Mill Valley, CA 94941
415 381 1144
310 Center Street
Healdsburg, CA 95448
707 431 7717
Beverly Hills / Chicago / Minneapolis / Healdsburg / Mill Valley / New York / Pasadena / Seattle
Calgary / Vancouver / Sydney / London / Paris / Munich / Amsterdam / Stockholm
as a matter of course? They interact all the
time. And we are an advocacy organization
with a nonpartisan stance. We do not take
sides ideologically. Our principal interest is in
giving organizations and individuals a chance
to talk about themselves and what they do.
The basic thing for us is, how interesting are
they going to be to the public? We want to
shine a light on subject matter that’s relevant.
And there is always going to be something
that’s worth talking about. We facilitate those
discussions as well as or better than most
organizations in the country and have done it
for longer than any in the country.
How many talks and other events does the
club put on? We do 450 programs a year,
about two-and-a-half per week on average,
which is extraordinary. I don’t know another
organization that puts on that many events.
And they’re well attended. More than 70,000
people attend our events annually.
What might a fundraising project look like for
the club? We are just in the process of completing a $28 million capital campaign, the
first ever in the history of the organization,
to restore and move into a new building at 110
Embarcadero in San Francisco. This particular campaign is now approaching its closing
chapter, and it was very much the work of the
last chair, John Farmer. He and I came onto
the board about the same time, and we put
together an organizing committee that could
identify individuals and organizations that
wanted to be benefactors.
What was the story behind deciding to finally
stop being a tenant after more than a century
of paying rent? You may be familiar with the
name Shirley Temple Black. Ambassador
Black was one of my predecessors as president
of the board. Her vision was to have a building of our own for the club someday and now,
these many years later, she’s gone but her
vision is coming true.
Are there other people you regard as truly key
to the Commonwealth Club? One of the people
I want to mention is Gloria Duffy. She’s our
president and CEO. She does a phenomenal
job of running the organization. She’s been