Rotary Minute – BC Dash – September 26, 2016

bc-dash-minuteIn his own words, BC Dash’s Rotary Minute.

Born in Rudyard Kipling’s Indian jungle, I grew up studying English literature, Philosophy and Economics, then obtained a Master’s degree in management of international business from CEI, University of Geneva, Switzerland (now IMD International, Lausanne).

I worked for ALCAN of Canada in India for 15 years and was Marketing Manager for packaging products for food, tea and pharmaceuticals.

I moved to the USA and was Administrator for Management of all the State Mental Health facilities in the greater Chicago area. Then at University of Illinois at Chicago, as Assistant Vice Chancellor, I had fiscal oversight of fifteen multidisciplinary research centers supporting programs in collaboration with industry.

I founded RAM International Inc,, a consulting house, to explore opportunities in globalization of industry and am currently promoting joint ventures in alternative energy and environmental technologies.

I have been involved in Rotary for over 20 years and settled in Durham for 12.

Rotary’s humanitarian projects, local and global, have been primary areas of my attention.

Our daughter and her husband live in Phoenix, AZ; our son teaches at Duke University Medical Center and has 2 children, a boy and a girl.

Program Report- Dr. Richard Brodhead – President of Duke University

richard-brodhead-programWhen I asked fellow Rotarian Dr. Phail Wynn, Jr., Duke University’s Vice President for Durham and Regional Affairs, if I could borrow his notes from his introduction of Dick Brodhead, he handed me two solid typed pages of accolades. I’m certain there were a lot of accomplishments that went un-noted, but suffice to say that the ninth president of Duke is quite a distinguished individual, not to mention “a rhetorical acrobat.”

Brodhead wasted no time in demonstrating those acrobatic skills, chiding Wynn by saying, “This guy works for me. You’d think he could follow the simplest of orders.” Rotarians laughed obligingly, and Brodhead launched into an entertaining, off-the-cuff talk about Duke’s love affair with Durham.

Wynn cited a comparison between Brodhead and former Duke President William Preston Few. Both were Professors of English who, coincidentally, were also determined to return a struggling football team to glory. It is said that Few drove his Model T Ford to Alabama and brought back Coach Wallace Wade; it is rumored that Brodhead drove his Audi A6 to Tennessee and brought back Coach David Cutcliffe. On the day after the Blue Devils had won a hard-fought gridiron battle over Notre Dame (AT Notre Dame, no less), this information was warmly received by the audience. Brodhead noted wryly, “In fact, I exchanged emails with the president of Notre Dame over the weekend, and he neglected to mention that a football game had taken place.”

Brodhead recalled that on his first day on the job in Durham, he visited the very same building – the Durham Convention Center – to meet a number of community and education leaders. He praised the synergistic partnership between Durham and the university, dating back to 1890, when Trinity College relocated here from Randolph County. “Those were exciting times. Durham didn’t have any old money, no old gentry – even more than 100 years ago, it represented a new, bustling economy, demographically very diverse, and intimately tied to entrepreneurial success.”

Brodhead explained that Durham native George Washington Duke used his personal success in tobacco manufacturing to the benefit of the growing community. “His largesse and his investments crossed all boundaries,” Brodhead said. Duke supported local churches and institutions of higher learning. He befriended African American entrepreneurs John Merrick, founder of the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, and James E. Shepard, founder of what became North Carolina Central University. In 1896, when the university was struggling, Duke donated $100,000 on the condition that they “open their doors to women, placing them on equal footing with men.”

However, when Brodhead and his wife paid a visit to Durham in 2004 prior to accepting the position at Duke, “it was not exactly an uplifting experience. Durham’s balloon had been popped,” he said. At that time, urban city centers had been largely abandoned, with residents and businesses defecting to the suburbs. “But Durham has a history of hiding its strengths,” he continued. “We used to call it ‘keeping your light under a bushel basket.’”

He likened the community’s renaissance to Jack and the Beanstalk: “It’s like someone planted these magic seeds that are thriving, and they are throwing off seedlings that are also successful,” Brodhead claims. “Research Triangle Park – that model is for mature, established businesses. Durham is the place for emerging businesses, it’s part of the entrepreneurial, creative class culture.”

Brodhead remarked on the mutually beneficial relationship that Duke has with Durham, particularly with the downtown area. “We used to have 2,000 employees who worked downtown. Now we have over 3,500,” he said. “We used to rent 100,000 square feet in the downtown area; now we rent over 1.5 million square feet.”

As the second largest private employer in the state (behind WalMart), talent recruitment is critical to Duke’s continued success. “Durham is a desirable place for our employees to live and work,” he said. “We have good jobs, good benefits, and we’re very competitive – so watch out, WalMart!”brodhead-paul-harris-fellow-award-web

Duke Health Care sees approximately 180,000 Durham residents per year. “We’ve all heard the saying that ‘it takes a village to raise a child.’ I say, ‘it takes a village to raise a healthy and successful village.’ Durham is a healthy organism, one that will continue to grow and thrive. Duke is committed to helping Durham be the healthiest village it can possibly be.” He complimented Mayor Bill Bell, seated next to him during lunch, for his extraordinary work on combating poverty and early childhood learning issues in our community.

Former Rotary Club president Vandana Dake asked Brodhead, “What is your next life journey?” He responded with a smile, saying, “When I was 15 years old, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. When I was in college, I realized that I wanted to teach at the college level. When I was in grad school, lo and behold, I was a college teacher. Then I wake up one morning, and I’m the president of Duke University. So why would I make plans?” Life has clearly been good to Brodhead, as Brodhead has been good for Duke and for Durham.

