President’s Blog

July 2018

Dear Cenacolisti,

Welcome! Please read on for news about our members and for information on upcoming events.

This is my last message to you as the president of Il Cenacolo. Effective July 1, David Giannini will be assuming the presidency. My thanks for your support during these last two years. Best wishes to David—he will do a great job!

PEOPLE—

At our Annual Meeting on June 28, you elected four new directors to our board—Ephraim Hirsch, Alex Rynecki, Peter Sherwood and Don Zingale. Congratulations and many thanks to each of these gentlemen for agreeing to serve.

At the same time, five of our directors have completed their terms of office: Jim Boitano, Richard DeBono, Alex Kugushev, Marv Pheffer and Chuck Stagliano. Each of these directors has made a significant contribution to Il Cenacolo and deserves our appreciation for the many hours they have given to make our club better. Jim, a former president, willingly agreed to
re-join the board (twice!) when former directors had to leave for personal reasons. Richard—the best Italian-speaking member of our board—capably handled vice-president responsibilities and headed up our strategic planning committee. Alex turned around our speaker program and did a yeoman’s job in organizing this important function. Marv—with his
financial background—ably chaired our investment committee and provided the leadership for changing investment advisors and redirecting our portfolio. And Chuck, our immediate past president, has done more than space in this bulletin enables me to adequately explain. Chuck has served on our board for eight years—handling everything from organizing our Annual Opera Outing to completely re vamping our website—and much, much, more. I am personally very grateful to each of these directors for their support, counsel and service. 

Fortunately, we will have the benefit of their talents as we move forward—already Chuck has agreed to assume the Program Chairman role, Marv has agreed to continue to help in the investment area, Richard will continue to be involved in strategic planning, Alex will continue to help in the program area and Jim will continue his usual stellar job in providing us a monthly article for our bulletin. These gentlemen may be off the board, but you can see that they are doers and contributors. We are in their debt.


As of July 1, 2018, your board consists of the following:


Officers

David Giannini—President

David Cobb—Vice-President

Franz Cristiani—Immediate Past President

Ron Derenzi—Treasurer

Ken Sproul—Secretary


Directors Whose Term Expires June 30, 2019

John Benson

Bill Dito

Stewart Hume


Directors Whose Term Expires June 30, 2020-

Ephraim Hirsch

Alex Rynecki

Peter Sherwood

Don Zingale



I’m also pleased to again welcome the following 17 new members who joined us this fiscal year:


Catherine AccardiBill Mastrangelo

Sandra BagnatoriLisa Michelis

Romana BraccoTroy Milan

Marie DerenziRichard Peterson

                      Shannon Eliot                             Susan Peterson

Leana GianniniAnna Maria Pierini

Mark LachtmanTerri Ryan

Robert LagginiDavid Stewart

Laura Lanzone


Please join me in introducing yourself to these newest members. Many thanks also to their sponsors (Messrs. DeBono, Derenzi, Giannini, Fenolio, Lanzone, Marinelli, Pasquini, Pheffer, Ryan and Stagliano) for bringing them into our Club.


Sadly, some of our members died during this fiscal year. Prayers are offered for the repose of their souls and our thoughts and condolences are offered to their family and friends:


Don CarianiBill Tognotti

Tom GouldWarren White Sr.

Rocco GulliR. Wonder

Rev. L. Lorenzoni


Also, sadly, Ebe Cavagnaro died during the last month. We send condolences to our long-time member, Alfred Cavagnaro, and offer prayers for Ebe and her family.

EVENTS & PROGRAMS—

Just a program reminder as we enter the summer months:  There will be no meetings during the month of August and the first two weeks of September. We will restart our usual Thursday meetings and luncheons on September 20. Also, because of its proximity to the July 4th holiday, we will not meet on Thursday, July 5.


Thanks to Stewart Hume for organizing the June programs. This bulletin highlights our July programs, organized by Marv Pheffer. Please support your Club by attending as many of these as possible. 


