December 11, 2008

"From Trash to Treasure"

December 9th, 2008: Today, we had the pleasure of hearing from William Bagwell of The Ginn Company, about the proposed Promenade Project on the Charleston peninsula. Upon fruition, Promenade is slated to be built atop what used to be the Romney Street Landfill. The project would cover 180 acres inside Charleston city limits, running along Morrison drive to the water at Town Creek, and share a neighborhood with the beautiful Magnolia Cemetery and our the valuable Charleston Port.

In the 1800's the land served as the city's main ammunition storage facility and then as a former oil terminal. In the more recent past the property has served as a home for dredge soils, scrap steel, county landfill and oil pipelines and terminals. In 1995 the county determined that the landfill was full, and decided to close it out, and had plans engineered to do so. The landfill was covered with soil and monitoring wells and gas vents were installed. Seven years ago, CSX railroad sold the property that was later purchased by the Ginn Company with the vision of the Promenade in mind. Today, the land is an attractive green space, of open fields, dotted with trees and serves as a home to local wildlife, and the future site of a "thriving addition to the city of Charleston".

The Ginn Company envisions Promenade as a mixture of residential, civic and commercial properties; to include shopping, entertainment, condominiums, marinas, hotels and possibly a convention center, amphitheater and a water taxi service. To help make this dream a reality The Ginn Company signed a contract with South Carolina DHEC and is working closely with the department to ensure the success of the revitalization. The developer will continue testing the soil for contaminates over the next 5 years, and will be adding another layer of soil and a pipe system to collect and remove methane gas from the property. Buildings will be constructed on pilings that are driven 50 to 60 feet into the bedrock below the landfill to help insure their stability. While landfill redevelopment certainly has the connotation of being complicated, it has been common since the 1980's and widely successful in other areas of the country. The Ginn Company says "It is our goal to make Promenade a national model for Brownfield redevelopment and the turn this neglected stretch of Charleston waterfront into a thriving addition to the city". By combining today's superior building technology with The Ginn Company's unique vision, the citizens and visitors of historic Charleston may well experience a true reinvention of "Trash" to "Treasure".

Submitted by Elizabeth W. Burwell, Keyway Committee

December 5, 2008

"South Carolina's Other Beautiful City!"

December 2nd, 2008: Mayor Knox White is very proud of the City of Greenville, for good reason. Mr. White is a partner at the state-wide law firm of Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, P.A., in Greenville, where he heads the immigrations and customs practice group. Between traveling to China for business, and hosting exchange students from his own Rotary club, he somehow finds time to govern the City of Greenville. He has been the Mayor there for about 13 years, during which time Greenville's downtown has become an exciting destination for locals and visitors. Mr. White is also as sharp as a whip --he immediately conceded to our club that it is not easy to attempt to transform his city into one as fashionable as Charleston. While he loves visiting Charleston, he boasts endlessly about his very own Greenville.

Since the time he has been in office, Greenville has gotten a noticeable facelift. The minor league baseball stadium was built downtown, inhabited by the team ingeniously named, "The Greenville Drive." Mayor White noted that the name was initially controversial, but then caught on. It is meant to reflect the perseverance and futuristic "drive" of the locals, and is also a play on the automobile manufacturing done in the area. Mayor White is not afraid of controversy, and spear-headed another project that was initially looked upon with mixed reviews: the beautification of the Falls Park at the River Reedy, in downtown Greenville. Once a river forgotten, the Reedy and its falls were covered up by a large cement bridge for years. Now the area is virtually unrecognizable compared to its former days. In place of the old bridge, there is a lively pedestrian bridge spanning the falls. The new bridge was designed by a German firm, and there is none other like it the country. In addition, there are beautiful gardens and green space in the Falls Park. It is one of the most popular downtown destinations on the weekends.

Mayor White credits his downtown beautification project to some tactful funding methods. While the City fronted the 13 million to overhaul Reedy River, private investors have followed suit, pouring in over 200 million to the surrounding area, making the project a huge win. Around the Falls and Main Street, there are mixed use buildings. Restaurants, shops, and condos are all on the same block and oftentimes the same building, in downtown Greenville. Mayor White noted that there are over 75 restaurants in the downtown, which is packed from Thursday evening through all-day Sunday. The City wisely built 7 large parking garages, and shuns parking meters on the street.

Major White's presentation was fantastic advertising for Greenville, which seems to be an exciting destination. We enjoyed Knox White's presentation, and hope to host this fellow Rotarian again soon.

Submitted by Jackie Grau, Keyway Committee

November 28, 2008

"Be an Encourager, not a Discourager"

November 25th, 2008: Stovall Witte introduced our guest speaker as an author of twelve books that range in subject from ancient highways to the differences between men and women. He also wrote "Jewel, an Oprah pick." Mr. Lott is a Fulbright Senior American Scholar whose teaching credentials include the College of Charleston, the University of Massachusetts, and Louisiana State University where he was the editor of the Pulitzer Prize-winning journal, The Southern Review. Stovall said he and Bret meet over yard work ... Brett agreed stating "his yard looked a little shabby." Mr. Lott opened his talk last Tuesday with a poem from Tom Lynch on Rotary then immediately used his life as an example of why poetry, writing, and essays are so very important in life.

Brett's father worked for RC Cola and fully expected him to follow suit in the same profession. When he proceeded to work his way through multiple college majors: forestry (I'd like to be a Park Ranger) and marine biology (I like the beach), he ended up becoming a RC Cola employee only to realize no matter how happy that made his father, the vocation was not for him. The only "night school" college course available to Bret in 1978 was a creative writing course that he attended in his daytime uniform ... for that he was labeled "so establishment" by the professor. But, it was that professor who inspired this future author with the reading of one sentence and observation: "that's a writer's sentence." His future was launched! After "burning everything I'd written" while a professor at UMass in 1986 Bret decided to teach at the College of Charleston. His first thoughts of Charleston: "wow, it's like the Pirates of the Caribbean!"

During the lighthearted and insightful question and answer session, Bret showed his depth of character by answering his greatest reward for writing come from the simple things like a "letter from someone who likes you book." He also related that he thought Oprah's phone call in 1998 was a joke and he had to re-read his own book before appearing on her show.

Submitted by Bill Crowe, Keyway Committee Chair

November 23, 2008

"What a Fantastic Time to Live in Charleston"

November 18th, 2008: Helen Hill is an Ashley Hall and Clemson University graduate with a degree in Tourism ... within 3 years she became Executive Director and has held that position for 22 years.

Ms. Hill began her enthusiastic presentation by stating "we live in a fantastic place, and the rest of the world knows it." She expanded her explanation by sharing the fact Charleston spends 8 million dollars a year to reach out: "what we do best is media relations."

"Selling to the Press is like selling to anyone else and we've had a banner year." Helen stated if she doesn't have an article in Southern Living every month she's failed. She quoted from the latest article, "The 10 Reasons to Visit Charleston ... again." Traveler Magazine listed Charleston #2 behind San Francisco. She emphasized the fact "tourism is the first step to economic development." The #1 reason people visit Charleston? For the first time food tied with history.

Helen explained we are uniquely placed for the future. She recently attended a conference in London England and stated "regardless of who you voted for, the UK was on fire about the election ... the US was cool again." President-elect's Porches of Charleston quote will help us immensely.

Our future is bright as it pertains to tourism and it's all about friends and family. Charleston is where history lives and our demographics have dropped to the 35-55 year old group ... a great sign. Even California has "crept" into our top 10 tourists and Europe continues to branch out. "So much for the quote about Charleston being so gay."

Submitted by Bill Crowe, Keyway Committee Chair

November 14, 2008

"The Rotary Foundation Allowed Me to Be an Ambassador"

November 11th, 2008: John Bleeker and Kyra Morris were "proud Rotary parents" today. Between announcing Rachel Ward as our new Ambassadorial Scholarship winner, Keely Robinson as our first World Peace Scholar Recipient (see page 2), and introducing Julie Ohlandt, our Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholar (2006-07) .... they had a full day.

Ms. Ohlandt is a James Island High School graduate who went on to Queens College (now University) in Charlotte NC.

Julie went to Chile to attend the University of Southern Chile. She stated, "it changed my life!" But she also apologized for wearing casual black shoes and keeping time with her cell phone since "no one in my generation" wears a watch. She spent the year of graduate studies getting her degree in rural development ... but she learned much more.

First, some parts of Chile are cold: "thanks a lot!" They have the driest desert in the world; active volcanoes; shorelines to the Pacific; lakes and waterfall that take your breath. But after living in Santiago (where one-third of their population lives), Valenderia (where they had the coldest winter on record), and various other locations she realized: "nothing compares to the people; my fellow classmates (Cuba, Columbia, Philippines); and I'm an ambassador for Rotary and our Club."

Submitted by Bill Crowe, Keyway Committee

November 12, 2008

Social, chili cook-off

Scores of our club's members enjoyed good times, good food and good chili at our first annual Ribs and Rotary social on November 6 at the Charleston Rifle Club.

