December 16, 2007

Honoring Our Heroes: The Charleston Nine

December 11th, 2007: A meeting like no other was held last week to honor the Charleston Nine, the heroes who expired on June 18, 2007. As the meeting convened, Kathleen Wilson, a talented harpist and a member of the City Council and CSO, played the harp. Ms. Wilson also played "Amazing Grace" for the club during the meeting. The City of Charleston Fire Department Honor Guard presented the colors, and was present for Chaplain Rob Dewey's invocation and leading in the pledge of allegiance. Chaplain Dewey offered thoughts regarding religion in times of grief. He reminded us that there is no explanation for disaster, but that some may find comfort in scripture or religion. He was called to pray and offer comfort on the scene of the fire on the night that it occurred. President Jermaine Husser also offered his thoughts and prayers, and read out the names of the nine heroes the world lost on June 18, 2007.

President Jermaine Husser then unveiled and presented the bronze plaque, which was graciously donated by Trigard Bronze. Robert Goodwin and Rich Darby, representatives of Trigard Bronze, were present for the meeting and unveiling. Mayor Riley then addressed the club and guests. He assured us that he will find the most appropriate place possible to display the plaque. The Mayor commended the way in which the City came together in response to the night of June 18, 2007. Chief Rusty Thomas was also present to commemorate the heroes.

We were also pleased to welcome Bob Trenor, Rick Moore, and Ed Carter, Rotary Assistant District Governors, to our meeting on December 11, 2007, to commemorate the Charleston Nine heroes. We thank Jeff Pulley from the East Cooper Rotary club, who helped plan this event, and helped receive our guests. We will never forget our heroes, and we hope that we have managed to show some of our gratitude for their service and courage.

Submitted by Jackie Grau, Keyway Committee

December 9, 2007

"Take the Fight to the Enemy"

December 4th, 2007: Colonel John "Red" Millander, the Commander of Charleston's own 437th Airlift Wing, the largest C-17 base in the world provided our Club with a "fact-filled" presentation on why we should be proud of our own local airbase. A 1986 graduate of Auburn University, Col. Millander opened his presentation with a 3-minute video that illustrated Team Charleston's themes: Take the Fight to the Enemy; Delivering Freedom; and Delivering Hope.

He expounded upon the economic impact of Charleston Air Force Base (CAFB) to our community. As the third largest employer in the tri-county area, it had expenditures of $587 million in fiscal year 2007. When CAFB combines with the Naval Weapons Laboratory in 2009 to form Joint Base Charleston, it will become the largest single employer in the region. As related by Col. Millander, we've always enjoyed a unique relationship. In the 1950's we became the first "joint use" airfield in the country. Today, for the first time, the civilian requirements actually exceed those of the 50 C-17s stationed at CAFB and are driving a runway extension plan.

Col. Millander provided a mission overview of: Global Direct Delivery; Outsized Strategic Airlift; Strategic Brigade Airlift; and Special Operations Support. Of special note, and great pride, he stated that every piece of re-supply cargo to Iraq comes through CAFB: 300 tons a day... "that's more than the other 14 Air Mobility Command airbases combined!" The C-17 is the only aircraft capable of delivering our military's newest vehicle, the Mine Resistant Ambush Protection (MRAP) vehicle, 975 to date. The airlift wing, in conjunction with its tenant Air Force Reserve Wing, the 315th Air Wing, can also dropped 3000 military fighting personnel in 30 minutes and has 3 aircraft on 24 hour alert in support of our special operation missions. Last year the Air Wing set a world record with 20 C-17s launched in formation...mark your calendars: they will attempt to break their own record on December 20th, 2007.

Col. Millander completed his comments with his emphasis on quality of life improvements for "his airman" and emphasized how important our community is in that role.

Reported by Bill Crowe, Keyway Committee Chair

December 2, 2007

Mead/Westvaco: The East Edisto Project

November 27th, 2007: Chris Kerrigan introduced Ken Seegar, the head of Mead/Westvaco's Land Management, who is responsible for the East Edisto Project we have heard so much about. Ken gave us an overview of the efforts by Mead/Westvaco to make the East Edisto Project a "model of land use" for the community that respects the culture and provides what the community needs. He began by sharing the background and history of Westvaco here in the Low Country where it has had a presence since the 1920s. In 1937, Westvaco built the Charleston Mill. That presence continues today with the East Edisto Project, which represents less than 10 percent of Mead/Westvaco's land assets.

According to Seegar, it is very important for Westvaco to continue to be a good corporate citizen of the Low Country. They've embraced the concept of sustainability. It began with their partnership and involvement with the ACE basin. Their focus and effort on being a responsible citizen this year resulted in their being named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, which recognized their accomplishments.

Mead/Westvaco Land Management has 800,000 acres in five states and currently has 400,000 of those acres in Charleston and South Carolina areas. They are moving in a new direction because, at the merger of Mead and Westvaco, they had over 4 million acres under Management. The reason for this change is, according to Seegar, that there are more effective ownership models for land. The South Carolina land under their Management is used for fiber sources, construction, recreation, commercial, and industrial, and is in a Master Planning for entire communities. Currently, they are developing a warehouse to support the Port of Charleston.

The most visible of their activities is the East Edisto Project, which contains 72,000 acres or 112,000 square miles. There's never been a tract of land this large developed in the Charleston area and it is in the direct path of Charleston's growth.

According to Seeger, the benefit of single ownership of this tract is that they can create a Master Plan without constraints by natural barriers or competing owners. Today the East Edisto Project contains roads, wetlands, conservation areas, and even special places such as the homestead of the family that founded Summerville.

They're working to develop a conservation inspired Master Plan with a long-term view of 10, 20, and 30 years that focuses on a village concept where people work, live, and play. The object is to create a sustainable community, preserve the rural character of the area, address traffic concerns, provide for the infrastructure, and excel in its development based on the criteria set forth by the Urban Land Institute and also South Carolina statutes. The goal is "green development."

Currently, they are working to gather input from the community and from a series of planning partners. They've had 10 public meetings where 850 people attended and gave feedback. In January, there will be a preliminary plan developed. Seegar said it is important that they hear from everyone as part of their planning process. It seems as though it has the potential to be a model project and become a jewel in the crown of the Low Country.

Reported by Wayne Outlaw, Keyway Committee

November 25, 2007

Charleston's Bulk Service Handling Port

November 20th, 2007: Art Rudolph, area manager for Kinder Morgan Terminals, gave us information on this fast growing company, which is only 10 years old. His territory extends from Philadelphia to Charleston and includes 8 terminals. The home company owns and manages 150 terminals shipping oil, diesel, coal, and other bulk products. In addition to ports they have major pipe lines terminals in New York City, Houston, and New Orleans which pump natural gas, CO2, and diesel V.

A computerized master control center operates out of Houston. The company started with a single pipe line purchased from Enron and then expended into terminals in Kentucky and Tennessee. The biggest company terminal in the Charleston area is in North Charleston, on Virginia Avenue and handles rebar, coal, salt, cement and aggregate. 50% of the aggregate for the new Cooper River Bridge came from their terminal. This terminal can hold 450,000 barrels of diesel and chemicals used by Westvaco.

The company continues to purchase and expend, but not to break up and sell but rather to improve and run the terminals and facilities it purchases, all with an eye to safety and environmental considerations. The North Charleston terminal site has been active since the early 1900's and they are committed to making major cleanups of old soil leaks there were on the site. Recent area improvements include the purchase of two new German cranes. Their dock capacity enables them to import huge quantities of highly clean burning coal from South America. Currently they are planning expansions that will spend about 70 million dollars.

Reported by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee

November 20, 2007

CSO Continues to Make Great Music

November 13th, 2007: David Stahl, Music Director of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra and Ted Legasey, CFO, visited our club to let us know what's been going on the last couple of years and what the future holds for our symphony Orchestra.

According to Stahl, about 18 months ago, the CSO was on "life support with a very poor prognosis for the future." The musicians were taking a pay cut on what is already a very low salary and the community support was at an all time low. However, with a charge to save the CSO lead by Mayor Joe Riley, last year was their best year. They were able to get their musician's salaries back and still managed to have the most financially productive year they've ever had.

The musicians are arguably the heart and soul or our symphony. The 46 that are on staff have a 35 week schedule from late September to late May and are paid about $25,000 per year. All are mastered trained and one third of them are professors of music at schools in the Charleston area. However, more important than the music, is the education that each musician provides to local schools all across the county. They visit schools every week and are educating our young people about music and all that it has to offer. They take that part of the job as seriously and passionately as they do their playing.

