December 18, 2009

"Higher Education Officials Push Education Action Plan"

Dec. 8, 2009: For South Carolina to get out of the cellar on a number of generational problems - low education levels, poverty, high unemployment and more - its leaders need to make a sustained commitment to improving higher education according to two state leaders who spoke to the club today.

Dr. Garrison Walters, executive director of the state Commission on Higher Education, told members South Carolina was far behind in focusing on the growing knowledge economy. "We have a lack of public priority focus and a lack of public focus on higher education." he said. "Our state is far behind economically and we're not catching up." For example, per capital income and the state's rank in the number of people with bachelor's degrees is about the same in 2006 as it was in 1990. Additionally, South Carolina's public colleges and universities rank 15th out of 16 Southern states in the percent of their budgets that come from state sources. In the current state budget, funding was down $203 million from two years earlier to $555 million. Columbia attorney Ken Wingate, who chairs the Commission, said it has created an Action Plan to make higher education a public priority . Three goals include:

Raise education levels. About 22 percent of S.C. adults have at least a bachelor's degree. The goal is to have 30 percent by 2030 - a so-called 30-by-30 goal.

Increase research and innovation. By creating new pathways to learning and technology, the state will create more of a culture of discovery, which should increase personal income.

Improve workforce training and educational services. Such a goal would align educational programs with important state clusters and connect adults with higher education in more flexible ways.

Wingate said several of the priority recommendations would cost little or no money: Enacting "regulatory relief" to allow colleges and universities to cut red tape from hiring, procurement and facility enhancement; and creating a cost reduction committee to promote and share best practices among institutions. Other measure would cost more, particularly increasing state funding and borrowing through the state's bonding power. Instead of declining state support, colleges and universities "have got to find the political mettle to make higher education not only an add-on to the state budget but the key to economic prosperity."

If higher education can become a state priority, a study shows individuals will earn twice as much over their lifetimes, generate almost 45,000 permanent jobs. "If people don't believe education, including higher education, is important, we can't possibly make the progress we need."

Submitted by Andy Brack, Keyway Committee
"SC Wind Energy ~ Nobody Does It Better "

December 1, 2009: As the wind energy market emerges along the East Coast and turbines continue to grow in size and weight, South Carolina is strategically positioned to serve as an industrial hub for this evolving industry.

The next-generation wind turbines and drive trains will be tested by the Clemson University Restoration Institute in a move that is expected to create hundreds of jobs and place one of the most important sites for wind energy research and development in South Carolina. The effort has received a $45 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, combined with $53 million of matching funds, to build and operate a large-scale wind turbine drive train testing facility at the institute's research campus on the former Navy base. The announcement was just made by U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu. A drive train takes energy generated by a turbine's blades and increases the rotational speed to drive the electrical generator, similar to the transmission in a car. The award is the largest single grant ever received in the university's history and represents an enormous economic development opportunity for the region. Partners: the Charleston Naval Complex Redevelopment Authority; the South Carolina Department of Commerce; the State of South Carolina; South Carolina Public Railways; the South Carolina State Ports Authority; and private partners RENK AG, Tony Bakker and James Meadors.

The testing facility will be housed in Building 69, a former Navy warehouse adjacent to existing rail and ship-handling infrastructure, and will be capable of full-scale highly accelerated testing of advanced drive train systems for wind turbines in the 5 megawatt to 15 megawatt range. The building stands at 82,264 square feet on 6.3 acres. Planning and construction of the facility will begin in the 1st quarter of 2010 with an operational date of mid-2012. The Department of Energy estimates that SC could gain 10,000 to 20,000 new jobs related to the wind power industry during the next 20 years. In the short term, the Restoration Institute estimates the initiative will create at least 113 temporary jobs associated with construction of the facility and 21 full-time jobs. It also will generate 568 indirect jobs for a total of 852 jobs.

Submitted by Bill Crowe, Keyway Committee

December 2, 2009

Governor Mark Sanford

November 24, 2009: The Governor was introduced by Past President Amy Jenkins.

The Governor began by stating that he would be doing a virtual town hall meeting, specifically related to his thoughts and our thoughts about job creation and the economy, and to give one or two thoughts or words of wisdom on the states legislative agenda. (Having said this, the town hall meeting approach never really materialized). Following this, the Governor stated: "I apologize for letting you all down. I disappointed a lot of people." He then asked the question: "Where do we go from here?" He answered this question by saying that "it all depends on what we do next." He said that change occurs when the people make certain issues important, make them a priority, and keep talking about them. He noted that the next legislative session will run from January through June of 2010, only six months, then he will be leaving office.

The Governor said that there are three major issues that are on his mind and his agenda.

1. Restructuring, that is, taking the budget and making a Budget Control Board and converting it into an administrative board instead. He said that the Budget Control Board needs to be given the tools necessary to do their work effectively and then for the people to hold them accountable to their task. He asked: "Who's really in control, who holds the buck at the end of the day? There's a lack of accountability in our current system."

2. In the future, the Governor and Lt. Governor should run on the same ticket.
The Governor asked the question: "Could this be the year that we give back to the people who elect the constitutional officers?" He said that the construct is flawed, that it was set up in such a way as to assure that a black man would not be elected. He said that this was an unusual government structure.

He asked each of us to pick one of these three priorities and begin talking about it with our friends and associates. The Governor discussed the states spending and looking into the future. He said that "We've been having parallel universe discussions and have lost several years time in the process." He noted that we are on an unsustainable track of spending. He said: "A dollar comes in and it's going to get spent ... someone's going to spend that dollar." He wants to set spending limitations. He wants to change the fundamental dynamics of the system. He said that the state needs to do a better job of asset allocation. Governor Sanford spoke briefly about economic development. He said that Boeing came here because of the favorable economic conditions in South Carolina. He asked: "What can we do better as a state?" He said that he wants to reform the Employment Security Commission. The Governor then allowed about 5 minutes to take questions.

Submitted by Bill Christian, Keyway Committee
Rotary Foundation

November 17, 2009: Today, we were addressed by Bernie Riedel, Past DG and current District Chair of Rotary Foundation. Bernie took a few minutes to provide us with an overview, brief history and current update of the Foundation, and ended by showing us our dollars at work in the community. There are 532 districts in the world; our's begins west of Columbia near Chapin and runs east and includes 78 clubs. Last year our district was number thirteen in the world giving $990,588 to the Foundation, number seven in the world for Polio giving at $266,000, and number four in annual giving at an astounding $723,000. We have been number one, twice in the past six years! Thanks to all of you who have made this possible!

Rotary was started in 1905 in Chicago by a generous man by the name of Paul Harris. Though the club was not a service organization at its inception, the first service project, constructing an outhouse in Chicago, was completed in 1907. In 1917 at a National Conference in Atlanta Arch Klumph, President of Rotary, saw a need in areas of the world where Rotary was not present. It was then that Mr. Klumph stated that we needed an international commitment to do good in the world and started the endowment fund with $26.50 from the Rotary of Kansas City. In 1928 the endowment became a 501c (3), and in 1947 Paul Harris died and the fund received an outpouring of support from all over the world in his memory. For the first time the endowment had enough money to do something with it, and the Scholarship Programs were started. They still exist today, 62 years later. In 1957 the Foundation kicked off and got serious about raising money, and determining a way to recognize donors was necessary. It was then that the Paul Harris Fellow award was formed.

In 1985 there were more visionaries in Rotary and talk of Polio Eradication began. In 2008 our district received $431,000 back from the Foundation, (meaning that in 2006 and 2007 we gave $826,000) and the question became what to do with the money. There were 20 candidates for 6 Ambassadorial scholarships for $25,000 each, totaling $150,000 awarded in scholarships. One of these scholars came out of the Mt. Pleasant Rotary Club and another from the Hilton Head Club. A portion of the remaining money is used for matching gifts, if a club puts up $10,000 the district matches and the world fund matches. This year $305,000 in total projects were funded through matching gifts program. Rotary also fulfills district simplified grants. This year $86,000 was allocated back to the Rotary Clubs for their community. This year our club awarded the Center for Women and Carolina Youth Development with checks for their respective causes. This year we are sending a team to Brazil to continue Rotary's mission. To further Rotary's battle against Polio, in 2007 The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave 100 million dollars, to be matched by Rotary and in 2009 the Gates Foundation came back and gave another $255 million and asked that we match another $100 million. Rotary has four years to raise $200 million. Our district is tasked with raising $1,000,000. Over $400,000 has been raised so far and we are on task to meet our goal. The Foundation is kept alive by gifts from Rotarians like you, please consider Rotary in your giving, and help promote good for all.

