Join the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara each Friday for presentations from local and international leaders in business, humanitarian service, nonprofits, government, and more. For the schedule of upcoming speakers click here, and be sure to arrive early and share lunch with our presenter and Club Members! (click here for the calendar)

PLEASE NOTE! Our new meeting location is at Mulligans Cafe & Bar, 3500 McCaw Ave. Santa Barbara, CA 93105 USA. See you there!

January 3, 2019
NO MEETING – New Years

January 10, 2020
Preview of 2020 Santa Barbara International Film Festival and Film Awards Season

Join us for a behind-the-scenes sneak peek at the 2020 Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) with members of its programming team. This year’s slate of SBIFF award honorees include Renee Zellweger, Scarlett Johannon, Adam Driver, Lupita Nyong’o, Laura Dern, and Brad Pitt. Learn about how the festival is produced each year as the SBIFF team discusses programming highlights and offers insights into the 2020 film awards season.

January 17, 2020
Rotary at the Y

January 24, 2020
Leslie Baer Dinkel
Xela AID Partnerships for Self Reliance

“The Dragonfly,” a poem Leslie wrote while still in gradeschool, won a school district prize and was published in a magazine, fueling her interest in writing. “It’s remarkable what just a little encouragement can do for a young mind!” she reflects. She was also musical from a young age and fascinated with the piano classics. But a piano was outside her parent’s means, so she joined the brigade of thousands of young people who, mid-century took up the accordion. When heartthrob James Taylor came on the scene and Leslie was exposed to the socially relevant poetry of Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell, she traded the accordion for a guitar given to her by her parents on her 13th birthday. Soon after, she began to compose music and lyrics.

Leslie became a working journalist after earning a BA in communications, and over a decade, wrote for the Los Angeles Times and a number of magazines before becoming editor-in-chief of several Harcourt-Brace-Jovanovich titles. She’s the author of hundreds of articles spanning emerging technologies to the impacts of acid rain to profiles of public figures. She went on to write and host several radio programs focused on the environment, and later, headed PR and marketing operations for higher education, a large museum and a conservation organization. She wrote and co-authored several books, and to date has recorded four albums of original music. A documentary film Leslie wrote and co-produced about the plight of the Yanomami people of the Amazon won its category and Best of Festival at the U.S. Environmental Film Festival. She has recently turned her attention to finishing several books.

As an avocation Leslie and her husband Mel frequent the Guatemalan highlands where they lead volunteer groups and oversee the operation of Xela AID Partnerships for Self Reliance, a human development organization Leslie founded in 1992. The two also share a passion for exploring new places and cultures, and their travels have spanned the fiords of Norway to the north, Peru’s Machu Picchu to the south, the winding canals of Britain’s lowlands to the frosty, thin-aired peak of Tanzania’s Mt. Kilimanjaro and dozens of countries in between. They share their Southern California home with their cat Tasha and a menagerie of squirrels, ducks, tame stingrays and a wobbly-legged great blue heron they call Clive which grace their backyard lagoon.

January 31, 2020
Randy Lioz
Better Angels

Randy Lioz is the director of the California office at Better Angels, as well as a regular moderator of red-blue and skills workshops, having formerly spent his career in the auto industry. Randy lives in Irvine, CA, and spends much of his time in front of a soccer goal or beside a friendly mutt. His column is published weekly at The Conversation.

February 7, 2020
Karla Mora
Investing in Emerging Markets

Karla Mora, Founder and Managing Partner of Alante Capital

Karla brings 15 years of experience strengthening, scaling and investing in companies in emerging markets. She served most recently as Interim Investment Director at VilCap Investments where she led initial investments in early-stage companies in Mexico, Ghana, Kenya, & the US. She supported a portfolio of over 30 companies, cultivated new investor relationships & raised capital for the fund. She also prepared early-stage FinTech and HealthTech entrepreneurs to raise capital through Village Capital’s Mexico-based accelerator program.

Prior to this, Karla was Associate Director of The Eleos Foundation, managing investments from 71 investors, into early stage social enterprises. She also worked at Building Markets in Afghanistan, supporting SMEs in post-conflict areas, the World Affairs Council, & the United Nations Sustainable Commodity Initiative for the coffee sector. Karla holds a Master’s Degree in Development Economics from University of Rome in Italy & a Certificate in Financial Management from Cornell University.

Karla has dedicated her career to using business as a force for social good. Early on she developed a deep passion for reforming production practices across industries to improve working conditions & protect the environment. Her passion for supply chain reform, deep concern with the state of the apparel industry & her love of beautiful clothes, led her to create Alante Capital in an effort to spur innovations that can have lasting positive impacts on people & the planet.

February 28, 2020
Amb. Gunther Sleeuwwagen
Belgian Consul General

Gunther Sleeuwagen is the Ambassador – Consul General of Belgium to Los Angeles – covering the West Coast of the US