The reason the CSO was in bad shape was because community support dropped. Up until last year, they had about $50 to $65,000 worth of business support, this past year that number increased to $1.5 million. That was all due to the hard work of Stahl, Legasey, Mayor Riley and many others staffed at the CSO. This progress must continue. Our city has so much to offer in so many areas. For a city our size, to have a symphony orchestra with talented musicians, the cultural enrichment they provide to us and their commitment to education makes them worth supporting for years to come. For more information, please go to their website at

Submitted by Darby Hand, Keyway Committee

November 11, 2007

"Real Rotarians" and a club "full of 'em"

November 6, 2007 : Rotarian Kyra Morris started off this energizing meeting with a challenge to our club to become "real Rotarians." Kyra spoke passionately about the Rotary Foundation and continually referred back to the true object of Rotary. Through a well laid out presentation, Kyra helped us understand the impact of the Rotary Foundation both locally and globally. Several of us were surprised to hear about the extent of matching funds available and also the far-reaching implications of our dollars. To emphasize Kyra's challenge, John Bleeker discussed different ways to give to the Foundation and laid out his goals for our club: to have 100% of our club be counted as Sustaining Members ($100/ year) and to catch up with other local clubs, which are significantly smaller than ours, and be recognized as a "Star" Club. He explained that, in order to become a Two Star Club (the lowest level of recognition) our club should have contributed about $50,000 in the 2006-2007 Rotary year. Instead, our giving totaled $31,363.66 which was woefully short. In order to become a Two Star Club, we would need a $200 per capita donation. He then introduced Danya Jordan of Water Missions International.

Danya captivated our group immediately with a striking photograph of a young girl named Jaqueline carrying a five gallon jug of water on her head. She then held up a bottle of murky brown water and explained that the water Jaqueline walks four miles a day to bring home for her family's daily needs is as contaminated and dirty as the water in the bottle. Danya taught us that 1.1 billion people do not have access to clean water and that every 15 seconds, 1 out of 5 children dies from a water bourn illness. Water Missions International (founded by Rotarians George and Molly Greene) has provided over 438 water systems to 31 countries around the world. Their "Living Water" treatment systems have saved the lives of countless people who did not have access to clean water prior to the intervention of Water Missions. Danya encouraged us to help in three ways: By volunteering, by participating in Operation Round Up, and by utilizing the funds available for the Water Project match. If our club were to donate $5,000 the district would match our funds dollar for dollar bringing our impact to $10,000. Rotary International would then match District Funds dollar for dollar and provide a 50 cent match for local funds. This would turn our $5000 into $17,500!

Our support could have far-reaching effects. Water Missions is not only committed to providing disaster relief, they are building communities and training them in health and hygiene along with providing for spiritual growth.

Danya left us with the following thought: Man can live for almost one month without food but will live for less than a week without water.

Submitted by Angie Johnson, Keyway Committee

November 5, 2007

Candidates for City Council Debate

October 30, 2007: Candidates for Charleston City Council, Districts 1, 3, and 11, graciously spoke to our club last week about themselves and their plans, if elected or re-elected, to Charleston City Council. They each outlined their platform (3 minutes allowed) and then answered club member questions.

Ernie Long spoke about his concerns regarding District 1 that include tourism, traffic, taxes, noise, parking, and even college students. He is ready to take on these issues. He established himself as a leader in the community, as a Porter Gaud board member, a Citadel alumni, and the President of the Charlestowne Neighborhood Association. Gary White, also running for District 1, discussed how he has watched the area become a big city, and he wants to address city planning. He outlined his 4-point plan, including preservation, planning, success of growth, and prosperity.

For District 3, Erika Harrison discussed the importance of rational development, crime prevention, and making the city a classroom. She is a practicing attorney. Next, James Lewis says that he been known to represent his constituents well, and has been called a critic of city council in the past, of which he is not scared. He discussed the need for more police officers on the street.

Luqman Rasheed is also running for District 3. He is very active in his community, having been on the Burke High school committee, the Parks and Recreation committee, and advocating for more community involvement. He too would like a greater police foot patrol presence in the community.

Anne Francis Bleecker was present for District 11. She discussed how much she has relished being part of changes during her time on city council, and some of her projects, such as the Office on Aging. She was first sworn into her office in 2000, but says she would like to continue her work.

After the candidates each discussed their platforms for 3 minutes, the moderator asked them pre-submitted questions. Of interest, they commented on the balance of power between the council and the mayor, and the public sentiment following the tragic Sofa Super store fire and Chief Thomas.

Submitted by Jacqueline Grau, Keyway Committee

November 1, 2007

"2007 Charleston Mayoral Candidate Debate"

October 23, 2007: Today, we were treated to hear from the four Charleston mayoral candidates. Each gave us a five minute presentation on his visions, the reasons he would make the best mayor, and how he would govern the City of Charleston. The candidates are Omar Brown, Mayor Joe Riley, William "Dudley" Gregorie, and Marc Knapp. The candidates were introduced by Larry Tarleton, who moderated the spirited debate.

Omar Brown led off the debate by characterizing himself as innovative, enthusiastic, and hard worker who knows about the Charleston streets. His goal is to make the lives of Charlestonians better and to keep them safe. He stated, "while the Mayor is not directly responsible for education, improving our educational system would make the lives of everyone better." He indicated that having been a victim of crime himself, he understands the importance of pulling the municipalities together to work to make Charleston a safer place.

Next, Mayor Joe Riley indicated it was an honor to serve Charleston during his tenure as Mayor and reiterated his desire to continue to serve in the future. The Mayor listed a number of accomplishments such as the blossoming of the Biotech community to improve drainage for the City. Mayor Riley addressed public safety by looking forward to working with the Chief of the Fire Department to address the issues that were recently reported to strengthen the organization to be one of the best in the nation. His vision for the future includes a computer rail, community centers for learning, and expanded parks.

William "Dudley" Gregorie stated he felt we needed a change and renewed focus on our problems. Born on Court Street in a home his family bought in the late 1980's just a few blocks away from where we were meeting, he is very familiar with the Charleston community. He indicated his experience as a Director for HUD's Columbia Field Office, in which he was significantly involved in development, including Magnolia and the Neck, would become an asset for him. He feels there is a need to overhaul the management system of the City of Charleston and to spend tax dollars on infrastructure to preserve the "flavor" of Charleston.

Marc Knapp stated he is the most qualified candidate and then raised the issue of the Fire Department. He stated his background in finance as a Stock Broker and his experience as a Contractor, which would help him in terms of financial and infrastructure insights. He focused strongly on the deaths of the Fire Fighters and felt significant changes are needed in the Department, including a new Chief.

Their opening statements were followed by an exciting "question and answer session". The questions were submitted by Rotary members. The session resulted in a lively debate and helped all present gain a better understanding on the qualifications of the candidates. This insight will also help those in attendance make that all-important decision as to who they will support on Election Day.

Submitted by Wayne Outlaw, Keyway Commitee

October 21, 2007

"Rotary Programs are Magical"

October 16th, 2007: District Governor Mary Martin began her address to our club with a heartfelt thank you for allowing her to join us. She smiled with pride as she shared the fact she has 23 clubs left to address out of 73 total. Her theme reflects the Rotary International President's theme: "Rotary Shares". We "share our time, energy, resources, money, and love with our community and other people around the world with people we've never met." DG Martin then related an anecdote from the Darlington Rotary Assistant Governor that emphasized how important our "Shares" outreach is to those we don't know. When the Assistant Governor was growing up in Hartsville, the paper product used for his schoolbook covers had the Rotary 4 Way Test printed on the back. He memorized it and never forgot it even though he didn't know what Rotary was at the time.

Ms. Martin then challenged us to read the President's message each month in the Rotarian magazine in order to provide guidance on our strategic direction. She further stated that Rotary Programs are Magical. They're magical because we strive to be:

- Accepting and welcoming ~ no matter where you move, there's a Rotary Family.
- Helping and giving ~ we financially support surgical procedures that allow children to live normal lives among their peers;
- Outreaching and empathetic ~ we help provide clean drinking water to villages that had none before;
- Focused and persistent ~ there's four more countries with polio…Polio Plus is dedicated to eradication of the disease.

After a request to read the District Newsletter and provide feedback [via email], Ms Martin emphasized our District membership is down and challenged us to invite good people, "even those nice Yankees that move in down the street," to enjoy Rotary fellowship and the opportunity to serve our community. She marked the goal of 5000 total members by the end of the year.

With great pride, our District Governor complimented our District, 7770, for being number one in the world in Foundation giving. "Korea is number two, just two thousand dollars behind, and the incoming President [from Korea] represents a club in which every member has given at least ten thousand dollars. Ms. Martin emphasized the Foundation returns more than it receives:

- $446,000 budget this year for educational and humanitarian efforts;
- Not one penny spent on salaries;
- 8 Ambassadorial Scholarships ($26,000 each);
- 4 Cultural Scholarships ($12,000 each);
- $80,000 in District simplified grants (there's still money left);
- $80,000 in matching grants;
- $50,000 in water purification efforts; and
- $20,000 for Polio Plus.

After inviting everyone to the next District conference in Myrtle Beach Ms. Martin said we have 1 President, 530 District Governors, 32,000 Rotary Clubs, and 1.2 million members: "look at your club times 32,000; let's hope the sun never sets on a Rotary project."

Reported by Bill Crowe, Keyway Committee

October 12, 2007

Birds of Prey- Wings of the Eagle

October 9th, 2007: The club experienced a very special program today as speaker, JIM ELLIOTT, of The International Center for Birds of Prey brought us news of the progress at their new location. Just 10 minutes from Mt. Pleasant, their donated site of 152 acres is as beautiful as it is productive.

Birds help us to understand the overall health of the ecosystem health of our environment. Just as birds were the first predictors of the dangers of DDT in 1967, the must recent findings on the West Nile Virus have come from studying birds. Birds at the center, mostly birds of prey are injured in many ways include gunshot wounds and contact with high power lines. Each bird has a story and that story is share with children in schools as a part of the educational program of the center. In fact, their lectures go as far away as presentations in Central Park in New York City.