Submitted by Elizabeth Wooten Burwell, Keyway Committee

November 18, 2009

Rotarians Eradicating Polio

November 10, 2009: Our speaker Ms. Sharon Brigner MS, RN, Deputy Vice President for Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association of America, a trade association in Washington, DC, shared where we are in our battle to eradicate polio. She gave us unique and fresh insight as to how Rotary has been instrumental in helping to stymie the spread of and reduce damage from the devastating effects from polio since it launched its Polio Plus campaign in 1985. While great progress has been made throughout most of the world, there is still significant work to be done in the four countries of India, Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

She praised Rotary's contribution in creating a 99% reduction in the number of polio cases worldwide since 1988. Through these efforts type 2 Wild Polio Virus was eradicated in 1999. With all that good news, there are approximately 1500 cases in four countries that have a polio epidemic. It has been determined that switching to a "polio control" approach would actually cost more than eradicating the disease; therefore, it is essential that we continue routine immunization and focus on fully eradicating polio. Rotary has and will continue to have a key role in this mission.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation awarded the Rotary Foundation a $100 million Grant to support the Global Polio Eradication initiative in 2007. Rotary's challenge now is to match these funds over three years. A great deal of focus is being put on improving global health, including polio. The Global Health Progress initiative seeks to bring research-based biopharmaceutical companies and global health leaders together to improve the health in the developing world.

According to Ms. Brigner, even with all the resources devoted to and focus by world leaders, Rotary still plays a very key role in eradicating polio. In some of the more difficult to access areas, such as Afghanistan and Pakistan, Rotary members can get access to and supplies into remote and hard to reach areas easier than the government. She praised Rotary for not only their financial support, but also for their contacts with people to get things done in these areas.

We must continue to be vigilant and focus on fully eradicating polio. Even in the United States, with the resistance by individuals to vaccinate children, polio could make resurgence if we do not make it a priority.

Submitted by Wayne Outlaw, Keyway Committee

October 30, 2009

The Spirit of South Carolina

October 20th, 2009: Sarah Piwinski, Executive Director of the South Carolina Maritime Heritage, visited our club this past Tuesday to fill us in on all the Spirit of South Carolina is doing for the young people in Charleston and the surrounding coastal areas. It also allowed all Rotarians to see our dollars at work as our club, through RCCF, has provided two grants to help The Spirit of South Carolina.

The ship is a pilot Schooner reminiscent of the Frances Elizabeth, a ship that was built here in Charleston in 1879. The new ship's plans were adapted from plans for the Frances Elizabeth, which were found in the Smithsonian Institute.

The ship was officially launched in March of 2007 and has been busy ever since then. She is a 140 foot long ship that focuses on a cause near and dear to one of Rotary's most valued causes, education. She not only teaches young people how to sail, kids that participate learn the value of team work and can incorporate things they are currently learning in school to the ship such as history and math. Most students that participate in the many programs she offers are 5th to 8th graders and come from all over the Lowcountry, typically through their schools.

The most popular program, the Day Sailors, caters to students in the Charleston, Georgetown and Buford areas. Students come on board with their class and spend the day on the ship learning and having fun. This summer, the Spirit of South Carolina hosted 40 students for a brand new six-week program that showed huge success. This program was funded by the South Carolina Education Department and allowed students to participate in 5 weeks of land programs that included reading, swimming, local college tours, math etc. After completing 5 weeks on land, 37 graduates of the program got to spend a week on the ship in New York's Long Island Sound putting to use all that they had learned and getting to experience all sorts of new things including for most of the kids, a first plane ride to and from New York City. The goal of this program is to increase literacy, learning and staying in school to all of our young people here. The program, through the funding provided by the Education Department, was at no cost to any of the students. This program was a huge success and one the Maritime Center hopes to continue well into the future.

There are many other worthwhile programs that The Spirit of South Carolina does and many new ones that will come down the pipe in the future. It's a unique way for us to take advantage of the ocean and teach kids of all ages not only sailing, but many other things that will hopefully enrich their life and focus on the importance of education.

There are many ways you can help: Funding a student or class which is what our two grants did. You can make donations, volunteer your time, contribute to the Donate a Book program they just recently started for students and many other ways. For more information, please visit

Contributed by Darby Siegel, Keyway Committee

October 15, 2009

What's Beyond the Headlines?

October 13, 2009: Today, we had the pleasure of being addressed by our Solicitor, for the 9th circuit, Scarlett Wilson. Scarlett was born and raised in Hemingway, South Carolina, attended Clemson University and continued on to attain her law degree at The University of South Carolina School of Law. Upon completing her education, Ms. Wilson clerked for a judge and went on to work for the US Attorney's office. In 2001, Scarlett was appointed as interim solicitor to the 9th circuit and in 2008 was elected to her first full term in office.

During her short time in office, Scarlett says "Numbers are great. We lead the state in trial convictions, and total convictions and we have moved more murder trials than ever before!" That being said, Scarlett noted that she could spend all day on statistics but what, perhaps, would be more enlightening would be a "day in the life" so to speak, a bird's eye view into the daily challenges of our legal system. To illustrate, Ms. Wilson used the following example: In 2001 a case was investigated where a young woman was coming home from work, on the phone with a friend, when a gun was put to her head and a man began demanding money. The victim was then beaten with a gun, raped and dragged into the woods to die. The woman later awoke, made her way to her apartment and called for help. She gave a statement to the police, provided DNA samples and pictures to authorities, but there were no suspects! Fast forward, five years later a man is being released from prison for a separate crime, a DNA test was required and run through the system, he was a match. For a solicitor this is a "slam dunk" case, you have a victim, a witness and good evidence, but when the state contacted the victim she "had moved on, she was engaged to be married, and was not willing to go to trial". Our solicitor contacted her parents, they begged that she not pressure their daughter who was "finally making progress, and was so fragile" as Scarlett said, "What do you do?" There are hard decisions to be made, in the end, after much negotiation, the solicitor's office made a deal sending the offender to jail for 15 years, and the potential to be committed for the rest of his life (because he is violent sexual predator). Scarlett pointed out that the news paper headline on this case may have read "solicitor makes deal with rapist for 15 years", but the other option was dragging this victim and her family through a trial that she did not think she could bare. Ms. Wilson, ask of us, as leaders to ask more questions, what else is there to the story? Scarlett also said "I recognize that I work for you, and I welcome individual questions, there are certainly conversations that I can have one on one with a citizen that I would not have with the press". The solicitor went on to explain that often times information is kept confidential to protect a case, it is most important to protect the case and preserve the right to appeal, and the state is much more likely to be affected by that than a defense attorney.

During question and answer, Ms. Wilson briefly discussed the mayor's legislation in regards to searching prisoners on parole, she is in favor of the bill, the bill allows our officers to search prisoners who are serving the rest of their terms on our streets, and if they were in prison we could search their cell daily. Scarlett Wilson's office is working diligently to clean up our streets, but she must have the support of the community to do so!

Reported by Elizabeth Wooten Buwell, Keyway Committee

October 9, 2009

Blueprint for the Arts in Charleston

October 6, 2009 : Our speaker, Martha Rivers Ingram, is a Charleston native, a graduate of Vassar College and currently the Chairperson of the 2010 Spoleto Festival. She is an author, a philanthropist, and a professional expert in the management of educational and civic organizations that serve the arts.

After graduating from college Martha married and moved to Nashville, TN where she made her mark. Today, she continues to serve as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Vanderbilt University and is a past chairman of the Nashville Symphony. To stimulate future planning and growth for the arts in Charleston, Martha presented a historical tour of the vast development of the arts programs in Nashville. As the "Athens of the South", Nashville established its program in 1851 with a theater that had the second largest stage in America. Patrons paid up to $200 for show tickets at that time, which is the equivalent of $4000 today! However, the ravages of the Civil War almost destroyed the arts program which was in disarray until the 1950's when an effort toward restoration began.

To sustain a new program Nashvillians realized that they must have strong attendance or the arts would die. Success demands a fragile balance of money, audience, talent and proper facilities for the performances; hence they built a new facility even before they had an orchestra, ballet, opera or theater group to use it. It was then that The Blair School of Music, of Vanderbilt, built Ingram Hall which has sense housed wildly successful companies in all of the above areas.

Turning to Charleston, she spoke of the dream to reinvent The Gaillard Auditorium, to transform it into a new facility. The estimate for refurbishing the existing facility is in neighborhood of 80 million dollars, versus 180 million dollars to build a brand new facility. A preliminary design would update the from elevation to emulate The College of Charleston’s Randolph Hall. There is also much work to be done on the interior of the existing facility, most importantly improving the acoustics and atmosphere.

Martha closed presenting a picture of the new Bass Hall in Fort Worth, Texas, now considered the best in the nation. It is a proven fact the improve more beautiful facilities draw larger audiences and create new opportunities for groups to hold their events at the performing arts center.

