sister.  Northern California, went to HS there, went to Cal State Sacramento.  Passed a county-wide test and became a school librarian in South Lake Tahoe.  While she was going through a divorce, her daughter was discovered by a top youth talent agent in the L.A. area so they moved down to L.A. and daughter Paula great up doing TV until age 19.  Then she went to school, got married.  Paula bought her own car ate age 18, paid for own education, very proud of her, not a professional fundraiser and grant writer.  Sharon started running a home business, freelance typing, taught herself typing; then did graphic arts for small businesses including a publishing business; was a publisher, editor.  Then worked for CBS TV running their IT department; then took to dance, needed a better-paying job, talked Premiere Radio to hire her to a position she was qualified for, then she told them they needed a different, new department and created it and was put in charge of it.  Is a notary (a “Rotary Notary”) and sells Mary Kay cosmetics, and does a lot of dance teaching.  (Also worked in diners at one point, flipping burgers and making shakes.)

NATALIA YUNGERLEVI – Born in Moscow, Russia, Jewish family, escaping the Berlin Wall; Jewish Federation had a lottery system, didn’t know where you would go right away, so they ended up in Austria for a year, Italy for a year, Lithuania for almost a year, then to Canoga Park just in time for Northridge Earthquake.  In early childhood had only seen George of the Jungle so thought America was just a land of jungles.  At age 10 the family fell apart and Natalia ended up in foster care, where she met the woman who became her adoptive mother, court-appointed advocate and took Natalia under her wing.  She passed away three years ago.  Natalia went to CFS Fullerton, Business Admin, goal to reform the foster care system.  Want to start company, to use profits to create foster care agency.  Started doggie day care business with her adoptive mom, but did not continue it after mom passed away.  Went into insurance because it was the next-best thing, to earn residuals to create foster care agency, the goal is to do that for the next ten years and pursue the goal.  She also blows glass, got that from artistic talents of biological parents.  Has her own product line.  Glass nestling dolls, with different parts of a picture on each layer and tell a different story each time.

YOKO MATSUI – Born and raised in Yokohama, Japan.  Exchange student as a senior in high school, in Oxnard, attended Channel Islands HS, graduated with 1500.  Girl sitting next to her at graduation was pregnant…shocking to Yoko.  Put on Freshman 30 as a senior, mom didn’t recognize her at Narita Airport.     Returned to US six months later, been here since then.  Much of self comes from parents; dad was engineer, now retired, travelled extensively…once brought back a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang model car.   Met a lot of foreigners, who spoke a lot of English while visiting the house.  Now Yoko does a lot of volunteer work, including Chocolate for East Japan, sending chocolate to Japan to children and elderly in tsunami recovery areas.  Her mom spend a lot of time serving the community, so volunteerism comes from her example, too.

BRENDA BRADFORD – Born in Philadelphia, three older brothers, mom wasn’t gonna stop until she had a girl.  Moved to Appalachia, 45 minutes from Pittsburgh, when she was a year old, closer to Morgantown, West Virginia, stayed until she was 16, then moved to Detroit…that’s why she has so many sports teams from all over…still a die-hard Steelers fan.  Started dance lessons at 3, dream to become a Rockette but learned she was too short.  A couple of girls from Uniontown PA went on to become Rockettes.   Moved to California in 189, back to Detroit, back in 96 and here since.  Two kids, daughter is 21 born here, son 19 born in Detroit, 3 cats, loves to travel, currently in between jobs (laid off one month ago and couldn’t be happier, much travel since).  Wants to get a job in travel next, that’s her passion…travel and football, or traveling to see football…or shows…loves Broadway.  USC Trojans fan.

MEL POWELL – Born in New York City, moved to L.A. around age 6.  Father was in the movie industry, the business end, which was shifting from NY to LA at that point.  Movie marketing.  Grew up in Brentwood, went to Yale College back when he was smart, came back to UCLA Law School proving he wasn’t smart if he went to law school.  Practiced law fulltime for about six years, family law.  Learned a lot about all aspects of law, including courtroom stuff.  Once went head-to-head in a hearing with the famous F. Lee Bailey, who was a nice man out in the hallway and a major ‘blowhard” inside the courtroom, Mel was a baby-faced new lawyer, so Mel let Lee talk himself out of his own arguments and Mel won.  Still a licensed attorney but not full-time anymore, still working on one big set of cases, spends most of time doing community stuff, was President of Sherman Oaks Chamber of Commerce a few years ago, lots of Rotary Stuff, has cats, big Kings and Dodgers fan.

MORE TO COME…Judy and Roy Glickman will give theirs in November, and we’ll get Nancy Schmidt in as well.

(Members, please send an e-mail to Mel with corrections, changes, or additions!  And, all, as promised the recording Mel used to transcribe this will now be deleted forever.  Sorry, NSA.  It’s already gone.)


7 responses to 28 October 2013 — Mini Craft Talks!

  1. Looks great. Thanks

  2. Looks good Mel but I forgot to add that I retired two years ago, but still do consulting. Also should have added that I have 3 dogs who run my life. Thanks for all your transcription duties.

  3. Great mini craft talk. Enjoyed learning about fellow Rotarians.

  4. Sorry I missed this one. Great learning about out club members!!

  5. It’s nice to learn about our fellow Rotarians.

  6. Had a great time learning about everyone, such a unique cast of characters. Looking forward to future craft talks and learning more about our fellow members.

  7. Such varied backgrounds all working together for the common good! Gotta love Rotary!

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