Regarding programs: This is a repeat request for each of you to provide our new program chairman, Chuck Stagliano, with your ideas and suggestions for speakers—
chuckstag@sbcglobal.net. We will follow up and confirm arrangements, but your involvement in supplying contact information would be most welcomed. Thanks!


Please ensure that the following are on your calendar:


August 24—Italian Heritage Night, SF Giants baseball game

September 23--Opera Outing, Ross

November 3—Italian Film Festival, San Rafael

December 7—Holiday Gala, San Francisco


Plans are well underway for the Opera Outing. Chuck Stagliano is the chair of this event and has everything in place. A lot more information will be forthcoming on this, but I wanted to ensure that you had this wonderful event on your calendars. It’s going to be great!

MEMBERSHIP—

(This is a repeat request)--The Board is in the process of implementing several initiatives affecting membership. We believe that the end result will be an increase in membership and an exciting plan to keep our organization vital and growing. These initiatives will need your help. Specifically, we are looking for members who would be willing to volunteer in the following areas:


1) Membership Chair: to direct our entire effort, taking over from Ron Derenzi who has
done a great job, but is now handling all of our finance/treasury functions
(3-5 hrs/mo).


2) Assistant Membership Chair: to assist the Chair in performing membership tasks (2 hrs/mo).


3) Leader and team to prepare promotional materials: (about 3 hrs/mo).


4) Leader and team to develop and execute a media plan: (about 3 hrs/mo).


5) Leader to organize and contact other Bay Area Italian clubs for possible collaboration
(about 3 hrs/mo).


Our Club must continuously work on recruiting new members or face the reality of its eventual demise. I know we have a lot of talented people in our group and now is the time for you to step forward to demonstrate your skills and your willingness to become involved. Please let David Giannini know of your interest—many thanks.



NEW WEBSITE IS UP!

Thanks to a superb effort by Chuck Stagliano as assisted by Susi Segal and consultant
Sabrina Wilson, we are proud to announce that the Il Cenacolo website has been totally
revamped and is immediately available for you! Take a look at it—
www.ilcenacolosf.org—you will be amazed.  


FINALLY—

It has been an honor to serve as your president for the last two years. With the help of a lot of good people, our club has continued to move forward. I know that with your continued support we will continue to grow and improve under the leadership of David Giannini.

Many thanks and best regards,


Franz








June 2018 from the Desk of the President

​Dear Cenacolisti,

Welcome to Spring!  And welcome to another bulletin that will provide you with information on what’s happening at your Club. Please read on for news about our members and for information on upcoming events.

PEOPLE

The Board is in process of reviewing and revising several aspects of our membership plan. You will hear more about some innovative changes as the plan is rolled-out. For now, membership is improving. Year-to-date we have added 15  new members—including the first women in our Club’s 90-year history. Your effort to identify and recruit new members is paying-off!

EVENTS & PROGRAMS

Thanks to Ron Derenzi for organizing the May programs (and there were 5 of them!). These presentations (with their emphasis on Italy) were enjoyed by all. This bulletin highlights our June programs. Please support your Club by attending as many of these as possible. 

Regarding programs—This is a repeat request for each of you to provide our program chairman, Alex Kugushev, with your ideas and suggestions for speakers—his e-mail is alexkugushev@att.net. We will follow-up and confirm arrangements, but your involvement in supplying contact information would be most welcomed. Thanks!

Make sure to check the calendar following, and add our dates to your own calendar!

June 28 is important—the date of our annual meeting. In mid-May, you received the annual meeting agenda and formal notice. As indicated, we plan to (1) update everyone on our club—including our financial position, (2) provide a slate of four new proposed directors for your vote,  (3) vote on revisions to our by-laws and (4) conduct any other business that is applicable to Il Cenacolo. If you have specific matters that you would like to have covered, please contact me. Please note that this meeting is for members only. Your attendance is really important and I hope that you come.

