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. 

New Member – Sasha Zarzour

Please join us in welcoming our new member, Sasha Zarzour sponsored by Elizabeth Pritchett Bass.

Sasha is originally from Newmarket, NH. She graduated from High Point University and received her Master’s in Nonprofit Management from Northeastern University. She lives in Durham, NC with her husband, Billy, and their two dogs, Wally and Susie. She is the Director of Development at Caring House, a nonprofit organization in Durham, where she has worked for over 3 years. Her hobbies include reading, running, and baking.

Presentation: District Governor – Marie Howard

Monday’s meeting brought the annual visit by the new District Governor. Marie Howard, a member of the Clayton Club, was introduced by the District Governor Elect David Haden, who also did a brief commercial for the next International Conference in Hawaii, which explained the shirt and lei worn by President Todd.  

District Governor Howard was introduced by David Hayden.

Governor Howard brought along her “First Dude,” David Howard, who is also a very involved Rotarian. She also acknowledged Club member and Past President and Past District Governor Newman Aguiar as the mentor that helped her prepare for her term.  

Like many good speakers, DG Howard started with a story to illustrate the concept of “connections” which is a big theme of Rotary. The story involved a Youth Exchange Student who ended up stuck in the Miami airport because of a missed connection on the way home to her family in South America. First Dude Dave was able to locate a nearby club, Miami Airport Rotary, believe it or not.  The club president jumped into action and made sure the student was safe, cared for and entertained waiting for the next flight.   [Read more…]

Paul Harris Fellowship (PHF)

L to R – Michael Tharp, Susan Miller, Elizabeth Pritchett Bass, Barker French, Arthur Rogers

Michael Tharp – Michael has been a member of our club since 2012.  He retired from the Durham School of the Arts and almost immediately picked up his passion for education by becoming actively involved in our work at YE Smith School.  He is not only an active Reading Ranger, but you will see him as an ever present figure at Books on Break.  Michael received his first PHF.

Susan Miller – a partner with DMJ & Co and just recently recognized as a Paul Harris Society Member.  She is also our Club Treasurer.  We thank her for the many hours she gives to Rotary and present her with her PHF Plus 6.
Elizabeth Pritchett Bass – has just begun a leave of absence as she and her husband Dustin are about to have their second baby on August 27th.  Elizabeth is a Financial Advisor with Morgan Stanley.  Today she brought in a new member and receives her PHF Plus 1.
Barker French’s name is all over Durham from the East Durham Children’s Initiative, Durham Tech and so many more and yet he’s so committed to Rotary that he and his daughter, Hillary are co-chairing the Second Century Fund for our Club this year.  PHF Plus 6.
Our Awesome Past President Arthur Rogers has served in many capacities not only in our club but the District as well.  In addition he has a reputation for having brought innumerable guests, visitors and new members into our Club.  Congratulations on PHF Plus 3.

Presentation: Don’t Waste Durham


Introduced by Rotarian, Elisabeth Wiener, Crystal Dreisbach, Founder & Executive Director of Don’t Waste Durham, told us that she was born in Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho but has fallen in love with Durham since moving here. She took us on an energizing and informative ride through her six year old non-profit devoted to “preventing trash at its source.” 

 Dreisbach explained that while the goal of recycling is commendable there are a number of problems with it. All efforts at reducing waste require changes in behavior and people need an incentive to change their behavior. She mentioned the bottle deposits collected in certain parts of the country and the fact that in those areas a person rarely sees bottles of any kind along roadsides. She startled us with the fact that only 9% of recyclable items are actually recycled and that all those items are down-cycled. That means that they are not reused but broken down. She also told us that Durham’s trash travels nearly 100 miles to its final disposal site. 

Because Durham’s landfill was closed some time ago, our trash takes this long and expensive trip to become the problem of our neighbors in Sampson County. Both environmental and equity issues abound in this practice. 

 Dreisbach’s organization’s actions on a number of fronts aim to reduce waste at the source. Perhaps the best-known part of their operation, due to its presentation about a year ago on the PBS Newshour, is Green to Go. The plan targets styrofoam and other single use containers that are used by Restaurants and other venders for customers taking food home. Green to Go uses a container that can be returned after use, washed, sterilized and made available for use by another customer. She said that they currently have 775 subscribers and 26 restaurants and stores that use the containers.   [Read more…]

Program: Casey Steinbacher, Executive Director of Made in Durham

Summertime. Growing up, for many adults, it was not just an annual break from school — it was time to get a job and not only go to work but learn to work.

This tradition continues in communities all over the country but for some adolescents, getting that first work experience can be tough.

Enter Casey Steinbacher, executive director at Made In Durham since 2017. She is helping to lead a unique nonprofit community collaborative of business, education, nonprofit, government and youth in creating a pipeline that closes the skills gap for Durham youth and readies them for high-paying careers while building a substantial local workforce.

Aminah Jenkins

Casey, who was joined by MID youth network member Aminah Jenkins, were both introduced by Rotarian Rory Gillis. As CEO of Casey’s Company, an

Rory Gillis [Read more…]