Thanks to Angel Postell, Dave Echols, Jack Meetze, Robin Freer, Dan Ravenel, Carroll Schweers and others on the Social Committee for making this event a whopping success!

October 31, 2008


October 28th, 2008: President Andy Brack introduced Steve Stegelin, a talented political cartoonist. He is currently publishing original political satire of a visual nature in both the Charleston City Paper and South Carolina Statehouse Report.

He began his fascination with visually showing the true nature of something very early and is now fulfilling his life long dream of being a cartoonist, while working as a technical writer. He likes to poke good-natured fun at the political figures in the local, state and even national arena. His philosophy is that there's a lot going on in our world today that can make you cry. However, one must to learn to laugh and find humor in situations. For many years his insight has been helping his readers not only understand what's going on around us, but also developing a brighter outlook.

Stegelin graduated from the University of Cincinnati, is a full-time technical writer at BlackBaud, and is fully enthralled with South Carolina and the quality of our life. He has been contributing to the City Paper for several years and has contributed to the Statehouse Report for approximately a year and one-half.

It has been a 30-year-old dream of his to show the insight and humor in life. Steve gets his inspiration and ideas from the news shows, the media, life around us and even other insightful minds. He is particularly fond of such programs as the Steve Colbert Show and the Daily Show.

According to Steve you must really understand your audience to connect with them. For example, you can take two very different topics and connect them. He showed a number of great cartoons and four are included in the newsletter. One was an example of connecting two different concerns about payday loans in the State budget and putting them into a cartoon poking fun at the State getting a payday loan. His cartoon of going to the door on Halloween and having your 401K say "Boo" really got nervous laughter.

Most importantly, he wants people to have a sharper, clearer image of what's going on in the world and to get them to respond. The best response is laughter, but that response is not always what his cartoons elicit.

Our speaker showed us how an insightful, creative individual can develop innovative visual art to challenge our thinking and help us enjoy the world around us.

Reported by Wayne Outlaw, Keyway Committee

October 26, 2008


October 21st 2008: Today we had the pleasure of hearing from Mr. Paul Stoney of the Cannon Street YMCA. At the ripe old age of seven, Mr. Stoney began his involvement with the YMCA as a member and now for over a quarter of a century Paul Stoney has dedicated his life to his passion, and his work at the YMCA. The mission of the long standing non-profit is to connect individuals, families, and communities. In Mr. Stoney's words "the Y should be that third place; after our home and our work, the Y should be the third place" that is safe that promotes learning, exercise and relationships.

The Cannon Street YMCA that exists today is the combination of the former Christian Family "Y" on George Street and the Cannon Street YMCA. Paul earned the CEO position for the Charleston "Y" two years ago. His goal is to grow the organization to serve all children in the downtown and surrounding areas. Charleston is the only metropolitan area of our size without a major YMCA presence; Mr. Stoney intends to change that. The "Y" currently hosts many projects for children, young adults, and families of all backgrounds; the YMCA is committed to making diversity one of its top priorities. Some of the local programs include: an after school program serving 55 children that utilizes a partnership with the Lowcountry Food Bank to provide quality snacks, activities such as tennis, golf, swimming for 284 children, Y Dance- teaching tap, ballet and other dance to 95 students, Y Princess and Y Guides, father/daughter and father/son programs to strengthen strong parental relationships, Camp Hope - a joint effort by Chief of Police Mullin and Mr. Stoney to host a summer camp for students from Frasier Elementary, and Camp Edisto - a joint effort with the Presbyterian Church of Edisto. In addition the "Y" offers Little Legends Youth Golf, Black Achievers, Black College Tour, Collegiate Achieves and Healthy Kids Day to address childhood obesity. The "Y" is proudly offers scholarships to many children: states "no one will ever be turned away due to inability to pay."

The YMCA has been a valuable part of the Charleston community for many years, the combination of their partnership with entities such as the Lowcountry Food Bank and The United Way Day of Caring combined with the leadership of Mr. Stoney and his team will allow the Y to continue offering the experience and value of the "Y" to every child.

Reported by Elizabeth Burwell, Keyway Committee

October 17, 2008

"Get Ready to Vote: Congressional Candidates 2008"

October 14th 2008: We hosted a very civil debate between the two Congressional candidates, Henry Brown and Linda Ketner. Mr. Brown has held his position since being elected in 2000. Ms. Ketner is running in hopes of ousting Mr. Brown.

Henry Brown is himself a Rotarian, but comments that his responsibilities have regrettably kept him away from some meetings. He commends Rotary for its ideal of service, and says that he feels called to duty by virtue of the same principles. He hopes to continue serving his constituents, and believes he has the experience and knowledge to get the job done. He highlights the need to address our energy policy if he serves another term.

Linda Ketner is formally trained in business and can bring that know-how to Washington. She sees directly to the root of problems, instead of only seeing their symptoms once it is too late. She believes long-term solutions require major foresight instead of short-term panaceas. Speaking to the current economic crisis, she describes how our government removed safeguards in the banking and investment sectors with the termination of legislation and passage of new legislation in and around 1999.

After their introductions, the candidates responded to questions posed by moderator Larry Tarleton, that had been submitted by club members. The candidates had two (2) minutes in which to respond to the questions and one (1) minute in which to rebut.

Ketner was asked about her policy on immigration and dispelled the rumor that she supports amnesty. She regrets that the states are left with the job of cleaning up after the Federal government's lack of prosecution and prevention of illegal immigration. Both candidates expressed concern over the security threat posed along with illegal immigration. Ketner was also asked about her ability to handle the liberal influence of Nancy Pelosi. She said with no uncertainty that she can handle herself against liberals in Washington and will represent her constituents without giving way to the whims of any faction. Brown was asked why he spends so much on mailings to his constituency and referenced the growth of the area and the need to keep people updated. Brown was also asked about the Republican balanced budget and tax plans and said he supports a balanced budget.

Both candidates discussed which regular publications they read, and naturally the Post and Courier is one of them. The candidates were given two (2) minutes for closing statements, in which they expressed their eagerness to sit in the next Congress. We appreciate the time that Mr. Brown and Mrs. Ketner graciously shared with our club, and wish the best to them both. It was a pleasure to host them and their supporters.

Reported by Jackie Grau, Keyway Committee

October 10, 2008

"Journalism Today"

October 7th 2008: Andy Brack introduced our speaker today and it was very timely due to the current interest in the elections. We were honored to have Charles Bierbauer, an esteemed Television Journalist with over 20 years experience with networks, such as CNN, with assignments covering the White House and spanning five presidential elections. Currently, the Dean of Journalism and Mass Communications at The University of South Carolina, Bierbauer shared his insight about not only the state of journalism, but he also gave us great insight into USC's journalism school and how journalists cover the election.

Since 1996 Bierbauer has guided his department and had the opportunity to influence many future journalists. He was careful to reiterate that USC focuses statewide and addresses the needs of the entire state, not just Columbia its graduates.

According to Bierbauer, "today newspapers are shrinking, the number of newsroom jobs diminishing, and as a result newspapers must respond to a challenge of adapt or die." Newspapers are but one area of journalism that is changing. TV is being forced to adapt its "one voice" to many voices and mediums such as the Internet and iPods, which quickly deliver the next generation of communication. These changes are signified by Visual Communication becoming the fastest growing major at the journalism school; replacing what we knew as photojournalism. The challenge is to stay relevant and keep the audience engaged, especially in a medium such as television where people multitask while they watch.

In terms of objectivity Bierbauer stated "the media doesn't tell us what to think- it tells us what to think about." In a time where the lines between journalism and editorial are increasingly blurred, it's critical to maintain a distinction between journalism and editorial.

During the question-and-answer period, Bierbauer provided excellent insight as to how journalists may not be able to separate themselves from their biases, but it is important they be aware of it and understand how it affects them.

With only 28 days until the election, he pointed out that the pace of the news will continue to quicken and go beyond traditional media. He stated that there were 112 million blogs on the Internet sharing information, which in the past would be transmitted through the traditional media. This medium certainly will carry a message that many will receive.

Reported by Wayne Outlaw, Keyway Committee

October 3, 2008

"Barr Demands a Higher Degree of Accountability"

September 30th 2008: Former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr said the current financial crisis has breathed life into his Libertarian bid for the presidency because many people think that party's philosophy of less government and free markets is far superior to the $700 billion bailout plan that failed on Monday. "It's provided me an issue that we have some credibility on," he said Tuesday after one of several campaign stops in Charleston.

Barr spoke to the Rotary Club at lunch, and his remarks largely centered on the historic financial and political events of the week. He held up a copy of Tuesday's edition of The Post and Courier newspaper and took exception to its banner headline that read "Financial Meltdown." "What we don't have is a financial meltdown," he said. "What we have is a leadership meltdown."

