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Of The Gold Country

Grass Valley, California




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Guest Speakers

February thru June 2011
These folks gave a talk at our lunch meeting

For other dates, click on 2013 or 08 thru 12, 2012 or 01 thru 07 2012 or 07 thru 12 2011

Don Foster

June 23rd, 2011

Our guest speaker today was Don Foster. Don is a native California Educator with teaching and management experience at all levels of public education including state and private universities. He earned his doctorate at Stanford in the 1950's. Since 1961, Dr. Foster has worked in over 35 nations for agencies in the Private; U.S. and International sectors to design manage and evaluate development projects, primarily in Health and Education. The UN Children's Fund is one of his favorite UN Agencies. He collaborated with India and UNICEF colleagues for 7 years on a successful Safe Motherhood and Child Survival Project.

Don spoke about UNICEF and the good things they are doing worldwide. He talked about first-hand experience of why there is a very strong need for organizations like UNICEF.

Don also talked about the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. A plan to achieve eight anti-poverty goals by the year 2015. A major new commitment for women's and children's health and other initiatives against poverty, hunger and disease
Thank you Don, for an enlightening and informative talk.


Randy Oliver

June 16th, 2011

Our guest speaker today was randy Oliver, a Beekeeping Expert. A big thanks to Randy Oliver, bee keeper, for his excellent presentation on the Honey Bee.

Randy talked about how bee keepers work with local farmers to have bee hives pollinate their crops. Specifically, how bees are used with almond and other fruit trees. He also talked about the Queen Bee, and how all of the drone bees do their work. Fascinating.

Randy is a world class bee keeper with a very buzzy schedule. Thank you Randy, for talking to Kiwanis.

Sandy Woods

June 9th, 2011


Our guest speaker today was Sandy Woods, Chief Executive Officer of the Nevada County Fairgrounds. Sandy did a great job bringing us up to date on the current state of affairs at the fairgrounds and what to expect in the future.

Thanks again, Sandy.

Holly Hermansen

June 2nd, 2011

Our Guest Speaker today was Holly Hermansen Nevada County Superintendent of Schools. Holly talked about the 10 school districts that make up Nevada County Schools. Although there has been talk of consolidating the districts, there are no immediate plans. Holly also talked about the budget, bullying, and the roll of the Superintendent of Schools.
Also attending our lunch meeting were nine Kiwanis Students of the Month from 7 Hills School.
Thank you Holly for an informative talk !

9 Kiwanis Students of the Mont

Dan Castles

May 26th, 2011

Our guest speaker today was Dan Castles, President & CEO of TeleStream Corporation of Nevada City. Telestream® specializes in products that make it possible to get video content to any audience regardless of how it is created, distributed or viewed. Video created in various formats are run thru Telestream's process to enable the video to be viewed.
Telestream® now has about 200 employees and plans to grow to about 500 employees. They recruit employees from many different regions, to work here in Nevada County or to telecommute from their current location. Many families have relocated here in Nevada County. They also support many of our local high schools by providing video equipment to those schools that have programs aimed at teaching video media. Telestream customers include the world's leading media and entertainment companies: content owners, creators and distributors.

Thank you Dan for an informative and enlightening talk !

Lorraine Larson

May 12th, 2011


Our guest speaker this week was Lorraine Larson from Habitat for Humanity.

Lorraine spoke about Habitat's role in our community and gave us an overview of their most ambitious project to date, the Joyce Dr. Project.

Deana Valen

May 5th, 2011

Our guest speakers today were Deana Valen Executive Director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Nevada County and Big Brother Alan Gratzer. Some of the things Deanna talked about were what it takes to become a Big Brother, and the screening process before becoming a Big Brother. The PAL Program (Peer Assistance Leadership) is part of Big Brothers. Their mission: To make a positive difference in the lives of children and youth in our community through a professionally-supported, one-to-one relationship with a caring and responsible individual. After Alan Gratzer and his wife became empty nesters, Alan found something missing in his life. Big Brothers Big Sisters has been a great way to give back to our community. Alan was the founding member of REO Speedwagon )
Thank you Deana and Alan for an inspirational and informative talk !

Alan Gratzer

Jason Rainey

April 28th, 2011

Our guest speaker this week was Jason Rainey Executive Director of SYRCL (South Yuba River Citizens League). SYRCL is the leading voice for the protection of the Yuba River and the Greater Yuba Watershed. Founded in 1983 through a rural, grassroots campaign to defend the South Yuba River from proposed hydropower dams. Jason has been the Executive Director for the past 6 years. For a recent story about Jason in our local newspaper click on Newspaper Article. Some of the things Jason talked about where SYRCL is involved in:

· sending out 80-100 volunteers monthly to conduct water quality testing to over 40 sites throughout the Yuba Watershed
· numerous efforts in the protection and recovery of Yuba Salmon
· actively participated in the strategies and plans associated with re licensing of hydropower projects owned by PG&E and NID
· investigate the feasibility of restoring salmon and steelhead populations to the Yuba River watershed above Englebright Dam

Here's a video about Bear River. Thank You Jason !

Michael Stone

April 21st, 2011

Our guest speaker this was Michael Stone, Producer/Broadcaster of Conversations on KVMR, a show which interviews leading edge thinkers. Some of the topics Michael talked about:

Alternates to our economy

Need to come back to community

Broken economic model

Ecological imprint

New world view, we are part of nature

Nature deficit disorder

Involved in environmental Social justice for people who can’t fight back

Thank you Michael for a very informative and thought-provoking talk !

Dr Karen Kilman

April 14th, 2011

Our guest speakers this week were Dr Karen Kilman and Cynthia Wilson, PHN ( Public Health Nurse ). Karen has served in the combined position of Director of Public Health/Health Officer for Nevada County since May 2009. Cynthia has worked as a Maternal-Child Public Health Nurse for the Nevada County Public Health Department since 2008. Cynthia spent 18 years living in Africa where she participated in community health improvement efforts.
The thrust of their talk focused on the importance of a safe baby sleeping environment. Their goal is to educate parents, caregivers, and grandparents, about ways to reduce the risk for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). It is recommended to place healthy babies on their backs to sleep, to help reduce the risk for SIDS.
Thank you Dr Kilman and Nurse Wilson for informing us of ways to prevent SIDS.


Dr Judy Kildow

April 7th, 2011

Our guest speaker this week was Dr. Judy Kildow. Dr. Judy has been the director for the National Ocean Economics Program since 1999. She also served as a faculty member in the MIT Department of Ocean Engineering for 26 years where she taught and did research on coastal and ocean management issues. Although Judy is still involved at CSUMB, ( Cal State University Monterey Bay ), one of her goals is to set up a Speaker Series here in the Grass Valley area. The Speaker Series would focus on science topics. The goal is to help bring awareness of how science impacts each of us in our community.

A local Speaker Series is a great idea.
Thank you Dr Judy for a very enlightening talk !

Scott Ewing

March 24th, 2011

Our guest speaker this week was Scott Ewing of Ewing Ventures. Ewing Ventures is a production company focusing on live theater in Nevada County. Scott talked about two upcoming stage productions:
1) Last List of A Mad Mother, Fri & Sat 7:00 PM, Sat & Sun 2:00, thru April 3rd.
2) The Full Monty June 1 - 25 at The Nevada Theatre.
Scott's goal is to produce stage plays with social relevance. For example the Last List of A Mad Mother stage production is about 2 sisters having to deal with their mother, who is losing it. Something all of us may someday have to deal with, if not already facing. The Full Monty deals with six men having trying times in their life. For more information, check out the Ewing Ventures Web Site. Thank You Scott Ewing for a delightful and informative talk !

Laura Harter

March 17th, 2011

Our guest speaker this week was Laura Harter Executive Director of Child Advocates of Nevada County. Laura talked about the CASA program, Court Appointed Special Advocates. The CASA volunteer is independent from the social services system and focuses primarily on the child. Laura talked about what some of the CASA volunteers do to assist families, because of abuse and neglect; volunteers meet regularly with the child or children, the volunteer maintains contact with the important people in the child's life. Laura also spoke about the Child Safety Puppeteers program. Puppeteer members visit preschools and elementary schools. Using age appropriate puppet shows and skits, young people learn how to handle various situations, refusal skills, how to deal with peer pressure, as well as how to recognize and cope with physical and sexual harassment. Thank you Laura, for sharing the important work the Child Advocates of Nevada County does !

Niko Johnson

March 10th, 2011

Today 's guest speaker, was Niko Johnson from the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalition, DVSAC in Grass Valley.  Some of the things Niko spoke about:  The shelter where people spend up to 45 days in a safe environment; give support to folks that have to go to court hearings; DVSAC gave support to about 700 people in 2010 and also had about 1800 phone inquiries last year; DVSAC has counselors and a staff to give various support services; For youth, DVSAC emphasizes healthy relationships, non-violent communication, and how to identify abusive behavior.

A very informative talk about the DVSAC Niko !

Julie Baker

February 17th, 2011

Today 's guest speaker, was Julie Baker, Director and moving force behind The Center For The Arts in Grass Valley. Julie spoke about many of the things happening at the Center. The Center is a 21,000 sq ft. facility that seats 300 people. There are plans to expand the seating to 400 people. 2010 was the best year ever. This was due to the many shows at the Center as well as shows put on at other facilities in Grass Valley. The Center For The Arts helps the economic success of Grass Valley. With the many people attending events, this helps local retailers, real estate and local restaurants. The Center For The Arts also put on many children’s programs thru out the year. Children 's programs are performed by and attended by children and adults. At the end of the summer, there is a children’s Art Show.
A great talk about The Center For The Arts Julie !

Terry Brown

February 10, 2011

Our guest speaker this week was Terry Brown Director and one of the founders of Music in the Mountains.  Terry talked about a variety of topics: How MIM overcame the budget crunch in 2010; Looking for an executive Director. Many of the MIM education programs, including: Music Live for middle school students; Young Musicians, provide opportunities for music students, ages 6-18, to study, memorize and perform classical music; Young Composers, Local musicians and composers giving support to young musicians; Kinder Konzert is specially geared to the young audience; And many other topics.
A great talk about Music in The Mountains Terry !

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