Nationally, the greatest danger to birds has been due to oil spills. No such spill has ever happened in the Carolinas but since our Atlantic Ocean area is a major incubator of sea and bird life, such a spill here would be devastation. The center, while hoping not to use it is equipped to help birds who may be exposed to a spill.

The Bald Eagle has made an amazing comeback with over 200 eagle pairs in our state. The birds mate for life and live a very long life [up to 49 years have been recorded in captivity]. As a special treat Jim brought us a five year old eagle who preened and spread his wings for us. Eagles are full grown in 9 weeks and totally ready to fly at 16. Their speed of growth surpasses all other living creatures.

The Birds of Prey Center's mission is to identify and address vital environmental issues by providing medical care to injured birds of prey and through educational, research and conservation initiatives. If you wish to help, call 928-3494.

Reported by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee

October 5, 2007

Andrea Wozniak- Health Care in South Carolina

October 2nd, 2007 : Our club got a chance to hear Andrea Wozniak, CEO of East Cooper Regional Medical Center, on her thoughts regarding health care in our state and in our country. She has been in the health care industry in some capacity, beginning her career as a nurse, for the last 40 years. She spoke frankly about her industry and the problems that she and other hospital CEO's face.

First, there was no doubt, that she supports and wants reform in the health care industry. She strongly believes that we will all see that become a big issue during the 2008 campaign. The State of South Carolina currently has 721,000 people that do not have insurance, 160,000 of those are children. All hospitals are obligated to treat emergencies regardless of the patient's insurance status. The costs associated with treating the un-insured do, to some extent, get shifted to folks that are insured, thus continuing to drive health care costs up for everyone. What is the answer? Government mandated health care is something a few of the leading candidates have suggested. But Wozniak was quick to point out that in the few states that offer such a thing, suddenly doctors and hospitals are no longer excepting new patients. So, you may have insurance, but you can't get in to see a doctor.

One suggestion she made to all of us is to fully understand our health care coverage. All plans are very complicated these days, so much so, that even she had difficulty getting though her own mother's plan. Ask questions, make sure you understand what your plans cover, and what your deductible is if something should happen. Many young people today who are getting plans with a high deductible to keep their monthly premiums down, are suddenly facing huge bills when something un-planned occurs.

The message is simple: Our health care is the most expensive care in the entire world and far from the best. More importantly, there are no easy answers or solutions. Educate yourself, fully understand your health insurance policy and pay attention to the 2008 campaign and what kind of reform the candidates are offering. And vote!

Submitted by Darby Hand, Keyway Committee

September 28, 2007

Positive Downsizing-Jim Gray

September 25, 2007: This afternoon, Jim Gray gave an excellent talk entitled "Positive Downsizing". Through a relaxed discussion, Jim shared a formula for going through the anxiety inducing process of layoffs and cutbacks. When asked by a show of hands, many of our Rotarians have either been victims of downsizing or have been on the management side of it.

Jim states that the most important part of the process is to remember human decency. He shared the four steps to making the experience a positive one.

1. Tell the truth
2. Make sure that there are no hidden agendas
3. Let people know that you care
4. Treat them fairly

By following these four steps, employees will feel more in control of their futures. Even when severance packages are not available, employee assistance programs and outplacement services should be considered. When managers and employers explain downsizing in terms of business rationale, employees are more understanding. It is also important to let employees know that they have done nothing wrong and that the downsizing is not their fault. The reasons for the downsizing should never be sugarcoated but should always be explained in terms of the company's viability.

In addition, the path from the downsizing announcement to the actual layoffs should be highly visible. The earlier employees are notified, the better.

In closing, Jim advises us to know the legal issues and keep the end goal in mind for a positive downsizing experience.

Submitted by Angie Johnson, Keyway Committee

September 21, 2007

Lunch with Bobby Harrell

September 18, 2007: Bobby Harrell spoke to our club about some hot issues faced by the South Carolina legislature in the past years and those likely to be visited in the upcoming year. He stressed the fact our state government must focus on economic development in the coming decades as its top priority. Mr. Harrell noted that business development should be a priority today so SC can attempt to build existing businesses and new ones, small and large.

Some key issues the legislature faced in the past years were: workers compensation reform; tort reform legislation; funding and other issues relating to the Department of Transportation; and taxation issues. There was talk in the past about South Carolina being unfriendly to businesses from the viewpoint of workers compensation insurance. Mr. Harrell discussed how this was addressed in workers comp reforms with an eye towards being more fair all around. He also touched upon tort reform legislation, a related issue that has affected insurance and businesses.

Mr. Harrell gave a refreshing look into how he views the taxes assessed upon citizens of South Carolina. He discussed the sales tax on groceries that is soon to be eliminated. He also touched upon income tax, cigarette tax, and gas tax, which should continue to be important issues. Immigration will probably be an increasingly important issue for the state. Mr. Harrell discussed the possibility of our state taking a more active role in immigration reform if the Federal government continues to stall on progress. Mr. Harrell graciously fielded several questions from the audience. We were also pleased to have Mr. Harrell's father join our meeting.

Submitted by Jackie Grau, Keyway Committee

September 14, 2007

Maritime Security: Past, Present, and Future

September 11th, 2007: Bernie Groseclose introduced Captain Michael McAllister as a senior officer and commander in the US Coast Guard who has witnessed "significant changes" since the day he was commissioned. Captain McAllister has a very distinguished career and continues to serve our country as the Captain of the Port and Sector Commander to the other ports in SC and Georgia. He is a graduate of the USCG Academy and holds Masters Degrees from the University of Illinois and MIT.

Captain McAllister gave a thought-provoking discussion that began with a reflection on September 10th, 2001 where he was notified of a Congressionally dictated 58 percent cutback in the USCG maritime budget. The very next day they were protecting the Statue of Liberty and overseeing a "call to all boats" that evacuated 3/4 of a million people, ferried over 5000 first responders, and delivered over 800 tons of supplies during the first few days after 9/11. They conducted the largest port security effort since WWII. Captain McAllister explained the significance of conducting "national policy in real-time" and aiding the Mayor of NYC and Governor of NY to stand up a new incident command center. He further described the evolution of responsibilities from 9/11 until today: 96 hour pre-notification of arrival; commercial inspection as far off-shore as possible; escorting potential targeted ships; expanded maritime intelligence; USCG as a charter member of the 22 agency, 182,000 Department of Homeland Security; the new focus on container security from point of origin; 24 hour advanced notice of manifest (compared to the past where manifest changes could be up to 30 days after arrival in our ports!); and implementation of TWIC, transportation workers identification card.

After an excellent explanation of why port security is so much more complex and difficult than air or rail, Captain McAllister talked about the future need for: a stronger suite of legal boundaries through a coordinated legal framework; increased layered security through maritime domain awareness (more sensor systems); faster disaster recovery capability; and most importantly, international engagement.

Submitted by Bill Crowe, Keyway Committee Chair

September 7, 2007

Healing Love

September 4th, 2007: Jim Geffert introduced Fouchena Sheppard as a strong community advocate who served on the SC Arts Commission for over 18 years and expresses her art through poetry, dance and entertainment. Ms. Sheppard introduced herself as a native of Charleston whose native language is street Gullah and expresses her art through poetry and motion. She explained that "Healing Love" is the language developed on plantations to communicate among the various individuals who originated from all parts of Africa and didn't speak a shared language or dialect. Fouchena went on to explain that when she was in grammar school, teachers taught English as a second language.

Ms. Sheppard then began a story about a young Gullah-speaking woman with a "very strong personality" named Lena and an older man who was "frail, profane speaking, and not clean" named Professor Christopher Givens ("Fessor"). As the story of two cultures unraveled, we became aware of "Healing Love". The words Fouchena spoke served as a framework for the understanding that "Fessor" and Lena gained for each other. The "Lord gave Lena a job" and "I'm going to do it!" The "Fessor's" wife had recently died and he needed "Healing Love". Thus, began a new story of understanding.

After the story, Ms. Sheppard related a poem and ended with a beautiful rendition of Amazing Grace. Her story telling would be impossible to ponder in a history book, but truly wove a very descriptive and moving tale related to history, art and how two cultures melded together through individual encounters that built trust and understanding. We have to know where we've come from and how we got here in order to know where we are going.

Submitted by Bill Crowe, Keyway Committee Chair

August 30, 2007

A Lesson in Leadership

August 28, 2007 : Today Jay Mills, coach of the Charleston Southern University, dazzled us with a presentation that clearly demonstrated his ability to encourage his team members to be more than football players: to be outstanding citizens. He compared The Citadel, with its attention to military standards, and CSU, with its attention to moral leadership, noting that the two colleges have a friendly, meaningful, competitive rivalry.

Now in his fifth year at CSU, Coach Mills previously coached at Harvard, Notre Dame, Boise State, and the University of Minnesota Morris. He and his wife, Kimberly, are the parents of six children ages 10 to 23, and reside in Goose Creek.

Coach Mills enjoins his players to be the best, and to strive to be first, not just on the football field, but in life. He equates success with a faithfulness of purpose, and expects his players to commit to Christian principles. The mission of the football team is to apply the same goals to the game that they apply to their lives, stressing excellence, leadership, service, honor, and duty as lifetime benefits. The team can live with failure [not winning] if they can state clearly that they gave their very best. He says, "Have no regrets; do it right the first time without shortcuts."

