Tuesday, August 7th


August 14, 2018, 7:00 am: Breakfast Meeting at SDYC

August 20, 2018, 5:00 pm: Board Meeting at SDYC

August 20, 2018, 6:00 pm: Steak Fry at SDYC


Acting President Chris Jacobs welcomes Commodore Brett Hershman.

We were honored to have Captain Brett Hershman, USN, Commodore of the Military Sealift Command (MSC) Pacific, as our guest speaker this morning.  He is a Point Loma resident, with his headquarters on Naval Base Point Loma (formerly known as the Submarine Base).  The MSC’s 125 ships are manned by 8,300 relatively senior merchant marines averaging 43 years of age, and by embarked US Navy support.  The ships are varied, including hospital ships (such as USNS Mercy), shallow draft fast boats, Army pre-positioning ships (such as the USNS John Wayne), oilers and other special mission ships.  The new design fleet tugs are the MSC’s “Swiss Army knives,” which have multiple missions including such things as submarine rescue and salvage capabilities.  He briefed us on his wide ranging responsibilities in keeping fuel, food and other logistic support flowing to the fleet.  Even though our nuclear powered aircraft carriers and submarines can go decades between refueling, there is still the need for jet fuel, food, and spare parts that the MSC provides at sea.  Our nation’s ability to do underway replenishments all around the globe is unique, and distinguishes us from all other navies.  The Commodore described the recent 3-week RIMPAC exercises in which his ships worked with 45 allied navy ships to practice this replenishment capability.  He dazzled us with technological advances such as at-sea transfer “pills” that are pulled from a supply ship to a submarine.  They are large enough for big parts yet small enough to pass down a 21″ hatch.  Even drones are being used to do transfers at sea now!  Amazon must be envious.  We are very grateful for Captain Hershman’s 30+ years of arduous duty as a Surface Warfare Officer and in numerous conflicts supporting our national defense.  We also thank him for taking some of his very valuable time to talk with us.  Details of his impressive service are available at this link.

Commodore Hershman in follow-up Q&A with interested members after the meeting

Tuesday, July 31st


July 31, 2018: 7:00 am, Breakfast Meeting at SDYC

August 7, 2018: 7:00 am. Breakfast Meeting at SDYC


VP Chris Jacobs welcomes Art Curran as our newest member.

Acting President Chris Jacobs presided as we inducted new member Art Curran into the club at this morning’s breakfast.  He’s a 4th generation Californian originally from Bakersfield, and now residing in Point Loma with his wife Mari.  He is a former prosecutor and retired private practice attorney … and golfer.  Welcome aboard (and happy birthday), Art! 

What did all the following have in common (Air Force One, tongue-tied cherry stem knots, #HunterKillerSub, VW vans, Walt Disney, the Boston Braves, AUV competitions, “11” on the telephone dial, St Andrews, the White House, and Da Nang)?  These were just portions of personal factoids that members presented in lieu of a guest speaker at this morning’s breakfast.  Very entertaining and enlightening.

Scott Hedenkamp and his high school freshman daughter Jadyn were our guests at today’s breakfast.  Afterwards, she presented her very enterprising proposal to create a Junior Optimist club at PLHS that would be affiliated with the Pt Loma Optimists.  Member (and former teacher) Paula Perretta volunteered to be the initial point of contact as we put this to the Board for approval and assemble a committee to assist her in this endeavor.

Tuesday, July 24th


July 24, 2018: 7:00 am, Breakfast Meeting at SDYC

July 31, 2018: 7:00 am. Breakfast Meeting at SDYC


Bert Barclay presents the coveted Pt Loma Optimist Club Golf Tournament trophy to this year’s champion — member Jesse Sikorski.