Barr, who was a Republican when he represented Georgia in Congress, said he began to become disillusioned with the GOP after 1998, when party leaders worked with Republican incumbents to ensure that a spending bill had projects they wanted for their home districts.

Asked what he would do to address the current financial mess, Barr said he would hire a new Treasury secretary more familiar with Main Street, that he would veto any bail-out bill and that he would encourage the U.S. Department of Justice to prosecute financiers whose fraudulent dealings led the nation to this point.

The Rotary crowd gave Barr a polite, but not enthusiastic, welcome. He drew little applause, but some members and guests approached him afterward to chat or shake his hand. Leslie Fellabom, a real estate agent who described herself as a political independent, asked Barr about his running mate and later said, "There was very little that he said that I could argue with."

President Andy said a lot of people would agree with Barr's condemnation of the lack of leadership in Washington "regardless of what party you're in."

Barr said he hopes to be on the ballot in as many as 47 states, but South Carolina is one of a dozen states that his campaign is concentrating on.

He acknowledged the long-shot nature of his bid but hopes to do well enough so that the Libertarian Party candidate won't have to jump through onerous hoops to get on the ballots of certain states in 2012.

Contributed by Post & Courier Journalist Robert Behre

September 25, 2008

CSO MAESTRO: "Music affects lives!"

September 23rd, 2008: Maestro David Stahl, Music Director of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, grew up in NYC and had his musical debut in Carnegie Hall at the age of 23. He became a conductor fellow with the New York Philharmonic and was mentored by Leonard Bernstein with whom he had a personal working and conducting relationship. He now celebrates his 25th year with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra.

The CSO, founded in 1930 presently has 46 full time musicians. Each musician had to audition with up to 50 others to achieve his/her appointment. These 5 minutes of playing time were done behind a screen without identification. When the field was reduced to 3, identities become known. Auditioning from afar, at their own expense, they follow the same procedures as is true with the nation's top orchestras.

David Stahl believes that music affects all our lives and has been at the center of Charleston's history through wars, fires, earthquakes, loss of the navy base and other upheavals. He believes in the power of music to change lives and that the presence of the CSO has been vital to bringing in industrial firms from around the world to this area. The orchestra is a positive factor in our economy.

The CSO gives over 100 concerts a year, including many children's concerts in area schools. The program closed with a memorable musical presentation by a string quartet playing Jerome Kern melodies. Members wishing to provide financial support to the CSO should contact them at their website:

Reported by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee

September 19, 2008

"Pulleys & Piano Wires ... a New & Better Cure"

September 16th, 2008: Dr. Scott Wingo's credentials for minimally invasive surgical treatment of cancer are extremely impressive: Georgia Tech, Emory, MUSC, and the University of Miami provided the foundation for implementing his vision: an intuitive surgical robot system. Today, his vision is implemented in the Lowcountry using the deVinci robot.

Our Club (often queasy) was treated to a new surgical technology slide show presentation: a capability best designed to work in small confined areas "requiring a great deal of precision and dexterity." Using prostate cancer as an example, Dr. Wingo walked us through a visual, or better yet, virtual prostate operation with the deVinci robot as the center stage participant.

Originally designed for the military in an attempt to keep the surgeons out of the line of fire, the daVinci robot (in commercial use) ensures multiple benefits including:

- Shorter hospital stay
- Less pain
- Less risk of infection
- Less blood loss and transfusions
- Less scarring
- Faster recovery
- Quicker return to normal activities

Dr. Wingo emphasized the deVinci system is powered by state-of-the-art robotic technology in order to allow a surgeon's hand movements to be scaled, filtered, and translated into precise movements of micro-instruments within the operative system. It enhances surgical capabilities ... BUT cannot be programmed nor make decisions on its own. Every surgical procedure/technique must be performed directly by your surgeon.

For more information see or call 402-CARE. Additionally email

Submitted by Bill Crowe, Keyway Committee Chair

September 11, 2008

Welcome District Governor S. Anne Walker!

September 9th, 2008: The District Governor of District 7770, S. Anne Walker, says she loves to drive and she loves to talk. It follows naturally that she was happy to come to Charleston to speak to our club -- and, of course, we were happy to host her! Ms. Walker was born right here in Charleston and described many fond memories she has of the area. Her travels as District Governor have taken her around the region, but she loves coming back here to visit.

Ms. Walker vivaciously gave us a pep-talk about recruiting new members to Rotary and keeping alive the spirit of fellowship and membership. Her husband once caught her "selling" Rotary to a near stranger and accused her of constantly recruiting. As she described that story to us, she proudly said that she is, indeed, always recruiting. She encouraged us to take recruiting more seriously.

She wisely told us that a Rotary club should be thought of like a business. Advertising is a good way to attract new "clients". She recently visited a club in Myrtle Beach that has made pamphlets to distribute so that people can get to know their club. Ms. Walker described a fun way to remember our commitment to recruitment, in this anagram that spells "R-O-T-A-R-Y": "R" and "O": reach out, "T": take by the hand, "A": asking people, "R": retention, "Y": you, as in all of us club members.

More information about our district, 7770, can be found at the website: District 7770 is comprised of the 25 eastern counties of South Carolina. There are more than 78 Rotary clubs in our district. There are more than 5,000 Rotarians in our District. We thank Ms. Walker for her visit to our club and for all of her work and dedication.

Submitted by Jackie Grau, Keyway Committee

Day of Caring, Sept. 11, 2008

Here are some photos of members of the Rotary Club of Charleston working at Fraser Elementary School during the Sept. 11 Day of Caring:

Thanks to all who participated....It was a great day for the school and club.

September 6, 2008

"In South Carolina, Insurance is Becoming Assurance"

September 2nd, 2008: Having spent 3 terms in the state House of Representatives, a term in the Senate, and over 20 years in the world of insurance, Scott Richardson, is well qualified for the appointment our Governor made in 2007 as the Director of the State Department of Insurance.

Scott began his talk by noting that about 80% of all citizens think the same way on most issues. The recent hurricane watches brings potential damage and insurance claims to our attention. He believes his role is to keep "insurance" issues off the front page, but also be a facilitator of good insurance programs for the good of the citizenry. Right now, the Coastal Insurance Market is generally good and South Carolina has successfully placed insurance in a market driven position. It is important that the state set an environment in which the insurance industry is willing to work and invest. He notes auto insurance is currently in a very good position in our state. Over 100 industry leaders in insurance are selling in the state giving us a real competitive market.

Scott credits the legislature for the current market-driven rating plan. He notes that many companies will "cannibalize" each others ideas; we do not need to tear into them; they will compete furiously on their own.

The commercial insurance market [condos, hotels, etc.] is doing very well, with premium costs having fallen 60% in the past several years. Family housing markets are much slower to react to change. After Katrina, insurance costs rose severely. In Florida alone the big companies of Allstate and State Farm saw 45 years of profits disappear in 8 hours when the big storms hit that state. Here the premium for a $250,000 house in Greenville is about $650 annually, but in places like Hilton Head or Sullivan's Island it can be over $4500. These variations are of course due to the potential for major loss in a hurricane. Additionally, workman's compensation rates have been high but are down some. Few cases actually go to trial, but the "multi-million dollar" cases can drive premiums out of sight. South Carolina pays 1.8% of AMA guidelines in insurance settlements as compared with 1.3%, the country average.

Long term care is a huge problem and is being worked on. The premiums initially charged in recent years were dramatically under priced. People are living longer and medical costs are rising so it is hard to afford such insurance today. Health care is a major national concern, but the figure that 43,000,000 people are without health care is misleading. The actual figure is about 20,000,000 people being without insurance, still a huge amount. But even so, most of those people do get basic care from hospitals and public assistance, but the nation needs to deal with this issue. It is impossible for the states and the Federal government to afford to provide coverage for everyone at the "Cadillac" level of coverage, but basic coverage is feasible. The legislative process often does not come up with good solutions, but they must continue to vote and try to solve the problems.

Life insurance is a partnership between the person who pays for it and the beneficiary who will receive it. This is a special relationship. Caution should be observed to avoid having insurance companies sell large bundles of such policies to companies who have no relationship with the beneficiary as representation will diminish. In the future, proper regulation is the key to watching out for the public be it life insurance or credit card debt.

Finally, with the potential huge storms on the horizon, home owners must understand that damage caused when wind drives rain up under the eves of the roof and into the house, that IS NOT FLOOD DAMAGE. But he strongly urged that everyone who lives east of I-95 should have flood insurance. If a 15 foot storm surge along with 100 MPH winds comes into the Charleston harbor, a huge portion of the city will disappear.

Submitted by Fred Sales, Club Historian

August 29, 2008

"Senior Shield ... Dial 800-868-9095"

August 26th, 2008: Lt Governor Andre Bauer gave a stirring speech on South Carolina's task force to prevent senior citizen abuse.

