Meet the Member - Kath Axline

Kath at her induction to PPRC

Kath Axline moved to Portland, Oregon in November of 2002 from the San Francisco with her husband, Jeff Axline and their two boys Ben and Stuart who are now (21 and 19 years old and still living at home). “The first week after we moved into our new home it snowed, we didn’t know it snowed in Portland, it was a magical time.” Kath and Jeff were lucky to have a third son, Nicolas, born on October 21, 2012 at OHSU. Kath went back to college and graduated from PSU in 2011, where, after many years of exploring different avenues her educational goals were finally met and she was awarded a BS in Liberal Studies with a focus in Elementary Education and a minor in Jazz Music. She also has an AA degree from The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, SF California. 

Kath ran her independent business as a doula, birth attendant and “Birthing From Within” childbirth mentor and educator for 10 years and volunteered at OHSU for two years as a doula. Kath is passionate about birth and supporting women and their partners through positive birth experiences using art to access the inner self. Her life journey also led her through a multitude of experiences; Mother, Artist, Minister, Healer, Doula, Birth Mentor, Singer, Chess Coach, Lego Robotics Team Mentor, Music Teacher, Special Ed Teacher, Entrepreneur and now a leader in her community as a Small Business Owner of Symbiosis Printing in partnership with her husband, Jeff Axline. Symbiosis Printing has been awarded as one of 3 top printing business in Portland by readers of Willamette Weekly and is a 5-star rated business. “At Symbiosis Printing we serve the artist entrepreneur with art reproduction, books and greeting cards as well as all small business printing needs.” 

One last thing, Kath is very passionate about Autism awareness and supporting her son through his autism journey. People do well when they can, so set them up for success! 

Check out Symbiosis Printing online at Symbiosisprinting.com and instagram.com/symbiosisprinting You can connect with Kath on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Our 3 Newest Portland Pearl Rotarians

New Member Monday! Portland Pearl Rotary is excited and honored to add three new members to our rotary family. Kath, Wilson, and Corey were officially inducted to our club on Tuesday, August 20th. All three bring with them a desire for service and to connect with the community around them. All three are people of action and we look forward in getting to know them better.

100% Paul Harris Fellow Club!

Pearl Rotarians found themselves on a mutual attraction date when they met the Rotary District 5100 Governor on Aug. 13.

Governor Diane Noriega, serving for this 2019-20 year, was impressed with a number of club characteristics. She congratulated the Rotarians on having 100 percent membership in the Paul Harris Fellows, an honor for financial donors that is typically achieved by only about 20 percent of chapters.

She described the Tuesday morning group at EcoTrust Building as having “good personal relationships”. She noted, “We like each other; we are fun to be with.” She complimented Pearl Rotary as “a growing club, bringing in new members. Your stats are great.”

Diane told the audience that four characteristics are found in the strongest Rotary chapters. First, is brand or public image. The club must be known for making community contributions and respected for its service. Second, Diane said, the chapter must be well-organized enough to make tangible donations to community life. This involves not only pledging money but also successfully exploring various sources for more money. Third, according to Diane, the group must be a “member organization. We are the ones who make it happen.” Fourth, Diane reported, is successfully developing club leaders through leadership academies and apprenticeships with already strong leaders.

The District 5100 president visits each of the individual chapters, located in Northern Oregon and Southwestern Washington, in the year of her presidency. Diane brings outstanding qualification to the job. She spent over 25 years in higher education serving as a professor of Education, Dean of Education, Provost and ultimately Interim President before retiring in 2009. She was recently elected by the public to the board of the Mt. Hood Community College. Diane was accompanied on her visit by Jim Boyle, Rotary District president-elect, and Chris Ackerman, Assistant District Governor.

Chris presented special District awards to Anne O’Neill and Seth Gardner for their numerous contributions to the Pearl Chapter in terms of service to others. Among other contributions, Anne is well-known for her work as the International chair during Taylor Stevenson's highly successful Pune, India waste-picker project, in addition to her engagment on the community service and social justice committees. Seth is a major contributor to Pearl organizations and a faithful photographer and excellent host of the annual Pearl Oscar's night (February, hasn't been the same since).

Diane included herself, Anne, and Seth in her description of “Rotary as family. I have done all the service projects; it makes you feel so good. I am a Rotarian; this is my purpose and passion” (phtos courtesy of Seth Gardner and text from Pete Guest).

