Volume XI, Issue 36: April 13, 2012

Craft Talk Times Two
It’s always a treat when one of our newer Sunrisers tells us about themselves in their introductory Craft Talk. So it was a double treat last Friday when Laura Montagna and Dawn Elsbree teamed up for the first-ever “Tag-Team Craft Talk”! For clarity, the information about Laura below is highlighted in blue, while Dawn’s information is highlighted in yellow.
Dawn went first, saying that she was born in Davis back when it was a “cow town”. Her father was a Professor of Veterinary Medicine  at UC Davis, and her mother was a housewife and a frequent volunteer. Both parents were British, and the family experienced some cultural clashes – both outside and inside the family. 
Following her graduation from high school, Dawn attended UC Berkeley. She earned a degree in Philosophy, while working steadily. Dawn worked as the Event Manager for the Greek Theatre for a while, before deciding to move to New York City to pursue an MBA from Columbia University. After two years in New York, she realized that she was craving more open space, so she moved to Boston.
Then it was time to hear from Laura … who was born in Los Angeles, where she dealt with smog alerts, among other things. Her father was a Civil Engineer, and her mother was a housewife. Laura was the oldest of three children. 
Laura graduated from high school in 1978 and went to work as a Graphic Designer. She made her way north to Humboldt County, where she worked for the Tri-City Weekly and for Thomas Home Center. She was involved in the Redwood Alliance, where she worked to force the closure of the Humboldt Bay Nuclear Power Plant. Laura and her husband Michael renovated a barn, where they hoped to raise a family off the grid. “The family thing,” shes said, “didn’t work out,” but they did become Foster Puppy Parents.
While Dawn was a student at Columbia, she met a fellow student who was a Forester. She and Andy were married in Davis and moved to Humboldt County in 1989, where Dawn began applying for work at local nonprofit agencies. Life was not idyllic, however. “Our first honeymoon rental was condemned,” she noted.
Laura decided that she would start a business and build a house. So she and two other women (including Charter Sunriser Stacey Douglas) shared office space and hung out their shingles. As her home was being built, other developments were in the works – Laura became pregnant. Nonetheless, she was determined to complete her home, and she helped set the last log atop the roof when she was over seven months along. 
The baby, Marco, is now 20, and he was followed a couple of years later by twins Gina and Jeffrey, who are now 18. Laura told us that Jeffrey is the youngest, as Gina arrived about 8 hours earlier. Unfortunately, Laura and Michael divorced when the kids were 6 and 4.
Dawn and Andy also have three children – Nicholas, who is 20; Trevor, age 19; and Claire, who is 12. Dawn took several years off to raise her kids and to help with Andy’s business – A & D Forestry Services.
Laura and her family were also very involved – they volunteered at the Discovery Museum and all four acted in the Shakespeare in the Park production of “The Taming of the Shrew”. Six years ago the family started a game shop with her children called Nugames. Laura continued to serve on the Charter Council for the Mattole Valley Charter School.
In the wake of her mother’s “miraculous recovery” from ovarian cancer, Dawn took on the role of Executive Director of the Humboldt Breast Health Project. She held that position for five years, balancing the demands of family and business. Finally, she began looking for a way to give grants rather than applying for them. The timing was perfect, as the Headwaters Fund Coordinator was stepping down. So Dawn stepped in.

Laura said that now that her daughter and sons are adults, she is seeking a buyer for Nugames. She is busy creating videos and commercials, and she works as the Marketing Director for Coldwell Banker Sellers Realty. In addition, she is the Casting Director for Redwood Curtain and she volunteers for KEET-TV. In her “spare time”, she plays steel drums with Pan Dulce.

Both women were attracted to the ideals of Rotary. They said that it is a good fit with their lives. We’re happy (and lucky) to have them both as Sunrisers!

Bob Johnson’s Recognitions

Lori and Dave Breyer’s anniversary celebration was postponed for a week due to circumstances that were unforeseen, however the fireworks were rescheduled for last Friday night. Let’s here it for 15 great years of marriage!!

Sir Charles (aka Chuck Giannini) was evicted … sorta. He and his wife Barbara have moved to Sutter Estates. I’m not sure where that is, but he said that their new home is a bit smaller. The new owner of their old digs is their daughter. I guess she was ready for more room for Chuck’s grandson Rocco – a very active youngster. Grandpa Chuck was very proud of Rocco for winning the 2nd grade chess championship recently.

Manifest Positivity

Our guest speaker last week was Dave Berman of Manifest Positivity. Dave is a certified hypnotist, life coach, and master practitioner of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). Dave received his B.S. in Communication from Cornell University, and he is continuing his education in hypnosis on a full tuition scholarship to the Hypnosis Practitioner Training Institute. 

Dave Berman of Manifest Positivity

Dave began by explaining that hypnosis is a natural altered state of consciousness. It is more common than most people realize. For example, you may get a cut on your finger and you may not feel it until your attention is drawn to it. Dave said that this is a form of hypnosis. In fact, he said, hypnosis can be used as a natural form of anesthesia, and it is recognized as such by medical professionals.

The reality of hypnosis is quite different from how it is portrayed in the popular media. Dave reminded us that no one can hypnotize you and then make you “do something you don’t want to do.” 

He uses hypnosis and NLP to help his clients with smoking cessation, emotional issues, and phobias. Dave says that standard therapy works with the conscious mind. The techniques he uses reach the subconscious, which can be more effective in many areas.

Dave describes NLP by comparing the human brain to a filing cabinet. “We interact with our perceptions of the world,” he noted. If we can change those perceptions, we can “re-file” our thoughts. He said that the way that we visualize things has a strong effect on how they impact us.

He said that hypnosis and NLP are very effective techniques. Clients rarely need to come in for more than four or five sessions. For more information, check Dave’s website at www.ManifestPositivity.com.