His players are committed to family, society, academics, and yes, football. The total picture requires a personal relationship with God and the acceptance of responsibility and leadership.

It is readily apparent that every student who works with Coach Mills will be a winner in life, for he is coaching men, not simply a football team.

Reported by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee

August 24, 2007

Who or What is a Coroner?

August 21, 2007: Today Ms. Rae Wooten, the Charleston County Coroner, spoke to us and shared an insightful view of the Coroner's responsibilities; which is the "voice for those who are deceased." Ms. Wooten was appointed in August 2006 to fill the vacancy of Susan Chewning.

Her enlightening program allowed us to get a realistic perspective of how the Coroner's office operates in the "real" world. The Coroner in South Carolina is an elected official who investigates certain deaths to determine cause and manner of death and, most importantly, represents the decedent and family.

The Coroner provides direct service to the citizens of Charleston County and those who die here. They are charged with investigating violent, traumatic, suspicious, unexplained or unexpected death, as well as, those that occur outside of a hospital, nursing home, and without a doctor's care.

The Coroner is charged with determining the cause of death; whether it was a disease or injury. She and her staff also ascertain the manner of death, including the circumstances in which it occurred, to determine whether it was an accident, by their own hands, by another's hands, or if it is undetermined.

Two other key responsibilities of the Coroner's office is the identification of the deceased and the notification of the next of kin. Because of our beaches and a large number of people vacationing here, there are unique challenges of identification in many cases. According to Ms. Wooten, notification by a Coroner changes life forever for those individuals she goes to see. She feels strongly that this can be one of the greatest services she performs in that very difficult time.

Whether planning for future events or determining what occurred, the Coroner and her staff provide a great service, which many times goes unrecognized.

According to the law, the Coroner must also release a body for cremation. They are the final authority in this endeavor and work closely with area funeral homes.

In addition to service of the deceased, the Coroner has a significant responsibility in disaster planning. Her office takes a pro-active approach in determining what might happen in a disaster and works diligently in developing plans for her organization to respond in the best way.

Submitted by Wayne Outlaw, Keyway Committee

August 15, 2007

A Vision for Excellence

August 14, 2007 : Nancy McGinley certainly has a passion for public education. From her first words, we understood her to be a strong advocate for both teachers and students. Her opening statement: I still wake up every day in awe of the power of public education are the words of an individual who is a product of public education.

Our new Superintendent came to Charleston County School District (CCSD) in 2004 as the Chief Academic Officer and was the person most responsible for driving the work of the Charleston Plan for Excellence. Her appointment in May of 2007 received strong support from the business community, government leaders, and the employees of CCSD, who have come to know her.

Her brief program adeptly outlined her vision for the CCSD. She made an effort to convey to our audience that she was not willing to ask of others what she would not give herself. Because of her leadership, personnel at the District Offices will twice a month be volunteering their time as part of the Leaders as Readers program. In addition, the 60 Second Campaign wisely focuses school personnel on customer service. In this campaign, each and every visitor to the school is greeted and treated in a respectful manner. This initiative reinforces McGinley's statement regarding the fact that parents are the most influential teachers in a child's life. School districts need a sustained effort to make parents feel welcome and respected at their child's school.

Her rallying points such as "Victory is in the Classroom" and "Excellence is our Standard" are exciting to all of us. In her vision, student achievement is the end-goal of everyone at CCSD. From the bus drivers to the cafeteria workers, all are held accountable for student achievement. Within this vision, Dr. McGinley understands that the mindset of the teachers is of utmost importance.

Dr. McGinley strongly believes that if teachers are well taken care of, they will be diligent in educating our children. All teachers in CCSD now have comprehensive Curriculum Guides that took over three years to create. The Curriculum Guides focus on both the State and National Standards and were developed to prepare our students to fare well on State and Exit Exams.

The coming years will see several improvements to the education of children in Charleston County. Three new school choices were announced:

1. Low Country High-Tech High (2010 at Rivers Campus)
2. Math and Science Charter MS/ HS (2008)
3. Advanced Placement Academy at Burke (soon to come)

In addition, CCSD has achieved great milestones. The rate of teacher vacancy is at an all time low, school crime is down 27% for serious incidents, 70% of every dollar spent goes directly to student instruction, and they currently project spending over $400M on new schools over the next several years.

In closing, Dr. McGinley reminded us that, of the 44,000 students that Charleston County serves, over 20,000 children live at (or near) poverty level. This presents an enormous challenge to the school district, the business community, and our area as a whole. We should all be doing our part to help these children receive the education that they deserve.

Submitted by Angie Johnson, Keyway Committee

August 10, 2007

"Where Smart is Fun!"

August 7, 2007: Where do smart and fun meet? At the South Carolina Governor's School for Science and Mathematics (GSSM), in Hartsville, SC! Our club was honored to host Kim Bowman last week, who is the executive director of the school. Ms. Bowman is rightly proud of the school, located in the Pee-Dee region of our state. She is the mother of three children, originally from West Virginia, and has an impressive background serving schools in our state.

The GSSM, not to be confused with the other Governor's schools in our state, has many ties with the Lowcountry area: of the 33 board members on the GSSM, 3 hail from the Charleston area; the chairman is Ray Greenberg, from MUSC; there are donors from the Charleston area; 40 alumni live and work here; 10 GSSM students lived at MUSC last summer to perform research; and 7 out of 128 GSSM students are from the Lowcountry.

The school is composed of an even ratio of females to males, and juniors and seniors. Although only 128 students may enroll at the school currently, it has plans to expand to house 300 students sometime near 2010! Currently the average spent on a student at the GSSM is $25,000 per year, compared to about $8-10,000 per child in a public school. The students at GSSM are asked to contribute $1,125 each semester to help defray the tuition. The faculty to student ratio is 1/10. An amazing 80% of the faculty members have PhD's and 100% of the faculty members have Master's degrees. Many faculty members were professors of higher education at one time.

The students at GSSM have the opportunity to learn in a very special environment at their school. While an amazing 82% of the students play a varsity sport, they are all gifted mentally. The average SAT score on the 1600 scale is 1365. They are challenged with hands-on research projects, such as the ones that some of the students worked on when they stayed at MUSC. The students have the chance to work with adults and learn research techniques specific to their fields of interest.

Ms. Bowman's presentation was enlightening to those who were not aware of the amazing resource right in our state. The GSSM is the first stepping stone in the lives of brilliant researchers, scientists, mathematicians, and doctors. We are delighted that many of these students chose to return to South Carolina to continue the cycle.

Submitted by Jacqueline Grau, Keyway Committee

August 3, 2007

South Carolina's Emerging Aeronautical Industry

July 31st, 2007: Rotarians received an update on the progress of the entities involved in the Aeronautical Manufacturing Operations in North Charleston by Charles J. Jenkins, the 787 Division HR Director for Vought Aircraft Industries, which is headquartered in Dallas, TX. Jenkins is extremely knowledgeable about its operations, as he is responsible for supporting sites in Charleston, Dallas, and Washington. The 90-year-old company is owned by the Carlyle Group. It has been involved with Boeing since 1966 when it assisted in the production of the 747.

The North Charleston location is primarily focused on the design and building of Sections 47 and 48, which are the aft fuselage Sections for the Boeing 787-8. Global Aeronautical, a joint venture between Vought and Alenia, is headquartered here and has systems and assembly responsibility for fuselage sections delivered globally. The progress of construction, production, and results of the venture are nothing short of phenomenal. It was not until March 2004 that the site was selected and the facilities completed in record time. Additional construction continues even today as the facility currently grows and expands. It employs 190 people. That number is predicted to grow to about 240 by year-end and 450 or more by the end of 2011.

Jenkins explained that the facility is not only "state of the art" manufacturing, but it also constructs the most advanced commercial aircraft with much of its capabilities drawn from stealth technology that we see in our military aircraft. The advanced design of the aircraft will not only help it operate more efficiently, but will also help put pleasure back into air travel by offering more head room, larger windows, and very importantly, better seating options (wider seats and aisles). It provides its passenger a quieter flight and even has less noise for those in areas it flies over.

According to Jenkins, on July 8th the employees of the North Charleston facility joined with other employees worldwide to celebrate the Premier of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The choice of 7/8/07 was a very apt date for celebration.

The birth and growth of the Aeronautical Industry in the area has brought with it many "firsts". Vought uses the world's largest autoclave as well as the world's largest cargo loader, which moves the fuselage sections in the manufacturing facility and especially to the Boeing Dreamlifter, which is a 747 customized for the unique job of transporting the Sections.

The prospects for Vought and its partners are very bright, because the current metal-bodied planes we now ride in will be replaced by carbon-fiber aircraft in the future. The Charleston work force is uniquely positioned to provide the labor and expertise to enable Boeing, and its partner that produce aerostructures, to continue to expand the Dreamliner 787 Series. With Boeing's strategic decision to become an aircraft designer and assembler, rather than a manufacturer, has resulted in an excellent opportunity for jobs and a solid presence in the aerospace industry in South Carolina. The Charleston area should play an increasing role in the building of the Dream.

