"A Look Behind the Google Brand — Its People & Its Philosophy," Peter Wilson, Northwest Regional Manager for Google, a rapidly growing and dynamic company that is the worldwide leader in internet information and search. Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. Peter will discuss what makes Google special, including its people and its company philosophy. Come hear Peter provide a unique look inside a fascinating company! [Burnett]


“If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough” ~ Mario Andretti

Click here to view a slideshow of photos from this week's meeting.

On this day in history ...

Year 858 – Nicolaas I succeeds Benedict III as pope

Year 1061 – Halley’s Comet sparks English monk to predict country will be destroyed

Year 1872 – Volcano Vesuvius erupts

Year 1995 – Dow Jones Index hits record 4303.98

Year 2009 – Only two days till the Bellevue 5K!


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Greeters Tom Helbling & Ryan Scharnhorst

Ding! President Jenny dings the bell and kicks off the meeting. She immediately thanks Dick Brown for the wonderful weather predicted for the weekend and the Bellevue 5K

Tom Helbling offered a nice prayer about service above self and a prayer for more volunteers for Sunday!

Ryan Scharnhorst — a Red Badge — introduced visiting Rotarians Terry Posner, Kemper Freeman and Frank Young, all from Bellevue Tuesday noon. He also introduced our visitors, including Sue Healey (wife of Ron Healey) and Cristóbal Baladrón, our exchange student from Chile.

Blue Badge Presentation — Ryan Scharnhorst

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Ryan Scharnhorst & President Jenny Andrews

As soon as Ryan completed the introductions of guests and visitors, President Jenny presented him with his shiny Blue Badge! Way to go, Ryan! No more paddlings!

Rotary Foundation

Dick Brown with help from Jim Gordon presented or announced Paul Harris awards and pins for the following members:

  • Roger Allington, Paul Harris Award
  • Jim Kindsvater, Pin – 1 Sapphire
  • Reuben Ladlad, Pin – 2 Rubies
  • Tim Moriarty, Pin, – 2 Sapphires
  • Chris Ballard Pin, – 3 Sapphires
  • Morris Kremen, Pin – 3 Sapphires
  • Ted Ederer, Pin – 3 Sapphires
  • Sadru Kabani, Pin – 3 Sapphires
  • Paul Martin, Pin, – 3 Sapphires
  • Howard Johnson, Pin – 4 Sapphires, 28 flavors and an orange roof

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L-R: Jim Kindsvater, Ruben Ladlad, Roger Allington, Chris Ballard, Sadru Kabani, Tim Moriarty, Howard Johnson & Morris Kremen

Student of the Month: Tyler Buchanan (and a Surprise)

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SOTM Tyler Buchanan & Larry May

Larry May introduced this month’s Student of the Month, Tyler Buchanan. Tyler attends Bellevue Christian School, and he was joined by his parents Suzanne and Glenn Buchanan.

Tyler is a senior and has a 3.96 GPA, with outside interests in athletics, cross country and helping his fellow citizen. He is headed to Rice University to study medicine, with plans to go into family practice.

Tyler noted that his most memorable experience was as an exchange student in Germany, between his sophomore and junior years. His favorite activities in school included being on the yearbook staff all four years.

Regarding his service to his fellow citizens, Tyler has made trips to Ensenada, Mexico, several times and a trip to Mendenhall, Mississippi, to help those less fortunate.

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Principal Bill Siestrom, Larry May & Tyler Buchanan

He is interested in biology and chemistry and said he’s excited to study medicine, where he can take his interest in science and connect it to his philosophy of service to his fellow citizens.

After Tyler received his plaque, Larry called Bellevue Christian Principal Bill Siestrom to the podium. Larry announced that after 21 years at BCS, Bill is retiring this summer. So, as a surprise announcement, Larry May said Bill was being made the “Principal of the Month!” Way to go, Bill, and what a great idea, Larry!

Bob Bowen — An Inspirational Speech

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Bob Bowen & the Bellevue 5K shirt

Bob Bowen came up to the podium and showed off this year’s shirt for the Bellevue 5K. This reported noted many “oooohs and aaaahs” from the audience when the beautiful white shirt with multi-colored logos was displayed (more to follow about the shirt, with a message from Jon Koshar).

