I am fifth generation from San Jose. My family moved to California from New York in 1874 for health reasons. In 1903 the family started F.G. Wool Packing Company which was in business until 1989 canning apricots, peaches, fruit cocktail and fruit mix. Most of the cousins worked there during the summers.

I graduated from St. Andrew's Episcopal School, Saratoga, Bellarmine College Preparatory, UCLA and Santa Clara University School of Law. I was on the rugby teams at Bellarmine and UCLA.

My family has always been involved in giving back to the community. Shortly after graduating from law school, a family friend told me about Rotaract and I became involved. After 3 years, I was president of the club. At that time, there was an exception to being number 1 or 2 in your company to become a Rotarian if you had been president of a Rotaract Club. Therefore, I was asked to join the San Jose Rotary Club in 1996. While there, I had my first experiences with Enterprise Leadership Conference (it was Camp back then) and have stayed involved with that off and on since.

I moved to Davis for a short period and was a member of the Davis Sunrise Rotary Club. Enjoying the smaller club environment, when I returned to the Bay Area, I had a friend and former co-Rotaract member, Mark Leavitt, who was a member of the Rotary Club of Los Gatos. I joined. He moved to Santa Rosa. Not sure if coincidence or my returning was his sign to bug out.

At the time I joined, I was busy with new job and young children and did not have much time to devote to Rotary. Eventually, Ron Likens asked me to chair the Welcome Committee and to fill in on a vacant director spot. That was the catalyst for me doing what I do now. I was able to meet all the member and get to know them and I maintained that by trolling in the back for many years after I was no longer chair of the Welcome Committee. It allows me to talk with more than the two people sitting next to me at the table. When I started this, we had the blue bowel for change as part of a weekly collection. My Jesuit training was perfect for this and I monitored it around the tables and further was able to interact with my fellow Rotarians. We also had the marble draw which I would perform and that furthered my interaction with our members.

When we were going to switch to ClubRunner, I was asked to be secretary. Don d'Arms and Ron Cassel had been doing sharing the position for a period of time and Don was going to step down. Ron was going to stay on as assistant secretary to help me out which he did for several years. I committed personally for a three year stint to get things up and running. That was 2009. Time flies when you are having fun. Eventually Ron was replaced by Paul Mudgett and Paul by Rami Wazni. Apparently, I burn them out.

In 2014, I brought up the idea with Tina Orsi-Hartigan to move the club BBQ to Oak Meadow Park. Afterall, we are the Rotary Club of Los Gatos. From my experience at the Rotary Club of San Jose, the BBQ was a great event and good fellowship by those involved in the cooking. (Red Badgers were required for set up and clean up in San Jose). We then added the family BBQ in 2015. As expected, the grill team has a great time serving our fellow Rotarians and interacting with them all.

In January 2018, I went to India to provide vaccinations to children for Polio. It was my first international Rotary experience. While most of the people were from USA, we had Canadians, Australians, Dutch and German. Everyone got along famously and not only was it wonderful to interact with the children and provide the needed service, it was an embodiment of Rotary fellowship. Here we are strangers coming together for a service project half a world away. It was a fantastic experience.

My professional background is easiest explained as general civil litigation, typically on the defense side, and general business consultation. I have a broad base working as insurance defense counsel for many years handling everything from slip and fall, automobile accidents to complex construction defects and class actions. I started my own practice with a partner in 2016 and we primarily represent contractors and automobile dealers in litigation and business matters.

In addition to Rotary, I have been active with St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, serving on the Vestry from 2017-2019 and starting this year I am on the St. Andrew's Episcopal School Board of Trustees with fellow Rotarian Nava Fathi. I have been on the Finance Committee for the Church since 2017.

[Andrew Stearns]

I have two children, Max and Chloe who are both in college.