Submitted by Wayne Outlaw, Keyway Committee

July 26, 2007

Behind the Scenes of a Presidential Debate

July 24, 2007: Our Club was visited by two strategists who were heavily involved in the planning of Monday night's Presidential Debate at The Citadel. Jenny Backus, a democratic strategist, and Elizabeth Wilner, former director of politics for NBC, were both able to provide insight into how debates work and all the factors that go into planning one. Both are heavily involved in this arena. Backus is a frequent guest on CNN, FOX News, CBS etc. and part of Wilner's former job was to prepare Tom Brokaw and Brian Williams for interviewing politicians who appear on the Nightly News.

Backus gave a brief presentation prior to both speakers taking questions from our club. The planning of a debate can be broken down into 3 critical parts. Broadcast (what network will air it; who will moderate it; etc.), the Candidate Side (working with the candidates; addressing issues or concerns; probably the most important part of planning) and Community (a successful debate won't happen if it doesn't have the support of the community in which it's taking place). Good news for us, according to both Backus and Wilner, The Citadel, and our surrounding community well exceeded expectations with our hospitality and support. The Citadel also received incredible exposure nationally by hosting the debate.

One of the highlights of their presentation was the question and answer session with our Club; some of the questions are highlighted below.

Q: The Candidates seemed uncomfortable at the beginning, warmed up in the middle, and looked frustrated at the end. Is that an accurate assessment?

A: Candidates didn't know what to expect because of the You Tube component of the debate, so what you saw was probably just anticipation. They did warm-up in the middle as it allowed them to address questions from regular Americans that wouldn't normally have such an opportunity. Candidates are always frustrated at the end because there is a time limit on questions, they may not have felt they got enough questions asked of them, didn't like a question that was asked, and the list goes on.

Q: How are moderators selected, it seems some are better than others?

A: The host network picks the moderators as they are the ones that have editorial control of the debate they are airing. Most networks will put their "hottest cattle at the time" in the moderator chair and there is no doubt that some do better than others.

Q: How do candidates continue to participate in these debates, what are the qualifications as the number of participants seems to be pretty high?

A: There is no standard and one of the main reasons is networks, at this point in the election cycle, don't want to exclude anyone just because they aren't showing a strong following yet. They could risk angering the politician or in the worst case, getting sued. However, both speakers agreed that there should be criteria the candidates should be required to meet. They should have an open field office in the state where the debate is going on, have actively campaigned in the state prior to the debate and have raised a set amount of campaign funds (dollar amount doesn't have to excessive or unreasonable).

All in all, their presentation was fascinating and made everyone realize that campaign mediums have changed immensely with the internet and the 24-hour news stations. The 2008 campaign is heating up, whatever outcome occurs, it's going to be interesting to watch.

Reported by Darby Hand, Keyway Committee
Mercy's On the Way

July 17, 2007: Our program was a true Rotary service topic: bringing medical assistance to the needed, particularly in Africa. Rick and Linda Snider, Resource Development Officers of Mercy Ships gave us a heartwarming and encouraging picture of the work of this organization. Mercy Ships is a private, non-denominational group that was established in 1978 and sending hospital ships to the forgotten poor of the world since then. Their newest ship Africa Mercy was commissioned a year ago. A 25 year old vessel, it spent 8 years in dry-dock being rebuilt from a drive-on ferry ship to a state-of-the-art hospital with 450 cabins and 80 hospital beds. Manned almost totally by a volunteer crew of seaman, doctors, and nurses it can in short order be docked where the greatest need exists and operate for 10 months of the year. The group has had 4 ships since its inception, but 3 have been retired. The Snyder's lived for 5 years on one of the earlier ships as part of the support team.

In Africa there is one doctor for 30,000 people and one surgeon for 2 million. On board, the staff regularly performs operations. Among the most common are eye surgery, birth defects such as cleft palate, and major facial tumors and disfigurations, all common to persons in that part of the globe. Other medical procedures include prosthetics, repair of club foot, and help for polio victims, a major Rotary project. Forty-five percent of the population in Sierra Leone is under the age of 15 and huge numbers need medical care.

Rick Snider, president of the Lexington, NC Rotary Club, urged our club and individual members to give support to this humanitarian project. He may be contacted by email:; by phone: 336-249-4502. The web site is:

Reported by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee

July 15, 2007

The Criminal Justice System

July 10, 2007: Our Rotary Club was lucky enough to have a chance to hear Trey Gowdy, an elected Solicitor for South Carolina, speak on the status of our criminal justice system. If you are not a victim of crime or in an industry that exposes you to crime, it's probably not something you think about every day. But, it should be important to all of us because it affects our safety, the safety of our community, and our tax dollars.

Gowdy was elected 7th Circuit Solicitor in November of 2000. Prior to that, Gowdy was a successful federal prosecutor handling all types of crimes within the federal system. After hearing him speak, you realized that his experience is very valuable to all of us as the federal system appears to be much more efficient than the state system currently is.

First, what is a Solicitor? A Solicitor is an elected official responsible for overseeing the prosecution of all General Sessions and Family Court criminal cases. There are 16 Judicial Circuits in South Carolina, all of which vary in size. Gowdy didn't mince words, the system is not as efficient as it could be.

According to Gowdy, "the criminal justice system is too important to not have confidence in it". So, he posed three questions. Is the state system fair? He gave an example of a drug offense and how the penalties would differ when run through the state vs. the federal system. The same offense that would get 25 years in the state system would get less than 5 years in the federal system.

Second question was: is the state system effective? Is it trusted, do citizens feel safe, are we reacting to crime or being proactive? The third question was: is the state system efficient? Our system is so back logged that some trials don’t happen until several years after the incident, many times with the accused sitting in prison waiting. Now the question is, how do we get better?

Gowdy had many suggestions on how to get started. Some examples are: Get a better system for selecting Magistrate Judges and have the qualifications raised so the cases are handled more efficiently thus allowing for more trials. Change the warrant system to allow a prosecutor to weigh in on a warrant before it goes out. Right now anyone can get an arrest warrant by going to a Magistrate Judge and bypassing the police altogether. Obviously this increases case loads with lots of cases not worth trying due to lack of evidence etc. Allow for equal funding for all prosecution offices regardless of their size.

Gowdy had many more ideas, but as a fellow Rotarian, he was very conscientious of his time. His subject matter was way too large to be covered in a small amount of time. He closed by stating that his most important job was Public Safety. Following closely was having citizens of our state respect their judicial system by knowing it's fair, effective, and efficient. Hopefully, with time, we’ll get closer to achieving that goal.

Submitted by Darby Hand, Keyway Committee

July 8, 2007

The Changing of the Guard

June 26th, 2007:
President Amy: "Thank you all .... it's been a terrific year. Your dedicated, hard work resulted in:
* Finalizing our Club's Marion Square commitment.
* Establishing our smart food initiative.
* Streamlining Board elections.
* Enhancing our website.
* Enhancing the quality of our already outstanding programs:
- Speakers: Rotary Training, Keyway, Fireside chats, Holiday parties

- Community Service: Day of Caring, Adopt a Highway, Holiday Giving Tree, Independent
Transportation Network Grant

- Education: Fraser Elementary, Rotary Readers, High achieving student recognition,
Camp St. Christopher offsite

-National Service: Hurricane Katrina, Tornado Relief
Warren Easton HS: $13,000; books; sweat equity
Florida/Kansas: $750 donation to victims

-International Service: Grants, Scholarships, Sponsorships, Relationships:
Brazil: $5000 for Ambassadorial Scholarships
Wales & Brisbane Club reconnection

-Fundraising: Rotary Wheels: $34,000 for charities (RF, RCCF, Low Country Food Bank
Kids Cafe)

-Rotary Foundation: Family of Rotary Initiative, 10 new benefactors, 2 new Paul
Harris members

An emotional, well-deserved, standing ovation for Past-President Amy: Leadership and Success.

President Jermaine…
"We're the best club, in the best city, and I want you all to know who to hold accountable for the success of this club during the next year: your Board. Let us not be members of Rotary....let us serve together as Rotarians."

Submitted by Bill Crowe, Keyway Chairperson

June 24, 2007

South Carolina Aquarium

June 19th, 2007: Today's meeting began with a moment of silence for our firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice to provide safety and security for us all.

Bruce Murdy introduced Kevin Mills the President and CEO of the South Carolina Aquarium who joined us last year. Before coming to Charleston in September he was with the St. Louis Zoo. He led a very successful re-branding effort, which significantly increased the number of visitors at the zoo.

Mills shared information about how the Aquarium is serving the community in multiple ways. Currently, there are about 450,000 guests who visit the SC Aquarium every year. In addition to serving those who visit the Aquarium's great attractions, which thrill both young and old, it is also an engine of economic development and a leader in conservation of aquatic life.

When the Aquarium opened, like many others, it experienced challenges. According to Mills, its business model was too optimistic, especially in the number of visitors and the revenue from those visits. The Aquarium has responded to those challenges and has been in the black for several years. Its remaining $4 million of debt is continuously being retired and future prospects are excellent.

The strategic plan, started in September 2006 and approved by the Board in May 2007, strikes a balance between the focus of conservation, education, and entertainment. Recent research indicates that conservation is the first priority with education as the second priority, while entertainment is still key and helps to build the other two themes.