President Bill Bramley opened the meeting with a resounding “thank you” to Bert Barclay and all those who made the annual Optimist Club of Point Loma Golf Tournament such a success … raising over $3500 which will go to supporting Peninsula youth.  Optimist Jesse Sikorski, the tournament winner and now the reining club champion, was presented the “Stanley Cup” of our club’s golf tournaments.  His name is inscribed on the trophy for posterity, thus joining the legions of those who went before him.  Particularly notable was that Jesse did this with a sprained ankle.  Next year we are expecting even better from him!
Next Tuesday’s breakfast meeting will be followed by a few members meeting with Scott Hedenkamp and his high school freshman daughter Jadyn, who is proposing the creation of a Junior Point Loma Optimist Club.
In lieu of a guest speaker this morning, there were some particularly good jokes, as well a sincere discussion of the benefits in donating to the Optimist Club of Point Loma as a part of estate planning.

Tuesday, July 10th


July 16, 2018:  Annual Optimist Club of Point Loma Golf Tournament, Noon at River Walk Golf Club

5:00 pm – Board Meeting:  CANCELED

6:00 pm – Steak Fry and presentation of Golf Tournament Awards, SDYC

July 24, 2018: 7:00 am, Breakfast Meeting at SDYC

July 31, 2018: 7:00 am. Breakfast Meeting at SDYC


                                 Ryan Blalack, Member Mark Koonin and Frank Schifano

What can Brown do for you?  Well, on Tuesday, July 10th, Brown delivered Ryan Blalack and Frank Schifano to the Point Loma Optimist Breakfast Meeting at the San Diego Yacht Club!  Ryan is a 23 year veteran, who began his delivery career with a bases loaded curve ball from his living room couch.  He now serves as a Regional Manager for UPS Capital.  Frank is a native San Diegan who has been with UPS for the past 10 years and serves as the Area Sales Manager.

“UPS is an engineering company the seeks perfection in efficient package delivery,” according to Frank.  “FedEx is a marketing company that delivers packages.  That is the major difference between the two biggest commercial package delivery companies!”  Whether you are talking about clients like Amazon, Target, Wal*Mart or the Law Offices of William Bramley, APC, every package gets the same Brown treatment.  It starts when you hand off the parcel to a UPS employee and ends with the personal delivery by a Brown clad employee at its final destination.  “We know where it is and where it will be, every step of the delivery cycle.”

UPS is engineered for delivery success.  At their “World Port” in Louisville, Kentucky, a Brown plane lands every 90 seconds.  In a massive building, covering 5.2 million square feet, Brown sorts over 416,000 packages per hour!  Then through their air force of 244 cargo planes and ground force of 119,000 vehicles, over 20 million packages are successfully delivered every day world wide.  Not too bad for a little company started by Jim Casey in Seattle, Washington on August 28, 1907 with a couple of bicycles!

Today, UPS is so much more than just a package delivery company.  Ryan highlighted some of the community involvement efforts and philanthropic philosophies of the UPS company.  “As a company, we want to be invested in the communities we serve.  And to do that, we want to invest our people as well as our money.”  UPS is the biggest corporate giver to the United Way.  In 2017, UPS employees donated over $66 million to United Way!  In addition, UPS employees gave over $5.9 million to emergency relief funds last year.  These dollars went to hurricane, flood and fire victims.  UPS also supports Boys & Girls Clubs, the Salvation Army and Toys for Tots with financial donations and personal time and effort by employees.  “Philanthropy is not just word written on our Mission Statement.  Philanthropy is an engrained philosophy for our company and our employees.  UPS recognizes and celebrates the philanthropic efforts of its employees!”  In fact, Ryan was recognized ad the 2008 Volunteer of the Year by Brown!

So the next time someone asks you, “What has Brown done for you?”  Ask them to check out Carson’s Story.  Because UPS also Delivers Wishes!



Tuesday, June 26th


President Bill Bramley opened this morning’s meeting with a wonderful announcement.  “The Point Loma Optimist Club has been selected for the prestigious Lighthouse Award from the Point Loma Association.  This is the highest award of recognition given by the PLA and recognizes our Club for all the good works we do in the community.”  Congrats to the Optimist Club of Point Loma!

