Rotary Foundation – Paul Harris Fellows – May 15, 2017

Foundation Chair Andy Esser made to significant Paul Harris Fellowship awards. Immediately below Andy is pictured with Club Treasurer, Susan Miller being awarded here PHF +4 and Emilee  Collins her PHF +2. Please congratulate these two great Rotarians.

President BC Dash Honored by Past Presidents

At their May 18 Past Presidents’ Council meeting, President BC is presented with a framed photo to recognize his year of service. Pictured are President BC and Past President Vandana Dake.

Photo credit to Past President Lois Deloatch.

International Committee – Pune India Project

Leadership in Pune Toilet Project

One of the many successful project that our Club has participated in is the Pune India Project. The plaque pictures celebrates the original project that led to this one.

The objective of the project is the construction of 272 toilets in villages situated in Velha & Haveli Taluka of Pune District, Maharashtra, India.  Beneficiaries will be 272 families consisting of about 2000 persons in whose homes toilets with septic tanks will be  installed. This will prevent the contamination of the water source and will thus: a) prevent disease; b) improve sanitation; c) improve the health of the community by eradication of water borne illnesses, especially those of women (pregnant and nursing) and children d) will increase security and safety to adolescent girls and women.  The local club spearheading the project is Pimpri, District 3131.  Our club, Durham in District 7710, is the international partner club.  The current amount budgeted for the project is $65,250.  This project builds on a successful project where 204 toilets were constructed in Ambi Village, Pune, India, which was also spearheaded by the Pimpri Club.

New Members – May 15, 2017

We inducted two new members on May 15. The first was Nancy Carstens who was sponsored by a smiling Don Stanger, maybe because Nancy succeeded him as President of the Hope Valley Neighborhood Association or maybe because he gets another hash-mark towards a District Governor’s Citation.  Nancy has visited with us several times. If you haven’t had a chance to meet her yet, please take the opportunity to welcome her to the club.

Also inducted was Michael Goodman of Capital Broadcasting and American Tobacco Campus fame. President Elect Seth Jernigan sponsored Michael, who has addressed the club at least a couple of time, the last time to help promote the last bond issue, which passed overwhelmingly.

Program Report: Brian Hamilton – Sageworks

 

Brian Hamilton reflected on his own career as a successful start-up entrepreneur during Monday’s lunch presentation. Brian was introduced by Don Stanger who praised the series of entrepreneurs we have had in the last few weeks with a retailer and builder and now with Brian’s tech company all thriving in the environment that Durham provides.

As he explained it to a near full house of Rotarians, there are popular images in the media of starting a company, and succeeding in short order. Then, there is the reality that he has encountered over the last two decades as a co-founder of Sageworks.

Many successful startups have some age on them, Hamilton said. Their existence likely lies in years of learning, hard work, revising the game plan and then revising some more.

Today, Sageworks is a successful financial information company based in the Triangle. It helps financial institutions and businesses access complex data by making it easier to understand in narrative form. The company’s numbers-to-narrative proposition ultimately met great success.

But that happy outcome, Hamilton said, was not a fast-growth wonder that “bloomed” in short order.

“What I learned, it takes time to learn,” said Hamilton, a Duke business school graduate who also has appeared as a business pundit on cable news networks. “It takes a long time to learn. I am still learning. It’s the rate at which you learn that will dictate your success.”

Among the basics of business startup success, Hamilton said: “You need the right product.  That’s hard.”

In the case of Sageworks, the entrepreneurs who launched the idea of making financial information accessible and easier initially found an indifferent reaction by potential clients as they made their pitches. Multiple iterations took place, he said, including one “pivot” that focused the product more to the precise needs of banks.

Hamilton also pointed to a key ingredient of successful leadership that might not appear at the top of some textbooks.

“To lead people,” he said, “you need to love them.”

Leaders with that quality will find their employees detect it and will work with the bosses through bad times and good as the whole team works to get better and deliver products that creates even more value for customers than the products cost.

Last, “You really must love your customers. You can never have enough service and love for your customers.”

Submitted by Mark Lazenby

Program Report – Shelley McPhatter – BridgePoint Construction

The Durham Circle of Business

Today’s program was about another enterprising person who left a very secure position in private industry to assume the risks of going into business for oneself. Shelley McPhatter has created a highly successful consulting and construction business in the Triangle. Todd Taylor introduced Shelley whom he got to know through her work for Duke Corporate Education.  Todd pointed out that she had a degree in Ocean Engineering from Florida Institute of Technology. Naturally, he had to point out that building things on land was “piece of cake” compared to building on the ocean.

Shelley has been in the construction business for twenty one years. Early years were spent working out of trailers supervising subcontractors for large construction firms.  She spent eight years as a project manager at Skanska, one of the world’s leading construction and development companies. She called herself a “company girl.”  She was on the “A-Team” with a secure job. She had three young children. Why would she ever leave a job like that?

Nonetheless, she struck out on her own in 2007, founding BridgePoint Construction Services working out of her home. At the time, her twin daughters had just finished day school. She felt rich.The time felt right. But once she got out on her own, “it got scary.”

Her first project was serving as Owner’s Agent on the GreenBridge project in Chapel Hill, a mixed development of commercial and residential space. At the time it was hailed as the “greenest” project in North Carolina. BridgePoint Construction Services works as a consultant with developers, architects, construction firms and others to manage successful and sustainable projects.

Shelley lives in Wake Forest. There are too many family connections to leave, but she loves Durham.  In 2008 she started looking for office space in Durham. She loved the downtown.  She loved the energy. She loved the architecture. And she wanted her business to be part of the community. How often have we heard start-ups and entrepreneurs say the same thing?  South Duke Street has become home for her Durham offices.

In 2013 Shelley founded BridgePoint General Contracting. Projects have included an expansion of American Underground and improvements to the lobby area of Bronto Software.  She has twenty-two clients that are based in Durham.

In 2016 Shelley co-founded BridgePoint Civil, located in Goldsboro, that provides earthwork and site utility service for the Triangle and eastern North Carolina.

Shelley modestly failed to mention that Triangle Business Journal ranked BridgePoint General Contracting as twelfth on the Fast 50 List  of the fastest growing companies in the Triangle in 2016.She attributes BridgePoint’s success to “our people” who treat all professional relationships as partnerships. Personally, she has discovered that “her time is better spent working on the business rather than in the business.”

When asked how, as a woman, she fits into the traditionally male-dominated construction industry, Shelley admitted that coming up through the field there was a lot of cursing and jokes. “I’m good at that!” she retorted.

Submitted by Allen Cronenberg