Bob’s speech was so inspirational and positive, it is printed below in its entirety:

From author Gordan MacDonald and his book A Resiliant Life.

In the great race of life, there are some who stand out from all the rest. I call them the resilient ones. The further they run, the stronger they get. They seem to possess these qualities:
  • The are committed to finishing strong
  • They run inspired by the big picture view of life
  • They run free of the weight of the past
  • They run confidently, trained to go the distance
  • They run in the company of the happy fiew
  • They believe that quitting is not an option
  • They have the faces of champions
The Bellevue 5K is the vehicle that will inspire an entire community.
This local event brings together an amazing collaboration between an amazing city partner in Bellevue, an amazing local/regional charity in Kindering, and it’s the BBRC who serves as the glue to this collaboration.
This Sunday we have the amazing opportunity to show the community what we all here already know that the BBRC is the best darn Rotary Club!
Here’s why we will be the best this Sunday:
BBRC Rotarians will arrive early and volunteer their time to help set up the race course, the starting and finishing areas, and the registration areas. They will assist our amazing sponsors to help set up their booths. BBRC members will go out of their way to thank everyone who attends, young and old, with a smile and greeting. BBRC members will line the race course and cheer on the runners and walkers, and a crowd of BBRC members will be at the finish line to cheer on the people as they complete the race/walk.
Sunday, BBRC members will be champions; it will be a banner day, one of our best in club history. It’s our worldview for Bellevue, and the BBRC, like the amazing Orca Whale of the Spray Play Park, will be lifted up on the community.
Now, let’s celebrate our BBRC champions right now!

With that ending, Bob had Jane Kuechle were recognized by a very well deserved standing ovation by all the members in the club! Congratulations, Jane! We love you for all your hard work for the Club and Kindering!

Bob then did a staggered “stand up” with folks standing who were the team members, followed by 5K sponsors, walkers/runners, volunteers and contributors — especially for the Newport High School walkers (50 students).

Bob closed by saying that we now have 920 walkers/runners with expectations for over 1,200 participants.


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Jonathan Koshar

Bob Bowen invited Jonathan Koshar to the podium, and he noted that, with the total number of expected runners, there was a problem in that there were only 600 shirts. So, Jonathan told a story of how it was at his house growing up; when there was a dinner with family and friends, if there wasn’t enough food, his mom would say quietly, “FH B,” which meant “Family Hold Back,” in order to make sure that the non-family dinner guests had enough to eat.

Jonathan asked all BBRC Rotarians to FHB with the shirts.

Last Minute Announcements

There were tons of announcements about the race and race set-up.

Madeline Gauthier reminded everyone that JC Penney has a coupon where, if you buy more than $10 worth of items, you get $10 off. Madeline is suggesting that everyone use their coupons to buy something they can gift to Treehouse.

Chuck Kimbrough offered congratulations to Jenny and Margie for their vision and goal of 1,000 participants for the Bellevue 5K. Jenny and Margie, our hats are off to you!

Today’s Program

"Gaming Industry — The Growth & Trends for the Future," Ed Fries

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Ed Fries

Kaj Pedersen introduced Ed Fries (pronounced “freeze”), who started out with a quick intro of his background and a video for a game called “Dark Void” from a local electronic game company called AirTight Games.

Ed is a local who grew up in the Bellevue area and attended Sammamish High School. He was an active “gamer” with such games systems as Atari, and he even wrote some games for the Atari system while in high school.

Ed's father worked for Boeing and his mother received her Masters in Computer Science at the University of Washington. Ed also received a degree in computer science and was hired by Microsoft, where he spent about 18 years. He worked on Excel for five years — competing with Lotus 1‑2‑3 — then moved on to MS Word for five years, before taking over game operations for Microsoft, managing about 50 employees. He then moved to the XBox project, where he managed 1,200 people and released one of the most popular games ever — Halo.

Ed is now an entrepreneur who is very involved in the video game business.

Ed noted that there are three major aspects of the electronic game business:

  • Console Gaming, e.g., XBox, Nintendo Wii, Playstation)
  • Casual Gaming Business (download to computer or cell phone),
  • Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) games, e.g., World of Warcraft.