July 10th:  Next Breakfast Meeting, 7:00 am, San Diego Yacht Club

July 16th:  Annual Optimists Golf Tournament, River Walk Gol Club, Noon registration and lunch, 1:00 pm Shot Gun start.  Contact Bert Barkley for info and reservations. Board Meeting, 5:00 pm, SDYC. Steak Fry and Golf Tournament Awards, 6:00 pm SDYC

July 24th:  Breakfast Meeting, 7:00 am, SDYC


Principal Irene Hightower, Member Steve Doyle and President Bill Bramley

The Point Loma Optimist Club welcomed Principal Irene Hightower, from Cabrillo Elementary School to our breakfast meeting.  During the Golden OptimisTiki Event on April 28th, a Paddle Raise generated $8,400 for the Cabrillo Elementary School.  Today, we presented Principal Hightower with a Big Check to recognize that gift (and a legal sized check she could take to the bank!).  “I want to thank the Point Loma Optimists for this wonderful donation,” she told us.  “This money will go to complete our tablet computer cart we bought with last year’s donation.  We will now have 32 tablet computers, in a charging cart, for all our students to use.  We are very grateful for your generosity.”

Lilli-Mari Andresen, the Associate Director overseeing Major Gifts for The San Diego Museum of Art, visited with the Optimist Club this morning.  “Do you know what is going on at The San Diego Museum of Art this summer?  This month we opened a new exhibit, “Epic Tales from Ancient India”!  This exhibit will feature more than 90 works of art from the Museum’s world renowned Edwin Binney 3rd Collection!”  This collection spans the 16th thru 19th century.  It’s works contain adventure, battles and romance.  But, it only begins to tell the story of ancient India.  The Museum will offer symposiums, dance productions, films, music and many other educational opportunities to help complete the experience.

President Bill Bramley and Lilli-Mari Andresen SDMA

“We also have an exhibition of Nancy Lorenz’s work, entitled “Moon Gold”.  This program will run through August and offers an inside look at the traditional lacquering and gilding techniques of Japanese decorative arts,” according to Lilli.  Using cascades of gold, silver and platinum, Ms. Lorenz creates beguiling and decadently adorned boxes.

“And, of course, we have our 2018 Summer Youth Art Programs.  These programs are for children from 1st thru 5th grades and then we have our teen programs for children in 6th thru 12th grades.  In each of these programs, we are helping children learn and explore art in many different formats,” Lilli told us.  You can learn more about the details of these programs at SDMArt.org.

The San Diego Museum of Art is in Balboa Park.  They operate on a budget of mare than $10 million per year.  They work to raise about $5.5 million a year from Members and the public to cover their costs for operating the museum, preserving, and protecting their art collections.  Thank you, Lillie, for sharing this valuable insight into the SDMA and opening our eyes to some of the great opportunities and experiences the SDMA has to offer.





Tuesday, June 12th


June 18, 2018 – Board Meeting, 5:00 pm, SDYC
– Steak Fry, 6:00 pm, SDYC

July 16, 2018 – Annual Golf Tournament, River Walk Golf Club, noon registration, 1:00 pm start


We inducted J. C. Agajanian as a new member at today’s meeting.  He expressed his appreciation for what the Optimists do, including the club’s recent support in providing the new flagpole at Silver Gate Elementary where some of his 3 children go to school.  Welcome aboard, J. C.!

New member J. C. Agajanian is congratulated by acting President Chris Jacobs and membership coordinator, Tom Lewis.








J. C. with his sponsor, Sean

Member Jesse Sikorski introduced us to his colleague, Craig Lambourne, who was our guest speaker at this morning’s breakfast meeting.  Craig is an attorney and certified specialist in trust and probate law as well as estate planning.  He provided some excellent advice to a “target rich” audience regarding the what, why, who, when and where of estate planning.  Of particular interest were the implications of recent tax law changes to existing and future trusts.  For instance, even though the tax exemption for the size of estates was recently increased to $22 million for couples, it may create significant income tax issues for some previously established trusts.  We appreciated Craig’s presentation (and knowing how to reach him through Jesse if needed!).