In the past, "aging initiatives" were buried in the Agency for Human Health and Services. After realizing that SC has a growing population of senior citizens migrating from colder climates, each representing an average of one million dollars of assets and one hundred thousand dollars of annual income, SC established an agency to protect our senior citizens and placed it directly under the control of the Office of the Lt Governor.

Andre represents this group of senior citizens as the "Andy Griffith generation:" very trusting and an easy target for unscrupulous individuals. As such, in April 2008, the SC Legislature passed a resolution that empowers over 70 SC agencies, under the responsibility of the Lt Governor's office, to protect our senior citizens by:

1. Establish an educational campaign
- For every one reported incident, 15 don't call/report "the bad guys"

2. Establish a "Senior Shield" Program to:
- Pre-qualify vendors who market to Seniors
- Ensure the vendors are held to a higher standard
- Conduct background checks on vendors
- Make this information readily available to non-internet/computer savvy seniors

Lt Governor Bauer ended our meeting with a rousing Q&A session highlighting key "senior initiatives."

Submitted by Bill Crowe, Keyway Committee Chair

August 22, 2008

"Delivering Excellence"

August 19th, 2008: We were privileged to have our member, Dr. Nancy McGinley, provide an insightful look at the challenges she faces and the successes she's achieved. As Superintendent of the Charleston County School District, she leads 5,000 employees serving 42,000 students in 80 schools with 5 special programs in a radius of 100 miles. While we read and hear about the schools, students, teachers and the Board, the real story is the progress being made under Dr. McGinley's leadership.

Dr. McGinley opened her talk with a tongue & cheek comparison of the sport of surfing, being an avid enthusiast, and being Superintendent. She said that in both you must navigate through rough waters, not be afraid of sharks and sometimes get hit by a board. While this was a humorous way to look at challenges she faces, all were in awe of her challenges and successes she had achieved in a short time. This year the District had 450 new students after a 5 year decline. This comes from her approach; "stop planning for excellence and start expecting it."

Because she wakes up every day in awe of the power of education, she's focused on delivering real results for students, parents, community and those in the educational system. The District is moving further toward establishing community learning centers not just for children, but also for parents in order to make school a more integral part of the community. The Community Outreach Program, designed to get children into school, has been very successful using innovative techniques such as the First Day Festival and even getting 10 North Charleston police officers to identify school-age children and get them into school.

The District is continuing to focus on expansion of the enrichment of programs by adding foreign languages, arts, sports and other activities that make the school a more enriching experience. She is leading the District to expand more options that parents can select; including charter schools, magnet schools, partial magnet schools, neighborhood schools and career academies to better meet the needs of children.

While there were many accomplishments, including improvement in test scores and creating a better environment by an aggressive building program, the real key was Dr. McGinley's focus on the essential part of the learning experience. Her mantra "victory in the classroom" and stressing that everyone is there to support the teacher are two of the key reasons why significant improvements have been made and will continue to increase.

Submitted by Wayne Outlaw, Keyway Committee

August 15, 2008

"Education Humanizes the Heart"

August 12th, 2008: As Richard Dukes introduced James Smith, we knew we were in for a treat. Even as a member of the House Judicial Committee, he is the recipient of a Bronze Star and Combat Infantry Badge ... no small accomplishment in today's political environment. We've lost many politicians who also served in defense of our country as veterans in recent years.

James Smith truly believes in "service above self" as exemplified by his tour as a mentor to the Afghanistan police in Kabul Provence. When James and his nine-man team arrived in country, the Taliban were killing 200 to 300 individuals a month. His team deployed as a full spectrum counter-insurgency effort. Not only did they protect our interests, they built schools, churches, and facilitated an emerging democracy.

James stated, "the best security I saw was the people." I'm the father of four, they want the same things we want. The Afghan police we mentored made $70/month; when we left, they were making $120/month and we did our best to ensure their pay "didn't go to a corrupt boss." The Taliban is full of hate ... that's tough for folks in the US to understand. Once I got there, we didn't lose another policeman. But every one of the locals were dealing with bad men. We chose to deal with the kids. They are the hope and the future of Afghanistan. They love pictures and will always tell you the truth! "Education humanizes the heart and doesn't allow it to be cruel." Seeing a young girl in school is an incredible site ... something the Taliban would never allow. If there were a couple of million Rotarians there, we wouldn't have this problem.

Afghans are courageous. If they hear a gun shot, they head to the fight. But we had to deal with their culture and I convinced them to "not smoke marijuana while we were engaged and not shoot at anybody who didn't shoot at us first."

I'm proud to say I left an area less griped by fear and more ready to build infrastructure and tell the truth about the Taliban. I guarantee you, "if that place is safer, then our place is safer."

Reported by Bill Crowe, Keyway Committee Chair

August 8, 2008

Disasters That Shaped Charleston

August 5th, 2008: Dr. Nic Butler, Special Collections Manager for the Charleston County Library, was asked to speak to our club on disasters that changed Charleston. But during his introduction, he said he had tweaked the topic just a little as the natural disasters that have affected this city numerous times over several centuries didn't necessarily change the city, but more often, defined and shaped the resilience Charlestonians have shown time and time again.

As most native Charlestonians know, our city is in a place where hurricanes, tornadoes and even earthquakes are a possibility. Throughout its history, we've had many disasters strike our city. We've had numerous hurricanes, but 21 major hurricanes have had a significant impact on us. The first recorded storm and one of the most notable was the hurricane of August 1686. There were no papers back then so there are no photographs, but history tells us that the Spanish were on their way from St. Augustine to Charleston to reclaim it from the British. They went through Edisto and burned several plantations, kidnapped and killed the Governor 's brother and were closing in on Charleston when one of their 3 ships sank because of the approaching hurricane. The remaining two ships decided to turn around and go back to St. Augustine, thus saving Charleston. Many believe that storm prevented the area from being eradicated.
The Hurricane of 1686 illustrates how a storm may have saved us, but doesn't speak to the resilience of the city and all those that inhabit it. Many disasters followed: There have been eight major fires including the fire of 1838 that burned 1,000 homes in Ansborough. There have been 4 earthquakes and several tornadoes that have caused the city major damage. However, whether we received help from the state of South Carolina, cities like Philadelphia lending us money or the city providing loans and work vouchers for its citizen, we prevailed and are a better city because of it.

There are lessons to learn from our past, and certainly things we still need to learn. Always be prepared, build a plan for the worst case scenario, establish relief networks to help in a crisis and most importantly, prepare for the inevitable. We are a coastal city on a fault line and odds are, we are vulnerable and will likely face a disaster again. When it does happen, we'll do what we've always done, rise to the occasion and start again.

Reported by Darby Siegel, Keyway Committee

August 3, 2008

"A New Age for Energy in South Carolina"

July 29th, 2008: Lonnie Carter was introduced by Dr. Earl Walker as an extremely accomplished professional who is best known for his "plain spokeness" but is treated as a "rock star" wherever he goes. Mr. Carter took the podium with the comment, "I'm not a rock star, but I am a big fan of Rotary International." We were treated to an enlightening talk on the background of Santee Cooper. It has grown from a sleepy little business in 1982 to the largest producer of electricity, 5700 mega-watts, in South Carolina ... a company that supports over half the State's population through 20 electrical co-ops with low cost reliable power it in an environmentally responsible way.

Lonnie emphasized the decisions our leaders are now making relative to energy are critical to our economy, ability to compete globally, quality of life, and economic security. He confirmed our State is growing faster than most, 8th last year. That is extremely positive and extremely challenging at the same time. Our base level requirement for energy by 2020 will be 1,100 meg-watts. Though that's 11 years and 5 months from now Lonnie said we must be planning now to meet that challenge. We're currently making great strides in conservation management of energy through demand-side management; that won't be enough. To meet this challenge, we'll need a combination of:
- Conservation
- Energy Efficiency (1.6 million CFL light bulbs we give away)
- Renewable Power (Wind & Solar Projects)
- Base-load Power Generation (Coal & Nuclear)

Mr. Carter explained the challenges to these endeavors: "not everyone wants wind towers on our beaches or solar panels on our homes." We can't get people to pick up the CFL light bulbs or use our free energy audits at Lonnie emphasized that re-starting the nuclear project will be difficult and costly: $10 billion ... it's been dead for 3 decades.
Concerning the topic of coal fire, he was passionate in stating we've reduced mercury by 95%, particulates by 99%, sulfur-dioxides by 98%. He also challenged the audience to get the truth on mercury at "Less than 1% of all mercury is produced by the energy industry."

The Q&A session was lively; in a nutshell: "the world is run off energy, everyone wants our standard of living. To protect our future, we need a viable national energy policy."

Reported by Bill Crowe, Keyway Committee Chair

July 24, 2008

"Attorney General McMaster on Ordinary Citizens Fighting Crime"

July 22th, 2008: Attorney General Henry McMaster delivered a message to our club that was right in line with the four way test: as citizens we must actively fight crime. Mr. McMaster's theme took him from dog fighting, to criminal domestic violence, to parole for violent criminals, to internet predators. His message was right on target with the news of today. Law enforcement in our state cannot do it all alone, and they need our help by way of a watchful eye, a willingness to report suspicious activity, and a helping hand from local citizens.