Friendship Day with Street Roots

Friendship Friday from last week's 2nd Annual Street Roots Vendor Appreciation Dinner. When we connect with all members of our community, we connect in our mutual humanity. Thank you to Street Roots for all that you do. We are honored to partner with you.

Portland Pearl Rotary Club Addresses Current Political Conflict

Political conflict between Republican and Democratic voters has been on the upswing in the United States for at least 20 years. Allegiances to political parties on specific issues have become quite polarized, and there appears to be little effort by voters of either major party to appreciate or support the stands of individuals in the other major party. A key turning point was the 2016 Presidential election, won (to the surprise of many) by New York businessman Donald Trump.

Can the polarization of U.S. politics be turned around? Some active, committed citizens believe the answer is no. As an example, they believe that the virulence of racist attitudes among some elements of the national leadership and the citizenry is extreme and unwarranted. Also, racism is fundamentally antagonistic to American ideals. No compromise is possible.
Another perspective argues that much of the polarization is due to factors such as poor and confused knowledge of the opinions of others. Pearl Rotarians heard on August 6 from the Better Angels, one active group with this viewpoint. Better Angels believe that carefully staged interaction between citizens who support the major parties will lower the level of discord and will bring the political system back to a stage that is characterized by differences among parties but also the ability to work cooperatively together when citizens understand the viewpoints of major actors.

Sherre Caoluri, an active Beaverton Rotarian, advocated for the Better Angels at the August meeting. Sherre, a Beaverton Rotarian, is well versed in Portland area politics through employment in the public sector and service on governmental boards; her experiences have made her moderately optimistic about the future of consensus-oriented politics in the United States. 
The Better Angels formed a few days after the 2016 Presidential election as the shock of Trump’s election elated many and distressed many. In the subsequent post-election days, many Americans reacted in a variety of ways. In South Lebanon (OH), individuals spontaneously brought together 10 Trump supporters and 11 Clinton supporters for a weekend. They developed a structure and program for that weekend.

As the Better Angels website (www.betterangels.org) notes, “The results were remarkable. We liked each other. We wanted to know more about each other. We wanted to keep on meeting. We wanted to help start workshops in communities all across America! Those reds and blues invited their friends to another workshop and helped to found the first Better Angels Alliance.”
Extensive media publicity followed. Better Angel groups encouraged red/blue co-chairs and prioritized having no more than a 60/40 split in red and blue membership. The media attention brought much volunteer help to expand the Better Angels. Group leaders or facilitators were trained, and the organization sent its missionaries out into the field to organize meetings. In the process, the Angels developed various approaches to holding their meetings with politically-oriented individuals. According to the Angels website, most states now have an active organization.

Sherre emphasized at her talk that she does not believe that all political differences can be resolved through discussion, but her Pearl talk emphasized that many of the alleged differences may not really be true but are simply a reflection of inadequate information or understanding of the other point of view. In her earnest presentation, Sherre’s enthusiasm for following the Better Angels approach was quite clear.

Sherre pointed to a Rotary organizational problem that influenced her participation in the Better Angels. She had resented Rotary rules that the issues at club meetings could not be tied to partisan politics. Given her observations that Rotarians had some interesting, diverse things to say, Sherre told the Pearl Club, she viewed the Better Angel approach as a positive step in improving the tenor of political discussion in Rotary and the rest of the United States (text courtesy of Pete Guest, photos courtesy of Seth Gardner).

Our Summer Social Justice Committee Book Club Read: Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

Trying to figure out what you should read this summer? Check out the Social Justice Book Club's choice for September, Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver. What does education, global warming, and rare monarch butterflies have in common? All convene in this Women's Prize for fiction tale.

Lucky Winners of Portland Pearl Rotary Raffle Announced - off on a Cruise!

Drum Roll Please. . . .The winners of the cruise raffle are: 3rd Place Dave Pendergast, 2nd Place Sue Carlson, and winner of a trip for two any where in the world that Holland America sails: Ashley Nelson. Thank you to Joan Pendergast, Nick Fandel, and George Wright for selling the winning tickets!! Most importantly, thank you to all who donated to the Pearl Rotary Fund. Your generous donations will go to the continued good works for our communites both locally and globally. 

Adina Flynn Ends Year as Portland Pearl Rotary President in Style

Outgoing Pearl President Adina Flynn revealed several interesting things about herself at the annual Rotary transitional ceremony on June 25. Members found out that Adina looks chic with purple hair, does passable jumping jacks in front of an audience, and found the leadership job “tough at first but then the time literally flew by”.