Member Jesse Sikorski, Acting President Chris Jacobs, and guest speaker Craig Lambourne


Tuesday, June 5th


June 12, 2018 – Breakfast meeting, 7:00 am, SDYC

June 18, 2018 – Board Meeting, 5:00 pm, SDYC

Steak Fry, 6:00 pm. SDYC

July 16, 2018 – Annual Golf Tournament, River Walk Golf Club, noon registration, 1:00 pm start

Community News:

The Point Loma Optimist Club was recently recognized by several local elementary schools for our financial support during the past school year.  Members of the club attended meetings at the schools where the Club was recognized.  Ocean Beach Elementary thanked the Club for the support to their school garden and for the recent purchase of computers for the students use.  Dewey Elementary thanked the Club for our ongoing support of their STEM education program and their Arts program.  Silver Gate Elementary thanked us for their new flag pole.  Here are a few shots to show you the fun!

Steve Doyle, Principal Drapeau, Tom Lewis at OB Elementary

Tom Lewis and Steve Doyle at the OB Elementary Garden

Jeff Fischbeck, Vince Glorioso, Tom Lewis and friend at Silver Gate Elem.













John Leonard, a Vice President with JP Morgan, visited with the Point Loma Optimist Club this morning to give us an overview of the economy and where it might be headed.  John is a Point Loma resident and has been with JP Morgan for the past 11 years.

John focused his attention on three market characteristics, the economy, interest rates and employment factors.  On the economy, John said, “This is the second longest period of expansion in history.  We believe 2018 will also be a positive growth year for the economy.”  John explained the extraordinary slow growth that started back in 2009 is one reason for this extended period of expansion.  He also projected the continuing stimulus injections (government spending more money on infrastructure) will push the economic growth into 2019, but there may be a slowing of the rate of growth.

Pres Bill Bramley, VP John Leonard of JP Morgan and Member Jesse Sikorski

The reason for the slowing of the growth is jobs.  Not the creation of jobs, but the inability of the population to meet the demand for the types of jobs being created.  “The slow down in the rate of the economic growth will be caused by the lack of skilled labor to fill the jobs being created.  We need to retrain our labor force to meet the demands of the new economy,” he said.  The unemployment rate stands at 3.8% at the end of May.  The historic average unemployment rate is 6.8% over the past 50 years.  Wage growth is starting to see an upward swing at 2.8% at the end of May, but it is still quite low.  The historic average for wage growth is 4.1% over the past 50 years.  This helps explain the continuing low inflation rates we have been experiencing.

Following a similar pattern, interest rates are still at remarkedly low points.  Today, the Fed funds rate sits at 1.5%.  John expects the Fed Board of Governors to continue to push the interest rate up, 2 or 3 times more in 2018.  The historic average Fed rate sits at 3.5%, even with 3 quarter point bumps this year, the rate would still only be at 2.25%.  John believes the Fed will be very careful with their rate increases.  He pointed out that 11 of the last 13 recessions were caused by the Fed mismanaging the rates.

In answering some questions from the members, John pointed out that corporate earnings per share and profits per share continue to exceed analysts estimates.  He believes a slow shift from growth stocks to value stocks will begin to take form in the general markets.  He is bullish on the emerging markets and believes there will be good growth potential there in the next several years.  And, John suggested the new norm for the markets will be higher volatility, requiring the smart investor to make sure they have a diversified portfolio.  Thanks for stopping by this morning, John.  We appreciate your insights!