One crime that has gained recent national attention is the very gruesome, dog fighting. The movement to stop this vicious and cruel activity was been led in part by local animal welfare societies who have been backing rewards for information leading to the arrests and convictions of dog fighters. Again, the Attorney General underlined the need for citizens to report suspicious activity related to the keeping of dogs.

Another sub-set of crimes that has gained attention is internet based sexual perversion and fraud. McMaster eloquently explained that it is "raining perverts" out there and we have to be attuned to what our children are doing on the internet. Again, it is a priority of law enforcement to trap these predators but they cannot do it alone, and will probably never be able to find them all. It is essential for citizens to report suspicious behavior and monitor their own families.

Mr. McMaster also discussed criminal domestic violence, which is not a new crime, but which has become more of a public issue in modern times. He encouraged the attorneys in the club to be trained in order to be deputized special prosecutors in magistrates court for criminal domestic violence cases. Often times only the arresting officers are present to prosecute these cases, but there is a defense attorney on the other side. We need more attorneys working to convict the CDV offenders, and encourage the victims to come to court and testify. He also discussed abolishing the parole system in the state and instituting a new system for non-violent offenders. We thank the Attorney General for giving his time and visiting our club.

Reported by Jackie Grau, Keyway Committee.

July 19, 2008


July 15th, 2008: Today, Darla Moore shared her passion not only for South Carolina and its people, but also for two projects she has underwritten that are designed to improve the quality of life in the Lowcountry and State.

A native South Carolinian, born in Lake City, she found legendary success in the world of high finance and now focuses her time and passion here at home. Unlike many South Carolinians who must leave the state to find career and financial success, she returned home to use her experience and resources to make this a better place to live and work.

Many know of her high profile contributions and philanthropy such as the Darla Moore School of Business at USC. She has provided other very important contributions, such as Clemson's Eugene T. Moore School of Education named for her father. Today, we had the opportunity to have her share her vision of the Palmetto Institute and of Park Angels of Charleston.

According to Moore, the Institute's initial assessment was blunt, to the point and underscored its significant need. It stated that South Carolina could not compete effectively in today's global economy unless it made significant improvements in the mix of industry and the quality of our economic foundations. To compete, we must have a smart, well-trained workforce. She, as proof of the need to upgrade our workforce skills, cited BMW, which had to "trash" the first 800 vehicles produced by South Carolina workers due to the need to demonstrate quality control.

Aiding in the improvement of our workforce will be four technical colleges presided over by women who are Institute partners in a program entitled, "Achieving the Dream." Strong support by the State's research universities is also key. Moore stated "robust economic activity follows smart people." As economic clusters grow, so does economic opportunity.

In addition to smart people, to be successful we must have and support a government that will invest in our economic foundations while keeping tax rates low enough to encourage growth. It's very important to have an overall, rather than a piecemeal tax approach. The Institute provides in-depth research and analysis to advise the public and policymakers of the need for an unbiased, strategic tax approach that will produce real long-term economic benefit.

Life is about more than just business. One day while walking, Darla and her husband, Richard Rainwater, came up with an idea to help preserve Charleston's unique beauty and value. The Charleston Parks Conservatory is a new nonprofit organization, working with public and private partners to elevate our parks to the level preservation and appreciation that we already give our landmarks and buildings.

South Carolina and Charleston are extremely lucky and blessed to have Darla Moore as a returning native who not only returned home, but also gives back with passion and dedication.

Reported by Wayne Outlaw, Keyway Committee.

July 11, 2008

"We're a leader in providing diverse & innovative educational programs"

July 8th, 2008: Our own Colleen Condon was "gracefully" interrupted by President Mary Thornley during her introduction. Dr. Thornley stated, "I know how this works and I was instructed by my mentor, General Grimsley, to leave at you best before they tell you "you best leave now."

Ms. Thornley did a wonderful job of walking our club through a small portion of the vast opportunities offered by Trident Tech. She highlighted the newest campus extension: St. Paul's Parrish that specializes in welding, reinforcing the college's overall goal of providing training to the poorest parts of Charleston County [those who have the least amount of money for gas to travel to jobs away from their homes] and ensure local employers use local talent. Trident recently teamed with Dorchester County and the federal Department of Commerce and received a $1.3 million grant to expand vocational opportunities. Their Aeronautical studies training is one for all to boast. Supporting the first airplane made of carbon fiber (25%), Trident trains the pipeline for over 600 employees who posses the highest level of technicial training supporting Boeing's 787 Dreamliner. Tident started the program from scratch and now supports a center for accelerated start-up (CAT) that is the finest in the United States.

For the sake of time management, Dr. Thornley chose to highlight 2 more of the 12 academic divisions at TTC:

- Culinary Institute of Charleston: over 77,000 square feet of state-of-the-art training including a beverage operations laboratory.

- Nursing: TTC's greatest "brick and mortar need." Trident is SC's largest producer of nurses since 1985. "We produce 500 a year and have a need for 1075."

Reported by Bill Crowe, Keyway Committee Chair

June 26, 2008

"Presidential/Board Transition Meeting"

June 24th, 2008: And so a new year begins. Before President Andy's tenure began, President Jermaine gave a rousing speech and shared with our club some great memories, lessons learned, and some of the wonderful charitable endeavors he was able to participate and lead our club in as President. Thank you Jermaine for a job well done and another successful year for our club.

After induction, President Andy's first order of business was to recognize Jermaine for all the hard work he had done. Second, he recognized the new board members that will guide us through what we know will be an interesting, exciting, and successful 2008-2009 year. As all incoming Rotary presidents do, Andy attended a Rotary conference in Los Angeles, California. He attended meetings and met Rotarians from all over the world. While there, it fueled some great ideas to implement and goals for our club to achieve this year.

First, there is no doubt our club is a big supporter of local charities. But, Andy is excited about identifying an international project that we can support. Rotary is able to do so much nationally and internationally and both are equally important.

One of the many great things about our club is the quality of our programs. "Every week I learn something" says Andy and it's his goal to make sure that each and every week we have a program that is interesting and informative. Jennet Alterman has agreed to join him in continuing this effort. His other areas of focus are a successful wellness program, integrating new members so that they are involved right away and making sure that our big fundraising project is something we focus on and own. Just to give the money isn't enough, participating to make sure it's successful is also important.

It's been a wonderful year led by President Jermaine. With Andy now at the helm, we all can look forward to continued success heading our way.

Reported by Darby Siegel, Keyway Committee

June 22, 2008

Local Authors and Rotarians Raising Money for Fraser Elementary

June 17, 2008: Today, we hosted a book signing for six local authors as a fund raiser to benefit the children at Fraser Elementary School in downtown Charleston.

Dr. Charles Banov author of Office Upstairs
Dr. Banov is a Charleston native, who traveled the world lecturing on the subject of allergies. He is a fellow of many national and international medical societies. In his book Dr. Banov shares the drama, humor, and humanity of his years practicing medicine. When asked why he wrote the book Dr. Banov responded: "I was in Arizona teaching at a graduate program and one day I saw an African American woman walking alone who no one seemed to want to talk to. I struck up a conversation with her and after sharing about my life she said, 'you must write a book.' Later my wife asked 'do you know who that was; that was Oprah Winfrey'. Mr. Banov hopes he lived his life and practiced medicine in a way that, at the end of his time on earth, those who knew him will say Dr. Banov has moved his Office Upstairs!

Mrs. Joyce Coakley author of Sweetgrass Baskets
Joyce Coakley, author and historian, is Director of the College of Charleston's Upward Bound Program and president and cofounder of Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Preservation Society and the owner of Sweetgrass Baskets by Design. The author is from Mt. Pleasant and considers her book the result of a "30 year research project". Growing up, Mrs. Coakley cared for the aged while their families attended church and other community events; she used this time to ask her elders to tell her of the rich past of the Lowcountry including stories of ghosts, h'aints, and the local Gullah traditions, she also recorder the stories of her grandmother, the medicine woman, and the "flower ladies" who came into existence in 1911. The book was originally written to accompany the beautiful sweet grass baskets hand-woven in Charleston to educate all of their history and significance.

Ms. Tressy Magwood Mellichamp and Ms. Lily Herndon Weaks co-authors of East Cooper, A Maritime Heritage
These two ladies combines Tressy's expertise as a 4th generation Shem Creek shrimping family, with Lily's research and writing skills to co-author "East Cooper, A Maritime Heritage". The book is meant to educate on the rich history East of the Cooper that is often overshadowed by Charleston. It is Tressy and Lily's hope that the book will preserve the maritime history that has been an integral part of life on the coast for over 200 years.