After Brodhead’s “rhetorical crescendo,” a la “join us for Duke vs. UVa football this weekend,” club President B.C. Dash, member Andy Esser, and District Foundation Chair Barry Phillips joined him at the lectern to award him with a Paul Harris Fellowship pin and certificate on behalf of our club. After Phillips explained that 92 cents of every dollar comes back to the local Rotary Club for programs, Brodhead said jokingly, “Oh, I thought you were about to give me 92 cents!” A small price to pay for his many contributions to the university and to the community.

Submitted by Carver C. Weaver

After the meeting Dr. Brodhead posed with Rotary, Duke and community leaders. Left to right, President BC Dash, Durham Mayor Bill Bell, Past President Lois Deloatch, Susan Carroll Managing Director of the Rotary Duke-UNC Peace Center, Dr. Brodhead, Phail Wynn, MaryAnn Black, Senator Mike Woodard, Past District Governor Barry Phillips, Ann-Louise Aguiar, and Past District Governor Newman Aguiar. 


Editors Note: Dr. Brodhead’s talk made the front page of the Herald-Sun on Tuesday and was the subject of the lead editorial on Wednesday. On the Herald-Sun website these may be behind a “paywall” if you want to see them. If you are a subscriber you should have access to them.


Program Schedule and Bulletin – October 3, 2016

hairyungPic of the week: Former Peace Scholar Hairyung back from Cambodia, presents her findings to the Rotary Grants Committee.


OCTOBER 03, 2016  Joanne F. Pierce, MA, MPH Public Health Director

Introduction: Mary Ann Black


Introduction: Bill Ingram


Introduction: Vandana Dake



Introduction: Don Stanger



Introduction: Steed Rollins



Introduction: Steed Rollins

NOVEMBER 21, 2016  NO MEETING!! Thanksgiving                              


Introduction: TBA

Harvey Sellner Minute – September 19, 2016

harveyFollowing is Harvey Sellner’s Invocation from Mother Theresa and is Rotary Minute. 

“People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.
Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.
Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.
Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten.
Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.
Give your best anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.”
Mother (St.) Theresa
When I did the Rotary Minute last time I talked about my former career as an aerospace engineer doing systems work and in R&D, where I got to be a part of an era of space exploration that will probably never be duplicated. I also talked about starting a non-profit devoted to providing safe drinking water and was a part of getting Rotary involved in the immense problem.
5 years ago a friend and ag professor introduced me to the concept of sustainable agriculture, and I realized there were just a few people working on this at the fringes in development, yet this technique is so powerful that it should be the long-term goal to ease the world’s hunger problem, particularly in Africa and Asia where 80% of the food is grown by smallholders.
So how can this be? Where are the giant companies with large research budgets and their marketing departments seeing an immense market? The answer turns out to be that they have chosen to focus on monocropping, which is undeniably more efficient in the short term; that is with a 20 or so year horizon. With monocropping, farmers get on a treadmill where they must buy large equipment, consolidate farms in order to pay for the equipment, buy exotic seeds and special fertilizer, pesticides and herbicides. The problem is that the topsoil erodes a little bit each year, and that pesticides and herbicides become less effective each year as resistant plant and bug species evolve to adapt. Every year the treadmill goes a little faster and so on until the inevitable happens; the topsoil is gone and the bug and weed problem is totally out of control*.
The problem in a place like Africa is that farmers can’t buy the equipment in the first place let alone the exotic seeds and the huge investment in fertilizer, herbicides/pesticides, and even fuel for the big machines. Consolidating farms means people are driven from their villages to the large cities to find work. In the end, the farmland is converted to desert.
With sustainable ag, farmers make use of nature and improved techniques to make their small farms much more efficient. Using these techniques a farmer can have 2-3 times more yield from his field, particularly in dry years. Ploughing is reduced or eliminated and weeding is greatly curtailed, meaning less time spent doing some of the hardest work.
The key to adopting sustainable ag is retraining farmers and ag extension workers. It is a well-known concept developed and refined over the last 30 years and promoted by the UN – FAO and others. Howard Buffett, Warren Buffet’s son is heavily into sustainable ag, and wrote a fascinating book for the lay person entitled “40 chances” that follows his adventures in sharing it around the world.
I plan to have a presence at the Hunger RAG booth at the RI convention in Atlanta. If you are interested and are attending the convention, I ask for your help in spending a little time manning the booth.

CART Bucket “Challenge Days”

Our special CART Bucket “Challenge Days” are helping us get closer to our goal of $5,000 for this Rotary year.   The table with the highest amount on “Challenge Days” gets prizes!
Aug. 29 = $329 – High table was $62 with Prizes from Burt’s Bees
Sept. 19 = $193 – High table was $72 with Prizes from Alzheimer’s Assoc.
Next “Challenge Day” is Oct. 31 —   How “High” Can We Go?

You can still donate to the “End Alzheimer’s Walk” for one of our Teams.



Foundation News

dallas-and-andyTwo significant things occurred on September 19. One was Dallas Stallings passing the Chairmanship of the Foundation Committee after a string of record years in building the participation in the Foundation. The second one is that Andy Esser accepted the Chairmanship following his leadership with Susan Ross during our Centennial Fund raising efforts. Dallas left big shoes to fill and Andy has…the capability to fill those shoes during this the Foundation’s Centennial year.

Optimism for the new year was bolstered when Burton King, Jodee Nimerichter, Anne Evans and Carl Evans all achieved new levels and Carl and Ann both became Paul Harris Fellowship Society Members.