She brought a message from Mayor Riley; sharing that he is committed to the improvements of The Gaillard. While the city can help, it recognizes that it must be a joint venture by the private and public sectors of our community. The city can assist with the basic up-fits for safety, but the bells and whistles that add beauty and charm must be privately funded. It is estimated that it will take five years to complete the project if, we need to begin gathering the funding today. Spoleto can serve as the catalyst for this project, and Martha Ingram has provided the spark.

Reported by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee

October 5, 2009

"The Foreclosure Crisis"

September 29, 2009: Jennet Alterman introduced Toby Smith as an extremely accomplished professional who came to Family Services, Inc. in 2007 and has been misnamed as the "Queen of Foreclosures." She also teaches financial literacy, serves as an associate Minister and just completed her first book: Goofy Things Girls Do to Get Guys.

Ms. Smith provided an excellent overview of the Foreclosure Crisis from Spring 2007 where they were managing just 30 cases a month until today's vastly expanded workload. She explained FSI's philosophy is to provide a secure environment to strengthen the values of individuals and families.

Quotes like "this should not have happened to us" and "we're not that kind of family" are common place in Toby's daily life. She explained to us she knows first hand what these people are feeling having almost lost a home herself due to an adjustable rate mortgage. "It's not about pedigree" nor is it the financial illiterate and irresponsible that the media paints; "it's not about your neighbor, it's about you". Ms. Smith feels that FSI is about a year ahead of the curve. They are providing a service that the federal government isn't. In the winter of 2008 they expanded their staff and have been able to handle the crisis shift from sub-prime to mainstream. They hold default clinics in the seven areas of greatest need but the problem still remains that people are embarrassed and wait too long to seek help. Toby explained that in the Spring of 2009 the government unveiled the "Making Home Affordable Modification Program (MHA) but it takes 90 days to get a mod and every day brings a family closer to crisis.

She concluded with a stimulating and informative Q&A session but not before sharing her personal observations: "the recession will continue to impact those who have withstood the crisis the longest...i.e. the affluent and they are the ones least emotionally equipped to handle the downturn and seek help. For more information contact Family Services, Inc. at 1-888-320-0350 or visit their web site:

Submitted by Bill Crowe, Keyway Committee

September 25, 2009


September 22, 2009: Joe Riley was elected Mayor of the city of Charleston in 1975, and is currently serving his ninth consecutive term. Today, he spoke proudly about this city and what the changes that have occurred over the last 34 years, but not before taking the opportunity to thank our Rotary Club for its continued service and touting our members as pillars and leaders in the Charleston community.

On this the 20th anniversary of Hurricane Hugo, the Mayor reflected about the courage and collaboration of our community as we prepared for the storm and then responded to and recovered from storm. Our citizens rose to the occasion just as prior generations had when they faced earthquakes, fires and wars. He noted that the recovery started with the very preparation before the storm.

Reporting on the Charleston of today he gave highlights of progress and excellence:

Police Chief Mullin has surpassed all expectations. Violent crime is down 25%. We have 19 new officers and all officers are spending increased time "on the streets". Each police cruiser is an electronic marvel that includes a complete computer console.

Fire Chief Carr has brought the knowledge of having been a chief in one of the nations very large fire companies. He is working to standardize fire fighting procedures throughout the region and has established 4 full time firepersons on duty at each unit.

Federal Stimulus Money is improving all aspects of the city, including police technology equipment, affordable housing, energy conservation, a new gymnasium and the West Ashley greenery.

Water Drainage is being improved by a massive undertaking in the area of Hampton Park, MUSC and the Ashley riverfront.

Cross-town Expressway is to receive an upgrade with a new median and trees.

Cruise Terminal is to receive a refurbishing, but plans are underway for major improvement of that whole sea entranced to Charleston.

Dock Street Theater will reopen on January 28th. It is completely rebuilt and will included the latest sound technology and total handicapped access.

Reported by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee

September 18, 2009

Visit from Alan Walters, District Governor

September 15, 2009: Alan Walters, our District Governor from Pawley's Island, SC, visited the Charleston clubs this week to give us a "state of our district" update and to let us know what the next year will bring for all Rotarians.

Walters attended the annual District Governor's conference in San Diego and was able to not only visit with all 532 Rotary Governors from all over the world, but also meet Rotary's new President, John Kenny. Instead of avoiding the obvious, Walters opened with the difficulty Rotary is experiencing right now. It's tough right now and will probably continue to be as the economy sits in a less than ideal spot. While things seem to be improving slowly, it is a fact that Rotary has lost members over the last year. Our organization is based on active and strong membership, the clubs can't help but suffer when it's down.

The good news, our District Governor and President, have great things planned for this year and believe that what is planned is achievable. "The future of Rotary is in YOUR hands", says President John Kenny. Now, more than ever, we will individually make a difference on the successfulness of our organization this year.

There are a few goals we all need to keep in our minds as we move forward. Rotarians are known world-wide as givers and community supporters, for the club is not intended to be a social club. This club is about service and that is where our efforts should be focused this year. A few years ago, with the help of Bill Gates, Rotary took on the big challenge of doing everything it could to eradicate Polio. We've made great strides towards this goal, but we're not done yet. Not only is it vital to those in danger of contracting Polio that we complete this mission, but it's vital to Rotary's reputation as a strong organization that finishes what it starts. How can we take on new goals and challenges if we don't complete the ones from the past? How can we count on someone like Bill Gates to support our endeavors if we leave work unfinished?

This year will be about service and hard work. All members should focus on not only getting involved, but each of us need to take on raising membership. We are all Rotarians because we were asked to be, it's our turn to get out there and ask qualified and able prospects to join us for lunch and see if our organization is a fit for them. If we grow our clubs, we are better able to take on the challenges Rotary is known for world-wide, service above self.

Reported by Darby Siegel, Keyway Committee

September 11, 2009


September 8, 2009: Today, we were privileged to have MaryBeth Clark, the Associate Artistic Director for Charleston Stage and four of their fine new actors join us. The Charleston Stage is not only the largest live stage company in SC it also presents us the opportunity to attend great productions. This is MaryBeth's 11th season with Charleston Stage where she's the Director of the current production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat", which opens tomorrow and runs through September 20.

The Charleston Stage, which most of us know as Dock Street Theater, presents shows to 50,000 ticket holding attendees each year. That's just the tip of the iceberg of the value they provide to our culture and community.

In addition to producing top quality Broadway style shows (this season in the beautiful College of Charleston Sottile Theatre while the Historic Dock Street Theater is being renovated), Charleston Stage does a great deal to enhance the arts and assist children throughout the Low Country. Last year 15,000 Charleston schoolchildren were able to see their first "live show" because of Charleston Stage when members went into the classroom to perform and teach.

Like most organizations (especially art related non-profit organizations), the Charleston Stage has had to tighten its financial belt recently. This year it was necessary to cut 30% of their expenses, primarily due to a reduction in gifts and philanthropic activity and being out of the Dock Street Theatre. While they earn 47% of budget through their own activities, they still rely on donations for the remaining 53%. Because of this shortfall, some necessary cuts included: reducing staff by five and hiring just 4 new actors on a 10 month program rather than the normal six new actors.

These actors, like other staff members, don't just perform; they work with and teach people around the Low Country about the arts and live theater. Even when the Spoleto Festival is not going on (or when a production is not underway) the staff of Charleston Stage is busy promoting the arts and helping Low Country citizens, especially schoolchildren, appreciate art. When working with groups, especially children, they teach: 1.The importance of knowing what needs to be done, 2.Knowing where you're supposed to be and 3. Helping someone else. Staff members use these three keys from their experiences on stage to teach life lessons.

The four actors, James Lombardino, Priya Paranthaman, Christopher Diaz and Justin Tyler Lewis, accompanying MaryBeth shared with us a sampling of songs from the upcoming productions of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat", "Evita", "Blithe Spirit" and "Ferdinand the Bull". These wonderful samplings left us eager for the live productions! For more information about their productions, the dates of presentations and tickets go to,

Submitted by Wayne Outlaw, Keyway Committee

Reported by Wayne Outlaw, Keyway Committee

September 4, 2009


September 1, 2009: The Honorable Irvin G. Condon, Charleston County Probate Court Judge, joined us today to educate Rotarians on the general role of the probate court, as well as, the Adult Drug Court that he resides over. Judge Condon explained the main functions of the Probate Court which encompass the broad topic often referred to as, estate planning. More specifically the court probates wills; appoints conservators and trustees to conservatorship trusts that have been set up for children and families; oversees Declarations of a Desire for a Natural Death; and Durable Power of Attorney and Health Care Power of Attorney documents. The court is also handles involuntary commitments and marriage licenses.