Tuesday, May 29th


Tuesday, June 5th, Breakfast meeting, 7:00am SDYC

Monday, June 18th, Board meeting, 5:00pm SDYC, 6:00pm Steak Fry, SDYC

Monday, July 16th, Golf Tournament, 12:00 noon, Riverwalk Golf Club

Friday, April 26, 2019, 2nd Golden OptimisTiki, Bali Hai


“Become an informed patient!” according to Chris Burns, President of EA Health, this is the best way to protect your health and your health care costs.  In 2016, California AB 72, the Health Care Coverage bill became law.  The law provides if you receive health services, under your health insurance policy, from a contracting health care facility, but from a noncontracting health care provider (specializing doctor), you would only be required to pay the specializing doctor the “in-network cost sharing amount”.

Pres. Bill Bramley, Member Randy Rolfe and EA Health Pres. Chris Burns

This was not the situation before AB 72.  Surprise billings (additional billings from noncontracting physicians) were common, especially in cases where Emergency Rooms were required to obtain the services of a specialists in an urgent time frame.  It was issues of this sort which created the impetus for a company like EA Health.

Chris Burns looks for alternatives to best fit the situation.  He seeks to employ resources in an effective manner.  His focus is to provide the specialist service providers to the health care facilities in a timely and cost effective manner.  Today, EA Health (which was created in 1992), works with over 100 hospitals in 15 states and 5,000 specialist doctors.  Coordinating the ever-changing health care laws with the service providers and the facility owners is a full time job.

“Did you know that doctors in California, can not be hired by hospitals?  The doctors are independent health care service providers.  Hospitals are health care service facilities.  The laws regarding who receives what dollars from insurance providers is an ever evolving field.  We focus on staying at the leading edge of these changes and working to minimize the impacts to the health care providers and the health care facilities,” he told us.  No doubt, that is a full time job!

The next challenge to the health care service industry may be California AB 3087.  This bill would create a new “commission” that would set fees charged by hospitals and physicians.  The bill has cleared the Assembly Health Committee and has been re-referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.   “This will create a major challenge for service providers and facility providers,” Chris told us.

EA Health and Chris Burns are fighting the uphill battle.  Listening to Chris this morning, only reinforces his great advice, “Be an informed patient!”  Thank you Chris, for this frightening look behind the green curtain of the health care business.






Tuesday, May 8th


Monday, May 14th, 5:00 pm, Board Meeting at SDYC

Monday, May 14th, 6:00 pm, Steak Fry at SDYC

Tuesday, May 22nd, 7:00 am, Youth Appreciation Breakfast at SDYC

Monday, July 16th, PLOC Annual Golf Tournament!  Get your foursomes organized now!


Dennis Probst is the Vice President of Development for the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority.  While Dennis is new to this job (started in December 2017), he has many years experience in operating airports.  His prior position was that of COO for the Metropolitan Airports Commission, overseeing the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and six general aviation fields in the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

                       Pres. Bramley and VP Dennis Probst

In his new role, Dennis oversees all aspects of planning, environmental affairs, capital improvements and facilities development at Lindberg Field.  “We are a bit busy these days,” he told us.  “Last year, we accommodated over 22 million passengers.  That’s an average of 60,000 passengers per day and 550 flights per day!”  All this activity is handled by 407 Authority employees and 9,000 airport partner company employees.  Direct flights from San Diego to 62 domestic and 9 international destinations are available.  The newest flight is offered by Lufthansa Air, San Diego to Frankfurt.  To make the use of the airport more convenient and enjoyable, the Authority has embarked on an aggressive improvement campaign.

The new International Arrivals facility is scheduled to be turned over to Customs and Immigration official this month (May 2018).  The new facility will be located at the westerly end of Terminal 2 and be over twice the size of the current facility.  “This new facility was fast-tracked through a design build contract with Turner PCL.  From signing the contract in March of 2017 to completion of construction in May 2018 is a fantastic job!  We are very thrilled with their performance.”

                                  The Airport Development Plan

Next is the new Terminal 2 parking structure.  “We have added over 1,700 parking spaces in addition to the previous field lot capacity.  This is probably the most technically advanced parking structure in San Diego.  You can reserve a spot.  You can pay at the door or ahead of time.  We will have dynamic pricing to compete with the ride sharing companies.  And, it will open later this month!” according to Dennis.