The Aquarium's Sea Turtle Rescue Program has been very successful. It has been able to heal and release 25 Sea Turtles back into the wild. This is an especially important project to protect our dwindling Sea Turtle population. The program is being developed into a national model. The work of the Aquarium, and other marine resource organizations, is extremely beneficial for all types of sea life.

A current key focus of the Aquarium is finding ways to rejuvenate the experience for "repeat visitors". With its 8,000 member families visiting the aquarium three times a year, they created new programs and experiences to help stimulate and keep interest, such as the summer program entitled "Something's Fishy", which utilizes five characters in costumes and a multimedia experience to stimulate learning and entertainment.

The South Carolina Aquarium is not only a great source of entertainment, but it is also a great asset to our community for education and, most importantly, research and conservation.

Reported by Wayne Outlaw, Keyway Committee

June 17, 2007

"Today's AT&T is not your 1984 Ma Bell."

June 12, 1007 - Ted Creech introduced Gregg Morton, the new President of AT&T South Carolina, as a highly accomplished professional who graduated from Clemson. Gregg then began his telecommunications career in Charleston, moved to Columbia, Atlanta, and finally, after two senior positions in Washington D.C., is back in S.C. to make a difference in our technology future. Gregg entertained our Club with a satirical film clip that outlined the last 30 years of the telecommunications industry. He stated that no matter how it appears, "we not just putting Ma Bell back together again."

Mr. Morton's key points revolved around how technology has changed the terrain since 1984, with the biggest change being found in the "wireless explosion" the world is experiencing. He emphasized that Ma Bell had no competitors in 1984 and now AT&T's biggest competitor is cable. Additionally, with today's broadband infrastructure, "anyone can become a voice provider." Of special interest to the Club was Gregg's observations on technology convergence: a wireless tsunami that will result in our TV/PC/other wireless devices all residing on a common platform using home monitoring applications such as "nanny-cam" and "pet-cam."

After quick plugs for AT&T's Apple i-phone (coming out on June 29th), HomeZone (their "satellite on steroids"), and U-Verse (their 2008 broadband platform), he moved on to the "future of the internet." His brief discussion on net neutrality and why a smart internet pipe is critical to our future was enlightening. As an example of why it's important: U-Tube uses as much bandwidth today as the entire internet used in 2000. Gregg ended his informative talk with the key point:

AT&T [he] opposes any legislation that shifts "beefed-up" internet business costs (innovation/expansion) to the consumer.

Reported by Bill Crowe, Keyway Committee

June 8, 2007


June 5, 2007: Today our own Peter Lucash brought us invaluable information to assist us in planning for disaster at our places of business and our homes.

Contrary to common perception, natural disasters only account for a small percentage of the disasters that businesses encounter. The top three items that can cause business interruptions are hardware failure, utilities failure, and deliberate/malicious acts. Although natural disasters are rare, having a specific plan is of utmost importance in order to function should one occur.

The question that one must ask is "How long can the business keep operating without employees being able to go to the place of business?" For most, the current answer is "not very long at all!" By utilizing the planning strategies that Peter shared , businesses should be able to extend their viability.

The first area of concern should be the people. We cannot discount the fact that employees have families and homes that they value more than their jobs. It is important to set up systems to help employees cope during an evacuation. Some suggestions include setting up a common location at a hotel that is animal friendly, having mechanisms in place to automate payroll, and having a planned evacuation route.

Communication is a key concern. Businesses should be certain to keep detailed phone lists of employees, customers and vendors. Peter wisely recommends that duplicates of these lists be stored at a location at least 50 miles from the place of business. When preparing for an evacuation, businesses should carefully do the same with current accounts payable and accounts receivable.

Close attention should also be paid to the workplace. Depending on the size of the business, an option would be to have an alternate location. If this is not feasible, having up a mobile operations plan is important. By utilizing satellite phones, conference calls, and message boards, employees can be located and can continue to conduct business.

In addition, it is recommended that businesses create a videotape of the workplace and all of its contents. The tape should be sent to the insurance company and another copy stored at a location at least 50 miles away.

On a final note, Peter encouraged individuals to plan ahead and have personal Hurricane Kits at the ready. The kit should include a bucket, handi-wipes, toilet tissue, bread, peanut butter, lots of water, and protein bars.

Reported by Angie Johnson, Keyway Committee

June 1, 2007


May 29, 2007: Today the Director of Charleston's Piccolo Spoleto Festival brought us greetings and an overview of this year's fabulous events. With 700 events, 29 venues, 4000 artists and a 1.2 million dollar budget this year's festival is one of the best.

An introduction of children to the world of opera is featured with special performances throughout the city of Hansel and Gretel, and Amahl and the Night Visitors. Charleston's theater director Julian Wiles and its own "Have Nots" will have special events. Andrew Lloyd Weber's music is featured in a spectacular "Absolutely Andrew". "Illumination Shadows", a display of original paintings can be seen at the City Gallery. A huge wedding music and cultural event will be highlighted at Hampton Park. Don't miss the acrobats performing by their double- decker green bus in Marion Square And then there are hundreds of paintings for sale in the sea of tents at Marion Square.

Of special note is the SISTERS CITY JAZZ; A Tale of Two Cities. A free concert at the U.S. Custom House joins the forces of the Charleston Jazz Initiative explained to us by speaker, Jack McCray, and the Fotos for Humanity, highlighted by speaker, Devin Meyers. CJI documents the African American jazz tradition in Charleston which started in the late 19th century. A collection of oral histories, recordings, letters, etc. have been collected and displayed. A slide presentation of Fotos for Humanity gave graphic evidence of both the destruction and the hope of reborn music taking place in New Orleans.

Reported by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee

May 28, 2007

Rotarians Learn About Trident Literacy

May 22, 2007: Today the Chairman of the Board of the Trident Literacy Association addressed our club to help us all understand the importance of what they do and how we, as community members, can help them continue to help those in need.

Molly Hughes has been on the Board of Directors for the association for 6 years. She is an attorney with Nexsen Pruet specializing in labor and employment law. She received her undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, from Wofford College and her law degree, cum laude, from the University of South Carolina. This is her first year as Chairman.

The Trident Literacy Association is a non-profit organization that has been in operation for 35 years this year. It was started by a small group of teachers that had no budget and has, over the years, grown into a formidable organization. There are 10 board members who have a common goal to help each person become self sufficient and economically independent.

What is Literacy?
When Molly asked the club the above question, several people had different versions but the common one heard was "being able to read." The US Congress has a much longer and wordier version, but Molly's definition was simple: Literacy is fundamental to a person's ability to function in life in every way. If a person is unable to read or write, than regular things become much more difficult and at times impossible. Grocery shopping, reading prescription instructions, interpreting directions or instructions and the list goes on.

How does the Literacy Association help?
With over 7 main sites and 20 outreach locations, the associations helps approximately 3,000 adults (18 years and older) per year. There are over 200 volunteers that assist in several areas, with many of them tutoring students on an individual basis. Each student pays a nominal fee (no more than $25) to attend classes. The association is also funded by the Federal and State Government as well as several corporate and individual donors, some who are members of our club.

What do they do?
There are several different programs for the students. Some are: English as a Second Language program, the GED program and the Adult Basic Education program. They give classes in all their locations and have now been authorized to teach a GED class at the Charleston County Detention Center.

Why is it important?
1 in 4 adults in the Tri-County area is illiterate. There are 50,000 people that are functionally illiterate in the Tri-County area. It's important for our community to be aware for so many reasons. For example, in order for our community to continue to grow and prosper and have new businesses come to the area, we must provide a work force that is qualified.

How can we help?
The best way is by volunteering to tutor, help with publicity, office work, fundraising or in numerous other ways. Volunteers are requested to commit to two hours per week for at least six months. If you can't commit your time, donations and word of mouth publicity are also very helpful. For more information, please contact the Trident Literacy Foundation at 747-2223.

Submitted by Darby Hand, Keyway Committee

May 20, 2007

"New" Police Chief in Town

May 15, 2007: Today the Honor Guard for the Charleston Police Department presented the colors in honor of their fallen comrades as it was Police Officers Memorial Day.

Rob Dewey was not able to be present because he was in Lincolnville with 300 other officers responding to a crisis of an officer who disappeared, so Henry Fishburne introduced our speaker, Chief Mullen. Chief Mullen is a native of North Carolina, began his career in law enforcement in the Air Force, spent 21 years with the Virginia Beach Police Department, and on October 1, 2006 was selected to be the Chief of the Charleston Police Department.

Chief Mullen addressed the three key questions on everyone's mind. These questions were 1) What we doing? 2) What do we need to do to get to the next level? and 3) Most importantly, what are the challenges or barriers we face in the community? Chief Mullen explained that Charleston, like everywhere else, is facing an epidemic of violent crime. While nationally violent crime rose 3.6% last year, it rose in areas that you would typically not expect. For example Orlando has had the greatest increase in murders in the past year, even though it's known for its family-friendly resorts.

To address the needs of our community, Chief Mullen said we must see the problem in a broader perspective. One of the unique perspectives is that the average age of people committing violent crimes has moved from the 18 to 25 years bracket to the 15 to 25 years bracket. The Chief explained that violent crime tends to be committed by the same target group who are going in and out of our justice system even though they are starting much younger.