The court is committed to assisting in drug and alcohol incidents 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The institution also administers The Adult Drug Court Program, that is charged with rehabbing addicts and helping them become valuable citizens in their communities. An individual who has pled guilty to drug related charges may elect to participate in the program. It requires court and treatment attendance every week and costs the individual $25.00 each week. If the attendee is unable to pay the $25 dollars toward their treatment, they must work it off in community service. The offender must attend two AA or NA meetings per week, and pay back all restitution that may be ordered with associated charges. He noted that this plan is much better than simply warehousing addicts as prisoners, many of those in the program have made progress and are productively employed.

The judge made sample forms available for all on the topics of Wills, Healthcare Power of Attorney, Declaration of a Desire for Natural Death, and Durable power of attorney. However, he emphasized that one should not attempt to execute these forms from samples. Professional assistance is vital.

When asked about new plans in Mexico and California to decriminalize minor drug offenses, he responded that those in the criminal justice system in South Carolina oppose the idea.

Reported by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee

August 27, 2009

"Lowcountry Ready..."

August 25, 2009: Cathy Hanes, Director of Charleston County Emergency Preparedness, educated Rotarians today on best practices as we prepare for the 2009 Hurricane Season. Cathy began her career in 1982 as a paramedic and later moved into the field of emergency preparedness. As head of the county division, Cathy's team develops a plan, sets evacuation routes, as well as, oversees shelters and public transportation. It is important to note that Cathy's team prepares for all types of natural disasters and man made disasters, and the only type of disaster that is not a threat in Charleston County is volcanoes. Today, we will focus on hurricane preparedness.

The first rule to insure your safety is to be prepared. Take personal responsibility for your safety as emergency responders may not be readily available; the four steps of preparedness are "get a kit, have a plan, stay informed, and get involved". The outline below if a brief overview of what each of those steps entails.

Get a Kit
You should have a kit that can sustain you and your family for 7 to 10 days, it should contain, food, water, medicine, batteries, flashlight, battery powered radio, can opener, first aid kit, baby needs, and pet necessities. Also before the storm arrives, check your flood insurance, update your kit, fill gas and propane tanks, and protect your home and business.

Have a Plan
Decide to stay or go, if you go know your evacuation route, and leave early. If you can not evacuate move to a Red Cross shelter, usually housed in a near by school, transportation is provided by Carta and the Charleston county school district, and take your supplies with you. In general, you should have a family plan, of where to meet in case of an emergency; choose a place inside your neighborhood, as well as, a place outside of the immediate area. Choose a friend or family member that lives outside of the area that can be a point of contact for all of you in case your family is separated during the event. Remember to plan for the elderly and those with special needs.

Stay Informed
Have the contact numbers and the emergency plan for your employers and/or schools. Have a battery powered radio so that you can tune into satellite broadcasts for updates, and if you are out of town and have internet access stay tuned to for updates.

Get Involved
Take personal responsibility, attend local training, and offer to volunteer for the CERT, community emergency response teams. After the storm, get involved in clean up; enter with caution, check for damage to gas and power lines, open windows and doors to increase ventilation and separate debris using the C.H.E.A.T rule. "Don't CHEAT our environment", debris can be picked up and disposed of more efficiently if it is divided into groups of C-construction materials, H - hazardous materials (batteries, oil etc), E - electronics, A -appliances, and T- trees and vegetation.

In closing, we encourage all Rotarians to get prepared and help be "Lowcountry Ready", for questions or additional information access the following sites:,,

Submitted by Elizabeth Wooten Burwell,, Keyway Committee Chair

August 21, 2009

"Our Freedom is in the Hands of Volunteers ..."

August 18, 2009: Jennet Alterman introduced Senator DeMint as a native South Carolinian from Greenville who graduated from Wade Hampton High School, the University of Tennessee; earned an MBA from Clemson. After a successful career as the owner of the DeMint Group, a strategic planning consulting group, he entered politics because he believed in normal people more than politicians and that volunteer groups accomplish the good in America. He had no interest in politics but his disillusionment with government motivated him to run for the Senate after serving in the House.

The Senator stated being a Greenville Rotarian continues to influence his platform: the 4-Way Test. His consistent message remains using "logic & common sense." The Republicans are sleep-walking and the Democrats have no business-vision for an environment that facilitates our economy's growth. Even China told us to "get our spending in order." For instance:
- Fannie-Travel: a $400M tourism bill that will pass on the first vote this fall. "They don't get it, we can't afford this."
- Fannie-Med: "it's not about healthcare, we could take care of that in a ten page bill, it's about government control. We've seen it before, country after country who destroyed themselves on this issue. We can't allow the federal government to take control of healthcare.
- Cash-for-clunkers: "of course we have to sell cars, we own car companies ... we're in that business now; is that what we want? Not one check has been cut to dealers, we're about to hire 1000 people in Washington, DC to issue those checks ... and we're about to increase this to $2B. Is this a way to make our economy grow?"
- Cap and Trade: "are you willing to have $100 per month added to your electric bill with no quantifiable positive impact on the environment?"
- Why not a free enterprise economy versus a managed economy? Let's use a common sense approach. Senator DeMint proposed these solutions even though our current President voted against them while a Senator from Illinois.
- Interstate insurance healthcare competition: complete policy plans, no matter where you live or work. No matter what pre-existing conditions.
- Fair tax treatment: give individuals who pay their own medical policies the same tax benefits as companies/corporations receive.
- Health Savings Accounts: allow individuals to use HSAs to pay for insurance premiums.
- Association policies: allow them to buy individual/family healthcare policies using their group numbers and clout [to overcome actuarial obstacles].
- Court reform: we all know the impacts of the "deep pocket theory" on our insurance rates and policies.

Senator DeMint closed with two thoughts. My supporters always say:
1. "Thanks for fighting for us"
2. "What can I do?"
His answer: "Freedom is more in the hands of volunteers than elected officials."

Submitted by Bill Crowe, Keyway Committee

August 14, 2009

"What Do You Know ... a Clemson Grad is Introducing Me?"

August 11, 2009: Our club thoroughly enjoyed the good natured ribbing between the Clemson and Gamecock fans in the audience. Todd stated he'd spoken to "100s of Rotary Clubs over the years and never been introduced by a Clemson graduate [President Kyra], because they can't read." He then graciously complimented our Club stating this was the best Rotary meal he's ever enjoyed.

After a few good natured jokes and "war stories" he provided great insight into the Gamecock's 2009:

- Schedule: "one of the top 5 most difficult in the US"
- Recruiting Class: "the best since 1985 when I was recruited ;-)"
- Coaching Staff: "6 new coaches that are rock solid"
- Team Strengths: "talent in secondary and size on defense"
- Team Weaknesses: "offensive line: they've been last in rushing 3 years in a row"

Todd provided personal insights about "retiring at 27 years old" and having to return to law school and the wonderful opportunities he's experienced walking the sidelines as a commentator for 13 years and then as the voice of the Gamecocks. After a vigorous question and answer session our Club applauded his candid responses with smiles and appreciation.

Submitted by Bill Crowe, Keyway Committee

August 7, 2009

"Put South Carolina Back to Work"

August 4, 2009: Today, we had the pleasure of hearing from Senator Larry Grooms, of the 37th district about what he believes are three crucial changes that must be made to create new jobs in our state, jobs that will yield higher income and reduce the state deficit. Currently, South Carolina has the third highest unemployment rate, and the unemployment trust fund is operating at a deficit. The state is experiencing its second consecutive year of declining revenues and projected to report negative revenues again next year. Senator Grooms states " we have to create jobs, we have to develop our economy", he explained that new industry is the key to our state's growth and ultimate success. In his opinion there are three road blocks to enticing new industry to South Carolina; to secure our future we must act on "the 3 P's of change" - port, power, and permitting.

The state of our ports is a huge consideration for manufacturing companies, we must restructure which we are in the process of doing, and have to expand to accommodate the changes in ship traffic that will occur with the changing of the Panama Canal.

Secondly, we must provide access to the power that is necessary to run a large plant, today we could not power a new plant the size of Nucor Steel. Senator Grooms believes that nuclear power is the way of the future, but South Carolina needs to act more quickly! The Senator proposes that we open a new coal plant to meet the immediate power needs of the state and its potential new companies and as nuclear power becomes readily available, the older, less efficient, plants can be closed, resulting in cleaner air and more power today!

The third problem hindering our ability to aquire new business is our painfully slow permitting process. While Grooms acknowledges the importance of proper permitting he admits that bureaucracy in some of our departments has made the process twice as long as it needs to be. The time a company wastes in permitting costs time and money, and is generally discouraging. The Senator says "we must cut permitting time in half"!

