June 28, 2013

SC Department of Revenue
June 25, 2013:  Rotarian Andy Brack introduced our speaker, Bill Bloom, Director of SC Department of Revenue.  Mr. Bloom started his position earlier this year after being appointed by Governor Haley.  He had previously been a Senior Tax Partner at Earnst & Young and has ties to Charleston.  He attended Chicora High School mid ‘60s, received his Economics degree from Presbyterian and has a Masters Degree from the University of Denver

Mr. Bloom stressed that during his tenure at the Department of Revenue he wants to assure citizens that the state government is working hard to protect social security, info, etc. to prevent another security breach similar to what happened last year when SC was hacked and nearly 5.8 million personal records were stolen. 

Mr. Bloom gave a brief overview of the Department of Revenue stating that it administers 32 different taxes and fees and collects 95% of revenue used by the State’s general fund. 

One of the main purposes of his talk was to review the various types of breaches and security issues facing the Department of Revenue including hacking and malware, which they face every day. The DOR communicates with hundreds of different organizations and collects information on state businesses, education facilities, healthcare organizations, government/military and nonprofit entities.  On August 13, 2012 – Malware sent malicious email to DOR and stole usernames and passwords.  Last year’s security breach cost the state over $20M.  Since that time over 1.5 M SC residents enrolled in Experian and he was hired to help fix the problem.

The 3 Most Common & Critical Risks:

1. Tone-at-the-top: Leader of organization controls the situation.
2. User apathy & indifference.
3. Culture. 

There are additional issues that contribute to Security Risks including the DOR’s Budget, Expectations of users & taxpayers, and organizational conflicts.  Since the breach the DOR made a choice . . . . “Security is non-negotiable.’ The DOR now has changed their procedures on email to improve containment.  The have a two- factor authentication of emails and other information and they now have encryption of Data-at Rest.  There has been progress to date of the DOR’s implementation of new protocols and they will be approximately 50% complete implementing the new procedures by 10/13/13.  It is a difficult task because of the magnitude of DOR system access by more than 1000 users of the system.
Some changes they made are that the Chief Information Security Officer now answers directly to the Department Director, not the CIO.  The Department now has much more stringent auditing process and they no longer do internal auditing.  They have implemented Security-Employee Education to the tune of 4,000+ hours and they now test employees on “phishing” emails.  They have also developed a Security Council and a system of “Security Layering”
The results (since March 2013) are that 795,000 spam emails have been blocked, 4,600 malicious content blocked, and over 1,400 files quarantined.  Numbers in April and May were similar and are showing improvement, indicating their new protections are working.
Submitted by Steve Coe, Keyway Committee

June 24, 2013

Our Feathered Ambassadors

 June 18, 2013: The Historic Rotary Club of Charleston was treated to a demonstration of the good work of The Center for Birds of Prey, which is home to more than 120 raptors including owls, falcons, hawks, eagles and other birds on donated land that anyone can visit in Awendaw. 
The grateful residents in the collection comprise more than 50 species of these winged beauties, many of whom have been rescued from accidents, gunfire, disease and pollution. As the Center’s Director of Development, Burwell Boykin aptly said, “these amazing assets of the center are our greatest illustration of our mission and purpose.” 
The Head of Education for the Center, Stephen Schabel then stepped up and led the Club through nothing short of an enthralling education for the next 30 minutes. “What we’re about,” he said, “is not only about birds of prey, but all birds. Think about it…how many birds do we see each day? What do they tell us about our environment?” 
Schabel then treated us to a demonstration of the Center’s success by introducing us first to a Harris Hawk and then a Eurasian Eagle Owl, both of which soared just barely over our heads in graceful display of their talents.
“These creatures are important predictors of the safety of our food and environment,” Schabel instructed. “They eat what we eat, they drink what we drink, so if they fall ill, we need to pay attention.” 
The Club audience was amazed at just how obedient the birds were as they flew about the Holliday Alumni Center, landing delicately on different perches of light fixtures, ceiling abutments and the few other high spots in the banquet hall.
With a five foot wing span and a head that rotates more than 360 degrees, the Eurasian Eagle Owl held the audience’s attention as Schabel explained that the Center’s approach in working with these birds is to use positive reinforcement. “I am essentially, this bird’s mother,” he said. “Since it was just a few weeks old, I have cared for her.” When prompted, the large owl cried, saying everyone was certain in perfect english, “No!” That, he explained was her way of crying like a baby.
Boykin spoke up again, about the mission of the Center, defining just how important the well-being of these creatures is to all of us. “They are the ambassadors to all of  us, reminding us how fragile our ecosystem is.” 
With a budget of only $750,000 per year, the Center staff travels often to spread the word of its important work. “If it were not for the dedicated efforts of the volunteers, we would not be able to achieve our mission,” Boykin said. “Our mission is the rehabilitation and preservation of these birds,  and to educate all people about our special brand of conservation.”  
The Center treats more than 400 birds each year with different varieties of afflictions, the most common of which are the effects of oil spills. 
“These are the ‘sentinel species,’” said Schabel. “They will help ensure that we protect ourselves, from ourselves.”
The Center for Birds of Prey is a living example of service above self, flying high with humility and purpose.         
 Submitted by Mark Danes, Keyway Committee

