Volume XII, Issue 18: November 8, 2013

Exchange Student News
Alex Rialet, our Club’s Rotary Exchange Student from France said that he was busy last week. He had mid-term exams on both Tuesday and Wednesday, and the AHS football team had a game scheduled for that evening, against Del Norte High.

We also heard indirectly from Exchanger Logan White, who continues to enjoy himself in Northern Italy. He keeps us up to date via Facebook and his blog – “Rye Italy Logan White”, which can be found at http://loganwhit.blogspot.it. His most recent post noted that he has been in Italy for two months now, and he has visited Aosta and the Aosta Valley, and he said that “I fell in love with the small city/capital of the valley”. He found the combination of Roman ruins and the mountainous region amazing. He hopes to do the “Haute Route” this winter. This is a six-day ski tour of the Alps, which begins in France and ends in Switzerland.

President Jessica told us that the Backpacks for Kids program still needs help. Please check out the open slots on the Sign Up Genius page, or let Howard Stauffer know that you would like to lend a hand.

Steve Bohner (Sunriser Amy Bohner’s lovely spouse) was honored as a Paul Harris Fellow at last Friday’s meeting. Congratulations!

This weekend, the Rotary Club of Garberville celebrates its 75th anniversary with a big to-do at the Scotia Inn. It may not be too late to crash the party!

TOTH (also known as “Taste of the Holidays”) is only two weeks away. Please be sure to sell tickets and get your raffle prizes in as soon as possible. It’s not too late to put up posters, if you notice any blank spaces on walls you encounter.

It’s a busy time for us – hard on the heels of TOTH comes the Foster Youth Family Dinner. The good news is that this year, the dinner is a week earlier than the Arcata Invitational Basketball Tournament (AIBT). Mark your calendars or set reminders in your smartphone: the dinner is Thursday, December 5th, and the AIBT is the following Thursday through Saturday (December 12-14). The ever-popular AIBT Coaches’ Party will be held on Friday, December 13th at the Plaza Grill. There will be an opportunity to purchase ad space in the AIBT program, as well.

Representatives of the Arcata Volunteer Fire Department will provide our program on Friday, December 6th. They promise new and exciting information on their plans. They have a very interesting plan for moving forward, but they want to let us know how their thinking has evolved before making any public announcements. So be sure to attend on December 6th to hear the latest before your neighbors tell you!

Howard Stauffer’s wife Rebecca is an accomplished artist, and she has chosen to offer a selection of her paintings to the public in a unique way – she is exchanging works of art for works of generosity. Her program’s name is “Art of Giving”, and here’s how it works. You select the painting you would like, and you make a donation to your favorite nonprofit organization. The event will take place from 1-5 pm at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, at 24 Fellowship Way in Bayside. Visit Evolvingreflexions.blogspot.com for a preview of the pieces available. Kudos to Rebecca for supporting nonprofits in such a novel way!
President Jessica reminded us that the play “Far East” continues at the Redwood Curtain Theatre through November 23rd.

Ceva Courtemanche hosted the recognitions session last Friday, which focused on the person Ceva thinks of as “The One and Only” – Janice Newman. Janice has served our Club and our District in many roles over the years. When her husband Craig was our Club President in 1998-1999, she overcame her initial reluctance, and agreed to host a Rotary Exchange Student. She said that she was worried that “I would be the one who had to give, but I’ve gotten so much more”. She has since been the Youth Exchange Chair for our Club and for the District.

She served as our Club President in 2004-2005, ushering in our regular donations to the Wheelchair Foundation, and beginning the first of our four-year cycles presenting the Every 15 Minutes program (which will take place once again this spring). She is currently our Club’s Sergeant-At-Arms. As such, she oversees the group that sets up the Plaza View Room before each meeting (then puts everything away when it’s over). They also work to ensure that all of our meetings and events run smoothly. As another part of her role, Janice serves as a non-voting member.on our Club’s Board of Directors.

Janice is coming up on her 30th anniversary with local accounting firm Jackson & Eklund. She is justifiably proud of her two sons. Michael is an Assistant Manager for a Trader Joe’s in Oregon, who plays saxophone in local music groups and bands. Ryan lives in Rohnert Park, and works as a professional musician, playing bass in a reggae band called “Groundation”.

What is perhaps Janice’s most important contribution to our Club’s culture was unmentioned last week, however. She brought us the concept of “Birthmonths”, which has been widely adopted among Sunrisers.

Rebuilding a Brand – Marketing Redwood Products
Chris Gaines, a Business Professor at College of the Redwoods and the founder of Capital Gaines Marketing was our Featured Speaker last week. He spoke with us about his work helping the redwood products industry regain ground it has lost to manufactured decking and fencing products. Chris said that the market share for redwood products has fallen by almost 50%. He said that part of the reason for the industry’s decline could be traced to weak marketing efforts in the face of strong competitive assault and uncertain messaging in the marketing that existed.

Chris noted that many of the positive ideas that people have about composite materials used to build decks are unfounded. For example, many believe that such decks are friendlier to the environment than wood decks, but their opinions change when they hear that the composites used cannot be recycled when they are no longer usable. It is not common knowledge that composite decks also more efficiently absorb and retain the sun’s heat,which can lead to burned feet on hot days.

Chris Gaines

Chris said that the Forest Products Initiative, funded in large part by the Headwaters Fund and members of the redwood industry, has launched an advertising campaign to help educate the public about these misconceptions, amonh others. The process involved developing and testing a concept strategy, and producing television ads to contrast the two types of decks.

He reported that the TV spots were very successful in test marketing. One question that the researchers asked the test groups was, “Which material is strong, durable, and lasts a long time?” Before viewing the ads, 45% answered composite materials, with only 18% identifying redwood. After seeing the ads, only 29% believed that composites were the right choice, and 47% selected redwood.

Similar results were seen when subjects were asked these questions:

  • Which material is environmentally friendly?
  • Which material is safe and comfortable?
  • Which material would you choose to build or replace your deck?

In each of these cases, the information provided in the commercials led to a large swing from favoring composites to preferring redwood.

Since California comprises about 75% of the redwood products market, the initiative’s organizers rolled out their 2013 media campaign in this state, concentrating on the four primary core markets of the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento, Los Angeles, and San Diego. The programs airing the two commercials were targeted on sporting and lifestyle shows. The early results from the  “Real.Strong. Redwood” ads indicate that the campaign may be even more effective than the testing showed.

Chris acknowledged that the campaign aggressively targets the composite industry, but he said that it was important to establish a strong contrast between the two types of material in the first and second years of the program. Eventually, he said, redwood is expected to regain its leadership role, and then the industry can “fly above the competition.” For more information, visit realstrongredwood.com.