When prospective manufactures consider South Carolina to house their new plant they must experience a state that is aggressively seeking their business. A state that can offer an effective port to move their product in a timely, efficient manner, a state that can provide the power necessary to run their business, and a permitting process that is timely and encourages the building and operation of new plants. New industry is the only way to put South Carolina back to work, and create the revenue stream necessary to run our state.

Submitted by Elizabeth Wooten Burwell, Keyway Committee

August 2, 2009

State Treasurer Converse Chellis visits Rotary

July 28th, 2009: State Treasurer Converse Chellis broke what seems to be the current trend of reporting only bad news and elected instead, to focus his presentation to our club at Tuesday's meeting on the positive things going on in South Carolina. Given the current environment we are in right now, it was a refreshing change and one I think his audience greatly appreciated. Chellis was elected State Treasurer in August of 2007 by the General Assembly and before that, had served in the General Assembly since 1996. In addition, he is a licensed CPA and had a long career in the industry before moving on to political office.

When he was first elected, Chellis was intent on bringing integrity to his position. He was focused on cutting waste where he could and making improvements to the state's retirement system, unclaimed property accounts, college savings plan, and creating an initiative for the state to begin the process of going paperless beginning with state employee's paychecks.

The state of South Carolina currently has thousands of unclaimed property accounts, there are 107,000 cases here in Charleston alone. Chellis and the General Assembly created the Palmetto Payback program, targeted at finding those that are owed money and returning it to them. This owed money has been turned over by a company or other entity to the state when the person they are looking for could not be located. Through the Palmetto Payback program, residents can now easily learn if they are on the list and re-claim what is rightfully theirs. The goal of the Treasurer's office is to get that list down to just a few thousand people.

In 2008, South Carolina introduced the Future Scholar 529 College Plan. This new plan has taken our state from being ranked 24th in the nation to being in the top 5 for college savings plans in the country. This past year, South Carolina was ranked second in the nation for the plan's investment performance in 2008. This plan is available to all those in South Carolina and is open to other states as well.

As our country continues to endure one of its most uncertain times, it's nice to know that good things are happening in our state. To learn more about the State Treasurer, some of the programs his office offers and his futures goals, go to

Submitted by Darby Siegel, Keyway Committee

July 22, 2009


July 21, 2009: Since the year 2000, the City of Charleston has been refining the Century V master plan [yes, 5 centuries as the city was established in 1670]. With a population of 120,000 [37K on the peninsula and 57K in West Ashley], the city has five regions: The Peninsula, West Ashley, James Island, Johns Island, and the Wando Peninsula, which includes much of Daniel Island.

The present goal is to complete a new plan within a 12 month period. Areas that are being given special attention include:

The Calhoun Corridor: from Frances Marion Square to the aquarium, and including Concord Park and the Maritime Center. It will have affordable housing, be pedestrian friendly, and have a park and more trees along the Calhoun corridor to the river.

The Union Pier: With the eventual demolition of several large warehouses, the whole passenger terminal area will be redesigned.

Concord Park: The area will include affordable residences, an inn, retail space and a park similar to Marion Square.

The Magnolia Project: The area has 216 acres, including 153 highlands. It runs between I-26 and the Ashley River. A first step bridge is under construction. Once the economy improves look for residential housing, offices and retail spaces.

Midtown [north King St.]: Watch for a hotel, condos, apartment, retail and some higher buildings.

West Ashley Projects: Includes housing beyond the new super Walmart, extension of the McConnell Parkway and new housing areas.

Bees Ferry Park: This new park will include tennis and playgrounds and open in 2010.

Long Savannah: Watch for new parallel roads to the Savannah Highway and more housing.

Johns Island: New codes are being worked on to maintain the rural character.

Reported by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee

July 17, 2009


July 14, 2009: For over thirty years, Rudy Mancke has been the star and voice of "Nature Scene" on SCETV. He has taken nature walks in all 30 of South Carolina counties, and all 50 states of the US. He told us that a naturalist "is a person who studies the world of nature and marvels at all of it." From his earliest recollection he has been fascinated by all forms of nature be it animals, bugs, plants, fish or any other aspect of nature. The question most asked of him is: "What is it?". Every day he receives several e-mails with photos of things people have seen and are curious about. That natural curiosity must be satisfied. Once they know what it is, the second question is: "What good is it?" This is a question that for the most part cannot be answered, but a more important question to ask, that can be answered is: "How does it fit in with the rest of the world?"

South Carolina is the smallest of the southern states but has an incredible diversity of natural areas, from the mountains to the sea, with many regions in between. One famous plant, the Venus Fly Trap is only found in South Carolina and a small part of North Carolina. Thus, it is vitally important that we all continue to work to save the natural resources that we have. South Carolina and SCETV is known the world over for its work by naturalists.

He has concerns currently about the drought going on in the mountains and the resulting surge of insects eating away at many major trees, but over all feels that the people of this state are working to conserve what we have for future generations. He noted that some of the worlds greatest conservationists like John Audobon, traveled through the Charlestown area. We are at the very center of an important part of the natural world.

Reported by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee

July 3, 2009

"Times are Changing"

June 30, 2009: Today President, Andy Brack led his final meeting as president of our fine club: he thanked his board, his fellow Rotarians and turned over his gavel to Kyra Morris. Andy took time to review a job well done! Over the last twelve months the Rotary Club of Charleston has accomplished great things , here are some highlights below.

- Local Projects included:Day of Caring, bell ringing with the Salvation Army, Rotary Readers, holiday gifts to seniors, multiple Adopt-A-Highway days, honoring Chas. County teachers of the year, Rotary Club of Charleston Foundation Grants and more.

- Big projects completed were our fundraiser Rotary Wheels, where we raised $23,000 to help fund our commitment to the Lowcountry Food Bank. Launched our new international service project with Water Missions International and "parlayed $50,000" that was sent to South America to work towards clean water for all. Additionally, we funded our first World Peace Scholar, Kelly Robinson, and gave $10,125 to Ending Polio Now (goal was $7800).

- Internally, we ended the "blue" donation buckets, transformed the Wellness Committee, worked to integrate new members with a new video, contract, and strategic plan focused on members. We had three wonderful socials events, including one with a beard contest. Lastly, the leadership restructured the committees to better serve the members, and created a new relationship with the Coastal Community Foundation (which was started by this club years ago).

After President Andy presented his board members with their very own golden shovels, our Assistant District Governor, Gene Pardee, swore in the new board and the new president, Kyra Morris, who took a few minutes to tell us where we're going. The 2009-2010 year will echo the Rotary International theme of "The Future is in our hands", our local goal being to "stir the pot" harvest the talents of our members and utilize them to serve others above ourselves!

Submitted by Elizabeth Wooten Burwell, Keyway Committee Chair

July 2, 2009

"Social Media: A Critical Tool for Business Today"

June 23rd, 2009:

Lyn Mettler, President of Step Ahead, Inc. treated our Club to a new world: the use of social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, as critical tools for success in today's business world. She asked, "Why do I care what you are doing right now?" The answer, "I don't care about what you're doing personally ... but I do care about what the social media, as a critical communications tool can do for my business success."

Lyn provided four reasons why social media is critical for today:
1. Customer Service:
Instant, personalized contact; catch the good & the bad; clarify the rights & the wrongs.
2. Brand Management:
Can't wait "24 hours" to fix threatening situations;
Dominos corrected 2 employee's You Tube brand management "slam"
3. Capturing Leads:
Dell increased sales by $3 million using Twitter.
4. Expand Awareness & Public Relations:
Stay in front of clients & potential clients.

She also outlined the tools for our social media arsenal:
Twitter ........... the Oprah Affect; info from Iran
Facebook ............. business pages; real-time monitoring
Blog ............... position self as an expert; web site optimization
Video ......................... You Tube; handle things difficult to explain
Review Sites ................... Yelp; IGOUGO
iPhone Applications .............. Mobile connections to your entire arsenal

Find more on

Submitted by Bill Crowe, Keyway Committee Chair

June 19, 2009

"Counting Every Person: 2010 Census"

June 16, 2009: Every 10 years since 1790, the US Census Bureau counts each individual in the United States. This amazing track record will continue to be intact at this upcoming census because of the efforts and assistance of people such as Terry Seabrook, Partnership Specialist of the Charlotte Regional Census Center. She shared with us the reasons why it's important for full and accurate count and some interesting insights as to how that count is done. The census counts not only every citizen but all individuals that are in the United States with they are here legally or not.

In introducing our speaker, Alison Standard shared that Terry was not only an extremely competent individual but also a well-respected member of the community for many years and will be a very valuable asset to our "be counted in 2010" effort. This effort is very important for South Carolina as we fare worse only by Alaska in terms of responding to the Census. According to Seabrook "we can't even take pride in beating Mississippi".

