Speakers

Our guest speaker for October 21 will be District Governor, Sherry Cotta.

Sherry Cotta became a member of the Lodi Rotary Club in November 2011. She is the past Membership Chair, Past President and Past Secretary for the Lodi Rotary Club, and currently serves on the Board of Directors as the International Service Chair. She has also served as a counselor at RYLA for the past three years. She is also involved in multiple charity organizations in the Lodi area. Rotary has become her life-long passion, particularly membership development at home, and economic development abroad.

Sherry attended Bauder College for Women, majoring in Marketing and Accounting. She is married to Joe, who himself has been a Rotarian since 1992 and is a north valley farmer. They have five children and eight grandchildren. Sherry and Joe farm organic blueberries under the brand Rhythm and Blueberries, conventional wine grapes, own and manage several vacation rentals in the north Lake Tahoe area, and have a small coffee roasting company in Sacramento, Seasons Coffee.

Our Speaker for October 7 is Pat Portman, President of Friends of Turlock Library. The Friends of the Turlock Library raise supplemental funds, advocate public support, and sponsor special library programs. In 1992, when the County severely cut library funding, concerned citizens came together to found the Friends of the Turlock Library. The organization’s purpose is to support the Turlock Public Library by raising supplemental funds; advocating for adequate public support at the City, County and State level; and by sponsoring special library programs to benefit the Turlock community. FRIENDS OF THE TURLOCK PUBLIC LIBRARY is a non-profit section 501(c)(3) organization.

Our speaker for September 23 is City of Turlock Councilmember Gil Esquer. Councilmember Esquer will fill us in on a proposal to deal with homelessness in Turlock. He was elected in the November 2016 General Election to District 2. He is a lifelong resident of Turlock and a graduate of Turlock High School and obtained an A.A. degree from Modesto Jr. College. 

Mr. Esquer, being a lifelong resident of District 2, has an understanding and passion of issues facing the District, formerly referred to as the West side. He vows to be an advocate and an active voice in enhancing City services to the residents of District 2. Gil pledges to work simultaneous with residents and the community as a whole to achieve results in his position as the first elected Councilmember for District 2. 

As an active community member, Gil volunteers his free time with many community organizations varying from the Turlock Jaycees (CA Jaycees, U.S. Jaycees, and United States JCI Senate), Knights of Columbus, Sacred Heart Church, Salvation Army and We Care of Turlock. On a national level, Gil participates in fundraisers for non-profit organizations including Muscular Dystrophy, March of Dimes and the Ronald McDonald House. 

Councilmember Esquer is the eldest of six children, all still located in the Turlock Area. He and his wife Rosa have been married for 41 years and have one daughter.

Our Speaker for September 9 is Chief Ninus (Nino) C. Amirfar. Chief Amirfar is a 31-year veteran of law enforcement. His career began in 1989 with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department. The following year he was hired on at the Turlock Police Department. Over his career he has been a field training officer, a member of the bike patrol and the drug suppression unit. He also was the first school resource officer in Turlock and was instrumental in bringing the Every 15 Minutes program to Turlock and Stanislaus County.

He was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2007, and soon after was promoted to a lieutenant. In 2015 he was promoted to the rank of captain and oversaw the Special Operations Division, which includes general investigations, the Narcotics Enforcement Team, Animal Services, and the Community Outreach Response and Engagement unit. He served the role of interim police chief starting in August 2016 when Robert Jackson left the post and then was appointed the permanent chief in January 2017.

Our speaker for August 26 is Jonathan Partridge, Volunteer and Donations Coordinator for the IRC in Turlock/Modesto Joined the IRC in January 2017. He loves having the opportunity to connect volunteers with meaningful opportunities to serve refugees in his hometown of Turlock. Prior to working for the IRC, Jonathan spent more than a decade as a reporter and editor in Tracy, Patterson, and Gilroy and served in both paid and unpaid development-related roles for various nonprofits. Those include University of California, Santa Cruz; the Santa Cruz-based Homeless Garden Project; and Abrahamic Alliance International, an interfaith peace-building group. A graduate of Turlock High School, Jonathan has a B.A. in Communication from Wheaton College in Illinois and an M.A. in Specialized Journalism from the University of Southern California.

Reianna Peets, Resettlement Caseworker & APTW Coordinator Reianna has worked at the International Rescue Committee in Turlock/Modesto since 2016. She coordinates Afghan Path Towards Wellness, a health and wellness program for Afghan women that is funded by Stanislaus County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services. Reianna works in IRC Turlock/Modesto’s Reception and Placement department, resettling refugees and Special Immigrant Visa holders to the Central Valley. Additionally, she provides case management to foreign-national survivors of human trafficking through the Trafficking Victim Assistance Program (TVAP). Prior to the IRC, she served two full terms with AmeriCorps, focusing on child abuse prevention. She received her B.A. in History from Humboldt State University.

Our speaker for August 12 is Linda Murphy-Julien, Executive Director of the United Samaritans. The United Samaritans have taken on the task of feeding the hungry in Stanislaus County. They serve, not just the homeless but the elderly, those not earning enough to buy food, and starving students. Their services include helping with medical and vision needs.

Our speaker for January 15 is local numismatist, Troy Thoreson, a local businessman. Do we have coins and bills that are worth more than their face value?

We start back this new year (January 8) with the May of Turlock, Amy Bublak, who will keep us up to date on what is happening in our city.

Children and grandchildren will be welcome to attend our annual visit with Santa at our December 18 meeting at Toscana’s Ristoranté!

It’s that time of year again! We will be discussing the Turlock Sunrise Rotary’s Crab Fest at our December 11 meeting. Mike Gemperle will lay out his plans on how to make our “Turlock’s Best” crab feed even better

We are dark for our December 4 meeting so we can enjoy our Holiday Party at Toscana’s. Don’t forget to bring an unwrapped gift!

We are dark for our November 27 meeting so we can be with friends and family to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Election season is upon us and District 10 aspirant, Marla Livengood will give us her views on how she can represent us at our November 20 meeting.

Rotary partner, Shelter Box will be the topic of discussion for our November 6 speaker, Jay Hislop. We will hear about this amazing response to aid those suffering from a natural disaster.

Mike Gemperle, a long-time member of Turlock Sunrise Rotary will share his experiences of attempting to summit all of California’s over 14,000 foot peaks for our October 30 meeting.

We will have Julian Lopez, the Sports Editor for the Modesto Bee describe the trials and tribulations of being a sports editor for our October 16 meeting.

Our speaker for our October 2 meeting will be Dave Walls, the Athletic Director for Pitman High School. We expect to be informed about all of the amazing athletic opportunities to be found at Pitman High School.

Dejeune M. Shelton is the Career Services Director for Modesto Junior College and Ryan Amaral is a Program Specialist working with Career Programs at Modesto Junior College. They will be speaking to us about the Career Programs offered at MJC and how local businesses can become more involved with the MJC student population. Our meeting will be held in the banquet room at Toscana’s Ristoranté at 7:00 am, Wednesday, September 18.

We will be hearing the State of Rotary District 5220 and what we can expect for this year from our District Governor, James Pierce, at our morning meeting on September 11.

Our speaker for September 4, is John Locke, a detective working with the robbery division of the Modesto City Police Department. He will talk to us about all things related to being robbed.

Turlock City Council Member, Andrew Nosrati, who is working hard on a plan to address the growing homeless population in Turlock, will be our speaker on August 28.

Turlock Sunrise Rotary is pleased to have Alana Scott from the Women’s Education & Leadership League for our speaker at our meeting on Wednesday, August 21.