The next infrastructure program is the expansion and remodel of Terminal 1.  The environmental document is expected to circulate later this year.  The Authority will then relocate the cargo and maintenance facilities to the north side of the runway.  After approval of the EIR and project plan, 19 new gates will be built east of Terminal 1.  After the airlines are moved to the new gates, the old Terminal 1 will be demolished and 11 more gates will be added to the new Terminal 1.  “These gates will be larger.  And, the linear terminal design will allow us to provide a second taxiway, which will improve the ground flow of airplanes,” according to Dennis.

The 661 acres that make up Lindberg Field are all carefully accounted for and utilized.  But, don’t think the prospects for growth are behind them.  With approximately 200,000 landings and takeoffs each year, the San Diego International Airport is planning for bigger and better.  “With all the right things happening, we could see San Diego grow to 300,000 landings and takeoffs in a year.  Not next year or the year after.  But it is certainly possible in the future.”  Thank you, Dennis for giving us all the “heads up” on what’s up at the airport!


Tuesday, May 1st

Announcements:  The Golden OptimisTiki event on Saturday, April 28th, was a great success!  Thank you to Committee Chair Glen Mouritzen and his Tiki Committee for putting together a memorable evening!

May 8th, Breakfast Meeting at the SDYC at 7:00 am.

May 14th, Board Meeting at SDYC at 5:00 pm.  And, Steak Fry at SDYC at 6:00 pm.

May 22nd, Breakfast Meeting celebrating Youth Appreciation Day at SDYC at 7:00 am.

July 16th, Golf Tournament … start collecting your foursomes!

Program:  This morning the PL Optimist Club welcomed the President of the Kirkland Mining Company (KMC), Areta Zouvas, and her Principal Consultant, Brad Belt.  KMC is processing an Environmental Assessment on their 320 acre mineral claim within land controlled by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).  Once known as “The Kitty Litter Mine”, the KMC mineral rights have received a BLM designation such that the High Quality Pozzolan (HQP) on the property,  is classified as an Uncommon Variety mineral and not subject to the Common Varieties Act.  What this all means for KMC, is good news and the ability to produce from a new site HQP for the construction industry.

          Areta Zouvas, Pres. Bill Bramley and Brad Belt

What are pozzolans?  Pozzolans are a vital component in the creation of concrete.  Natural pozzolans have been used since ancient times.  The Romans created magnificent architectural structures using concrete mad with natural pozzolans.  The Colosseum and the Pantheon are concrete structures, withstanding the test of time, in part because they used natural pozzolans in their concrete mixtures.  Man-made pollozans, like Fly Ash, are created through the burning of coal.  Since they are the by-product of coal burning, they tend to be cheaper to acquire by concrete producers.  With the rapid decline of coal fueled power plants, this economic advantage is disappearing.  By using pozzolans in the concrete mixture (sand, rock, cement and water) producers are able to create stronger and longer lasting concrete products (like roads, walls, buildings, etc.).

In 2016, KMC received a third party certification as to the quantity of verifiable HQP on their claim.  39 million tons were found by geologists on just 76 acres of their 320 acre claim.  This natural pozzolan is a volcanic, “tuff” material, with unique qualities and benefits.  The material received ASTM C618 and C1567 certifications.  And, through additional testing, showed significant reductions in concrete product cracking and sulfate expansion as compared to samples using with 100% cement.

KMC is working their way through the BLM process to achieve the approvals they need to permit, develop and operate a HQP mine on the property.  The Environmental Assessment will be released this spring and a final resolution of all issues is targeted for late 2018.  The mine should begin operation in 2019.

For more information, please visit www.kirklandmining.com.  Thank you to Areta Zouvas and Brad Belt for a fascinating look into the mining permit process and the world of natural pozzolans.