New Member: Sonika Rawal

SONIKA RAWAL is an architect, urban designer and researcher with Alliance
Architecture. She has varied experience in urban design, planning, architectural and interior design projects. She is passionate about design research and planning projects that empower local people to create better cities and communities. Sonika received her PHD in Design and
Masters & Bachelors in Architecture from North Carolina State University. She lives in Durham with her husband, Vishal Trehan. Sonika is sponsored by Past-President, Vandana Dake. Welcome Sonika!

Presentation: City Economic Output Lagging, Goodmon Says

 Michael Goodmon did not serve up fully baked Durham puff piece at his lunch presentation on Monday, during which he even asked club members to stop their approving bursts of applause while he spoke. All in, it was something flavored a bit more sweet and sour. 

 “We are not growing economically,” said the long-time city developer who has been instrumental to the city’s new-found prominence as a good place to call home. “We are growing by people.”  

 The city, he said, is “not doing very well” in state rankings of economic growth by output, though the Triangle region combined is strong. Durham itself places in the last half of North Carolina’s rankings of gross domestic product by statistical metropolitan area, he said.  To boot, early-stage investment capital for start-ups is “thinner than it was five years ago” and he believes the capital is “even harder to find” because of the city’s diversityAffordable housing is direly needed.  [Read more…]

Paul Harris Fellows

Sara Hill owner of Hamilton Hill Jewelers joined our Club two years ago.  Even as a business owner, she finds time to be a Reading Ranger often twice a week, which is her biggest focus with our Club.  She reads her Rotarian magazine then forwards it to her 92 year old Father who was a Rotary fellow in 1956.
Rob Cadwallader has been a Rotarian for over 20 years, having previously served as President,  but only came to our club just a couple of years ago.  In this short time, he is a familiar voice leading our club in our opening song, a member of the Fellowship Committee and Membership Committee.  Outside of Rotary, his focus clearly covers education to include chairing or serving on the boards of just to name a few: Durham Academy and Hill Center, NC School of Science and Math, Student U and the Augustine Literacy Project. Pleased to Present PHF Plus 2
Bryan Piccirillo (not pictured) is with Edward Jones and has been a member of our Club for a little over a year. Bryan grew up in a caring home where his Mother practically ran a hospital in their home by taking in gravely ill people to care for.  Bryan now does something “similar” by adopting “not sick” animals, as many as 10, four dogs and six cats.  He is definitely living service above self and we know it all started in the home he was raised in.  NEW. PHF

Presentation: Bennett Place Historic Site

Diane Smith, site manager of Bennett Place, provided a fascinating glimpse into Durham’s history in Monday’s program presentation. Bennett Place is the site of the last and largest surrender of a Confederate Army in the American Civil War. Bennett Place is one of three state historic sites located in Durham County. Durham is the only county in the state to host three historic sites.  

Carver Weaver introduced Diane to the Club

In the 1840s, the community we now know as Durham was little more than a hamlet, home to yeoman farmer James Bennett and his family: wife Nancy, a daughter, and two sons, who settled on 300 acres in 1846. Soon after, Dr. Bartlett Durham sold property to the railroad (the site is near where DPAC now stands), and now the community had a name: Durham Station. Likewise, the Bennetts were approached about selling some of their land for tracks. If you’ve been to Bennett Place, you know that the railroad runs next to it for several hundred yards to this day. Though Durham already stood on a well-traveled trading path that ran from Virginia to Georgia, the railroad brought a new era of prosperity with the ability to conduct commerce on a larger, more efficient scale, and the 1850s were a very prosperous time for this area.   [Read more…]

Youth Exchange Students

The Durham Rotary Club is proud to introduce our incoming Youth Exchange Student. Joelle Chi-Wei Lin is a native of Taiwan. She will be residing with Rotarian Newman Aguiar and his family and will attend Durham School of the Arts where she will be taking French, US History, singing in the Concert Choir and participating in a visual arts class along with standard core classes as a junior. She also enjoys playing volleyball and will be trying out for the team.

Our outgoing Youth Exchange Student, Josh Aguiar, son of past District Governor Newman Aguiar, is heading to Slovakia for his youth exchange.

UPDATE: Joshua arrived in Slovakia this morning at 7:00am to a nice welcome from his host family.

New Member – Wade Layton

Please join us in welcoming our new member Wade Layton sponsored by Seth Jernigan.

Wade Layton is a senior vice president and the market president for BB&T’s Durham, Person, Granville and Orange county territories. Wade and his team are directly responsible for the commercial banking activities within these markets.  Wade is a multi-year Sterling Performer and Best of the Best winner, placing him in the top 5% at BB&T. 

Wade has been with BB&T for 15 years and was promoted to Durham in January of 2019 after holding the market president position in Roanoke, VA, where he covered 19 counties in South Western VA.  Prior to Roanoke, Wade was the market president in Rocky Mount and Kinston, NC.  Wade was also a commercial banker in Goldsboro, NC after finishing the BB&T Leadership Development Program in 2004. 

Wade grew up in Kinston, NC.  He received his BS degree in business management from NC State with a finance concentration and his MBA from East Carolina University.  Wade is a graduate of The Graduate School of Banking from Louisiana State University. 

Wade’s wife, Blaire, is also from Kinston and attended NC State and ECU.  Wade and Blaire have 3 handsome boys named Parker (9), Wagner (5) and George (2).  Wade enjoys boating, hiking, mountain biking, yard work and spending time with his family.