June 10, 2011


June 7, 2011: Roger Warren, Chairman of the PGA Championship of 2012, told us about its coming to the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island next August. This event is one of the 4 MAJOR golfing events of the year, which include the US Open, the Masters and the British Open. It is the first major EVER to be played in SC; 97 of 100 top world golfers will compete.

Economic impact: 210,000 spectators, $167 million regional impact with $4.1 million just in Charleston area. There will be 154 hours of live TV in the US along with broadcasts to 200 countries, a far bigger impact than the Ryder Cup of 1991. Most visitors will stay in downtown Charleston; 5000 rooms are already reserved.

Fun facts: 250,000 bottles of water and 200,000 cups of beer will be served, along with 70,000 hot dogs. 50,000 burgers and 295 tons of ice. There will be 225 Mercedes automobiles in use by players and sponsors and 9 miles of gallery rope and 6 miles of chain link fence used.

Tickets: For the first time in PGA history ticket sales will be limited to assure that the visitors can enjoy the action; 30,000 per day will be on hand and 96% of the tickets were sold in the initial 6 week advance period. Saturday is SOLD OUT. The remaining tickets will be offered on-line the moment the last putt is played at the 2011 Championship in Atlanta. The web site is: www.PGA2012.com Remaining tickets are expected to be sold in 2 days. 100 companies have bought group packages, 65% of whom are from outside the Charleston area. The 18th hole is sold out.

Publicity: This event will put Charleston on the world scene like never before, both through visitors and the world-wide television coverage. By comparison, the 2012 event sold more tickets in one day than were sold for the entire 2011 event in Atlanta.

Reported by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee

Rotarians Enjoy An Evening at the SC Aquarium

May 31, 2011: An evening social was held in lieu of our regular lunch meeting. Members and their spouses/guests enjoyed a lovely evening on the back deck of the SC Aquarium. It was a spectacular evening with cocktails and delicious hors d'oeuvres by Cru Catering. Guests also enjoyed beautiful views of the harbor where dolphins were playing and all the wonderful exhibits inside that the Aquarium has to offer. A special thanks to Digit Matheny, Denise Barto and the entire Social committee for all they did to make this such a special event for our membership. A great time was had by all those in attendance!
Southwest Airlines Visits Rotary

May 24, 2011: Ana Schwager, Community Affairs Manager at Southwest Airlines, addressed our club on May 24, 2011. Ana joined Southwest in February of 1995 as a reservation sales agent in Little Rock. A native of Little Rock, Arks., she received her bachelor's degree in marketing communications from the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Ark.

Southwest Airlines is based in Dallas and was launched in 1971. Thirty-nine years later, Southwest operates more than 3,400 flights a day coast-to-coast, making it the largest U.S. airline based on domestic passengers carried. It has been profitable for 38 consecutive years and boasts the lowest number of customer complaints since 1987. It holds the title of the most profitable airline and the only one in the U.S. to remain profitable this decade. There have been no layoffs at Southwestern----it is the most heavily unionized airline in business. Southwest is hailed as the nation's leading low-fare carrier (where bags fly free). This year, on March 13, Southwest started service to the Palmetto State through Charleston International Airport.

Ana Schwager gave the club a glimpse into the philosophy and corporate culture of Southwest Airlines. At Southwest, employees come first, customers second, then shareholders. Southwest is committed to providing their employees with a stable work environment where creativity, fun, and innovation are encouraged and rewarded. The Golden Rule figures prominently in the culture of this company---treat others the way you want to be treated, and so, doing the right thing by employees and customers is inherent to the mission of the company. The Southwest way of living is to "Have a Warrior Spirit, a Servant's Heart , and a Fun-Loving Attitude." The company believes in these attributes so deeply that every Southwest employee is evaluated in these areas on an ongoing basis. By putting employees first, the idea is that customers and shareholders benefit.

Southwest is passionate about customer service---"We are in the customer service business. We just happen to fly airplanes." Their philosophy is to go above and beyond the call of duty, "doing whatever it takes, with proactive communication." They are dedicated to improving the customer experience and building value for the customer. To that end, they have self-service kiosks, charging stations, Business Select programs, pet-friendly flights, and, of course, bags fly free.

Southwest is committed to community outreach and volunteerism. Community initiatives include developing relationships with nonprofit organizations at both the local and national level. Employees volunteer to serve on local, state, and national boards to assist nonprofit organizations achieve their missions. Another program is the Adopt-A-Pilot program that leads students through science, geography, math, writing and other core subjects, all based on aviation-related activities. Last year, Southwest employees collectively volunteered more than 45,000 hours and the company donated more than $11.6 to nonprofit organizations across the country. Environmental stewardship is also a responsibility that Southwest takes seriously, and to that end, it has instituted a number of environmentally-responsible operations.

Submitted by Loretta Wilson, Keyway Committeee