Posted by Editor: Erik Piro
January 16, 2020
Shop Talk
Mitone Griffiths – The Evolution of my time with Rotary!
Article by:  Mary Rogren
Photos by: EJ Dieterle

Mitone looked back and recalled giving her first Shop Talk in April 2007 – and she proudly remarked what a path that she has taken since getting involved with Rotary!

Mitone was first introduced to the concept of Rotary as a child. Mitone grew up in Half Moon Bay, but took frequent trips to the Philippines to visit her grand parents and other family members. She recalled that there always seemed to  a Rotary Youth Exchange student staying at her grandparents’ house in the Philippines. Mitone’s parents and grandparents have kept in touch with the dozen+ students that the hosted over the years. Mitone remarked that her parents were currently traveling on the Orient Express with a student that her family hosted 30+ years ago!

Ralph Ely was Mitone’s sponsor, and he encouraged her to join in October 2005. (Mitone and Ralph worked together at Coldwell Banker, and Ralph was impressed with Mitone’s work with Habitat for Humanity – so he invited Mitone to join Rotary).


Ginger Minoletti was Mitone’s first club president to interact with, and Mitone soon got wrapped up in the 1st Rotary at the Ritz event. Mitone was also nabbed for a Club Board position as well.

Upon seeing Mitone in action at her first Shop Talk in April 2007, Val Fernelius recruited Mitone to work at his then new startup firm, Vantage Wealth Management. Today, Mitone is General Manager and Chief Compliance Officer of the firm.


Val insisted that family and Rotary had to be number one for Mitone – and she has thrived as a result!

“Rotary makes me happy.”  Mitone also glowed that Rotary has significantly enhanced both her leadership style and organizational skills as well (including 1) keep the meeting on track; and 2) leave the meeting with deliverables and accountability for next steps.)

Shelter Box

Through Rotary, Mitone discovered Shelter Box which has truly been a life changing experience for her.

A speaker from Shelter Box first visited our club after the Haiti earthquake in 2010 – and piqued Mitone’s interest. In November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines, which brought the concept of disasters close to home. Six weeks after the typhoon, Mitone and her family went to a family event at a resort on an island that was in Haiyan’s path. Shelter Box tents (with Rotary logos) were seen all over the beaches housing the locals who had lost their homes.  From that day forward, Mitone became a believer in Shelter Box.  She also separately helped to fund raise over $75K to build a new school on this island that she visited.

After this trip, Mitone became very involved with Shelter Box and today, she regularly puts on events to deliver the message about Shelter Box. Mitone explained many of the new activities that Shelter Box is involved with and how, over the years, they are changing their strategies to providing help in disasters. For example, in some disasters, Shelter Box may choose to give “kits” of tools and supplies that can be used to rebuild housing versus giving tents for people to live in. (We want to encourage a community to rebuild vs. living in tents indefinitely.)  Shelter Box is also looking for opportunities to augment their disaster supplies, including investing in solar lighting.

Shelter Box closely partners with Rotary.  Since Rotary members are on the ground around the work, our Rotary members can be on the ground and be first responder in these disaster situations.

Other need to know information about Mitone!

Given Mitone’s amazing passion, she has risen through the ranks of Rotary and at the District level. In 2014, she headed up the District Conference Committee. She served as an Assistant Governor from 2017-2019.  And she is Sue Rokaw’s Chief of Staff for the 2019-2020 year.

Mitone is passionate about Rotary, and she expressed how grateful she is for being able to connect with so many people from around the world. And she noted that she has witnessed first hand the impact of what we (Rotarians) do.

Mitone has many ideas for the future, including focusing on our own Half Moon Bay Club including growing our membership and fundraising. She is very interested in doing International service and is exploring global grant projects, including a water project in the Philippines and  a global grant to help with the Australian bushfire recovery.  She’s also interest in the  “Days for Girls” project in India and Pakistan.

Mitone ended her Shop Talk with a quote --- “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”  Helen Keller.


Thank you Mitone for contributing so much to Rotary and our club!

January 16, 2020 CLUB MEETING 
Article by: Mary Rogren
Photos byEJ Dieterle
Filling in for absent president Ed Daniels ---- Past President Dave Andrews
Greeters: Krystlyn Giedt, Past President: Diane Bobko
Pledge of Allegiance: Mitone Griffiths
Inspirational Thought: Krystlyn Giedt shared the inspirational quote for the day:  A calm ocean never creates a skilled sailors. With every new experience and challenge the sailor encounters, more knowledge and skills are gained. The same is true for everyday life. Acknowledging mistakes and talking challenges is a learning experience that helps us to grow.
Guests and Visitors: Marla Wong, Dave Dickson’s wife.
Warren thanked Paul Wrubel, Stacy Trevenon and Heather Bodeman for helping to unload the dictionaries that we will be giving to our third graders in our community.  The San Mateo Credit Union has agreed to fund $1,000 to cover the dictionaries this year. Thank you!!!! Warren and Paul are arranging to redesign the sticker that will be placed in each dictionary to thank the San Mateo Credit Union for their generous donation.
We have lots of copies of “The Rotary Effect” brochure that describes what our local Rotary Club does in our Coastside community. Please ask Warren for copies to share with your friends and at your place of business.
Kevin O’Brien noted that he missed last week’s meeting as it was his son’s 39th birthday. From 1/27 to 2/18, Kevin will be in Australia and New Zealand on a trip planned by Ginger Minoletti.  Kevin also noted that he has had a business change. He dissolved his professional partnership, and will now be transitioning to O’Brien Insurance.  Kevin is also helping to arranging a social for the club – a trip to San Francisco to see the play Hamilton. The likely date is late April.  Please contact Kevin ASAP -- $100 per ticket for the orchestra section and $50 per ticket for the side sections.

EJ celebrated his birthday with a donation to the HMB Club Foundation.

Steve Wilson announced that he has a new granddaughter just born the day before the meeting – Helena Elizabeth Wilson.

Ginger announced a possible travel opportunity to go to the Master Golf Tournament in Augusta.

Krystlyn Giedt urged members to attend the Chamber Awards Dinner.

Joe Brennan and Stacy Trevenon promoted a service project to go to La Paz, Baja, CA from March 24 – March 30 to help work in a local medical clinic founded by Dr. Nancy Harris who lives in our community.  So far Joe, Ej & his wife Rose, and Rose Serdy are going. The adventure includes working in the clinic for 2 days, and then going on some amazing whale watching adventures. Pleas contact Joe Brennan for more information.

Next . . .  it was time for a Dave Andrews’ Quiz  == the subject:  Sharks!

  1. What’s the largest living species of shark?  The Whale Shark (which is the size of a bus.)
  2. What does this shark eat?  Only plankton!
  3. What’s the smallest shark? The Dwarf lantern shark. It fits into the palm of your hand and illuminates.
  4. Is there a fresh water shark? Yes – the Bull Shark, also called the Zambezi shark – often found in rivers.
  5. What event inspired the book and movie JAWS?  In 1916, there was a heat wave on the east coast, and people from all over New York flocked to the Jersey shore for some relief. That summer, 4 people died from shark attacks on the Jersey shore. A great white was to blame, but many think that it was the Bull Shark visiting from the fresh waters.
  6. Why don’t we see fossils of sharks? They are primarily made of cartilage.
  7. What is the fastest shark? The MAKO Shark which travels up to 65 mph.
Have a great week!
Marble Draw  frown  No winner this week.  Maybe next week.
Our Monthly Rotary Day at the Community Free Breakfast (held at the Lutheran Church will be Wednesday, January 29.  Please sign up with Rose Serdy for a shift for future days (last Wednesday of each month.)