Rota-Monica Newsletter

Rotary Club President's Message

Joe MetoyerWho are these People? Where are they? Who is the man without the Moustache?

It’s Past President Mitchell Kraus standing between Rotary International President, Jennifer Jones (On the left) and District Governor, Olivia Patterson Ryans (On the right).

They are at the Rose Bowl Parade with the award-winning Rotary International Float in the background.

Rose Bowl Parade 2023Craft Talk

This week’s program was a craft talk from a new member of our club, Judy Kruger, who is the President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Santa Monica.

Judy was born in Lansing, Michigan and is one of five siblings, raised by parents who were the salt of the earth with values exemplified in one word, “Integrity”. Judy is very close to her three children and loves spending time with them, as she recently did in Joshua Tree.

Judy’s journey to Santa Monica took a winding path including earning her Juris Doctorate Degree. She demonstrated her expertise in economic development and her understanding on how to support and grow businesses while working for Non-Profits and in State Government.

She ran her own small business that provided consulting services to companies seeking to grow in international markets.

Judy traveled both nationally and internationally researching economic systems and new methods of opening supply chains from countries like Mexico and Cuba. At the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp, she led business councils and industry cluster development in clean energy transportation and zero electric vehicles (ZEVs), mobility, digital media, entertainment and aerospace and space through successful business growth strategies.

Judy shared her vision for the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce and her experience putting together six focus groups and developing a strategic plan for the Chamber. One of her major outcomes is to create more networking opportunities for the businesses in the City. She is very proud of the development of the Nextgen Mentor program at Santa Monica College. Judy, at one point, suited up and went skydiving to strengthen a business relationship. She answered questions from fellow Rotarians. It was fascinating to hear her story.


Karen Wallerstein presented a $3500.00 grant from our club to The Boys and Girls Club of Santa Monica.

Kathy Shepard presented a $3500.00 grant from our club to Happy Trails for Kids.

With great excitement we were able to welcome Tanya Gilbert as a new member to our club. Her sponsor is Donna Byrd.

Semi Annual Financial Report

George Pickell, our Treasurer, announced that while the club pays $68.00 per meal the members pay only $52.00 per meal, giving the members a savings. He also advised that the club’s financial standing is healthy.


Rotary District Brunch is scheduled for Sunday, January 15 th we have a full table attending and if you would like to donate new socks for children, women and men please drop them off at Joe Metoyer’s home at 2430 Cloverfield Blvd in Santa Monica by Saturday, January 14 th and we will get them to the Brunch. The District will donate the socks to the less fortunate as we face these cold and rainy days ahead.

Rotary Day of Service was completed on Saturday, January 7th with a host of Rotarians, family and guests packing apples at the Westside Food Bank.

We will be DARK on Friday, January 13 th in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Day, a National Holiday.

Now is the time for each Rotarian to focus and ask what you can do to make our Signature Fundraiser Event – The International Food and Wine Festival a true success. We have printed brochures and made them available for you to give to potential sponsors, and to invite your friends and companies you do business with to purchase tickets. The brochures are available at weekly lunches, and they contain a list of the organizations our Club has supported and offers contact information with email addresses for us to follow up and answer more questions.

15th Annual Wine & Food Festival



January 12th – Book Club – in Person at Judy Neveau’s Home 

January 29th  – Football Party/Chili Cookoff at Donna Byrd’s house

March 4th – Wine and Food Festival 2023- more details to come. Purchase your raffle tickets now. See Karin Wallerstein or Kera Blades Snell.

March 16- 23rd -District Humanitarian Trip to Belize

Curious about Upcoming Rotary Programs? Go to





MEETING LOCATION: Hilton Hotel, 1707 Fourth Street, Santa Monica

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 586, Santa Monica CA 90406