Rotary Club of Santa Monica Invites YOU!

This Friday, February 19th, our speaker will be Maire Byrne of Thyme Café, with “A Santa Monica small business owner’s journey through COVID 19”!

This is also Best Friends Day, so let’s celebrate our Rotary friendships!

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Maire Byrne was born in Los Angeles to a family of five brothers and sisters, where great food and family gatherings were frequent and lively. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, Maire went on to work with food world luminaries at acclaimed restaurants throughout the United States including Chez Panisse in Berkeley, Ajax Tavern in Aspen and Aqua in San Francisco. However, it was cooking alongside her mother in their family kitchen where Maire grew to truly appreciate home-cooked food and the delicious memories it can create. Inspired, Maire launched her first company, Thyme Catering, in 2004, where she quickly developed a loyal clientele creating inventive, delicious New American food for unforgettable events throughout Southern California.

Driven by the success of her catering company, Maire opened Thyme Cafe & Market in 2009 in the Ocean Park area of Santa Monica that immediately became a neighborhood favorite. Her roots in the community date back to the 1880’s when her great-grandfather emigrated there from Switzerland. A dairyman by trade, he purchased Santa Monica Dairy, which later became known as Edgemar Farms. Located on Rose and Main, his dairy delivered milk and dairy products for the next 100 years to Santa Monica, Venice and Marina Del Rey.

Her passion for travel has led her to live and work throughout Europe and the United States. Each experience has influenced her culinary point of view and strengthened her belief that good food draws people together. Maire and her husband Tim live in LA with their two daughters, 500 cookbooks and an endless supply of chocolate chip cookies. 

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Welcome Back to Spring 2021!

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Dear Prospective Rotaract Business Students!

We had a great run last semester and I’m looking forward to a new semester with brand new business students, prospective undecided majors, and our returning members!

This semester seems to have started at an accelerated pace as there are a lot of great opportunities to network with Rotary members beginning this Friday! I will share the details in a following post.

Please be sure to sign up to our mailing list as we put out content of the current happenings and future events that we host, co-host, or have knowledge of through our newsletters. If you prefer, you can follow us on

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Instagram ( or @SMCRotaractClub)

I want to say thank you to all of you who came and went through the long haul with us last semester. I hope you all had a safe few months and I hope to see you all again this semester.

Melissa Orduna
USN Veteran
President | SMC Rotaract Business Club

Welcome to Fall 2020

Hello Rotaract members

Welcome back to another semester at SMC!

The Rotaract Business Club has fully adapted to an online environment and is currently holding general meetings and speaking events.  To join a meeting, please RSVP to obtain an access code via the ‘Sign In/RSVP’ tab on our website.  We have many exciting speakers and events planned for this semester, that I hope you will be able to join us.  We will also be in touch with our newsletter.  This newsletter contains the most up to date information on future Rotaract Events

On a personal note, I hope you are all well. Let’s continue to do our due diligence and wash our hands for no less than 20 seconds and to stay home if we start to run a fever, combined with (or display) other cold symptoms.  I hope to see all of you at our next meeting.

Last Week: Bill Chillingworth

For the last 14 years, Bill has worked tirelessly building a company he co-founded in 2007 into an eminently successful business in China where his company owns and operates 320 Domino’s Pizza stores, employs over 8,000 employees, and is slated for an Initial Public Offering on the NY Stock Exchange next July 2021.

Today, Bill has a thriving management consulting practice where he specializes in “turning CEO’s into human beings.”  He also just published his first novel, The Hunger & The Hunted (written under his pen name of C. Lindsey Williams) with a groundswell of positive reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

Bill calls himself a lifelong Rotarian where he has served in 5 different Rotary Clubs — including being president of the Rotary Club of Sydney.  He started his lifetime of service as an Interact member at his high school.

Virtual Shadow Day

office-1209640_1920On May 28th and May 29th, The Rotaract Club of SMC will be partnering with the Rotary Club of Santa Monica in providing students the opportunity to shadow a professional in various fields.  Virtual shadow has been in the works since the fall semester and we are very excited to begin this event.

Thank you to all who RSVP’d to meet with our Rotarian counterparts and I look forward to hearing about your experiences, and what you learned at our last meeting next week on June 4th.

Shark Tank is THIS WEEK!


Hi Rotaractors!

This Thursday (4/18) is our second Shark Tank event of the semester! We will be hosting a panel of 3 Black & Latinx entrepreneurs who got their start on the hit TV show “Shark Tank”. This is a meeting you definitely do not want to miss, so be sure to join us from 11:15am to 12:35pm at the Main Stage of the Theater Complex for this great presentation!


On another note, please join us next Friday on April 26th from 11:00am to 2:00pm for a potluck picnic lunch at Virginia Avenue Park! Bring a small food item like sandwiches, chips, or drinks (enough to serve 2-4 people) and hang out with your friends in Rotaract! We’ll have lots of activities to do like frisbee, kickball, and more so be sure to come out! You can sign up for this event by going to the “Social Events” tab above or by clicking here. We hope to see you there!


This is also a reminder that next Thursday 4/25 is the special Personal Finance meeting! Come learn tips about managing your finances through college and what skills you need to build to make sure you’re set for life. This special presentation will take place in HSS 165 from 11:15am to 12:35pm. We’re looking forward to seeing you there!