Tripp Wiles author of Forgotten Raiders of '42
Mr. Wiles has served in the armed forces and as a civilian for the US Army with the Central Identification Lab in Hawaii and the Defense POW office in Virginia. Mr. Wiles first task was to research nine marine raiders who died in the pacific and determine where they were executed. While working on the project the author uncovered new information and realized that only one side of the story was being told. Tripp Wiles wrote "Forgotten Raider's of 42" to educate the people on both sides of the story, the ensuing investigation and honor the men who died in the raid.

Mr. Jack McCray author of Charleston Jazz
Mr. McCrary has a long rich history with his beloved art, Jazz Music. Jack McCray was a reporter with the Post and Courier for over 30 years and is "the lead researcher and co-founder of the Charleston Jazz Initiative". Mr. McCrary spent the last three decades on a journey of self discovery and wanted to share with fellow Charlestonians and jazz lovers around the world the largely unknown jazz history of the Lowcountry. Mr. McCray states that often times the jazz history associated with Charleston is over shadowed by the thought that the music was originated in New Orleans. "What happened on the South Carolina coast rivaled what was happening in New Orleans, Tennessee, and all over the South East". The author's goal in "Charleston Jazz" was to educate and entertain his reader, while preserving the roots of Jazz in Charleston.

Submitted by Elizabeth Wooten Burwell, Keyway Committee

June 12, 2008

"The Rising Cost of Energy in South Carolina"

June 10th, 2008: The Director of the South Carolina Energy Office, John Clark, gave a fact-filled and optimistic presentation last week. Mr. Clark is a native of our state, having grown up in Kingstree and then attending college and earning a PhD. The subject of his presentation was of utmost relevance to us all: the rising cost of energy in SC. There are no conventional energy resources in the state, such as coal, oil, natural gas, or uranium. Higher demand is forcing us to look for cleaner and alternative sources. South Carolina ranks 15th in the nation for energy consumption per capita, 5th for electricity usage, and 13th for gasoline usage. The good news is that our kilowatt hour charge is comparatively on the low side: an average of 7 cents. However, the demand in the state is still very high. We also use a lot of coal for electricity. The down side to coal is that it is associated with mercury, sulfur dioxide, other particulates and it can require high water usage.

With alarm bells sounded, South Carolina is looking for alternatives to non-renewable energy sources. One alternative to coal is the already popular nuclear energy. Nuclear energy generally produces low emissions, but it requires a lot of water, can be expensive, and there are unresolved waste disposal issues. As many as four new nuclear power plants are in the works to be opened by 2020. Some other renewable energy ideas are wood wastes, landfill gases, and animal and human waste. There has been talk about using wind power, however Mr. Clark notes that it is a better idea for West of the Mississippi. However, the idea may work off shore in South Carolina.

There is a lot of excitement over plug-in vehicles, bio-diesel and ethanol. The pressure to perfect this idea grows as it becomes more apparent that the vast majority of oil resources are held in the Middle-East, Russia, Venezuela, and several other nations. Ideally, we would switch to hybrid vehicles that run on a mix of battery power and fuel. The batteries would be charged by electricity. Hypothetically such a system could reduce our energy cost to 63 cents per gallon (based on a price of $3.75 per gallon for gasoline). Plug-in vehicles are one of the most exciting ideas. However, Mr. Clark notes, with honesty, that there is no instant or easy panacea for the energy crises we are facing.

Reported by Jackie Grau, Keyway Committee

June 6, 2008

"Charleston Coroner's Race"

Today, we had the privilege of having the three candidates for the Charleston County Coroner's office speak to us and share their ideas and strategies for the office. Rae Wooten and Bubba Dunlap will face-off in the June 10th primary to determine who will be the Republican candidate in the November election. Henry Middleton, unopposed in the primary, will be the Democratic candidate in the November election, also shared his ideas.

Based on their comments, it was clear that each candidate brings a wealth of experience with their unique perspectives and desires to not just determine the manner and cause of death, but to also serve the families of victims.

Bubba Dunlap, who is challenging the incumbent Ray Wooten, led off and shared his experience, as well as, his desire to serve as the Coroner. His experience began with the fire department and includes EMS District Supervisor and Deputy Coroner for Charleston County. He has a degree in Criminal Justice and is a Registered Nurse working in the East Cooper Emergency Room. His experience helps him provide compassionate support and demonstrates his commitment to public service.

Rae Wooten is the current Charleston County Coroner and joined the office in 1995. She is also a Registered Nurse and was appointed Coroner in 1996 by the Governor to fill Susan Chewning's unexpired term. Rae is heavily involved in Master Disaster Planning on a regional basis and currently manages $1 million budget, but she says it's much more than dollars and even creating ways to get more value from each dollar, it's about providing the compassion and support to families of victims at this very difficult time.

Henry Middleton grew up in Berkeley County, received a degree in Biology from Morris College and has been involved in various aspects of criminal investigations. He spent 19 years with Charleston County Medical Examiner's Office and was Deputy Coroner from 1996 to 1997. He is currently a Crime Scene Technician and has seen death through the eyes of a Coroner, as well as, the police department. He strongly believes in a team approach utilizing Police and first responders to assist the Coroners office to gather more, accurate information beginning at the crime scene itself.

We were very fortunate to have the opportunity to hear from these talented, dedicated Public Servants.

Reported by Wayne Outlaw Keyway Committee

June 1, 2008

"Educating All Children, at All Costs ..."

May 27th, 2008: Our Rotary Club honors our Teachers of the Year:

"Charleston County Names Gwendolyn Benton as its Teacher of the Year!"
Teachers of the Year of the Charleston County School District (CCSD) are selected annually from among approximately 3,500 teachers. Each school names and honors its own Teacher of the Year. Nominees at the school level are given the opportunity to compete in the District level competition. Forty-four teachers competed in the District level competition this year.

Ms. Benton, who has been teaching for almost 40 years, took top honors at the announcement ceremony. "This one-of-a-kind teacher," credited for never giving up on anything, said "It is one of the greatest honors in my entire life." "Ms. Benton, the honor is all ours!"

"We thank you for your tireless service. We are inspired by the imprint you've left on students at Morningside Middle School-they adore you. We are privileged to learn from the way you teach while also serving the community, creating scholarship programs, and so Ms. Benton, I thank you for personifying our standard of excellence. And to all of our educators, please know how much I appreciate your hard work, ingenuity, and commitment to making the future bright for every student in our county. Everywhere I go, I see excellence being achieved across the county, and it's a tribute to all of you, our parents and partners." Dr. McGinley

Reported by Bill Crowe, Keyway Chairperson

May 23, 2008


May 20th, 2008: Two well qualified attorneys, each of whom wishes to become the county solicitor, shared their backgrounds and goals with our assembled Rotary.

Blair Jennings, who grew up in Mt. Pleasant, is a graduate of the USC School of Law and has worked in prosecuting work since graduation, with 12 years in the Berkeley County office. During that time, he prosecuted 60 murder cases including one in which the death penalty was imposed. His goal is to work in close cooperation with the sheriff's office and other municipalities to attain convictions. He is committed to dealing with the many problems of illegal immigrants. He is further committed to major change in the parole system which currently permits all too many of those convicted to return to the streets again and again, continually breaking the law.

Scarlett Wilson grew up in Hemingway and graduated from the USC School of Law. She immediately went into prosecution work gaining over 15 years experience, including 6 1/2 years as a Federal prosecutor. Her goal is to continue the work of the former solicitor who died while in office with an emphasis on stopping the "revolving door" in which persons are arrested, bonded, are re-arrested and bonded, on and on. She has worked to support alternative measures to jailing non-violent persons; those with addiction problems should be given help to get the addiction under control. These programs have been successful. She believes the intervention programs she implemented in Berkeley County to assist juvenile in rehabilitation are 92% successful.

Both candidates stressed the solicitor must be a person with experience and the ongoing work should rise above politics and deal directly with the needs and concerns facing the office of the solicitor.

Reported by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee

May 16, 2008


May 13th, 2008: Each year, our club gives scholarship money to exceptional students in our community that excel in academics and participate in extra-curricular activities, sports, volunteer endeavors and other community activities.

All students are thoroughly and fairly evaluated by our education committee and 4 scholarships are awarded to deserving students.

At Tuesday's meeting, we had the privilege of meeting this year's top four students who were accompanied by their parents and special guests that have supported them through their high school career.

This year's top winner was Charity Chisolm. Charity is a student at Burke High School and will receive a scholarship for $3,000. Each receiving a $1,000 scholarship were Sophie Clark from Ashley Hall, Sara Brinson from First Baptist and Abigail Droge from Porter-Gaud.

We are so proud of the winners and know we will see great things from each of them in the future.

Submitted by Darby Hand, Keyway Committee

May 9, 2008

"Clemson University - International Center for Automotive Research"

May 6, 2008: In 2004 Bob Geolas joined the team at Clemson University-International Center for Automotive Research, better known as CU-ICAR, as the Executive Director. At that time the facility was no more than 250 acres of land waiting to be developed into a world class research and development site for automotive manufactures from all over the globe! The vision of CU-ICAR is "to be the premier automotive and motor-sports research and educational facility in the world."

