Rotary After Hours August – Bull McCabe

photo 1 (2)The After Hours are getting bigger and better…more pictures on the Club Facebook page…  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 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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Program Report: Jeff Paine – Duda|Paine Architects – Recruiting and Managing Creative Talent

JeffPainewebMy grandfather was an architect and I had aspirations of following in his footsteps and being one of the creative class. But I took stock of my talents…I was bewildered by math, physics and especially geometry and lazy to boot and decided I would be a better BSer than a builder and studied English.

Rob Everett introduced architect Jeff Paine of Durham’s Duda Paine.  Like Jeff, my grandfather worked for two of the greatest architects of his time, Louis Sullivan and John Eberson. In fact, he ended up in my hometown of Richmond working for Eberson on the art deco masterpiece originally called the Central National Bank building and the Lowes Theater that is now known as the Carpenter Theater.

Jeff and his partner in Duda Paine, Turan Duda have a had a working relationship spanning more than 30 years including 20 years  at Cesar Pelli & Associates where many famous buildings were designed including the beautiful Bank of America Center in Charlotte. They opened their firm in Durham in 1997 and helped establish Durham as one of the magnet cities for creative people that other recent speakers such as Scott Selig of Duke have celebrated.

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Rotary Minute: Phail Wynn

PhailWynnwebPhail Wynn offered his Rotary Minute and an invocation to open the meeting.

We’ve been doing these Rotary Minutes for a couple of years now and the hallmark of them for me is that folks that we’ve “been knowing for a while” as we say here in the south, reveal things about themselves that you would never guess.

But everybody knows about Phail Wynn.  His Rotary service goes back 35 years and he not only recalls the old, un-mourned, minus 3 stars, Heart of Durham Hotel where meetings were once held, he remembers the fried chicken they served every meeting.  Most too know about his roots in Oklahoma where his grandmother was a Creek and his grandfather a freed slave.

Most also know that he entered the Army after college and became a Green Beret and served two tours at Fort Bragg and one in Vietnam during the Vietnam war’s most deadly period and came back. It was during the second tour at Fort Bragg that he observed the role that Fayetteville Community College played in helping GIs transition back into civilian life and realized that the field of community college education would allow him to make a difference and help change lives for the better.

After he received his PhD at N.C. State’s College of Education and Psychology in 1977, he starting working at Durham Tech and within a few years took the helm of that institution and led it for 30 years while also taking a very active role in the community at large serving on many boards including RTI and CCB/SunTrust.

He is no less visible now in his role directing community affairs at Duke, a position he was recruited to fill by Richard Brodhead when Duke was reeling from the lacrosse incident.

What I would have never have guessed was what lit up his eyes and his big smile when he shared it at the end of his minute.  Contemplating retirement again, Phail went and bought, not just one, but two, Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

Paul Harris Fellowship – Judge Willis Whichard

BillWhichardPortraitWe weren’t quick enough to get a picture of Dallas Stallings presenting Judge Willis Whichard his Paul Harris Fellowship pin but we did have this picture of Bill with the portrait of him recently hung in the North Carolina Supreme Court chambers.  Congratulations Bill on both honors.

Program Report: Barry Van Deman – Museum of Life and Science Update

BarryVanDemanMLSwebI rarely wish to be a child again.  But if I could see and experience the wondrous and exciting world of nature through the eyes of a child at Durham’s Museum of Life and Science, I might well change my mind.

Julie Ketner Rigby introduced her boss, Barry Van Deman, President of the Museum of Life and Science, who updated us on new projects that will pique the curiosity and thrill visitors to the Museum.   Since its origins in a small white house and modest trail back in 1946 the museum has evolved into one of North Carolina’s top attractions with nearly half a million visitors annually.  It has earned accolades for its educational role not only locally but for children across the state.

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Rotary Minute: Tim Nordgren

TimNordgrenWebOur new practice of preceding the invocation with a Rotary Minute introducing or reintroducing a member to the Club brought Tim Nordgren, a member since 2009 to the podium on Monday. Among the most longsuffering of fans, Tim grew up in the Chicago suburb of Winnetka, following the Cubs. Apparently still fond of Midwestern winters, he matriculated to the University of Iowa where he graduated with distinction with a B.B.A. in Finance in 1991.

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