MEMBERSHIP

As mentioned above, the Board is in process of implementing several initiatives affecting membership. We hope that the end-result of this will be an increase in membership and an exciting plan to keep our organization vital and growing. 

These initiatives will need your help. Specifically, we are looking for members who would be willing to pitch in and assist. You are needed in the following areas (approximate time
commitment shown):

1) Membership Chair: to direct our entire effort, taking over from Ron Derenzi who has done a great job, but is now handling all of our finance/treasury functions (2-4 hrs/wk).

2) Assistant Membership Chair: to assist the Chair in performing membership tasks (20 hrs).

3) Leader and team to prepare promotional materials: (about 30 hrs).

4) Leader and team to develop and execute a media plan: (about 25 hrs).

5) Liaison to other Bay Area Italian clubs for possible collaboration (about 25 hrs).

Our Club must continuously work on recruiting new members or face the reality of its eventual demise. I know we have a lot of talented people in our group and now is the time for you to step forward to demonstrate your skills and your willingness to become involved. Please let me know by June 15 (fcristiani@sbcglobal.net) of your interest to become involved—many thanks.

JUNE 7 MEETING CANCELLATION & SPECIAL EVENT

Our regular luncheon scheduled for June 7 IS CANCELLED for the following reason: The mayor of Genoa is visiting San Francisco. It was thought that it would be great if he attended our luncheon on June 7 and addressed us. So we planned accordingly. However, it turned out that he is returning to Italy on June 7. Then, the Italian Consulate and the SFIAC organized a dinner—to which all of the Bay Area Italian organizations are invited—for the evening of June 6. Il Cenacolo will be acknowledged as a co-host. We concluded that the large event on the preceding evening would be the major draw for the week.

If you are interested in joining them, please contact the SFIAC directly. You should already have received the announcement for this event in an email last week, and it is reproduced here on the following page.

With best regards,
Franz Cristiani, President

On Being Program Chairman

During recent recruiting of new Board members, we found that some members expressed reluctance to join the Board out of concern for their duty to be monthly chairman and line up speakers. This is to alleviate some concerns.

As Program Chairman, I maintain a list of potential speakers at all times—anywhere between fifteen and twenty of them. I make it a point to interview them, to assess how well they may be of interest to our membership. These names are available to monthly chairmen who may choose to use them.

On a personal note, I find that the greatest pleasure in serving on the Board is the opportunity to be the monthly chairman once a year. It allows me to plan a set of talks that focus on themes that interest me and that I hope will interest the membership. I prefer topics on Italian culture. I get to select speakers and interact with them, suggesting effective ways to present their ideas. In the process, I expand my knowledge and learn things I often knew nothing about.

—Alex Kugushev, Program Chairman

A Talent Call

Before joining Il Cenacolo, I attended several lunches. On each occasion, I found myself talking with someone interesting and substantial. I was impressed by the members and so I joined. My admiration of Italian civilization, of course, also determined the decision.

Five years on, I have not changed my impression. We have a vast reservoir of knowledge, experience and intellectual curiosity among our members. Life and work experiences, profound personal interests, hobbies and travel. Consider that in recent times a number of us have spoken, some repeatedly : Jim Boitano, Bill Nuerge, Dick Wahlberg, Adolph Capurro, Ron Fenolio, Chris Danesi, Nickolas Marinelli, Alessandro Baccari, Igor Bertolucci, Chris Gulli, Andy Canepa, Dave Litwin, Jorge Escobar, Michael Muscardini, Dom Paino, our President, Chuck Stagliano, and yours truly–among others.

And in the near future, Mel Britton and Tony Rossman will contribute to our bank of knowledge and
entertainment.

So, this is a call for members who have something energizing to say to come forward and send me a proposal for an uplifting talk. How about it, Fellows? If not you, perhaps your fascinating spouse, or equally fascinating significant other, friend or relation?

—Alex Kugushev, Program Chairman
alexkugushev@att.net