The key to reducing crime is getting everyone engaged in the community and working with other agencies throughout the area. Because criminals do not respect municipal boundaries, he has initiated a program of investigators of the Area Police Departments meeting weekly to share information. These meetings lead to not only solving crimes, but spotting trends earlier to prevent crimes. By stressing inter-operability of agencies and focusing on the localized areas where violent crimes occur, the investigators are helping to make our communities safer.

Chief Mullen closed with a request of the Club to assist him in two key areas to help prevent or reduce crimes. First, he asked everyone to lock their cars and not keep valuables in plain view, as this is an open invitation to vehicular crime, which funds drugs and guns. Second, he asked us to communicate with our legislators to support stricter legislation, especially for bonds and searches. He shared a story about an individual who was arrested for a homicide committed while being out on bail on a weapons charge. If our laws had allowed him to remain incarcerated until trial, this crime could've been prevented.

Submitted by Wayne Outlaw, Keyway Committee

May 15, 2007


May 8, 2007: Myron Harrington introduced four talented Rotary scholars at the meeting last Tuesday. Brittany Nicole Coaxum, Sarah Renee Ellison, Tina Rae-Tin Mao, and Trent William Robbins, are high school seniors with stellar academic and extra-curricular resumes. Only one of these four exemplary youths was chosen to receive the grand prize of a $3,000.00 scholarship, however all of them received our praises. The three runners up to the grand prize each received a $1,000.00 scholarship award.

Brittany Coaxum, from Burke High School, was the President of the National Honors Society, has received the Septima Clark Award, was Miss Burke 2006-07, and has time for activities like the marching band and the Academic Bowl team! Ms Coaxum plans to attend the USC (Columbia) in the fall, where she would like to major in psychology. She came to our meeting with three very welcomed guests, her mother, guidance counselor, and school Principal.

Sarah Renee Ellison, who is set to attend U. Penn in the fall, is a senior at Ashley Hall, where she was Vice-President of the student body, President of the National Honors Society, and Chair of the Honor Council. She is also heavily committed to volunteering her time to community activities, and plans to continue that in college. Both of Ms. Ellison's parents and her college advisor joined us at the meeting.

Trent William Robbins has attended First Baptist Church School his whole academic career. It seems that he is mature beyond his years, and he explained that his passion and drive come from his desire to fulfill a higher calling. Among other things, Mr. Robbins is the Valedictorian, Student Government Chaplain, a member of the Math Team, and an avid community volunteer.

Tina Rae-Tin Mao was chosen as the grand prize winner of the Rotary Scholars award. Ms. Mao is a senior at Porter-Gaud, and she has yet to chose from an array of top notch schools for her higher education. She has been accepted to UNC Chapel Hill, U. of Chicago, Princeton, and a list of other Ivy League schools. Yet Ms. Mao is not only an incredibly bright young woman- she is also the Managing Editor of her school newspaper, a member of the Forensics team, the winner of the Sewanee Award for Excellence in Writing, the Franck C. Ford Award for Leadership, among others. Porter-Gaud's Dean of Students was present to see Ms. Mao receive her award.

Ms. Mao answered questions from the club members with poise and confidence, as did the other three scholars. The question and answer session reaffirmed why these four young adults were chosen from their respective institutions as the creme of the crop. We enjoyed spending time with the scholars, and hope to see them in Rotary again some day!

Submitted by Jackie Grau, Keyway Committee

May 6, 2007

Dr. Greenberg, "...our students are our best resource."

May 1, 2007:
Andy Brack introduced Dr. Ray Greenberg as a highly qualified and accomplished professional "who doesn't know which Carolina blue to cheer for." With a medical degree from Duke University it should be obvious, but add a BS and PhD from UNC Chapel Hill and a MS from Harvard and every season is a new challenge.

Dr. Greenberg immediately complimented Rotary as a Partner...he believes in what we do and constantly sees the positive results of our efforts. His overview comments reflected his excitement for MUSC's new $300 million, 650,000 square foot hospital opening in October 2007 and the implementation of a new statewide fiber optic network that will connect our research institutions. He quickly added, "I'm not go to say anything that you'll walk away saying: Wow, I heard something today I'll remember for a long time." To the contrary, Dr. Greenberg did say something we all will remember: "...our students are our best resource." With that, he introduced Justin Elett as one of "6 or 7 students a year" bright and dedicated enough to enter the MD/PhD program. In January 2005, as a second year medical and graduate student Justin started something extraordinary in Mt. Pleasant: a clinic for uninsured patients called CARES. CARES stands for "community aid, relief, education, and support." On a shoestring $10,000 dollar annual budget, Justin and 5-7 of his fellow student volunteers at MUSC run a clinic on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30-8:30 PM free of charge. The clinic opened in August 2005 and has treated over 800 individual patients with over 1100 encounters. The clinic is aided by MUSC providing the lab services for "cost" and donated pharmaceuticals. Mr. Ellet's fellow student, Scotty Buff, is equally impressive. As a Wofford College undergraduate who, "almost has her PhD in microbiology and immunology," she started an outreach program to schools in 2004. Her "Junior Doctors of Health" program empowers children to learn to recognize the importance of their health as well as others. She enthusiastically talked about how the 6th Graders at Fraser Elementary love "pulling the organs out of a plastic body" as a part of learning what healthy eating and exercise can do to promote good health. She explained the program's three-prong approach:

Interdisciplinary: Teach them about related career fields such as "male nurses" of which they had no knowledge.
Target the Parents: The Frasier "Walk to School Day" resulted in over 300 participants; 100 more than expected; parent participation was overwhelming. (Dr. Greenberg provided the event T-Shirts, including the extra 100). Additionally, the program's "Literacy Drive" raised over $400 for books.
Take the Program to High Schools: Plans are being made for health fairs that increase the student's health knowledge and self-esteem.

NOTE: A lively Q&A session followed and was enjoyed by all.

Reported by Bill Crowe, Keyway Committee

April 29, 2007


April 24, 2007: Our program focused on education support began with the recognition of the outstanding students of the previous three months from Fraser Middle School. It was a bittersweet moment when Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson introduced the Honor Roll teachers and the Teacher of the Year since it may have been the last time she will address us before leaving for her new assignment in Seattle. Not only will the members of our club, but all of Charleston County, especially the students and staff, will truly miss her compassion and competence.

The 2007 Honor Roll Teachers are Tara Mande from Stono Park Elementary, Deanna Mozingo from Mt. Pleasant Academy, Katherine L. Pyle from St. Andrew's School of Math and Science, and Rebecca Sue Kutcher, the runner up for teacher the year from Cairo Middle School. Teacher of the Year is Ms. Cassie Norvell, a K-2 Multiage Teacher from Jennie Moore Elementary School. The award recognizes her innovation and implementation of multiage classes, so young children can learn at their own pace, in their own style, and at their own developmental level. She is also a teacher leader of first-year teachers and works to reduce the gap between non-Title I schools and Title I schools.

Ms. Norvell shared her unique and innovative way of learning using active projects tying all subjects together. The Art Project connected all aspects of Art including history, painter, museum, and finally owner who appreciates the art. Students created their own work of art and displayed it at an art show for the parents.

The Shoe Project made learning both practical and fun. After learning the history of shoes the class actually designed a pair of shoes, visited a shoe store, and interviewed the shoe store manager. They applied for jobs in their "class shoe store" where they got to sell shoes, write up tickets, and participate in all of the aspects of a retail operation. The Weather Project connected weather forecasting and safety precautions culminating in students presenting a weather broadcast for their parents.

This is just an example of the innovation of talented teachers in the District such as Ms. Norvell. Her contributions extend far beyond the classroom to the entire county education system and all deserves our thanks.

Reported by Wayne Outlaw, Keyway Committee

April 22, 2007

Charleston area women in the lead

April 17, 2007: Today we were privileged to hear from one of our own, Jennet
Alterman, Executive Director of the Center for Women in the Charleston area. Jennet brought great experience to her position six years ago being a broadcast journalist and a member of the Peace Corp. In her presentation she gave us dazzling statistics about where women have been, where they now are, and where they are going.

· 27% of all households are single women

· In 55% of all households women contribute half or more of the income

· Since the 70's men's salaries have increased but 1%, while women's have increased
by 63% [they, of course, were way behind]

· Woman are a driving force in the economy in that:

- They buy 66% of all personal computers
- They buy 55% of all consumer electronics
- They contribute to 80% of all car sales
- They purchase 80% of all ride on lawn mowers.

In South Carolina there are 93,000 firms owned by women who have 11 billion dollars in sales. This state also ranks 13th in the nation in the growth of women in business.

· Women in Charleston County own 10% of the states businesses.
· BUT, overall women's salaries average 70% of their male counterparts.

ACTION RECOMMENDED BY Executive Director Alterman:

1. Support women owned small businesses.
2. Support efforts to achieve wage equality between the sexes.

Wage inequities include great deficiencies in medical insurance coverage for women workers and their children. Society must face up to the fact that women, in addition to working, are the chief caregivers of both children and their elders. Business leaders must plan for flexible schedules to meet the needs of women.

Reported by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee

April 15, 2007

SPAWAR: Vital to Our Troops and Our Economy

April 10, 2007: Today Rotarians learned more about SPAWAR from its Executive Director, James Ward. SPAWAR, which stands for Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, provides Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) solutions to naval, joint, and federal customers.

