Pleasanton couple's dog a winning wiener

"In the seven years they have been together, Patrick Major has seen Sammy Davis transform from a playful pet to one of the fastest dachshund racers in the state. Even though he stands only about 6 inches tall, Sammy can pump his stubby little legs and leap through the air to catch Frisbees nearly as big as he is. And, this pooch was a doggie pinup in the International Disc Dog calendar three years running." Read More Here

Board of Directors

Chess Scores

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Scrabble Scores

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Board of Directors

Christopher Major, Founder, President & CEO

Penelope Cabrera-Gamez, Operations Manager, Congregations Organizing for Renewal

John T. Hemmenway, Sales and Marketing, WL Gore & Associates

Roderick J. Roche, Sunpower, Inc.  (Richmond)


Christopher Major – Founder, President Novato Chess Club & Hayward Youth Academy

Chris holds a Clear Level II Education Specialist Credential from the University of San Francisco 2003.

He taught special education at the K-12 level for 18 years. Chris worked for 13 years in the field of insurance risk management, real estate finance and construction estimating.

In1983, he earned an undergraduate degree in Business Administration and Economics (B.S.E.) from Saint Mary’s College of California (SMC).  He earned a high school diploma from Moreau Catholic High School in 1979. He played 4 years for the Saint Mary’s College baseball program. Chris earned Most Improved Player honors, and was a West Coast Conference Baseball honorable mention selection in 1981.

Chris is forever grateful to Dr. Miles McAfee, Tom Brown, and Brother Mel Anderson, (President, Saint Mary’s College, 1969-97) for their Lasallian outreach.

He remains an active member of the Saint Mary’s College Alumni Association

Chris joined Rotary in 2010. He is a member of the Rotary Club of San Rafael Harbor, he served as Program Chair and Youth Services Director in 2013.  He served in Colima, Mexico for Project Amigo, his first Rotary mission. He believes in the 4-way test and how Rotary can transforms lives

In March 2013, he traveled to Jinja, Uganda, and Lokoja, Nigeria speaking with African Rotarians, Rotaractors, and Interactors on the global mission of Rotary; and community service. 

In August 2012, Chris graduated from the Master Potential Rotary Leadership Seminar (PRLS),  he is a faculty trainer for Masters PRLS, teaching future Rotary leaders on “How To Lead An Effective Meeting” and “Communication” skills. 

In 2010, he graduated from Leadership San Ramon Valley.

The Four-Way Test is a nonpartisan and nonsectarian ethical guide for Rotarians to use for their personal and professional relationships. The test has been translated into more than 100 languages, and Rotarians recite it at club meetings:  Of the things we think, say or do:


  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

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Penelope Cabrera-Gamez – Operations Manager, Congregations Organizing for Renewal

Penelope offers 12 years of executive administrative experience in a senior level management capacity. Providing expertise in organizing, planning, advertising, marketing, budgeting and social media.  She is an active community organizer in Hayward, serving as Vice President of the School District-Wide English Learner Advisory Committee (DELAC) and the English Learner Advisory Committee (ELAC).

For the past 8 years, Penelope advocates for Spanish language families in the Hayward Unified School District.

She is recognized as a educational community leader, and member of the School-Based Decision-Making (SBDM) for the past 6 years. Advocating for the rights of all children, and closing the educational gap are her passion.

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John T. Hemmenway – Sales and Marketing, WL Gore & Associates

John is a native San Franciscan, who was involved with coaching youth teams starting with his grammar schools days. He graduated from Sacred Heart High School where he was involved with both athletics and club activities.

John received a Bachelor of Science in Economics and Business Administration from Saint Mary’s College of California in 1984. For the past 15 years, he has been focused on the high-tech market, involving telecommunications, green energy, electronics, and space applications.

John is currently employed with WL Gore & Association, one of only eight companies ranked “100 Companies To Work For” lists by Fortune magazine since 1984.

John and his wife reside with their three children, and very active in their community where their children attend local public schools. John has coached his children in the Little League and Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) youth leagues.

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Roderick J. Roche – Sunpower Corporation, Richmond

Rod is a real estate developer, and a construction management executive with over 20 years of experience. Rod is currently serving as a Senior Manager for SunPower Corporation, delivering high-performance solar electric systems for commercial and utility scale customers in North America.

Rod is a graduate of Saint Mary’s College of California ’85, attaining a Master of  Business Administration in Finance.  He also earned a Bachelor of Science degree in the School of Economics and Business in Administration ’85.

Rod played professionally for Los Angeles Dodgers minor-league organization, he played collegiate baseball at Saint Mary’s College as a (3) year starter.

He is married with two lovely children.

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