News & Notices

News from the club and its members and notices.

Fun Fund Raiser – Durham Landmarks

Well, I don’t know if the Q-Shack qualifies as a landmark yet but it and many other Durham institutions helped to create this rendering of the Durham scene. Carver Weaver has a supply donated to provide us a quick and fun fundraiser. Let Carver know you want one and for $5 you have one.

What will you do with yours? You can frame it, of course, and hang it in an office or den.  Anticipating the holiday season you can buy them as gifts for your friends in Raleigh and Chapel Hill (Na, na, na na, na.) Me, I’m going to make mine an art project within my capabilities. I’m going to buy a box of colored markers and pretend it’s a grownup’s coloring book.  Very relaxing. Almost meditation.

Have fun with yours.

Program Report – Casey Steinbacher – Chamber 2.0

Past President Mary Ann Black introduced Casey Steinbacher, President of the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce, who filled us in why the Chamber is not the same organization that it was five, much less, ten years ago.

Casey has twenty plus years experience doing Chamber work.  She was lured to Durham from North Palm Beach in 2007.  Prior to that, she had been in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.  She has three daughters but her favorite topic of conversation is her four grandchildren.  She said if she had a Powerpoint, we would have been subjected to picture after picture of the most fill in the blank (beautiful, cutest, sweetest, adorable, above average—actually these are my words but you could read her mind) grandchildren in the world.  According to the Chamber website, if she won the lottery she would move all her children to Durham.

Casey noted that the Chamber is the largest business organization in Durham County with a simple focus: to advance economic development in Durham, and to provide essential services to its members. She recognized and thanked many members of Durham Rotary who play significant roles in the Chamber.  She pointed out that after the 2008 recession (and Durham businesses have mixed opinions about whether that business downturn has ended) a “new normal” emerged as a business model.  She said Durham, in general, has been rather successful in growing businesses—roughly $3.6 billion in investments and 11,000 jobs have come about in the last four years, much of it funded by initiatives started in the Chamber’s Vision 3D campaign.  [Read more…]

Rotary Minute: Rick Jorgensen

Long time Treasurer of the Durham Rotary Club, Rick Jorgensen,  took the podium for his Rotary Minute, a new addition to the regular meeting agenda where members of the club tell the assembled crowd a little bit about themselves.  Rick’s turn at bat was actually preceded by Dallas Stalling last week but your webmaster was caught napping and didn’t capture the moment. But we’ll make it up.

Rick, of course, is a CPA working at the firm of Hutchings & Hutchings with Past President Phil Hutchings. Both his wife Tanya and daughter Ellen have been Rick’s guests at occasionally. This reporter met Rick long ago when he was a neighbor and real estate agent with Fonville Morisey. I did know of his interest in bird dogs but did not know that he was a couple of jumps away from being a master jumper when he was with the 82nd Airborne. As he describes it in his Linkedin profile he was “defending the free world from communist aggression.”

For more about Rick, that Linkedin profile is

Welcome New Member – David Jacobs

Sheridan van Wagenberg sponsored new member David Jacobsand introduced  him during his induction into the club.  David is a born and raised citizen of Durham. He graduated from Northern High School and continued his studies at Durham Tech and Mount Olive College and is presently working on his BA in Business Administration while serving as the Emergency Medical Coordinator of the city of Durham. He has served 25 years with the Durham Fire Department Emergency area.  Part of his current duties are improving the first responder program by making it more citizen friendly.

We welcome David to the club and the fellowship of Rotarians around the world.

Mitzi Viola – Paul Harris Plus1

On Monday August 13, Foundation Chair Dallas Stallings presented a Paul Harris Plus 1 award to Mitzi Viola.  The award was accepted by Vice President Meg Solera for her friend Mitzi who could not be present.

As Dallas recounted Mitzi’s response to the award he shared what she had written. “‘I give to the foundation for the same reason I have served local nonprofits for 20 years. We are all equally valuable individuals, without regard to the situations into which we are born.  However, our birthrights are neither equal or fair.  The vast majority of people in the world are born into situations that do not steer them toward successes. Much of the world lacks the basic resource – nutritious food, clean water, adequate shelter. Bill Gates calls this the ovarian lottery – the chance you will do poorly or well based on this game of chance. Although chance is not fair, there are myriad ways each of us can help equalize the distribution of chance each and every day.  The Rotary Foundation in this way is an equalizer.  Through projects that provide basic and necessary resources to groups in need while encouraging partnerships and local involvement, the foundation offers dignity and local participation while improving the quality of life for our brothers and sisters whose birthrights are simply not as lucky our own.  In this way, each of us is honored through our work. A Paul Harris Fellowship is not about recognition of me or any Rotarian. It is a chance to make the world look more like God’s kingdom on earth, and in that way it is sincerely and honor and give. It is not an end in itself but rather the launching point for the question, “That is good. What’s next?”

4th Annual Progressive Dinner

Saturday, October 13th…Save the date for the Rotary 4th Annual Progressive Dinner

This is our Club’s premier Social/Fellowship event of the year.  Here is your opportunity to bring a spouse, partner or simply come alone to mingle, dine and meet new folks in a casual setting.  We meet up for appetizers, then are given an envelope with the dinner host’s name and address (with a map) and split up to dine at one of eight catered dinners hosted at the homes of fellow Rotarians (within a ten minute drive of the appetizer location).  Following dinner, every host hands out envelopes giving directions to our dessert location which is always held at a Rotarian’s place of business (also no more than a ten minute drive) where we all meet back up to enjoy delicious goodies and beverages, and wrap up the event.

This is a great opportunity for new and ‘seasoned’ members of our Club to meet people and socialize together. $30/person includes scrumptious appetizers, dinner with wine, and a lovely dessert.

No one knows which home they will be assigned for dinner, but we mix it up annually and everyone has a great time.

No football conflicts (trust me I’ve checked), so jump on board and save the date.  Sign-ups will begin in two weeks at our regular meeting and spots fill up quickly as we can only accommodate approximately 65 total guests (including hosts).

We currently have six of our eight house hosts ‘on board’ and need two more.  If you would like to be a host, drop me a line.  No cooking required, just room for eight at your table.  Food and beverages delivered to you earlier in the day.  Simply warm and serve.

Questions?  Email Progressive Dinner Chairperson Meg Solera