Leadership through June 30, 2020

  • Carl Ochsner, President
  • Geralyn Sheridan, Pres Elect
  • John Touchette, Secretary
  • Teresa Frediani, Treasurer
    John Carlon, Past President
 Board of Directors
  • Jill Hendry
    Paul Peck
  • Suzie Bravo
  • Nancy Haas-Depa
  • Dawit Zeleke
    Carol Linscheid

Other Club Info:

Mailing address: P.O. Box 32, Chico, California 95927
Club #57824, District #5160
We are a 501(c)4 organization, FEIN: 68-0495543

Our Founding:

The Rotary Club of Chico Sunrise was founded on April 1, 2002. The club was sponsored by then noontime Chico Rotary, and Durham Rotary, with significant help from Chico’s Bob Linscheid. Thirteen members from Chico sought the intimacy of a smaller club (the noon club then exceeded 230 members) and the convenience of early morning weekly meetings in forming the new club.  The driving force behind its formation was past District Governor Ron Piret who presided over the new club until its charter.

Past Presidents of Sunrise Rotary are:
2002-2003 Craig Lares
2003-2004 Chuck Lohse
2004-2005 Cindy Santulli
2005-2006 Ric Newton
2006-2007 Vicki Ryther-Hightower
2007-2008 Hugh Mattingly
2008-2009 Randy Linquist
2009-2010 James Seegert 
2010-2011 Dave Warner
2011-2012 Susie Sorenson
2012-2013 Mark Breault
2013-2014 Sean Isom
2014-2015 Courtney Farrell
2015-2016 Dan Bay
2016-2017 Carol Linscheid
2017-2018 Howard Slater

Rotary International 

Rotary is an organization of both active and retired businessmen and women throughout the world who come together to serve their community and enjoy great fun and fellowship. Rotarians are a diverse, energetic, successful and friendly group of leaders who provide their time, expertise and resources to help their local and world communities.

A Rotarian is an adult of good character and reputation who is a proprietor, partner, corporate/executive officer or manager of a recognized business or who is a member of a profession.

Rotary clubs represent a cross-section of occupations and professions. A vocational "classification" system of membership ensures that any one profession or occupation cannot dominate a Club.

The Rotary motto, "Service Above Self", guides the actions of individual clubs as they plan to feed the hungry, fight disease, assist the handicapped and elderly, combat illiteracy and fund scholarships. Membership is by invitation and is open to all businesspersons, irrespective of color, creed or race. This is born out by the fact that there are currently some 1.2 million men and women belonging to over 29,500 Clubs in virtually every nation in the world!

Derivation of the Rotary name
The name Rotary was chosen to reflect the custom, in the early days of the first Rotary Club in Chicago, of rotating the site of club meetings among the members' places of business. This rotation, an integral part of the founder's original concept, was designed to acquaint members with one another's vocations and to promote business, but the club's rapid growth soon made the custom impractical.


Rotary's principal motto, "Service Above Self" and its other official precept, "He Profits Most Who Serves Best", evidence the enthusiam with which Rotarians embraced the ideal of service. The roots of both of these adages, adopted as official mottos at the 1950 RI Convention, can be traced back to the first decade of Rotary's existence, when "He profits most who serves his fellows best and Service not self were both put forth as slogans. In 1989, the RI Council on Legislation designated "Service above Self" as the principal motto.

The Rotary emblem

Rotary's first emblem was a simple wagon wheel (in motion with dust) representing civilization and movement. Montague Bear, a member of the Chicago club, who was an engraver, designed it in 1905 and many Rotary clubs of the time adopted the wheel in one form or another.
In 1922, authority was given to create and preserve an official emblem, and the following year the present gear wheel with 24 cogs and six spokes was adopted. A keyway was added to signify that the wheel was a "worker and not an idler." At the RI Convention in 1929, royal blue and gold were chosen as the official colors.

To read more on the guiding principals of Rotary, including the Object of Rotary, the Avenues of Service, the Four Way Test and others, see the Rotary International site.

History of Rotary

On February 23, 1905 a Chicago lawyer, Paul P. Harris, called three friends to a meeting. What he had in mind was a club that would kindle fellowship among members of the business community. It was an idea that grew from his desire to find within the large city the kind of friendly spirit that he knew in the villages where he had grown up.

The four businessmen didn't decide then and there to call themselves a Rotary club, but their get-together was, in fact, the first meeting of the world's first Rotary club. As they continued to meet, adding others to the group, they rotated their meetings among the members' places of business, hence the name. Soon after the club name was agreed upon, one of the new members suggested a wagon wheel design as the club emblem. It was the precursor of the familiar cogwheel emblem now worn by Rotarians around the world. By the end of 1905, the club had 30 members.

The second Rotary club was formed in 1908 half a continent away from Chicago in San Francisco, California. It was a much shorter leap across San Francisco Bay to Oakland, California, where the third club was formed. Others followed in Seattle, Washington, Los Angeles, California, and New York City, New York. Rotary became international in 1910 when a club was formed in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. By 1921 the organization was represented on every continent, and the name Rotary International was adopted in 1922.

The Founder of Rotary

Paul Harris, the founder of Rotary, was born in Racine, Wisconsin, USA, on April 19, 1868, but moved at the age of 3 to Wallingford, Vermont, to be raised by his grandparents. In the forward to his autobiography My Road to Rotary, he credits the friendliness and tolerance he found in Vermont as his inspiration for the creation of Rotary.

Trained as a lawyer, Paul gave himself five years after his graduation from law school in 1891 to see as much of the world as possible before settling down and hanging out his shingle. During that time, he traveled widely, supporting himself with a great variety of jobs. He worked as a reporter in San Francisco, a teacher at a business college in Los Angeles, a cowboy in Colorado, a desk clerk in Jacksonville, Florida, a tender of cattle on a freighter to England, and as a traveling salesman for a granite company, covering both the U.S. and Europe.

Remaining true to his five-year plan, he settled in Chicago in 1896, and it was there on the evening of February 23, 1905, that he met with three friends to discuss his idea for a businessmen's club. This is commonly regarded as the first Rotary club meeting. Over the next five years, the movement spread as Rotary clubs were formed in other U.S. cities. When the National Association of Rotary Clubs held its first convention in 1910, Paul was elected president.

After his term, and as the organization's only president-emeritus, Paul continued to travel extensively, promoting the spread of Rotary both in the USA and abroad. A prolific writer, Paul wrote several books about the early days of the organization and the role he was privileged to play in it. These include The Founder of Rotary, This Rotarian Age and the autobiographical My Road to Rotary. He also wrote several volumes of Perigrinations detailing his many travels. He died in Chicago on January 27, 1947.