Speaker Date Topic
District 5150 Governor Steve Wright Aug 21, 2024 6:30 PM
Official District Governor Club Visit
Official District Governor Club Visit

Steve Wright has been a member of the Rotary Club of Pacifica, California since 1987, and his wife Colleen, a member since 1994.  He has served as president twice, secretary, treasurer and just about every other club position available.  He was the bulletin editor for over 10 years and has served on the club board most of his years as a Rotarian.

At the District level he has served as Area Representative, Assistant Governor, District Registrar for about 7 years, Global Grants Coordinator,  PolioPlus Society Chair, District Community Service Chair and Chaired the District Conference for 3 consecutive years (with Colleen).  He was also the lead for a Global Grant bringing clean water and adult literacy to Carmelita, Guatemala. He and Colleen have hosted 3 different Rotary Youth Exchange kids in their home over the years.  He was named the Rotarian of the Year for D5150 in 2018.  His most recent position was serving as  Chief of Staff for DG Gary Chow, the District Governor for D5150 2022-2023. 

Steve and Colleen are Major Donors, Charter Members of the Bequest Society, Paul Harris Society Members, White Hat Society members, PolioPlus Society members and recipients of the D5150 Grand Slam honor.

Prior to retirement in 2019, Steve was in the collection industry and was elected as a Fellow in the International Fellowship of Certified Collection Executives.  He has also been active in his local community.  Steve served as President of the Pacifica Chamber of Commerce and was recognized as a Business Treasure, recipient of the Outstanding Community Philanthropy Award and Chaired the ADA Committee for the City of Pacifica among other community and school district efforts.  He is a veteran of the US Army and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal.  He is a graduate of San Francisco State University (only took 36.5 years). 

Steve is looking forward to his year as the leader of a tremendous group of Presidents and District Leadership Team and is grateful for the opportunity to serve in this new role, this new capacity of providing Service Above Self while putting Hope in Action.

Rod Diridon, Sr. Sep 18, 2024 6:30 PM
Climate Change: Progress - Combating the Sixth Mass Extinction
Climate Change: Progress - Combating the Sixth Mass Extinction

From 1993 to 2014, Rod Diridon, Sr., was executive director of the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI), a transportation policy research center created in 1991 by Congress. He is known as the father of modern transit service in Silicon Valley and has chaired more than 100 international, national, state, and local programs, most related to transit and the environment. He frequently provides legislative testimony on sustainability.

Mr. Diridon was appointed in 2001 and 2005 by Governors Davis and Schwarzenegger, respectively, to the California High Speed Rail Authority Board of which he is chair emeritus. He’s past chair of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and a founder of the APTA High Speed Intercity Rail Committee and National High Speed Rail Corridors´ Coalition. He served as president of the national Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC) and was elected chair of the US High Speed Rail Association’s (US HSRA) Board. He served for six years as North American vice chair of the International Transit Association (UITP) in Brussels. In 1976, he chaired the state’s first successful local half-cent sales tax for transit and subsequently co-chaired a state-wide and four successful regional transportation financing and bond elections.

Fortuitously, in 1996 he founded and chaired the Transportation Research Board´s study panel, “Combating Global Warming through Sustainable Transportation Policy.” He advised the Federal Transit Administration and in 1995 chaired the National Research Council´s Transportation Research Board´s Transit Cooperative Research Program. He provided keynotes, especially on sustainability and climate change, in more than 50 US cities and for a dozen international conferences and has published numerous related articles. In his younger years he was an avid bicyclist and has driven electric cars since 1996. His home photovoltaic array is a net contributor to the grid. He’s past chair of the region’s League of Conservation Voters and a life Member of the Sierra Club, AAUW, VFW, and others. He received lifetime achievement awards from APTA, CUTC, National Association of Counties, San Jose State’s College of Business, US HS Ground Transportation Association, US High Speed Rail Association, regional LCV, and others.

His political career began in 1971 as the youngest person ever elected to the Saratoga City Council. He retired in 1995 because of term limits after completing five terms, six times chairing the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors and Transit Board. He’s the only person to chair the San Francisco Bay Area´s (109 cities, 27 transit agencies, and 9 counties) three regional governments: The Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the Air Quality Management District, and the Association of Bay Area Governments. He chaired nine successful rail system development project boards. In 1995 the region’s main train station was renamed the “San Jose Diridon Station” upon his retirement. He’s now focused on combating climate change by convening the Rotary’s Climate Action Councils.

After receiving a BS in accounting and MSBA in statistics in 1963 from San Jose State University, he served two combat tours as a naval officer in Vietnam. In 1968 he founded the Decision Research Institute which was sold in 1977 after his election. Mr. Diridon has two successful children, Rod (wife Sabra), and Mary Margaret, and four grandchildren. He is married to Dr. Gloria Duffy, former US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, now president and CEO of the Commonwealth Club of California. In July of 2014 he shifted to emeritus status at MTI.