Bull City Race Fest – Volunteer opportunty

BullCityRaceFestThe Area 7 rotary clubs (Durham clubs) will be running a “Water Station” at the Bull City Race Fest on October 19th, 2014.  The event benefits Habitat for Humanity and is expecting around 7,000 runners.  We have been asked by Joyce McKinney (Assistant District Governor Area 7) to have 12 volunteers from our club.  Our task will be to hand out water, sports drinks, gel packs and cheer on all runners on the morning of the race!  The timeframe will be 6:30am until 10:30am, on the corner of Watts & Minerva.  An online sign-up will be emailed to all members soon, or you can contact Susan Miller at susan@hutchingscpas.com, if you are interested in volunteering.

Program Report: Rob Cotter – CEO of Organic Transit

ELFspeakerwebOne of the most innovative vehicles that promises to transform city transportation is made right here in Durham, first at the old Bargain Furniture store downtown, and now on Corporation Street near the old Durham Bulls ballpark.  Rob Cotter, founder and CEO of Organic Transit gave a presentation about the ELF car that is essentially an enclosed trike powered by pedal or solar energy.  Rob brings together the attributes of engineer, visionary, passionate advocate for environmental stewardship, and canny salesmanship among others.  While working on Porsche and BMW racing cars Rob developed an interest in vehicles powered by alternative sources of energy including foot power and solar produced electric energy.  He directed the first solar powered car race—whose participants it might be noted by academics such as myself—largely consisting of land-grant university teams, have produced many innovations in design and solar power for vehicles.

The ELF, weighing in at 150 pounds, can reach legal speeds up to 20 miles an hour and has a cruising range of however far the driver can pedal or 15 miles or so using the electric power stored in a 48 volt lithium battery.   Either solar power or standard electrical outlets recharge the battery, taking about 7 hours with solar and about 2 hours by outlet.  Consuming the equivalent of one gallon of gas for every 1800 miles, the ELF is obviously environmentally friendly.  As the demand for the ELF increases, cities will be cleaner and green jobs will be created plus people who are not keen on getting out on the streets on bikes can feel safer—ELFs are, at least at this point,  rather attention getting.

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Rotary Minute: Don Draughon

DonDraughanwebPresident Vandana is in Durham UK visiting our “sister” club in our Sister City and wasn’t there to threaten to yank Don Draughon from the podium for going more than a minute during his Rotary Minute.  Operating under that threat last week, Rob Everett barely got out that he was a Durham native. Coincidently, Don is also a Durham native who went off to a distant land to go to college, Rob to Harvard in Massachusetts and Don to Brigham Young in Utah. He and Reyn Bowman probably constitute a quorum of the local BYU alumni club if there is one.

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Program Report: Jimmy Leak and Anne Emerson Leak – NURU

NURUProgramWebIn a procedural sleight of hand, Sandy Leak approached the lectern, ostensibly to introduce the program for the Aug. 25 meeting. Instead, she was joined by her husband Jim to make a surprise announcement for their son, Jimmy, and his new bride Anne Emerson Leak: the couple had been honored with a $1,000 Paul Harris Fellowship. Jimmy is a former RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership) fellow and Anne’s father was a Rotarian, so the announcement had special meaning for them both.

Jimmy, a UNC grad with a PhD in education policy from the University of California-Irvine, and Anne, who earned her doctorate in education (with a focus on science, technology, engineering, and math) from the University of California-Santa Barbara, have been putting their degrees to good work with an organization called NURU International.

After graduation, Anne went to work with Engineers Without Borders in Cameroon (“The first time I’ve ever lived by myself, anywhere!” she admits), where she saw first-hand that barriers to education were virtually everywhere. Even if there were classrooms and teachers available, there were woeful shortages of necessities such as food, clean water, health care, and basic sanitation. She took an assignment in Kenya on a clean water project, and Jimmy followed. It was there they became familiar with NURU International.

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Rotary Minute: Rob Everett

EverettMinuteWebI wasn’t sure I was hearing things correctly when Rob told the story of when he was at Harvard for undergraduate work getting into a class of taught by actor Ken Howard, best known perhaps for a role he created in the TV drama White Shadow about a high school basketball coach. So I went to Google and found that, yes indeed, Howard had gone to Harvard to teach acting and oratory skills.  Rob told that story after he introduced himself as a resident of a little town north of Apex, North Carolina called Durham. He said that was what he often told people who inquired during his stay in Cambridge.