Bob recognizes the vision statement is bold and he's committed to bringing it to fruition. The impact of CU-ICAR for the state of South Carolina and the whole southeastern region of the United States is massive. Bob and his team believe we must build a state of the art research and development facility to maintain automotive manufactures and attract new ones. His goal is to work with local chambers all over the state to provide value to companies that are considering bringing their operations to South Carolina.

To ensure this goal becomes a reality, Bob has spent the last four years primarily focused on the physical development of the CU-ICAR campus. At the time of completion the facility will consist of five "technology neighborhoods" and be the ideal mix of the "traditional living research park and the new generation research park." CU-ICAR will be the "next generation in research parks, the common denominator linking industry and university". The facility will link university and business to promote constant interaction, will be program driven versus real estate driven and the staff will be composed of economic professionals.

Today a portion of the campus is already complete and is, in fact, a "Research Campus" not a traditional research park. CU-ICAR embraces campus culture, campus programs drive development, the environment is diverse, the design promotes interaction and relationships are key! Companies like Timken and BMW are already on site at the CU-ICAR campus and share that the excitement and facilities have made hiring the best employees easier.

The buildings at CU-CAR are no less than the best themselves, all being constructed at "gold level standard" both in design and environmental impact. The facility is the first of its kind to house all laboratories on one floor, and the class rooms and technology are state of the art. In Bob Geolas' words: "It will be a showplace that will attract people from around the world, becoming a model for engineering advances as well as economic development. We're talking about a place that will push the forefront of technology opportunities for our faculty and our students. It's a great reflection of the talents and skills at Clemson as well as Greenville". CU-ICAR will also be available for community events and university events.

Submitted by Elizabeth Wooten Burwell, Keyway Committee

May 5, 2008

"Charleston's Piccolo Spoleto Festival at 30"

April 29, 2008: Many of us look forward to the Spoleto and Piccolo Spoleto festivals as the unofficial signs of Springtime in Charleston. Our club's very own Ellen Dressler Moryl, filled to the brim with love for the arts, spoke to our club last week about these festivals.

Jennet Alterman introduced Ellen Dressler Moryl, reminding us how lucky we are to have both women in our club. Ms. Dressler Moryl recounted to us firsthand the history of Piccolo Spoleto, which came about after local artists voiced their desire, and with much work and dedication for the cause. Piccolo happens at the same time as Spoleto Festival, but is geared towards showcasing local artists. Piccolo is celebrating its 30th year of "bringing the arts to the people!" The performance venues for Piccolo are as varied as the types of art and artists in the festival: from under the "Angel oak" to inside churches or temples, to at the beach or at Mepkin Abbey! Ms. Dressler Moryl said that roughly 1/2 of Piccolo's events are free, including the opening performance. While noting that many of Piccolo's events are easily accessible to the general public, she also noted that the festival, along with Spoleto, has a very positive impact on the local economy.

Ms. Dressler Moryl is living in Charleston for the second time in her life, after having worked for the Office of Cultural Affairs in the late 1970's and early 80's, and then moving back to her former home of Portland, Oregon. She then came back to Charleston, where she again brings her talent to that Office. She is married to composer, Richard Moryl. Ms. Dressler Moryl's presentation was peppered with a taste of what Piccolo is about. Before our meeting began, another of our own Rotarians, John Tecklenburg, delighted us with a selection from his jazz band.

Violinist Yuriy Bekker performed for us with pianist Irina Pevzner, giving a preview of "Israel at 60." Leah Suarez then sang for us some Cuban inspired music, with Nathan Koci on the piano. We thank all of the artists, and Ellen Dressler Moryl , for joining us and sharing their talents.

Reported by Jackie Grau, Keyway Committee

April 25, 2008

"US Health Care - Do We Need a Revolution?"

April 22nd, 2008: Dr. Nancy Nielson, micro-biologist and President-elect of the American Medical Association (AMA), gave a dynamic yet personal presentation at the Rotary Club of Charleston today. Starting with the problem she noted only 60% of U.S. employers offer health insurance; the decline to this level is due to the current cost of health insurance. Why then is American health care based upon an employer based system? Basically, there were two factors: first, the shift of women into the work force during WWII. The health care incentive was needed to get them to leave their homes. In addition, wages were frozen during that war so the employers devised the notion of adding health benefits in lieu of wages to further entice the labor force. Secondly, a ruling by the IRS that health benefits could be excluded from taxable income.

Currently 1 out of every 7 persons in America is uninsured and these workers are from all levels of the economy. Currently, each of the presidential candidates has "an answer" to this problem. The AMA, however, takes a very different position. They are not in favor of a single-payer system currently in place in Canada and Great Britain, though there are things to be learned from both systems. The AMA supports individually owned, affordable health insurance, not tied to ones current employer, though the employer could make the payments on behalf of the insured as a payroll deduction. There are thousands of cases of persons transferring from one job to another who, despite the assurance of a right to transfer, find themselves without insurance for periods of time. Many are then caught with so called "pre-existing conditions" when they do get accepted into a new plan and in every case they are totally at the mercy of the particular specifics of coverage or non-coverage that the employer has elected to buy for them in a group manner. 88% of those employers who do offer health insurance offer just one system. The answer is to get away from employer-systems and into one in which YOU own your own plan, and can build it to fit your needs. A typical husband and wife today are paying at least $765 per month for one person, and over $1300 for two; they could easily spend an additional $18,000 over six months.

In a call to action, Dr. Nielson noted things which must take place: 1. In terms of a revolution: we must stop finger-pointing at the current health insurers and meet together to solve the problem. No more hand-wringing; we need solutions. 2. We must invest more in preventative health care which will save more in the long run. 3. We must do studies of the comparative value of various medicines and processes. Such comparative research is regularly done in Europe, but not here. 4. We are spending 15% of our GNP on health care and this is way too high. 5. Each and every individual must invest in the plan together for only if all are involved will the cost become affordable; everyone must be in the risk pool. 6. Change the tax law from eliminating tax on health insurance to one in which a tax credit is given. The current plan, from a tax standpoint, helps the more affluent citizen, but does little to help the lower income person. In questioning from the floor she responded:

Why is the cost so high?
Costs are out of control. A couple turning 65 today and participating in Medicare will still pay out an additional $225,000 for health care in their lifetimes. While some years ago many people could pay the bills, today the costs are being driven by the health providers. We have many, many more medicines available to day that are very expensive [the U.S pharmaceutical companies fund almost 100% of the world-wide research costs]. We have many, many more diagnostic tools today that are regularly used.

How do you get persons, particularly those young and healthy, to buy into an insurance plan?
We must make everyone realize while they can perhaps fund the little things it is virtually impossible to fund a major illness, let alone the cost of a single emergency room visit.

How do we get a divided Congress to create a solution even with all candidates making medical proposals?
We elect the Congress and each of us must make it clear to those for whom we vote that we expect them to act, and we need to find out before we vote that it is the intent of the person in Congress to fix the problem; the problem is far too big to be handled by business alone. "More people are in bankruptcy today due to medical costs than for any other reason."

Reported by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee

April 18, 2008

"Rediscovering the Fundamentals of Business"

April 15, 2008: Many businesses find themselves sharpening their pencils and trying to figure out how to keep things going. Al Katz visited our club to offer us advice and to remind us all of the basics of business. Katz, a native of Greenville, SC, graduated with honors from The Citadel and earned his MBA from Georgia Tech. He began his career at a publicly held retail specialty organization eventually becoming President and COO. Since then, he has been serving as a "Personal and Business Coach" working with organizations as founder and Managing Partner of The Next Level, LLC.

Katz began his presentation talking about Tiger Woods. Woods is the best golf player in the world. Yet, he always talks about working on his golf fundamentals. He's achieved massive success, but continues to work on the basics. It's a great metaphor for business, no matter how much success you achieve, in order to continue being successful, you must always work on the fundamentals. Katz introduced "The Process" which can be easily implemented into any business.

First, "The Life Cycle". There is nothing that doesn't have a life cycle. What's most important about staying in business for the long term is recognizing this and incorporating innovation and change when needed. Second, "Issues". More than half the issues that companies deal with are not business issues, they are people issues. Ninety percent of people issues are attributed to communication issues. Make sure your message is being communicated effectively. Third, "Putting Out the Fires". Most businesses spend the majority of their time being reactive rather than proactive. More communication and future planning equals less fires. Fourth, "The Process". Know your employees and what their goals are. If someone is professionally challenged and feels valued, they will work hard. Fifth, "The Heart of the Matter". Spend time to create an overall plan and specifically define expectations and make people accountable. Finally, "Managing, Measuring and Monitoring". Meet often. Daily huddles, weekly tactical meetings, monthly strategic meetings and yearly off-site strategic meetings. Keep the lines of communication open. For more information, go to Katz's website,

Submitted by Darby Hand, Key Way Committee

April 11, 2008

"Inspiring Community Voices"

April 8, 2008: For Nigel Redden, managing director of Piccolo Spoleto, the closing last year of the Garden Theater on King St. was a wake-up call for those who arrange concerts and community activities: the city was running out of performance space. A solution came in a major capital improvement and development program to upgrade Dock Street Theater and the Memminger Auditorium.

