New City Club President Kicks Off ’17 With Retreat

Photo courtesy Kristen Van Driel San Marino City Club past presidents include (from left) Pete Loeffler (2012), John Morris (2005), Bill Gunnell (2007), Frank Chen (2016), Dan Biles (2015), Janice Lee-McMahon (2011), Wally Rosvall (2003), David Wang (current), Mort Mortimer (2006), Tom Santley (2004), Dick Ward (1989), Al Boegh (2010), Fritz Seares (1999) and Ken Riley (1995).
Photo courtesy Kristen Van Driel
San Marino City Club past presidents include (from left) Pete Loeffler (2012), John Morris (2005), Bill Gunnell (2007), Frank Chen (2016), Dan Biles (2015), Janice Lee-McMahon (2011), Wally Rosvall (2003), David Wang (current), Mort Mortimer (2006), Tom Santley (2004), Dick Ward (1989), Al Boegh (2010), Fritz Seares (1999) and Ken Riley (1995).

The conclusion of a successful board retreat for San Marino City Club helped to set the tone for David Wang’s first year as president of the organization.
The annual retreat, which is held in Palm Springs, brings together the 14 members of SMCC’s board and also past presidents and their spouses. Wang said the retreat this year included a “fairly large cross section” of the latter, especially at the strategic planning meeting.
“It’s a good way to indoctrinate the new board members,” he said in a telephone interview. “This year, it was extremely well attended. We had more past presidents there this year than in recent years.”
That insight proved valuable, Wang said, as he prepares for his year as president.
Moving forward, Wang said he hopes to continue the City Club’s track record of quality speakers and events. An internal survey last year, from about 10% of 350 members, indicated that members enjoyed how the organization was run and identified few, if any, areas for improvement.
Mostly, Wang said, the focus will be on executing events better.
“The feedback we got said that they liked the club and the way we have it structured,” he said.
As far as what the City Club has gotten right, members praised its transition into the digital and social media age. Joining and renewing membership remains straightforward. Events are planned and presented well and members agree media coverage is high quality.
As Wang said, however, he hoped to refine some of the club’s procedures and do “what we already do better.”
In his presentation, Wang admitted that annual transitions can be hit or miss, depending on predecessors (“January is always an adventure,” he noted in a presentation). Wang also added that coordination could be better and some board members could better balance focus on individual roles and the “big picture.”
He also expressed a desire to transition the City Club’s website into a more user-friendly format, add at least 50 more members and produce at least an 85% renewal rate.
The club’s use of quality speakers appear to be continuing this year. Resident Andy Barth spoke this week about his work with the U.S. Men’s Freestyle Wrestling Team at the 2016 Olympics. Tim Sloan, president and CEO of Wells Fargo, will speak at another meeting in February.
Wang moved to San Marino in 2004. His wife, Rosemary, grew up here and her father is a former president of San Marino Chinese Club. They joined City Club in 2011 at the invitation of friends.
“The City Club is responsible for almost every meaningful relationship I have established in town,” Wang said in his introductory comments at the strategic planning meeting. “For me, it is the reason San Marino went from a place we simply lived to an actual community and home. I owe it a great debt of gratitude and I look forward to continuing to give back to this organization during 2017 as its president. I am honored and humbled to serve and am looking forward to a great year.”

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