In fact, Rob’s minute became more of an ode to Durham than sharing much information about himself. Besides his Harvard undergraduate degree, Rob has his J.D. from UNC and is a member of the firm Everett Gaskins Hancock, founded by his grandfather. He is also the son of Robinson O. Everett, Sr, one of the state’s more notable attorneys. Rob also didn’t mention that he taught and coached for thirteen years in independent secondary schools in Louisiana and Los Angeles before going to law school. Rob’s main role today is CEO and President of Triple E Apartment Management, which manages the family’s real estate holdings in several cities around the state.  Much of this information is on the firm’s website, www.eghlaw.com.

Many of us met Rob several years ago before he joined the Club at the rededication of the Rotary Bandstand at Bennett Place, which has been the beneficiary of the family’s generosity.  Rob has also contributed his time and connections to bring us many great programs in his role as the Chair of the Program Committee.

It’s hard to tell whether Rob’s oratory skills are genetic or Ken Howard coached him, but he delivered a notable Rotary Minute and invocation.

Rotary After Hours August – Bull McCabe

photo 1 (2)The After Hours are getting bigger and better…more pictures on the Club Facebook page…https://www.facebook.com/DurhamRotaryClub  After Hours Co-chairs Seth Jernigan enjoy their work.

Program Report: Sister Cities of Durham – Brady Surles and Annabelle Garrett

AnnabelleBradywebRotarian Brady Surles introduced the program by commenting on what an international city Durham has become.

So, I’m not the only one who noticed?

A few years ago I was doing a mailing in Hope Valley Farms. I was amazed at the number of names that had no obvious Anglo-Saxon roots, not even counting the poetic African-American creations. Among my all time favorite clients were a married couple who were both doctors at Duke. He was German and she came from a Pakistani family and grew up in Brooklyn. I got to see it even closer up during my years as a part-time plumbing associate at Home Depot. You would be surprised which cultures find our bathroom hygiene woefully inadequate and try to use kitchen sprayers to improvise bidets. And then for some reason on Sunday evenings you might think you had been transported to an HD somewhere in Asia.

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Rotary Minute: Forrest Perry

ForestPerryMinuteWebAfter my record for the longest Rotary Minute has been challenged several times (you know who you are…rhymes with Jay) the trend seems to be going in the other direction since the featured Rotarian has also been asked to provide the invocation.

Forrest Perry has probably now set the record for the shortest Rotary Minute. We didn’t learn too much about Forrest except the he has been associated with the YMCA since he was a camper at Camp Kanata in 1989 and now is the Branch Executive Director of Durham YMCAs or the YMCA of the Triangle.  So I had to go to the internet to try to learn a little more about him. I found his Linkedin profile at https://www.linkedin.com/pub/forrest-perry/11/887/825 but didn’t learn much there either except that he has a connection to UNC at Chapel Hill and takes a great picture.

But if anyone thought his brevity was because he was shy or didn’t like addressing large groups the YouTube video below should dispel that notion.  Shake your booty Forrest! Here’s a man who loves his job.

Submitted by Jay Zenner

Program Report: District Governor Matt Kane

KaneFamwebjpgWe had a large crowd today to hear District Governor Matthew Kane address our club. He attended with his wife, Sonia, whom he met at Virginia Tech. I was impressed to learn that they not only have served as host family to exchange students via the Peace Scholars program but that their two children have also traveled abroad via the program. Being President of his own club, district governor as well as receiving the Service to Mankind award and Rotarian of the year, District Governor Kane is a great example of service above self.

He gave a shout out to our club as the recipient of the Best Club Award this past year, and his successor, our own Newman Aguiar, who will replace him as District Governor at the end of his term.

His message was simple: Do something amazing. And he challenged all of us to look past our own offices, neighborhoods and families to practice service above self. He noted we do this well as a club via our Crayons 2 Calculators program and Reading Rangers initiative, as well as how well we leverage the Rotary Foundation grants with our international programs.

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Rotary Minute: Anna Jones

AnnaMinute2webI’m sure everybody’s first impression of Anna Jones is similar to mine… stylish, sophisticated, very feminine. I’m sure she also gets a lot of double-takes when she describes herself as a peanut farmer from one of the “black belt counties” at the top of our state where the majorities are African-American.  All but the newer members of the club also know that Anna is currently engaged in a project to produce a documentary about her father “Chairman Jones” who was a leader in the Civil Rights movement and the first black Chairman of the Northampton County School Board.

Those who have seen the “trailer” of the documentary know a little bit about that history but not so much about the influence of the man in Anna’s life.  Telling the story of how her father taught her to drive a tractor at a very young age provides a poignant glimpse into this.  The episode, she said, gave her the courage to overcome her fears and go to college, teach at Hillside High and go on to her primary career as a manager with IBM.

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