June 13, 2013

June 11, 2013 – Our speaker was fellow Rotarian George Stevens, who is President/CEO of Coastal Community Foundation(CCF).  CCF serves eight coastal counties in South Carolina in an effort to make the communities of the Lowcountry better places to live.  As a public grantmaking foundation, it has distributed over $100M in grants to hundreds of nonprofits since 1974.  CCF started with a $9k grant from our own Historic Rotary Club of Charleston in 1974.  It now has a $162M endowment.  
George’s topic for the day was Rotary’s 4 Way Test.  It was created back in the 1930’s by Herbert Taylor who owned the Club Aluminum Products Company.  His company was not doing well and he was trying to save it from bankruptcy.  He believed himself to be the only person in the company with 250 employees who had hope. His recovery plan started with changing the ethical climate of the company.  Mr. Taylor explained, “The first job was to set policies for the company that would reflect the high ethics and morals God would want in any business. If the people who worked for Club Aluminum were to think right, I knew they would do right. What we needed was a simple, easily remembered guide to right conduct - a sort of ethical yardstick- which all of us in the company could memorize and apply to what we thought, said and did.”  After searching through many books for the right phrases, he bowed his head down and prayed.  Moments later, he picked up an index card and wrote down the exact 24 words we know now to be our Rotary 4-Way Test.  Mr. Taylor allowed Rotary to use his 4-Way Test when he was an international director of Rotary in the 1940’s and gave the copyright to Rotary in 1954.
Our speaker, George Stevens, spent a few minutes talking about each part of the 4-Way Test and how all of them circle back to the goodwill portion mentioned in the third part of the test.
First, is it the truth?  Truth, as in predictable, steady, and honest.  True, as in a true friend.  George asked us why we need to be reminded to ask this question.  The answer lies in the fact that we don’t always tell the exact truth.  We are flawed and sometimes prone to exaggeration.  We ultimately destroy any goodwill that has been built up when we don’t tell the truth.
Second, is it fair to all concerned?  Fair doesn’t always mean equal.  To answer this question requires a consideration of context.  We have to look beyond ourselves and our partners to the greater community beyond us.  Showing a sense of fairness in your life will build great goodwill.
Third, will it build goodwill and better friendships?  George spent most of his time discussing the idea of goodwill and how it relates to the other three parts of the test.  For example, the fourth part of the test asks will it be beneficial to all concerned?  George made a case that building goodwill is an important part of accomplishing the most benefit.  He juxtaposed the disaster and ill will brought on by the BP oil rig leak in April 2010 to the tremendous amount of goodwill built and benefit achieved by a Beaufort fund raising foundation.  From initial leak in April 2010, BP was not truthful about the amount of oil actually leaking.  They started out by saying that there about one thousand barrels per day leaking.  Within 5 weeks, the government established that it had actually been about 19 thousand barrels a day.  During that time, BP market value went down from $189B to $87B.  Not telling the truth led to a lot of ill will and eventually led them to a great monetary loss.  A large part of the $37.2B that BP budgeted for spill related expenses was for ‘Goodwill Remediation.’  They gave $100M to North American Wetland Conservation, $150M to National Wild Turkey Federation, and $100k to the Lowcountry Land Trust here in South Carolina, just to name a few.  In stark contrast to this, the Beaufort Fund Grantees here in South Carolina managed to build up enough good will that they were actually able to increase the amount of donations made to the fund during the recession.   
Reported by Doug Holmes, Keyway Committee


June 7, 2013

Women’s golf championship coming to charleston

 June 4, 2013:  We were pleased to have former Rotarian, Larry Tarleton, speak to us about the upcoming 113th U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship that will be held August 5 - 11 at the Country Club of Charleston.  Prior to his retirement, Larry spent 21 years as the Editor and Publisher of the Post and Courier. No less active in retirement, he is the chairman of this women’s amateur golf event to be held in our city. 
Golf is a major source of income and employment in South Carolina and provides jobs across the state for 33,000 people. It is particularly important to the business economy of the Lowcountry. The Country Club of Charleston was established in 1925 and its members are the driving force to make the 2013 championship happen. With an overall budget for the event of $406,000, 113 members have already pledged $1000 each.  For the 11 days of the event, the total club will be turned over to the US Golfing Association.  Kathy Boles Beard, who served as the manager of the Ryder Trophy championship in 1991, has been employed to run this 2013 event.
Charleston’s appeal to tourists is world renowned and was indeed a factor in having the local club selected for this major event. It is expected to bring  a significant boost to the tourism economy during its 11 days.  A bonus to the community is that THERE IS NO ADMISSION FEE; IT IS FREE:  In addition, there is no cost to park. Parking will be at the large field on Albermarle Road, with a short free shuttle to the club on buses. There will be no bleachers, but the golf course is not expected to be crowed; all visitors should have excellent opportunities to view the play.
The Marriott Hotel on Lockwood Drive is the headquarters, with an additional 40 private homes being opened to the visiting golfers. It should be noted that amateur golfers do not receive pay. More than 25 of the golfers will be international visitors. 
400 volunteers are needed to serve in all capacities from gallery marshals to clubhouse greeters. To date, about half of those needed have been found. Rotary Club members who can help should go to the website:  www.2013uswomensam.com    You also may email: volunteers2013@gmail.com or call 843-795-1373.           
Reported by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee