Rotoract Update

Taylor Huie, a Duke University Biomedical Engineering student and 2021 Rotary District 710 Rotaract representative spoke to the Club about the growing Rotaract movement in the district and solicited folks willing to share an hour and their career experience on November 14. 


Duke Energy President: Stephen De May

It’s easy to take the power company for granted – until the lights go out. Then, we all scramble frantically for the telephone, demanding to know when power will be restored, as if the poor souls who answer the phones could simply flip a switch so we could get back to business as usual!  

Mr. De May was introduced by Indira Everett

If it were only so simple. North Carolina President of Duke Energy Stephen De May emphasized to the club in Monday’s program that the energy business is a complex and highly-regulated industry. The company serves approximately 3.4 million electric customers and 746,000 natural gas customers, and he takes that responsibility very seriously.  

“Our primary focus is continuing to deliver affordable power both reliably and in a cleaner, socially responsible fashion,” De May said, noting that no one likes to hear about rate increases but it’s the only way the company can recover its ongoing costs. He stressed three themes that underlie the company’s recent investments  [Read more…]

In Case You Didn’t Know

In addition to our regularly scheduled program, Durham Mayor Steve Schewel and his colleague Karen Lado, Assistant Director of Community Development for the City of Durham, gave Rotarians a brief overview of the $95 million Affordable Housing Bond Referendum that will be on the ballot next month.
The funds are part of a five year, $160 million affordable housing investment in Durham ($65 million will come from existing City and federal housing funds) earmarked to build new affordable units and preserve existing properties to enable 1,700 homeless households to move into permanent housing and stabilizing 3,000 low-income residents in their current homes. 
On any given night, over 350 Durham residents are homeless. More than 16,000 low-income households in our community spend more than half of their income on housing. The rapid growth of our city is driving housing prices up, threatening to displace long-time residents in neighborhoods that are facing gentrification.
If passed, current property owners will incur an initial tax rate impact of 1.6 cents per $100 of assessed property value to repay the debt over 20 years, a cost of approximately $37 annually on a median priced house valued at $230,000. For more information on the bond, go to

Rotarians in Action

L to R – Ann Evans, Carver Weaver, Mimi O’Brien, Bryan Piccirillo

On October 20, several Rotary Club of Durham members volunteered at Durham Medical Orchestra’s concert “Baseball for All:  A Concert for a Field of Dreams” to benefit the Durham Miracle League field.

Baseball For All: a Concert to benefit the Durham Miracle League Field draws attention to and assists in raising funds for the new Durham field for the Miracle League of the Triangle. Located diagonally across from the Durham Bulls Stadium, this field will join two other Miracle League fields in the Triangle-one in Cary and one in North Raleigh. The Rotary Club of Durham has made a financial contribution for this field, which provides opportunities for children and adults with disabilities to play baseball without barriers. This concert, part of the Durham 150 celebration, was a great opportunity for Rotarians to support the Field of Dreams and Durham 150.

New Member: Stephanie Terry

Please join us in welcoming new member Stephanie Terry.

Stephanie Terry- Owner of Sweeties Southern Vegan Catering is a community organizer, sales & marketing specialist and vegan pastry chef with over 25 years of combined corporate, non-profit and bakery experience. Much of her corporate career was spent as a sales manager for the Marriot and Hilton hotel brands. She also has an extensive career as a community organizer, leading a multi-faith, nonpartisan, countywide, citizens’ organization dedicated to engaging members of the community to fully participate in decision making processes with leaders in the public and private sectors that impact social justice issues. She has served as a political strategist and organized several successful grassroots campaigns that include getting a living wage passed by the Towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro NC, legislating a local Tenants Bill of Rights for apartment dwellers and negotiating a counties wide partnership to mitigate utility rate increases for residents in Efland, NC.  Stephanie’s community involvement currently revolves around food access, food equity and school lunch reform. She has served as a facilitator for a coalition of doctors, health advocates and community members dedicated to reducing sugar consumption impacts for underserved populations in Durham. She also serves as a James Beard Foundation chef advocate for school lunch reform.    

New Member: Talib Graves-Mann

Please join us in welcoming new member, Talib Graves-Mann.

Talib is a fourth-generation entrepreneur and embodies a self-described “Blue-Blood Hustle.” The entrepreneurial history of his family has fueled his passion to build innovative businesses. From 2015-2016, Talib Graves-Manns served as the Entrepreneur in Residence with Google for Entrepreneurs and Code2040 at the American Underground in Durham. Talib is the Co-Founder of four businesses: Knox St. StudiosPoint AB,  Life on Autopilot, and Black Wall Street Homecoming. Across all four organizations, he is responsible for business strategy and growth.

Talib holds a Bachelor of Science from Hampton University and a Masters of Business Administration from Wake Forest Universities Schools of Business. He is also the 2015 recipient of the Triangle Business Journal, Corporate Leader in Diversity Award.