Seabrook explained that there's been a process of geo mapping each home (or potential residence) combining sophisticated mapping technology and GPS systems. Before the census is mailed out, the objective is to know all potential residences in South Carolina. A great deal of effort is being expended to be sure that have been identified so they receive the mail in form. When asked if online surveying and would be more accurate, Seabrook responded, indicating that there are many people that don't have online capability or are not technologically savvy enough to accomplish a survey. The old-school, proven paper by direct mail is most accurate way to ensure everyone's counted. Technology is helping the census. Each form mailed out is being geo-coded to match the survey of residences. If a completed census not returned in the mail by the deadline a census taker will use the geo-coded information to visit the home up to six times to obtain a manual count.

While many people may want to avoid returning the census because they're worried that the information you provide will not be confidential. They don't have to worry. The individual census can't be seen by anyone for 72 years. If anybody violates confidentiality they can receive up to five years in prison and $250,000 fine. This effort is necessary, according to Seabrook because it affects many things that are important to us. First, it affects the apportionment of approximately $308 billion from the federal government. In addition to money, it affects political power. The information from the census is used for redistricting of Congress and also for redistricting state and local governments throughout the country. In addition, this information is extremely useful for all types of organizations including businesses for market research and planning.

To learn more about the US Census, and it's 10 quick and easy confidential questions go to Census Day is April 1, 2010.

Submitted by Wayne Outlaw, Keyway Committee

June 9, 2009: Today, we were able to gain first hand knowledge about the many non-profit groups that serve the Charleston area. Each of the many organizations was ready to answer questions and provide flyers and materials about their work and upcoming events.

Submitted by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee

June 5, 2009

"Piccolo Spoleto Festival"

June 2, 2009: Today, we were fortunate to have one of our club's former members share with us the unique and wonderful opportunity that we have as Charlestonians, to participate in, not just Spoleto, but in Piccolo Spoleto. Last year the festival sold 39,500 tickets and to more than 150 events. Barbara Kelley Duncan introduced our speaker, Ellen Dressler-Moryl, who was the first Director of the City of Charleston's Office of Cultural Affairs. During that three years she designed and launched a number of the OCA's ongoing projects including, the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, which is celebrating it's thirtieth season this past year, the City Gallery and the City Gallery at Dock Street Theater.

Ellen was a catalytic force in the development of the Black Arts Festival that evolved into the Mojaa African-American and Caribbean Arts Festival which is celebrating its 25th year. Ellen is a native of Portland, Oregon, has performed with the Portland Opera Orchestra, the Charleston Symphony and now performs with several local Chamber Music ensembles, including the Ensemble of St. Clair at Mepkin Abbey.

Ellen highlighted many of the opportunities that Piccolo Spoleto provides for the local area. In keeping with it's goal of giving an opportunity for local and regional talent to showcase against the backdrop of the Spoleto festival and to provide access those who would not have access to the events otherwise. This year, it provides 703 different events, utilizing the talent of 4,000-5000 different artists. Both Spoleto and Piccolo Spoleto combine for a $67,000,000 positive impact to the Charleston community. Even during difficult times it is making a significant contribution, however, the budget for Piccolo Spoleto was cut by 1/3 but working as a team, they made the reductions to not endanger the quality of the event and it will continue to be a jewel in the crown of the Charleston Arts Community.

The members were treated to a wonderful rendition of Suite Modale by Ernest Block, which was a sampling of the Great Music available at the festival. We are truly blessed to live in a city with such a rich Arts and Cultural heritage and have talented people, such as Ellen, to help create wonderful festivals such as Piccolo Spoleto.

Submitted by Wayne Outlaw, Keyway Committee

May 31, 2009

"Spoleto ~ a Tour de Force Since 1976"

May 26, 2009: Nigel Redden stated to our Club what we all know: Charleston, with its long and rich history of culture and its natural beauty has provided tremendous inspiration to artists over the years. Charleston, South Carolina remains the most appropriate place in the United States to stage a festival that celebrates the arts. Charleston claims many cultural firsts. The very first performance of an opera in the American colonies took place in the city during the first half of the 18th century. While the English Ballad opera Flora or Hob in the Well is no longer performed, Porgy and Bess - which has often been called the greatest American opera - was written in Charleston some two hundred years later.

We all know the first theater built specifically for public performances in the American colonies, the Dock Street Theatre, was built in Charleston in 1734. The original theater burned down two years later and was eventually rebuilt. Over the next two hundred and fifty years, many other theaters said to rival the best in Europe were built in Charleston. Today, Charleston is a well-preserved city of stately homes, lofty churches and numerous historical sites needing our support: especially in the venue preservation areas such as the Gaillard Auditorium's required $105M makeover. We all need to support this wonderful festival!

View Festival Calendar of Events

View Festival Map:

Submitted by: Bill Crowe, Keyway Committee Chair

May 24, 2009

"Educating the Next Generation"

May 19, 2009: Today, we had the pleasure of meeting five exceptional women who are "top of their class"! These ladies are responsible for our future, for educating the leaders of tomorrow and according to Ellen Winkles, Charleston County's Teacher of the Year "we are in good hands"! The five finalists in Charleston County are: Anna Bronk, Sadie Fox, Andrea Gramling, Katherine Houser and this year's winner, Ellen Winkles. Congratulations to each of these talented and gifted individuals!

The Charleston County School District Teacher of the Year for 2009 is Mrs. Ellyn Winkles, a drama teacher at West Ashley High School. Ellyn comes from a long line a life changing teachers and "sees it as her role as the teacher to help the children who enter her classroom find their own talents and abilities so that they, too, may be happy, healthy, contributing members of society." Mrs. Winkles began her teaching career in English and now teaches Drama and gospel company. "She is flexible in her instruction and offers a variety of choice for her students. Ellyn believes the biggest challenge facing public education today is that we must prepare and equip our students for changing times and a global economy. She stresses the importance of critical thinking and problem solving and believes that the most important relationship is that between the student and the teacher." Congratulation Ellyn on a job well done!

Anna Bronk is the CCSD runner up teacher of the year. She is and English Language Arts Teacher at Charleston School for the arts. Ms. Bronk graduated from University of West Florida and went on to earn her masters degree at The Citadel. Anna spent her first career in journalism and decided to follow her parents into teaching. Currently, Anna teaches English and is the year book sponsor for School of the Arts. In addition to educating in the classroom, Anna is an aquatics instructor for children.

Sadie Fox is an Honor Roll teacher in West Ashley. Sadie earned her graduate and under-graduate degrees from the College of Charleston and today she teaches science at CE Williams Middle School. Sadie also serves her students "as a club sponsor" for the Robotics Club, the Surf n Turf club, and the science decathalon club; and chairs the science department at CE Williams. Sadie "challenges her colleagues to equip our students with the tools necessary to make the best decisions."

Andrea Gramling our second Honor Roll teacher is a science instructor at Garrett Academy of Technology. Ms. Gramling's commitment to her students was obvious in her absence as she felt it necessary to remain at school preparing her pupils for their final exam. Andrea complete her undergraduate work at Clemson and received her masters from The University of North Carolina. "Andrea challenges educators to embrace change, and implement new ideas".

Katherine Houser our third Honor Roll Teacher is a third grade teacher at Memminger Elementary School. Ms. Houser "earned both her graduate and undergraduate degrees from the College of Charleston and currently holds National Board Certification". Katherine's original interest morphed into a career in teaching as she "realized her passion in meeting the needs of her students from disadvantaged neighborhoods and low socio-economic living conditions. Ms. Houser "encourages master teachers to take responsibility for sharing experiences and supporting new teachers in the field".

Reported by Elizabeth Wooten Burwell, Keyway Committee

May 8, 2009

"We Celebrate Bringing People Together"

May 5, 2009: Ted Hutcheson came to speak to our club via Ireland, 30 years at TWA, and Kiwi Airlines. He works in Atlanta and lives in New Jersey. Ted began his talk with the tongue in check quote: "the best thing for the airlines would have been for the Wright Brothers to have been assassinated." His reason for saying that is although there have been peaks and valleys, no airline has ever been profitable in the long run. Having said that, he emphasized AirTran's guiding principles throughout his presentation: first and foremost; taking personal responsibility for the safety of each traveler and every Crew Member.

A brisk review of the reasons AirTran is successful followed:

Pride: In our work, in one another and in contributing to the success of our airline.
Teamwork: Support one another and value every traveler's needs.
Innovation: Act with an empowered "can do" spirit to continuously improve.
Cleanliness: Pick it up, keep it clean.
Anticipation of customer, crew member & business needs: Look ahead - be ready!
Every crew member is expected to contribute to our success through measurement and continuous improvement: Know your numbers!
Compliance with Regulatory Standards: In every decision and every action.
Technical Excellence and Continuous Learning: Do it right, then improve on it.
Honesty, Trust, and Integrity in all actions: With our suppliers and our customers.
Respectful Communication and Constructive Disagreement
Personal Responsibility for Resolving Issues: We do not pass the buck.
Acting with Purpose and Urgency: Do the right thing and then act on it.
Hard Work: Taking pride in doing the difficult things make us better than the others.
Fun: Positive people who celebrate success, learn from mistakes and enjoy our work.