Dock Street was found to have deteriorated severely, some damage due to past remodeling that did not properly consider the safety of the building. Walls were ready to cave in at the time of any earthquake or hurricane, the HVAC system was worn out, plumbing gone and many problems with respect to handicapped people.

Memminger has been empty since Hugo; the school board, who owned it, could not themselves justify the cost for an auditorium serving a small school. It, too, needed virtually everything. Thus was born the Inspiring Community Voices campaign, co chaired by John and Norma Palms. The project requires a 25 million dollar investment. The city pledged over 8 million, FEMA has helped as the spaces can be used in emergency. 6 million in repairs and 3 million in endowment to run the auditorium's programs in the future will go to Memminger. Upgrades will include a garden, storage building, totally flexible new theater unlike anything currently in greater Charleston and an elevator. The reworked building is scheduled to reopen the end of May.

The work at Dock Street is even more extensive given its size and age. John Palms was recruited to find the way to raise the needed money for the combined project. Many people from current students to those who used and performed in both locations in the past have been inspired to work on the project. Donors are being sought to name chairs, boxes, gardens, dressing rooms and more for both facilities. Dock Street is scheduled to reopen in 2010. To learn how to help contact

Reported by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee

April 4, 2008

"A New Meaning to Retirement ... S.C. Grown & Made!"

April 1st, 2008: In 2000, Jim and Ann Irvin married and settled into what they thought would be "retired" life out on John's Island. Jim, a builder, and Ann, a retired teacher, thought fishing, gardening and other activities would keep them happily entertained for the rest of their life. Fortunately, for Charleston locals and the thriving tourist industry, that wasn't the case. After a few months, they discussed ideas of things they could do together and came up with several before deciding to open Irvin-House Vineyards, located on Wadmalaw Island. They now own and operate Charleston's only vineyard, thus giving locals something fun to do and adding one more thing to an already long list of reasons why people like to visit the Lowcountry.

Once they made their decision to open a winery, their work was more than cut out for them. First, and most importantly, how do you make wine? They did their homework and went to Clemson, UGA and other places on the east coast and learned about grapes and wine making. What kind of grapes should they use? That was an easy one, use grapes that grow here. The only grape that can be grown in South Carolina is the muscadine grape. It is sweet and juicy and usually associated with a very sweet wine. The Irvin's set about taking a locally grown product and tweaking it to appeal to the masses. They purchased farm land, converted existing farmhouses into the winery and planted their first grapevine in 2001. After a much shorter growth period than originally anticipated, Irvin-House Vineyards began distributing their wine in 2003.

The winery is now fully operational and produces 5 brands of wine. In the beginning, they were producing 2,000 cases of wine and this year expect to produce 5-6,000 cases of wine. The Irvin's, never ones to settle on just one thing, have now started producing Firefly Vodka (a mixture of Irvin Wine and Vodka) and continue to move into other arenas. The winery is open Thursday- Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and there are free wine tours conducted by John every Saturday. Visit their website at; they what everyone to learn about SC "grown & made."

Submitted by Darby Hand, Keyway Committee

March 27, 2008

"Gentleman Start Your Engines"

March 25th, 2008: On February 2, 1908 six of the most innovative automobiles of the time set out to complete the most difficult auto race ever. Three French teams, and one team each from Germany, Italy, and the United States would attempt to drive around the world, leaving Central Park in New York City destined for Paris, France. The United States took 1st Place arriving in Paris on July 30, 1908. In just less than six months, the US team made completing The Great Race a reality and created a legacy that would thrill auto enthusiast for years to come.

In 1996, The Great Race created the X Cup Division, a program created to allow young adults (ages 13 to 23), who are in school an opportunity to race a car across the country. Seeing a need to inspire and mentor our youth Dennis Barfield, Jack Crabtree and James Boggs formed the Charleston Area Youth Racers (CAYR) on January 14, 2006. CAYR is a 501 (c) non-profit that has a multi-faceted mission: the group strives to "train and teach teenagers the art of rebuilding antique/classic cars, to navigate the Great Race across the country, and the importance of team work, patience, self- reliance, and responsibility". The founders of CAYR are certain that local teens will learn "the importance of preparation and honesty, and how to accept defeat, and relish in victory". Additionally, the teams learn "how to share, how to compete, how to laugh at their own mistakes and forget the mistakes of others". All monies raised by the CAYR are used to fund fuel, a chase car, and motel stays while on the road.

In May of 2008 The Spirit of America team, owned by Dennis Barfield, Jack Crabtree and James Boggs, will participate in the Great Race 2008 from New York to Paris. In their words The Great Race 2008 "is an unparalleled marketing platform that will visit many countries and be witnessed by 350 million people". Upon their return, the men will begin building a new teenage team to race cross country in 2009, to create more "winners" for their motto is " To Finish is to Win"!

Submitted by Elizabeth Wooten, Keyway Committee

March 24, 2008

"A Positive Transformation"

March 18th, 2008: Metanoia translates from the Greek for, "positive transformation." The premise behind the Metanoia Community Development Corporation is that focusing on the assets of a community will make it shine. Reverend Bill Stanfield brought his energy to our meeting to share information about Metanoia, which is obviously his passion. The Reverend's belief is that tending to the flaws of a typically "needy" community is the wrong approach. The supporters of Metanoia recognize the positives, and not the negatives, of their host community of Chicora/Cherokee in North Charleston.

Indeed, Metanoia's approach seems to be working. The leaders focus their efforts on the positive energy of the youth, and have involved parents and residents. There is solid reasoning behind Metanoia's and Reverend Stanfield's actions, though they are unconventional to many other "charitable" organizations. In addition to his natural belief in the goodness of people, Reverend Stanfield relies on a theory spurred on by two men from Northwestern. Their study helped to point out that communities with the most "needs" actually benefit from being recognized for their strengths and not their weaknesses. Metanoia is completely dedicated towards recognizing the positive. The group has a strong religious influence and flavor. Children are taught to be "youth leaders" and chant a youth affirmation when they meet.

Metanoia was envisioned in 2002 started by the Southern Baptist Foundation. Today it thrives with help from the gifts and support of individuals and local government. Elizabeth Proutt, one of the supporters of Metanoia, and a Rotarian, introduced our guest, Reverend Bill Stanfield. We were also pleased to host staff members of Metanoia, Anthony Joyner, AJ Davis, and board member Gail Blair who supported and surprised Reverend Stanfield by coming to the meeting.

Reported by Jackie Grau, Keyway Committee

March 14, 2008

"Automated Trading Desk -- Charleston Success Story"

March 11th, 2008: Arpan Kotecha, team leader of the predictive technologies team responsible for the pricing engine technology that drives trading, shared his insights on how Automated Trading Desk was created. Arpan, originally from Tanzania, is a College of Charleston Alumni and started with the firm in 2004 in the competitive internship program.

Professor David Whitcomb, Steve Swanson and Jonathan Butler met through a mutual friend at the College of Charleston. They took an innovative concept, and with intelligence and hard work, created what people said could not be done. Beginning in 1988 the principals, along with the company's dedicated employees, taught computers to trade shares of stocks like humans, at unprecedented speed.

The company's unique "pricing engine" technology propelled the company from a small start-up to a success level that attracted the attention of the financial giant, Citigroup. Its innovation and brain power motivated a recent purchase due to its capability and ability to provide future value as the landscape of business continues to change dramatically.

While ATD has been very successful and extremely innovative, it hasn't been without its challenges. When stock trading in 2001 went to "decimalization" (going from trading the smaller increment in 1/8 of a dollar to a penny), the impact was dramatic and, without the innovation and drive of employees, would have been devastating. According to Arpan, the hiring of really smart people, most of which are hand picked from the College of Charleston, has allowed ATD to create systems that can develop a "price prediction" in as little as 30 seconds. ATD enables the prediction of very small changes in price extremely quickly and their clients make money by reacting to a penny, or even fraction of a cent, difference in stock price. The information and being able to extremely and accurately time the transaction are very valuable.

The company has three primary groups providing different functions. One of the most interesting groups is one that enables a customer to sell very large blocks of stock or even a smaller block of stock in a very thinly traded issue a little at the time without adversely affecting the price. Because of the high volume of stock traded each day and with some trades executed in as little as 100 mili-seconds, ATD's powerful technology has an extremely positive application as financial trade becomes more mechanized.

The 125 employees of ATD work in a positive, innovative climate to create models and systems that are at the cutting edge of financial service. The people, its culture, and its leadership create value for all concerned.

Reported by Wayne Outlaw, Keyway Committee