According to a recent study of the Charleston economy performed by Angelou Economics, Advanced Security was targeted as a market that the region should pursue for economic development. SPAWAR is a shining example of how advanced security naturally complements our economic efforts since the closure of the Navy Base. The military still has a huge presence in our community, and SPAWAR assists our troops by "meeting the changing needs of the warfighter" with information technology to create combat-ready naval and joint forces.

Ward prides his organization on its signature strengths, which include competency, business acumen, innovation, agility, and speed to capability. He is especially proud of his employees' ability to provide these strengths with limited resources, which he says stimulates innovation. In fact, SPAWAR receives no money from Congress, but is structured much like a not-for-profit business and runs on a $100 million budget. Most of SPAWAR's employees have an engineering- or computer-related degree: 250 have Masters-level degrees and 15 have Ph.D.'s. These employees are expected to invest in understanding their clients; this is how SPAWAR adds value because they now have a relevancy to their military clientele that allows the employees to really understand the needs of the warfighter in the field.

Some of the innovative ideas that SPAWAR has provided to the warfighter include an inflatable antenna which is much lighter than its predecessor, thus saving the troops from carrying heavy equipment through the battlefield. The invention has proved so popular that the "kid" who invented it (as Ward affectionately called him) was recently selected as one of the Top 25 Scientists/Engineers in the U.S.

Another SPAWAR product is the up-armored High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) which comes out of Charleston. Ward stated that Charleston has the capability to become the leader in vehicle integration for the nation. Not only does SPAWAR provide these integrated vehicles to the warfighter, but those responsible for the HMMWVs also send a personal note and care package to each driver of the vehicle. This has gone a long way with the troops, and Ward beams as he shares the letters of gratitude from those stationed overseas.

Ward was also excited to share SPAWAR's new "Purple Heart Professional" program, which will employ someone who has come back from combat injured and use their competency toward a meaningful career at SPAWAR. SPAWAR is fully-equipped to accommodate someone with disabilities, so this will allow someone to continue to serve their country although they are not able to be deployed into combat. The first candidate begins this month!

The economic impact of SPAWAR on the Charleston economy is close to $1 billion, but as we heard from James Ward, the intellectual capital generated is what is of most value to our region. We are proud to have such a tremendous organization call Charleston home, and it sounds like they will be here to stay if James Ward has his way!

Submitted by Amy Riley, Keyway Committee
SPAWAR: Vital to Our Troops and Our Economy

April 10, 2007: Today Rotarians learned more about SPAWAR from its Executive Director, James Ward. SPAWAR, which stands for Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, provides Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) solutions to naval, joint, and federal customers.

According to a recent study of the Charleston economy performed by Angelou Economics, Advanced Security was targeted as a market that the region should pursue for economic development. SPAWAR is a shining example of how advanced security naturally complements our economic efforts since the closure of the Navy Base. The military still has a huge presence in our community, and SPAWAR assists our troops by "meeting the changing needs of the warfighter" with information technology to create combat-ready naval and joint forces.

Ward prides his organization on its signature strengths, which include competency, business acumen, innovation, agility, and speed to capability. He is especially proud of his employees' ability to provide these strengths with limited resources, which he says stimulates innovation. In fact, SPAWAR receives no money from Congress, but is structured much like a not-for-profit business and runs on a $100 million budget. Most of SPAWAR's employees have an engineering- or computer-related degree: 250 have Masters-level degrees and 15 have Ph.D.'s. These employees are expected to invest in understanding their clients; this is how SPAWAR adds value because they now have a relevancy to their military clientele that allows the employees to really understand the needs of the warfighter in the field.

Some of the innovative ideas that SPAWAR has provided to the warfighter include an inflatable antenna which is much lighter than its predecessor, thus saving the troops from carrying heavy equipment through the battlefield. The invention has proved so popular that the "kid" who invented it (as Ward affectionately called him) was recently selected as one of the Top 25 Scientists/Engineers in the U.S.

Another SPAWAR product is the up-armored High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) which comes out of Charleston. Ward stated that Charleston has the capability to become the leader in vehicle integration for the nation. Not only does SPAWAR provide these integrated vehicles to the warfighter, but those responsible for the HMMWVs also send a personal note and care package to each driver of the vehicle. This has gone a long way with the troops, and Ward beams as he shares the letters of gratitude from those stationed overseas.

Ward was also excited to share SPAWAR's new "Purple Heart Professional" program, which will employ someone who has come back from combat injured and use their competency toward a meaningful career at SPAWAR. SPAWAR is fully-equipped to accommodate someone with disabilities, so this will allow someone to continue to serve their country although they are not able to be deployed into combat. The first candidate begins this month!

The economic impact of SPAWAR on the Charleston economy is close to $1 billion, but as we heard from James Ward, the intellectual capital generated is what is of most value to our region. We are proud to have such a tremendous organization call Charleston home, and it sounds like they will be here to stay if James Ward has his way!

Submitted by Amy Riley, Keyway Committee

April 7, 2007

GSE visitors from Wales and Australia, and the Hat Ladies!

April 3, 2007: We were overwhelmed with friendly visitors at our meeting this week. The Group Study Exchange teams from both Wales and Australia visited us to brighten up our day, and the Hat Ladies made their presence known! The Wales team was composed of Mike Parry, the team leader, and team members, Edward Longbottom, Leigh Caveney, Rachel Lewis, and Amanda Aldridge. The team members represented a very diverse element, ranging from Amanda Aldridge, a psychiatric nurse from Cardiff who says she cannot cook, to Leigh Caveney, a professional working in the Housing department, who hates to iron! Rachel Lewis is a website editor and rock climber, and Edward Longbottom is a dentist from Pontllanfraith, South Wales, who also teaches martial arts. Each of the team members has been sponsored by a Rotary club in Wales. Mike Parry is a Rotarian of over 18 years, in the Rotary club of Cardiff Bay.

The team from Australia was composed of team leader Geoffrey Inman, and members Andrew Bushnell, Michael Hill, Elizabeth Gardner, and Jessica Johns. This cheerful bunch was quick to say that they hail from the state of Western Australia, which they call the best part of their country. "WA" is a whopping 965,000 square miles of diverse terrain, with a population of only 2 million people. WA. The team members all have outdoor hobbies, such as surfing, various other water sports, and equestrian sports. Geoffrey Inman is a retired police inspector, and former Rotary club President. He hails from the city of Albany, in WA.

I would be remiss not to mention our other visitors last week, the Hat Ladies! Aside from looking splendid and fashionable, this group of ladies is also committed to doing good in the community. The Hat Ladies will be having their 6th Annual Easter Promenade this year. The Hat Ladies began as women who enjoyed wearing hats. From there it evolved into a "society" of like minded women who think of themselves as fashionable ambassadors who do good. The Hat Ladies support causes such as the Center for Women, and MS. When they look good they do good! Just as they are making a difference in our community through fashionable public service, wearing hats made a positive difference to those sporting them in our audience. For more information on these fashionable ambassadors, log onto

Submitted by Jackie G. Grau, Keyway Committee

April 1, 2007

Force Protection CEO Tommy Pruitt Visits our Rotary

March 27, 2007: If you keep up with the local papers, you know Force Protection is an organization that is growing fast. We were fortunate to have Tommy Pruitt stop by and bring us up to speed on their company, the growth they have experienced over the last few years and their future plans.

Force Protection is the manufacturer of ballistic and blast protected vehicles, which have been used to support armed forces and security personnel in Iraq, Afghanistan and other hot spots around the world. Their vehicles provide the highest level of protection against roadside bombs, land mines, IEDS (Improvised Explosive Devices) and hostile fire.

Because modern warfare has drastically changed and continues to evolve, there is an increasing need for these vehicles to protect our armed forces. The company produces three vehicle types. They are the 26 ton Buffalo (which they brought along and is pictured on page 2), the Cougar and the Cheetah. Currently, the company is producing 60 vehicles per month, by summer they expect that number to increase to 200 vehicles per month and by years end, they are predicting 400 vehicles per month.

Force Protection has gone from employing a few hundred people and net sales of $10 million in 2004 to employing over 800 people and net sales of $196.0 million at the end of 2006. Headquartered on the outskirts of Charleston, they currently have 400,000 square feet of manufacturing space with plans to have more by the end of the year.

Pruitt answered a few questions after his presentation. Some highlights are below.

How much of a blast can one of the vehicles withstand?
The most they know of is equal to about 50 tons of TNT. That doesn't mean it can't withstand more.

With Congress trying to pull troops out of Iraq by 2008, will and how will that impact the company's future growth?
The urgent need of vehicles will go down once the war is over. However, 70% of war casualties are now caused by IEDS and this method of fighting is here to stay. These vehicles are needed to protect our armed forces against the new warfare wherever there is conflict. Unfortunately, when this war ends, that doesn't mean the military can relax. It's typical that once a war ends, the US military will replenish their resources so they are prepared and ready should the need arise. So, many vehicles will still be needed long after the war ends.

When the company sells the vehicles, do they know who the end user is?
Yes, every contract goes through and is approved by the US Defense Department and State Department and the company is fully aware of who is getting each car and what part of the world it will be in.

Keeping soldiers safe is the company's number one priority, and in this era of new warfare, these vehicle are doing just that. Said by one Fore Protection employee," We can't wrap our arms around our soldiers to keep them safe, but we can wrap our metal around them."

Submitted by Darby Hand, Keyway Committee