Reported by Bill Crowe, Keyway Committee

April 28, 2009: Publisher Bill Hawkins has taken the baton from Rotarian Larry Tarleton at a time of unprecedented challenge to the newspaper industry. A native of Pittsburgh and graduate of Cornell University, Vietnam veteran Bill spent 15 years as editor of the Durham Sun in North Carolina prior to joining the Post and Courier staff. While the P & C is doing "better than GM" it has for the first time in over 200 years had to lay off staff. Non-the-less P & C is a lot better off than many of the huge newspaper corporations who have massive debts and union contracts with which to contend. The big McClatchy firm sold off the Myrtle Beach paper and the remaining paper is now being printed by the P & C.

Since 80 percent of a newspaper's revenue is derived from advertisements and the really biggest one of those is real estate which is in huge decline, P & C's revenue has dropped. Big account losses like Circuit City and Linens and Things have hurt, but the small local businesses still recognize the value of newspaper advertising. The P & C is carefully managing expenses and remains profitable. Each weekday they print 90,000 papers with 105,000 on Sunday. While 3% of their news is now on the WEB, print news still reigns supreme, and 82% of papers are still going out as home delivery. He predicts that 20 years from now print news will still be the premium delivery system, but high subscription costs due to home delivery are likely. Papers who have tried to go 100% web news, have failed. There is no substitute for live reporters in the newsroom. P & C continues to have a newsroom staff of 100, one of the largest newspapers in the south. Local newsman, Warren Peper, has joined P & C to build a video delivery system.
The new technology, such as being able to read a whole newspaper on a palm held "blackberry", is a challenge, but the Post and Courier is geared to win.

Reported by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee

April 25, 2009

"Connecting people with their world ... AT&T"

April 21, 2009: We had the pleasure of hearing from Ted Creech who serves as the Government Relations Director in South Carolina for the world renowned AT&T Corporation. In today's world where our only constant is change AT&T thrives! The technological changes and advancements of the 21st century are at the very core of AT&T's business, whose mission is "Connect People with their world, Everywhere they live and work, and do it better than anyone else". It seems that the people at AT&T have much to be proud of, based on what they have accomplished and the plans they are positioned to pursue.
As our world faces unprecedented volatility, AT&T is experiencing notable stability a few statistics: in 2008 AT&T had 77 million wireless customers, 888,000 miles of fiber optic cable, in excess of $20 billion in capital investment, over 300,000 employees, exceeded $1.9 billion in philanthropic giving, was ranked #1 broad band provider in the world and is currently celebrating 133 years in business.

As the company celebrates its passed successes they strive to be poised for further growth at the turn of the economy. Mr. Creech believes that in order to grow, his company must continue investing in infrastructure and in human beings. Infrastructure is critical, "connectivity creates markets and networks, where commerce flourishes, networks do more than anything else to improve communication". To this end, most recently AT&T married mobile and wireless into one device, and traffic across wireless and wired lines is growing at 50% a year. In South Carolina alone, the technology leader invested over $875 million between 2006 and 2008 to build networks, servers, and better technology.

Additionally, AT&T takes its commitment to people very seriously! The majority of its 300,000 plus employees are based in the United States providing steady jobs for many Americans. AT&T is also dedicated to our leaders of tomorrow, the company is concerned about the level of education in our country, as they recognize the key to housing big business is the skill level of our work force. Last year AT&T put $100 million to an initiative called Aspire, that focuses on reducing the drop out level and improving the education in the U.S. To push forward, striving to fulfill their mission, AT&T will invest billions of dollars in new infrastructure and create over 5000 American jobs in 2009, and continue to provide newer more efficient technology always working to connect each of us with our world!

Submitted by Elizabeth Wooten Burwell, Keyway Committee

April 20, 2009

Photos from our 4/16 social

Many thanks to Angel Postell, Rhett Dunaway, Kevin Mills and Dave Echols for organizing an outstanding wine-tasting social on April 16 at the S.C. Aquarium. Here are some photos taken by Rotarian Fred Sales:

April 10, 2009

"Transforming Lives through Art"

April 7, 2009: Angela Mack, former club member and current Executive Director of the Gibbes Museum, returned to the club to speak about The Gibbes. The Gibbes Museum has a long history in Charleston, having been founded following a bequeathment from James Gibbes in 1905. The museum is recognizable for its "Acropolis"-style structure, which sits higher than all the buildings around it on Meeting Street. Ms. Mack referred to Charleston the "birthplace of Southern Art," and described how the Carolina Arts Association, founded 1858, was called upon to be a co-trustee of the Gibbes Museum in its early days.

The museum showcases an array of collections, from Japanese Print Collection, to 2008's "Landscape of Slavery," or last autumn's "Grass Roots" collection, the most comprehensive exhibition of sweet grass baskets every assembled.

The Gibbes is more than just an art museum, however. In fact, it partners with numerous local schools to bring education and fun to those aged K-12. Students can enjoy the "Art academy" and "Art to go" programs. There are after school and summer art programs. There is also an interactive website for children, which was 3 years in the making. A new program will also be started to offer a 4 credit class in Art History for College of Charleston students. Members of the museum may also audit this class.

All of these factors support the fact that the Gibbes appeals to the broadest possible audience. It is "in the business of transforming lives through art." We enjoyed this visit from Angela Mack, and hope she will return to see us soon!

Reported by Jackie Grau, Keyway Committee

April 3, 2009

Honoring Rotary Scholars

March 31, 2009: Today Jeremy Cook had the privilege of introducing our four Rotary Scholars. These recipients were selected, not only for their academic talent and goals for higher education, but on the basis of the fulfillment of the Rotary Motto -"Service Above Self." These individuals epitomize the passion to serve others.

Adair Kerrison from Ashley Hall is a senior and has worked and supported individuals with Downs Syndrome. She developed an extreme awareness for the needs of individuals with Downs Syndrome and those that love them because her sister was diagnosed with Downs Syndrome. She feels that service to others gives her life purpose and she is president of a club that supports Downs Syndrome at Ashley Hall.

Avonna McHoney from Burke High School, is a scholar, with a 3.93 GPA average for her 4 years in high school and is a drum major. She has been accepted to Howard University, University of SC, and SC State and hopes to become a music teacher or a music producer. She works very diligently with Pink House to help tutor underprivileged students with need to develop their reading skills. She feels that helping students academically will not only help them improve in the classroom but will help them to overcome their shyness.

Blair Cadden is at the top of her class at First Baptist High School, is Vice President of the Senior Class, Active in the National Honors Society, and Church Youth Theater Production. She has been accepted by New York University in Drama and works consistently with many different organizations. Her service to others has taught her that extending a hand out but not down is good for both the receiver and the giver.

Jesse Grady is a student leader at Porter-Gaud High School and plans on attending Clemson University to obtain a degree in Psychology. Her service project is working with disadvantaged children to help them see their lives more positively. She was deeply affected by her project and understands the value of service to others.

Please join me in congratulating these four winners of the Rotary Scholarship and send them to college with your hopes and prayers.

Submitted by Wayne Outlaw, Keyway Committee

March 28, 2009

Sally wants YOU to VOLUNTEER!

March 24, 2009: WOW! Did we get fired up this week or what! Sally Burnette, Community Volunteer Coordinator for the United Way, kept us both spellbound and service oriented. A graduate of our city's Ashley Hall and the College of Charleston, Sally has worked with the founding of Spoleto and the local crisis hotline.

The 211 hotline is open 24/7 for people with all kinds of needs and is staffed by live VOLUNTEERS, just one of the many ways we can help others. As a cheerleader for volunteer services, Sally stresses the importance of establishing a connection with people who want to help others, but first the volunteers must come together. She rejects the often held comment that one is "just a volunteer". Instead we should be passionate in saying "I AM a volunteer".

In the Charleston area 46% of seniors volunteer their time, time that when translated to money would cost $73,000.000. By volunteering just 2 hours a week an individual can reap great rewards: improved mental and physical health; longevity, higher level of functionality, an opportunity to meet other people; and helping to bring families together. Many businesses like Meade Westvaco recognize that sponsoring volunteerism can improve employment recruitment and retention, help train employees, improve public perception of their company, and provide work opportunities to those who may have been "down-sized" or taken early retirement.

