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