She brought some ready-made supporters to the meeting, including her husband and father. She also received several positive testimonials on her service from club members, often those in other Club leadership jobs.
Demonstrating her usual humorous presentation of self, Adina paid repeated kudos to the Pearl membership. “This club is a literal machine that keeps moving,” she said. “The membership activity is similar to what happens when you jump rope. In jumping rope, people can jump in at any point, and things work out just fine.”

Adina said she was amazed at the dedication of many club members. “Stuff comes in and we need people to do it”, Adina noted. “And then so and so does it.”

She expressed a need for the Club to develop more members who could become Club leaders. She also endorsed the continuing importance of social justice. “We need to infuse social justice in everything we do,” Adina argued.
Paul Thompson will now serve one year as Pearl president. An active Club member for only a few years, Paul has served recently as the Club Service Committee Chair and been a member of the Social Justice Task Force. Chris Krenk was the other club member who was announced as a new officer. He will serve on the Pearl Board.

Much of the meeting was devoted to Adina’s detailed, informative presentation (via a number of overhead slides) of the club’s activities during the past year. Since she was involved personally in a number of projects, her report also celebrated her practical achievements as club president.
According to Adina, some of the most innovative activity involved two groups: the recently formed Social Justice and Book Discussion Club Committees. The activities of the two groups were intertwined in practice as the periodic meetings of the Book Club focused on issues such as sexuality, gender roles, and crime. The Social Justice group created a section on the Club website to report on its issues. This year, the Justice Committee presented an innovative, educational program on June Teenth Day which started (June 17, 1864) when Union troops landed in Galveston (TX) with Lincoln’s proclamation that freed slaves.

Adina also mentioned some new club activities, still in the formative stages, that may increase foreign involvement of Pearl. These include Lod Radja’s plans for a private school to serve children in the Congo and involvement in Nicaragua to enhance water production and sanitary treatment (Text by Pete Guest, Photos courtesy of Seth Gardner).

Laura Salerno-Owens: #WeToo Movement - Solving the Gender Equality Problem Together

By some accounts, the modern movement to improve the economic position of American women dates back to 1963 when Betty Friedan’s book The Feminine Mystique attracted great attention. But a prominent employment attorney told Pearl Rotarians on June 11 that we still have a long way to go.
Laura Salerno-Owens, shareholder and trial lawyer, Markowitz-Herbold, presented significant empirical evidence to demonstrate that women still experience significant personal and professional problems in the workplace.

She emphasized the need for men and women to form a joint movement to right the inequality she sees as wrong, both morally and practically. “We also need men to join the gender equality movement,” Laura told an audience that was about two-thirds male.

“Gender discrimination is bad for everyone,” she emphasized. “A lot of men understand the cause but some do not get it. We need to change culture, attitudes, opinions.”

Laura told Rotarians that “I want to empower each man here, to work for gender equality.” She clearly means much more than equal pay for equal work. She emphasized to the Pearl Club that her professional career and happiness had both been enhanced by specific male lawyer colleagues who provided opportunity, mentoring, and friendship.”

The facts about opportunities for women in professional-managerial roles seem grim, according to Laura’s slides. As an example, she reported that only 23 of the chief executives at the 500 major corporations (according to Fortune magazine) are women. This compares with 21 executives of the top 500 who have the first name of “John”.

Laura demonstrated how non-discrimination is potentially good for all. She reported that the number of female musicians in orchestras has increased dramatically since employment audition were made “blind” where the gender of applicants was unknown to judge. Presumably, we are hearing better music. She also reported to Rotarians that companies with the best records on employment for women were larger and more profitable than other companies.

Laura had some specific suggestions to improve the workplace situation of both men and women. Some of them:

  1. Minimize the leave differences for men and women. Anyone who has a child should have leave, she says.
  2. Provide help with backup child care for all employees. Consider having care on site.
  3. Set regular start and end times for meetings, between 9:30 and 4:30. This would allow all individuals to plan their day activities and minimize the need to “runaway” to care for children.
  4. Avoid office housework such as making the coffee and answering the phone, activities disproportionately done by women. Laura refers to this office work as “thankless tasks.”
  5. Encourage the development of workplace mentors for all employees. In addition, Laura says you should not just match up women with women.

Laura’s conclusion to Rotarians was strong. “I’m not delusional,” she said. “We need a different mindset. Men and women must own the problem and must own it together. I rest my case” (text courtesy of Pete Guest)