In 2008, Charleston conducted the LARGEST DAY OF CARING IN THE UNITED STATES! For those who wish to volunteer, projects include: reducing hunger, helping keep people safe, improving education, working for clean water and air, improving health care, promoting the arts and music, and making emergency help available. If you want to know more information go to the web at, or simply call 211. Thank you, Sally, for giving us a challenge and a boost.

Reported by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee

March 22, 2009

"Better Known Around the World than Around the Corner"

March 17, 2009: Our Club was treated to a wonderful presentation by Dr. Edward Wilson, Director of Charleston's Storm Eye Institute; the only comprehensive eye institute in South Carolina. Dr. Wilson has a very distinguished resume to include over 2000 published professional papers and 500 keynote presentations. Named after Albert Florens and Mrs. William (Willie) Storm, the Eye Institute has been South Carolina's center for the management of complex and serious eye diseases for thirty years. As a research institute, Storm Eye enjoys notoriety throughout the world for innovation and discovery in many fields including intraocular lenses, retinal function and the study of retinal diseases, and glaucoma neuroprotection.

The Institute's teaching programs attract, year in and year out, many of the best applicants from across the country. Storm Eye Institute is undergoing another exciting phase of growth. Dr. Wilson is certain that the Institutes future will be even more exciting than it's past as they strive to maintain and improve our patient satisfaction by being "user friendly". "Even as we grow in size and complexity, we wish to maintain our small town southern hospitality." Patients and referring physicians remain impressed with how easy it is to gain access to the doctors of Storm Eye. Each of our professionals are willing and able to hear your concerns and help in any way possible. The information provided in this website is intended to facilitate that easy access and to help meet our "user friendly" goal. Wilson emphasized the Staff's quality is increasing: last year the Institute had 600 applications for 4 teaching positions: 42 were interviewed and the top 4 were higher.

Dr. Edwards concluded by showing a very interesting video and then re-stating, "at the Storm Eye Institute, vision is our mission. We seek to advance the science of ophthalmology and meet the eye care needs of the public by committing to care, to teach, to serve, to discover."

Reported by Bill Crowe, Keyway Committee Chair

March 13, 2009

"Water Mission International and The Rotary Club of Charleston Save Lives"

March 10, 2009: "Every 15 seconds a child dies of a water-related disease, 1.1 billion people lack access to clean water, 2.4 billion lack access to sanitation, 25,000 people die every day to a water born disease." These statistics are staggering. That's why The Rotary Club of Charleston and the Daniel Island Rotary Club formed a partnership with Water Missions International to save lives!

In 2001 George and Molly Greene founded Water Missions International (WMI) as a Christian ministry in response to the over whelming need of so many for access to clean water. In 2004, post Tsunami, Rotary clubs got involved to help WMI achieve its goal of World Wide Water Quality. In the beginning WMI began by purchasing water filtration equipment and "dropping it off" in the areas of need. Since that time, through trial and error, the folks at WMI have created a system that not only provides clean water but that offers the education that is the only beginning point of true, lasting change! At present when WMI is at work they implement a community development program that educates the village people on the operation and maintenance of the water treatment system and on health and hygiene. The communities are also expected to raise the money to operate the treatment plants, as well as, construct a building to house the system and assist in its installation. By educating communities and involving those who benefit from the clean water that WMI provides, Water Missions is able to set the stage for real understanding and change. The cost of clean water is approximately $4 to $5 per thousand gallons or $4 per person, per year. Today, WMI has projects in over 40 countries, and over 600 water treatment systems. 1,000,000 people receive clean water today because of the work of Water Missions International.

Our project - Three years ago the Daniel Island Rotary Club formed a water committee and at that time Rotary International took on clean water as a project and The Rotary Club of Charleston agreed to a partnership. Currently, The Daniel Island Club as committed $10,000, Rotary Club of Charleston has committed $5000, and District 7770 has committed up to $50,000 to fund our joint project to provide safe water to villages in Peru. By working with out host partner, Iquitos Rotary, our money will be used to "retro-fit 4 existing river boats" with water treatment systems that will purify water and deliver it to 17 villages in the Amazon, serving over 3000 men, women and children. The villages will be equipped with tanks to hold the clean water and their people will receive safe water training and be educated on health and hygiene.

With your support, the partnership between our local rotary clubs, Rotary International and Water Missions can save thousands of lives, and move toward the finish line of providing safe, clean water to all in need. You can help by purchasing tickets to the Water Missions Gala, participating in the Walk for Water, sponsoring your own Rotary Wheels Fundraiser on May 18th or by supporting the Daniel Island Club's Charity Duck Race on June 6th.

Submitted by Elizabeth Wooten Burwell, Keyway Committee

March 7, 2009

"CRDA is key to our Future"

March 3, 2009: David Ginn shared his insight on the state of Economic Development and how the Charleston Regional Development Alliance is not only coping, but also working to bring our area out of the economic downturn more effectively. David brings significant expertise to the CRDA, as well as, our Rotary group. He began his career in Savannah, has been here since 1995, and has been President & CEO of the Economic Development Alliance since 2000.

Ginn shared the current state of economic development activity. While overall project activity is down by approximately 50%, increased focus and effort are being expended to ensure that when the upturn comes we will get our fair share of the companies relocating or expanding their operations.

The CRDA is aggressively promoting the three counties of Berkeley, Dorchester and Charleston to the world as a preferred place of business. It supports the approximately 630,000 people who live and work in the 90 miles of coastline around Charleston, and as far inland as fifty miles. Many times the work the Charleston Regional Development Alliance goes unnoticed and a few people may not even know the name. The reason you may not be as aware of them as you should is that their promotion really occurs to people outside of Charleston with the objective of attracting them to Charleston. When companies announce that they are coming to Charleston, it is deliberately set up so politicians and the key people from the company make the announcements. While the CRDA did the groundwork, and enabled it to happen, they want the company and the public officials to receive the credit.

While economic development activity is lower than 1-2 years ago, the CRDA continues to focus, not just on getting new businesses to come to Charleston, but also has short-term objectives to encourage companies that are consolidating, to either keep their staff here or to bring other staff to Charleston.

Through the efforts of the CRDA and a network of allies, our area made significant economic progress between 2000 and 2007 (latest data available). For example, the number of workers involved in manufacturing is up 17% here, while nationwide it is down 18%. Architecture and engineering employment is up 32% versus a 3% decrease nationwide. We have two times the job and wage growth as the rest of the country, and even bank deposits are up 108% in Charleston compared to the rest of the country at 67%.

We're fortunate Charleston has a number of assets that are attractive to the world's best companies. We have a quality location, an international commerce hub (70 international companies), several world-class innovation resources, attractive human capital and a strong military presence.

To prepare for the eventual upturn in the economy, it is important that we continue to invest in our regional "product," such as infrastructure and available real estate. aggressively promote this three-county region.

The CRDA is also taking advantage of the slower economy by making sure its internal house is in order and it will soon launch a funding campaign to increase its marketing and sales budget. The organization recently evolved its governance structure to provide more opportunities for business leadership and soon launch a funding campaign to increase its marketing and sales budget so it can more aggressively promote this three-county region.

While everyone would consider the current economic conditions as tough, the future is extremely bright. Because of the quality of lifestyle in Charleston, our competitive wage scale and the influx of talent, we are ideally positioned for the future.

Submitted by Wayne Outlaw, Keyway Committee

February 27, 2009

"USC's Success in Spite of Obstacles"

February 24, 2009: President Harris Pastides from the University of South Carolina spoke to our club this past week. He was also joined at the meeting by a handful of colleagues from USC. We were pleased to welcome these guests and honored to have President Pastides address us. Pastides is the 28th President of USC, having been sworn in on August 1, 2008. He was formerly a professor and a Dean, and has a host of accomplishments to his name, such as being Yale educated. He has also spear-headed many initiatives for the school's improvement during his time there.

Pastides discussed the history of USC and its current direction, and then turned to an overview of the devastating budget cuts and its affect on the school. He gloats that USC has been in existence since the General assembly approved it in 1801, and has been serving the state ever since that time. He is not willing to close campuses/reduce citizens' learning opportunities regardless of tough economic times.

Since mid-year 2008, the budget for USC has been cut 23.8% from the previous year, equaling about 52 million. The enormous budget cut was handed down with virtually no warning to the school's administration. President Pastides said that budget planning by the school is usually done prospectively for the year in advance. The cuts have forced the USC administration to examine all aspects of spending. Pastides noted regretfully that USC has been hit much worse than any other state school, with the closest behind being Alabama, at approximately 10% in cuts. He has had frank discussions with other states' school administrators who are worried over cuts of only a few percent in budget.

Despite the enormous cuts, the President is hopeful that some of the funds from stimulus package at the state level will trickle down to him. He is also optimistic about his school overall. It was a pleasure to listen to President Pastides' optimism and we thank him for the opportunity!

Reported by Jackie Grau, Keyway Committee