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Console Gaming Business
The console gaming business includes action games like Halo and also “Music/Rhythm Trend” like Guitar Hero, Rock Band and even the Wii Fit.

Production of these games is like making a movie – many years and multi-million dollar efforts.

US retail sales for consoles and games is over $20B annually and over $50B worldwide — larger than music but not as big as TV and movies/DVDs, etc.

Locally, the XBox is from Microsoft and the Nintendo is in Redmond. There are many other video game companies in the region, many of which are started by ex-Microsoft employees.

Casual Gaming Business
These games are easy to play and can be downloaded to a personal computer or to a cell phone. The typical player is a woman, age 35 to 55. This area of the electronic gaming business is around $3B per year and growing very fast.

A local example is a company called PopCap Games on 4th Avenue in Seattle, and one of their most popular games is called “Bejeweled.”

Seattle is home to many of the casual game publishers, including Wild Tangent, PopCap, BigFish and Microsoft Casual Games.

Massive Multiplayer Online Games
This genre of game is online and includes the ability to play with or against a multitude of players who are also all online with you. Right now, this is the dominant form of electronic games in Asia.

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Kaj Pedersen introduces the speaker.

The biggest MMO is called World of Warcraft, produced by Blizzard Entertainment of Irvine, California. It is essentially a massive, online game of Dungeons and Dragons. It cost Blizzard Entertainment over $50M to develop. There are more than 11.5M subscribers who pay between $10 and $15 a month to participate.

Ed noted that his company — Figureprints — is licensed to create 3-D models of World of Warcraft figures using a process called 3D color printing. (He brought a model to the meeting to show it off.)

The industry trends include moving to more cell phone games, especially for the iPhone. Also, more focus on Social Networking Sites, e.g., Facebook, and work on Cloud Computing, where you won’t need a console, just the ability to go onto the Internet with a simple computer.


Ed closed with some questions and answers of his own:

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Ed Fries & President Jenny Andrews

Q: How many video game companies are in Western Washington?
A: Over 150

Q: How many employees in the region work for video game companies?
A: Over 15,000

Q: How much revenue generated in the region attributed to video games?
A: Over $4.2B

Questions from the floor:

Describe Typical Gamer

  • Getting to be everone – hard to describe
  • Average age >30
  • Gender even split – Men/Women
  • Nintendo – Wii Fit – reach a broader audience

How much time spending playing games?

  • Hard to calculate
  • Better to do game vs TV? – Video more engaging, mentally active (even physically active with Wii)

Addiction to Games?

  • Don’t have good data on
  • More research about violence in video games – inconclusive
  • Perfectly legitimate thing to study and understand
  • Parent responsibility to protect children
  • The game industry uses a rating system like movie business

Ed Fries Favorite Game?

  • World of Warcraft – part of Guild (like a Rotary Club) – give to less fortunate players
  • Kids = Pokemon

Competition Overseas

  • Biggest = Canada / Montreal
  • Business started in Japan; Japanese market is declining.
  • China – Chinese focus on China
  • India last big market on planet – predict to be an enormous power.

Microsoft Question — Part of Big successes Excel, Word, Xbox ... problems with Zune, Online Advertising. How do they compete in these other areas and should they?

  • Microsoft has its successes and failures
  • Don’t bet against them
  • Ed’s brother and sister work there – not successful at everything they do.

The meeting ended with Ed receiving the Polio Plus contribution in his name.

Web Fun


Reveille ImageAccording to a news report, a certain private school in Washington was recently faced with a unique problem. A number of 12-year-old girls were beginning to use lipstick and would put it on in the bathroom. That was fine, but after they put on their lipstick, they would press their lips on the mirror leaving dozens of little lip prints. Every night the maintenance man would remove them, and the next day the girls would put them back.

Finally, the principal decided that something had to be done. She called all the girls to the bathroom and met them there with the maintenance man. She explained that all these lip prints were causing a major problem for the custodian, who had to clean the mirrors every night (you can just imagine all the yawns from the little princesses). To demonstrate how difficult it had been to clean the mirrors, she asked the maintenance man to show the girls how much effort was required.

He took out a long-handled squeegee, dipped it in the toilet, and cleaned the mirror with it. Since then, there have been no lip prints on the mirror.


Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club Reveille Newsletter