Regular Business
The meeting was called to order by president Marty Fishman, and Riley Barr led the pledge of allegiance and called for Rotarian and visitor introductions.
  • Don McCleve introduced his wife as a guest, noting that they had been married now for 62 years!!
  • Mike, a colleague of Riley’s from Santa Cruz, joined us as a visiting Rotarian.
Suzanne Boxer-Gassman provided the inspiration with a great theme to start off this new year: Why Rotary? Why do I stay? Suzanne noted the pride in the things we do as a team. Also, that we give and raise money, and that we use that money to improve the world. A unique aspect of Rotary is the simultaneous focus on hands-on work on local issues, while still giving towards global needs. And, she expressed pride in our various missions to support youth, including things like ELC, RILA, school clothes programs and Rotary scholarships. And, our Los Gatos club is a good, generous crew to work with!
Dave Downing was at the piano as we celebrated Rotary Birthdays, including that of just-past president, Andrew Howard, whose actual birthday was on the meeting day! Other January birthday celebrants were Dan Snyder, Jeff Barnett, Andrea Lee, Neal Mudgett, Rodg Griffin, Larry Jinks and Paul Johnson.
Ron Cassel informed the club that Rosemary Philips Pierce passed on December 29th. She was the first woman president of Los Gatos Rotary from 2000-2001 - and a great one. For many years, she was city manager of Monte Sereno. Ron noted that Rosemary had a great deal of pride in Rotary, and that a Rotary emblem was displayed at her service.
Red->Blue Badge
Paul Johnson. Has enjoyed going through the steps towards Blue Badge, and Marty noted how well Paul has done connecting the community with Rotary. Paul noted that Rotary’s “Service above Self” philosophy and language made it directly into the district’s strategic plan.
Red Badge Bio - Riley Barr
Riley was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. Regina is about 100 mi north of North Dakota, and has a yearly average high temperature of 37F degrees. He played competitive hockey for 15 years which allowed him to travel all over the US and Canada. Riley proudly became a US citizen several years ago. His wife is Felicia, who is a psychologist. They have been in Los Gatos for five years. Riley studied economics, business and finance at the University of Oregon. Riley started his career as a Merrill Lynch broker 10 years ago. Today he is a Director and Advisor at Freestone Capital. He is also a Certified Financial planner. 
For fun, Riley stays active. He loves golf. He is still an active skier, starting as a ski racer in high school. He loves to travel and mentioned some favorite destinations and memories: Maui, The Bahamas, a visit to the NYSE trading floor and the White House.
  • Mike Norcia reported that the Star Wars event raised $8,522 for Ronald Mcdonald house and Lucille Packard. It was a great night with strong showings by many with their Star Wars-themed costumes, including Marty and his wife. One of the patients, Athena, gave her inspirational story of her heart transplant experience at the age of 13 (she is now 15). May the force be with us all!
  • Marty took everyone through the Philanthropy calendar. Please see his weekly president's letter for more details. Key is that applications for the club to provide support to your philanthropic causes are due by February 28th, so now is the time to start thinking about ideas you may want to champion. Funds will actually be disbursed in June. Additionally, Marty has been communicating where we spent money last year, and forms for this year in his weekly letter.
  • Crabfest is coming on January 25, 2020.  The club is looking for everyone to buy tickets, come, and volunteer in one or multiple roles to support this important fundraiser. Reservations of 8 or more should go via email through Suzanne Boxer-Gassman. The crab fest team is looking for people to volunteer for set up/tear down, kitchen help, etc.
  • Rotary Caps are available through Henry Vitkovich. They were made available after the meeting, or drop Henry an email to get one. 
  • Henry also mentioned that he would support Red Badge members who need to satisfy the requirement to visit another Rotary club by being their “buddy” at another meeting. He will be going to the Los Gatos Morning club on January 29th at  7:15AM. If you want to join him, drop him an email. Tina also mentioned that she frequents several other club meetings and would be happy to be anyone’s buddy.
Program - Supporting the Political Process through Improved Process Integrity
Our speaker was Aidan McCarty. He is a co-founder of the company e-pluribus which he started while at Stanford. He studied biochemistry, computer science, and was a teacher in the Hacking for Defense program. His company, E-pluribus, creates programs that aim to support the political process, focusing on process integrity.
The top level goal of e-pluribus is stopping meddling from bots and paid actors for 2020 election cycle and beyond. Aiden believes that an element of achieving this goal is to have a strong, distributed identity system in communicating with each other and with our representatives regarding civic matters. In his view, this should lead to a world where citizens connect more effectively and feel like they have a way to impact the political system. 
In the summer of 2017, he got a small grant to explore what could be done to better empower people. After 200+ conversations with representatives, legislative correspondents, lobbyists and more, Aiden honed in on the identity issue as a key barrier and enabler. Today, a representative doesn’t know if an email is from a real constituent, an automated bot, or a for-pay commenter part of an “astroturf” (fake grass roots) movement. One lobbyist told Aiden that for $1MM, the lobbyist could create an astroturf campaign in 48 hours that would include multiple Facebook profiles, fake messages, possibly even live people to picket. While money has always impacted the political process, Internet tools allow bad actors to fake things at scale.
Aiden’s company is building two systems that interact with each other. As a core technology platform, they are creating UNUM ID. This is a decentralized, private identity system.This identity system promises that each individual user would own and manage their own identity data, and that users could be uniquely identified, making fake comments much harder. This identity system could potentially be used in a wide variety of Internet applications.
His company is also building a civic engagement platform - roughly akin to a specialized Facebook community - that facilitates constituent/representative discussion. This civic engagement platform,  e-pluribus, uses the UNUM ID technology to strongly identify the participants. Find out more at, or by contacting Aiden at